Posted by: Marie | April 10, 2011

(532) Just friends

Post #532
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, November 7, 2010]

For whatever reason, my thoughts have been pulled towards Larry a lot in the last few days . . .

I have not been sleeping well and have been binging heavily. I’ve consumed a pint of ice cream (at 1,200-1,400 calories per pint) pretty much every evening for the last two weeks as a way to unwind enough to fall asleep.

Reading my sexual fantasy in the last therapy session really stirred things up for me. And, I’m guessing that is the main reason I am currently feeling so unsettled and anxious. Sharing at that level with Edward was a major milestone for me. I’m still feeling raw (but in a positive way?) from the experience.

As a result, I’m finding I want to feel safe – as in, feeling protected by a man. That really doesn’t make sense because I’ve never had that kind of protection from a man – at least not until I started working with Edward. But, for whatever wacky reason, I crave protection specifically from a man.

Crazy stuff.

Because of Larry’s laid back and quiet personality, it is easy for me to create this fantasy in which I could lay my head on his chest and feel protected. But, as soon as I think about how good that would feel, I get hit hard in the gut with what I really believe about myself – I believe that experience is not an option for me. I am aware that other people have that option; I just believe I don’t have that option. It will never happen for me.

Photo by Martin Chen

I know that doesn’t make sense . . . I know I have just as much chance as anyone else as experiencing that sense of physical safety. But, yet, in my core, I believe it is not an option for me. It is part of my core belief that I am irrevocably broken.

I want to change my belief about being so broken, but it is so established within my core belief system that I don’t know how to change it. I don’t even believe it is possible to change it.

I want to believe it is possible to change it, but I don’t.

And, my belief in the absence of possibility creates an ever-present sense of loss. It leaves me persistently feeling frozen in pain. I think I’m feeling sadness and depression, but I’m not even sure how to label this feeling. It is an unnamed emotion (or set of emotions?) that makes it hard to breath. Maybe it is grief for what might have been. Whatever it is, I hope it fades over time because it is disabling. I’d like to not be so disabled someday in the relatively near future.

So . . . enough of the pity party – back to Larry (which is really what this journal entry is about, right?)

If I step back from my fantasy for a moment, I can realistically assess how he really shows up in the world. I think he isn’t emotionally available. Maybe that is exactly why I’m attracted to him. I have not yet developed the tools needed to determine if a man is emotionally available or not. Well, except that it is a pretty safe bet that, if I’m drawn to him, he probably is not emotionally available.

I don’t think he is interested in me romantically, anyway. I think he is only interested in being friends. That is fine with me . . . in fact, it is more than fine with me. The idea of having to be pulled together enough to keep myself “attractive enough” to keep the romantic interest of any particular man is incredibly overwhelming to me. I barely can take care of my body well enough to not be offensive due to breath and body odors. I can’t imagine handling the pressure to keep my body well-enough maintained to be “sexy”, especially not with the extra 75 pounds (5+ stones) I’m carrying around on my body. No one could be turned on by my rolls of fat.

Furthermore, the idea of being touched in a sexual way makes me sick. The idea of a man looking at me with lust or desire in his eyes turns my stomach – it supports my core belief that men only see me as a spunk repository. I can’t imagine having sex right now – the very idea repulses me.

So, I guess all of that rules out my getting into a romantic relationship right now.

The idea of developing a healthy friendship with a man does appeal to me. I would like to have the emotional intimacy I experience with Edward in a friendship that exists outside of therapy. It would be fun to have a guy buddy with which to pal around. It would be nice to curl up with a man under a blanket on the couch to watch a movie on a cold, snowy night – knowing that I’m not expected to get naked at the end of the movie.

I think a friendship with Larry could be healthy. He isn’t married and he isn’t my boss, therapist, etc., so it wouldn’t be improper for us to spend time together. I’m not feeling enmeshed with him – I could take or leave the possibility right now. I find myself wanting to take my time and move slowly.

I just don’t know if he is emotionally available and if he could support me in the way I want to be supported. I guess the only way to know is to go try it out and see what happens.

That’s my plan.


Responses

  1. It sounds like there was promise of a healthy relationship – hope it worked out.

    Perhaps it is because you never had safety with a man that you now crave it so much.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I’m guessing you are right about the reason I crave a sense of safety with a man . . .

      – Marie

  2. I don’t think it’s wacky at all to crave safety with a man – I feel exactly the same way. I have no idea if Larry is the guy for you, but it’s good he’s not a therapist or married or a boss! Those are the basics that I check for also. Basic but easy to overlook in my case.

    I recently hugged a friend, who is unsuitable boyfriend material, but that hug felt so nice, warm and safe….Maybe you can have a nice huggy friend in Larry? I remember in a previous post you were disappointed that Larry was not interested in PTSD – I’ve found that almost no one is. They don’t want to ask out of embarrassment, and they are not interested enough to look it up. I’ve found it’s OK – they can still be friends. They can understand feeling down, or anxious.

    Well, wonder what happened. Hope it was something good. Take care

    • Hey, Ellen –

      I like the idea of a “nice huggy friend” . . . that so perfectly explains what I’m wanting!

      I find it amazing that more people aren’t affected by PTSD, either directly or indirectly . . . it seems just being alive would create PTSD-ridden situations! Maybe it is because people are not aware . . .

      – Marie

  3. hope it worked out. keeping my fingers crossed for you. i keep remembering that these are old journal entries. it’s hard to keep my comments in the right tense! i know what it’s like to feel damaged and grossed out at the thought of sexual intimacy. i feel that way, too. keep working on it in therapy. there is hope for both of us…

    • Hey, Catherine –

      Thanks for the well-wishes!

      No problem about the “right tense” for the verbs . . . this is a weird blog format! I’m not sure there is a “right” way, LOL!

      I keep hoping to feel less grossed out . . . some day . . .

      – Marie


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