Do send me email

letterThen there was a bit about emails.

R. Why do you think you were angry?

E. I don’t really know. You know I sent that email, and you said ‘thank you for writing’? Well, I figured, there’s no way you were pleased I wrote you. It was the end of your week, you work hard, you’d tried to help everyone, the last thing you probably wanted to do was read some client’s email.

R. Why then do you think I said that?

E. Like ‘Have a nice day.’

R. You think I was being sarcastic?

E. Not sarcastic, exactly.

R. I actually thought you were feeling bad, so you wrote trying to shift that, which is a good thing to do.

E. Oh.

I can see what Ron is saying, and figure it’s probably true. This could be another example of my attributing bad feelings about me to him which he doesn’t actually have. I know I do that a lot.

Ron is not fantastic with emails. He mostly doesn’t respond to the content, unless it’s specifically about him. This email had thoughts about the session, mostly where I felt differently from what he’d said. So he didn’t reply to that.

On the other hand, I’ve told him I need a response, and he responds pretty faithfully. With a few painful exceptions. I’m pretty sure he reads what I write too, because he sometimes mentions them in session. And it’s true that just writing out how I feel and mailing it off to Ron provides some relief.

At the moment, I’m OK with how we stand on emails.

Art: Julian Alden Weir The Letter

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8 comments
  1. Gel said:

    Sounds good, sounds clearer.

  2. laura said:

    seems like a conflict: you try to put yourself in his shoes, looking at you, and think there’s no way he wants to read my emails, but on the other hand, you say he’s not fantastic with emails, (and that he really should be more attentive.) which is it? You argue both sides of this conflict.

    I would probably do the same thing, except that Howard doesn’t answer emails at all, and I’ve stopped sending them. He does have access to my journal (altho he doesn’t say whether he reads it or not), so perhaps I have that comfort of feeling connected to him when I’m in need.

    • Ellen said:

      I don’t feel like it’s a conflict at the moment. Yes, it would be nice if he replied in depth to my emails. However, he doesn’t wish to do that, and I don’t want something from him he doesn’t feel comfortable giving. So I’m OK with him just responding to the effect that he’s read it.

      I’m sorry Howard doesn’t answer your emails. 😦 But it sounds like you’ve come to terms with this aspect of him also. Thanks Laura.

      • laura said:

        I think we learn in therapy to want what we want, as much as we want it – rather than try to gauge what (little) we can get from others, and be satisfied with that…
        Wanting more from your mom would be endlessly painful – so CUTTING OFF your wanting would be a way to cope. I think I’m dealing with that, too.

        Do you remember your mom telling you to keep quiet with people outside the family? Or did she not want you to talk to HER? .

        • Ellen said:

          That sounds similar to me. I don’t remember her telling me not to talk. Just by example perhaps – she neither talked, nor welcomed confidences. Stiff upper lip. Thanks

  3. kp said:

    Ellen, often when I read your posts, I find myself thinking, “yeah, I would think that too” and then, when I hear Ron’s response to you, I find myself thinking, like you, that it is interesting how I have read all kinds of things into peoples’ responses that were not intended. I know that you write these posts because they are therapeutic for you, but I often find them helpful as well. So, thank you for so bravely sharing them with all of us. Kim

    • Ellen said:

      I’m glad the posts speak to you Kim, thank you.

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