Tuesday, January 12, 2016
My Recovery Journal: Learning To Cook
I had no idea when I made my New Year's Resolution to learn to cook, that the ingredients I'd be working with would be impulses, behaviors, trauma, re-enactment, and my intention to love.
I had no idea that I am to learn this way: the TWO 'soufflés' way. Before me: One a perfectly formed soufflé, delicious to behold, smell, feel and know. This is me when I'm confident and whole, mostly around men. The second, the yellow collapsed spongy thingy you see above? That's me when my assertiveness collapses, mostly around women.
To learn to cook, I'd be given no ingredients or recipe. I would, however, have the aid of an expert cook and chemist, for one hour three times a week. The catch is, they give me no concrete instruction - just general information about the nature of cooking raw ingredients, and what contributes to what. They answer my questions with "What makes sense to you respective of your experience?"
Always, in front of me, would sit the well-realized soufflé and the collapsed one. Well, that's not actually true. I get their pictures to look at, because I must deconstruct both in my lab to learn what went wrong. I must tease apart what mysterious ingredients were added in what order, with what timing at what cold or hot temperature, within what containers, using what implements, cooked at what temperature, in what environment, for how long. I must try from scratch to bake the soufflé on the left.
This is the best description of how recovery feels, today. I am set to task.
Two days ago, I wrote a woman friend and asked if I could reach out to her by phone, every day. I explained my reason - recovery. To this end I asked her if I could call, and briefly reveal how I'm feeling and why. Also ask how she's feeling and why. Now normal people know this is a building block to intimacy. But, in my collapsed soufflé world, my social compulsion is this: Encourage the other person to talk. Do not ask for emotional support and instead fawn all over her. In fact, pretend I'm the Rock of Gibraltar.
That's the flashback loop I get caught in. Always ends up with a collapsed soufflé. Growing up, my task was to be my Mom's Rock of Gibraltar and rose-colored mirror, no matter what revolting crap she was dishing out to me. Well. No more repeating the same thing, expecting different results!
So. Maybe I will make a beautiful soufflé this way: Not letting myself isolate. Not letting myself put on my 'social face'. Not sharing my laundry list of my 'doings', but instead revealing how I'm feeling - the good, bad and ugly.
My friend said she'd be honored to hear from me each day. Wow. Honored....!!! She's not the type to take over the conversation and let me fawn over her.
My first phone call was yesterday. Ha! I'm cooking a soufflé.