I have a therapist and a lawyer. And some real insights.

Does having a therapist and a lawyer make me a real grown-up?

Will and I had our wills and power of attorney done just before we split. And although it’s not as if my divorce hasn’t felt final (our marriage was over before we made the decision, and we both moved on very quickly) there are things that really make it over.

While the piece of paper that formally dissolves a marriage sets the stage, there is nothing like saying “you are no longer the most significant adult in my life” by updating your will, the beneficiary of your life insurance and assets, and your power of attorney over your finances. I think those things are the actual final curtain on a relationship.

I am moving even further away from my marriage, which I didn’t realize was possible.

One thing I retained, however, is Will as the power of attorney over my “personal care”. This is the person that makes the decision whether to pull the plug, basically.  While I trust my Mom more than anyone else in the entire world, I just don’t think she could do it.  So perhaps we are still taking curtain calls in the stage play of our relationship.

While I picked the lawyer in the first place, now it feels like she’s really mine.

And now I can also add a therapist to the people supporting me in life.

Yes, contemplated for a while, urged on by my Mother, and timed with a full preventative and holistic health and wellness assessment, I agreed to meet a Clinical Psychotherapist. We have had two sessions so far. Another is booked for after my no-contact deadline with Tony.

And yes, she knows about this blog and has the link. How else for someone to really get to know me and my story – and for me to ensure I don’t hold anything back? Scary, I know. But the right thing.

(Hi, Doc!)

The core thing I wanted to address with her was a better understanding of how the relationship with my father could impact my actions, and how to break any patterns of behaviour that aren’t good for me. For example, staying in a relationship with someone who has characteristics I like but is emotionally unavailable.

Sound familiar?

Hello, Tony. Hello, Will. Hello, Daddy.

While my father has grown on this front and I now know without a doubt how much he loves me and is proud of me, growing up I never felt good enough. Never felt unconditional love from him.

On the one hand, a drive to constantly improve and satisfy has contributed to my business success. Much has been written about the insecurities and “impostor syndrome” of CEOs. It’s fascinating.

On the other hand,  I seem to have a thing for men like my Dad. Not a surprise. I like men who are highly intelligent, quick-witted, funny, gregarious, curious, communicative, and passionate. But, my most significant relationships were with men who were also self-centered, perhaps narcissistic, hard to please, controlling, and demanding. Ultimately, not providing me with the emotional support I need.

I believe I have to embrace the past and the experiences that got me where I am today. I understand that my relationship with my father, and his characteristics, are both positive and negative forces on my life. I am not the kind of person to remain in stasis, blaming others for my psychological lot in life, and not ever moving forward. Oh, and that characteristic? Definitely my father’s.

What I do want to continue to do, however, is make good choices. Break patterns. And I’m happy to say, I’m doing this. It feels great.

Those of you who have read my early dating stories know quite well I put up with a lot of douchbag behaviour. My primary focus was getting my mojo back, finding my groove, and feeling desired. I also had to learn a lot about dating and relationships again. But ultimately, what I can do at 41 which I couldn’t do at 16, is know that men and how they treat me does not define my self-worth. It does not define my attractiveness, and it does not have to be on their terms.

I now choose what I’m going to put up with.

For example, if I fuck Shenanigans, it’s because I feel like it. Not because his presence makes me feel more valued. Not because I’m craving male attention. As I said in a comment, I’d have to be really bored, and really horny. The latter is pretty much a constant, and I’m not seeing boredom in my near future.

I used to worry my sexual adventures were driven by a need for male attention and acceptance. It was probably true when I was 16, and while there may always be a piece of me that’s driven by it, I know what’s in my heart and mind right now and can honestly say it’s not there.

I’m simply, very very sexual. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.


 

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26 thoughts on “I have a therapist and a lawyer. And some real insights.

    • Thank you Vic!! I believe I am right now. It feels good. Except the sadness over Tony part. That feels bad. But even that I’m okay with – it tells me my feelings for him were genuine.

  1. Reading this post made me smile. There is something “caterpillar turning into a butterfly” about it. You have come far Anne. I have no doubt you will achieve great things. I’m proud of u ☺️

    • So sweet Caroline, thank you!! I do feel like I’ve come a long ways – and all I have to do is go back to my early blog stories to see the proof. I have a ways to go, but I’m enjoying the journey 🙂

      Ann
      xoxo

    • Thank you Carol! I figure if I can’t be honest with myself, then there’s not much point in having this blog. It’s all about honestly and thoroughly documenting my journey.

