Like many of us, I try to listen more than I talk. And when I talk, I try as much as possible, to offer you my perspective free of my own personal judgement. People don't need to be told what to do or what to think. I understood that they mostly need to vomit freely first in a safe place. They need to allow themselves to cry freely with someone. They just need to talk without explaining. They need hugs given through words
They just need to feel understood.
I am just the same. Just like everyone else, as much as a good person I am (yes, I am done thinking that "I am a bad person"), as much as I have my own challenges.
I never hid the fact that I am "dysfunctional". For instance, when I'm stressed out, I take -long and hot- showers. At one point, in the past 2 years, that I could take 5 showers over a 24 hours period (because as "dysfunctional", I don't have a steady schedule, of course!)
I guess in terms of "auto medication", it could be worst :) I am now working on it..I am proud to say that I can deal with my stress differently and I am able to limit myself to..3 long and hot showers a day. I am still fighting the "instinct" of going in the shower many times a day. Crazy, isn't it? I'm battling my own addiction. I am fully realizing how much what was an oasis became refuge and eventually, a prison.
In fact, my showers are making me realize that it's a symbolism of the true challenge of my dysfunctional side: the fact that instead of reaching out to someone, I keep everything inside.
I see my own walls clearly.
I love my family members and my close friends. I am lucky because I know I could count on them at any time, day or night. I know how difficult it must be to love me because... they give me more love me than I give them: I never call. Being my best friend means that we get to talk once every ..4-5 months.
And God knows that in my distance, they are close to me. And don't get me wrong: when we do talk or see each other, I give them the best of me..because this is what they bring out.
As much as I can "accept" who I am today, at one point, I also have to make the decision to grow out it and become, as much as possible, the best person I can be with the scars I have.
I realized lately that my mother was suffering from it. Yep, it took me 23 years to figure it out. In the past year, her continuous invitations and reference to the fact that I was always welcomed (she lives 4 hours away) were getting on my nerves. I wouldn't tell her but she was making each phone call more and more difficult, as I was expecting to hear the "pressure" I didn't want to feel from her, as a painful reminder of the "good daughter" that I am not to such a wonderful mother.
I had to be clear about my limits and about the fact that I cannot be there as much as she would like..by reminding her that she was not helping me. But I decided to handle it differently.
Instead, I saw her as the safest person to provide me an environment to help me grow.
I explained to her that I truly realized how much she was missing me and how much my own limitations were difficult for her. I told her that I wanted to become a better person and deal with my challenge, as I assume the fact that it is impacting all my close relationships.
I offered her to pick up a day and time .. and that I would call her once a week. She cried of happiness. So I now call my mom once a week..almost. A couple of times, I called her the day after, I admit.
It's tough but I feel empowered. I am making progress. And my mom stopped insisting that I go visit.
So, in the middle of my own walls, you now understand why I say "this webpage is my therapy".
I am sorry. I wish I could send cards when you sent me some. I wish I could make you feel the love I feel from you.
Between a shower and a weekly phone call to my mother, I am working on it.