A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the waiting room of my therapist’s office, admittedly a little fearful and pensive. I had just withdrawn from graduate school the day before and I was still dealing with new memories about my father.
The other therapist came out and talked to me for a bit, and offered to give me a hug. I accepted. Within seconds, I started to cry. She continued to hold on to me and comfort me, but I couldn’t stop crying and I pushed her away. In that moment, I needed that comfort and support and warmth and love. But I pushed it away.
I always push it away.
I lived for so long without any support, without any comfort, without any love. I managed to survive because I never knew what support was. You can’t miss something you never knew to begin with.
Now I have sources of support and I don’t know what to do with them. It doesn’t feel right. I want it, but it still feels so foreign to me. And I don’t know how to ask for it, either. It feels so wrong just to want it, let alone to ask for it.
After I read my Father’s Day card out loud to my therapist in our session on Monday, I found myself crying uncontrollably. My therapist assured me that it was okay to cry, so I did. But I couldn’t stop. My therapist asked what she could do to support me, and I just went blank.
Yea. Really, self? You’re okay? I’m sitting there, nearly blinded by tears, with snot running out of my nose, and I still feel the need to say I’m okay. I don’t know if I’m trying to convince myself when I say it, or trying to convince everyone else.
My therapist told me again she was there for me, and asked what she could do to support me.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Inside, I did know. I wanted a hug. I wanted her to sit next to me. I wanted her to hold me. I wanted that comfort so badly. But all I could say was “I don’t know.”
I was afraid to ask for what I needed. I was afraid of being rejected. It’s easier to not ask at all, then to ask and be turned down.
It bothers me that I still can’t ask for what I need.
It bothers me that I still have trouble acknowledging that I have needs.