She sat staring at the ground, talking in familiar circles. Trying to point out all the things about her that made her deserve abuse.
Recalling the parts of her that had been put down, questioned or flat our despised.
She was doing her best to figure out how to fix herself. To finally make herself worthy of unconditional love.
She so badly wanted to be a good person, to be treated with respect, loved unconditionally and maybe even one day admired.
The hole inside her seemed to grow every time she fell into this habit. The familiar "you deserve it, you were born wrong" circle she existed in pulsated with life.
But at least now she sat facing a professional that could maybe show her the way out. So she would let to hole grow, seeing in this the possibility of finding a way to fill it herself later.
After all strangers were so good at seeing what was wrong with her, but rarely told her how to be better.
She looked up to see the man looking at her. He was holding a clipboard in his lap and his face was twisted with a mix of compassion and confusion.
As he spoke, his words floated towards her eventually falling heavy on her head. For what seemed like hours the words clanged like church bells played over broken speakers.
"What if there is nothing wrong with you? What if there never was?"
The tears pulsated out of her causing her to vibrate and making her breathing hiccup. She could see so far into the past now, but all of the events pointed to her being bad or wrong.
Somehow born that way, less human than those around her. "But... If it wasn't me... Then I let people do this to me... And there is no way out now." He looked at her, twisting his face more now.
Pinching his lips shut to keep himself from being unprofessional by weeping along with her. Compassion and confusion mixed further around them, cementing the atmosphere.
"You mean you've never considered that what people do is more about them than it is about you?"
She hated it when people said that. If it wasn't about her then why did it follow her around? It had to be something she did, or was.
Her missing humanity that she left behind in the uterus when she exited.
"I'm trying to be proactive. I see people treating me badly or ignoring me completely, and I don't want to experience that anymore.
I want to change, to be loved, to be wanted, to make people happy!"
He paused, this wasn't going to be easy. After a while people build there environments to mimic what they already believe to be true.
She was so far in now, he was going to have to really struggle to get her out...
"Your homework for our next session is to think of reasons why you might not have always been the problem. Think of your parents and their upbringing, look at your friends really closely.
This is a process... At the end of the process you may not have these people in your life anymore."
"Why?" She asked
"Because they are the characters in a story. And the story is "I'm not good enough and I don't deserve love". It's a narrative that constantly tells you that you are the problem.
If we can get you to stop believing that story, the characters in it will have to go too. Otherwise no matter what you do the book will always end the same way.
In real life, when you read a book again, no matter what you do, the book always ends the same way. It's the same for personal narrative.
The less worthy you think you are, the more your life and the people in it will support that."
The clock buzzed and shook signaling the end of the session. She rose from her chair and floated towards the exit. Feeling light and a bit drained from the events of the day.
As she passed through the door her mind swung between reality and fantasy.
The reality that things would not be changing any time soon and the fantasy that she may not have been born wrong after all.
Everything felt uncertain, but it was the kind of uncertainty that brought her peace. Peace that she hadn't felt in her weary bones for a long time.