I have so many things to tell all my little rosebuds. So we will start HERE...with...THERAPIST.
As you may or may not recall, sometime in November I started seeing a counselor to help me "fix myself" because Heather did a miraculous job of making me feel crazy and unjustified in doubting her "friendship" with Gina and so I wanted to go to therapy to learn what was wrong with me to be a better wife.
It was my first stab at counseling/therapy and it was kinda poo poo. My counselor was very nice but really just "listened". I do remember who saying, after I had laid out all of my concerns about Heather and Gina...
"Sooooo....you've basically just chosen to believe she is not having an affair"?
What I was looking for from therapy was a more "involved" way of counseling. I needed action items. Things to work on.
So I stopped going.
All of this happened...
And at the suggestion of Boobie, I booked an appointment with another friend who is a therapist...and henceforth shall be referred to as...
I love Therapist as a friend and I love her as a therapist. She is exactly what I wanted. She doesn't just listen, she gives me "homework". She doesn't TELL me what to do, but instead says things like..."You can CHOOSE to stay with Heather, and that's okay. But know if you choose to stay with her you will stay stuck and you are telling her "What you did to me was okay...and you can do it again. But the CHOICE is yours".
I see what you are doing there Therapist. And I dig it.
First session was of course lots of me crying about Heather.
But second session was more about Amy. And it's scary and confusing and makes me think. And I think it's going to be wonderful.
SO we spent a lot of that second session talking about my worth. Or how I don't believe I have any. Where does that come from? Why did I think all along that Heather was too good for me and that I should allow her to treat me the way she did? Why don't I deserve love and happiness? Why do I not think I will ever find someone attractive AND kind and real? Why can't I let Heather go even though she cheated on me and broke me into a million pieces.
You ready for it?
It all ties to my body and my image of my body.
While I think I am kinda cute in clothes, and can wear a size 8...
(This is kinda hard to type...)
I would describe myself as disgusting. I hate my body naked. I feel like I am often the fattest and most broken person in the room. And because I am disgusting, I am not deserving of love and kindness. I deserve exactly what Heather gave me for years. I felt like I SHOULD be grateful that she decided to love me and that no...I didn't deserve or need birthday presents or Christmas presents or to celebrate anniversarys...because "You get to love me...I am your present" is what she told me...and I believed it. Because I don't deserve more than that. And while I know there are people out there that could treat me better emotionally, I felt like I would never find anyone as fit as Heather to love me...
because I am not fit.
I am broken.
And no amount of working out will ever unbreak my body. There will be scars and stretchmarks and skin and dimples...
And in my mind...those things define my worth.
Not my heart (which is amazing I think).
Not my mind (I describe myself as "middle smart".
Not my ability to give or love or think of others.
None of that matters as much as my body and how it looks.
Of course Therapist stopped and said at one point, "Amy, I need you to listen to me okay? Reallly hear me. THAT'S BULLSHIT".
And I hear her, and I know what she is saying. But I don't believe her.
We talk about how this has been my "script" from the first time my brother told me I was fat. And how he made sure to reinforce that over and over again as I grew up. Hot girls are liked. Hot girls have sex. Hot girls get the boys (or girls). Hot girls Hot girl. Hot. Fit. Skinny.
Fat girls are gross. They are "less than"...
And that is one of the dominate scripts of my life.
So my assignment after that session was to go home and right IMAGE at the top of a piece of paper and write down everything that came to mind...no censoring. Free association style. Two legal sized pages full is what came out and BOY...that was depressing. Over and over you could see the words 'worthless' 'disgusting' 'broken'. But I did't redo it to make it sound more "positive".
I turned that sucker in.
Do you know was I crossed the street after that session a truck drove by with 2 men in it...and my FIRST thought as they looked at me was...I bet they are thinking "She's fat".
Anyways. Next session we talked about how when I around straight guys or lesbians or people who could potentially have sex with me...I am worried the entire time about what they are thinking about my body.
Again, Therapist says "Amy, you realize people have better things to do than think about your body all the time right? It's not ALWAYS ABOUT YOU?'
We also talked about how hard it is for me to accept the kindness people have been showing me. My friend, more of an acquaintance, from when we worked at our old job, had some moving boxes for me and she then gave me a gift, a beautiful mermaid mug that said "Although she was tossed in the waves, she was not broken". I cried all the way back to work after she gave me that because I didn't know what I had done to EARN her kindness. Why was Becky being nice to me? What had I done for Becky? I didn't deserve that mug.
Therapist said Heather did a good job of "programming" me. And I realized this idea of having to EARN kindness or reward or attention was the base of how our relationship worked. If I wanted her to love me I better cook and clean and buy her a Yeti or Apple Watch. If I wanted to have sex I better make sure the house was spotless and the dogs were occupied. If I wanted her to love me and never leave me I better be the perfect wife (ooops...that didn't hold true).
So I had four things to focus on as my assignment that week.
1. Accept kindness
2. Replace negative thoughts I have when people are looking at my body (i.e. she is fat) with a neutral thought (i.e. they probably arent even THINKING about my body).
3. Be authentic at least 3 times a day. This is because I wear a mask a lot and it's hard for me to allow others to see me sad or angry or hurting.
4. When I feel "lonely", ask myself what that really means. I told her that even though I am often surrounded by a lot of people, I can feel very alone. She thinks I may be labeling that wrong.
It was hard. When people compliment on my body, I quickly want to make a fat or food joke. Like at the gym if a guy says "You are a beast" I want to say "I really like tacos". (this happened) If a friend says "look at your leg muscles" I want to say "They are there...under a layer of protection".
But I've been more aware of all of those things.
And I am working on it!
This weeks session we circled back to my inability to have complete "no contact" with Heather. Which is an important and final step when dealing with a narcissist. And out of that came the reoccurring theme that I want to still save her and help her...classic co-dependent behavior. But it's not just Heather I want to save. It's the damn world.
Amy's narrative is:
Everyone needs saving. Everyone is broken. They need someone to hold their broken pieces. There is not enough kindness in the world SO I have to be the kindness...which is why I can't be sad or or needed because if I am sad or needy, who will give everyone what they need. If I don't provide it I will find it somewhere else and I WILL BE ALONE.
I feel these behaviors (mine) are mandatory to control the perception and feelings that others have about me...so they don't realize I am unnecessary, average, and replaceable.
What do you think about them apples?
It's a lot for me to process sometimes. But I DO feel like part of me coming out of all of this a better person is me really looking at why I do what I do. If I keep repeating the same thoughts and behaviors, most likely...nothing will change.
And I am ready for change.
It's slightly scary putting this out there for everyone (and anyone as I am sure CERTAIN people are stalking my blog) to read. But part of me being authentic is that I am trying to be okay with feeling everything I do. And it's okay if people know it. Because it's who I am.
And who I am is good enough :)
hugs and kisses-