Posted by: Marie | February 5, 2009

(11) My ability to affect men

Post #11
[Journal entry written to my therapist on Thursday, March 27, 2008]

Hi, Mark –

As for homework – I’m still working on documenting my spiritual journey – I guess the length of the document is a testament to how significant and central of a role my spirituality plays in my life.  It has been interesting to map out my journey – nothing is coming up that causes me concern, it’s just been fun to examine the twists and turns.

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Thank you for continuing to honor my request to allow me to instigate any touch between us – it provides an opportunity for me to observe where I am in the moment and to act accordingly.  It is a valuable learning tool for me.

I feel like I am “busting your balls” for something every week.  Is this a normal part of negotiating a relationship (maybe intensified because of the nature of our relationship)?  Or, am I just unusually sensitive?

I have heard you express concern a couple of different times about my fear of being judged by you – I heard you suggest that I may need to change therapists if that fear continues.  I have been thinking about that this week.  I believe it is about my overall fear of being judged – it doesn’t have anything to do with you personally – I think I would be dealing with the same fear, regardless who was my therapist.

Hearing you suggest that I switch therapists a couple of different times has me wondering – are you still interested in continuing our work together?  I mean, just because I want to continue working with you doesn’t mean that you are still interested . . . where are you at with that?

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I have been thinking about what you said about my ability to affect men with my femininity and sexuality.  Part of that feels good to me – the part I experienced at the Chamber dinner when I had my “yes in a healthy way” game going – I wasn’t looking to “catch” a man, I was just enjoying the effect in general.

Part of that ability to affect men feels bad to me – the part my dad warned me about – the part where I might cause a man to lust inappropriately if I stand up too straight and stick my breasts out too far.  It feels really weird to me to think about and to openly acknowledge that you (and other married men) may be affected by my femininity.  I guess I am having trouble getting all this organized in my brain.

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The day that we talked about my experience with Jesse, you asked me how I was able to get involved with Randy (the married guy) so soon after Jesse assaulted me.  I have been thinking about that – Randy allowed me to play hard and to fully express my tomboy side – he could “hang” with me.

He was an awesome dancer and would stay on the dance floor with me for song after song – and he appreciated the sexiness that I expressed through my dancing.

He thought it was COOL (and bragged to his friends) that I was a firefighter and that I drove the big ladder trucks.

He helped me rebuild my motorcycle engine one winter – I provided the brains and he provided the brawn, the tools and the shop.

He did laugh when, for Christmas, I asked for a set of metric deep sockets so I could work on my motorcycle without having to borrow his tools – however, when Christmas rolled around, he didn’t give me perfume or jewelry, he gave me the sockets!

Whenever I wanted to take my motorcycle on the racetrack during “open track” weekends, he encouraged me to do it (most people tried to talk me out of it) and got excited when I clocked some really awesome times.  When a race team was scouting the riders one weekend and offered me an all-expenses-paid position on their race team, he encouraged me to accept.  (I didn’t accept because racing competitively is outside my range of acceptable danger.)

When we rode together on the open road, he could keep up with me – in fact, he usually left me in the dirt!  (His bike was way more powerful and designed for racing; mine was smaller and designed for cruising – that’s my story and I’m sticking with it!)

He had a strong enough personality that I never had to “hold back” for fear of running him over – he was very smart and knew something about everything – not in a “show-off” way, he just was always studying and reading and I could actually learn lots of stuff from him.  So, that is why I felt comfortable with him – he was a friend first and a sexual partner second.  And, because I was only his mistress, he demanded very little of me outside of fun and sex.

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I have a long history of attempting to implement healthy habits and then, as soon as I start to see results, becoming overwhelmed with negative emotions and reversing my progress by stopping the good habits and reverting back to destructive habits.  It is my inability to shift this behavior that brought me to your office in the first place.

It seems that the overwhelming negative emotions and the destructive habits come from a multitude of origins – a desire to numb negative feelings, a desire to escape from my hyperactive brain, self-sabotage, terror when I think about attracting unwanted sexual attention, mindless habit, etc.  I think that is why I haven’t been able to stop or replace destructive habits with less harmful habits.  I think I will have to address the multitude of underlying causes – then those “powerful” habits will become simple, mindless habits that I will be able to stop or replace.

I am just now beginning to understand that the process for addressing the underlying causes may be a long journey – that I am going to have to be very patient and very compassionate with myself.

I find it interesting that, when you asked me last week if I had been doing anything to take better care of my body, I answered “no”.  Yet, I had been taking such steps – in the previous two weeks, I had washed my face with the Pro-Active cleanser and had applied toner 12 of the 14 days – compared to maybe once in the previous six months.  Also, I wore make-up once (to the Chamber dinner), and curled my hair twice – compared to zero times in the previous 18+ months.  I had flossed and brushed my teeth 12 of the 14 days – that’s more often than I usually do it.

I’d say that was progress – but I didn’t instinctively give myself credit for it because it wasn’t part of a “formal” program where I had made a commitment to do so and then followed through.

Because I have a history of “white-knuckling” my way to short-term success then repeated failure, I was making a point of setting aside my formal programs (as outlined in the business plan I sent you a few days ago) and just doing what I felt like doing in the moment.  I wanted to try out that approach – and I am enjoying noteworthy success.

I would like to start reintroducing a tiny bit a structure and formality to the behavior I have been modeling in the last few weeks.  I find I do much better when I have that structure in place – at least that is true when I’m not being triggered emotionally – structure works very well for me in business and in my finances.  I believe it can be just as effective for me in caring for my body, assuming I can remove the negative emotional triggers.

If I introduce structure very slowly, and work with you to address any triggers that come up, I think I can start developing a history of sustained success.  I am guessing I will need a slowly developed, long history of successes to reprogram my thinking.

So, I’m attaching the daily checklist that I’ll start using this week – it is the same behaviors I’m currently doing – nothing new.  I would like to see how it goes.  (Does this sound like a good idea to you?)  Once again, I’m sharing stuff with you I have never shown to anyone before – I have always kept my checklist secreted away because I don’t want people to think I’m unreasonably methodical and anal retentive – it is uncomfortable for me to let you see it, but I’ll get over it.

– Marie


Responses

  1. Hi Marie,

    I think that starting and having a relationship of your own choosing includes a personal attraction and commonality of some kind, free-will, power, control, and safety. And your involvement in a work environment with Jesse included none of those things.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate


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