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A time for planning, for introspection, surely. Ray wrote that I did not seem to exercise any control in the relationship (of course, that was part of its definition), that Dwain did exactly what he wanted, giving me what he wanted, taking what he wanted, and so he had no real investment in it.

I am printing out Ray's mail, thinking about this, reminding myself. This reminds me of what women often do on the job: work hard, do what we're told, and then wonder why we don't get where we want.

Ray suggests that I remember that whatever I did in a relationship, however I felt, was the way I felt at the time. No reason for guilt, in other words. He put it another way: "consequences are not as bad as the reponsibility for the consequences." Yes, I'll feel loss and loneliness but not guilt.

Of course, the main reason I stay in any relationship is this feeling of loss. It is so painful that I will do almost anything to avoid it. I need to pay attention to what I am doing now and find a way to go forward again, risk again, yet be able to let go if it doesn't feel right. I wonder if it would be easier if I initiated it.

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