Two long ass years I have been attending my therapeutic community, members come and go and more than not even with the best will in the world you never see them again. It is peculiar considering you spend so much time with these people and know them more than anyone in the world could possibly. I am quite grateful really as I find myself disliking more than I like, but the care is always there. Until I met Pats,her name actually isn’t Pats, the nickname derived from the fact we liken ourselves to Patsy and Eddie from absolutely fabulous.
Pats and I were trouble, a nice kind of trouble, boundaries we equally pushed, rules we broke, suspensions hit us so frequently it was as if we were in some revolving door. Discharge procedures within the community are a rarity yet we both achieved having one in our time. Mine for some drug smuggling within Europe that was totally blown out of proportion, it sounds much more exciting than it actually was. Hers for.. Well.. Confidentiality. I will say hers was much more fun if not traumatic. Pats and I have shared the whole journey together, in her I found not only the best therapy buddy but also a best friend. She is genuinely the funniest person I know, the most honest and the one person I get and who I know gets me. This is not a beat the patsy drum blog however, as much as I could, but I will sum up how her incessant need for me to bake changed an outcome hugely for me.
Patsy left community yesterday, her growth was complete and the world is awaiting. When someone leaves having achieved this intense therapy we like to spoil them and celebrate in a retarded fashion,every one is expected to bring food to provide a feast of calories. I am not a Baker. I hate it. I loathe it. I hate the doing. I hate the mess. I hate the outcome. I hate the waste of my time. I hate the end result. I hate cake. Any cake. Yes I said it.. I HATE cake.
Pats has spent weeks and weeks harassing me ” bake me a cake”, ” Eddie bake me a cake sweetie”, ” I mean it, you best be baking”. You get the idea. I refused. I kept refusing and disputing and this became somewhat of an amusing tussle for others to spectate. The day before she left she explained herself ” I want you to bake a cake, you don’t and never have, it is because I believe you can and it’s about doing something different,making a change,trying something new. That was all. I know it sounds silly”. I wish this made sense to me at the time. I went home and my home became a floured mess as I baked her a bloody cake, I cursed the cake and I cursed her. I did it for no other reason other than I did not want to let her down. That was it. Her last day she gets her wish. The cake was the heaviest thing, it broke, it was held together with icing,the icing was held together with buttons. A mess it was and a mess she got. Patsy was delighted!
Away from tc in my “real life” things had been spiralling out of control, my relationship despite the love has been pulled to its very limit. Both of us mentally requiring support, both of us with habits and behaviours that we use to crutch our immature emotions and none of which come easy. My children have been subconsciously beginning to show their need for more security from me and their father and his new family ( pleb head of a girlfriend) have intentionally been putting one thing after another in my way or my childrens way.
I returned home after my cake sharing shame to receive a call from the police regarding my own historical abuse. This issue was dealt with in court twenty years ago so the call interested me as much as it did frighten. Hopefully I will hear this week if I can finally bring charges to an institution that failed myself and everyone that domino bastard hit. As I hung up the phone in walked a Duck. A duck with his tail down, with a quiet quack and an understanding in his eyes. He met my look of acceptance and that yes..again.. I was going to do something else today different.
You see when you believe you are not worth much, you take the crumbs people offer,you accept more than you should, and until you truly believe it is not the case scripts will continue no matter with whom the relationship. On top of this I have other scripts, the ones where I feel such huge empathy I will love and support. I will set myself on fire to keep others warm. Hell as of late I almost set my children on fire to keep others warm. I also do not like to end anything. Change?nope. Leaving? Absolutely not. Failure? Over my dead body.
Calmly and with conviction ” you need to go now Duck. For now. Until you are better, until others are in your mind, until you can help yourself and for the right reasons. You put my children and my home at risk and for that I shall not continue. I will love and support you but not here. You leave tonight”. He nodded, he cuddled me and he kissed me. He told me what little I know to be true which is he loves me, will do this and will be back. That was that.
None of my normal rage, my normal defence, my normal drama. None of his normally high defensive behaviour and resilience. That was that. Good bye. For now.
Wow! I baked another cake!
It was not easy and the night followed with a huge range of emotions that had me making support call after support call. I turned it in on myself, I hated myself, I hated me now, I hated me then, I hated the responsibility, I hated what I had allowed and what I hadn’t. I hated him and I hated him then. I felt proud, I felt strong, I felt weak, I felt relief and burden. I felt everything.
I have and had no Pats to share this moment with. No Patsy to thank for now, no Patsy to know she changed my world, my future, my childrens future, my own growth, his own growth, all by making me do something different.
It could be coincidence I hear you say? There is no such thing in therapy land. Everything is linked. In one day I had baked a cake, my past and the first domino that fell in my life began to offer an opportunity to tie it up, I stopped a snowball that was so big it was crushing myself and my family. Would I have done this if something was not asked of me to change? Would I have if I did not see someone I love finish therapy with no more void in their heart? With belief in me. Knowing my capabilities and knowing I have power to do something different?
To love is not always to be kind, and love alone is not enough. Not for the mental and not for the well. To love is to believe and encourage the best. To love is to say enough, stop, change it. To love is to embrace the good and help it flourish, to nurture the parts someone hates and teach the other to do the same. To love is to watch growth and water it occasionally. To love is to not allow someone to do anything that will cause them upset or pain. I never understood that you can’t love anyone until you love yourself and this is so very true. You can love.. But to really love has to start within. If you do not have the skills to love yourself you certainly do not have the skill to love another. If you find that too much to achieve then you can start with something like a cake
It does not have to be perfect, you just have to try. Or at least change a little something.
I learned this lesson today. Patsy loves me! Slowly I am beginning to grasp loving myself, I hope that this helps to teach my children something I never understood to teach. Inner love. I also showed duck that love is not always kind. I hope this be the first day into a new journey and I have one nutter and her coffee vodka to thank.