[Quotes are from ‘All of Me’ by John Legend]
A couple of months ago I was talking to my therapist about how difficult I was finding the fact that I regularly ‘split her’ into all-good or all-bad. My view of her was constantly changing – one week things were going well and I would adore her, and the next something would happen and I would be full of disappointment and anger towards her. This was a big contrast to my relationship with my ex-therapist, who I idealised and thought of as the ‘perfect therapist’ for the few months that we were in short-term work together.
My therapist made the comment that I was finding it difficult to accept her imperfections and ‘her edges’. This made me smile, as it immediately reminded me of the song ‘All of me’ by John Legend, which I have been listening to a great deal lately.
“Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections”
My therapist is right. I find it very difficult to accept ‘the edges’ of those I care about, whether that be my husband, my friends, or my therapist. I expect them to be all ’rounded’ when I (metaphorically) bump up against them. I expect them not to hurt me. I avoid confrontation and I can’t deal with arguments. I expect a ‘perfect’ response to my own imperfect behaviour. I don’t allow them to be human. And when their edges wound me, it can take me a long time to recover, and to start to see their softer curves again. And the tragedy is that I’m simply visiting on them, what was visited on me – I’m not allowing them to be themselves, edges and all. I’m doing to them, what I hated being done to me.
I still have a great deal of work to do in relation to how I see my husband’s ‘egdes’. But over the last few months, I have come to see my therapist’s ‘edges’ differently. I have come to love them, because they keep her real. As long as I’m conscious of her edges I’m less likely to idealise her or to become completely enmeshed with her. I have come to love them because they leave space for growth, in my relationship with her and with others.
Because of her edges, “even when I lose I’m winning.” Because of her edges, “I’m risking it all, though it’s hard.” Because of her edges, I know that she accepts mine. And because of that acceptance, I know that I really can trust her with “all of me“.