‘Who the hell do you think you are Lexy? What kind of person are you? Tell me!’
I catch my annoying therapist’s eye very deliberately for a very brief, uncomfortable moment in the silence immediately following this onslaught; but instead of answering him, I lean down very slowly and purposely, to unlace my big brown boots with their big brown laces.
I wasn’t expecting James and his bucket full of dead hamster questions to be so direct today.
(I call them his ‘dead hamster questions’ because nobody likes a dead hamster do they? And It also kind of reminds me of the ‘Harry and his bucket full of dinosaurs’ song, so I often whistle it on my way in to therapy, and it cheers me up, but yeah, I’m weird I know this. But you get me right?)
I glance up at him once more, a little less confidently, it has to be said, as I pull my legs up underneath me and prepare to respond by reaching for and wrapping my arms around, one of the very many purple cushions with the gold tassels and Latin writing (Classy,) which share the sofa of doom with me.
I push it in to my chest, using it as a sort of shield to protect myself.
Now that I am all folded in on myself I may continue.
When I am ready.
I intend to make him wait at least half an hour before responding but then I remember this therapy is actually is costing me a fortune and he would probably love to sit there and have a snooze, so actually the sensible thing to do would be to get on with it. (DAMN IT!)
‘I am a manager. A tired one who bullies herself daily…’ I fire out like a machine gun in to the thick silence.
‘Not in your day job Lexy, I mean…’
‘I am not talking about my day job James;’ I interrupt boldly. ‘I am talking about my life. I feel like a bloody manager all of the time, in that, I feel responsible for everybody and their happiness, all of the time. I feel pressured by every relationship I have in my life. I live in constant fear that I will let somebody down or upset him or her and then he or she will end up hating me for it. But then at the same time, I almost want them to hate me for it because then I no longer have those expectations and I can happily push them away and live in peace. Does that make sense?’
He doesn’t answer, so I begin to finger the cushion, (not in a porno way just to be clear here,) and continue to ignore his gaze burning holes in to my face, before I carry on.
‘I live in constant fear of letting people down, of not being enough, my insecurities are out of control, and I am exhausted.’
‘And if you let them down, that will mean they don’t like you, or that you are actually worthless?’
(Whahiiiiiii… –that’s the sound of a dead hamster being tossed through the air towards me, by the way.)
‘It will mean I am not perfect.’
(PHALUT. That’s me batting the hamster away with a table tennis bat.)
‘Do you think you are perfect?’
(WHAhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii… he bats the hamster back. Poor little dead creature.)
‘No. I personally think I am a dog poo. I just don’t want everybody else to see that. I want them to think I am a cool you know? So I end up putting everyone before myself and then when I do let them down, because eventually I cant live up to my own expectations I set for myself, I can push them away, cut them off, even if I don’t want to because I like them, and it is a relief. ’ (PHALUTTTTTTT. That ones brains exploded.)
‘This makes no sense.’
‘Welcome to my brain James, right now as we talk I am picturing dead hamsters flying through the air between us!’
His words catch in his mouth and he looks at me quizzically for a split second, before he raises his hand, refusing to take me up on a change of conversation, even a conversation about dead hamsters (everyone knows conversations about dead hamsters are intriguing!) And instead decides to plough on with the therapy. (Boring bastard.)
‘You have to keep people happy? That in its self is impossible. What if you aren’t successful, what if you don’t keep them happy? (Whahiiiiiii…)
‘Then I feel selfish and naughty.’ (Phalut.)
‘And what do these friends have to do for you?’ (Whahiiiiii…)
‘That doesn’t seem very fair.’ He responds.
I shrug, like a miffed teen.
None of this conversation makes sense to me anymore, how could he expect me to be following this with all these dead animals flying everywhere?
‘How would you feel about being naughty this week?’
‘Whahiiiiiiiiii…. Sorry what?’ I stop doing dead hamster sound effects and concentrate.
‘I want you to have a week off, shirk the responsibility be ‘selfish’, be ‘Naughty.’
