Do you ever wonder why I reveal such personal stuff about myself on here? I have. When I first started my journal, it was as a marketing tool....my thoughts were that if you felt personally involved with my life, you'd be more interested in owning some of my art. :) Then, the day happened when I was upset about one thing or another and vented here. I was amazed how much it helped me to sort out my feelings as well as the situation. I began to find that the times I'd get personal, I would get responses from people who were going through the same things....it made me feel helpful. If I'm totally honest with myself, I can say that the reason I lay it all out has nothing to do with helping others with the same struggles, marketing, etc.
When I'm struggling, I withdraw from everyone and everything. I've posted so little until lately for this very reason. Yesterday I had my second appointment with my therapist. I'd had a difficult weekend, to say the least....something happened on friday that had the potential to knock me deeper in my hole. Even so, I've been stoic, keeping it to myself out of fear, shame, self loathing. I received some news early friday morning that wasn't good. I'd woken up early and when I read this specific email I felt numb....didn't cry, scream, just sat there feeling hollow. My oldest daughter (katy's a sophomore in HS) asked me if I would take her to her bus stop and as we were driving, I told her what I'd read. She instantly said..."WHAT?!?! YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!" She gave all the perfect reactions, said all the things I needed to hear at that moment. She supported me. I dropped her off, drove back home and went upstairs to crawl back in bed. Hubby was up, getting ready for work...picking out a tie or something like it. I had crawled into his side of the bed hoping it was still warm...I pulled the covers all the way up to my nose, my head sunk down deep in the pillow so all he could see was the top half of my face. I told myself not to tell him what had happened because I was sure he wouldn't react the way katy did. He came over and kissed my head, looked at me funny and asked what was wrong. I whispered it...."HUH?" I told him a little louder. I could see the look on his face. Shock, frustration, he was appalled. He asked me a few questions...(getting answers as to who was at fault over this)....he realized it was my fault. He didn't know what to say so he said nothing. The look on his face and his silence were enough for me. It's not his fault, I'm not blaming him for how I felt at that moment...I knew I shouldn't tell him...maybe I felt the need to be punished...to have someone confirm to me that I was a failure and not worth crap.
He left for work, kissing me and saying goodbye but still bewildered.
I stayed in my spot...started crying. Not loud sobs, just tears rolling down into my ears.
Susan (therapist) says that I need to be aware of the times I begin berating myself in my head...when I was telling her about what happened (in less detail, of course) I cried...the first time I'd allowed myself to cry in front of someone over this. She asked me what I thought about it all and I told her that I was a failure, that it was all my fault, that I hated myself. She let me cry while she talked. I have two major issues that we're working on together. #1 is how to manage my life while having ADD.....the second is loving myself and embracing the wonderful qualities that go along with ADD. She said that instead of loving myself for how I'm made, I berate, criticize, and punish myself...that in reality, my issues (time management, disorganization, forgetfulness, procrastination, short attention span, all of which lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and failing to meet expectations of myself & others) are something that I can learn to manage. That I will come to a place of acceptance with myself and will learn how to manage the ADD issues more effectively. She specifically talked about this regarding how I think about myself and what the voice in my head tells me about myself. I just cried. I said, "You make it sound so easy but you're asking me to completely change my entire mindset." She agreed it wouldn't be easy but that it would happen for me. That I would get on top of it.
Once I'd pulled myself together, we talked about why I almost never accept help from my friends. She said that she could tell I had a strong support group of friends who cared about me. Asked if any of them offered support, or to help me with the things I struggle with. I told her about something that had happened right after my first appointment with her the week before. I have a wonderful friend, Lenall. She happened to call and leave a message on my cell phone asking to meet her for lunch while I was at my appointment. (last monday).
I called her back and we agreed on a place to meet, that if I drove directly to the restaurant, she'd be there about the same time. Lenall and I met during my first ever art retreat. I had signed up to attend Art & Soul 2004, had never taken any classes like this, was scared out of my wits, anxiety, wishing I had friends there with me, I knew no one. My website had been up for about a year and there were people there who knew me and my name because of it and even that intimidated me. I survived the first day, I walked into class the second day and sat down next to Lenall (pronounced LenELLE...if you call her LenALL it'll irritate her) :). We've been friends ever since. She is a friend who is in my inner circle...one that I can be completely real with, knows all my flaws but actually sees my gifts when she looks at me....she loves me unconditionally as I do her.
We hadn't been in contact very much over the last few weeks as my depression had gotten worse and I was in my "hiding" phase. She knew this and would often call, leaving message on my voice mail....always with the "just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you, feel no pressure to call me back." kind of thing as to not put guilt on me for not answering the phone and not calling her back if I felt unable to do so....
During lunch, she told me that she had wandered into my online journal for the first time in a while and had read about what I was going through. Lenall had tried so many times to offer help. She's the perfect administrative personality and sincerely wants to help me. It's very rare that I accept it.
We had an emotional moment as she told me she'd finally decided to just let that go. Not try to help me anymore....not that she wouldn't if I asked her, but I think it's been hard for her to watch me struggling so much and want so much to help me but being helpless with my inability to accept her help. I felt very emotional....and a little relieved, knowing that she was releasing it and I wouldn't be causing her more stress.
So, how this story got started....I realize that I write here so that the people close to me can have some kind of window of understanding about me....I feel bad about withdrawing and not answering phone calls, emails, etc. Susan thinks that I am protecting myself because throughout my life when I actually trusted and showed all, people important to me were always disappointed....so, it's easier to keep my friends at arms length and tell them that everything's great.