Nowhere to Run

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I love horror flicks (don’t judge me).

For a few moments, I’d like to ask a favor–join me for an imaginary movie theatre experience.

Wait—what’s that?

Oh OK—you can bring in your pan of wings covered with aluminum foil.

Here’s the scene from the movie—you’re in this abandoned house looking for…hey—I don’t know—not sure what you’re looking for—but in a horror movie, lot of things go on that don’t make any sense!

Anyway…

As you’re looking around the abandoned house, you hear a noise…now your curiosity is heightened and as you go investigate that strange noise in the abandoned house (this is where you start yelling at the screen wondering why anyone would investigate a strange noise in an abandoned house), you discover that it’s a zombie!  It’s now coming after you!

As you run from unknown hallway to the next unknown hallway—to elude the zombie chasing you, there is now a hallway to the left.  You take that left.   Bad turn—it’s a dead end. 

Nowhere to run.

Now your back is up against the wall…your heart beats faster and faster…the zombie closes in on you with its fangs and screeching loud voice…this is certainly the end.

And just as the zombie closes in on you to take what life you have left, the zombie backs away and says, “So now that you have nowhere to run, what’s really going on with you?”

Fade to black.

While a slight exaggeration, this is how I felt recently going to see a therapist.

As I sat there, the therapist was very welcoming and engaged with me.  She didn’t take time to diagnose me, but she didn’t have to.  Her questions to extract what she needed to know to determine where I am and what’s going on with me was sobering enough.

Because she’s an experienced therapist, she was able to pierce through the exterior that may impress some people and fool others that I have it all together. She was able to start the “peeling of the onion layers’ with me.  This, ladies and gentlemen, was me being trapped at a dead end with nowhere to run.  I had to answer the questions.  And if I tried to use my savviness to sidestep anything, she was sensitive enough to indulge my defensive mechanism (which I’m sure she’s experienced with hundreds of clients over the years), but reframe the question is such as way that I didn’t have verbal refuge to shelter my reality.

Why do we put up all these layers with people?

Think about it—we cover up everything.  We hardly get to see or know anyone for who they really are or what’s going on in one’s life. 

Let’s take for instance, you see someone in the morning that you may know.  A casual and pleasant greeting follows: “Good morning!  How are you today?”

Now what’s the canned response?

“Good morning to you as well!  I am doing good!  Make it a great day!”

But what if you greeted someone with the same question and you got this response: “Good morning to you as well!  Thanks for asking about my well-being.  I am not doing well at all.  My kid is acting up at school, my car is leaking oil, my gas just got turned off, I just got served divorce papers, and to make matters worse, I was just diagnosed with terminal cancer.  No, I’m not doing well at all.”

Most of us would freak out if we got this response.  But we did ask.

Here’s what I am saying about living in a culture of layers.

Women wear makeup.  We all wear clothes which covers our stretch marks and blemishes aside from other notable body parts.  We wear hair that isn’t ours to give the impression that our hair is longer than what it is (men and women do this).  We now have undergarment items that helps us to appear slimmer than what we are. We drive luxury cars and live in an apartment.  We use social media to create a life that is fabricated. We by things to impress people that we don’t even know or like. Yet, on the inside, we are hurting and afraid to let the world know who we truly are. And unfortunately, this is socially acceptable.

It was truly a sobering but riveting experience to have an outside person, who is skilled at helping clients resolve personal conflict and dysfunction, penetrate me emotionally in such a way, that I truly felt scared and helpless.  I’d like to emphasize scared.  Yet, I can tell this is going to unlock a much healthier me.  Regardless of being in a relationship or not, we all have “stuff” we need to deal with.

Please hear me when I say this: going to therapy is a GREAT thing.  Whether you know it or not or just flat out refuse to accept it, we all have suppressed things that help us cope.  The problem with suppressing things and not addressing them is that the suppressed pain repurposes itself into something else and manifests in a way that is still dysfunctional.  And no matter how skilled you are dealing with other people’s stuff, you really are no that objective enough to effectively self-diagnose because you are too close to the situation—and, too bias.

You want to be a better you?  You want to be the best version of you for a relationship?  Find a therapist in your area.  I won’t lie—it’s going to be uncomfortable.  But no one has to know.  Just get better and be better.  That special someone out there deserves it.  And so do you.

-Kerry

Photo Source: Freepik

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Showing 2 comments
  • Stephanie L Farmer

    Very encouraged by this transparency

  • Thea Wilson

    There is a lot of truth in this article. Something to really focus on to get better to be better.

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