Posted by: Marie | September 28, 2011

(595) A picture is worth . . . Part 5 of 5

Post #595
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]

——————

Edward: Did you really mean that – that you felt you were a burden on him?

Me: Oh, no . . . I was being sarcastic . . . but it did feel like he felt that way towards me. However, I understand that he was being a huge jerk and that I hadn’t really been a burden on him, at least not by a reasonable person’s standard.

Edward: Okay, good . . . I wanted to make sure you weren’t internalizing that message.

Me: Nope, I didn’t.

Anyway, we ended the trip on very bad terms and I never talked to him again. That was the end of dating for me . . . it was the last straw. I decided I was done trying to deal with men. I accepted I am going to be alone – that’s my fate in this life and I have to just accept it.

Photo by Martin Chen

Edward: It sounds like you were hoping that, if you had sex with a man, he might fall in love with you . . . it seems you believed that was the only possible route to finding someone to love you.

Me: Yes, that’s very accurate . . .

(My voice breaking with heavy emotion) I don’t know what was so disgusting about me back then . . . the only way I would get attention of any kind was to be the aggressor – to behave in a desperate manner. I had to be a pain in the butt to get any attention at all.

My sister got a lot of attention . . . guys were always tripping over themselves to get a date with her. And she was anything but promiscuous or desperate . . . she was your classic “good girl next door”. I always thought I was prettier than her, but apparently that’s not what guys wanted . . . although, the men in my world always say things that indicate looks are the most important asset of a female.

I don’t know . . . I’ve never been able to figure out all of this . . .

Edward: (After thoughtfully studying my face for a moment) I don’t know that I can provide an explanation to you of what happened back then . . . why your experience of men was as you have described. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what happened. But, I can help you with how you experience men now.

Me: That would be nice . . . I’d like to heal the crap from my past so I can have healthy relationships with men . . . even if those relationships don’t include romantic ones.

(We sat silently for a few moments, then I shared more thoughts . . . )

Me: As I sit here looking at my drawing of an “ideal” relationship, I can see that I show up in this way already with the couple of female friends I have.

Edward: Oh, so you already do have experience at showing up in this way with females?

Me: Yeah . . .

Edward: Can you tell me about those relationships?

Me: My best friend, Melodie, has been my best friend for 25 years. I can tell her anything . . . she loves me unconditionally. She is very encouraging – and tells me the difficult truth when I need to hear it. She lives in Iowa, so I only get to see her every other year when we go on a “girls’ weekend out”. But, we talk on the phone often.

And, I have a friend here in town that I met at the bus barn a few years ago. We have talked about our childhoods – she has a similar history – I mean, we talk about fun stuff, too – but, I can talk to her about anything, as well.

Edward: That is good . . . it means your relationship skills are more developed than I knew.

Me: I do tend to have healthy relationships with women. Although, I tend to be afraid of being suffocated in those platonic relationships. I have to pull away often to take a breather. If a friend contacts me too often, I feel suffocated.

However, in the moments I’m feeling comfortable, I’m able to show up in the way depicted by my last drawing.

Well, and now that I’m thinking about it, I show up in this healthy way with both genders in the work environment. At work, I am strong and confident because I usually am effective and productive – because I am doing what other people value about me – I’m producing – and I feel good about that.

Edward: So, am I hearing you say that you show up this way . . . at least to some extent . . . at least more in this way than in the way you documented in your first drawing . . . with females in your personal life and with both genders in your work life?

Me: Yes.

Edward: So, if I correctly understand what you are saying – I don’t want to put words in your mouth – that means the first drawing applies only to personal situations with men?

Me: Yeah – you are correct . . .

Edward: Great! That is great news!

(I looked at him with puzzlement . . . I didn’t know where he was going . . . )

Edward: That means you are less injured than I originally though . . . it means you are already further along in your healing journey than I knew. This clarification is good news!

(I had to think about what he was saying . . . this was a new angle on things . . . )

Me: So, if I’m not as broken as you previously thought, why do I feel irreparably damaged?

Edward: I think that speaks to the extent of injury inflicted by your dad and by “X” . . . that the damage in that one area was so significant that it has profoundly affected how you see yourself at all levels. It’s import that we not underestimate the injury that occurred from that trauma.

However, I am encouraged by the knowledge that you already have skills in place on which we can build in your healing process.

Me: Well . . . yeah . . . I guess that is good news . . . I’ve just never thought about it that way before.

Edward: I see it as an encouraging piece of news . . . it will allow us to focus our time and energy on what most needs our time and energy.

Me: That’s true . . .

Edward: Well, I think that is a good place for us to wrap us for today . . .

Me: Okay . . . do you want to add these new drawings to my file for safekeeping along with that old drawing?

Edward: Sure! I’d be happy to keep them. If you decide you want to see them at a later date, they will be there.

Me: Thank you!

——————

With that, we brought the session to a close and said our usual good-byes . . .

I was glad that it had not been such an emotional session . . . the last few sessions have really stirred things up for me, so a calmer session was a blessing. And, this session has brought a positive spin on things – that’s a good thing!


Responses

  1. That’s a very positive note to end on.

    One thing I noticed and didn’t mention earlier because I didn’t know if Edward would pick up on it – maybe he has since.

    This was that you defined a good man as one who was already in a loving relationship. If this is the case it is not surprising that it is hard to find satisfactory romantic relationships.

    But I could easily be wrong.

    • Hey, Evan –

      After I said that (quality man = one invested in his family), I caught the same incongruence and tried to backpedal a bit . . . but, it did get me to thinking along the same lines as you . . . it might be a clue to what’s going on inside of me . . . some of the reason behind why I experience what I experience.

      Thanks for calling our attention to that!

      – Marie


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