The therapy topic that made me pretty sad all weekend was men. I wanted to talk about R.
E. You were right, a friendship with R was a bad idea.
Ron doesn’t say anything to this.
E. It’s become difficult.
R. What happened?
E. He didn’t call me for quite a few weeks. Then last week, we did go for a short walk. I’d kind of fit it in between other things I was doing that day, and I was pretty spaced by the time we had our walk. I’d been to the hairdresser, and she did this nice shiatsu massage on my head, which is great, but it brings stuff up for me, so then on the walk I was spaced.
E. I ended up telling him things that weren’t really….well, I hardly know him. We were sitting watching some kids roll down a hill, so I asked him whether he wants kids. Then…I told him about my ex husband, and that I’d gotten pregnant by accident the first time I ever had sex, and that after that we almost never had sex again. I mean, I barely know him. I don’t know why I’d discuss that with him. It’s like my censor wasn’t working properly.
R. You haven’t discussed it with me.
E. I know. I haven’t even discussed it with my therapist.
R. Why do you think you discussed it with R. Are you worried he’ll tell people?
E. No. He’s nice that way, I’m not worried. I don’t know why I discussed it with him. I think I wanted to map things out somehow.
We had been sitting on the hill, and R had answered me that he would like to be a dad with lots of kids, and I’d said he’d have to get a move on, but then, well, he could always get a younger woman.
Which made me kind of mad.
E. My ex was a lot older than I was. We met when I was 26 and he was 41 – 15 years difference.
R. And he wasn’t interested in sex?
E. No, he had some kind of trouble with it. We had sex maybe four times – no, probably a few more times. But not much. And I was interested. I was thirty….
E. He didn’t want me, so why did he hang on to me? In my thirties, I could have found someone else to be with.
R. So you’ve felt rejected by men a lot.
E. Yes. And he’s the kind of person that wants to be alone a lot. For him, it’s a disaster to have to spend a certain amount of time with someone else. But….I should have seen that from the start. He was eccentric from the moment I met him. I just thought that was interesting, at the time.
E. It’s interesting, because with R, he is the type of man I tend to get involved with and then regret it. He also wishes to spend a lot of time alone. If we did have a relationship, as usual, I’d be pursuing and he’d be retreating.
E. So, it’s difficult. I feel attracted, but he’s too young. I’m too old for him, so it makes sense he doesn’t have an interest. So it’s just painful.
R. So you’re going to shut this down instead?
E. I don’t have to shut anything down, I just have to not call him. He won’t call me for many weeks, so there’s no problem.
This is all I remember, though Ron likely said a bit more. We talked about how I met my ex (in philosophy class) and a bit more about our life together. I felt despondent – it was so painful to discuss.
The thing that happened to me with my ex is that once we’d seen each other a few times, I got unbearable anxious if I didn’t hear from him soon. So I pursued him just to stop that feeling, even when he proved less than ideal. Like when he invited me to his house for dinner but was over an hour late. I just sat and waited on his front porch. I didn’t think I deserved any better. I actually had no idea that I might be owed anything at all. Lucky I didn’t end up with an axe murderer really.
So with my feelings for R, some of this old pain, which I just locked away, has come washing back. I’m still glad I met him, but I just feel an awful lot of betrayal and rejection with men.
I did feel that with this issue, Ron was sympathetic to me, not critical. That made the discussion bearable.