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I said it! The M and the L words...(really long)

Posted by daisym on August 12, 2005, at 1:20:18

I have had a very intense week of therapy sessions. Yesterday started with my therapist saying "You left upset yesterday (Tuesday)." I agreed that I was really, really upset. Furious with him, in fact. I told him I came home and banged on the keyboard and made a list of what I was mad at. He wanted to hear the list. I said I wasn't mad anymore. He still wanted to hear the list. So I told him some of what was on it: I was mad that I had all these intense feelings for him, and I was mad that he is married and mad because I can't stay with him and he won't go home with me and mad because I'm sure he doesn't say mean things to his wife. I was mad because I want what I think he has. And I was really mad because therapy was deep and painful and he looked so sad. I'm tired of making him sad.

I said I knew I wasn't "really" mad at him...but he stopped me and said he thought I was really, actually mad at him. He said he pushed really hard yesterday...maybe too hard? We had been talking about how hard it is for me to stand up to anger, particularly my husband's. And we talked about why I can't hold on to my own experience -- I try so hard to be fair that I take on the other person's experience and let go of what I want. Or tell myself I shouldn't be having the experience or feelings I'm having. As we went deeper into this, I got more and more upset. But he said we really need to go here, we have to look at why you can't stand up for yourself in your personal relationships. At the very end I fell apart -- I told him I NEED to understand why people think they can treat me like this...people who supposedly love me hurt me intentionally and then tell me I deserve it. And I believe it. I want to reject it. But I can't. And I told him that I had no idea if I was talking about my dad or my husband...I can't understand why either one treats me like he does/did. And then time was up and I stormed out. (That was Tuesday.)

At the end of my session yesterday, he asked me if we needed to talk about my "intense" feelings for him. Could I describe them better? I told him that I was still split between wanting to be taken care of and adult longings for him. He asked me if there was anything else I wanted to tell him and I said "no." (That was Wednesday)

Today I took in two very intense journal pages from 4am this morning. I said I needed to read them to him before I lost my nerve but I thought they were important. Here is what I wrote:

"I didn't say yesterday 'I have fallen in love with you'...Have I? The feelings of wanting something so much and knowing that you can't have it are here. The idea of someone (him) filling that space in my life seems like the ultimate fantasy. Intellectually I know that I'm just feeling lonely and very sad about how things have turned out with my husband. But, X(my therapist) has awakened a part of me that wants to be loved. And wants to love someone honestly back. Without fear and without censoring. So I guess I do love him. So the next question is, can I "just" love him and not have an agenda to make him love me? Can I live with this, like it is, without it driving me crazy? And the biggest question is: Am I focusing on these feelings to avoid the other, harder stuff? Is there harder stuff than this?"

Journal con't: "I've sat here for a long time and thought about things. I wanted to talk to X(my therapist) so badly about all this, right now. And the need for him is making me ache. It has been this way all evening. And not being able to, knowing that tomorrow is Thursday, is intensely painful. Knowing that I am never going to have him, or someone like him, really care about me and allow me to care about them is intolerable. I feel swallowed up in the frustration and longing of it all. "

There were a lot of other things in the two pages and I had tears running down my face by the time I was finished. He, of course, wanted to talk about this part. I said I needed to know if it was OK, was he going to transfer me, terminate me or otherwise leave me? He said no, of course not. That it was completely OK for me to have these feelings and he really wanted to hear about them. He said a lot of things about this being a completely safe and contained space for them so there was no right or wrong about it. I said I felt foolish, like a giant therapy cliche. He smiled and said he didn't think of me that way. He said he would never minimize or dismiss my feelings and he didn't want me to either. And he said that this doesn't happen as much as everyone thinks so when it does he is very careful to take these feelings seriously and be sensitive to how painful they can be. But he asked if we could focus on the positive parts of it for a little while...because having loving feelings for someone is a good thing and it was OK to let myself feel the positive parts.

It was actually a really good discussion. He thinks we can learn a lot by looking at these feelings and already we've divided them into three components that shift and change: romantic love, sexual curiosity and "pure" childlike love for him. I said I was back to wanting to be special. He said that was fine, everyone should feel special. I was in tears a lot...and he was patient with that. The most unexpected question he asked was, "Do you wish you didn't feel love for me?" Framed that way, I think the answer has to be "no." I think it is extraordinary that I've grown to trust him enough to feel this way for him AND to tell him about it. He seemed to like that answer and he seemed really pleased that I could have and tolerate these feelings. He thinks something is shifting and changing. I hope it is a good something.

It is still really scary. So, am I going to regret all this? First admitting I was mad at him and then admitting love? What was I thinking!?




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