Some people say that going through a psychotherapy is breaking yourself into pieces in order to build a new self. If I were to have that choice, I probably would feel the same way. What good will it bring me to open my wounds, look them in the eye, apply some strong antiseptic on them and sew the skin back together again?
The good that it would have done is that I would have done it myself, with a purpose that would have been clear to me: getting to know myself, nursing old wounds.
Well, I was exempted from chosing. Even though I did not look deep down into my wounds, someone else did. Someone else opened my chest, checked out my heart, cracked open my skull and plucked at my brain. Someone who was not a psychotherapist but elected himself so.
Oh, of course, he did not come by flashing a fake diploma at my face. Insidiously, he imprinted in me the feeling that he knew me better than I knew myself. He drained information on my childhood, my teenage years, my early adulthood. Who would not like to bond and share with a partner? I was happy he was so interested in me.
Then, as if he had a tiny secret palmtop, he recorded all my stories, all my memories. He reprogrammed every single souvenir into a whirlpool of who is right and who is wrong. He put post-its on all the loved faces and wrote with a permanent marker. The ink melted through the paper and printed on my loved ones’ forehead: “bad” “bad” “bad.”
I knew he was wrong. My dear ones were not bad, not bad at all. Or maybe… a little… just like everyone else’s. Or, wait! Really? Really that bad? If I was to keep what I had, I had to let go of what made me… I did. Not because I believed that they were bad, but because I was tired of being associated to them and accused of being even worse than them. It was an exhausting battle! I gave in, it was easier, it was more… livable.
Then, when I finally left, put hundreds of kilometers between me and this destroying other, doubt came. Of course, I ran from him towards the only people I knew could help me. I was back to where I started, but not as before. I was back with tons of doubt, and worry, and I felt guilty.
This is Linete talking: “I have been in a relationship for one-and-a-half year, and my boyfriend is a narcissist. Our counselor has told me so. I know very well I will never be happy with him. I am more and more desperate each day but I am unable to leave him.”
They try to make it impossible to leave them. They attack the weakest points, the darkest secrets they know exist, deep down inside us, our most hidden wounds. They trigger our defences, but we don’t know how to fight back, no one has even gone that far in hurting us. Because we don’t want to go there, we slam on the brakes and resign to stay with our tormentor, because it is more livable.
This macabre dance will inevitably come to an end. The question is, how much of us will die before that happens?