I saw my therapist the other night. She helped a lot with my rolling around at the bottom of the pit (as did David’s and Kate’s comments on my last post – thank you!) It’s so nice when your therapist does precisely what you need her to do precisely when you need her to do it.
But, of course, she also got me thinking… she wouldn’t be doing her job if she didn’t, would she? 😉
We talked quite a lot about work and my tumultuous ride on the roller coaster this week. She said a couple of things that surprised me, but stuck with me. She said,
“You know: whenever you are upset about work, I know that the next sentence is going to start with X [my boss’ name].”
She’s right. It does. She also said,
“I wonder if he’s got a crush on you. Or you have a crush on each other. Your relationship with him is like an abusive relationship – ‘He loves me. He loves me not.’ – You get so many mixed messages from him.”
She’s also right there, about the mixed messages and the confusion of the ‘loves me-hates me’ thing. And then she said (and this made me laugh),
“Get him in here. I’ll sort him out.”
Anyway, I could bore you with the ins and outs of our conversation, or I could just get to the point. In the world’s biggest confession (ok, not really, but it feels like it to me) …
Yes, I have also wondered if he has a crush on me. I know I used to have one on him. (Ugh, that’s so squirmy to admit!) I’ve known him for five or six years, though he wasn’t my boss until last year. When I first met him he was friendly, and pretty much the first man I’ve ever met who was a sensitive soul. And funny, very very funny. At that time he was also kind (though he’s since shown himself to be a boorish a$$ sometimes). In truth, for a few years there was a lot of UST between us. It was awkward and weird, but fun at the same time.
My crush on him, and my engagement in the flirtatiousness of our relationship, ended a few years ago when he said something incredibly insensitive about some work I’d done. Incredibly insensitive. I was completely and utterly shattered. It took a long time for me to get over that and, in truth, I’m not sure I ever did.
But perhaps it’s not over? I mean, he still rings me on weekends for a chat. He always – ALWAYS – rings me late at night when his wife’s away. He’s rung me a few times when he’s been driving up country so I could “keep him company” (on a three hour road trip, via phone). He rings me from the fish and chip shop to “keep him company”. He texts me often – or used to – that’s lessened since my life started falling apart.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’m certainly squirmy about admitting it. As for the content, well… I always knew there was never anything in it (he’s married), but I thought it was fun. I also thought it was harmless, but perhaps not?
I unfortunately spent more time with X tonight at a colleague’s birthday party (that in itself is another story, but one I’ll save for later). He was pretty rude to me early on, and even looked at me with such disdain – at least until he had a few hundred beers under his belt, then he was super friendly again. Viewed through my therapist’s comments, and my confession here, tonight’s the first time I could see how my relationship with him is triggering, and is like an abusive relationship (even if that’s not his intention, which I’m sure it’s not). He gives me mixed messages all the time. He’s rude to me in many of the same ways that abusers have been rude to me in the past. He can be very nice, but he can also be a pig.
My therapist said I need to be in a supportive work environment, to have a manager who will be a rock for me, and regenerate some of my lost confidence. That certainly isn’t X. I see that now.
I haven’t been game to tell my therapist my confession. For one thing, it didn’t seem relevant. I’m also embarrassed because we’ve talked about him for so long that it seems odd to bring it up now. It’s cringe worthy. It’s squirmy and icky and yucky and, well, oogy. I’m not sure whether I should keep silent, or let her in on the secret (but suspect the answer is the latter).