Stuck in the Middle With You

I had a consultation with Dr O. She looked as clean and inviting as ever. I am sat across the room from her but the scent of cleanliness is discernible. I bet if I tasted her she would taste clean. Her clothes are immaculate, her hair shiny and held in a ponytail and I can see her nails are clear yet manicured. The quality of her skin reminds me of someone I knew long ago. I imagine she attends to a vigorous regime of diet, exercise and skin care to ensure that her healthy, soft looking skin remains so inviting for me. Dr O was engaged in discussing my behaviour.

“What do you think of this statement?” she began, “Your behaviour is repetitive. You draw people to you, you hurt them and then you cast them aside only to draw them in again.”

I waited as I considered this comment.

“Before I answer, I would like to add a caveat,” I remarked.

“Perhaps you could answer it without the caveat. It will keep it simpler.”

“But it is important you understand the context of my response.”

“How about you answer the question first and then you can add your caveat?” she offered.

I reflected on this. It would undoubtedly please her if I did this. By pleasing her she will feel drawn to me.

“Fair enough. That statement is accurate, although,” I answered.

She held up her hand. I would usually plough on, after all, who on earth is entitled to stop me when I am talking? I still felt that by indulging her, it would benefit me.

“Thank you. How do you feel about this statement? You are stuck in this behaviour.”

She had followed-up with a further question, when she said to me that she would allow me to add a caveat. She misled me. I did as she agreed and now she has reneged on that arrangement. I was not pleased. I could feel the anger rising inside. I knew why she had done this. She wanted me to feel small. This is what they all did, just like her. They try to make me feel small and helpless and useless and pathetic and contemptible.  I could feel my grip on the situation loosening. There was a sensation of falling as I tried to reach out and grasp my surroundings, but they shifted and moved, spilling through my hands. I could sense the yawning chasm waiting to engulf me, that place of those lost emotions which I fight on a daily basis. They were rising up to haul me into the chasm. They wanted to surround me and consume me. I can hear her voice drifting up from below, echoing and distant yet somehow clear. That ghostly voice from long ago that lurks in the chasm and becomes unleashed when moments like this happen. I can hear the words, the scolding, the criticising, the demeaning words spilling from that cruel gash of a mouth.  Please stop it. Please,please,please.

“Yes, I feel stuck. I am stuck with her,” I suddenly said, the words coming out in a forced and breathless manner. Was Dr O in the room any longer? I could not be sure, she seemed to have become blurred as if she had melted into the surroundings.

“I am stuck listening to the unfair and unjust criticisms of everything that I do. I try and move forward, I try each and every day, by trying to extinguish her accusing voice, by finding those who will praise me so that their words will stop her from bringing me down. I have to surround myself with those who can help me diminish and then extinguish her, they are necessary in order to help me survive. I turn to others so that their voices will drown hers out, the kind words, the adoration. I have to have it in order to stop her. Even the screaming and the tear-filled sobbing and the shouting, that is preferable to hearing that woman and her acidic tongue. Sometimes it works for a time, her voice is lost amongst the cacophony of others but she always comes back. Why? What did I do to deserve this? I cannot get rid of her. Even when I think, this time she has been silenced, she somehow surfaces. I cannot stand it. Why do you do this to me? I never did anything to you did I? I just wanted you to tell me what I had done was good, that I got your approval, but you never would would you? I didn’t hurt you, I tried my hardest for you, but you always said I could do better, I could improve, I could go higher. I just wanted to please you, was that so bad? Tell me what I have to do, please? I just want it to stop, I want to be good, I always told you that, but you said I was bad for not doing what you wanted, but I did do what you wanted, you always changed it just as I seemed to be getting closer. Please, I want you to go now and stop hurting me, why are you still doing it, have you not had enough? Stop, please stop, I want you to stop, I want it to stop, I don’t want it anymore, I don’t want to be stuck anymore, I don’t want to be stuck in the middle of this any more, I don’t want to be stuck…in the…middle….with…you.”

I can no longer breathe and my words cannot surface any longer. My chest is tight and the air, the air is being stolen from my lungs now, the floor is moving and shifting. I can hear something but cannot make out what is being said, it is like a roaring. My hands are raking the air as if fighting off unseen attackers but they seem to move so slowly. Dr O comes into brief focus as she is moving across the room towards me. I am falling and the floor is coming up to greet me as the darkness takes me. The all encompassing darkness engulfs me as I hear,

“You’ve let me down again.”

Then there is nothing.

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12 thoughts on “Stuck in the Middle With You”

