You know, I’ve been in therapy since 2015 and in those three years, I’ve grown a lot. I’ve learned a lot and have made pivotal changes. Changes I’m incredibly proud of and I tear up when I think of how far I’ve come. Yet, this week in therapy, I learned how much farther I have to go yet.
This is especially so when it comes to self soothing and believing that I’m worthy of love. My session on Wednesday with Thomas, PhD started as every session starts:
T: where shall we begin today?
Me: I’m not sure, I had a pretty good week and I finally got my citizenship on Monday after a 12 year journey!
T: [claps]…oh wow, how exciting!
Me: Yeah, so it was a pretty good week….silence….well, there was an incident that happened on the morning of the ceremony…
I go on to tell him about my morning with my Fiancé that ended up putting a slight damper on the whole day. You see, we had worked the night before we flew into the Chicago at 1am and had the ceremony scheduled for 9am that morning. So suffice it to say, we were incredibly tired, I was in the middle of taking my braids out and I had no idea nor inspiration as to how to wear my hair for the ceremony that morning. That’s when I decided I was going to put my hair up in a ponytail but I didn’t have a ponytail holder. So, I asked my fiancé (in my most coyest of voices) for her ponytail holder and she said NO to me! She said she needed it for her own hair and that she’s sorry.
Man! I was crushed! Today is my day I thought! How dare you say no to me! After everything I do for you, how can you be such a selfish bitch! I would never do that to you! These are some of the thoughts that went through my head. I honestly just couldn’t believe she said no to me and I was sure that she was the one at fault and I didn’t care what anyone else said. I was sincerely hurt and felt like crying.
After I tell Thomas, PhD my story, he was like…
T: Why do you think you got so hurt?
Me: I don’t know, because I couldn’t believe she’d be so selfish to me of all people?
T: Did she have a second ponytail holder?
Me: Not as far as I knew
T: Was she going to use the ponytail holder she had?
Me: I guess so, she had her hair up in a ponytail
T: Seeing as it is that people have free agency and can say yes or no, it seems that what we have to explore is where such strong feelings of hurt is coming from and how to manage that and self-soothe the next someone is less than generous towards you
So, therapy on Wednesday continued on with me discovering at the end of it just how much farther I still had to go when it comes to accepting disappointments when things don’t go my way. I am a generous person…to a fault. As long as it’s within my power (and even when it’s not), I’ll say YES to helping a friend or family member out in anyway they need. This has me often incredibly hurt and sometimes resentful when I don’t receive the same generosity back. I’d bemoan how selfish people are and how it’s good to know where I stand with them.
So, exploring that the “problem” (Thomas, PhD doesn’t like me to call it a problem) might lie with me is an ongoing journey in relearning coping mechanisms. Maybe my generosity is a way I seek to “buy” love and affection? Perhaps, it’s a fear that if I don’t give to people, they won’t love me or stick around? Maybe I have to work on developing boundaries thereby being able to respect and accept other people’s boundaries? When I’m hurt, perhaps, can I learn how to self-sooth and comfort myself without resorting to directing anger and blame towards others?
Above all else, the biggest learning I’m doing right now is figuring out why I hurt as much as I do when a no is said to me? What is it about my childhood that has me needing a yes at every turn from people closest to me? I got a clue into it on Wednesday and I suspect that there’s still a lot of unpacking to do and a lot of unlearning and learning to come.
It can feel daunting but one Wednesday at a time and one therapy session at a time, I will do the work and do the learning and unlearning and I will do the healing. I am worth it, the people around me are worth it, the universe is worth my best self.
Until next time, take care of yourself and don’t ever stop learning and unpacking because the truth is, YOU are worth it too!