"It's not so much that we're afraid of change, or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between we fear....it's like being in between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to."~Marilyn Ferguson
This was a quote shared with us at our first workshop in treatment. I couldn't relate to it then but it surely describes life as I find it now. About the only thing I would change is that I'm hanging on tightly to God as I take baby steps in living this new way of life. Interestingly enough I have my own Linus like blanket. I am forever cold and I often sit wrapped in this blanket. I took it with me to the treatment centre. On one particularly hard day, under the guise of being cold, I wrapped myself up in the blanket and went to my sessions that way. Halfway through the group counseling session I realized I wasn't cold instead I was using the blanket as a coping mechanism. Doing so was keeping me from opening up. I took my very real Linus blanket back to my room at break time with a new awareness of myself. Oh vey, isn't life grand?
All my energy these days is going into healthy self care. The things that many people take for granted....shower, dress, eat healthy, exercise. If those things go kaput in my life then I am already headed for trouble. I have a 37 point checklist to read daily - things to check within that can signal a change in direction from where I want to go. Reading it one morning this week was enough to motivate me to get in the shower, get dressed and go for a walk instead of crawling back into bed. The nap came later after the basics of daily living were attended to. I figure if I can get showered and dressed 20 days straight in treatment then I can do that at home, too. The same could be said for making my bed although that hasn't translated into daily life quite so well! If I had decided not to make my bed during treatment enough days of that and they would have asked me to leave for not following the rules. Funny what can motivate a person!
It's been a full week. I decided to resign from all my volunteer work. Work that has not been life giving. I knew that all along but was unwilling to do anything about it until now. I will choose carefully any volunteer work I do in the future.
I had my final session with Fr. Charlie yesterday. He heads for his new parish next week. Our parish farewell potluck will be on Sunday. There will likely be many tears but I cheerfully told him yesterday that I was okay with crying in public now. I spent most of the session grinning from ear to ear because I feel transformed and that is such a gift. He told me I looked radiant and that the transformation was apparent just from looking at me. I've had so many sessions with him where I wanted to curl up in a ball and rock in the chair; closed up tight with emotional pain. Yesterday half way through the session I realized I was sitting with such open body language that I laughed outloud. I looked at him and said, "Isn't this a miracle?"
Tomorrow I have my first follow up counseling session at the treatment centre. I am blessed that counselling is free for as long as I need it. I also had a phone intake interview with a local counseling centre this week. A place which specializes in providing help for sexual abuse survivors. That was a tough one. At the end of it the woman interviewing me told me to do gentle self care for myself that day as taking the first step in phoning was a huge one. Next week I go in for a more in depth interview and after that they will try and match me up with a counselor. This counseling is also pretty well free. I took one workshop at the treatment centre that was for sexual abuse survivors and it triggered so much in me I wanted to escape my body. This counseling will help me deal with the long term affects of the abuse. I can't say I'm looking forward to it but I am willing to take baby steps there, too.
Dearest one and I are having quite a time adjusting. It's almost like I went away to an extreme makeover place and came home a stranger, a more beautiful one at that. It's no wonder he's feeling a bit adrift because I am no longer doing those things that came so effortlessly before. Things like trying to control him and take care of him and when I wasn't doing that I was playing the martyr with ease. Those are roles I can still fall into at the drop of the hat but roles I no longer want to play. At one point this week he said to me, "You're, you're so calm".
It took us 25 years to get comfortable in our ruts together, it's going to take some time and hard work to get out of them. I am still blown away that there is a different way to navigate the journey and that I've been given the tools to do just that.