Lesson #9: I want to be wanted. And that's ok.
"I'm being like a bird! A sad bird!"
"In what way?"
"I keep picking up these crumbs that people throw at me and thinking it's so great but it's just dirty crumbs! But then I realize I'm a person! I'm a person trying to make validation cake with crumbs people throw at me!"
Side note: Look guys, sometimes when you're in therps, you don't always deliver the most articulate metaphors, ok? Sometimes your metaphor is, I'm a bird person making validation cake. But it's ok because your therps understands you and you both just go with it.
"Why the crumbs then?" she asks.
Why the crumbs indeed. I've always despised the part of myself that craves validation. Only to find that because I despise it, I take whatever validation I can get, in all the forms it takes. I've accepted validation in the form of unfulfilling relationships, sex, time spent with people. I've embraced shallow lines from fuckboys and compliments from people I don't respect.
I joke with a friend about the IV drip - the "intra-validation drip" that I wish I could jab into my vein whenever I need a pick-me-up. I want my veins to course with validation, with the feeling of being wanted, with the approval I can't give to myself.
More often than not, I find that when we are disgusted by a part of ourselves, we try to suppress it. It festers within us. We need to bring it out, look at it, and nurture it into something healthy that can nestle inside of us.
I have tried to nurture "I shamefully crave validation" into "I want to be wanted. And that's ok." Owning that hey, I am a human being who wants to be cared for and seen and desired is liberating. It empowers me to ask for what I want, to set boundaries, and to take care of Little Girl Nina who so desperately wants the squishiest of care and love. It helps me to be intentional about where the desire comes from. To be wanted by my dearest of friends and loved ones feels remarkably different than the insincere want of an incompatible date. But it's taken me time to recognize the difference. And sometimes, when I want the fix, I don't care where the IV is from. I hope that changes one day.
And of course, there is the wanting of myself. I have to want to be with myself and to want my own validation. Because if I don't, then my yearning for "wantedness" is just a sieve in my heart, blindly filtering everything through with no way of storing the love and care. It just all slips into a void.
But when I want my own validation, when I want my own love and acknowledgement...then that sieve is a vessel, filling me to the brim.