So, I went through this shitty thing when after a stretch appointment, I had to spew words at SG, much like I do here. I take it in, process and then get it out through writing.
The e-mail was written, and it was really difficult because in between all the prattle was one paragraph about my attachment issues, how he’s in the bullseye and how I’m struggling to soften my boundaries but feel really off-balance because I don’t know where his are.
He didn’t write back. I freaked out and had to work through some of that in therapy.
Now, because he’s always been consistently supportive, I reached out via text asking if we could get together. I really needed to work through this anxiety crap and try to make a leap forward. Per usual, he was happy to fit me into his schedule and we met for coffee. I felt the familiar churning in the pit of my stomach as the time got closer, and realized that it has been my constant companion preceding every meeting, every stretch session. Me, reacting with fear to growing close to someone despite all the indicators that this relationship is something to celebrate, not fear.
Turns out I can’t will it away, but I can start putting words to things that I’ve been holding back. So I did. I talked about the transference/countertransference rabbit hole I fell down early in my stretch sessions. I was able to be direct (although couldn’t make eye contact to save my life) about how I figured out early on I was projecting onto him. And I pointed out that I had suspected that he was projecting onto me. While I don’t know the exact timing of him almost firing me as a client, I’m willing to bet it was somewhere in the maelstrom where both of us were projecting and frustrated by each other. And, I was able to say (without eye contact because GEEZ) that I knew it was attachment/daddy issues. (A long time ago, I think I said something similar referring to what was coming up in stretch, and I think that’s where it started, but then I started to grow closer to him and the fear of attachment really took hold) And, AND, I was able to to talk about how every time I saw him at the gym I wanted to run out the door. (OMG I now realize I was having anxiety attacks because I couldn’t handle him being out of context) That one he laughed, “yep, I noticed that...”
He didn’t respond a ton to what I said, and I was hoping for more than I got. Writing this now, I’m realizing that I didn’t need a response, I needed him to be there, holding space, letting me be raw and vulnerable. I didn’t need a fix, I didn’t need his opinion on my experience, I just needed a steady presence.
It was all put to the test the next time I had a stretch session. The absence of the churning in the pit of my stomach was noticeable. I was relaxed throughout. We had a good conversation, and it was like I have wanted it to be for what feels like a long time. We’re friends. We support each other in our healing journeys. It’s a good thing.