So there’s a part of me, let’s call her an exile, that I have never talked about, never written about. She’s the part that’s there when I’m sexually intimate with my husband, and I never thought I’d reveal her to anyone. Let’s be honest, for a very long time I wasn’t even particularly aware that she was there in my place. She’s been so hidden. Yet now I’m considering bringing her into therapy with me.
Is this a good idea? Do I even have a clear sense of why I want to do this? Have I thought through what the implications might be? I don’t know, no, and no. I can’t say why I have started down this path.
And why now? I’m still in the middle of my psychiatric detox. I’m sleep deprived. I’m unemployed, and the bank account is acutely aware of the absence of monthly deposits. I can’t get much of anything done. Is this really the time to delve into this?
And yet, she’s rising up from my unconscious, something that’s been hidden in the dark, something that didn’t expect to ever come out from the cave of shame. She wants to experience the light, even if just for a short time, in a safe place, with a person who can accept it.
It’s so confusing to me. Is this a part? Maybe it’s more of a fantasy or a mental game than a part? I texted E the other day, after Monday’s session, in which we talked about maybe talking about this part.
Can a part have a story that is different from my story?
I don’t know. Let’s first see what her story is.
Getting cold feet.
Put some socks on, then.
Somehow I expected you to say that. Except I thought you’d say slippers.
I’m sure this is not easy, but I’ll love you no matter what. There’s no good reason not to explore this. You are safe, you are loved, and you seek wholeness.
On Monday, we made a list of reasons why I might want to talk about her, this part. I started with “so maybe I can choose who will be there in my sexual connection to my husband.”
E suggested, “Maybe so you can thank and even celebrate this part and what she’s done for you.” (That’s sweet, isn’t it? I wouldn’t have come up with that one.)
We both said, “To reduce the shame,” of course.
I added, “Maybe to help her and give her some guidance.” E didn’t really know what I meant by this, but that’s because she doesn’t know this part yet. This part has no boundaries, no sense of self-protection. She doesn’t evaluate whether something is good for her or not. She has coped by going along with other people’s game plan. In a way, as strange as it might sound, I feel concerned about her.
The thing is, E is going away to a conference next week (note the pained expression on my face as I write those words). I can either choose to share this part tomorrow in our session or I can wait two weeks. I’m still undecided. I’ve been telling myself, “Keep moving forward while the impetus is there. As difficult as it can be, sharing what’s been hidden is always good for you.” But sometimes I answer back, “It’s a big deal. Honor that by waiting until she’ll be around for you.”
Waiting seems wise and self-protective, but I think the urgency I’ve been feeling will probably override that impulse. We’ll see.
Featured image from Arlette Cifuentes Meneses, Creative Commons