For about the past week, my lady cave has slowly grown over with the wild, thick moss of crudely typed musings. I guess I should clarify to those of you new to the party that lady cave is not a euphemism, but rather a sanctuary that serves whatever purpose I need it to. I suppose it’s my own room of requirement, in a way. It’s a tiny corner of this Universe that I’ve carved out for myself, where I can attempt to create balance in my mental/emotional ecosystem. A place to recharge when I’m low on spoons.
I’ve had no problem lately letting my thoughts loose on the old Royal typewriter that’s been gathering dust in a corner for ages. Perhaps it’s that musky, antique scent that allows me to get lost in the act of putting each and every passing thought on the page. I’m not sure. What would start as a composed thought would explode and dissipate into a thousand other thoughts, each one giving birth to another tangent. It’s amazing how something as simple as the ding of the carriage can be so incredibly gratifying. The entire beast of a thing scoots along my desk as I race to the next pull of the release lever with the fervency that’s only obtainable when you completely give yourself to whatever you’re doing. This was my safe place to Be. But is this blog not exactly that as well?
Why then, I have to ask myself, do I hold myself back? I didn’t care as my fingers slipped between the typewriter keys, creating jarbled nonsense streams of consciousness that probably has Freud rolling in his grave. Yet I couldn’t find the right combination of words I was willing to share with the world. It’s terrifying, sometimes even painful, to open ourselves up. To criticism, to the potential of failure, to others, to ourselves. This blog’s namesake came from my own unwillingness to look inward, because a lot of what I saw, I perceived as ugly, or wrong, broken. It’s taken a long time to feel otherwise, and even still, I have my days.
Wednesday was most certainly one of those days. I’m not a fan of that first appointment with a new therapist on a good day, and my mind decided it wanted no part of it…
There, that wasn’t so bad, I exhaled, color returning to my face after I’d talked it blue with my summarized reason-for-being/here/is-the-list-of-everything-wrong-with-me. The silence was awkward, but it’d felt good to uncork the bottle. I squeezed the head of my Captain America ‘stress doll’ in one hand, the other reaching for another tissue as I tested out the rocking motion of the couch. Oddly comforting. I could get used to crying on this couch, I thought to myself. This seemed like a safe place. Except she’s saying something now… A point I think she’s been trying to get across to me but I’ve been dissociating so hard that the parts of my brain that makes sense of things externally-occurring are just now firing back up.
“What I’m saying, is that I plan on retiring in two and a half years. I don’t think I can help you in that amount of time.” She asks me how I feel about it, and I respond with the desperate optimism of an interviewee applying for their dream job who just realized they have powdered sugar from stress eating mini donuts in the car beforehand literally all over themselves. I clearly haven’t gotten it yet. She looks sad, in the pitying way one might look at a stray cat who’s a bit too mangy to bring inside. “Angela, Borderline Personality is a very serious disorder… It’s not something you just wake up recovered from. It takes a lifeti…” the memory movie reel gets all glitchy and foggy here, but you get the gist….
She doesn’t want me to feel abandoned when she does retire, she tells me, and asks if I feel like I’m being rejected right now. Of course I do, I tell her. I swore to myself I’d be radically honest and completely open with this new therapist. Her points she raises are entirely valid and I respect her for her honesty and for sitting there while I called (on speaker phone) to schedule another intake elsewhere. But what I don’t bring up, what we’re both probably thinking but neither of us will say, is that I’m work. BPD patients are notorious for TIBS (therapy interfering behaviors) so there’s no wonder there’s so much burnout amongst therapists that treat the disorder. And no wonder, on that note, that she doesn’t want to treat me.
I am not everyone’s cup of tea. In a world of cups of tea to be had, I’m more of a quad shot of espresso over ice. Cold, bitter, and understandably not for everyone. There is not one quiet corner of my existence that is not affected by some broken part of me, it seems. Now I suppose I could pretend that I am whole, that I am fully put together with all the correct parts in all the appropriate places doing all their assigned duties at all times. I could keep my vulnerabilities, fears, hopes, dreams, neuroticisms, excessive love of cats, and bad jokes to myself, but then what is the point of it all? Why spend so much time in darkness and not learn my way around so I can guide others? Why not open myself up so I can fill these lungs with air and scream as loud as I can from the highest mountaintop:
HEY. IT’S OKAY. I’M
BROKEN HUMAN, TOO.
I suppose this is as good a time to start as any…