I knew that if I ever wanted to have a relationship with her, I had to put it all out on the table.
"I'm feeling a mixture of fear and happiness," I began. "I'm happy we can do this. And I'm afraid that I won't do it right ... that I won't be able to get my feelings across in a way you can hear. Okay. I'll just jump in ... When I was little—like between one and ten—I wanted you to touch me more."
"I remember times we'd be sitting next to one another and I would put my hand on you or try to snuggle up to you—just for some touch, some contact—and you would push me away. That hurt," I continued, my mind drifting back to my childhood. "One specific memory is coming back to me. We were driving somewhere. I was in the passenger seat and you were driving. I was about six. I had the impulse to reach over and touch you—for comfort, I guess. So I laid my hand on your thigh. And you immediately picked my hand up off your thigh and put it over on the seat a few inches away from you."
"My first emotion was anger," I said. "But right underneath the anger was a thought and a sad feeling, 'Why doesn't she want to be close to me? Am I a bother to her? Does she want me to go away?' I feel very sad as I say this. I felt sad like this a lot. I think this type of thing might have happened also when I was a tiny infant. I know you told me I slept an awful lot as a baby. Well, I can kind of remember just laying in my crib feeling this same sort of sadness and confusion. If I could put words to it, the words would've been, 'Why doesn't anyone want to come to me when I cry?' Then I would just cry myself to sleep."
My mother was silent.
"So as an adult, in my relationships with men, I have had a hard time reaching out for what I want, making requests. I've been working on it, but we have a joke, my husband and I. The joke is, 'Susan has no needs.' That's what he says to me. And he tells me it's frustrating to him." Keep reading...