During our last therapy appointment Blue Eyes brought up me, my dad, and one of my nieces as examples of people who live honestly and openly without fear and how he wants to emulate our behavior. He wants to be like us. He talked about the things he loves about me and how upon meeting my parents and siblings, he further fell in love with me because he loved my big family and how everyone got along and had fun together. He loved my dad’s sense of humor, his obvious love for me, and his bigger than life personality.
Part of therapy was spent sitting face to face with Blue Eyes, repeating back what Blue Eyes said as best I could, and vice versa.
In response to Blue Eyes talking about how he fell in love with me and my family, I was able to repeat back to him what he had said. When I spoke to him, I started with how much I love him and how I fell in love with his intellect, his wit, his humor, and his kindness. I mentioned that it was quite a while before I met his family and that I did not fall in love with his family. His family is not very lovable, but that I love him. I talked about how much I hope he can be this open and honest and loving and giving person he wants to be.
The issue came when it was time for Blue Eyes to repeat back what I had said to him. He did not, in fact, mention at all about how much I loved him or the reasons I had stated that I fell in love with him. All he could repeat back was that I don’t think he is honest and how I wish he could be and that it makes him feel bad.
And this is the pattern. Everything makes Blue Eyes feel bad. Everything.
The therapist really wanted to move into training us on using the Imago method of communication for couples. I wanted to ask one more question, and she laughed. I always want to ask one more question. She let me. I had kept a couple instances in my mind specifically to bring up in therapy so we can better manage our lives and it was important that I got this out.
Last Saturday Blue Eyes was doing a number of tasks around the house and in his tea house. The Peacemaker had wanted to watch Parasite. We had talked about it all week, watching it as a family, but for numerous reasons hadn’t gotten around to it. It wasn’t always Blue Eyes trying to avoid it… a couple nights we had returned home from work too late to watch it. One night The Peacemaker was exhausted from his long shift on the set of a movie being filmed in Portland. Blue Eyes had said to us when we were discussing watching it later in the week that he wanted to read about it before watching it to make sure it wouldn’t be triggering. We understood but asked him not to tell us about it as we didn’t want to know what it was about or know any spoilers. Blue Eyes never did read about the movie.
Saturday The Peacemaker and I decided we would watch the movie that evening. We informed Blue Eyes of this fact earlier in the day. Blue Eyes was still out in his tea house at 8:30pm. I texted him letting him know we were going to watch Parasite and he was welcome to join us. My exact text was, “We’re going to start the movie at 8:50pm.” He immediately texted back saying, “ok” and a thumbs up sign. That gave him about 20 minutes to decide if he wanted to come watch with us and to finish what he was doing in his tea house. I didn’t really care one way or the other if Blue Eyes watched this movie. It’s just a movie. Blue Eyes has been clamoring for a while that we go to bed earlier. That he isn’t getting enough sleep, yada, yada, yada. Parasite is a 2+ hour movie. I then texted him “So I guess that means you’re not watching, since it’s 8:52pm.” I told The Peacemaker that we should just start it. He didn’t want to until we had confirmation that Blue Eyes definitely wasn’t going to watch. Another five minutes went by and so we started the movie. Since there are sub-titles, we really had to commit, and to pay attention. Blue Eyes showed up a few minutes later saying he hadn’t had a chance to look up the movie to see if it was triggering and maybe we should watch something else. This is very typical of Blue Eyes. He is late to absolutely everything and usually wants to control the situation. We said no. He seemed pissed off. We re-started the movie. The entire time the movie was playing Blue Eyes seemed anxious, on edge. I’m really not sure why he was so concerned about the movie, but he was.
After the movie was over we had a discussion about it. I mean it did win the Academy Award for Best Picture. I didn’t think it should have. By the time the movie ended Blue Eyes was just beside himself stressed out. The movie made him tense and it seemed quite obvious he hadn’t wanted to watch the movie in the first place. It’s not necessarily sex that triggers Blue Eyes and stresses him out. In this case it was tension, and a bit of death and gore, and a lot of lying and hiding.
So my question to him in therapy was, “Did you really want to watch that movie with us, and if you did, why were you so miserable. And if you didn’t, why did you?
He thought about it. I could tell he was struggling with answering truthfully. The therapist prompted him. She definitely does not want me prompting him, in therapy or out of therapy. So I sat and waited patiently for him to gather his thoughts. He hemmed and hawed and after some false starts and obvious manipulation of the truth he finally said, “no, I didn’t want to watch the movie. I didn’t want to leave my tea house.”
So the therapist asked the next question so I didn’t have to, “then why did you?” And his answer was what I wanted out on the table. He said, “because I felt like I had to or you guys would be mad at me.”
The therapist then asked Blue Eyes, “and if they are mad at you, what happens.” And he replied,
“If they are mad at me, I’m afraid they will stop loving me.”
To be continued…