      Hope to see you around here some more! 🙂

  2. Kudos to you for continuing to recognize the need to grow and change in our adulthood. I don’t understand people that don’t want that. As a former therapist, I also applaud you trying a therapist. It’s not for everyone, but like most things in life you get out of it what you put in to it.

    • Thank you so much, Phil!! I think there is such a fine balance between self-acceptance and recognizing I can continue to grow. My parents provided both those things for me…my Mom is unwavering in her love and support. I wish she had been harder on me at times. And my Dad, well, you know what I wrote about him.

      I didn’t realize you were a former therapist – why did you stop? And apologies if I should know that from your blog…I just realized I inadvertantly stopped following you (it happens to me all the time on my iPhone!).

      • Sounds like you were very fortunate to have two great parents. Not everyone chooses their parents wisely. My former therapist brain enjoys your blog because I enjoy your perspective and your ability to keep things in perspective, or at least you use your blog to put them in perspective in explaining your thoughts and feelings to us.

        I stopped being a therapist because the business of helping people became more about business and less about helping people. So I looked outside my profession and very quickly found a job in the pharmaceutical industry.

  3. Sometimes growing up gets hampered or even set aside because of any difficulties we had before we’re grown… but part of growing up is learning how to deal with what happened before so we can learn how to deal with that which may come in the unknown future, understanding that we might have a plan but we might wind up making many adjustments to the plan; we might have to scrap it and come up with a new one, too.

    The biggest hurdle is accepting who (and what, if applicable) we are and that change is inevitable; we have to understand that if we don’t change – and then accept those changes – we will be stuck somewhere in our past, always reliving bad memories, continuing behaviors that are really self-defeating, and ill-prepared to deal with whatever future is in store for us.

    I like that you embrace that you’re a very sexual (and sensual) woman and that you do so without any shame or guilt and that you’ve found ways to work through whatever issues you have – you own the process of your life and that’s not easy for a lot of people to do so you should be damned proud of yourself.

    I’m proud of you, too!

    • Ah, my dear kd… that is super sweet of you. I’m working on being damned proud of myself, but it’s not easy. I see lots of good things but also see where I want to be. It’s a hard balance sometimes.

      I have learned through dating, however, that it IS rare to find people who can continue to grow. So many people are just stuck and can’t figure a way out. That’s part of the fundamental conflict I had with Tony – I’d like to be with someone who is growing, like I am.

      It makes me very happy to make you proud. Thank you from the bottom of my sexual heart 🙂

      (and I should write more about the sexual shame thing…it’s been interesting for me to reflect on my past and present)

      • Of course it’s not easy – it’s not supposed to be easy and if it was, we’d never be challenged to be the best person we can possibly be. Life without growth just sucks and I know too many people who are stuck because they can’t figure out how to get unstuck, are afraid to move forward, or just have no motivation to grow beyond who/what they are right now.

        To me, that’s insane…

        I know too many women who have been shamed by sex and that y’all are conditioned to see sex as shameful and to think that men and sex with them is the only thing that gives you a purpose in life and, as such, value… and that’s bullshit. You’re not supposed to love being a sexual person; you’re not supposed to be the kind of woman who will go get what she wants in this because if you so, you’re some kind of shameless slut. This mindset inhibits women so badly and, as a man, it makes me insane to see this and more so when they are unable to accept the fact that they like to get busy (and so much as to shame most men) because they can like to get busy.

        You’ve owned the process of your life; you are understanding the woman you are and the woman you want to be; you’ve done what a lot of women I know haven’t been able to do and probably never will.

        Shit, I’m an Ann Fan…

        • I think that a lot of men have high expectations about how a woman is supposed to behave. She is allowed to be sexual, even highly so, but preferably only with one men, preferably them. If you accept your sexual/sensual side and let it shine through, some men think you are sluts. It’s not just us who feel this way, it’s also the way so many men feel about us, unfortunately!

  4. I think you are becoming self-aware and realizing your good and bad parts. Rationalization is a tough hill to climb but once you accept who you really are, then the healing can begin. It’s hard to look in the mirror and accept the fact that you are short, tall, skinny, fat, or whatever but once you come to grips with yourself then the rest is easy.

    Good luck kid, we love you. 🙂

  5. Again, so glad to hear of your personal progress. Therapy can be very helpful when your heart and mind are open to the process. I think everyone could use a “check-in” now and again. I so enjoy reading your journey. Virtual hugs to you.

  6. I must say I am a bit disappointed to not get to read about the alcohol-imbibed mistake you made, but I’m glad to read that you are feeling at peace with yourself and your decisions.
    It is so important!
    Hugs. And I’ll wait another 24 hours before I can read about this other thing… Unless you decide to let us stew even longer 😉
    XO

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