Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to my counselling blog. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page
We all have inner worlds – thoughts and feelings that we don’t necessarily show to the outside world. This is just as well – if we shared everything with everybody, goodness knows what would happen. We might say things that would shock, offend or frighten others, or that for various reasons might be inappropriate and damage our relationships with friends or colleagues. We might also shock ourselves – we are not always fully aware of our own thoughts or feelings, and may unconsciously be suppressing things we are ashamed of or don’t think are “right”.
So, we filter what we say, and of course we reveal different things to different people. We are unlikely to do any soul-baring to a new work-colleague – we might confide to our doctor about medical matters but not other things – we might feel comfortable talking to our mum about some things and to our dad about others. If you have a counsellor, they are hopefully someone you can talk to about almost anything – because they have no vested interest, they will not judge you, you do not know them except in that special, professional capacity.
And what of your partner? The assumption tends to be that your partner is the person you can share everything with – that you know all about them, and they about you. Of course, it’s never quite like that – we can never know someone else completely – indeed, we can never know ourselves completely. And sometimes that assumption – that you can (should?) share everything with your partner is much too much of a generalisation, I think. Some relationships – or some people in relationships – are just not like that. For some people, their privacy is very important, they do not feel safe letting their defences down, they need to keep some things secret. And some people don’t want to hear their partner’s private thoughts and feelings – they maybe don’t feel comfortable with that, they maybe like a bit more emotional separation.
Nevertheless, there is something about a mutual sharing of private thoughts that leads to a sense of great intimacy. