Sunday, 1 October 2017

Precious : 'Motherly Love' in Romantic Relationships | Shrink Tales



I had not been able to write the ‘aftermath’ for the previous session i had had with her. She asked me if there was a particular reason. I told her that i was really in another frame of mind because my partner had left for a shoot and i found myself extremely happy. Cleaning the house, looking at how clean it is and just being alone. She seemed happy that i had felt that way so i felt relieved that it was a good thing.

She apologized for making me feel that she was superior to me. That there was a hierarchy. I immediately thought of inji. I just realized that i always felt so with people. Inji and i had had a similar kind of conversation where inji was honestly unhappy that i had thought that way about her. 

Later Ish asked me why i felt so comfortable being inadequate.
I answered while realizing it myself, that it was because i was always running away from taking responsibility. I should really record my sessions with the shrink. Audio record. I feel so light now. [I checked my weight and confirmed it wasn’t literal. Slightly disappointed on that front but yeah. I felt light]

She found out what i felt when i thought of love. I talked about love and warmth. She asked me to draw whatever i felt like when i thought of love. I drew the basic sketch of the painting below. 

My concept of love

That was LJ and pappu with baby inside LJ. That was what came into my mind when i thought of love. The love of that flat in Kochi, the laughter and sunshine there. Warmth, nest, cuddling, being together, concern and care. 

I felt guilty too because it was not a picture of my own family that came to my mind. My family always considered ourselves superior to others because of the special love we thought we had. Through Appan and Amma. 

She then asked me what i felt with my partner. I said the same. That i felt care and warmth. Then 'is it safe to say that it is motherly love that you feel with your partner?' She asked. 

That question hit me like a whip. All those times when LJ told me that i was being abused and that i had to get out of that place flashed before me. Me in front of the computer at home in Calicut, trying to convince myself that it was all a lie. Waking up the next morning hoping it was a dream. I thought that Ish was about to say that i was trying to replace my need for motherly love with my partner. I cried. 

Then she asked what was wrong in feeling the motherly love that i thought of towards a person i was in a relationship with. My heartbeat became normal with that question. It struck me that i was buying into stereotypes. Motherly love is supposed to be like this and that’s what mothers are meant to do. While in relationships it is supposed to be some different kind of love, an ideal love that i was chasing and could never find. An ideal love that i thought LJ alone had and i could never ever procure. 

She then asked me if it made any sense to believe that there was an ideal kind of love that was worth pursuing. It was then that i thought of it for the first time. Why was i always behind this sort of a love that i thought only LJ had? That i thought i could attain only by being like LJ? I understood that in me, while it was creating the need to be like LJ more and more, in my family, it made them loathe her more and more. How is it that we believed that we were superior as a family and now a person who was not even a relative claimed to have love that was much more superior? I understood my mother  and my sister on this. 

Answering Ish’s questions, i realized that it didn’t make any sense to think that there was an ideal kind of love and that i had to chase it.  When i told her about how worried i was of my partner dying, she asked me if i would be more worried about losing my pencil or my wallet. Once again, i got it. We are worried about what is precious to us. It made me feel immensely happy that my partner, my mother and everyone was precious to me. And that was why i was scared of losing them. 

[I do, however think that the anxiety is much more than required. Especially with my mother. She thinks i am dead if i don’t pick one of her calls. She calls the whole world up to make sure that i am not dead. It also happens when you have daughters with a history of suicide attempts, i suppose. How unfair life has been to that woman!]

I cried when i thought of my partner’s love to me. I felt that my love to him was not enough. Not caring for him as much as he cares for me. 

There was a pigeon inside Ish’s bathroom and she was scared of it. I found it funny. 

She told me that she had just noticed that she couldn’t see any depression in me anymore. I felt so happy. It was working. We made a pact that she would believe it was because of me and i would believe it was because of her. 

[I just noticed that i started interacting with my office people also. It was a gradual thing. And it is coinciding with the therapy. It is just an observation.]

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