I was like a feral cat growing up I told my therapist. Running from one hiding spot to another. Constantly trying to find a hiding spot physically and within myself. Always on edge, always tense, muscles never relaxing. Always trying to figure out the lay of the land before I made my next move. Was it safe or not and not always guessing right. Never knowing when my next meal would be, what it would be or even if there would be one. It was all about survival.
We were talking about relationships and I was telling her how I needed to learn many social skills when I started making my own way in the world. Skills I figured I should have known. Skills I figure everybody knew except me. I told her how stupid I feel for not knowing. Things I think I should know, well I don’t.
My therapist asked me how I figure I should ‘just’ know these skills. How I should just know these skills when they weren’t modeled to me or how I should know them when I wasn’t taught what to do or how to be. The social stuff I did see wasn’t very pleasant and generally not very acceptable in society anyway.
She asked me how I expected to ‘just’ know this stuff when I was too busy just trying to make through the day or night. She said the fact that I learned how to get through it all was an accomplishment in itself. I looked at her and said surviving is not all that it’s cracked up to be. (negative me popping up).
I didn’t have an answer for her. It all sounds so logical and my mind gets what she is saying to me. The problem is that there is a part of me who is not ‘getting’ it. A very strong critical part who assumes I should have ‘got’ it, I should know this stuff and is very, very stupid for not ‘getting’ it. I can’t seem to shut this part of me up. The voice is loud in my head drowning out what my therapist is trying to tell me.
In writing this I wonder if that voice is loud because if I listen to what my therapist is saying to me. If I acknowledge the truth in what she is saying then I must also acknowledge the truth of my life.
I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet and so I will continue to listen to the loud voice that tells me I’m very, very stupid.