Healing Mondays

lundi, le 14 septembre 2009

This morning The Shrink asks me how my I-am-not-good-enough persona manifests itself. I know this persona so very well. I call her Nora and describe her as: Not good enough, under-achiever, guilty, bad, avoiding, delaying, sabotaging, non-starter. Moody and broody. Resentful, revengeful, dissatisfied, unfulfilled, begrudging, obsessive. Dark and black.

Through anger, I tell The Shrink, through fighting with the person that brings Nora to the fore, through lashing out at those who tease her whilst I pretend that Nora does not exist. She wants to know if it’s always been that way. I tell her it’s gotten worse with time.

Another drop falls in the bucket of how misconceived Nora has always been. How badly I need to find a hole in the bucket where the not can escape through, I am beginning to understand that I am good enough, even that I’m mostly more than good enough.

I tell The Shrink I need to let go of my anger over the way in which L’homme left me. I have to get my heart to understand that he did not leave me because I was being Nora. To L’homme, on the whole, I was good. I was more than just good. I was exceptional.

But L’homme knew so very, very well how to lure Nora out. When Nora comes out, she loves to drag a friend along. Her best friend is Timid Trudy, who is: Dowdy, plain, dull, boring, suburban, stupid, uninspiring, fat, ugly, undesirable and frumpy. A wall flower. Nothing to contribute. Needy, seeking approval, seeking affirmation, desperate and doubting. Nora seldom goes anywhere without Timid Trudy in tow.

Timid Trudy would seek L’homme’s approval, his affirmation and L’homme would respond by making me feel not good enough, fat and ugly. Hand in hand Nora and Timid Trudy would fight with L’homme, lash out at him.

Of all the personalities that split me, Nora and Timid Trudy really need to get off centre stage. In fact, they can only come on again at the curtain call so that they can be applauded for their large role in my life, one they played very well. But they’re old, tired and haggard now and I need to write them out of the remainder of the story of my life.

I admit to The Shrink that I still thrive on L’homme’s hugs of some 10 days ago. I tell her that I worry about him so very much. I tell her I hate it when I know his life is difficult.

Walking home I think that I also need to let go of my anger towards myself for not telling L’homme in my quiet days before he left that conflict was not necessarily wrong. In spite of the conflict, the very good times we had in the various romantic stages of our relationship only alluded to the potential we collectively and individually possessed to make our relationship strong. To make it endure good and bad and to make it bind us together.

I come back from The Physio this afternoon with a bed rest read and bag full of pills and walk into delicious smells tumbling from the kitchen. When I went to buy meat for The Princess’ meals this morning, I eventually caved in at the sight of the lamb chops. I haven’t managed to even consider lamb chops as part of my unable-to-eat diet since L’homme left. His greatest cookery skill was to braai the most succulent lamb chops on the Weber. But today I am brave and strong and true.

I find Wonder Woman in the court yard, watering the plants. I realise she has in her quiet, efficient manner bravely taken over some of Brave’s duties.

Brave is the man who tends to my garden, in person and in name. But Brave had the misfortune of being struck off his bicycle by a bus. Brave spent weeks in hospital and his recovery is painfully slow. My usually neatly topiaried bushes are reaching out to Brave with long arms of longing and everywhere weeds are carefully coming out of hiding. Wonder Woman hasn’t taken to sculpting bushes into elephants yet, but she is making sure that plants stay alive and that the paving is swept.

I set the table beautifully for one, dish up for myself on my favourite floral plate. I take small mouthfuls of memories and chew slowly on each one. And I wipe a tear from the corner of my eye. Today I am meant to be brave and strong and true.

(On the night of my 39th birthday. L’homme and I had dinner in Paris at the Les Élysées restaurant under the exquisite panoramic glass ceiling, a gray-and-green translucent dome designed by Gustav Eiffel. It was the most extraordinary dining experience of my life. The culinary passion, the excellent service, the intricate beauty of every dish and the sublime taste of each course will remain with me forever. As will the laughter and joy L’homme and I shared that day.)

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