This past Tuesday, as every Tuesday for nearly the past year, I sat in my therapist's office telling him stories about my life. Trying to scratch back the layers of who I am today and how exactly I got to this place.
In between all the drama, we talk. This man has become my friend, as strange as it sounds. He knows more about me than most people on this planet. The funny stuff and also the really horrible stuff too.
He still seems to like me. Which is weird.
I told him how my son and I were walking and he was listing all the things we like that are the same and all the ways that we are alike. Boy Child smiled broadly and said to me, very pleased, "We are so much alike, mom!"
I smiled at him. But inside I wanted to die.
Because the worst thing I can imagine is that Boy Child will ever have to sit across from a therapist someday, trying to figure out his messed up insides. To see this child that I so adore become someone who feels strange and out of control and in pain. To imagine this child as conflicted and hurting as I've been for most of my life.
Big Jim listens compassionately. I think Big Jim does all things with compassion, yet he insists he's an asshole. Maybe I'm just so accustomed to assholes I don't see it, but I? Don't see it.
After the compassionate listening he said something that I think probably changed my life.
"You are always so negative about yourself. You think you are protecting yourself. But you aren't. You're trying to protect your family."
Because if I admit that I'm okay? It goes against everything I've ever been taught about myself. That I'm not weird. That I'm not strange. That who I am and what I really want to become? Is not bizarre or strange or awful. That I'm not the one who is wrong or crazy. I'm the one that's actually okay.
It felt like a ton of bricks. Actually, more like twelve tons of bricks.
But still. I'm okay.