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Caring gap

Posted by Dinah on January 29, 2006, at 16:26:27

I actually feel better after today's session, even though I have no earthly idea why. We talked about the elephant in the room, how depressed I was about the caring gap. About how much more I cared for him than he cared for me. And overall he agreed with me. There was a caring gap. And perhaps that was an illusion best shed. So why should I feel better?

He was saying it was the type of caring that made for part of the difference in the gap. Then we got stuck in whether the quantity of caring (as opposed to the type) made a difference or not, which ended up with him yelling at me and me confronting him on not feeling like I was able to talk about the most important thing in my life right now because it made him mad. And he said yes, we could talk about it, and yes, he'd get mad. And that if he didn't care about me, he wouldn't get mad at me.

I don't know. He was focusing on the fact that he was part of my support circle while I wasn't a part of his support circle, so I reached out to him and he was reaching out to others. And how that was right and proper or we'd just be friends, and he couldn't be my therapist. Or talking about his realness and lack of pretense of perfection. While I was trying to convey that that wasn't the point. Argh. Darned if I know why I feel better.

It really does make a difference to me if I care about him, say 10, on a numerical scale. And if he cares about me, say 2. That makes the gap too big and makes me feel like an idiot. I think the quantity does make a difference. :(

I'm trying to think of how to say it so he'll understand.

My mother was a teacher and she cared about all of her students as individuals. Even the ones she wouldn't have liked particularly if she wasn't their teacher and didn't need to find something likeable about them. But the year would end, and they'd leave, and it was no big deal. She'd probably remember them if they stopped her in the street, even years later, and fondly. But she wouldn't really think of them away from school or remember them fondly if she didn't happen to see them to jog her memory.

But then there were some students who I heard about all year. "Jessica said this. Jessica did that." and I'd hear about them for, well, really forever. Every once in a while something would remind her of Jessica or Mary or Suzanne (hmmm... almost always girls) and she'd tell a story about them or wonder how they're doing. She really *cared* about those students.

I think there was a teacher or two who thought of me as a Jessica. And here's this person that I care about so much. I don't want it to leave the confines of the therapy office. I don't want to hang out with him, or to be his pal. But I do want to be a Jessica to him. Do you think he'd understand if I said I wanted to be a Jessica to him?




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