Posted by: Marie | November 30, 2012

(759) The yin and yang of things – Part 4 of 4

Post #759
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 – continued from the previous post]

—————

Me: (After a long pause) I’ve even thought that I might be interested in dating him.

(I fought to keep my emotions in-check, but I failed. Tears filled my eyes.)

Me: (After another long pause) I know he has a lot of issues, but that doesn’t bother me because I like who he is at his core. The issues were created by outside forces and it appears to me he is doing everything in his power to deal with them, move past them and be the best person he can be despite them.

Blooming by Martin Chen

I’ve had a passing thought about what my brother would say if he were to meet Jared. I think my brother would be judgmental of him . . . he might ask me why I’m dating “someone like him” . . . he might tell me I could do much better . . .

But, I have decided that I would not allow myself to care what my brother might say . . . I don’t think my brother is a good judge of people. He is not exactly an enlightened soul and he is not going to value in people what I value in people. And, whom I date is none of his business.

Edward: And, if he said something derogatory like that, you could respond: You mean someone like him who is kind and gentle and thoughtful and aware . . ??

Me: Yeah, good point . . . that’s a good way to put it.

Edward: (After a respectful pause) I noticed that some strong emotions came up for you a few moments ago.

Me: Yes.

Edward: Can you tell me about that?

Me: I guess it is because I’m allowing myself to actually consider the possibility of dating . . . for the first time in a very, very long time.

Edward: Tell me what that is like for you.

Me: For a long time, my feelings around dating have been “hard” . . .

(I demonstrated by crossing my arms over my chest in a defiant stance)

Me: I’ve felt a hardness in my body . . . a toughness . . .

With Jared, I’ve felt safe enough to really consider the possibility of dating him. That hardness has been melting and for a few weeks, a softness moved in . . . like, um . . . like a feminine energy. That’s a new experience for me . . . and it brings up softer, gentler emotions.

I guess I’m used to being tough . . . I’ve convinced myself that I’m tough and I don’t need people . . . I don’t need relationships. (Becoming a bit emotional again) It is very difficult for me to admit out loud that I really do want to be in a relationship. I actually feel shame when I admit that.

Edward: (Softly) It is normal it want to be in a relationship . . . we are designed to be in meaningful relationships. Our relationships are what make life meaningful and worth living.

Do you remember that, not too long ago, you said that dating would never be a possibility . . . ??

Me: That still feels true for me in general . . . (laughing a bit) I think it is different with this guy maybe because he has more issues than me. I think he wouldn’t judge me.

I enjoy his company and I feel safe with him. I think I could be a support for him – I’m sympathetic with him. He’s not very socially adept because of his brain injury – or maybe because he’s rather nerdy . . . and he’s given some indication that he was sexually and physically abused . . . so he is dealing with a lot. Because of that, I believe he wouldn’t judge me.

Edward: (Gently) Yes . . .

(I blew my nose)

Me: Speaking of femininity . . .

In our conscious business group meeting last week, we did a Christmas gift exchange . . . we drew numbers and the person holding ticket #1 got to pick a gift and open it . . . person #2 could either pick another gift or steal the first gift . . . you know what I mean . . .

Edward: Oh, sure!

Me: One of the gifts that was in circulation by the time my turn came around was a book written by an Australian lady in our group. As she put her book into circulation, she talked about the general philosophy that is presented in the book – the same philosophy she shares with the world as part of her business . . . it is about how women can lead with their femininity in a world where masculinity and aggressiveness are traditionally valued far more than femininity. She says it is way more fun for women to lead with their femininity . . . . and, she is not talking about wearing high heels and make-up and about wearing a size two dress . . . rather, it is about gentleness, playfulness, compassion, creativity . . . that is what her book is about.

Anyway . . . I really wanted her book so I was tickled when I was able to “steal” it. I think it will be a good read.

Edward: I think that the fact you were attracted to that book speaks to how you’re opening up to your feminine side a little bit.

Me: I think you are right about that.

Edward: I see we are getting close to the end of our time together . . . but, before we wrap up, I have something to admit . . .

Me: What’s that?

Edward: When I heard you say that you might consider dating Jared, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. (Laughing) I made a huge effort to not let my shock and delight show on the outside. But, on the inside, I was doing a happy dance.

(I laughed with him)

Me: (Resolutely) You know . . . I’m going to do it . . . I’m going to call Jared. I’m going to ask him out for coffee.

Edward: I’m glad to hear that!

———————-

As I was packing up to leave, Edward mentioned that I was welcome to change the frequency of my sessions so I could come more often. I think he is challenging himself – maybe he’s doing something like working with a business coach who is challenging him to increase his business. I think he makes it a habit to ask clients if they might wish to increase the frequency of their sessions as a way to keep his business lucrative.

For example, when I recently shifted the dates of my therapy sessions outward by one week during the upcoming spring semester (when I changed teachers associations), he pointed out that the shift would create a four-week gap (instead of the usual three-week gap) in December. He invited me to fit one additional session in that big gap, which I did.

I think it is great he is taking steps to increase his revenue – it seems like a good business practice. But, I don’t have the budget to do more than I’m doing. When I told him that, he said, “If you come every two weeks, I’d be willing to drop the fee to $80.” But, I declined because it wouldn’t fit into my budget, even at $80 per session. I didn’t feel pressured; it was truly an invitation.

Anyway . . . when I got back to my house, I called Jeff:

Me: So . . . I have a strange request . . .

Recently, you and I had a conversation in which you said you got burned out on trauma therapy and you had stopped doing that . . . but we never got to the other side of the conversation . . . I never asked you what you do now. The reason I’m asking is because I have someone who is looking for a referral for a psychiatrist and I wondered if you would be a good fit . . . but, I’m not sure if you are taking private clients right now . . .

Jeff: Well, I work at [the local university] in the student medical services and my clients are students who need mental health support. So, I don’t have an independent practice anymore and I’m not taking private clients anymore. But, if you can tell me a little bit about the situation, I might be able to point your friend to a psychiatrist who might be a good fit.

Me: Well the person who needs the referral is my therapist – it’s for one of his clients. So, obviously, he can’t give me any details about his client. But, would it be okay for me to give your contact information to Edward so the two of you could speak directly?

Jeff: Oh sure!

So, I passed along Jeff’s contact information to Edward . . . and . . . now I know where Jeff works. How interesting!


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