I don't normally have therapy in the middle of the week, but I had cancelled it last Friday and also for this upcoming Friday. So last night was the reschedule.
I didn't have a set topic. It sometimes makes me nervous not to know what I'm going to talk about, but I do know that something will come up. Last night, I brought up an interaction with S from last week. We had been talking about vacations, and I had been triggered and started to feel anxious because he wasn't giving me the feedback that I had anticipated. He wasn't negative, just neutral...which I interpreted as negative.
I started to feel like I was being tested, in some way. It's a familiar feeling, but I'd never really thought of it explicitly that way (although all the language I used indicated that was my experience). To make a long story short, we came around to talking again about my sister and her influence on me.
We tend to forget the impact of siblings on our lives. Psychology has mostly focused on parental or caregiver bonds, leaving sibling relationships in a vacuum. Since I've started looking at my older sister and my relationship to her, I realize how much it is that I was influenced by her and our interactions.
What came up last night was telling. I've always had the sense, even now, that she would rather not have me around...that somehow my presence in her life is annoying, painful or just a bother. I craved her affection, but always felt like I was chasing a shadow.
It has left me feeling like I am a nuisance. I have made it my life's practice to be easy to get along with to the point, sometimes, where I almost disappear. Don't get me wrong, this ability can be very useful, especially as a social worker. But it leaves me feeling on edge with everyone - watchful and judging how they might be perceiving me. It's an uncomfortable way to live.
I have been coming, slowly, to realize that I am something of a treasure...in greater part because of my fabulous friends (on and off-line) and because of my relationship with S. I have recognized more often that those people who have passed me by because of my size or because I was reticent have missed out on someone fabulous. And I recognize how I've kept myself "safe" by keeping to myself most of my life, thereby missing out on fabulous opportunities, as well.
I feel sad sometimes about this...I feel sad and angry at various times, especially, about my sister and our relationship. It's hard not to feel cynical and closed towards her, but I still want to try. Because remaining open to the possibility of change with her feels a lot like opening up the possibilities of the world.