Putting it all together--Part 1
I was driving home from Utah on Tuesday. I'd met some really wonderful people, and visited with friends. I'd spent time with my family. I was alone and thinking like crazy. I was thinking about my last visit with Therapist and our little role playing game. Here's how it went:
Therapist: I'm going to ask you the questions I want you to ask your friend, and you answer as you believe he would.
Me: Oookaay... I guess.
Therapist: Why did you come with me to see my cousin.
Me: Because you (Samantha) are needy and pathetic. And I'm sort of curious as to what your cousin looks like.
Therapist: You don't really think that.
Me: Are you still being me? or are you Therapist again.
Therapist: I'm me. I'll just say that people, as a general rule, don't make a flight to go be with a needy and pathetic person.
Me: Therapist, he was on spring break. He was coming anyway.
Therapist: So--how many college-aged, single guys do you know who will spend nearly a day and a half of their spring breaks with their married, older friend?
Me: Okay, point taken. I'll ask him the first question.
Therapist: I'm you again. Did you feel compelled to stay with me after we had lunch with David? emotionally or otherwise?
Me: Yes. You looked like you were going to yak up a cat. You were all messed up. I was afraid you'd get into a car accident if I let you drive. I wanted to leave, but you were in no condition to take me home and drive back to your hotel.
Therapist: You must think your friend has an extreme sense of responsibility.
Me: Are you still me?
Me: He does. He's told me so on numerous occasions. I feel terribly guilty that I took advantage of him--and even moreso because, given the opportunity to do everything again, I wouldn't change that. I know that doesn't say anything nice about me--but I needed to have someone with me, someone I loved. And he was there.
Therapist: It's awesome that you're admitting you needed someone. That's a wonderful step. But in my experience, most people don't stay that long with one person unless they choose to.
Me: I'm the one with the car. I didn't drive him home.
Therapist: Did you offer?
Me: Well, yes. And I would have taken him home whenever he said he wanted to leave.
Therapist: It sounds to me as if he stayed because he wanted to.
Me: Fine. I'll ask him.
Therapist: I think you should. I'm you again. What did you feel when we were alone in the hotel room.
Me: Awkward. Weird. Like I wanted to be somewhere else.
Therapist: Sam, what did he do when you got to the room?
Me: Are you still me?
Me: He hugged me for a long time.
Therapist: In general, do people hug you when they feel awkward or out of place?
Therapist: You'll ask him the question?
Therapist: I'm you again.
Me: (sighing) Fine.
Therapist: I'm going to make some comments that you, as your friend will respond to: I don't understand why I wanted you to stay when I like being alone especially when I'm not in control of myself. I don't like people to witness my weakness. I don't understand why I allowed myself to be held, or why I wanted that when I don't really like people to touch me.
Me: I don't know what to say.
Therapist: Say what you think your friend will say.
Me: I just did.
Therapist: (laughing) Sam, you really hate this, don't you.
Therapist: Okay, just do the dialogue thing with him and listen to what he says, okay?
Me: Okay. Is that all?
Therapist: No, a couple more. You said you gave your friend a kiss on the cheek. If he'll allow you to do so, ask him how he felt about that.
Me: I know how he felt. I'm a girl, he's gay. It was gross and disgusting to him.
Therapist: So, how did he react? Did he push you away?
Me: He hugged me, and he laughed a little, and he asked me if I was sure I wasn't attracted to him.
Therapist: That's an inside joke between the two of you? or did he mean it?
Me: A joke. It always makes me laugh.
Therapist: It doesn't sound to me as if he was repelled. It sounds like he completely understood your intent and was celebrating the fact that you're wonderful friends by inserting your inside joke and allowing you to laugh.
Me: I don't want to ask him.
Therapist: I think you should consider it.
Me: I'll consider it.
Therapist: You should also consider asking him how it felt to hold you in his arms.
Me: That's too much.
Therapist: How did it feel when you hugged him back--I'm assuming you did--when he held you?
Me: It felt right, comfortable, and relaxed. I really felt no awkwardness, and it was really comforting to have someone to hold onto. I'm not sure this makes sense.
Therapist: It makes complete sense. I think you should ask him.
Me: Therapist, no one really wants to touch me--ever. You can't imagine how guilty I feel, allowing him to hold me as long as he did. He actually saw the vile man who touched me, and he still was willing to comfort me. I'm more grateful than I can ever express. But I don't want him to tell me that he did it even though he was disgusted by me. That's not something I can stomach right now. It's one thing to know it--another thing altogether to have someone I love confirm that.
Therapist: He won't.
Me: You don't know that.
Therapist: I'm 99.9% certain.
Me: I'm not going to ask him.
Therapist: Okay, but if you change your mind, I think you'll learn a lot.
Therapist: The last thing you should do is ask him if he has any questions for you.
Therapist: I think his question will really surprise you.
Me: What do you think he'll say?
Therapist: I guess you'll have to ask him to find out that answer.
Me: I'm not happy with this assignment.
Therapist: All assignments are entirely optional.
Me: But you think this one is important.
Therapist: Probably the most important assignment I've ever given anybody--and I wouldn't give it to most of my clients. You're a different sort. I think this might take you closer to the goal you've set than anything you've done so far.
Me: I haven't set any goals.
Therapist: Yes, you have. One very large goal.
Me: Really? What would that be?
Therapsit: To be finished with "this".
Me: Oh yeah. Okay, if you think this will help, I'll think about asking the questions. Maybe I'll do it.
Therapist: Good. Let me know how that turns out.
Me: Stop stealing my lines.