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You Decide The Distance You Love Someone From

November 10, 2017

I saw my therapist yesterday.

I hadn’t seen her in eight months. I went to see her to talk about the flashbacks I’ve been having. Like I said, it’s my body’s way of telling me it’s time to deal with another piece of this.

She helps me deal.

She doesn’t tell me what to do, she simply listens and untangles my thoughts so I can make sense of them and do something with them. She challenges me.

I came to her with a question.

I still have a relationship with the person in those flashbacks. They’re family and I have a strong sense of duty towards them. However, as you might imagine, it’s a strained and challenging relationship. If anyone else treated me like this I wouldn’t give them the time of day let alone keep them in my life. But again, family. Duty.

My question was should I have less contact with this person or even take a break from all contact? Or should I carry on the status quo contact wise and focus on changing my response to them?

I know I need to set boundaries. I just don’t know what those boundaries are.

That’s what she’s helping me figure out. She’s helping me decide for myself what those boundaries should look like by laying out all the pros and cons of each option on paper. She asks me questions and writes down my responses. It’s called a cost-benefit analysis. She doesn’t judge any of my answers and she’s adamant I don’t judge them either. It doesn’t matter what you think you should feel, it matters what you do feel. This isn’t about right and wrong or rational and irrational, it’s about what’s actually going on in your brain.

She sent me home with a copy of her notes. There’s something remarkably powerful about reading your own thoughts on paper, especially when they’re recorded by someone else. Between that and your gut response the way forward starts becoming pretty clear…

I’m still figuring out the details, but in the meantime I’m reminding myself of this:

You decide the distance you love someone from.

Photo taken at Ella’s Uncle coffee shop on Dundas West in Toronto. That light was magic. 

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