I’m excited to see that since I have been posting again more and more people are coming to the site. It makes me feel special – visible.
My therapist K and I had a discussion about visibility and personhood a couple of weeks ago. I told him how my parts tended to hold a hissy fit in my head the night before therapy. And how a common theme was “I don’t know you” in reference to both how I feel about him and how I perceive he feels or thinks about me. I become overwhelmed and frightened when I think that he might leave his office and ponder our next session, either for the good or the bad.
He brought up an interesting point. He suggested that perhaps it was too threatening for me to imaagine him outside his office, having an opinion of me, because that would me that I exist outside his office. That I am a person. That I am visible.
I hadn’t thought about it that way, but it makes sense. I do see myself as at least “unmemorable.” I’m always surprised when I come across someone I’ve met at work, or someone from my past, and they remember and acknowledge me. Sometimes it’s because they have met a different part of me and the present I has no recollection of the previous encounter. But it’s also because I don’t imagine that I make that big an impression.
I think that’s a protective thing, really. If I am present I have some sort of control of the environment. I used to stay home from school or activities if I sensed danger, because then I could try to head it off or divert it. Likewise, if I wasn’t around, nothing bad could be brewing. That possibility would have been too overwhelming to consider.
I am grateful today. I am grateful that I am not alone in this – not in my body and not in my world. I am grateful that I have some measure of control over my well being. I am grateful that I have survived.