Posted by: Marie | April 27, 2010

(300) Something I must do – Part 2 of 3

Post #300
[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 – continued from previous post]

However, looking back at our history, I have good reason for never re-establishing a therapeutic relationship with Mark.

At one time, I felt completely safe with Mark. I felt that I could say anything, do anything (within reasonable limits) and it would be okay. I believed he would not overstep any boundary. I felt totally safe with him. I felt I didn’t have to be on guard because he was protecting me – I felt I could relax completely and embrace the process.

With Mark, I experienced emotional intimacy with a man for the first time in my life. That experience gave me hope that I might someday have that type of relationship with a man other than my therapist. My experience with Mark was a single beam of light in a very dark place – it gave me hope that my existence didn’t have to be so isolated and depressing.

Sun Moon Lake by Martin Chen

When he violated my boundaries around the religion topic, it really caused me a lot of angst. Through the phenomena of transference, it caused me to relive the drama that occurred between my dad and me during my teenage years.

When I resisted Mark’s attempts to push me towards conversion to Christianity, he used many of the same words and logic that was force-fed to me by my dad. He took an aggressive verbal stance with me, just like my dad used to do. It brought back the weight of the emotional abuse my dad used to force me into submission and compliance.

And, with Mark, just as it had been with my dad, I felt that any resistance would cause Mark to reject me, ignore me, disown me, think lowly of me. I fully believed standing up to him would destroy our relationship. But, not standing up to him was causing me to feel unsafe (emotionally, not physically) in therapy with him.

I believed I needed Mark’s understanding, validation and approval in order to survive the aftermath of the recovery of memories of my childhood sexual abuse – I didn’t think I could survive without his help. For a while, I allowed him to trample all over my spiritual beliefs in order to preserve our therapeutic relationship.

Then, I found the strength to say, “No more!” I walked away because it was the only way I knew to enforce my boundaries around religion with Mark.

When our relationship ended badly, I lost hope of finding intimacy with anyone. For a time, I told myself that I had been stupid to allow myself that hope – that, of course, my relationship with Mark had to end the way it did – that is what always happens with men.

Eventually, I found a way to survive on my own, without his support. I now know it was healthy for me to learn how to support myself, despite having to learn it through a difficult experience.

I still am angry that he violated my boundary and that I can no longer fully trust him. I am angry that this currently affects our ability to be effective in therapy – and that it doesn’t seem to bother him one iota. It only bothers him when I ask him to explain how he can be okay with what he did.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

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