…continued from previous post
R. How do you feel about my vacation.
E. I hate it! This seems so unfair.
R. In what sense?
E. I come here for 50 minutes a week….I should be working on my issues….and not worrying about a therapist. Then I have to deal with you going away, and I feel terrible….
I don’t think Ron said anything about this. His point was that his upcoming vacation might be contributing to my anxiety I suppose.
E. I also….I went for another walk with R. Do you disapprove? I got the impression last time you disapprove of the friendship.
R. No. It’s just going to be complicated.
E. It’s complicated alright. I found…Well, I hadn’t realized R has all these scholarly interests. Then I realized I actually have the same anxiety going to pick him up (for the walk) as I have coming to see you. About half way in the walk, we stop, and I told R about the anxiety I was feeling. We couldn’t figure out what it was, but it helped, to say it.
E. Then on the way back, I had a bad anxiety attack. I have this stomach issue that comes up, it’s kind of an anxiety reaction but also physical. So I started telling R about my issues with people who discuss books, because of my family….it helped, talking about that, and the pain receeded.
E. The other problem is…I find R cute. You are all cute – you’re cute, Y is cute.
R. You find R attractive? Why is that a problem?
E. It’s definitely a problem for me. How old is he – (insert youngish age)? Well.
E. I guess, I haven’t had much luck with men. I was never….pretty. But I was young!
One of my regrets is that I had no confidence as a younger woman, when I could have found boyfriends if I’d made any effort at all.
E. And then….well, for instance, when I dropped him off, R said he’d ‘really like to see me again’. Well – that’s what you say on a date. We’re friends. I don’t know, a few other things – it’s not totally clear.
R. So there are some mixed messages.
E. Yes. Or I could be imagining that.
E. I did switch a bit on the walk. For instance, there were these Canada geese crossing our path, and I said something about them, but I called them ducks. I would never say that, I’m pretty sure that was a younger part popping up.
R. Anyone could make that mistake.
E. And then when R corrected me, I said (in a childish voice) ‘I know! I know that!’ Anyway, that was what I was thinking about. And driving with R in the car, I always have to be careful, remind myself I’m driving and need to pay attention. We got lost right away yesterday – it was no big deal, just had to take a detour, but….
What I’m trying to explain is that I space out really automatically when I see R. Especially when I first see him.
Now Ron asks a bunch of questions. Not to do with men, but I can’t remember what they are. I get irritated.
E. You’re sure asking a lot of questions. How about an interpretation then? What do you think.
R. Do you want me to interpret?
E. Usually I don’t, but this time I do. Go ahead – hit me with it.
R. I was thinking…you feel an attraction, and it could be causing you to dissociate. That could be the reason.
E. Yeah. That could be.
I feel the anxiety in me ease.
E. You know, this is good. I’m feeling better. Talking is a good thing.
R. Well, this is not a taboo subject, it’s a good and normal thing to discuss.
I look at the clock. There are ten minutes left.
E. There’s not time to really go into this, but I wanted to tell you about something that’s happening. This week it happened a lot.
to be continued….