Monday, April 23, 2012

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy: Gender Queer Relationships and Otherwise


I know I said I’d post Saturday, but well, I didn’t. So you get it Monday instead.
Therapist started off the session with my Homework from the previous week, which was to think about what it would mean to me if I didn’t have female companionship for the rest of my life because I chose a male partner in a monogamous relationship. Or something along those lines. Honestly I didn’t do this homework. I thought about doing it a lot, but I quickly got side tracked and my thoughts were filled with other things. I have a little bit of that absent minded mad scientist in me. ::shrug::
I actually spent a good deal of time trying to explain to her how I feel towards women in relationships. How do you explain the attraction you feel to someone who has never experienced that kind of draw before? She kept getting caught up in these thoughts of female intimacy in friendship and thinking that would be a ‘good enough’ substitute. Women often feel very close to one another in a way that is different than male friendships. More intimate, more relatable. Yes, that’s true. That’s how I feel about Roommate. But it’s not the same thing as having a reciprocal intimacy on a romantic level.
Roommate is one of the most beautiful people I know. She’s gorgeous. She’s intelligent. She’s warm and caring. She’s steady and trustworthy. And a wonderful, wonderful friend. But we’ve never had a romantic chemistry. There just isn’t that intimate spark. For all intents and purposes, she’s straight, and while I can appreciate the beauty that is her person, without an aspect of reciprocity there’s just something missing for me to be attracted to her as more than a friend. It’s different than, say, how I’ve felt about the women I’ve dated in my past who shared that intuitive attraction. That mutual appreciation on that additional level.
Women feel different. At least the ones I’ve dated, the kind of chemistry and connection is different. I’m a little more myself. I don’t have to worry about male egos. I can be romantic and girly. I can hold doors, and buy her flowers, and wrap my arms around her without feeling like my role is wrong. Not that I can’t buy a guy flowers, or make a construction paper card, but the gesture isn’t usually as appreciated in the same way. There are just ways that don’t fit into the dynamic properly.
Two side thoughts: 1. I wonder if it would be different with a bisexual guy. 2. While I appreciate Roommate highly and she’s one of the most important people in my life, I don’t think I idealize her in an unhealthy way. I don’t need her in a way that is more than what she already is to me. I’m becoming comfortable with the idea that just because I can’t provide EVERYTHING she would want in a relationship (often I feel like if I can’t be everything, friendship, sexual, companion, etc, it won’t be enough to bind someone to me), that doesn’t mean I’m not important to her, and she won’t want to just up and walk out of my life…. More on this later.
I’ve had so many problems with men not respecting my independence that I tend to overcompensate the tough girl act. Even though if I’m honest, I like that guys can be so much bigger than me, wrap around me, and I can feel protected and safe. Which is not a feeling I tend to have with women. I’m the protector in those relationships. With men I know that I can protect myself, but in my more healthy male relationships, there’s at least the aspect of knowing they probably could/would defend me should I need it.
Both kinds of relationships obviously have their pros and cons for me, but with women there’s more of an intuitive understanding and I don’t feel the need to overcompensate, or suppress parts of myself because it doesn’t fit the dynamic properly. Having a genderqueer relationships throws out expectations of how I’m supposed to act in a relationship, not that it stops me, but there’s less pressure, and less of a concern to even have to think about these things.
Idk, I still don’t think I’ve accurately described why I feel different  in homo vs. hetero relationships. It’s just a feeling. An intuitive comfort. ::sigh::
For now though, I’m going to try not to worry about it. I still have a difficult time grasping that someone would want to “put up with me” for a long term relationships. For as much as I want a lifelong partner, I can’t actually envision it happening.  It’s all so uncertain and I’m just going to have to wait and see. Hate that.
I was pretty anxious on Thursday as well. I talked to Therapist about my anxiety about going to bed. About going to bed alone. How I stall  and stall, and even after I’m in bed I stay awake as long as I can to put off closing my eyes and being in the dark alone. It’s always been this way with me. Always, since I was very young. I hate sleeping alone. It’s a very rare day when I actually want to sleep by myself.
