Me - BS original Dday 10-2012, separated June 2014, divorce 12-19-16
I mean NO offense to those who chose NOT to attempt to R during this process at all. Just processing MY decision to attempt to R in IC this AM.
At IC today, my therapist gave me an analogy of where I am at and I thought it was rather profound. She gave me the initial concept and I added in the details. She was saying it's like you are on a boat and you are so cocky the boat is so safe. You give no recognition to the concept that you could sink. You are so sure you won't sink. It JUST won't happen. *OTHER* boats could sink but you chose the perfect, unsinkable boat. So, it's not even a thought. The boat goes down and you fight for your life. You dodge sharks and high waves and finally are rescued, having been through what is quite possibly the most traumatic thing you have ever had to endure. At some point, you have to make a decision to getting on another boat or swear to stick to dry land.
It is perfectly reasonable to never get on a boat again. It is NOT an irrational fear at all. You have a very valid reason to stay on dry land. Some people that survive a sinking boat, never go on another boat again and are just fine in their decision. Nobody in their right mind would question their decision, it makes sense.
Other people however, decide to go on another boat. Maybe they REALLY liked traveling by boat or a boat is the only way to get to a certain country they always wanted to see. Whatever their reasons, they chose to face their fear. They will approach the next boat ride VERY different than the last one. They will make SURE they have a safe life jacket. They will obsess over the safety of the boat they chose. They will change their mind a hundred times. They will walk onto the boat, only to get scared and say "not yet". They will beat themselves up over being indecisive. They will want to give up the concept totally. They may even do that for a time, saying the risk isn't worth the possible gain. But ultimately, the boat or whatever they want from the boat will lure them back in. Once they finally do get on the boat and stay there until it leaves the docks, there is way more work ahead.
They will panic - oh my - WHY did I do this? I am *GOING* to die. They will cling to their life jacket as if their life depends on it, because honestly, it does. Their journey will be very hard. They will feel like an idiot. They will be scared. So scared, they will often freeze and panic over every little wave or odd sound. It will exhaust them. Once in awhile, on their journey, they will be on deck and stop and smell the ocean, feel the breeze and they will forget how scared they are. They will totally relish these feelings since they once thought they would never have them again. They will get slightly cocky and think - I CAN SO DO THIS. Only to have a normal wave rock the boat a tad and turn them into a shaking, crying, ball of fear and regret on the deck of the boat. Paranoia will set in, they will regret EVER relaxing.
What happens to this person who chooses to face their fear doesn't matter. The journey in this case, *IS* the destination. They won't die if the boat sinks, they have a life preserver. Their ship could very likely go down. Or it could dock safely onto dry land. Either way, this person is a survivor. If their boat goes down, no chance in hell will they ever get on a boat again. They know this going in but decided to take that risk. If their boat does make it, imagine how that would feel. Not only did they get to experience whatever it is that the boat allowed them to but they got to this wicked cool destination they got to experience. They will cherish this destination knowing just how much work it took to get there. But more important for them is the courage it took to face their fear and conquer it. That pride won't go away even if the boat sinks.
Neither person is right or wrong. Both people have made a decision they are comfortable with. They did what was right for THEM. I, have chose to cling to my life jacket as if my life depends on it and to get on a boat. I know damn well my boat could sink. Call me a dreamer if you will and I am ok with that - I will dream with a safety net this time (my safety net is a HEALTHY, stable ME!) but I will not stop dreaming.
Grief, loss and pain taunt her - "you will never be the same." Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, she rises and spreads her new wings as she brushes off the ashes an