I am saving my heart for something else.
I said this in therapy today and I watched as the therapist said it aloud and wrote it down. We both sort of seemed to feel this warranted noting.
It was a harder session. Perhaps the hardest yet. Because things become so clear in that room and then you have to go and deal with their logic, their impact. We talked about my assignments and I tried to explain that my progress was better than the buttons I pushed on the little blue machine where it asks if you’re moderately crazy or not at all. These are not the precise words it uses, but I think it’s a fair way to paraphrase them. I talked about the whole cleaning thing and how I want to be able to hang on and stay with it, but I’m afraid it’s not possible. I’m afraid I need my mess. I said I was changing and it terrified me. I said I thought I was the best person to take care of me. She absorbed that. Then, I said a lot of other rambling things while we talked about growth and fixedness as ideals and how I was always a person caught between two worlds. I was always one part Dorothy Parker to one part John Denver, but at any given time I wanted to be one or the other, I wanted to know which was better, what I should do or be.
What she should have said, but didn’t, as I sat there sort of rattling with the epiphany was that I wasn’t either Dorothy Parker or John Denver. I was me.
Then, she asked about the other part of the assignment…the talking to guys online. I talked about how there was one, but it didn’t really “take” and I wanted to brush it all aside and say, hey, but I cleaned my room and I was anxious, but I didn’t die. But it’s strange, for as much as I want people to focus and take an interest in the idea that I, your Mary Bennet, might have romantic possibilities, having someone suggest they should be concrete made me feel really vulnerable.
Then she suggested I go to a pay site for dating because that would weed out less serious people. She looked, not disappointed, but alerted when I immediately sort of laughed despondently (I think I am good at that especially during therapy) and said but that would mean I’m serious about dating.
In the end, she said, this is your assignment for next time. Decide if you want to be dating and date or decide that you don’t want to date and don’t. Neither is wrong, but you’re causing yourself so much suffering in beating yourself up over not deciding. She also said to pay attention to areas where I was angry. I said I would think about it and I suppose this is my first attempt to do that.
I realize I haven’t ever decided it…getting in a relationship. If I’ve decided anything, I’ve decided to put a post-it on it…decide later. It’s the same with the diet, the same with all these areas I am on a fence post about. We talked about how in my attempt to make a life free of anxiety, I’ve essentially made a life entirely about anxiety. A life built on the concept of: If it is important, they will call back.
I don’t know. I have had so much desire for a perfect interaction and so much fear for an imperfect one. I know I won’t be washed away by rejection, I know I won’t be destroyed, it’s just this controlling voice that frankly, wants me terrified. I noticed in the car, this iron-fisted WE CANNOT GO THIS WAY!
I just need to sit with this tonight.