Posted by: Marie | September 15, 2012

(710) Reconciling dichotomies – Part 2 of 6

Post #710
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]


Me: If you remember, a couple of sessions ago, I asked if you thought it was a wise idea to reach out to him in this way. You responded that it would definitely be a risk, but that you thought he would be okay with it – that you trusted my gut feeling that it would be okay.

But, I’ve been feeling so afraid to do that because I was sure he was going to run away after I said something to him about the touching. But, my interaction with him on Saturday allowed me to believe he would not run away . . . that it might be okay to offer to share my story with him.

So, I sent him an email . . . .

I didn’t hear anything back from him for an entire week. Of course, I figured I’d really freaked him out and that he would for sure run away. I had pretty much resigned myself to that being the case.

Taiwan Expression by Martin Chen

But, the next Sunday, I got an email back from him . . .

I’d like for you to read those emails because they are pretty cool . . . I’m in awe at how things turned out.

Edward: I’d be delighted to read them!

(I leaned forward and handed the printed emails to him . . . )

Edward: Would you like for me to read them aloud or silently?

Me: Either way . . . whatever you prefer.

Edward: Okay, I’d like to read them aloud, then . . .

(Looking them over) I appreciate that you put them in chronological order so I don’t have to figure out the reverse order that they normally show up in!

Me: (laughing) No problem! That’s how I have them in my journal/blog document, so it was easy to print them that way.


Edward read the emails . . . and he congratulated me for being so brave and for successfully taking a risky step towards a more emotionally intimate relationship with a “good” guy . . . and for how I made sure it remained a safe, healthy and appropriate relationship while doing so.

We talked about how it caused me to feel connected and loveable (in a platonic way) – that maybe there is a chance I might be one of the “cool people” – that maybe I am a really neat person and worth getting to know.


Me: I think James felt almost apologetic for cc’ing his wife in the email exchange. But, I’m glad he did. It caused me to feel even safer with him . . . because, if he was so careful to include his wife in what some might consider an “innocent” exchange, then I know he would never, ever attempt to do anything inappropriate with me.

I’m realizing that I really needed him to be that proactive about including his wife – I needed him to be that caliber of a “good guy”. I needed to know he was that dedicated to his wife and family. If he hadn’t done that, I think I would have been disappointed – and fearful.

You know, this email exchange is really a big deal for me . . . I doubt that James will ever know how big of deal that was for me – that he wrote what he wrote, I mean. It will be something I’ll keep around for a long time and refer back to when I’m feeling hopeless.

Edward: Tell me more about that . . . about feeling hopeless . . .

Me: Well, it is the same thing that happens when I do something I think will cause you to push me away. I don’t have hope that it could be any different.

But, then, you don’t push me away. Instead, you reiterate that you want to continue a relationship with me. You don’t judge and you don’t criticize. Instead, you interact compassionately with me.

It is the same thing that happened with my cousin and his wife . . . I reached out to them – I was concerned they would judge me for not being a Christian in the evangelical, outspoken way they are. But, they didn’t. They let me be wherever I happened to be and they just loved me.

It’s just such a new experience for me . . . a really neat experience.

Edward: Can you tell me more about that . . . what happens for you in those experiences? What are those moments about? What do they mean to you?

Me: (after some thought) Well, I have trouble believing that quality people – quality men, more specifically, would want to be in my life. Then, it happens – they do show an interest in being in my life. The new experience is that of having quality men show interest in me as a person and wanting to know more about me.

(We sat without talking for a moment . . . )

Me: So . . . I don’t really have more to say about that . . . that’s all I have.

Edward: Okay . . .

So, where would like to go in our session today?

Me: I think I’d like to go back and look at the last email I sent to you. Even though I’m in a less hopeless place about the stuff I specifically mentioned in it, the underlying issues are still there. I think it would be good to talk about them.

Edward: Great! Can you tell me more about the hopeless you were experiencing when you sent the email?

Me: Well, after our last session, I went home and ate two pints of ice cream. I ate one pint, but that wasn’t enough ice cream to numb my emotions. So, I ate the second pint.

I should be concerned about gaining more weight . . . I should try and not eat so much ice cream. But, when I feel that bad, I don’t care. Who cares if I gain more weight? No one is going to want to look at my body when I’m at my current weight – no one is going to want to look at my body if I get heavier . . . what difference does it make how much I weigh?

Sometimes I think I should care about how heavy I get because someday I might actually get my act together and lose weight, then some man might want to look at my body . . . and if I got bigger than I am now before I get it together and get skinny, then I’ll have even baggier skin. What man wants to look at baggy skin?

But, it is all a moot point because I’m never going to get skinny and I’m never going to have a relationship. So, why worry about it? Why not just eat as much ice cream as I want to eat and not worry about how fat I might get?

I guess I’m getting to the point where I don’t feel so bad about it . . . this is my reality . . . this is where I’m at and this is where I’m always going to be and I’m going to accept it and be okay with it.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Have you ever considered a course in CBT? It’s really good for those all or nothing thinking scenarios, especially when you find yourself saying something will “never” happen…

    • Hi, OBD –

      I have looked into CBT, and my second therapist, Dr. Barb, tried it on me . . . but, it doesn’t do anything to address the root cause of my issues. I think it would work best as a way to “clean up” residual habits after the underlying cause of the pain has been addressed through a healing process. For me, CBT is simply a formal method of “white-knuckling” control over my behavior and does not last.

      I take it that it has worked well for you?

      – Marie

  2. :-) well i’ve had all kinds of therapy. 8 years of psychotherapy. trauma therapy. mindfulness meditation. and a short course of cbt. it’s all helped in differing ways. the cbt helped me with my black and white thinking — when i would tell myself that i “always” was depressed and suicidal and would “never” get any better… that i would “always” be single and “never” find anyone to share my life with, and so on. i learned that, for me, this kind of thinking makes me feel trapped, and hopeless, which contributed to my depression. i learned that within myself there are many shades of grey. i don’t think your old therapist was very good, tbh, from what i’ve read on here. she probably was trying to bash you over the head with cbt, whereas i learned it in a more gentle and self-exploratory kind of way, as a way to compliment the other therapies i was receiving. sorry it didn’t work for you, c.

    • Hey, OBD –

      I appreciate your input . . . and, it may be the case that at a later time it might work better for me . . . I’ll keep an open mind!

      – Marie

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