With so much more to talk about Wendy was downright anxious for her appointment with Dr. Lewis. Dr. Lewis always provided interesting, insightful and helpful comments or asked questions Wendy wouldn’t have considered asking herself. She sat opposite the doctor as usual.
Dr. Lewis’ eyes lit up. “Is the nursery open yet?”
“No, but in a week, I hope. Actually, I’m here to talk about Marty. I’m not sure how to deal with him.”
“Deal with him? What does that mean?”
“Well, I like him, but I’m apprehensive, afraid he will just be another man to hurt me. I couldn’t handle it again.”
“Have you gone out with him?”
“Yes, we went for dinner and walked the Santa Monica Pier. We talked a lot about the nursery and his job.”
“What did you like about him?”
“He’s kind and has a laid back manner making me comfortable to be with him.”
Wendy’s eyes followed the doctor as she went to the coffee pot, picked it up, and held it out to Wendy.
The doctor handed Wendy a mug and returned to her seat with her own mug. Wendy took a sip.
“You are concerned about something that hasn’t happened yet. You can protect yourself by not continuing the relationship, but it means you may not find out if he’s someone you might want to be involved with.”
Wendy set her mug on the table next to her. She sat up listening carefully.
“I know you’re afraid of being hurt again, but this is a decision only you can make. Is it worth taking a chance you might be hurt again, or stopping the relationship before it moves forward? Those are the choices I see.”
Wendy glanced out the big window behind the doctor’s desk and looked back at her. “I know. I guess I wanted you to tell me which is the right choice for me. I know you can’t, but what you said makes sense.” “How’s the Brad situation?” “Nothing’s changed.” But she wanted Brad to care about her, to make her happy, wishful thinking. “Maybe Marty would be the someone to take my mind off Brad.” She did not mention her going to see Brad’s house. “Sounds like something to explore. Your thoughts toward Scott now?” “At the moment I’m confused about whether my marriage to Scott was really for love or the need for security. How can anyone tell the difference? Isn’t love feeling secure? And isn’t being secure feeling loved.” “Of course, but there are different types of love.” The doctor’s open hands stretched toward Wendy as she spoke, as if the words were floating to settle in Wendy’s lap. “Did you feel secure as a child? By this I mean, did your parents make you feel loved?” “I think so. As I said, my critical dad made it hard to know how he felt toward me, especially after my mother died. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure if he loved me.” Wendy had a hollow feeling inside her. “What about your mom, do you feel she loved you?” “Oh yes. She tried to come to my defense whenever my dad picked on me. She’d tell him to leave me alone, but he didn’t listen. They argued a lot, but she was there for me.” Wendy hesitated. “She died when I was twelve, and that made matters worse between my dad and me.”
“I can understand. Too much criticism can make you feel insecure. But did you feel your dad loved you?” She hesitated but nothing came to mind. “I don’t know.” Wendy tried to remember any times when he made her feel loved, maybe when she was a small child. She looked down at the carpet, and up at the doctor. Nothing came to mind. Wendy shrugged. “I think he did.” “Sometimes parents don’t realize how much their criticism can cause problems later on. So, is there a possibility your father’s criticism, plus Scott’s, made you feel unloved, and this was the reason you wanted the separation. In other words, it wasn’t just about his job.”
Wendy’s arched her eyebrows and gritted her teeth. That revelation shocked her. The doctor’s phone buzzed. “Excuse me.” A few seconds later she hung up. “I’m sorry,” Dr. Lewis said. “I have a patient in the emergency room. I know this isn’t a good place to stop, but the woman is asking for me. I’ll owe you some time.” “I understand.” Once outside Dr. Lewis’ door Wendy stressed by the deeper look into criticism and her dad’s behavior. Wendy entered the elevator, leaning against the back wall. Tears swelled as a memory filled her head…her dad hitting her mom. Why didn’t she remember it until now? The idea of her dad being abusive filled her with indignation. She must have blocked out the repulsive incident. She tried during past years, to reconcile with her dad, but he never wanted to talk about the past. His death, a few years ago, left her without the opportunity to clear the air. After leaving the elevator, she stopped, folded her hands and knew she never felt loved by her dad. Wendy drove straight to the nursery. All the way she obsessed about what she wanted. Would she keep Marty at arm’s-length emotionally so she wouldn’t be hurt? The passionate kiss they shared made her think he truly cared for her, or did he just want to have fun times without deep involvement?
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