Posted by: Marie | April 5, 2013

(824) The greater desire – Part 6 of 6

Post #824
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 about a conversation with my therapist – continued from previous post]

—————

Me: And, that brings up another issue . . .

If I’m doing so well in my healing process, and I’m becoming proficient at internalizing your words of wisdom and your parenting . . .

What I’m getting at is . . . when I went through this latest emotional crash, I could identify that I was getting into trouble before it happened, I could feel the warning signs. And, once the crash had happened, I knew exactly what had happened and I knew how to get out of it . . . I had internalized everything you have taught me . . .

If I’m doing so well with all of that, is there still a reason for me to come to therapy?

(As soon as I asked that question, tears filled my eyes.)

Edward: (With great concern) Can you tell me what the tears are about?

(172)

Photo by Martin Chen

Me: Well, our relationship is a very important relationship to me. It plays a huge role in my life. I can’t imagine not having this relationship.

But, I don’t want to keep having therapy if I don’t need it . . . like a crutch . . .

Edward: This relationship never has been about me teaching you cognitive tools so you can better deal with this situation or that situation. Once in a while, I’ve thrown out ideas. But, mainly this has been a relationship that allows you to show up as you are – whatever that looks like – so you can experience, for the first time in your life, what that is like.

This relationship exists mainly so you can experience that kind of unconditional love and then take that experience out into the world.

There is great value in you having that experience on an ongoing basis. There is great value in spending our time together celebrating what a good place you’re in currently.

Me: But, if we’re not working on something, if we aren’t moving forward or tackling a problem, is therapy really necessary?

Edward: Of course, you are free to not continue with therapy if you don’t care to do so. But, there is value in having space within this relationship for us to celebrate the good stuff . . . or space for a friendship where you can know there is always total acceptance. There is value even when we aren’t intensely addressing “bad” stuff. I think there is value in continuing even when you are doing well – even when you’ve been doing well for a while.

Me: (Dabbing at my tears and snotty nose) Okay . . . that is reassuring for me . . .

(Sarcastically) Because, you know, I have to be the perfect client . . . I have to be productive and effective and focused in order to be the perfect client!

(I laughed, but Edward was slow to join me in laughing . . . I think he wasn’t sure he wanted to be humorous around that topic. So, I assured him I was joking.)

Me: It is reassuring to know I’ll continue to have this relationship in my life, especially as I’m working through this kind of “new territory” stuff – this is all new territory for me.

I’m sure I will need help sorting through the good stuff . . . and there is a very good chance that more ugly stuff will come up. And, I look forward to our sessions . . . they are the highlight of my week . . . well, my every third week . . .

Edward: I look forward to our time together, also! I value our relationship greatly!

Me: Thank you . . .

(After another deep breath) So . . . anyway . . . that’s what’s been happening . . .

I hope Luke chooses to accept my invitation . . . I hope we develop some kind of meaningful relationship . . .

However, I’m not going to chase him. I’ve extended an invitation to him . . . but, I’m not going to chase him. It’s up to him to take the next step, if he so chooses.

Edward: I think the two of you would be good for each other – I think it would be good for him to have someone who would give him space to be who he is outside the public persona he maintains so much of the time . . . someone who would give him space to show the other parts of who he is, and someone who will call him on it when he is not being authentic. Because of the healing work you have already done for yourself, you have the skill set to identify when someone is being inauthentic and to compassionately point it out to him. I think you could be good for each other in that way, if he chooses to go there with you.

Me: I’m really okay with whatever he chooses . . .

I mean . . . you know . . . I might even meet some other guy and then I’d be investigating the possibilities with TWO guys! Maybe the romantic part might be with someone else.

That’s what I like about the position I’m taking . . . I’m not overly attached to the results – I’m not overly attached to how things unfold with Luke.

Edward: I’m seeing that you aren’t depending upon just one man to meet you needs . . . you have all these relationships with other emotionally available men in your life. That is a healthy place to be.

Me: I have noticed that every time I add a guy to my inner circle, I become less infatuated with all of them . . . I tend to be able to relax and be more playful with all of them. I have lots of sources of support.

Edward: You are getting your needs met by a number of men . . . and by a number of women . . . and by your music . . . and by the people in your conscious business group . . .

You have all these other relationships and all these other sources that you can depend upon to meet your needs. That is a really healthy way of operating.

Me: You make a great point!

Edward: So . . . as we wrap up our session today . . . let me leave you with this thought . . .

Here is one way to explain what I think you are experiencing . . .

There is a school of thought in psychology called TA, or Transactional Analysis. The original idea behind it when it started in the 1950’s . . . it got corrupted a bit in the 1960’s and 1970’s . . . but the original idea was that people are either in “real” relationships where there is authentic interaction between people, or they are in relationships with the transference of all their old stuff and their old patterns.

So, in your case, you have an historical pattern of looking to the men in your life to meet your needs that were never met by your dad . . . for example, the need to be loved and approved of and accepted.

Regardless what the man brought to the relationship, you would bring your childhood pain to the relationship. You would not be in relationship with the guy; rather, you would be in relationship with the transference of all the wounding created by your dad.

What it sounds like to me is that you are learning how to be in relationship with people . . . you are experiencing the real person and you are no longer in relationship with the transference of your stuff.

The downside of being in real relationships with people is that, when you reach out for connection, you don’t know how the other person is going to respond. He could do something that feels good, he could do something that is hurtful . . . he might miss you and not really catch where you are in the moment, which means he isn’t able to give you the kind of support you need and want.

You can talk to him about it, then he may or may not shift his behavior to meet your needs. If he doesn’t shift his behavior to meet your needs, then it might be healthiest for you to end the relationship.

So, being in relationship with someone will sometimes cause pain and sorrow. But, a key part of maintaining your emotional health while in relationship with someone is knowing that there will sometimes be pain and sorrow . . . and knowing that it is normal and healthy when you feel those emotions . . . and that it is okay if you choose to stay in those relationships and move through that stuff so the relationship can become stronger . . . and that it is okay if you decide to end the relationship . . . all of that is okay.

It sounds like you are in that healthy place within the context of your relationship with Luke. It seems to me that you are very aware that you may or may not get the response you are hoping for . . . and I’m hearing that it will probably not be devastating for you if you don’t.

That is a healthy, strong place to be. I like what I’m hearing.

Me: Thank you . . . I appreciate that validation.

—————

And that brought us to the end our time together . . .

Quotes 734


Responses

  1. Sounds like you were in a great place when this session happened.

    Hope this is still true, while knowing what Edward said about the ups and downs and unpredictability is true.

    • Hey, Evan –

      It was sure nice to be in a good place for once!

  2. This is all very inspiring, and lovely to read.

    • Thank you, David, for reading this!!


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