[Private journal entry written on Friday, September 14, 2012 about a therapy session – continued from previous post]
Me: I didn’t pay attention to what time we got started . . . how much time do we have left?
Edward: Oh, about 15 minutes or so . . .
Me: Okay . . . so, how would you like to utilize our last 15 minutes?
Edward: Well, in our last session, we talked a bit about the “parts” of you . . .
Me: Oh, yeah . . .
Edward: You so thoughtfully sent me a link for the post in your blog that described the parts as you had identified and named them a few years ago . . . I did read that blog post, but I’m having trouble recalling the parts’ names you used in the post . . .
Me: (Laughing a bit) Yeah . . . I’m having trouble remembering the names, too, so I wrote them down . . .
I reached into my bag and pulled out a piece of paper on which I had made some notes . . .
I pointed out to Edward that, in the blog post, I had called one part “Mother”; however, at some point after I wrote that journal entry, I renamed that part to “Healer” because I found the idea of calling myself a mother figure was uncomfortable for me.
We spent a few minutes trying to map the personas and characteristics from my blog post to the framework of parts with which Edward is used to working. It was an interesting effort at first . . . I thought I might gain some insight from learning about his framework. But, I quickly lost interest as the part names and descriptions became more and more complicated . . . we quickly abandoned the effort and reverted back the names I had used in my blog post . . .
Edward: I’d like to ask you do to something . . . I believe I can make this request of you without taking us back into the conversation about your feeling hopeless around dating . . .
Me: Okay . . .
Edward: If you are willing to do so, could you imagine what the “healer” part of you might believe about dating? It might be challenging for you to hold the space of the “healer” and to think and feel from that perspective, but I’d like you to try to do that . . . if you are willing . . .
I’m not asking you to take it on as truth and to integrate it into your belief system; rather I’m asking you to imagine what might be possible.
Me: Sure, I can try to do that . . .
Are you wanting me to imagine a possible explanation for what has happened in the past or to describe what might be possible in the future?
Edward: What might be possible in the future, according to the “healer” part of you.
Me: Okay . . .
(I thought for a moment before answering)
Me: Basically, it would be a relationship like what I have with you . . . a relationship in which I feel safe and respected . . . and loved . . .
So, it would be a relationship like ours except it would be one I could take home with me . . . and we could get naked together . . . there would be sex that we both enjoy . . .
I mean . . . I don’t want to freak you out by saying that what we have is what I’m looking for in a dating relationship . . . I mean, I’m not trying to move our relationship into that realm . . .
Edward: I understand you mean that our relationship serves as a great model for the foundational components of a potential romantic relationship.
Me: Yup, that’s what I mean. . .
Edward: So, tell me more about that . . . what makes our relationship an ideal model?
Me: The most awesome part of our relationship is that I feel very safe . . . I can show up less than perfectly – for example, in my sweats and no make-up on – and I don’t feel judged and I know you won’t reject me because of that. Of course, I also am not trying to be sexy for you . . . I’m not trying to maintain my appearance enough that you’ll find me attractive enough to want to have sex with me . . . I don’t have to worry about that with you . . . so there is a freedom in our relationship that wouldn’t exist in a romantic relationship . . . in a dating relationship, I’d always feel pressured to be “sexy” and physically attractive.
Edward: In what other ways do you feel safe with me?
Me: I can say shocking things that might cause me to look bad . . . like unstable or without morals . . . and I know you will still hold me in positive regard . . . you won’t reject me because of what I say . . . there are no standards I have to live up to in order to be in this relationship.
I mean, there are boundaries, but the boundaries are part of what makes me feel safe with you. For example, I know there will never be a sexual component to our relationship . . . of course, I’m fully onboard with that . . . but, to answer your question, I feel safe enough with you to show up as the “real me”.
Me: It’s hard for me to play with this possibility because I know it’s not going to happen . . . it hurts to think about it . . .
Me: (Shrugging) I just can’t imagine a quality guy ever wanting to have a relationship like that with me.
Edward: The “healer” part of you did just imagine what that would be like. So, you are capable of imagining it.
Me: Yeah . . . however, unfortunately, my life experience has more influence than imagination on my beliefs about myself. I don’t want that to be the case, but it is when it comes to men and dating.
Edward: I understand what you are saying and I hear the frustration and pain it causes you.
It didn’t feel to me like he was giving me a hard time or judging me during this last part of our conversation; it felt like he was trying to give me a way out of the psychological bind I’m in concerning dating . . . I’m so bound up in my hopelessness that I can’t see any possibility of a different reality. He was just trying to give me a doorway out of that impossible bind.
Unfortunately, I can’t walk through that doorway. My beliefs don’t allow for that. So, I’m working on accepting that I’m in for a life of being alone.
So be it.
At any rate, that brought us to the end of our time together. I had the sense that there is more he would like to do with the parts . . . maybe we’ll do more in another session.
We wrapped up the session and said our good-byes . . .
I found myself feeling a mix of emotions . . . I felt settled around the issue with Melodie, but sad around the dating thing . . . and I was also feeling very emotionally connected with Edward which always leaves me with a pleasant warmth inside . . .
As I was driving home, I got to thinking about the relationship I have with Edward and how it serves as a model for what I’d like in a romantic relationship . . . except that a romantic relationship would additionally have a sexual component . . .
Historically, it has always been the sexual component that made relationships unsafe. So, it is a bit of a paradox for me to imagine a romantic relationship in which I feel would safe but that would also encompass a sexual component . . . that would be a new and interesting experience . . .
Of course, it is an experience that I still believe I will never have. I wish I didn’t believe that, but I do. It’s the brick wall I keep smashing into whenever I try to move into that space of possibility. It sucks.
Anyway, this evening, I was scheduled to have a piano lesson with Bella. I didn’t send a reminder email or text because they showed up last week with a reminder, I was hoping they would show up tonight without a reminder . . . I figured I’d give it a try . . . I really don’t want to get into the business of having to remind my clients when they have committed to showing up for a lesson.
About 15 minutes before the 5:30 lesson time, I drove over to the studio, got the A/C and the lights all turned on, then sat and waited . . .
At 5:40, ten minutes after the scheduled start time, I called and left a voicemail on Kris’ cell phone asking what happened to our plan to have a lesson . . .
At 6:00, I gave up, closed up shop, and drove back home . . .
At 8:30, I received a text from Kris: “Omg we missed piano I’ll pay for today just slipped My mind so sorry. I’ll come by mon and make payment”
I didn’t even bother to respond . . .
Part of me is thinking that I have no reason to complain . . . I spent the same amount of time waiting for them as I would have in a lesson had they showed up . . . I earned the same money I would have earned had they showed up (assuming she really does pay me for the missed lesson) . . . and I got some administrative things done while I was waiting . . . so, what’s the big deal?
Another part of me feels very disrespected when someone doesn’t keep a scheduled commitment with me. It’s a respect thing. That bothers me more than the money part would, had they not showed and not paid. It is important to me that people keep their promises to me . . . that they show up for me. That’s what I value more than time or money.
So, anyway, I’m thinking we won’t be doing business with each other for much longer . . . I’m about done with trying to help her get in the swing of things . . .
And so, that was my Friday . . .