If people came with warning signs, what would yours say? I think often about this, about what people might need warning about when approaching me. As if I were a highway to somewhere and my landmarks needed explication. As if all who approach might need instruction on how to handle what’s ahead. As if there is some impending danger on the highway of me.
My favorite warning sign is in Oklahoma:
I don’t know why this is my favorite. It makes sense, since the sign is just outside a state prison. But it makes me giggle, every time. It’s just so absurd and serious at the same time. Maybe my sign would be that way, ironic.
I imagine it would say something like:
1) warning: rigid walls and bad boundaries ahead.
Or, something more serious:
2) warning: prone to clinginess AND withdrawal in relationships.
Or, if I’m being a little more kind to myself:
3) warning: tenacity may be overwhelming but effective
Oh, or if I’m being really, really serious:
4) warning: inner child seeking rescuer
This could go on and on. I recently had a conversation with the “friend” from When Hurt People, Hurt People. She implied that the issues with C were my fault. That I was the one with all the boundary issues. That C was in the right and that I was the problem because clearly the “friend” and I had boundary issues, too. It made me question myself, maybe I was the problem. Maybe I’m going to screw up any therapy relationship. Maybe I should come with a warning sign.
5) Warning: ruiner of relationships.
I know this is shame. I know shame says, I’m bad. I’m wrong. I’m to blame. I know shame says, it’s all your fault. I get that. But, I still worry. I still hurt. I still think maybe I should come with warning signs.