Yesterday I met with C and recounted the events of the previous 48 hours. The way I was telling it, I could tell she wasn't sure what I would say at the end, meaning it wasn't clear from the conversations that I was summarizing that SCL would say "Let's give this another try." Interesting--it's always surprising how a story comes out when I tell it to someone else. I could sense a lot more caution and fear in my telling of it.
Eventually I got around to saying that I was considering another try with him. I told her how he seemed to have gained clarity and felt regret about his decision. Perhaps it was that he had little to lose when he opened up over the last month, and I think he was surprised by my compassion and grace in response. I know I didn't need to be that way, but I do strive to carry myself with grace during crisis. I think it spoke volumes to him about me--things he already knew but were much more apparent, and that he was open to seeing.
She asked what I wanted out of the session. For the first time in my years of therapy, I asked for her perspective in the situation, if she felt comfortable. She wisely told me what many of you said. First, only time will tell if this is for real. In the meantime I need to have boundaries in place, especially in the area of sexuality. I completely agree, and so does SCL. And second, I need to continue caring for myself in the meantime, and to check in with myself if I sense I'm holding back some part of me. Even the little things--like watching a silly tv show, staying out late with friends, not cleaning up my dishes right away. She also offered to see us both, and gave me a book to read called The Good Marriage. I just started it, but I'd recommend it to anyone in a serious relationship.
I don't want to slip back into a pattern of self-neglect. It will take a lot of effort not to. Last night SCL and I had dinner out together. It was the first time we'd been out in public like that together since the day we broke up, and it really felt amazing. I never thought I'd get to share like this with him. Part of me wanted to spend the whole evening together, but taking C's suggestion, I made concrete plans for later that evening (costume karaoke, Glee style! So much fun). SCL did, too. I went to karaoke and sang my lungs out, and he played trivia with some of his classmates. We both had a great time.
I realized later that night that there is indeed a part of me that doesn't trust him. I got home before he did, and as the minutes ticked by and he hadn't come home, I got worried that he wouldn't. Eventually I drifted off to sleep with my door open around midnight, sure that the sound of him coming home would wake me. When I woke up at 2:00 am, I panicked. Had he not come home? I got out of bed, and sure enough, there he was, asleep in the other bed. Home, just as he said he would be.