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...