Posted by: Marie | December 22, 2013

(904) What goes up . . .

Post #904
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, July 28, 2012]

And here comes the inevitable crash . . .

Like there is really any chance that George would be interested in me . . . what crazy stuff was I smoking when I allowed myself to have that hope? There is no way that is going to happen.

I’m on this wild pendulum ride . . . I encourage myself to have hope around the dating thing . . . because it is healthy for me to have hope and to create space for that possibility . . .

As a way to feed that hope, I allow myself to have fantasies about men who show up in my world . . . men like George . . .

I mean, if it were a bad thing, then I could encourage myself to not have hope . . . like drinking . . . it is healthy for me to stay away from alcohol . . . there really is no benefit in my drinking at all, not even a little bit . . . so, I am clear that it is healthy to stay away from it.


Photo by Martin Chen

But, this dating thing . . . it seems the healthy thing is to keep trying to have hope around it . . . it is not healthy to try to stay away from the idea of dating . . . but then, once I allow myself to have some hope, then I get hit with the reality that there really is no hope . . . it is never going to happen . . . and then I have to deal with the crashing down of that hope . . . the disappointment that comes with facing reality . . .

I feel an obligation to keep trying to hold space for hope . . . because it is the right and healthy thing to do.

Part of the reality is that it is never going to happen . . . no matter how hopeful I am able to remain, it ain’t ever going to happen. The other part of the reality is that, on the off-chance I am wrong about the first part and it does actually happen, I don’t think I’m capable of tolerating all the anxiety that would come with dating someone. I am so sure that I’m not enough . . . that I am not capable of ever being enough . . . and my focus would be on bracing for the inevitable abandonment.

While the absence of a romantic partnership is painful, as is the lack of hope around that, so is having hope that is inevitably followed-up by disappointment . . . and so would be the reality of actually getting what I want . . .

No matter how things unfold, my experience is going to be full of pain. Even Edward agrees with that assessment . . . although he seems to think that some scenarios would be less painful after a time . . . but no promises . . . just very uncertain possibilities . . .

I’m not sure I could survive the experience of dating . . . at least I already know I can survive the pain of loneliness. That seems to be the preferable path.

I can’t turn off that hope completely . . . I will always have that little nugget of hope in me that keeps alive the fantasy that my prince charming will someday come around . . . I can’t turn off that hope because having that hope is part of being human. There is no way to turn it off.

I will probably always make use of romantic fantasies as a way to tolerate the loneliness . . . it’s one of my many coping mechanisms . . . maybe one of the least destructive ones. I suppose I will always play out in the back of my mind what it would be like to be loved in that way . . .

The disturbing thing about it is that the fantasies really don’t provide any relief for me . . . I mean, they do for a few minutes . . . even a day or two . . . but then the anxiety about dealing with the possible reality of the fantasy coming true kicks in . . . and I am reminded that I will never be attractive enough or pulled-together enough to keep a man interested in me . . . and I am reminded that the anxiety that would come from trying to keep a man interested in me would pretty much destroy me.

And when I’m reminded of all that, I start in with all the harmful coping mechanisms . . . I binge eat, I masturbate to porn, I put my face an inch from the mirror and pick for hours non-stop . . . like I’ve done today until my face is raw and bleeding . . .

Yeah, I wouldn’t call that relief . . .

But, I don’t know how to stop wanting that type of connection . . . I don’t know how to permanently kill off that hope so it doesn’t keep showing up and growing into a fantasy . . . I don’t want to want that anymore.

What about the possibility that I could someday be healthy enough to participate in a healthy romantic relationship . . . ?? In order for that to happen, healing would need to occur . . . and while my relationship with Edward and with the “safe” males in my life can provide some of that healing, I think a significant amount of that healing would necessarily have to occur within a romantic/sexual relationship.

So, that’s a catch-22 . . . I’m not ready to be in a romantic relationship until some of the related trauma is healed, but I can only heal major parts of that trauma within a romantic relationship . . .

How am I supposed to deal with that circular problem?

Furthermore, any guys who aren’t married and who might be possible boyfriends aren’t interested. And that is my reality . . . I am gross and unattractive and nobody wants me in that way.

I wish I could turn off the desire for that . . . but I can’t . . . so I guess I’ll have to figure out how to deal with it because the desire is never going to go away. That desire is never going away because it is part of being human . . . and like it or not, I’m human.

It’s devastating to me to continue this cycle of hoping and then having no hope. It’s continuing to inflict damage and I’m not willing to do that anymore. I’m biologically hardwired to have that hope. But I don’t have to feed it. I don’t have to encourage it.

So that’s the stance I’m going to take on it. I’ve got better things to do with my life.

And, by the way, I’ve been having all kinds of intestinal issues for the last several days . . . heavy-duty constipation . . . it almost feels like my intestine is blocked . . . and I’m bleeding a bit from my ass . . . probably hemorrhoids from straining, but I guess it is possible it is more serious than that.

