Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The past weekend I couldn't shake the feeling of being concerned about L offering us her house.  I was so afraid that she had crossed a line that she really shouldn't have. I was worried that it would turn out that this wasn't a 'safe' relationship for me.  After stewing about it Friday night and most of the day on Saturday, I sent her this text Saturday afternoon:

Me:  You can't get all weird on me, ok?  That's my job.

she replied with:

L:  Ok, I won't

then followed by:

L: I don't think that's your job anymore, at least not your full time job

and then:

Me:  Funny......

Yesterday was couples therapy, or at least it was supposed to be. 

I was on my way when M called to tell me her car battery was dead, and asked if I could come pick her up.  Normally I would have been able to, but I had left work early so I could do some pre-Valentines shopping before our session, so I didn't get M's message until I was near L's office.  But M had also called triple-A, and the hope was they could come jump her car and she would just be a little late to L's. So I went solo

I wasn't prepared.  Normally I just try and survive couple's therapy.  But it's hard to avoid the spotlight in couple's therapy if you're the only one there....

I'm scared.  I'm scared of my own feelings and the intensity.  What if they're unhealthy?  What if L is trying to foster an unhealthy relationship.

I've very vigilant (some may say judgemental) about getting a 'sense' about people.  I typically come from a stance that people can't be trusted, sort of like 'guilty until proven innocent'.  I'm sure it's probably not fair, but it is what it is, and I'm not willing to change.  Although I am more aware of it, so I try to give people more of the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not always successful with that.

I'm also aware that a lot of my distrust comes from my past, and my instincts are influenced by certain events.

L and I talked it through, or atleast as much I could at the time, and  I mostly feel better, but not completely.  And at the same time I still want to be even more open with her.  That is very different for me.  Although I'm still not sure if that's good or bad.

There's more I really want to write, but I'm retreating a bit.  I think I'm just trying to find my footing again.


  1. i think you should trust your instincts on this. her offering her second house to you is crossing a line, in my opinion. mind you, i have very strict boundaries with my therapist (no contact between sessions) which i know is very different from your arrangement. crossing the line doesn't make her untrustworthy, but, at the very least, you should keep talking about this, as often as you need to, until it feels resolved. there is no rule that says you only get to talk about it a few times. keep going. you are doing great work. c.

  2. The push and pull is tough, I know. I recognize so much of what you're feeling and experiencing - and am sorry you're going through it.

    May I share a bit of what Daisy said to me, about your concern (after figuring out that this "friend" wasn't me in hiding)? She simply said to trust your gut. She said that if a red flag went off for you, there is a reason and to listen to yourself. She also spoke of boundaries and such, but that really is a story of hers mixed in with a little bit of me, as well as your story.

    I understand why this would make you think so much - and I cannot tell you if this is wrong or right. It is a decision you have to make on your own. And her home may not even be needed in the end, it could end up being a really sweet gesture from her. I would've said yes to Daisy, if the same thing came about here) simply because I am wanting a more personal relationship with her, but I know that in doing so, it would not be okay for me.

    I'm so glad you're still going and working through it and talking about it. I know it can be so tough. And I know it's not easy to differentiate between what is right and wrong in a situation like this.

    Thinking of you ...

  3. Thanks Manda and OBD. Right now I'm trying to balance listening to my gut, with just because she made a mistake doesn't mean she's totally untrustworthy.
    The other strange piece is the 'be careful what you wish for'. As much as I fantasize about being important to her, when she displays it in a tangible way I freak out.

  4. I'm trying to be careful in writing anything opinionated in here because I don't feel it's my place.

    But I do agree with the others that listening to yourself is key, and trusting instincts.

    I was discussing this idea with my friend the other day and he commented how hard it is sometimes to differentiate between "trusting your instincts" and "just being afraid" etc.

    My response is that instinct is something a dog can have, whereas paranoid fears and anxieties is pretty much just a human/intellectual process.

    So if it's from your gut, a dog can have it. If it's not something a dog can experience then it's probably more of an intellectual thing.

    Obviously that's a bit of an oversimplification, but I tend to believe that most of us are not listening to ourselves, we fight our own inner voice, instinct/wisdom. I believe that any good kind of path in terms of healing is all about finding access to our own inner compass.

    Because of that, it's not something a therapist/priest/friend/lover can give to you, nor can it be taken from you by someone. Nobody has power over you, not even if you desperately want to give it away. You can't give it away because it resides inside of you.

    Best of luck going forward.

  5. Thanks for your feedback gniz, it certainly has given me more to think about (not that I needed anymore!!!).

    I agree with your point about 'not listening to ourselves', but I think some of what we say to ourselves is based on our history and experiences, both good and bad. So if my instinct tells me to run, is it because that's what I've had to do in the past, and maybe it's not appropriate this time?

    I can't believe how much this has thrown me. I do know, in listening to myself, that I just want someone to say 'It's ok, L made a mistake, everybody does, but it doesn't mean she can't be trusted....' but I'm weary of that message too.

  6. Stopping in to check on you ...

    You're very right in saying that L may have made a mistake (I'm assuming you're talking about the home offer) - and that everybody does. While we focus so much on who they are inside of therapy walls, they are human also, they make mistakes. For example, last week, Daisy forgot a significant date - the reason I came back to work with her to begin with. I was hurt, but later realized that she was human and that I can barely make it a day without making some sort of mistake, forgetting something or saying the "wrong" thing. L is human too and she is capable of mistakes.

    Only you can decide if you can trust her in the future. You know her better than any of us ever will - and it's important to make that decision on your own. Can you be trusted after you make a mistake? If the answer is yes, then that may be the beginning of figuring it out. I feel that a lot can be said for how she is reacting to it though, which is not really clear here. It does sound though, that she is taking in what you have to say, your thoughts and your concerns - and that says something about her.

    I have no doubt in my mind that she cares about you - that was clear from the beginning, but you have to decide where to go with that.

    OY! That was a LOT - and I apologize if that has taken over too much of your comment section. If I knew you in real life, I'd bring over a half gallon of ice cream (with plenty of sprinkles) - ice cream always makes things better ;0)