My parents came to my house for dinner tonight.
I was anxious inviting them over. I was a tiny bit anxious while they were here. The anxiety really hit after they left.
BJ asked why I was so anxious... What was I afraid of?
Good question. I think I'll write about it. (So, here I am. Writing about it.)
They've been to my house several times before. I feel like I should be comfortable having them over... But still, every time I invite someone into my home, my world, my safe space, it's scary. I feel afraid that they won't approve. I feel afraid that I'll like having them here, and they will never come back, and that will hurt. I just feel generally afraid of something that doesn't really make sense. Even to me.
They've told me they love me and they want me to be happy, and still I feel like if they don't approve of me, I'm not allowed to be happy. That's a lot of pressure to put on them. That's a lot of pressure to put on me. OF COURSE I'd be anxious if I believed that. I'd try to be practically perfect. In every way. All the while knowing I'm not. Also knowing that to try to be perfect is crazy and impossible, and yet I can't stop myself from trying.
I'm much better than I once was. Mostly all I have left is a remnant of my old fears and perfectionisms. Having people come to my home though, is like a whole new part of my brain that has to be trained. (I'm like a horse. You can work with a horse forever on one side of his body, and when you move to the other side, it will be like totally starting over.You have to work both sides of his body and his brain.)
I'm babbling a bit. I'm still trying to figure out my own emotions... feeling a bit raw. And happy.
I no longer want their approval (mostly). Mostly, I want them to know how happy and real I am, and I want them to share in that with me. Which they did. They do. That makes me grateful and happy.
To my parents:
I haven't quite figured out how to say the words in person yet... Forgive me for saying this on a public blog. I'm really grateful you came to my house. It was a fun night. Despite the anxiety, I loved planning for your visit. (I even loved cooking dinner! Weird!) I enjoyed talking about camping, hiking and scouting. I enjoyed the stories about Hawaii and lack of oxygen. I enjoyed having you here, sitting on the porch, watching the horses and goats, and eating BBQ and peanut butter bars. I liked sharing my world with you.
Thank you for coming to my house. I'd love for you to come again.