Day 101: There are Two Sides to the Window
In my T appointment yesterday my T pointed out a dichotomy in my behavior and perspective about invisibility. On the one hand, I am invisible because of societal mores and strictures related to mental health issues. But I am also invisible because I have had so many people wound me that I keep a wall carefully in place to separate/protect myself. I was thinking about this conversation this morning and realized it's back to that idea of the window. In order to be visible, both sides of the window need to be clear (or at least sufficiently clear). One side is the dirt society throws onto the window. On the other side is the dirt I place there.
I am invisible on both counts.
I am not at the point yet I can contend with society's side of the window. But, I can and am beginning to deal with my side of the window. This topic is, again, about vulnerability. It's about letting people see me for who I am. It's about learning how to have relationships in a way that feels sufficiently safe, while also having the tools to deal with other people's bungling. Other people can't get it 100% right. I certainly cannot. I need to be able to accept and address the small mistakes others make (the disappointments), or I will always be invisible because of my fear of devastation and betrayal.
They can't see me if I don't let them. I must be at the point that I want to be seen.
I have taken several steps in this direction that indicate this is true:
- I joined Pandy's and have opened up completely. It's sometimes mortifying and scary, but always proves to be worth it. I feel safe here and heard. I feel seen and comforted. That's not to say every interaction has been exactly what I needed or wanted, but certainly the majority have been. When I think about the sad statistics about how many people have SA in their history, I realize -- rationally speaking -- that the people here in Pandy's also live in the real world. The kindness, compassion, understanding, and support here exists IRL because everyone here exists IRL. It's a matter, now, of learning how to find people, how to connect, how to open up.
- I am inching along in T. I am opening up to her slowly, hesitantly.
- I told some people at work what's going on with me. I even admitted that I'm going to be late to work on Thursdays because of T.