I spoke to my therapist about my feelings toward Lora. I told her that I was afraid that I was having these feelings now, that I’d felt like I was feeling more and more detached from Lora over the past few months, so this high amount of anger freaked me out – shouldn’t I be letting go?
My therapists first comment was along the lines of “You should be doing what you need to be doing”. Meaning, I shouldn’t think of it as a race to let go and be over things, or that my only focus should be getting Lora out of my brainspace. Yes, I should absolutely be thinking of her less, worrying/obsessing about her less, and generally filling my life with other things. But I could still have things about her that I need to work out, things that I couldn’t look at, for one reason or another, at an earlier time. Have I done anything lately, she asked, which might make it feel “safer” to let any emotionally unfinished business come to the surface?
Well, yeah. I’ve done a lot. The little bedroom looks fairly different from how it did when she lived with us. I’ve also done a bunch of fall cleaning/repairs/improvements over the last few weeks. Some of it is merely things that I never got around to doing while she was still there, in part because being at home with her was upsetting, and I was avoiding it as much as possible. It was hard to get myself to make repairs in a space that I didn’t want to be in at all.
Some of what I’ve done though, were deliberate acts to get past Lora, or reclaim our apartment. For instance, in both of the bedrooms, the original “plan” had been that as Lora got settled into the little bedroom, we were all going to take some time together to decorate the walls of both bedrooms. Though the little bedroom was functionally Lora’s room, she said it was important to her that there be a few touches of wall art/decorations that came from me, and also a larger number that came from Jon. In the big bedroom, we were supposed to have a fair equal mix of those things, as well as take the time to rearrange those decorations together.
Despite me repeatedly asking/bringing up doing that, Lora never wanted to. Every time we were all home and I or Jon mentioned it, she wasn’t in the mood – she’d rather be gaming on her computer. Let’s do it tomorrow/next week/another day (and of course, she never brought it up herself). That was one of those many things that really bothered me, because it felt like her mouth was saying one thing (yes, I do want both rooms decorated in a way that shows that we’re sharing our lives together, and for us to all do it together) and her actions were saying another (gaming is always more important than spending an hour or two one day with all of us decorating together).
I stopped asking when I stuck my head into the little bedroom one day (I rarely went in there) and found that she’d suddenly put up a bunch of her stuff on the walls. Ok, I thought. Dunno if she forgot or what, but since she never brings it up, and has decided to decorate the little bedroom the way she wants, I’m not bringing it up anymore.
Once her things were moved out, I started putting some things on the walls in both bedrooms, originally pulling things from other parts of our home that felt a bit visually cluttered to me. Then, last weekend, when Jon got done working early one night, we picked out a few decorations that had been held in reserve for when the three of us were going to decorate together, and decided how the two of us wanted to arrange them. I put those things up earlier this week.
So maybe doing all those things (which I find a lot of meaning in the symbolism behind stuff like decorating together, and mixing mementos), coupled with Jon still going out with Lora (and trying to figure out what he wanted there, and being frank about still not knowing if he even wants to be friends with her) put me in a place where I could finally look at that last bit of emotional gunk, and let it out to deal with it.
To that end, my therapist suggested that I pull up the last email that Lora sent to me, and decide what I would write to her now, or what I felt like I hadn’t said to her then, that feels unfinished to me. I’m going to take it into my next session, and we’re going to look at it together.
I asked her what I’d do with it, once I write it. And she said “Well, let’s take a look at it first, and see from there”. To which I wondered…but surely I wouldn’t send it to her or anything? My therapist shrugged. Maybe you’ll want to, she said. Maybe you’ll want to send part of it. Or maybe just writing it all out will give you what you’re looking for. No way to know until you do it.
I said I was worried that sending it would be like stirring things up again, starting a fight or something. My therapist suggested that I might want to reframe the way that I view certain kinds of conflict and communication. Yes, it is absolutely true that Lora would not view getting any kind of communication from me (especially a negative one) as a good thing. Especially one where I tell her how angry she made me, and how unheard by her I felt. And really, yes, from what I’ve described from her, chances are good that she may just see it as a way to stir shit up and make her miserable. My therapist agreed that it’s possible that she is simply unable to hear me, to hear what I’m really saying, at all. She make refuse to hear any statement of “you hurt me” without coming back with her own statement of “well, you hurt me, and you hurt me far worse, and that’s more important”.
