It’s my last therapy meeting next week and I think those two things have really stood out for me as things I’ve really learned about myself. I’ve learned loads more, but these were perhaps the ones that surprised me the most, because I’ve never thought of myself that way.. even thought of myself as exactly the opposite.
I guess it’s because both of these things I act out in ways that are quite different from the way I would usually interpret them. For example, I love spontaneity, I feel best when things are changing and moving, and I intensely dislike planning things too thoroughly - all things my partner disagrees with me on, which is why I always saw him as being control freak and not me. But the truth is, I also need to be in at least some level of control of the changes around me. Mostly though, I am simply very good at living in the moment, which is perhaps why I don’t mind so much big changes and spontaneity and planning. I do, however, need to be in control of my current situation.. I am hyper aware of things that could go wrong, and what to do in those circumstances, to the point where I completely overplan the simplest things, like having a conversation with someone or even crossing the street.
I dislike it when people call me, or calling other people and prefer text messages or online messages, where I am in full control of when (or even whether) I reply. I prefer having in-depth conversations in a written/typed medium so that I have time to think things over and look up sources for whatever I’m thinking to confirm that I’m not making things up.
I prefer having friends over to my place rather than going to theirs, which I think is partly control, partly a safety net thing.
I like challenging myself, but if a challenge appears and I’m not prepared for it, it can completely throw me off balance. I dunno I’m sure there’s more but it’s been a while since we talked about this..
The other thing is how I bottle up feelings, and this surprised my partner as well as me, as I think I come off as a fairly emotional person. But the fact is.. I have spent my whole year building up a wall around me with a big gate, and the gate is either shut tight.. or, when the inside gets completely filled up with emotions, it all floods out all at once. I think my therapist has probably seen a bit of an extreme version of this, since going to my therapy appointments has always been fairly difficult and so I get emotional much easier, but when I think about it, it definitely makes sense.
I also don’t allow myself to feel a lot of things. One of the first things that came up in my therapy was the fact that I really missed being close to Chris, a friend of mine who I’d been living with the year before and who’d moved back to the US a few months before I started therapy. The fact was, I hadn’t really acknowledged him leaving, not fully, and I hadn’t given myself time to grieve the fact he was gone. I was too caught up in the present to realise it was coming before it happened, and afterwards as well, thinking it was done and there was no point to linger on it.
The same thing may be happening now, with me leaving London. People keep asking me if I’m super excited about moving and I say yes, of course I am. But the truth? I don’t feel it. Not really. I know it will be exciting, yes. But right now, even with my bedroom completely stripped down, I don’t feel like anything is really out of the ordinary at all. Even going to the airport next week I know I’ll still feel like that, even landing in Sweden.. but perhaps it will hit me later on. Maybe it will be a month, maybe two, maybe more.. but my therapist got me thinking today that perhaps, because I’m not allowing myself to feel it now, not to realise fully that I’m leaving all the people I know here, all the places and things that I love about this city I’ve lived in for the last four years and to properly say goodbye to them, that perhaps it will hit me like Chris leaving hit me. It will be brewing underneath everything for a long time, making me feel miserable without realising why, without realising what it is that I’m missing in my life.
But then I told her that if I did let myself feel it, the loss of everything here, I would simply be crying for a week. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my farewell party at all if all I was thinking about was that I might not see any of those people again for months, for a year, or more.
I guess I need to find a middle ground somewhere. But this is the only way I know how to feel emotions, so I really don’t even know where to start with it.