As I positively bounced out of his big therapy house twenty minutes later, my big boots crunching over the gravel, I smiled a little smile to myself.
I will take you up on your challenge James; I need a week off from my brain! I need a week off to just be, to just be, without the guilt or the worry of upsetting people constantly, I want to just be! Without the constant insecurity that having an opinion or doing what I want to do will result in me being unloved.
I am going to do what I want to do, be who I want to be.
OOOO what fun!
(Erm… I may have got a little carried away…)
‘Have you packed for our weekend away?’ The Irish one asked me excitedly as I walked through the front door two hours later, all excited as he was taking me away for my birthday.
‘Nope.’ I responded happily launching my bag on to the bed with flamboyant disregard ‘You booked it. You pack.’
And with that I lay on the floor and let my little boy climb all over me while the Irish one stood in front of me with a boc boc fish mouth, stumped and surprised.
‘Have you put petrol in the car?’ He asked me as we pulled out of the drive a few hours later, after I had watched him wandering around aimlessly trying to remember how to do stuff for himself, with an evil grin on my face.
‘Nope.’ I answered, flicking the indicator. ‘You think we will need some? Do you have money? You booked it.’
He didn’t fly off the handle as I suspected he might if I wasn’t my usual people pleasing self; he merely smiled between gritted teeth and advised me we would need to stop for some.
A little later on, once I had eaten cake for dinner because that’s all I wanted, once I had drank far too much red wine because that’s what I wanted to do and once I had refused to do anything remotely romantic because I didn’t feel like it, I gave him a hug, told him I thought I loved him (drunk me is even less self assured than sober me) and fell asleep with a fart. (The fart was for effect.)
The next morning he seemed a little disappointed when I refused to walk up a dobbing great big hill in the park, because ‘I didn’t feel like it.’
‘Do you think I am the hill walker type Irish one?’ I asked petulantly ‘I mean, do I look like I am the kind of girl that looks comfortable in wellies? DO you not know me at all?’
(For the record, I told him earlier in our relationship that I loved hill walks. But that was when I was trying to snatch him in my lare, and I thought HE loved hill walks, if you know what I mean. So yeah, I lied about a tiny part of me, the anti hill walking part, so that we had more stuff in common. We’ve all done it!!! Right?)
‘Why are you being such a grumpy bitch?’ he mumbled kicking a stone towards the stream where Addison was currently trying to hand pick a fish, unfortunately downstream from where Doodle was helpfully having a poo.
‘I am not being grumpy Irish one. I am no longer managing you, or anyone else, for that matter. I am being like everyone else and not worrying about if you hate me when I say stuff I want and don’t like. And yeah I may be taking it a bit far, but that is my god given right as a WOMAN! I AM A WOMAN AND I DON’T LIKE HILL WALKING! I HAVE SPENT YEARS HILL WALKING WHEN I DON’T LIKE HILL WALKING DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN IRISH ONE? WELL DO YOU?’
‘Not really no.’ he responded before being distracted by the troublesome twosome and jumping in to action ‘Addison NO! THAT’S NOT A FISH, THAT’S NOT A FISHHHH! PUT IT DOWN! PUT IT DOWN!’
He then turned back to me and smiled sadly before searching in his bag for bleach and a butt plug. (Antiseptic wipes really.)
‘Do you hate me?’ I asked him feeling a little guilty after my outburst and desperately wanting a hug, but not knowing how to ask for one, especially seen as he was now busy trying to save Buxton’s famous streams from being ruined in history forever by Poodle Squit.
‘No. I hate James. Come on lets go home. ADDISON PUT THE DOG DOWN!’
And off home we went, me in a guilty mood, him in a disappointed mood, Addison piss wet through and Doodle covered in shit with 3 tadpoles in his belly.
Ahhh good times…
*It didn’t end there … (HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW HE WAS PLANNING TO PROPOSE????) But anyway… I have to go now… because I want to go home and see my son… I’m sorry to cut off the story half way through… it really is a good ending too…. Do you hate me?