No, listen to your partner

We can get so attached to ourselves, familiar with ourselves, comfortable with ourselves, and then something happens, the ground shifts, or we crack or spin, and then we’re different from ourselves, revolted by ourselves, or just drifting far from ourselves, like the ruins of ships blown far offshore. I see I keep coming back to the drift, as if the very image has become something I could rely on, since I started writing this. It’s hard to process becoming different from ourselves.

Sometimes we drift slowly from our point of departure; suddenly everything changes in an instant.

I used to hate the thought of therapy and I refused to go for many years, without knowing quite what I was refusing. It was essentially your typical “men would rather die than go to therapy” stance; I couldn’t stand the thought that I couldn’t manage my moods without help. My partner dragged me to therapy in the end. She tells me that my initial reaction to her invitation was, Over my dead body. But I had a close friend in those days who loved psychoanalysis, and when she heard about this, she told me incredulously, No, listen to your partner, go to therapy. And then I went.

What’s interesting is that now I catch myself repressing my own past resistance. I can’t relate to that earlier version of me who abhorred therapy, to the point that I can’t even remember it accurately. I have to ask Talia to help me revisit that moment, where I held my anti-therapy views with such ferocity. Part of me doesn’t want to acknowledge that I used to be that person: that if this is no longer me, it is at least my predecessor.

I do, at least, remember many earlier years of not knowing what to say when my friends told me I sounded depressed and sad. What I can’t remember is why I didn’t do anything about it. It hurts to realize that people said the right things to me again and again, but I wasn’t ready to listen.

Sometimes I don’t know what I amount to. Sometimes I feel untrue to myself, but true to something else.

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