It’s been a while since I updated on my therapy “journey”, but two things happened these past few days which reinforced something I’ve been exploring during my sessions; fear and mistrust of others.
The thing with the lunch
The first was at my graduation, which was a great experience, although it was very hot in my gown and I couldn’t wait to take it off! Afterwards one of the other students suggested we go for lunch. My immediate reaction was anxiety and a need to make an excuse not to go. It wasn’t a big crowd by any stretch of the imagination, but there would be people there I didn’t know and I felt I just wanted to go home and be alone with my husband.
I bit the bullet and we went to lunch. It was lovely. We had a laugh and I met some really nice people. At the end of the meal, one of the relatives paid for mine and my husband’s meal. I was taken aback and felt very humbled by that kindness.
When I reflected on this afterwards, there was definitely a fear of not being “good enough” to be around other people. I mean, would they even like me?? When our meal was paid for, I was shocked that someone would feel I was “worth” that much from having just met them. Feeling “not good enough” and the fear of rejection have left me paralysed with fear when it comes to being around people. But, as I learned, not everyone in this world is out to take advantage. Not everyone is out to hurt others. There are good people in this world.
The thing with the swans
The second thing was whilst my husband and I were out walking around a nature reserve. It was a gorgeous sunny day and there were lots of people enjoying the weather. I caught sight of a woman up a bank, apparently leading a male swan away from his mate with some food. The female swan was making a strange noise and she eventually headed over to where her partner, and the woman were. I became suspicious of the woman’s intentions and walked up the hill to see what was happening.
As a got closer, I saw some signets (baby swans). It turned out the woman was leading both swans back to their babies as she thought they’d lost them. She told me she’d used her lunch to get them back up the hill to their young ones, so she’d now have to go without. I felt a lump in my throat at her kindness and chastised myself for being so mistrustful. Not everyone in this world is out to take advantage. Not every is out to hurt others. There are good people in this world.
Time for a change in mindset
These two things made me realise how I, all too often, default to a position of mistrust. Over the years I’ve come to believe that others will hurt me in some way, or hurt others. It’s stopped me forming friendships, or even just talking to others, for fear of how they will be towards me (e.g., whether I’m “good enough”) and through fears that they may hurt me.
With this in mind, I will now make an effort to put myself in situations which would normally cause me anxiety. I’m glad I went for lunch after my graduation, and I’m glad I went to investigate what the woman was doing. Both renewed my faith that people are good, that I am “good enough” to be around people, and that taking these risks can help prove me wrong 🙂