Monday, September 25, 2006

Surrogate therapist...

“Paradoxically, an emotionally excessive relationship is not necessarily caring or sensitive. It may be based on the need for reassurances, security, and undying devotion from your partner. This kind of emotionally overloaded relationship involves taking but not giving. The excessively emotional partner will try in vain to get self-love and self-esteem from her partner that she doesn’t have in herself.” --- Mary and John Valentis

This excerpt impacted me as I’ve left an emotionally excessive relationship where I surrendered my identity. This post originated from a letter I had written a friend. I had to explain to this friend how sorry I was for using her as a substitute therapist. I see it now. It was a most unproductive attempt at getting self-love and self-esteem … especially because it came from the outside. I didn’t mean to act this way, and it put pressure upon her to be play a roll that didn't correspond to her at all. Believe me, I hadn’t questioned these kinds of behaviors till now.

It’s easy to find a safe haven in someone else rather than doing the necessary alone-work of internal assessment and reevaluation to cultivate inner strength and character. What’s more, I was using “Romance” as a pretext to distract me from the internal journey of healing which needed to take place -- alone, without artificial supports.

Others can offer a listening ear for a time,
But the work is ultimately mine.

© TR 2006

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