One good thing about shacking up with a psychotic: you don´t look like the crazy one in the relationship. I had to dive pretty deep to find someone who made me feel sane but damn, I done good. Anything wrong with me I blame on Jose. If I don´t want to deal with my problems, I deal with his. Ah, the easy life.
Only it´s stopped working.
Maybe it´s the writing. When my first therapist asked me, so many years ago, about my goals for our work together, I said I wanted to be inside my body. To get myself, quite literally, together. I´m finally making headway on this self-embodiment project, but a guy can take only so much touchy-feely neuromuscular release before melting into a puddle of psychic goo. If you write daily morning pages, sooner or later you tell yourself the truth. Usually in a blubbery voice with snot coming out your nose. Eventually you tell other people the truth. Oh yeah.
Here´s the thing. Most people don´t want to go all kum ba yah. They don´t want to sit in sharing circles digging through childhood debris. They´d just a soon pass on that riveting crayola incest portraiture opening at the local psych ward. We´ve got liquor stores and casinos and strip clubs and too many shoes. Big-screen tv´s and a vast array of obesogenic beverages. All to avoid intimacy.
It´s not silly to feel skittish when you start to consider knocking down long-standing psychological walls. They might be walls between different parts of yourself, or between you and someone else; it´s terrifying either way. Shadow work first changes our internal selves but the chaos soon spirals to a person´s outer life. There´s nothing so irksome as someone newly released from neurotic bondage — no longer codependent and free to dump partners, quit jobs, and generally wreck havoc. The septuaginarian fatty at the nude beach with the body shame deficiency. The aging queen dancing solo at a pickup bar catering to muscly gay twentysomethings. The old woman not afraid to die.