I have the best therapist in the world. You may think I'm exaggerating but I'm not. I think that everyone should have a counselor as wonderful as mine. She listens and engages in real conversation with me. She never makes me feel like I'm crazy or invalid. Her ideas and solutions are relevant to my life and situation and she's as honest with me as I would want anyone to be.
So, when she tells me something, I listen. Intently. And I rarely hesitate to put her ideas and suggestions into action. She always applauds me for it. I can't tell you when the last time I felt like someone was truly proud of me. She makes me feel proud of myself. For who I am. Just the way I am.
It's like she gets me. So can you see why I was completely confused when she asked me why I continue to use her services? I...I...well, I laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed. Until, I looked up and she was not laughing along with me. She was dead serious. My therapist asked me outright why I continue to come see her and spend money when I have two people in my life giving me the exact same advice.
She said that they are wise and noble and love me. They love me. Just the way I am.
That's why C always gives me the lectures when I'm going to do something stupid. That's why C laughs when I dribble water out of my mouth and down the front of my shirt. Or is the only person who can hear my gimp when I walk in heels. C listens to me cry and whine and tell the same stories. She believes me when I tell her something new. Because she knows that for all my gossip, I keep some things close to my chest. C understands that just because I didn't mention it doesn't mean it didn't hurt and just because it hurts doesn't mean I won't forgive you. She'll ask me to say something nice about myself and when I come up with nothing, she'll ask me to name 20 things about her. When I'm done, my eyes glowing with pride and worship, C simply says, "You and I are a lot alike." I want to tell her how much she's touched me but I know that she can see past the grin on my face to the shock and sadness in my eyes. For all that I am, I am not self-assured.
E is the man I want to marry but know I never will. If it weren't for the distance and the fact that we don't want to see each other naked, it might be a possibility. Even my therapist thinks we should date. But, if we did, I would risk losing a wonderful friend. When I was racing head-on towards a cliff (and after C had given me three days worth of reasons not to do it), he wrote me an email that included: four thumbs down, a metaphor about a cliff, a confession that he had once been a cliff, a threat to shake me by the shoulders, and the reassurance that he was giving me all the credit in the world and that's why he knew that I deserved so much more than I was allowing myself to settle for. He tells me to get up and run when I just want to eat ice cream and weep. He tells me I'm worthy when I can't imagine that anyone could love me. E tells me that I'm funny when I'm just giving him a hard time. And whenever I try to thank him for something that he's done, he makes sure to razz me on how long it took to show my appreciation. For someone that's never even held my hand, E is one of my biggest cheerleaders and I wouldn't want it any other way.
When I think about C & E and how well they know me, I want to weep. I'm weeping now. Because they know me. The know happy me, sad me, lonely me, open me, angry me, scared me, me. And they love me anyway. C & E have never wanted anything except to be my friend and I've never felt required to do anything to make either of them stay. I'd never known that feeling until now.
To compare the other people in my life to them would be unfair. Because no one could ever give what they've given me. No one could ever come close. And that makes all the difference.