fighting the familiar

June 9, 2013Karen Courcy

imagesHere we are, it’s Sunday, and the week break that I had is coming to an end.

Tomorrow I will move back towards the familiar schedule of Dr appointments, errands to be done, waking up with an agenda and a schedule to fill – but most of all, tomorrow is when I return back to therapy and see my therapist after a 9 day break – and I find myself fighting the familiar.

When I was a little girl, my mom would drop me off at Mrs. Bells house. Mrs Bell was a woman I loved and looked up to, but she was strict and had tough rules. I liked being there, but then I found myself waiting by the window for my mom to come pick me up, and sometimes it would be days until she came to get me.

The promises of “I will come get you tomorrow” led to more lies and more disappointments  I stood there by the window many times with tears wondering if my mom was going to “keep” her promise this time, or will it be another promise broken.

I am not sure why I spent a lot of time at Mrs Bells house, but I think I never truly allowed myself to enjoy being there because I was too focused on being rejected, or abandoned by a promise never kept.

I found myself waiting by the window not only at Mrs Bells house, but many places I was left while my mom was tending to other things obviously more important. The more I waited, the more walls I built against getting hurt.

The more I waited, the more I made those walls concrete, and the stronger I made them, the more I hid behind them for protection, which is now called the wall of dependency – dependency on SELF and no one else.

I had a good week off, but I found myself fighting the familiar and at times it was a hard struggle.

My therapist and I stay connected all week long. He sent me texts and we emailed each other, and he reminded me the importance of “leaning in and staying connect and how worth it I was”, and I held onto that, but not without getting behind those big Ole’ walls called “boundaries.

I found myself “missing” my therapist a little this week and I got angry with myself. I never allow myself to miss, or to allow myself to go to a place where I am vulnerable to emotions that were so abused to me as a child.

The more and more I waited at that window as a child, the more I convinced myself that “you don’t wait for anyone” “you don’t allow yourself to miss anyone because if you miss, you get hurt” and “don’t expect anything from anyone”. and that is where my fear of dependency comes from.

In my eyes, missing = dependent. Missing = needy. Missing = something being wrong or bad.

I told my therapist in a text that I found myself tearful because I missed his wisdom this week.. I missed the wisdom and the good conversations and talks we have, and he was in awe of that. He was in awe of my vulnerability in finally allowing myself to feel that emotion, because it means I am trusting it more.

AS I sat here thinking about my session Monday, I got scared for a moment. “Wait, I am not ready to go back, maybe I need a couple more days vacation, maybe I need a couple more days to myself” or MAYBE maybe I am scared because finally I am allowing myself to come out from behind that TALL wall that i Built as a child when I would wait by the window and get hurt time and time again. Maybe I scared because I am allowing myself to be open to love, care, trust, and all the things that come with any relationship – even the wonderful relationship with my therapist.

Being vulnerable to feelings that once hurt so badly is scary and hard. Coming out from behind the wall that I built since I was 5 years old is scary and hard. That wall that I built was all the pain I felt after being abandoned and rejected time and time again and now I think I am finally breaking down that wall and allowing myself to wait by the window and TRUST it’s okay to miss and love, and be cared for, because I AM WORTH IT.

So I show up tomorrow to therapy and I allow myself to be hugged and give a hug and say “I missed you” and if tears show up, maybe that will be okay too. Maybe it’s okay that I missed being in a place that I heal many days a week. Maybe it’s okay that I missed the kind smile and the load of wisdom from my therapist who knows and holds my story closely.

Maybe it’s okay to wait by the window and trust what is on the other side of the wall.


  • Gel

    June 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Your writing is like poetry sometimes….. That turns something sad into something of beauty. I’m glad you could miss someone so important and special in your life, even though missing is a little painful. It was sad to hear about all that time you spent waiting for your mom and especially how it instilled in you a wall. But at the same time I feel a respect for a wall that helped you cope as best you could back then.

    Hearing this part of your story about waiting for your mom helped me understand more about your fear of dependence that you’ve written about before. I also have some young memories of waiting and of promises being broken that scarred me. I think that developed in me a pattern of leaving before I was left…as an adult. I would get close to people but I’d leave first, before they could leave me. (Maybe more like an action to protect than a wall to protect like you describe). Of course I didn’t consciously see it that way until after years of doing it and then recognizing the pattern in retrospect. I’m grateful that I do have some people who are important to me that I don’t leave, and they don’t leave me either. I bet you have a few of those yourself(?).

    I’m happy you’ll be able to get back to work with your T. Maybe you can keep taking a day or two a week of “time off” from the schedules and the busy-ness?…

    1. KarenBeth

      June 9, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Thank you Gel! I agree, I am grateful for the people I can allow myself to be close to. I told my therapist in an email yesterday that maybe I have a fear of coming into therapy tomorrow because I am not behind that wall.

      My husband travels A lot! he is gone many times a month for his job and people always ask me “doesn’t that bother you?” actually no it doesn’t, I am used to it. I am used to doing things on my own. I am used to being “alone” .. I did it since I was a child, it actually makes me more nervous when a lot of people are around me.

      There is a blessing and a curse to this .. the blessing being, I am a strong independent woman.. the curse, it gets in the way of allowing the “right” people in, and allowing myself the things I need today like “comfort” “love” and “care” for ME

      My therapist always says “that damn wall LOL.. there is a time when boundaries are GOOD but then there are times when boundaries are NOT good and me not allowing myseld to miss someone is NOT good.. I need to allow myself those feelings and trust that it’s okay.

  • Lauren

    June 9, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Thank you again for your openess and for saying what many people think but fear to say. You’re so blessed to be in a safe relationship and one that brings so much healing! Bask in it! Breathe in the love, acceptance and worthiness that Andy gives you. I love that some T’s are able to give us those gifts because when they are the ones who know our stories it feels even more healing to hear their words of acceptance. I hope tomorrow you can go in and have your wall a little lower.

    Hugs to you brave friend!!

    ~ Lauren ~

  • KarenBeth

    June 9, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Thank you Lauren, and you always make me feel good with your thoughts … yes we are lucky to have great therapists … I hope someday I can come to accept all the goodness in front of me without guilt – that someday is coming soon .. it will.

    love you friend

  • Sharon O

    June 9, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    I have a picture very similar to that picture on your blog, only it is little girl about age 5 looking out a window holding a rose. One simple rose.
    Waiting. Always waiting.
    I purchased it after a session or two… for many reasons.
    It is by an artist called Laurie Snowhein and it has a great deal of meaning both in the picture and in memory.

    1. KarenBeth

      June 10, 2013 at 2:13 AM

      Sharon … im sorry that you experience something of waiting in your life. I would love to hear your story someday … I really would 🙂 {{hugs}}

      1. Sharon O

        June 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        My dad left when I was four. Left.
        I did not meet him again till I was in my 30’s. A Lot of things took place in the years he was gone. His loss has been a hole in my soul that has healed over the years slowly. That is one reason why I have worked with male ‘counselors’ to build trust and consistency. There is more to the story … it actually continues. My parents are now in their 80’s both very ill and remarried each other over 15 years ago.

  • KarenBeth

    June 10, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Sharon … so sorry about what you have been through .. it must have been hard. Thats how I feel about my mom, she didn’t leave me, but she may as well have seeing she has not been in my life the way I have needed her to be… thank you for being a part of my blog …

  • Sharon O

    June 11, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    yeah well there are other ‘parts of the story’ that includes our mother.

  • KarenBeth

    June 11, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    If you ever want to share… feel free to email me

Please take a moment to comment! I love connecting with others!

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