Naturally Therapist asked me about Tech Boy. He doesn’t stay over during the week. Even though we work together, he comes into work even earlier and let’s face it, we probably wouldn’t be getting to sleep at a reasonable hour if he did. But also, for the last few weeks our schedules have not been aligning well at all. One weekend he went out of state with some friends, the next  I went on vacation to see my family/friends back home, the I got tattooed (which still lead to an intimate evening but there was a little more caution involved because, ouch), then he was out of state this weekend, I’ll be getting tattooed again next weekend though I’ll be seeing him for sure… it’s just all kinds of not waking up with him and it’s getting to me. Therapist noticed how I get much more anxious when there are breaks in my routines. For a long while there Tech Boy was staying over, or I was at his place, every weekend. That hasn’t been the case quite as regularly as of late and it’s been throwing me off. He always makes sure to compensate by seeing me during the week, or at least doing stuff Sunday night, but it’s just not the same as being able to fall asleep with him and wake up wrapped up in each other. Therapist would like me to mention it to him, and see if we can’t get back into our more regular style of seeing each other on the weekends. I don’t to have a formal talk about it or anything, I’d just come off sounding crazy. Hi, my anxiety wants our relationship to be on a schedule so get back on track buddy. No. That just sounds awful. But mentioning that I miss doing certain things, and would like to spend more ::cough:: alone time together should be reasonable. Right?
As Therapist put it, it seems like I have either an oasis or a desert with his affection. He can be incredibly thoughtful and considerate like the Saturday when I had my  tattoo done and he brought me snacks and left early to make dinner so I would have food by the time I was done, but then other times I don’t see him at all because he spends the weekend with friends out of state. It’s hard on me and I don’t know what’s ok and what’s not ok for me to ask for. Therapist reminds me that I have a tendency to accept and tolerate too much, even if it bothers me, until it becomes too overwhelming and then I snap. She wants me to try and do things differently. Hence mentioning that I’d like to see him more regularly on weekends again. I totally get the need for guy time and hanging out with friends and would never ask him to give that up, but I’d like a little more time for us as well.
Therapist asked something about whether or not we were in love. I told her I didn’t think so. She asked me if he loved me. I don’t know. I know he likes me. He obviously likes spending time with me and seeing me, but I don’t know if that translates to more. I’m honestly not worried about it though. I like seeing him. I like spending time with him. And for once, I don’t really feel a need to overthink that. I’m having an odd, but not awful, time with my lack of object constancy. This is part of why I can’t say whether my feelings or more or not. Unless I’m in his direct presence I have a hard time holding on to feelings. Especially when our time together has been so sporadic. However, when we can’t hang out, Roommate, her boyfriend, and I have been going out and doing things together so I haven’t been lonely, I’ve been having fun, and I haven’t been as stressed out socially. So while I have a hard time  holding onto how important I might be in his life, I don’t feel as empty because that time is being spent with people that are just as important to me and whose relationships I have faith will be steady and solid for me.
If Roommate and I were from the 20's.
Which is a special revelation for me because Roommate will actually be moving and we won’t always be living together. But we’ll have more on this update a little bit later.
At the end of our session, as is usual, Therapist told me that I’m a joy to work with. That she loves talking to me because I’m very bright and intelligent and I have such an interesting perspective on things. She tells me that I’m wonderful and that I truly am a good person with loving warm qualities. That I’m a good friend to the people in my life and I deserve to be happy.
This always makes me a little uncomfortable. I have two simultaneous but separate experiences when she does this. One, I’m uncomfortable because, while I believe she is telling me the truth as she sees it, I do not believe this of myself. I can only think of the things that I have done wrong, how I haven’t been a good friend, how I have made mistakes and that clearly makes me not the wonderful deserving person she things I am. And then I have the cognitive aspect that wonders if this is simply part of the psychological limited reparenting that often accompanies BPD therapy. Is she giving me praise and approval for the person that I am because I didn’t get that growing up and she is trying to provide that for me now?
That doesn’t mean I don’t deserve it. I can appreciate that it may be a psychological technique but at the same time it can also be the truth. She does acknowledge that I’ve made mistakes in the past, but she also reminds me that I try to correct these actions. Or if I can’t, make different, better, decisions going into the future. I am making more appropriate choices as I go into the future and doing this in a progressively more responsible and emotionally balanced way. And that is something that I deserve credit for.
Therapy is a lot of work sometimes. A lot of work, but  in the end, very worth it.

P.S. I’m not okay with this new Blogger style change. I have to relearn where everything is and it feels too empty and open. I don’t like it =( It’s hard for me to adjust to stuff like this.

1 comment:

  1. Haven, I am so glad I found you...you are logical, reasonable, articulate & self-aware. You help me see things from a clearer perspective and the end result is me going, "oh. yeah. wow." So, thank you....

    ReplyDelete

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