Today I feel like I’m just learning how to be human in relationship with other humans. I’m immensely grateful for it.
For most of my life, I’ve been separate from people. I’m not sure how much was circumstantial, how much was my doing, how much was others’ doing. It probably doesn’t matter. I was the kid whose parents said they loved her but didn’t really. I was the weird kid who didn’t know how to interact and basically set herself up to be bullied. I was the girl who spent high school hiding in bathroom stalls because being seen made her panic. I was the girl who didn’t know how to relate to anyone who wasn’t a mental patient. I was the girl who hated hierarchy for holding themselves separate.
I’m not her anymore. Parts of her, yes, but I’ve grown up. Mostly. But I’m still figuring out human connection.
People like me, and I don’t get it. On the surface, sure–I’m smart, witty, and at least somewhat charismatic. But I’m talking about more than that. The people who really get to know me, who really see me–they care about me and like me, and I don’t get it. Even when I’m doing well, I feel like I have some essential brokenness. I haven’t grown out of that belief yet.
The therapist who sent me to Riggs said she adored me. My therapist at Riggs got fierce and protective, and she fought for me against my family. My Windhorse team leader told me last week, with tears in her eyes, that she loves me dearly.
These things make me want to run and hide because I want them so much but feel like I can’t ask for them from these people. Not knowing where the boundaries are anymore scares me.
But now I find myself wanting to give back, to take care of them, too. But I don’t because I don’t know what’s acceptable, what’s within the boundaries. Even little things–like today at the team meeting, Fake Therapist was upset and having a bad day, and part of me wanted to give her a hug and make it better. It’s weird because I’m decidedly not a huggy person, but the urge kept distracting me all through the meeting.
Or Christmas presents. Can I knit each of them something, or is that too much? I want them to know how grateful I am that they’ve stuck with me through all of this–god knows it hasn’t been easy. But they’ve been so present and so patient and so unfailingly kind. And I want them to know how much it means, how much they’ve helped. But I don’t want to be too much.