Wednesday, May 9, 2012

life preserver

I will label this post today with a **TRIGGER WARNING** so if you are vulnerable you can opt to skip it.

Going to dig a little deeper into my life than the majority of you have been before. For some of you it will be a puzzle piece that will slip into place and you will go "that makes the picture of P more complete."

I am not sure why I feel like writing about it today. I have long ago given up trying to figure out somethings about my brain. If it says write, I write. So maybe my brain is writing this for you. Maybe its no accident you are here reading this.

I spent my whole life up to the age of 22 trying to make people hate me. Not just hate me, but hate me. I lived to be invisible and nonexistent. Perhaps it was done to justify the way I was cruelly taunted and harassed/bullied by strangers and classmates. Everyone knew of me, but didn't know me. I wore many labels in school. Weirdo, the horse, witch, dog, hickie...all bestowed upon me by my tormentors.

I never spoke to these people or looked any higher than their ankles. So what gave them the right to enter my miserable life and lay their abusive words on me? Couldn't they see how their slurs and barbed words were eating away at the strand of cobweb that anchored me to the crumbling edge of my sanity?

If they had for a moment stopped to look into my blue eyes they would have seen that the flame of my soul had  been extinguished long ago. I hated myself more then they ever could, so why did they bother? I surrounded my self with barbwire and I kept everyone out. Those who tried to be my friends knew only a sliver of me, and that I withdrew at any sign of danger. I was so closed off I was unreachable.

By the time I entered therapy when I was 22, I was beyond messed up. A gentle quiet man named Richard took me on as a client without knowing what he was getting into. His life syncing up with mine for a journey that changed us both. His job to reach past the layers of razor wire and help that girl/woman that sat before him; without tripping the mercury switch that would make me explode. My job to not get dead in the process.

March 1988

Its Wednesday and I am sitting in the tan chair in Richards office. He eyes me carefully trying to see who is dealing with before starting our session. At last he speaks to me.

"P do you still have plans to kill yourself on your birthday?"

"why do you want to know that?" I say in my flat monotone.

He sits quietly until he can look me straight in the eyes. "Because I care about you P."

The impact of his words throw me against the back of my skull. Agh, my soul twists around in its rusty chains. I shake my head and spat out a low "no" through clenched teeth. I mentally run until I come to the end of the rope and there I squirm and twist attempting to break free and dive back into the gaping cavernous crack that leads to the safety of my madness.

Exhausted at last my blazing eyes focus on his soft brown eyes.

"I care about you P." he repeats.

I listen to the tone he used, I can detect no lies or hidden traps. It rings true with honesty and genuine caring. It sends adrenaline sparking through my tense body like lightning.

"NO!" I snarl fighting for my life "I will not let you care about me! No one is supposed to care about me, I am unreachable - lost - evil! Why can't you hate me like everyone else?! I understand hate!!"

A unfamiliar emotion flickers across his face. I study him trying to decipher what it is. At last I see something in his eyes that I can identify.


By now the screaming chorus's in my head are deafening. All of me screaming and rebelling.

He sits quietly as I fight amongst my selves.

I examine the evidence. We have worked together nearly a year. This isn't a money issue, I had lost my insurance 6 months ago and he was seeing me for the ten dollar co-pay. He was taking a FIFTY dollar an hour pay cut to work with me. His actions backed up his words. He had never hurt me. He had no motive for lying to me. Could he really care about me? I didn't even care about me.

Tears spill over and the fight leaves me.

"That is hard for you to hear isn't it." he 1/2 whispers, the emotion shushing his voice.

I nod, sniff and drag my nose across my sleeve. "I didn't even care about me, how can you care? how can you even like me after hearing all the awful (deleted) that I have done / been though?"

He smiles. "I don't know why, I just do."

His smile and honest words shatter something inside me and the tears return. He hands me a box of tissues and sits back watching me sob.

Having been hidden and locked up so long in the darkness of my madness this little sliver of light burned like a laser right through me. Through the choking sobs I told him, "I guess I can let you care about me."

His eyes smile.

and another trap was disarmed.

He laid the groundwork to allow me to rejoin humanity. This man spent four years helping me apply healing salve to the festering wounds on my soul. He ripped off grown-in bandages and helped me clean the puss out. He cared about me until I was strong enough to care about myself. He helped me to save my life.

I am so glad he was there to fish me out of the sea and hold my head above water until I could swim.

1 comment:

  1. To all the Richards out there, who change lives -- thank you for your good hearts, valuable, skills and selfless commitment on behalf of those who need you. To all the souls who find and trust a Richard -- how brave you are to develop trust and hope plus how thrilling for you to grow into a Richard who is there for those in need of your story and support.