[Private journal entry written on Friday, June 1, 2012 – continued from previous post]
Me: Well, I don’t know that I really set boundaries with him . . . I just didn’t encourage him.
Edward: I think you were very clear with him! He knew you weren’t interested . . . when a woman pulls away and doesn’t show interest, that is a clear message she isn’t interested. He knew . . . he just didn’t care.
(I kind of shrugged my shoulders a bit and didn’t say anything . . . I just sat and thought about what he was saying . . . maybe he had a point . . . )
Edward: Marie, you were VERY clear with him . . . even if the asshole human resources people thought otherwise. He believed he could keep pushing and pushing until he psychologically overpowered you. When that didn’t work, he tried to physically overpower you. But, you stood up to him . . . you protected yourself.
(I stayed silent . . . after a few moments of silence, Edward asked me what I was feeling. I had to think about it for a while . . . then I said I was feeling anger toward Jesse.)
Edward: What are you angry about – specifically?
Me: Well, that he tried to push me into a sexual relationship that I didn’t want.
Edward: Can you tell him that directly . . . can you speak to him directly?
I laughed a little bit to cover up my discomfort and said, “Sure . . . “, then I thought about words I might want to say . . . I put one hand on my hip, akimbo, and tentatively said something like, “I’m angry that you thought you could do whatever you wanted to do . . . . um, I’m angry that you didn’t respect me enough to consider my feelings . . . um . . . “
Edward: Where is the anger you were just feeling? I’m not hearing anger in your words . . .
Me: I’m trying to figure out what words to say . . .
Edward: What about the words: “That was not okay!” ??
Me: (Laughing nervously again) Yes, I could say that, but I’m not ready to say it in an angry way . . . . I am angry, but it’s too big a step to actually speak with anger . . . I guess I’m being analytical about it . . . trying to figure out what to say . . . what I would say to him if I had the chance . . .
The good news is that I’m not feeling paralyzed . . . I’m just not ready to totally go the other direction and speak with force. I’m not even sure what I would say . . . what words I would use. So, I’m sort of just analyzing it . . . which is a new place for me . . . this place of not being frozen . . .
Edward: (After a respectful pause) I hear you saying that it is a big step for you to not be overwhelmed by fear when considering the possibility of using your adult voice to stand up for yourself . . . that you are not ready to actually use your adult voice yet . . . that, for right now, your putting your hand on your hip and saying anything to him directly is a big step, in and of itself.
(I felt great relief as he said that . . . relief that he understood and that he wasn’t pushing me to do more than I felt I could do . . . )
Edward: I agree . . . that is a big step for you . . . congratulations!
Me: Thank you.
(I got hit with a wave of emotion again . . . more tears . . . )
Edward: What is happening?
Me: I don’t think I did protect myself . . . not really . . . I had a chance to keep him out of my hotel room . . . I could have refused to open the door . . . and then he cornered me and I couldn’t get away . . . which is the same thing that happened with my dad . . .
(Breaking into sobs) I couldn’t get away fast enough . . . I couldn’t get away . . .
Edward: (Very gently) Is that what you are afraid will happen at the gym . . . that you won’t get away from the danger fast enough?
Me: Yeah . . . I know I’m not in danger, really, but my body doesn’t know.
Edward: Yes, your body doesn’t know . . . not yet . . .
Me: (Trying to take a few deep breaths) It’s like I think I won’t be able to recognize danger if it were to show up . . . or I wouldn’t react in a way that would keep me safe . . . I won’t be able to get away . . .
Edward: May I remind you that, in the times you told me about today, you were able to stand up for yourself in the moments you were directly staring danger in the face . . . ??
Me: (Blowing my nose)Yes, you make a good point . . .
Edward: Can you take that sense of being able to stand up for yourself with you as you go exercise – as you try exercises with your personal trainer that put you in vulnerable positions? Can you remember how you stood up to your dad and how you protected yourself from Jesse?
Me: Maybe . . . I’ll have to think about it . . . but, maybe.
Edward: I know you said that you would like to be less emotional the next time you work with your personal trainer . . .
Me: Yeah, that would be nice.
Edward: It will likely take some time to process the trauma that your body is still remembering . . . I’m guessing that you will likely be emotional the next time you work with your trainer, assuming you work with him again in the near future . . . you will likely still be triggered by working with him for quite some time into the future, even as we continue to process these memories . . .
Me: I agree . . .
Edward: Are you okay with that?
Me: Yeah . . . I know Kyle is okay with emotion . . . I cried the first time I talked to him and he handled it just fine . . . he assured me he is okay with it . . . but, I don’t want to be huddled in the back room of the gym the entire time, crying, and make no progress with my fitness goals. I want to be able to work through it and keep going with the exercise.
Edward: That’s a reasonable goal! And, I’m sure we’ll get to that point . . . we just have some work to do before we get there, and it will take some time.
Me: Yeah, I know.
(Looking at the clock) I guess we are out of time . . .
Edward: Yes. Is this a good place to stop?
Edward: How are you feeling?
Me: Thoughtful . . . a little raw . . . but stable . . . I’m okay.
Edward: Would you like a hug today?
Me: (As I was packing up to leave) Yes, I would!
(With that, we hugged . . . and I left . . . )