Recently someone manipulated me into making a decision I should have been allowed to make on my own. All my life, I’ve lived with someone who needs to overshadow me, talk over me, demand all the attention and find me deficient, not loving enough, not good enough—unable to meet the cavernous, vampiric need. I’ve worked, progressively, towards freeing myself of that yoke, each round of therapy I’ve had in my life has had as part of it the making of boundaries, the development of a self that is independent of another and detaching from unhealthy neediness.
Seeing the new shrink today, the next step is revealed: I must make a space for me, that is mine, that is sacred and that no one gets into without my permission. It’s funny that I just read this terrible book by Sarah Gran, Come Closer about demonic possession (and a serious rip-off—$10.99 for a 120 page book!)–where someone is forced to cave to the will of a demon–in some ways that’s what this relationship is like. When I had a teenage daughter, and now with a tween in the house, my husband and I often remind each other, “Don’t fear the fit.” Don’t let fear of the explosion hold you hostage and therefore cause you to fail to act the way you need to in order to shut this down.
The flip side of that is that I must also learn how to let the right people into that space that is me. The murder of my best friend coupled with the above relationship made me retreat far away from letting anyone new into the inner circle (I have a friend I’ve had since my kids were little, and while we’ve mostly emailed, she has stuck by me for years–like, 20 or more and we have been totally open to each other, we just don’t get to live near each other at the moment). When I met Xena, I found myself feeling the way I felt about Luray; interested, vulnerable, friendship-like. That scared the shit out of me initially, and even now I think I keep it at an odd arms-length much of the time. Yet I long for friendship, I long for someone I could be entirely real with, and who would like me anyway. I imagine people think that I am very on-again, off-again and don’t know that I’m, well, weird.
Maybe the big lesson is to a) create the inviolable space, and then b) choose, fully, to let some people in, and c) choose, also fully, who to keep entirely out.
She gave me a lot to think about, but that’s what’s leaping to my mind at this moment. Making space but being in charge of the gate.