Posted by: Marie | August 28, 2011

(585) A space for crying – Part 2 of 3

Post #585
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]


Me: In the last session, you said my depression mostly comes from intense loneliness – which is due to the lack of relationships in my life. When I heard that, I found myself agreeing. However, I believe that can’t be fixed – intimate relationships are never going to be part of my life. I’ll never find relief from the pain of loneliness.

The reason I believe I’ll never find that relief is because we’ve already talked about everything painful in my life. We’ve covered all the topics that can be covered . . . I think I’ve healed as much as can be expected. How can I have energy to deal with relationships – any kind of relationship – if I barely have energy to get myself out of bed? Who would want to be in a relationship with someone who barely can get out of bed and take care of herself to even a minimal standard?

Photo by Martin Chen

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it is not going to get any better than this . . . what more can be done? I think we’ve reached the end of this therapeutic road.

Edward: Well, there are two points I’d like to make in response. First, we haven’t covered everything there is to be covered. We may have touched on most or all of the important topics, but we come nowhere close to covering them. There is a lot more work to be done.

Me: I don’t see that . . . I guess I’ll have to trust that you do see that and that you know what you are talking about.

Edward: Oh, yes . . . I clearly see that there is much more work to be done. We are nowhere near done.

Furthermore, your belief that you will never have intimate relationships – that you will always be alone – well, that’s a brilliant defense mechanism that has helped you survive.

Me: But, I can’t tolerate the hoping . . . I can’t tolerate hoping and hoping and hoping, and then never having it happen. I hope, but then a day passes, then a week passes, then a month passes, then a year passes . . . . then a decade passes and two decades pass . . . and it never happens. Every decade that passes without my hope being realized kills another part of my soul.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve recognized that it is never going to happen. I’m never going to have an intimate relationship. It is far less painful to not have hope than it is to have hope that is never realized. I can’t afford to put any more effort into something that clearly is not going to happen.

I’m halfway through my life right now . . . if I’ve not yet figured out how to manifest an intimate relationship – if I’ve not yet figured out how to successfully participate in an intimate relationship, then there is no hope I’m going to figure it out in the last half of my life. If I were going to figure it out, I would have figured it out by now. It’s clear to me that I’m not going to figure it out in this lifetime.

Edward: That would be true had you continued on the path you have been following up until this point in your life. But, you have enlisted the help of a therapist, which will allow healing in your soul and in your mind and in your body – it will allow you to be able to create and maintain healthy intimate relationships. I have tremendous hope for you! I believe it will happen for you. We will work together to make it happen!

(After a thoughtful pause) I’d like to remind you that you have created, and are maintaining, a healthy emotionally intimate relationship with me . . .

Me: Yes, I know . . .

(I debated for a minute if I wanted to now say what I had declined to say in the last session . . . I decided it needed to be said, so I said it . . . )

Me: At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I believe that you remain available to me because I pay you to remain available to me. If I stopped paying you, our relationship would stop. I’m sorry if that sounds crass – and I don’t want to minimize the value of our relationship, but that’s the truth.

Edward: It is true that the money you pay to me helps cover the rent and the heating bills and it pays my salary so I can provide for my family. That is why you are paying me . . . so I can remain deeply available to you and to my other clients. But, you are not paying me for the relationship . . . I don’t charge for that part.

Bottom line . . . as my mentor would say . . . the loving is free.

(I didn’t say anything, just listened and processed what he was saying – somehow his words validated our relationship and took the money out of the equation.)

Edward: Marie, no one has ever taught you how to be in healthy intimate relationships. If no one has taught you how to function within healthy relationships, how can you be expected to know how? Just like – if no one has taught you how to ride a bicycle, how can you be expected to know how to ride one?

Furthermore, no one has even bought you a bike . . . much less taught you how to ride it. But, I’m here to do that for you. Please allow me to provide a bike to you, and to teach you how to ride it . . .


Tears filled my eyes as it began to sink in . . . Edward believes there is a reasonable explanation for why I am as stuck as I am. He believes it is reasonable and normal, given the circumstances. And, he believes there is a good reason for why I haven’t gotten unstuck yet . . . because no one has given me the tools to do that. And, he believes I will get unstuck and I will find relief and I will experience intimate relationships . . . and he believes it is reasonable for that process to take a very long time . . . and he is in it for the long haul.

So, this is what it is like to be in a relationship with someone who is in it for the long haul . . .

Maybe there is room for me to start believing some of those things, as well. Maybe I won’t be a malingerer or a drama queen if I believe some of those things.

After letting the realization sink in, I nodded and softly said, “Okay.”

We sat without talking for a few moments while I buried my face in my hands and sobbed. When the wave of emotion finally passed, I came up for air. I blew my nose and wiped my face. Then, Edward spoke again . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

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