Posted by: Marie | May 29, 2014

(933) Organic unfolding – Part 6 of 8

Post #933
[Private journal entry written on Friday, August 24, 2012 about a conversation with my therapist – continued from previous post]

————–

Me: I guess I don’t know what you mean by “unfolding organically” . . .

Edward: I use that term to represent how healthy relationships unfold . . . it’s when the interaction between people is allowed to occur without a preset agenda . . . each person is given the space to show up authentically . . . and the purpose of being together is simply to enjoy each other’s company and to get to know each other in a relaxed and respectful manner.

Me: Oh . . .

Okay . . . so, I can see how a new relationship could unfold organically . . . in fact, I can see how I already allow platonic relationships to unfold that way . . . and maybe that is why those relationships are easy for me . . .

I just can’t imagine having the opportunity to experience that in a romantic relationship . . . it just doesn’t seem possible . . .

Edward: I believe you have never had the opportunity to learn how to allow relationships to unfold in that way . . .

(274)

Photo by Martin Chen

It’s definitely not one of the skills you learned from your dad . . .

Me: How would I have learned it from my dad?

Edward: You would have learned it by experiencing it with him.

Me: I’m not sure what you mean . . . I mean, that relationship was not a new one . . . it’s not like we needed to get to know each other since we had known each other since my birth . . . at least he knew me . . .

Edward: Are you telling me that he knew you?

(I took a deep breath in, then let it out, before I answered . . . )

Me: No, he didn’t . . .

(I had to ponder his words for a bit . . . I was having trouble getting my head around this concept . . . it was so foreign to me . . . )

Me: So, what would that have looked like . . . an organically unfolding relationship between my dad and me . . . ??

Edward: Well, an example of that would be . . . when you walked in the door after school, your dad would have said: I’m glad to see you! How was your day? I missed you! I’m glad you’re home! Tell me about what happened at school . . . what fun thing did you do at recess? What else is happening? Oh, by the way, do you need anything to eat or drink? Do you feel like going out and playing some ball?

————–

I had to sit without speaking for a while . . . I was having trouble imagining my dad having a conversation like that with me . . . it felt so far outside the realm of possibility . . .

And, the idea of my dad actually saying those things to me caused a big lump to swell up in my throat . . . I found myself aching for a conversation like that . . . to be seen that deeply by someone who was the whole world to me . . .

I looked over at Edward and allowed an image to form of him interacting with his own daughter in that way . . . I’m sure he does . . . I’m sure he says things like that everyday to his daughter . . . and to his wife . . . and I’m glad for them . . . and I’m sad for myself . . .

I sat with the ache for a bit, allowing it to settle into and around my body . . . into my soul . . . and I began to really understand for the first time what could have been between my dad and me . . . and why, in the absence of that, I am now so fucked up when it comes to men . . .

After the bulk of the emotion started fading, I moved back into my analytical mode . . . I still wasn’t seeing how the term “unfolding organically” fit the scenario Edward described, but at least I was starting to comprehend what he meant by it.

I can see how I’ve sabotaged relationships by going into them with a focused agenda . . . and I can see that that is a behavior that I’m capable of changing. However, I’m not convinced that changing that behavior will change the outcomes . . . I still feel that there is something much deeper – something outside my ability to change – that is preventing me from manifesting a romantic partner. I don’t know that understanding this concept is going to make my dating experiences any less painful.

I found myself wondering which parts of my dad’s behavior might have been replaced by the behavior Edward was describing . . . would it have replaced just the violent parts, or would it have also replaced the non-violent parts that were woven into everyday life of my childhood?

————–

Me: Can you give me an example – an educated guess – on what happened in my reality that was the opposite of what you are describing?

Edward: I suspect that, when you walked in the door, you were handed a list of the 14 chores you had to do before you went to bed . . . and, by the way, you’re in trouble for this or that . . . and here’s what’s expected of you and you better comply or otherwise you won’t have value, because you have to earn your place here . . .

And, you did as you were told because you were hoping that, if you were compliant enough, you would be seen as good enough to be loved. Your focus was on being compliant . . . there was no room for the authentic expression of you . . .

Me: I don’t know that my compliance was mostly intended as a way to earn love . . . I think a lot of it was . . . but a lot of it was to avoid physical violence. Maybe it was a little of both . . . or a lot of both . . .

But, I see what you are saying. I’ll have to think about all of this . . . it is a whole new concept, I’ve never thought about relationships unfolding organically . . . I’m struggling to get my mind around it. However, my gut tells me it would be a viable and healthy option for me . . . I think it would be good to consider it as a possibility . . .

(As the conversation stalled, I realized that I had been presented with more information than I could process in the session time remaining . . . I decided to see if we could steer the conversation in a new direction . . . )

Me: What would you like to do now?

Edward: First, let me ask: How are you feeling?

Me: I’m doing okay . . . my mind is a little scattered, but I’m still feeling strong on the emotional side . . . it hasn’t been too emotional of a session so far . . .

Edward: May I propose an exercise?

Me: (With humor) Sure . . . maybe . . . depends . . .

Edward: (Smiling) You are always welcome to decline to participate . . .

I’d like to set up a tangible representation of three different parts of “you” . . .

(He stood up walked over to the little writing desk that is tucked behind the inner office door . . . he pulled out the chair from the desk and turned it around to face me. Then, he sat back down.)

Edward: I’d like to place one part of you in this chair, then I’d like to place a second part of you where you are sitting [near one end of the couch] . . . you can represent that part . . . and then I’d like to place a third part of you at the end of the couch opposite of where you are sitting.

Me: Okay . . .

Edward: I know we sometimes bring your dad into these conversations, but today is only about you . . . he’s not invited.

Me: Okay . . .

Edward: I’d like to seat the critical part of you in this chair, and I’d like to seat the tender, emotional part of you at the other end of the couch. We’ll put the “middle ground” part of you – the adult part of you – with you . . . you can represent her.

How are you feeling about the exercise so far? Are you willing to continue?

Me: Sure, I’ll continue!

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

(004)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: