I returned from my Allentown weekend midafternoon yesterday. It was a weekend of many emotions and I'm glad that I went even though some moments were difficult.
I saw four people I intended to see, three of my closest friends in the area and my old therapist. I am bouyed to be able to spend time with these people and find our relationships are holding strong. Tears were shed, but they were tears of love. Those are tears that should not be denied.
Maureen and I have known each other for 16 years. Arielle and her daughter Cat have been friends since they were toddlers. We had a wonderful time catching up on each other's lives. Maureen is the type who will not sidestep difficult topics. She really DOES want to know what I'm thinking and feeling. I appreciate that. I have had so many experiences with friends who are afraid to touch what is most painful...the things I need to express most. But Maureen is not afraid of a friend's tears and will share them. We cried in each other's arms as we said goodbye.
Janet was my weekend hostess. She made me feel so welcome in her home. It's very surreal to spend a weekend there. As my across the street neighbor, it's completely normal to spend time with her at her house. But, it's very bizarre to gaze across the street at the house that was my home and then retreat to her guest room. We agreed that our relationship is changing in the wake of my move. Now we talk late into the night over a glass (or two or three) of wine and share coffee in the morning. You feel a new level in a friendship when you can be a guest for days and never feel like an imposition. We have to cram a lot into a small amount of time. It's nice to linger with her in a way that I didn't before.
Sweet Kate...my home is now hers. I so appreciate her patience and understanding and love. She's so happy in the house and is enjoying making it into her home. I know she wants to share her excitement in how she's settling in. But selfishly, I'm unable to let her take me on a tour and show off all she's done. I haven't let go to the extent that I can go in the house yet. My desire to go home is still much to strong and the loss still stings. She loves me enough to accept that and understand my inability to visit the house. I would feel this same terrible homesickness regardless of who was living there. My reluctance is not about her. I am SO happy that she is happy, and I love her for her respect of my feelings. She visited me at Janet's and never allowed me to feel guilty about my reluctance to venture across the street. I treasure her like a sister.
After much deliberation, I decided to contact my old therapist, John. I saw him for about 4 years and have missed him a great deal since I moved. He was someone that I had poured my heart out to when things were at their worst between Aaron and me and as a was forced to deal with losing Meg and Schuyler. He was who heard all the fear and pain and anxiety as Aaron lost his job and we faced the uncertainty of where we were going to land. There were no "cures" for these situations, but I have no doubt that I got through them as well as I did because I could go and freely dump my feelings on a regular basis and have his support. And laugh...OMG did the two of us laugh! That was the therapy he provided. I teased that I paid him to be my friend.
But, the truth is....we couldn't be friends. We were therapist/client. I have missed him so much and talked about him often with the therapist I see now. She encouraged me to contact him about this visit and see if he would see me. I called his office on a Sunday a couple of weeks ago to let him know I would be in town. I wanted him to have time to decide how he wanted to respond and not have to answer me in an unexpected spur of the moment phone call. He called me back the next day and said, of course he'd see me. Then, as much as I was looking forward to it...I was very concerned about a set back.
I arrived at his office and was received with a hug. We talked and laughed for about an hour and a half. And I sensed a shift in our relationship because he was more candid about details of his life than he'd been in the past. He talked of his partner by name. He shared some information about a long term medical issue. We talked about his music. I gave him the short version of everything that had happened with me since I saw him last. We just talked like friends.
As I was about to leave, I thanked him and told him how good it was to see him. He told me that I should never hesitate to call if I'm going to be in town...that he'd be happy to see me any time. His opinion was that I had a new therapist now and that was no longer his role. He also told me for the first time that his partner's extended family is on Long Island. They haven't been out here for a couple of years but when they next come out here, he will let me know. So in a way...I have a new friend.
So. it's all good....bittersweet...but good. I'm typing with tears right now. But, I'm also smiling.
The workshop was great! But, I'll save that for the next entry.
1 day ago