Continued from part 3 of deeper down the rabbit hole………
Reagan is sitting in a booth waiting for me, eating pancakes and eggs, fruit and bacon. She’s drinking a mimosa.
“So………?” She says as I sit down. She smiles at me and her smile is warm and welcoming.
I sigh. I look down and shrug. “I’m here. I made it through the night.” I smile and my eyes water.
“I’m glad. Have you talked to hubby at all?” Reagan asks me.
“No…..not really. I just…..I can’t.” I feel broken. Really, really broken.
A waitress walks over to our table, and and she smiles at us. “What can I get you?”
I ask for coffee, amd order yogurt with a bowl of strawberries on the side. When she delivers my food, I focus on slicing my strawberries into my yogurt.
“I know you don’t want to hear this. And I am always on your side. Always. But you need to talk to him. He needs to know how bad he makes you feel.”
I shake my head at her. “I can’t. I’ve told him so many times, and he just keeps doing it. I can’t keep doing this. I feel like I’m constantly asking for him to see him, to pay attention to me, and then he goes and does it again. So I end up hurting and sad. I love me up feeling needy and bad and not okay for being so needy.”
“I know. You aren’t needy. You aren’t.” Reagan says in a serious tone.
“I hate relationship. I never wanted this. You know?”
“I know. But Alice. That’s what life is a about. Relationships.” Reagan says some other stuff about how we need relationships to survive and such.
I roll my eyes at her. “Bea ruined it. I didn’t expect anything from people in relationships. I didn’t want to be seen or heard, I just wanted to hide and blend in and maybe….I don’t know. But I didn’t want anything!”
“I know. But you have grown a lot. It’s okay.”
“I wished I had not. It’s screwing everything up. I didn’t want anything to do with relationships. Not really. But Bea made it…..I don’t know. She just kept pushing a little bit, after little bit, and I just, I don’t know. I finally decided it mattered. The I wasn’t…..I don’t know. So scared, because she made it safe. And then I wanted that realness, being just me, in my friendships. I tested the waters with you, with Kay. And that was okay. Until it wasn’t and Kay left me. And then I wanted more from hubby. Stupid. Stupid. He can’t. I never should have…..” I stop talking, shut down, not able to continue.
“Can I ask you,” Reagan begins, and I nod. “What is it about relationships? I mean, why does the idea of being seen and seeing knock,you off balance? Do you know?”
I think for a minute. I might be able to put some pieces together, make sense of it all, but do I know? I mean really know why? “I don’t know…I just do….I think I’ve always been that way.” I shrug, remembering how I would tell made up secrets to my friends in middle school and high school, during sleepovers, so I would fit in. They were never things that were lies, just things that didn’t actually matter if everyone knew or not. They weren’t real secrets.
“So with Bea, what happens? What was that like at first?” She asks.
“I don’t know. She pushed a little, continuing to remind me that the work of therapy wasn’t just my stuff, the stuff we talk about, but that it was about the relationship between her and I. And I just….I don’t know. Refused to believe that. But when she would say things, or more likely write things in email to me that were definitely about really seeing me. Like once, early on, I wrote in email to her, after I had answered honestly about my eating disorder stuff, I wrote that she should give me a good star or an A plus or something, for you know, talking about that stuff as much as I had and having been truthful about all my self harm stuff. And she wrote back that no, she would not give me a gold star, she wouldn’t perpetuate the child hood message that I had to be good or perfect to be wanted. Bea wrote something about accepting me just for me. It upset me and freaked me out. At first I was mad and hurt that she wouldn’t give me a gold star. Then I was freaking out, and upset over her saying me, just me, was good enough. I threw my phone, I was so upset.” I pour some more coffee, add cream.
“You never liked not knowing what someone wanted from you. And she was basically telling you she didn’t want anything.” Reagan says.
I nod. She’s right. We talk a little more, and mostly I realize that I have issues with relationships. Like, real issues. I’m not even sure what, exactly, my problem is. I’m can’t really put it into words or explain why. Maybe it’s something I’ll think about later, I’m too tired to think now.
To be continued………..