Posted by: Marie | August 29, 2012

(700) And now I’m changing my mind – Part 5 of 5

Post #700
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]

————————

Edward: Do you think I’m trying to change what you are thinking and believing?

Me: Yes.

Edward: Hmmm . . . I don’t remember reading that in my job description . . .

(I didn’t respond . . . but, I was thinking, “Of course that’s what you’re trying to do! That is your job!” But, I could tell that thought would not be well received; so I just kept my mouth shut and sat silently, staring at the floor.)

Sand by Martin Chen

Edward: (After watching me for a moment) Tell me more about your not having hope anymore . . . am I hearing you say that you want to quit therapy?

Me: No, I don’t want to quit therapy. I’m willing to work on issues so I can stop picking and binging. But I’m not willing to try to have relationships with men – not now, not ever. I’ll put in the time and effort needed to fix those issues, I’ll get through the therapeutic process, then I’ll move on out of here.

Edward: Okay.

(I was caught off-guard when he didn’t argue further with me. I had braced for an onslaught of “you should’s”. Once I realized I wasn’t going to have to do battle, I started relaxing and a rush of hopelessness came over me . . . I sobbed quietly with my face buried for several minutes. I wanted to say something to Edward, but I didn’t know what to say. Finally, I spoke . . . )

Me: (In between sobs) I’m sad.

Edward: (Very gently) I see that!

(I sobbed some more)

Me: I’m sad because I really like the experience of feeling heard and seen and respected by men. I really like experiencing affectionate words and touch from men. I really want that – and I know that is never going to happen for me on a consistent basis. I’m never going to have ongoing healthy relationships with men.

Edward: Are we in a healthy relationship?

Me: Yes, of course.

Edward: It may come as a shock to you . . . but I’m a man!

(That caused both of us to laugh a little bit)

Edward: And, if I understood correctly, your experience with your cousin was positive and healing . . . correct?

Me: Yes.

Edward: He is a man.

Me: (Allowing a tiny grin to appear on my face) Yes, I know . . .

I guess I’m talking about men who aren’t invested in me because I’m a client or a family member . . . men who have no “obligation” to relate to me in a more meaningful way.

Edward: You don’t think James is invested in you?

Me: No, I think we have a purely professional relationship – he just happens to be a warm and friendly guy – he is treating me the way he treats everyone.

(Edward sat quietly as a few more tears rolled down my face as the emotion began receding. I started to feel more connected with my body and with the present environment. I realized the hopelessness had started dissolving – just a tad, but enough to make a difference in the weight on my shoulders . . . )

Me: I’m feeling relief now that I’ve said this to you because I feel like I don’t have to perform anymore – I don’t have to continue acting like I’m still willing to work on creating relationships when I’m not willing to do so. I didn’t want to tell you that I had, once again, lost hope. I was afraid it would cause you to label me a bad client . . . because I keep getting stuck.

Edward: It is okay that you are feeling hopeless . . . I promise, it is okay.

(Thoughtful pause . . . )

Edward: What do you need from me right now? Do you need for me to align with you?

Me: No, I just needed to let you know what was going on. I know I’ve recently told you that I was willing to work on having emotional connections with men, and now I’m changing my mind. I didn’t want you to continue trying to lead me in a direction I no longer want to go.

Edward: Okay . . .

(Glancing at the clock) We have about 15 minutes left . . . is there anything you’d like to touch on as we are coming up on the end of our time together?

Me: You could read my homework assignment . . .

Edward: Okay!

(I handed him my tablet . . . )

Edward: Would you like for me to read it out loud or silently to myself?

Me: I don’t think we have time for you to read it out loud . . . you could just read it silently.

Edward: Okay!

Mom & Dad

When you hit me, you taught me that my experience, my feelings, my expression were wrong, sinful and displeasing to God.

Dad

When you criticized me for not being quite good enough – when you declined to tell me I was already enough – I learned that I will never measure up to anyone’s standard – not yours, not God’s, not a life partner’s, not an employer’s . . . not even mine. I learned that I must keep working as hard as possible to show that there is nothing more I could have done. I learned that taking time to “just be” would be used against me on my final day of judgment to show I didn’t do everything possible to be enough.

When you threatened to disown me, you taught me that love is conditional and I will never be or do enough to earn it. I learned that love is transient and cannot be trusted or depended upon.

When you squashed my natural expression by forcing me to be compliant – at least on the outside – I learned that I do not have the right to own the space I occupy and the oxygen I breath . . . you taught me that I must apologize for being a bother – I must apologize for using resources meant for others who are more deserving – I must apologize for my existence.

Mom

When you discounted my complaints of being molested, you taught me that my body is intended to meet the sexual demands of men with no consideration for my health and safety.

Edward: Ouch! How painful!

Me: Yeah, it hits on a lot of the stuff we covered today.

Edward: Yes, it does.

Is there anything else? Or, have you had enough for today?

Me: I’ve had enough . . .

Edward: You made a lot of great progress today . . .

Me: Thank you.

(I started packing up my stuff)

Edward: I am interested in knowing how you are doing between sessions . . . you are very welcome to call me or email before the next session . . . or not!

And, thank you for being courageous enough to tell me about being triggered and about not wanting to date – even though you were concerned about being seen as a bad client . . .

You are a great client . . . you know that, correct?

Me: (As I was walking out the door) Yes, I do . . . thank you . . . take care . . . until next time . . .


Responses

  1. I think that was a big session.

    • Amen!


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