So, another therapy session this week, and another hour in the confessional. I ‘fessed up to my therapist about the “connection” between my boss and me. You know, the “special” one I fessed up to here a few days ago?
She said she made a note about six months ago that she thought there was something more to my relationship with him, though she wasn’t sure what it was. Damnit if she isn’t spot on with this stuff… again.
I think it was partly just her intuition, but also, she said, the fact that I defend him. I’ll go and criticise him for being a pr!ck, but as soon as she weighs in, I defend him. I never knew I did that.
Like many of you, she agreed that his behaviour is crossing all sorts of boundaries. I guess I didn’t really realise it – not trooly rooly – until she asked me if I think it would be appropriate for me to ring or text a younger, married male colleague at all hours of the day and night. No. No, no no.
But how do I stop this? X is on a business trip this week and he’s still ringing me and texting me. I can leave the calls unanswered, but the text messages (from anyone) are like heroin to me. I can’t help myself. I’m addicted. I need help. I need an emergency intervention from CTA (Compulsive Texters Anonymous). LOL
But I digress.
Anyway, she said similar things to many of you (and I’m putting this up in lights in a bid to etch it into my brain):
I give him too much power over me. That too much of my emotional state and my sense of self rests on him. That my confidence gets lost each time he says something negative. She said, and I quote, that I need to say, “F*** him for a while.”
She didn’t mean this literally, obviously. Just that I need to be less concerned about what he thinks. She asked me why his opinion is so important? And whether it’s more important than anyone else’s? And why I seem to assume that just because he’s got an opinion, why does that mean he’s right?
She said that his inconsistency is appalling. That in any situation it’s running hot and cold like this that drives people crazy. Yes, it does.
She also said that I should challenge him sometimes, particularly when he sends me mixed messages or behaves badly. Her favourite phrase for men behaving badly is, “Go back into your cave.” I love that, though I’m not sure I’d have the courage to ever say it.
She said the he keeps hurting me and upsetting me, and I keep letting him. Yes, I do. I’m starting to see that this is continual pattern for me – not just with men, but also with some of my female friends. (Long term affects of childhood abuse, anyone???)
I hadn’t realised that I ascribed him so much power and so much importance. I guess I do. She’s certainly right about him shaking my confidence (the little bits I’ve managed to scrape together anyway.)
She reiterated that in this period of my emotional recovery I need someone who’s solid; who’ll be a rock for me at work. Someone who will instil confidence in me and help me to rebuild. At the very least someone who doesn’t run hot and cold all the time and send me so many mixed messages. She’s right there.
To bring this long ramble to a close, I’ll share a funny interlude from my session:
T: “I thought you were going to tell me you’d had wild sex with him or something.”
Me: “No. I’ve never had sex with him.”
T: “Oh.” With note of disappointment.
Me: “Well, you don’t have to sound so disappointed!” Laughing.
T: “Did I? Oh. No. I’m sorry.” Both of us laughing now.