What I Knew All Along
I actually wrote this piece several months ago.
But now that I face the same realization all over again in my therapy journey, I'd love to hear what you think about this. Is there any room for negotiation here, or is this the fact we have to face in therapy, in life?
Please share your thoughts in comments!
“I can’t need anyone,” I said solemnly, meaning it with every fiber of my being.
“No one cares enough. No one understands. No one has the energy for me.”
You seemed to think you knew better.
“We are wired for connection,” you said.
“People do care if you let them.”
“We need others; it’s the only way to live.”
And then there was an invitation.
“See, let’s try this out with me. You can need me. You should need me. This is good for you.”
But I still stuck to my belief, letting the fear wrap itself around me like a protective cloak.
“No. The only one who cares about me is me. No one in the world can bother caring. Nobody can understand. In fact, nobody even wants to understand.”
Slowly, you coaxed me to remove that cloak of security.
“It’s just traumatic treatment that made you think so,” you said, not in so many words. “It’s a misguided manner of operation. It’s a miswiring of your brain, not the way the world is meant to be.”
I regarded you guardedly for hours, I let the idea percolate for months. And then I finally undid one button. Then another.
Then I slowly, painstakingly, began to remove my coat. First my shoulders lay cold and thinly protected, then I gingerly shrugged the entire cloak off and laid it down at the side of me.
I took you in from my peripheral vision. Then I dared to face you.
Firstly subtly, and then more outright, I said. “Okay, I need you.”
And then, “I need you so badly, it hurts. Can you be there for me?”
You became reflective.
Gently, softly, you said, “I can’t give you what you need. No one can give you what you need.”
You looked at me kindly. “The only one who can be there for you is you.”
See, I knew it all along.