I spoke with Therapist on Tuesday. I didn't blog abut immediately because what he had to tell me wasn't necessarily what I wished to hear and I needed time to think about it. This is what Therapist said:
Sam, I've known you for nearly ten years now. Your reaction doesn't surprise me at all. In fact, it makes complete sense, given what I know about you.
But it didn't make sense to me. And I wasn't sure I wanted my reaction, which confused and frustrated me, to be completely understandable to Therapist. I said (because I say it all the time-- it's my favorite question), "Why?"
You don't like to see people isolated or hurting.
That's true. It's called empathy, I believe most people have it to some degree.
We talked about the sadness I've been feeling. I'm grieving, he said. because I recognize that the situation IS sad. David has no more support from his extended family. That's sad. He is in a marriage that is messy and unhappy. Also sad. He has a son who won't speak to him and a new grandchild he has never seen. Very, very sad.
But Therapist said that it's okay for me to be sad because I also recognize that this came about because of choices David made to harm people who should have been safe with him. I'm not trying to fix it. I'm just mourning what could have been. Our families could have shared a closeness and kinship that his actions destroyed. And he is facing that reality now. It hurts him and it's sad.
me: So what you're saying is that I just have to let this happen. Be sad. Grieve. Because it's sad, it affects me, and I just need to let the feelings happen.
Therapist: Sort of. Part of you wants to fix this. You understand that you could reach out to him and maybe ease the pain he's feeling. You've done it many times with lots of people. But you also understand that he's not a safe person and your boundaries do not allow you to be vulnerable with someone who has proven he's not safe. Part of the grief is that you recognize this is not something you can help or heal. There are a number of things that are sad for you in this situation. The grieving must take place because they are beyond your ability to change. They do not belong to you even if they affect you.
Things that affect me but do not belong to me. That's something I'm thinking about.
Also, letting grief happen which is yucky and really hurts. And I can't really talk about it because people immediately remind me that this is what happens when a person rapes kids.
Yeah. I know. But I've passed the "rapes kids" part and moved on to the "person" part. They don't understand that. I don't either. But the truth is that there's a person hurting, for whatever reason, and it's sad, and I can't help.
Why would you want to? they ask.
A very good question. Therapist says that impulse has nothing to do with my cousin and everything to so with me. It's who I am. It's an integral part of Samantha. I stayed in a home with an abusive mother and took the punishment I was afraid she would deliver to my younger siblings. Even when I had opportunity to go elsewhere, I stayed. And I didn't leave until I was certain they would be okay without me. He reminded me of the time I befriended a young girl who was abandoned by her parents and made her a part of my life-- and she calls me her sister today and tells everyone that I "saved" her. Therapist said that most of the people I love have, at one time or another, looked to me for comfort, support, or acceptance.
In my head, that's just how people interact. My story is not unique. People are. They connect with others. They help each other and fall in love. And when that process is stopped, it's sad.
Therapist says, no. He says people like me are important and that not everyone is like me and that's why I have trouble finding a listening ear. The impulse - even his own impulse - is to say, "It's about time the creep got what's coming to him." Therapist said he would not be surprised if my tears are the only ones shed because my cousin is ignored by his family and because he's sad. He said most people remember the reasons behind the current situation and are not bothered by the fact that my cousin is uncomfortable. Therapist says I am unique.
I think Therapist meant that in a kind way, but I'm left feeling that I'm a freak. Also, grieving is really hard and I don't like it.