Posted by: Marie | July 22, 2012

(673) Unfamiliar territory – Part 2 of 5

Post #673
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]

———————-

Edward: What do you think might happen?

Me: I’m afraid that old behaviors will show up . . . not because I’m trying to hit on him, but because it is the only way I know how to relate to a man whose attention I would like to receive . . .

(I felt the tears well up in my eyes and I felt the emotion rise up to form a lump in my throat . . . )

Me: What if I do the best I know to do and yet I do something that causes him to think I’m hitting on him even though I’m not . . . ?? That would cause him to turn and run away without giving me a chance to explain what I really intended.

One by One by Martin Chen

That’s what I’m most afraid of.

Edward: Can you give me an example of something you might say or do that might cause him to think that?

Me: Oh . . . I don’t know . . . maybe if I crack an off-color joke . . . or if I compliment him on some part of his appearance . . . I don’t know . . .

I guess that’s what concerns me . . . I’m not sure what I might do that might cause him to think that . . . I’m not very clear on that . . .

I’m very clear on how to come onto someone sexually when that is my intention . . . I’m very skilled at making those intentions clear . . .

When those are not my intentions . . . when all I really want is a respectable emotional connection . . . well, I don’t know how to express that without it coming off as me wanting a sexual relationship . . . those two things are very mixed together for me . . . I don’t know how to ask for one without asking for the other.

Does that make sense?

Edward: Yes, it does.

Do you think James is someone who would be willing to have conversations in which the two of you negotiate boundaries?

Me: Yes.

Edward: If there was a misunderstanding, would he be quick to push you away or do you think he would stick around and try to get the misunderstanding cleared up?

Me: I think he would stick around and work through the problem . . .

But what if he has a problem with something I do and then, instead of telling me, he just leaves? That would affect my relationships with him, his daughter and his wife . . . that would be a painful loss.

Edward: Do you really think he would do that?

Me: Well . . . no. I think he would talk to me first and give me a chance to clear things up.

Edward: Marie, I believe you will do fine with this relationship. I believe you will find a way to successfully negotiate boundaries with him . . . both his boundaries and your boundaries.

Based on everything you have told me, he sounds like a reasonable and patient guy who is not going to get upset if you stumble around a bit while trying to find your way through.

Me: Yes, I believe the same about him . . .

You are right . . . I bet it will turn out okay. I bet I’ll do okay with it . . .

And, you brought up something I hadn’t thought about . . . the fact that I might have boundaries as well . . . I was only thinking about how I’m going to figure out how to honor his boundaries . . . but, I might find I have boundaries as well. Although, it is hard to imagine what they might be . . .

(Small laugh) Hmmm . . . that’s a whole new shift in my thinking . . .

Edward: Yes! Congratulations!

Me: Thank you!

(The discussion around that topic seemed complete, so I moved on to another topic . . . )

Me: So . . . my trip to visit my cousins in southern Colorado is approaching quickly . . . it is scheduled for the weekend before my next therapy session.

Edward: How are you feeling about the trip?

Me: I’m feeling excited about the possibility it holds . . . but I’m feeling calm about it, also. I’m not worried about how things are going to unfold. I think it will be a healing experience.

Edward: What do you think will be healing about it?

Me: When I was at their house for the wedding, I felt a warm energy there. I’ve always felt a warm and inviting energy around them.

I think they will treat me in a way that will cause me to feel special. I think I will have their undivided attention . . . and their support and approval . . .

(Once again, my eyes filled with tears and I had to take a moment to dab at them . . . )

Edward: (Tenderly) What’s happening for you? Why the tears?

Me: I’ve been looking for that experience all my life . . . to find a place in the presence of a man where I feel welcomed and approved of. I think I will find it there . . .

I think it will be a safe experience because no one will question my wanting to have an emotionally intimate experience with this man . . . no one will question it because he is family . . .

I know he won’t hit on me . . . and this trip will give me the opportunity to observe a healthy relationship between a husband and wife . . . or, at least, I hope it is a healthy relationship. It is good that I really like his wife as well.

I wish I could have a close relationship with my brother. But, I know that is not going to happen. I’ve quit trying to make that happen . . . my brother is not able to meet me in that place.

I think Caleb can be the “big brother” I’ve always wanted. I’m sad I can’t have that with my brother, and I’m excited there is a good chance I might create that with my cousin.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: