F said he wanted to go to a weekend workshop and have “a 100% No Whining Space”. But- I like whining. It makes me feel better. And when I listen when others whine to me, and sympathise (which costs nothing) it makes them favourably disposed towards me. It costs me nothing, because instead of taking their pain into myself, I feel I can Earth it, like a lightning conductor. It drains away and is purified. Everyone wins.
Then again, a mutual acquaintance in a group of women had started angry blaming of another person there, and B thinks this unacceptable. B would have preferred W owning her feelings, and not blaming. Possibly it is the demanding. “I was distressed/ angry when I perceived you as” is acceptable, anything which implies my way is the only way to see the situation is not, and “You were wrong” is not. And yet- the anger comes out of hurt. Why should hurt- whining- be more acceptable than anger?
I love the suggestion that confrontation can sometimes be cleansing and cathartic, and sometimes vampiric and manipulative. So can listening and sympathy: once I went to a tribunal reps’ support group, and we talked of the problems of our clients. A woman with a strange mid-Atlantic accent heard each story, and repeated, “How awful, how awful!” I got the impression- I may be wrong- that she was getting a high out of her emotional reaction to the issues. I hated her.
B performs the emotional freedom technique, and wishes to develop as an EFT therapist. When she gets to know a client her teachers are greatly impressed with her intuition as to how to proceed. I want to experience it, and she says we need something to work on. OK, what about my fear of interactions? We sit facing each other on a thick, low branch of a tree, I look up at it as it bends upwards behind her, and she taps on the side of my right palm. As she speaks, I repeat after her. Then we lock it in, she taps on my crown, forehead, face and rib cage. These are acupuncture points. I think hearing and repeating a positive statement may have value, and B’s intuition may find useful positive statements. As a therapy it has the advantage that the client can tap as the therapist tells them over Skype or even the phone. Ach, why do I need to understand how it works before accepting it? At least, it is a person paying caring attention to another, which feels nice.
It is time to go, but I do not feel finished. I tell B of my obsession with U. Well, I have not dumped on B yet. Quakers have got fed up and told me to get over it, and I am still upset. B knows U, and I am skirting round the issue, wanting to tell U’s name and frightened to. In November I was in a torment of jealousy. In December I was supposed to be performing, and I was so frightened because U was going to be in the audience that the day before, instead of rehearsing I was in hospital: I complained of chest pain and they investigated a possible heart attack. -You were heart-sick. Well, yes.
It seems to me, after the previous night’s dancing, that I am clearer that I may be angry and resentful. That was not OK. U should not have treated me like this, even if with whatever history she could not have treated me better. Is there anything I want from her now? Actually, confirmation that my own perception is right would be nice. And if she will not give me that, I will have to do it for myself.
I can at least accept my own perception, my own resentments and anger, and then- she could not have been any different- let them go. It seems I can cease to demand that U be other than she is if I can accept my own feelings, and accepting them, can let them go.