  1. My invisible comforter,
    I stumbled upon this post and I have to tell you that this is my favorite so far. It is hard to go through life trying to be perfect. Especially when you grow up with a way beyond critical parent. My mom was a voice in my head for many years. No matter what I did there was no pleasing her. (When doves cry)… I was an overachiever. I excelled in everything I did. She never would acknowledge it to me, but she had no problems bragging to others about me as if she was the one that did these things. I had the beast within. I conquered the beast. It’s dead. It didn’t kill me like I thought it would. I changed. I never thought it was possible to let go of the facade. I used to say I was a hollow bunny. You know the chocolate bunny that you bite into that appears solid but you bite and it’s hollow inside? That was me. I had to appear solid, so I built my knowledge, looks, skills, abilities. This way people could not hurt me, they could not manipulateven me, I will just disassociate from them and feel nothing, take that. And guess what? You believed I felt something sucker….bwahaha. Dr. M told me one time that I was like a clam….I laughed too many sexual jokes ran through my head…anyways, clams have super hard exterior, rock solid. But if they open up just a bit and something touches that soft inside, even just barely brushes it, they slam shut. However, if you can learn to open yourself up and not be afraid that someone is going to “touch” you physically or emotionally then people can see the treasure inside, the rare pearl that no two are alike. You can learn to allow them to take that pearl, handle it, rub it, examine it, speak to it, marvel at it and then put it back in its place. No stealing of it, no damaging it. Just loving it for no particular reason. As someone who then and now, to some degree, doesn’t feel love it was a concept I could understand. It has taken years to apply, to trust to open up and not fear. There were times when I would let the emotions out like you did above and it felt like different color paints all blending together and I couldn’t keep them in their rightful place. Compartmentalized emotions that I didn’t know I had. I had to learn emotions. I was surprised to learn how much I confused anger with hurt. I had to learn the difference, I never felt hurt, that was weakness surely, but as I stayed in therapy I learned hurt and learned it is not weakness. Everybody hurts (REM, don’t use know me by now, simply red, enuf!). Please my dear H (you’ve been just H lately, did u notice? as a Genie granted me a first initial basis with you) please take the floor and fascinate me with your thoughts, I am all ears, seriously too, all joking aside. And it took a lot for me to put that in your hands, to open my clam for you…I said no jokes pervert!

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    1. Thank you for sharing that 2mpathetic. Of course pearls were once regarded as the teardrops of the gods which I suppose has some relevance. The problem I see is that in order to create that pearl in the first place, an irritant has to be admitted, which is not something I would want. I find it interesting though that a Pearl Oyster covers the irritant with something called nacre, getting close to our kind almost!

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      1. Dear Fabian Cousteau, (That’s your real name right?)
        Thanks for responding. The irritant that makes the pearl is the parents. The treasured pearl is you. You are a treasure. So that is an irritant you’ve already had. But look what you have turned into. ( i know something god like) But Inside your “building ” lives a monster. Most people don’t have one. He is living deep down in the lowest part of the construct. In that part of the building there are boxes. Some boxes are in front of him. They contain things the monster can use to stop people from coming too close to him. Like Rage, lying, deceit, devaluing. These boxes are open all the time because they are not valuable. Behind the Monster are the most valuable and thus fragile, delicate objects that are priceless.
        He is guarding those boxes because he doesn’t want anyone to damage the contents. Keep them cut off by guarding them he does (lol Yoda speak). In order to get to the boxes of value all you have to do is open the building doors and let him out. But what if he reeks havoc and runs through the building ripping it up along the way? This may cause the building to crumble and be destroyed. Oh but you have insurance and can always rebuild. That building will be built with the latest and greatest and be better than the last. The building is you, the monster is fear caused by irritating childhood and other things privy only to you, the boxes in front are open and are filled with Rage, deceit, lies, devaluing and all other protection based emotions. The boxes behind the Monster are filled with love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, faith, mildness and self control. Those are the most treasured qualities and those can be shown to the world once you let the monster go. Think if you’re awesome now, how much more awesome you could be with a real full range of emotion, no longer compartmentalized but unboxed and free flowing . It will evoke fear and pain to let him loose and it will hurt you, but it won’t kill you. Your insurance is You have 3 trusted people. Dr. E and Dr. O and your brother. They will help you to start the rebuild. If you can just wearily trust the two experts and one who really does love you, you can be assured you won’t die in the process and come out alive and actually being able to feel all ranges of emotion without fear. To actually be able to feel is like nothing you’ve ever experienced and is better than any fuel high. I wish you would try it and stop fighting with yourself. Let me know your thoughts. Please and Thanks.

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      2. There is force in what you have written and it is something similar to things which Dr E and Dr O have been mentioning (although I have not written about them yet). What however if I am content to keep the creature where he is? I have been doing so for a long time and I am skilled at doing so.

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      3. I don’t doubt your skills at locking down the creature or the fact that you have been doing it a long time.
        What if? What if you aren’t? See first verse of Red Hot Chili peppers scar tissue. Are you with the bird?

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  2. One more thing, after that session about the clam thing I bought a Swarovski Crystal Open Clam with a Pearl in it. I put it on my desk at work. So i could look at it everyday and remember to try and be open. Just unfortunately realized that it is the bitches bday where you are, she’s English too….great always haunting me……but I’m solid chocolate bunny.

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  3. Great stringent of conversation, thank you 2empathic! The dark cave where the worst and the best stuff are hidden dormant – those boxes oppened, others still shut down waiting for discovered- very well-explained. That’s it, exactly!

    Whether you open those boxes or obsessively spend your energy at keeping them firmly shut makes all the difference between surviving mode and truly living.

    However, this applies to co-dependents and narcs equally in my view: while the N has to find the courage to open up the ‘boxes where there is good and light’, the co-dependents/empaths need to be brave enough to open the ‘dark boxes’. Which is equally challenging.

    There is no light without darkness.

    You have to open Pandora’s Box and look at what is inside there for you, either way. The Creature is different for Everybody, even if they can have similar traits.

    Think of room 101 from “1984”. What is inside room 101 for YOU?

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  4. And I don’t like to use word hate but utterly dislike You mother for the pain she is causing You through the life of Yours 😢

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  5. Touched many chords. Similar childhood. Have worked hard on myself, for myself to make myself solid again back to how I was when I came into this world. Before it made its mark. Simply sad. For all of us.

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