Posted by: Marie | December 30, 2013

(912) The value of clarity – Part 3 of 7

Post #912
[Private journal entry written on Friday, August 3, 2012 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]


I launched into a long monologue about the dating thing . . . how I’m trying to find a way to deal with the desire to have a mate that I know I can never satisfy or shut down . . . how I feel obligated to keep trying to be available for a dating relationship but how it seems doing so is counterproductive to the point of being harmful and destructive for me . . . how I feel hopeless about the whole deal . . . that I think the most helpful approach is to not encourage fantasies about “available” men who show up in my world . . . but I acknowledge that the desire is never going to go away so I’ll just have to learn to live with it . . . like one might learn to live with a chronic physical pain . . . it’s a discomfort I simply have to learn to live with . . .

Then, I launched into another monologue about my blog’s mystery reader and why I think it is George . . . about the links to blog posts about music that I sent to him . . . how he’s been reading persistently until a few days ago and then stopped . . . and that I wonder if he will start reading again after his big seminar this weekend . . . and how this is a perfect example of what I don’t want to be doing to myself . . . I know it’s not possible, so why would I torture myself like this?

I talked about the day I read along with George and how that caused me to feel connected with him in a strange way . . . how I have allowed myself to ponder all the reasons he might be reading my blog and all the possible outcomes it could lead to . . . including the farfetched one of him falling in love with me . . .

When my words finally ran out of steam, Edward asked the classic shrink question . . .


Edward: How does that make you feel?

Me: Which part?

Edward: The part about pondering the possible outcomes in your mind . . .


Photo by Martin Chen

Me: Well, there’s good and bad to it . . .

I’ve enjoyed feeling connected with him . . . and excited about what could be . . . what it might be like to actually be in a relationship with him . . . or with someone like him . . .

The part that sucks is when I’m reminded that there really is no chance that something cool like that is going to happen . . . that I’m just dreaming impossible dreams . . . and that spirals me down into a funk . . . I was in one of those funks when I wrote that email to you about giving up on dating . . .

So, it’s a mixed bag . . . but it seems the bad outweighs the good, so that’s why I think I need to not dwell on all that stuff right now. I need to not do anything to encourage the fantasies.

(We sat in silence with Edward watching me closely and me looking everywhere but at him . . . then, after a few moments, he broke the silence . . . )

Edward: I’m having trouble reading your body language . . . what are you feeling right now?

Me: Um . . . I guess frustration . . . I feel resigned to the permanent state of dissonance . . . sad . . . like I’m grieving . . . sometimes I feel angry that the desire to be partnered is so strong . . .

Edward: What can I do to support you?

Me: Um . . . I don’t know that there is really anything you can do to support me except to provide the space for me to vent . . . which you’ve already done . . .

Edward: Would you like to vent some more?

(I thought about asking him what he thought about my choosing to not encourage my hopeful romantic fantasies . . . but then I decided to not ask him because, as of that moment, I was feeling quite sure about that being the better course of action . . . )

Me: No . . . I think I’ve said everything I care to say about it . . . and thank you for listening . . .

(Suddenly becoming emotional) And thank you for not judging or being critical . . .

Edward: You are welcome.

(I took a moment to let the wave of emotion move over me . . . I blew my nose . . . and asked if it is okay to change the subject again . . . )

Edward: Yes, of course it is okay with me to change the subject . . . I just wanted to make sure you had sufficient opportunity to say whatever you needed to say . . .

Me: I did . . . thank you . . .

(I then steered the conversation to the topic of my interaction with Renee . . . I described her sullen and helpless behavior and how I have been responding . . . and some of the little breakthroughs we’ve had . . . )

Me: I can more or less understand why she would behave like that with her dad . . . I think he simply runs her over and squashes her . . . I think she doesn’t have a voice and so she behaves like that . . . she disengages . . . because it is the only way she believes she can survive it.

But, I’ve been very encouraging with her . . . very gentle . . . making sure that she can have a voice in our lessons . . . I don’t understand why she would behave that way with me . . . I’ve not given her a reason to be that way.

I guess . . . if that is the way she normally interacts with adults, I can see why she would start out that way with me. But, after a while, I would think she would behave more confidently as she felt safer and more connected with me . . . and once she started figuring out that she really is capable of playing the piano . . .

I’m trying to figure out why she behaves that way with me . . . and what she is thinking, what she is trying to accomplish . . . and if I should allow her to continue some or all of that behavior . . . I worry that I’m enabling her behavior by allowing it to continue . . . or maybe I’m allowing her to manipulate me in some way.

When I spoke with her dad that one day, he made it very clear that she is not allowed to treat me with disrespect. I’m certain that he would consider her sullen behavior to be disrespectful. But, I don’t want to tell him about it because I think his response to that would be to berate her . . . and I don’t think that would be helpful. I think it would cause her to not trust me.

Furthermore, I don’t really see it as disrespectful . . . well, I guess it is on the surface, but I don’t think she intends for it to be disrespectful. I think she is just doing what she believes she has to do in order to survive.

Anyway . . . I guess what I’m hoping you can provide is some guidance on how best to interact with her . . . and I don’t mean just as a piano teacher . . . I mean also as an adult in her life who might be able to help her on an emotional level . . .

Are you willing and able to provide that guidance . . . ??

Edward: Since I haven’t had the opportunity to observe her behavior firsthand, there is no way for me to know what is going on with her, specifically. However, I can share some insight based upon what I know about the psychology and behavior of adolescents in general . . .

Me: That will work!

Edward: (Chuckling a bit . . . ) Okay, then . . . that’s what I’ll do . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

Quotes 822

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