Posted by: Marie | July 25, 2012

(676) Unfamiliar territory – Part 5 of 5

Post #676
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]

———————-

Edward: So . . . let them see your messy room.

Me: Let a date see my messy room?

Edward: Sure! Why not?

Me: It would give him all the more reason to run away . . . I don’t think I could do that . . .

Edward: If the relationship becomes serious, he’s going to know that detail about you at some point, anyway . . .

Me: True . . . except I have no hope that a relationship of mine will ever go far enough that I will have to worry about that. So, it’s really a moot issue.

Photo by Martin Chen

Edward: Do you really think a man would reject you because you have a messy room?

Me: That wouldn’t be the only reason he would have for rejecting me . . .

Edward: What other reason might he have?

Me: Well, for example . . . when I’m alone, I binge eat, I routinely pick all the scabs off my face . . . those are things I do in private . . . if I cohabitated with someone, I would have no private place to do those things . . . no place for me to do the things that allow me to survive when my emotions overwhelm me . . . I would have no safe place for that.

And, I can’t imagine getting naked with a man . . . all my rolls of fat . . . hairy legs . . . no man is going to want to touch that.

I like to think that someday I’m going to “get my act together” and actually care more about my appearance . . . that I might actually lose weight and get healthy and stop picking and keep my legs shaved all the time . . . all the way up my entire leg, not just to my knees . . .

But, realistically, that’s not going to happen. Without that happening, I feel too gross to be attractive enough for dating.

On the other hand . . . for the most part, I have my act together at the studio. The “organized” part of me requires that I plan and be proactive so I look good for the parents. So, for that part of my life, I actually do have my act together, for the most part.

Edward: Well, there is a reasonable expectation that you maintain a certain level of professionalism within your business . . .

Me: True . . . just like there is a reasonable expectation that I maintain a certain level of attractiveness within a romantic/sexual relationship . . . that if a man commits to sticking around, it is reasonable to expect me to commit to taking care of myself and caring about my appearance.

(Edward just let that one slide right by . . . then he changed directions . . . )

Edward: I imagine you are “real” with your students.

Me: Yes . . . when I teach, I’m as real as I can be . . . I’m playful and free-spirited . . . I show up very authentically.

Edward: So you do know what it is like to show up as the real you . . . true??

Me: Yes, as a teacher . . . but not as a girlfriend.

It’s easy to be authentic with the kids . . .

For example, It is okay with me when kids stare at my acne . . . because there is no judgment, they are simply looking for more information . . . they are genuinely curious. I answer their questions honestly and we move on, no big deal.

But with adults, I’m quite sure they are judging me when they see my acne up close.

Edward: And what do you think they are thinking about you?

Me: That I am gross and frumpy and unkempt . . . that the sores on my face might be contagious . . . that they might get “cooties” from being near me or touching me . . .

(With his empathetic silence, Edward created space for my fears to settle on the floor around us. I guess he felt it was best to not challenge my fears and judgments right now. For that, I was grateful.)

Edward: Maybe your first date with a man should be a piano lesson so he can see the real you.

Me: You know . . . that’s actually a good idea! Maybe, if I got to know someone first through a student/teacher relationship, it would be easier to transition into a dating situation.

You might be on to something there!

(We both laughed a bit. Then, I noted we were almost out of time and mentioned it to Edward.)

Edward: Yes, we are getting close to the end of our time. How are you feeling about this last part of the session?

Me: It seems we haven’t really solved or changed anything, but it does seem that we’ve shed some light on it. You’ve given me some things to digest and to consider.

Yesterday, I was very aware that we would be touching on the subject of my relationships with men in today’s session. I was dreading it . . . in fact, I got heavily triggered by knowing what was going to happen today.

I was overwhelmed with fear and dread . . . I tried to fight it off, but it got the best of me. I didn’t even make it to lunch . . . I gave up on fighting through it and just climbed into bed before lunchtime. I spent the rest of the day curled up under the covers.

Edward: I am so sorry that this topic brings such strong anxiety for you. But, I’m glad you took care of yourself.

Me: Well . . . I’ve gotta deal with it . . . there’s no way to avoid this topic and still find healing. So, I guess I’ll just keep dealing with it. I’ll survive . . . I always do. It’s bound to get better.

Edward: Yes, it will. It will take time, but it will get better . . .

———————-

And with that, we brought the session to a close . . .


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