Posted by: Marie | January 27, 2011

(501) The power of words – Part 2 of 2

Post #501
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]

—————————

At this point in the session, we transitioned into a discussion about the conversation I had with my sister. Basically, I summarized for him what I said about the conversation in my journal entry – that I have been feeling disconnected from my family and I felt the conversation was a step towards reconnecting. And, that I received some validation from her concerning my memories of how bad things were with my parents. Edward expressed how glad he is that I was able to find a level of connection and validation in this way.

When that topic felt finished, Edward asked me what else I would like to talk about. I responded . . .

Me: Well, in our last session, you were reading my letter to my dad and you got to this sentence:

“I was so desperate to feel connected and wanted by you that I went looking for ‘that’ elsewhere. ‘That’ didn’t come cheaply . . I had to trade my body for it.”

I kind of shut down the discussion at that point.

Edward: Yes, I noticed.

Me: I’d like to come back to that sentence now.

Photo by Martin Chen

Edward: Good! I’d like that, too.

Me: (Deep breath, slow exhale . . . ) It’s rather a complicated matter. I really have no idea where to start.

Edward: Can you tell me what you went looking elsewhere for?

Me: I wanted to be seen, appreciate, loved, validated . . . all the things I believe my dad withheld from me. So, I went looking for that in other men. Instead of finding what I really wanted, I just found a bunch of men who wanted only sex from me. They didn’t care anything about me as a person – they never wanted to get to know me, only my breasts and my pussy.

But, I didn’t have a better plan. Having sex with men was the only option I could see – it was the only possible way I could see to find what I was desperately looking for. So I kept doing it – a lot.

(Becoming emotional and teary-eyed) My sister – the one that is 3½ years older than me – got lots of attention from the boys. And she never had sex with them. She was desirable – good wife material. The boys who wanted to go out with her were the kind of guys who she could bring home to mamma, so to speak.

But, not me. I had to throw myself at the boys – at the men. If I didn’t do that, they ignored me. The only way I could get attention was to be sexual. And that got attention, but not the kind of attention that felt good.

At the present time, I don’t allow myself to be sexual. I’ve had enough of the groping and thrusting and panting to last a lifetime. I can’t imagine allowing that again.

And, it is easy now to stay away from sex – no one shows interest in me anyway now. At least I know why that is case now – because I’m fat. But, back then, I had a great body. Before I starting gaining all this weight, I kept in really good shape – and I had a great personality. I was smart, hard-working, funny, pretty . . . . I don’t know why I couldn’t attract quality guys back then.

Edward: May I share with you what I hear you asking?

Me: Sure!

Edward: I hear you asking, “What’s wrong with me?”

Me: Yeah. That’s what I’m wondering.

Edward: (After a respectful pause) Can you tell me when you started gaining weight?

Me: I always have struggled with weight – and with binge eating. But, it really got out of control after I was assaulted by my boss when I was 27. After that, it seemed the struggle to stay thin wasn’t worthwhile because I was learning it was dangerous to be attractive – and, I needed the relief from the pain more – and binging pushed away the pain.

Edward: I think there is a lot of pain underneath this part of your story.

Me: Yeah, there is.

Edward: I’d like to explore this part of your story some more, if that is okay with you.

Me: Yes, I’m okay with that.

Edward: We are getting close to the end of session time today – would you be willing to capture your thoughts and feelings about this in writing so we can look at it in a future session? It seems writing is helpful for you in identifying what you are feeling and thinking about something.

Me: Yeah, sure . . . I’d be willing to do that.

Edward: It is not necessary for what you write to “make sense” or to be organized. You can capture your random thoughts and feelings as they come. You don’t need to figure out what your thoughts and feelings mean – we can do that here, together.

Me: Okay. I’ll get something in writing before the next session.

————————–

That brought us to the end of the session.

This was a different kind of session . . . more thoughtful and less emotional. I didn’t take my blanket with me today . . . I meant to take it, but it was in the laundry. I washed it, but I hadn’t gotten around to folding it and putting it back in my bag. But, I guess I didn’t need it anyway today.

I’m really struggling with the prospect of this writing assignment. It is one thing to write about my history of promiscuity or to write about how my dad was less than affirming with me. But, it is another thing to examine how the latter feeds the former. That’s when the really crappy stuff starts to come to the surface.


Responses

  1. I wonder whether it felt different to you to have this as an “assignment” rather than as something you voluntarily did as part of your process. I am wondering partly because although I myself am a voluminous therapy writer and did most of my processing in writing, the one time my therapist asked me to write about something specific, I flat-out refused. I never did manage to get past my flip-the-bird attitude to authority while in the therapy room, much though I liked and respected my therapist.

    • Hey, David –

      Hmmm . . . the authority thing is not an issue for me with writing, really. The issue for me is if it makes sense to write about it or not. There has to be something I need to figure out or “get organized” in my mind before I see value in writing about it.

      This issue was definately in need of some figuring out and some organizing, so I was onboard with the writing assignment. The struggle for me was that doing the assignment without help from Edward felt very overwhelming — I really had no idea where to start.

      – Marie

  2. I don’t think Edward will care much if you aren’t able to write this assignment. He was acknowledging your writing as a valuable tool and trying to help make use of something you already do to aid the process. This guy is a real diamond in the rough.
    The work you’re doing together approaches art.
    And it is a healing art, isn’t it? Looking forward to the next installment.

    Aaron

    • Hey, Aaron –

      Yes, absolutely . . . this healing business is an art form for both the therapists and the clients! I really like that Edward is able to move from emotional to logical discussions with me and honor where I am in the process. He seems to always be able to find the real heart of the matter.

      – Marie


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