Woke up this morning feeling lost in an indifferent universe. There is no God or spirit or meaning here. I’ve been reading The Shack over the last few days. I’ve read it several times. I don’t like the Christian correctness (in one way) but I do like the portrayal of God (she’s black) and Jesus. The man telling the story clearly comes to trust both of them. This morning I realized I don’t trust “god” at all. I don’t trust that there’s any “Higher Power” who can help me.
I see that being lost in an indifferent universe is how I felt as a baby alone with my mother’s lack of empathy, inability to pay attention to my feelings, totally uninterested in seeing what I needed, much less giving it to me. Knowing that these feelings belonged to the baby inside me, I just stayed with them as best I could throughout the day. Sometimes I would say “I’m here with you. I know what you are feeling.” I couldn’t say “I will make sure you are cared for,” because I can’t even take care of myself.
I saw my therapist today. She said that my inability to imagine a caring universe was reflective of my belief that it wasn’t OK to have needs. I said O yes. She said it wasn’t OK to expect to have my needs met. At this I cried and cried and collapsed into what felt like a puddle. No, it was absolutely wrong and very bad to have any expectation that my needs would be met. I had to do it all myself.
I never mentioned what happened about three weeks ago. I had thought I would do a blog post, but was simply too confused and upset to be able to write. It was a Thursday, and because of confusion with my car, which was in the shop, and having the phone stop working, I was really falling apart by the time my friend Cory came to drive me to my car. She could see that I was very upset and said “Can you have a phone appointment with your therapist instead of driving to Montpelier?” O my, relief! Yes, I could do that. Then she said “You don’t need to come to choir rehearsal either. Victoria told us that Sunday would be easy.” At the idea of not going to choir there was a moment of hesitation and then I felt how tired and shaky I really was. Cory said “You need to rest and recover.”
Because I had Cory’s permission, I took care of myself. I talked to my therapist on the phone and didn’t go to choir practice. It felt HUGE to be doing this and the words that came were “Taking care of myself at someone else’s expense.” I thought about this and realized that it wasn’t at Karen’s expense, I still talked to her for an hour for which she will get paid, and it wasn’t at choir’s expense, people don’t show up all the time. Where did I learn that? From Mom, for whom any taking care of me was at her expense.
In the days afterward, I experienced a lot of fear. I realized that was because I had broken one of the deepest oldest injunctions. “Thou shalt not expect Mom to take care of you. Thou shalt take care of thyself so as not to be a nuisance.”