Counseling 2: Fourth Session
Therapist said that usually, when he works with couples, they learn ways to improve communication. Darrin laughed. Then he told Therapist that if we (Darrin and I) hadn't known how to do that for most of our marriage, we would not be married today. That comment gave Therapist the opening he'd been waiting for. He asked Darrin question after question about our mixed-orientation marriage. I sat back and listened as Darrin gave his perspective of living with a same-sex attracted, abuse victim. It felt as though the subject of their conversation was someone other than me. Darrin painted me as courageous, heroic, generous. He said I was strong, faithful, and he told Therapist he felt blessed that I was his wife. He said that because of my past and my feelings of SSA, he felt that our marriage was stronger than most. We worked through issues most people never face. Darrin said his love for me was strengthened each time I overcame another obstacle and remained steadfast in our marriage. He compared our marriage to those of our parents. My parents have been married for 43 years. Darrin's mother and step-father have been married for sixteen years. Darrin said, in his opinion, our parents really didn't have the kind of love and intimacy he and I experience, because they don't know one another. They've grown used to each other. They live together. But they simply tolerate differences because they aren't strong enough to confront and work through them. We have to work through our differences if we choose to stay married. There is no other choice.
Therapist said to me, "I'd be interested in hearing why you chose Darrin, and in how you got to the point where you felt that you could be intimate with a man." I said, "That's a pretty personal question." Therapist laughed, and Darrin gave me a dirty look. "Well, it IS!" I told him. So I went back to my lovely teen years, when I had the horrifying need to hurt young men emotionally. Therapist said that made total sense, and was actually a healthy reaction to the abuse I'd suffered. Interesting.
I told Therapist that I decided when I was about 16 that I wanted to be married. So I'd read everything I could about homosexuality and same-sex attraction. Then I'd drawn my own conclusions, and worked toward what I wanted. I told him I knew that wasn't the norm. But I was finished agonizing over who I was, and I developed a method which helped me cope with feelings, and deal with them positively. When I met Darrin, I knew he was one who would work within the parameters I'd set for myself, he'd be willing to help me grow, he had the patience and the love necessary to help me work toward my goals. Therapist asked me if I was attracted to Darrin, initially. I sad no, but attraction is a fleeting feeling that doesn't last. There are deeper feelings that DO last.
Therapist asked what types of things had made me certain that I wanted to marry Darrin. I told, for the first time, of the "tests" I'd put him through. Darrin had never been aware that I was testing him, so this was something new for him to hear. Darrin came through the testing period with flying colors. Even in the temple, when I told him I thought we should call everything off, he gave the right answer.
Therapist asked how long it had taken before we were able to be comfortable in intimacy. Darrin estimated about six months. I didn't answer. There are still times when it's not comfortable. They're rare, but they still exist. Finally, I spoke of this. Darrin was a little surprised. He asked if it was connected to the crying thing. I told him that the two things were unrelated, but equally uncomfortable.
Therapist believes that, even though I've been able to reconcile my feelings about my abuser, to some extent, and about the abuse, to a smaller extent, that I haven't reconciled all my feelings about men, in general, and I haven't even begun to search out why I'm still insecure and afraid around certain women. My assignment for the next session is to explore my feelings about the Lord, especially his role in the creation of my body. I'm supposed to discuss this with Darrin.
I have to say, I really don't want to do this. Of all the things I've been asked to do, I believe this one might be key in helping me heal, but I'm afraid of what I'll discover. I'm afraid to explore. I'm wondering if I'm afraid to heal.