Counseling--about the end
1. The walk was wonderful. It was a gorgeous day and it was a relief to see normal people doing normal things (kids playing, people talking and eating lunch, jogging, walking, etc.).
2. I felt really horrible--worse than I had ever suspected I might feel. I was so glad to not be alone, to be with someone who would listen, to be with someone who wasn't afraid to touch me when I felt that I was untouchable.
3. I was tired. I can't even express how tired I felt. Not just sleepy, but emotionally and physically exhausted. I needed to sleep.
Therapist said that was all well and good, but here was what he saw:
1. In our walk I saw people of various ages participating in life. I saw children playing in safety, adults in healthy interaction, and I, myself was participating in that. That was a healthy way to deal with the stress I was feeling. He suggested that I could have taken Tolkien Boy home and then tried to cope on my own (apparently I'm fairly predictable). The fact that I allowed him to stay--that I wanted him to stay is unusual for me, and also very healthy.
2. I talked about my feelings with Tolkien Boy, face to face. I've only done that with Therapist (very limitedly) and Darrin (poor guy). TB and I have talked about feelings, but never in person, which is something I have a great deal of difficulty doing. I also allowed myself to be held. Except with Darrin (who is exempt from everything, thank goodness!) I don't do that--ever. I can count on one hand the times I've allowed anyone to hold me--and for the most part, those times have been of very brief duration. Therapist said that he was really happy that I'd allowed myself to be vulnerable in a one-on-one venue, that I'd accepted comfort from a person other than Darrin, and that I had not shied away from physical touch beyond a brief hug. Then Therapist asked me to share how I felt when TB held me. I was a little amazed when I realized I wasn't afraid--I'm always afraid. Usually I have to move away from people and create my personal space or I get very nervous. That nervousness was, for the most part, absent. There was the brief moment when I went to the other bed because I felt it coming. Bu it went away and I was able to come back. I felt comforted and relaxed and unexpectedly safe. Therapist says this is a really good step. I think he's right, even though I'm still trying to understand everything.
3. Therapist said it was significant and symbolic that I slept while TB held me. He mentioned that it was a sort of fulfillment of my childhood desire to be safe at night and he believes I allowed myself to stay in that situation because of the groundwork laid when TB and I did our virtual dream visits. Therapist pointed out that I was alone with a man (regardless of orientation) in an extremely vulnerable setting after a highly emotional experience, and I had no fear of anything. I knew I would be safe. He believes I did more to heal in the time TB and I spent together Wednesday afternoon, than in my many months of therapy. He could be right. There probably is no other setting in which I could give and receive love from an unrelated man with a complete absence of sexual tension--which is absolutely vital as I try to realign my beliefs and perceptions about men. I have to reiterate once again that I'm very much in love with Therapist (in spite of the fact that I also hate him for giving me a million stupid assignments to do before our next visit). I love the fact that he understands that sometimes we have to think outside the box, that not every situation is what it seems to be, and that he's willing to let me have autonomy as I try to figure out how to find peace.
The whole experience, according to Therapist, was extremely important and rare, and I'm very blessed to have had that opportunity given to me. He said if I look back, it seems that my path has been mapped out almost every step of the way, and that all I have needed has been provided. He also pointed out that even though to me, it seems I've been working on healing for a very long time, most of his clients take years to even make it to the point where they will consider meeting with their abuser. And he's fascinated by the fact that I've reached out to gay/homo/ssa/whatever men to help me overcome my fear of men. Someday I'll go to a bishop interview without feeling sick and scared when the door closes. Someday I'll make an appointment to have a physical (it's been 10 years since my last). Someday I'll ride in elevators again. Someday I'll hug people without being afraid, and it won't bother me to shake hands anymore. Someday I'll figure out how to stop feeling ugly and contaminated. Someday I will live and life will be beautiful. I've decided this--and I hate to be wrong.