My therapist has asked me to think about nurturing and protective forces, people, or (let’s face it, really) characters that I’ve created in my books. Images that I can call on when I’m anxious or scared or sad or lonely as a protective mechanism to calm the feelings and stay grounded.
For the first half of this week, I kept feeling like Razia – I didn’t need anyone, I didn’t need to be protected or nurtured. When I thought about other people trying to do nice things for me, I feel weird, stand-offish, even angry that anyone would dare try to help me. Feelings of “I can do this without anyone” and “Go away” were prevalent. Even when thinking about my own parents, it was not a comforting feeling, but rather a sloughing off of their parental oversight. When anyone tries to help me, I feel like a rebellious teenager.
Today, though, something interesting happened. I got a particularly nasty email from a fellow employee and I felt the familiar spiral of anxiety begin to build in my chest. Oh what if, what if, what if. But I remembered what the therapist had said, about calling on nurturing and protective people, and I thought long and hard about who I would call on. The first person that came to mind was Razia, but then I realized that the person I needed to call on was Suni.
In 9th grade, I remember I had this backpack and I had gone to painstaking lengths to sew on all of these patches. Were they odd and strange, probably, but I liked them. One day this group of asshats decided to walk behind me, making fun of me, and pulling them off one by one. I remember walking into my 9th grade biology class with Ms. Jo Annie, sitting down, and crying my eyes out. Some fifteen years later, that memory sticks out at me for some reason.
But I also remember that night, sitting down and writing a story about how Suni went and kicked all of their asses in various forms. And I felt so much better, imagining how she would be there to take care of me, protect me, when no one else would. Suni (who has no fear of consequences because she is, in fact, living in my head) says what she feels, does what she wants, and turns into a fierce mama bear when anyone dares to try and hurt me.
So I called upon Suni again to march over to that person* and basically rip her a new one*. And then she came back and wrapped her arms around me* and told me she loved me. And I felt a deep seated kind of love and support that I haven’t really felt in a while.
*Obviously, as Suni lives in my head, she can only do these things in my head. Still, the feeling was real.
I think Suni and Whit have been at odds for a long time, and it’s nice that they’re finally making up and compromising on some stuff. And it’s nice to know that when the outside world gets a little too rough, she’s got my back and can open a can of whoop-ass or snark on whatever, or whoever, decides to hurt her precious little Whit.