Home' LOTL : September 2005 Contents 49
By Dawn Cohen
QThe older I get I realise my sexuality has made me very
unhappy. Women have been the centre of my world since
childhood but I seem unable to cultivate healthy relationships
with female partners. I did have a domineering and critical mother. Is
this a possible factor? Lucinda.
AYou feel angry with your love of women for pulling you
into unsustainable relationships. You are also very sad and
despairing fearing there is no way forward. But you can
spot a glimmer of light. You know the problem is linked to your
relationship with your mother. Perhaps by taking care of others you
feel more powerful in yourself. The advantage of choosing doomed
relationships is you never risk life-long domination.
Underneath you may be angry with your child self for needing your
mother and subjecting you to her domination. One part of you sees
the need as an impediment to your freedom. Murder the love, murder
the lesbianism, and you will be free, that aspect of you believes.
Actually, the road to freedom is returning to that relationship with
your mother with adult eyes and untangling the confusions of
love, hate, rage and terror embedded in it. One way of doing that
is in psychotherapy. Another possibility would be Codependents
QI had a one-night stand with the new girl at work who used
me as a foothold into the company. Every time I see her at the
water cooler I’m not sure what to do – slap her or jump her.
AHow painful this is for you. The answer lies in neither action,
until you have carefully thought through what you need to do
to both free yourself from her and secure your own position at
work. Any actions you take may jeopardise your work situation, so
they need to be very carefully considered. It is possible that she used
sex not just to obtain her own foothold in the company but also to
assault your position there in some way. Is there someone outside of
work whom you can trust completely to talk it over with?
Once you have worked out a way forward regarding her, you need
to think about protecting yourself professionally. Many people meet
their life partners at work, and just as many end up in a terrible mess
from office courtships. Thinking through your part in entering the
liaison will ensure a safer future.
QMy mother is ill, but my partner does not understand she
needs care. I feel forced to choose between them. How do I
AMaking a choice between them is no choice at all. It is
appropriate for you to have a relationship with both a partner
and a parent. But doing that means neither is going to get
100 per cent of your time. Your partner may be unrealistic and, as
well, you may have trouble finding middle ground. Are you wanting to
protect your mother so much, you are sacrificing the relationship with
you spouse? Make an immediate appointment with a government
registered couple counsellor to work out where the compromise
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the writer.
They are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. If you need
medical or psychological help please see your local GP or psychologist.
“Murder the love, murder the lesbianism,
and you will be free, that aspect of you
believes. Actually, the road to freedom is
returning to that relationship with your
mother with adult eyes…”
One to One Counselling and Education
Depression, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship Issues,
Adult survivors of sexual abuse
125 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction, NSW 2022
Tel: (02) 9386 5356
Health fund rebates available
RN, BA MApp Psych, MAPS, MCN
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