Posted by: Marie | July 28, 2011

(572) Finding comfort in his voice – Part 3 of 4

Post #572
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]

Suddenly, I realized that I had lost track of time – I had no idea how much time had passed. I had no idea if I had used up my session time or if (God forbid) I had run over my allotted time. Maybe Edward was wishing I would hurry up and come back to the present time so he could go to lunch. I jerked back to reality and looked at the clock on the end table . . . we still had ten minutes left – whew! I didn’t realize that nearly that much time had passed, but at least I hadn’t embarrassed myself by using too much time . . .


Edward: What is happening for you right now?

Me: I’m getting hit hard with remembering how much I felt disconnected and separate from – even unwanted by, to some degree – my family. I remember feeling that I must be a bother to them.

Edward: Ouch! (Hand on heart)

Me: I often dream about that . . . about feeling that I don’t belong. A while back, I had a dream about a family reunion. The family was renting a big house for the reunion, but some of us cousins weren’t welcome to stay there. We had to stay at a nearby hotel because we didn’t really fit in with the majority of the family members.

Photo by Martin Chen

Edward: In what way didn’t you fit in?

Me: Well . . . I didn’t fit in because my religious beliefs are different. And, one of my male cousins is openly gay, which is a very sore subject within the family, as you can imagine . . . in the dream, he had to stay at the hotel for that reason.

In real life, he has had a very hard time with the family. For a number of years right after he “came out”, he was not allowed to attend extended family events because he embarrassed his parents too much – because, at a few events, he “flaunted” his boyfriend.

Now, I’m not sure if his behavior was really outrageous, or if his family felt that even the simple presence of his boyfriend was embarrassing . . . I don’t know, I wasn’t there. He is a gentle, soft-spoken guy, but he can get ornery if he feels hurt or embarrassed. So, I don’t know what to believe.

He is about 15 years older than me . . . when I was a little kid and the adults were shooing me away, he would always pay attention to me. He would have respectful conversations with me. I always felt seen and heard and respected by him.

Maybe he spoke to me because no one else would talk with him. I don’t know . . . but I’ve always had a soft spot for him in my heart. He’s always been one of my favorite cousins. I still think the world of him – and, even now, our conversations are deep and meaningful. His religious beliefs are similar to mine, so it is easy to talk to him about that kind of stuff.

But . . . anyway . . . back to the dream . . .

As I was sitting in my hotel room, I remember trying to figure out why I was not allowed to stay at the big house. I remember thinking that I had kept my dirty secret of “nasty” sexual fantasies hidden so well that I was sure no one could know about them . . . that couldn’t be the reason because no one knew . . . but I didn’t know what other reason there could be . . . I remember being puzzled about that in the dream.

Edward: And those sexual fantasies were your attempt to deal with something terrible that had happened to you – something no one gave you room to talk about when you really needed to – something no one believed you about when you were able to catch someone’s attention.

Me: That’s true . . .

In other dreams, I often try to warn everyone of some grave danger – like flames coming out of all the wall sockets, or the roof that is about to cave in on everyone – but no one pays attention to what I’m saying. They either ignore me or they think I’m too crazy to be believed. It’s not like I’m trying to get anything from them – I’m just trying to save them and they won’t believe me.

Edward: How painful that you couldn’t even ask for help . . .

Me: But, not being able to ask for help is not really a source of pain for me now. I’ve always known that I have to take care of myself – it is a fact of life for me just like the fact my name is “Marie” is a fact of life. It’s not that big of a deal because I’ve got it handled.

Edward: Yes, I know . . . but how painful it is that you couldn’t even consider the possibility of asking for help from your family, from your parents – not in your dreams and not in real life.


It took me a moment, then I got what he meant and all I could say was, “Oh.” I thought for a moment and then I nodded my head a bit to indicate I had gotten his point.

I was hit with another wave of remembering how bad it was . . . then I was hit with another wave as I realized I truly believe this pain will never end and I will never find relief from this . . .

I experienced another big wave of emotion . . . and I pulled away from the present and folded up into myself again. I was dimly aware that I only had a few minutes to pull myself together and go back into the real world before the session would end, but the emotions were overwhelming. I fought hard to come back to the present time, but I couldn’t.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

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