I’m going to have my first appointment with a therapist next week. For awhile, I was stumped on what to talk about. After all, I knew that I had anxiety and depression, but I didn’t have a clear idea of why. How would I talk to a therapist about what was bothering me when I didn’t have any idea of the cause, myself?
But then I came home to NC a few days ago, and suddenly it seems much clearer. I seem to be between. Neither here nor there. I have a good career, but am discontent with it. I am surrounded by people who love me, yet I have difficulty forging bonds and becoming attached. I don’t really love where I’m living, but I’d never want to move back to NC, either. I feel unable to voice my opinions, and spend my time living in the crevices of conversations that go on around me. I have fallen between the cracks in nearly every situation that exists in my life, and live there, examining all that goes on around me, feeling little draw to do more than observe. I don’t belong. I am merely tolerated – perhaps most by myself.
I’m so very different from my parents. I can see the things about me that come from them: an inquisitive nature, the thrill of hunting antiques, a love of history, an interest in spirituality, empathy, optimism, a strong backbone, a stiff upper lip. But the empathy, spirituality, and love of learning led me to consider the world with an open mind and heart. In the process, I grew to support social positions that many here (including my parents) would consider leftist, perhaps even borderline insanity. So when I’m home, hearing conversations I’d rather not hear, I spend much of my time just biting my tongue and trying not to get myself in trouble. A better orator would jump into the fray and try to prove to her family why they needed to update their ideas, but I hate arguing, and am much more articulate in writing, anyway. They will never see me for who I am, because I cannot fully be myself. But that’s the way of many families.
I feel like things fall between the lines of conversation with many of my relationships. I hate to make waves, but in failing to paddle, I float away in the opposite direction. I should be growing closer to my friends, but it feels like we’re all drifting apart. I struggle to think of what to say – even the tiniest things, jokes, comments on life. Sometimes all I know to say is “I thought of you today” but it seems like even that gets swallowed up.
Am I angry because everyone got married, had children and became different? Sometimes if I’m honest with myself, I can feel a heartache that hints that I’m feeling betrayed. Everyone has moved on to a stage that I will never reach. I don’t yearn for marriage or children, but I hate feeling left behind. There’s a subtle difference in the tone of conversations between married women when their single friends are around. And everyone talks about babies, babies, babies. I just don’t care. Maybe I’m angry at feeling forced to pretend that I care more than I do? I honestly don’t know. I can’t chip away at the things in my heart and head enough to give a straight answer. Can anger be the same as heartache? I cry over memories instead of making new ones. I don’t want that to be the way of my life.
The big question is, would I really understand anger in myself if I felt it? I don’t know. For instance, when I speak out in anger for hurts that occurred in my last relationship, I realize it’s too late. I wasn’t clear enough then. No one was around to hear my frustrations. Now I try to talk about it with the people that know me best, but they struggle to understand. To them, I lived 8 perfect years with the most perfect man. I spent so much time biting my tongue and soldiering on that it’s confusing to people now when I am honest about the things that hurt me then.
So far, the only thing I really know is that I obviously take a long time to process things. I sit and mull them over, turning those sandy memories into a big, fat pearl, perfectly sized to choke on. It’s time to figure out a new way of doing things.