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Magical World

Wouldn't it be lovely if, with just a twitch of the nose, life, or any aspect of it could be changed. Instead, positive changes always seem to involve tremendously hard work, determination, and endless setbacks. How lovely it would be to have the powers of Samantha Stephens.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nurturing

**Ugh!! I finished this post and tried to publish it and Blogger lost it for me--so this is take two--and it's not even a GREAT post--bleh!!! And I'm sure if I get any comments it will be from helpful bloggers telling me how to not lose my posts again, instead of addressing the content of this mediocre post...sigh...**

Nurture (verb):
1. Help develop, help grow
2. Bring up
3. Provide with nourishment
4. Encourage somebody or something to flourish

I mentioned my blog to my therapist. He wanted to know if I had any vistors. I said yes. He wanted to know what I talked about on my blog. I told him I had posted my counseling assignments about abuse, about my relationship with my parents...day to day stuff...general complaints about life...depression and woes...frustration because I can't solve my most recent problem. My therapist drew the mistaken conclusion that my visitors must be females who also have suffered abuse in their lives. No, I said, I actually have very few female visitors. He asked how many visitors I averaged. I told him three or four commented on a regular basis, and occasionally a female guest commented, as well. He asked me if the guests were random, all different, or if they had anything in common. So I told him they were pretty much all gay. He said that didn't surprise him. Men with SSA are drawn to nurturing people, especially women, and I must seem to them to be a very nurturing person.

And THAT is the first time ANYONE has EVER said ANYTHING like that to me. As a new mom, my own mother would telephone me every couple of hours to remind me to hold my babies. As a teacher, my general response to a problem is to exhibit initial sympathy, but I insist the student take responsibility for his/her own problems. As a parent, currently, one would have to note that my children are extremely independent and self-sufficient, and I'm impatient with their friends who expect me to do anything for them. As a businesswoman, I would have to say I'm a little manipulative--just enough to tip the scales in my favor, but not unethical. When my family is sick, I leave and let Darrin deal with the fallout (although, when they were younger, I was the one who held them when they puked, and rocked them back to sleep). I am not viewed as a largely loving or sympathetic person, and if you come to me when you're sad--my likely response will be to laugh and tell you how hilarious I find your plight.

ATP told me he thought I was nurturing. But I'm not sure that's valid because everyone nurtures him. That just kind of goes along with the "youngest guy just coming out" motif. I told my therapist all this--and his response was that just as SSA men seek out nurturing women, the reverse is also true--women seek out nurturing from SSA men, and he indicated that perhaps my blog was a call for nurturing to which they had responded. Now, I suppose he could be right...there have certainly been times, especially recently, when I've felt the need to be nurtured. But I guess I don't think that it's unusual for people in vulnerable positions to want that.

Regardless, if I think about some of the commentary, I still find myself disagreeing with my counselor. For instance, I don't find it at all nurturing when -L- calls me crazy, or says: "...get the hell to a doctor!" (although it cracks me up when he does). And when Master FOB says that in spite of the fact that I'm an extremely accomplished musician with a scintillating personality, the only way I can enter his elite inner circle is if I'm a tall, African-American male, well, I don't find that nurturing at all. Extremely funny--but not nurturing. And I'm trying to be sad about the futility of it all, but can't quite get it right.

I guess I'm a little aggravated that my therapist is stereotyping. I suppose he's entitled to do so, since one of his specialities is working with SSA men (hence, David's therapist), and the other is working with clients who have eating disorders (of which I am one), but it still bugs me. It's kind of like saying girls aren't as good at math as boys. Considering that I never had to take a math class in college because I AP'd out of it (but I still took two advanced calc classes just for fun--and an easy A), I don't find that statement true--even if it's accurate in a majority setting. And given the verbosity of the male commentary in blogworld, I'd say that destroys all credence of the generalization that women are more verbal. But given the fact that most of the blogs I read are not written by straight men, perhaps the point is moot.

I believe all people have a universal need to be nurtured. I have a difficult time believing those needs can be met in cyberspace. I have a problem with my therapist making judgments about my writing, when he's never read it, about my visitors, when he's never met them, about my life, when he knows only what I told him during a 50 minute session. And I guess I'm feeling a little hostile about this because generalizations and categorizations made in ignorance infuriate me.

Hmmmm...maybe I just need some good nurturing...

7 Comments:

  • At Friday, August 25, 2006 2:36:00 PM, Blogger That One Guy said…

    You can tell him I'm not gay... I'm okay with that... :)

    Also, from one of your recent posts, you note that he essentially gave you permission to forget and do the things that help you move on and deal, rather than dwell and fret.

    I think that's good. Although you have been the victim of some horrific things, I think it's good to try to "be allowed" to forget about things you can't change.

    Although yuo describe yourself as mildly manipulative, you can't manipulate the past...

    You have to move in the "ahead" direction, rather than in the "past" direction...

    Armchair sike, here!!

    :)

    continue on, friend.

     
  • At Friday, August 25, 2006 3:37:00 PM, Anonymous lynne said…

    For the record, I'm a single mom of 2, completely heterosexual, & very active LDS. I just happened upon this whole world out there & have found it quite interesting. One of my first loves turned out to be gay, this was in the early 80's & completely out of my realm of experience or understanding.

    Tell your therapist I don't fit into your average reader, but have enjoyed your perspective on others blogs & have enjoyed getting to know you through your own.

     
  • At Friday, August 25, 2006 3:43:00 PM, Blogger AttemptingthePath said…

    I got part of a paragraph on this post. I'm pretty much amazing :-)

     
  • At Friday, August 25, 2006 4:23:00 PM, Blogger Master Fob said…

    Samantha, when you move to Seattle you are totally in Fob, despite your lack of maleness, blackness, and tallness. Do you feel nurtured?

    I think the key point here is that nurturing does not happen in cyberspace. Validation, perhaps, but not nurturing. You may well be a nurturing person, or you might not be (neither I nor my wife is naturally a nurturing person--defying stereotypes of gay men and straight women both), but as far as I'm concerned nurturing needs a physical presence. And I may typcially get nurturing from women, but I certainly don't seek it from them.

    You can tell your therapist I said that.

     
  • At Saturday, August 26, 2006 6:47:00 AM, Blogger -L- said…

    There there, crazy woman.

     
  • At Saturday, August 26, 2006 8:51:00 AM, Blogger Samantha said…

    TOG: Good to hear you're comfortable with your sexuality. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Lynne: Happy to meet you--I think I saw you talking to Chris on L's blog. Good to have some background on you--AND to hear from another sister (no disrespect intended guys, but you know we girls are a minority on this site).

    ATP: You ARE amazing (said in the most nurturing way)!!

    MF: Darrin says we MUST move to Seattle now. I'll work on my tall black maleness in the meantime. I never would have guessed you weren't the nurturing type, and I'm making a list of "Comments from bloggers to pass on to my therapist". He might find it helpful.

    L: Your comment inspires me to say, in the memorable words of Th., "I'm ... uncharacteristically stupified ... left with nothing to say..."

     
  • At Saturday, August 26, 2006 4:07:00 PM, Blogger -L- said…

    Ok, my REAL comment is that I agree with your therapist. Sort of. I think you are nurturing and I can back that up with plenty of evidence. And I think that in some form or another, all of us are nurturing to one another.

    But I don't think that's anything unique to gay or SSA or whatever kinds of people. That's how almost everyone is. Your therapist's thoughts would make a good horoscope: "You find opportunities to nurture those around you and feel better in return." Whatever, smartypants therapist.

    P.S. L's position statement: Therapy is good and you should keep going and have an open mind.

     

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