Posted by: Marie | April 17, 2009

(47) I wanted to be frightful

Post #47
[Journal entry written to my therapist on Monday, July 7, 2008]

Hi, Mark –

It is Monday morning and I now have something to write.  It dawned on me this morning that I wouldn’t be such a mess if I just told you what I was stressing over instead of secretly stressing over it – what a concept!  So, here it is . . .

I have spent hours and hours and hours (mostly in the middle of the night) creating a plan for what I was going to do in our next session.  The reason I have spent so many hours on it is because I wanted to get “it” – my performance – just right.

I wanted to be dramatic, almost frightful.  That is consistent with how I feel inside, but I have never allowed myself to be that way on the outside.  I really wanted this opportunity to behave that way.  I wanted my performance to be so dramatic that you would be concerned I was on the edge of sanity – because sometimes the pain inside me is that strong.

But I wanted it to appear spontaneous and authentic.  I didn’t want you to have a clue that I had spent so many hours planning it out.  I knew it couldn’t really be spontaneous because it has taken me so many hours to discover how I am feeling and identifying what I would do if I could really allow myself to act out those feelings.

I haven’t been able to give myself permission to act out in the way I want to act out.  It goes back to that core belief that I can’t express emotion unless the emotion is so strong that I can’t contain it.  If I gave a performance in our next session that fooled you into believing that I couldn’t help but act out in that way, then it would be okay for me to act that way, even though I would know it was a well-thought-out performance.

The problem is that I don’t believe I can fool you.  That is the part I am “a mess” about – I’m stressing over my probable inability to pull it off – and that I would die of embarrassment if you ever discovered that I was trying to fool you.

So, I suggested to myself that I could just tell you about the content of my planned performance instead of actually performing.  However, that takes all the drama out of it – I really want the drama.  For once, I really want to behave in a way that reflects what is going on inside of me.  If I tell you about it first, I don’t think I can act out that way, even if you gave me opportunity to do so.  It just wouldn’t be the same – it would be like a magic act where the audience already knows the secret to the trick – the suspense and drama is lost.

However, not telling you is counterproductive in the long run – and I really want progress more than I want a suspenseful audience now.

So, that is what is going on with me.

– Marie

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