The thought has crossed my mind that maybe I have colon cancer . . . and my reaction to that has been an upbeat one . . . because today, I’d be just fine with dying . . . while I’m not praying to die anymore, I’m not that opposed to dying either, especially if it were due to illness, which would be something other than suicide . . .

There’s no way I’m going to see the doctor about it . . . I can’t afford to do that and I don’t want to . . . if it is cancer, I want to make sure that I wait too long to do anything about it . . . then no one will blame me for dying . . . it would just be the way life unfolded for me . . . and I’m fine with that.

Oh . . . and, another thing . . . I shared my feelings with Edward last night via email . . . I sent him an email in the middle of the night, and he responded today:


Hi, Edward –

Yes, it’s me again . . .

So, I have some thoughts running around in my brain, keeping me awake. It seems a wise move to get them recorded and shipped off to you so I can stop the whirlwind. Here it goes . . .

I’ve been debating how I’m going to answer your questions about the dating stuff that I’m sure you are going to ask during our upcoming conversation about how the CASA stuff is not triggering while the dating stuff is.

Here is my answer . . .

I am now to the point that I do believe there are quality men in the world who are available and willing to date someone like me . . . and who would love me and treat me with great respect. However, the part of me that would normally allow me to also be available in that same way is not functional. Therefore, I am not able to date and to participate in romantic relationships.

I could spend my time and energy and money over the next umpteen years trying to heal that part of me so I could date. I believe I could experience some level of healing – find some level of functionality in that area sometime before I die – just like someone who is paralyzed could spend the rest of his life keeping his leg muscles loosened and somewhat toned for when something sparks the nerve tissue to start repairing itself which, in turn, allows him to wiggle his toes.

Or, the paralyzed man can face reality and get on with learning how to live life in a wheelchair.

My facing reality would mean accepting the fact that my ability to trust men at that level was tremendously damaged in my childhood, is no longer functional, and will most likely never be functional. I have lost my ability to trust men at that level and the chances are very slim (none, really) that that part of me will ever function in a meaningful way. At some point (like now), it makes sense to accept reality and move onto making the best of the years I have left in this lifetime.

I had a few months, here recently, where I experienced an escalation of hope around this. That was nice. But, it didn’t move me any closer to being capable of participating in a romantic relationship. That part of me has been destroyed. I don’t care to spend any more energy trying to rebuild it. I want to get on with creating the best life I can, sans a romantic partner. I want to get on with the task of leaving the most valuable legacy I can with the years I have left.

I know that, as a therapist, it is important for you to continue holding space for possibility in that area on my behalf. Go for it . . . if that is what you need to do, then do it. I’m guessing that you can’t allow yourself to encourage me to embrace this mindset . . . to give up on this possibility. That’s okay. If you can assist me in the process of grieving this loss (and it is a painful loss), that would be helpful. If you can’t do that, I’ll figure out my own grieving process.

There is still plenty of stuff we can work on that needs to be accomplished before I can handle doing the CASA program.

So . . . that’s where I’m at with all of this . . . I’m not feeling overall hopelessness . . . just a sense of resignation in this one area.

Thanks for “listening”! I’ll see you Friday!

– Marie


Dear Marie,

Thanks for taking the time to share all this with me.

I look forward to supporting you in your process, including that of grieving, when we meet again this Friday.



Quotes 814


  1. As someone who had colon cancer – I hope you got your issues checked out. Don’t you now have affordable insurance available in the US? Hope so. I had both digestive issues, and a cancerous polyp. Not sure if they were related, but it was my weak spot. Believe me, you don’t want a terminal cancer, even if you’re feeling suicidal. end of lecture. sorry.

    I know this is from over a year ago. Do you think you were romantically fixating on ‘helper’ types? All the crushes you describe seem to be with men who are trying to heal other people, and you seem to find that very attractive. I used to do similar with nurturing types of men in my environment whom I didn’t have a peer type of relationship with. They really were complete fantasies which still felt very real to me. A real peer would be more realistic as a possible date, if you were actually looking, which maybe you are not. For me, it was very safe to fantasize about men whom I realistically had little chance of ever getting to know as equals.

    My two cents.

    • Hi, Ellen –

      Thanks for the “lecture” . . . I know, we all have different takes on this stuff!

      As for affordable health insurance . . . when I wrote this journal entry, there weren’t affordable options. But, thanks to ObamaCare, I actually will be able to afford health insurance starting with January 1st. I’ll have insurance for the first time in about ten years. So, that’s good news!

      As for your question regarding ‘helper’ types . . . I think, more accurately, I am drawn to gentle-spirited and emotionally aware men . . . and the only place I knew to find them were men who are in the self-help / motivational field . . . which is why I kept looking to that type for a connection.

      This is still an issue Edward and I are addressing . . . I feel I’ve made some progress in my healing around it, but it still is a painful issue for me . . .

      Thanks for sharing your insight!

      – Marie

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