But all that said, once I get it all written out, if it feels like I can’t get past it without emailing it to, and trying, one last time, to be heard, then maybe I should do that. Knowing full well that a shitstorm may come from it. Cluing Jon in, of course.
Or so my therapist said. I really didn’t know how I feel about that. I really didn’t know if it’d be worth it. Which she said that she totally understood. And that she wasn’t saying that I had to send anything. But what she was saying was that completely cutting myself off from an option (emailing Lora my feelings) and acting as though that option literally didn’t (or couldn’t) exist because of Lora’s reaction might not be a great idea. Even if I don’t USE the option, examining it with the absolute conviction that it is an option that I have the right to consider is a very valid thing to do.
That, I understood. When my relationship with my mom was far rockier and abusive, I had a sort of a revelation when I realized that I could walk away from our relationship. I could choose to be estranged from her. It would have caused a lot of problems, and it would have been an enormous, nuclear step to take, but it was one that I had every right to consider. During that time of processing, part of what made staying in communication with and trying to build a relationship with my mom possible (and positive) was the full awareness that I could choose to do the opposite, and that I had examined the option in full awareness that it was viable.
So with that in mind, I’m going to be spending some time the next few days composing a response to Lora, that gets all that unfinished business out. What I do with it…that’s something that I can worry about later, after it’s done.
All that said, I feel…I still feel insecurity that I’m spending whole blog posts writing about Lora, and not moving on to blogging about non-Lora-related polyamory things. I feel defensive. I’m trying not to, but there’s a part of me that is afraid that I sound obsessive and like I’m not letting go. Which is why I (rather defensively, but also with genuine desire to share) want to mention that talking about Lora took up only about half of my session.
The other half was spent talking about my desires to maybe start…if not dating again, meeting new people and seeing what happened. We had a discussion about how – before I started dealing with serious chronic pain and a level of disability – I used to be a lot more active and do a lot of things that caused me to meet new people. I went to a lot more local theater shows, and occasionally helped out a bit with them. I went to meet-ups for various activities. I went to more parties and met the friends of my friends, made friends with them, went to their parties, and then met their friends. I miss that a lot. I miss meeting people and connecting with them and seeing where it goes. And I don’t feel…even though my subconscious had been sending me dreams about dates that seemed to have a romantic flavor, I’m not necessarily looking for another romantic relationship. A non-romantic one with the right person would also be lovely. The important part would be meeting someone (or someones) who I click with, and seeing where it goes.
I’d really like to do that.
In the meantime, Jon and I booked a trip with Issi and Jared to spend a long weekend in New York City, and go to the parade there. Even though NYC isn’t too far away, and we go there semi-regularly, I’ve never been to the parade, and I’ve rarely spent the night there. I think it’s going to be a cool trip. A lovely ex girlfriend/current good friend of Jon’s (Lisa) is also going to be there for that weekend, and he’s talking about all of us meeting up for dinner one night and then seeing if we all want to hang out together, or make out together, or maybe if I’m ok with him and her getting together…whatever the vibe feels like. I already told him that I am totally fine with the two of them getting together and doing whatever emotional and physical things they want to do. The times that I’ve met Lisa, I’ve been attracted to her too, so if she’s interested, I’d love to see what kind of vibe (if any) develops between us. And if nothing past our current cuddly friendship develops, I think I feel pretty comfortable telling them to go have fun, and doing my own thing, or maybe doing something with Issi and/or spending time with Issi and Jared. I’m hoping that Issi and I have time for a date while we’re there, or at least a datey-interval if we don’t have the time for a full-on date (as Saturday will (I think) be filled with us all hanging out wearing costumes and gazing at the spectacle of the parade), and we won’t be there for more than a few days.
At either rate, I’m excited at spending more time (even just hanging out) with Issi and also getting to know Lisa better. Even if I don’t yet have the energy to run around meeting people and doing all the activities I want to, at least it feels like I’m doing *something* other than sitting at home, wishing good things would happen.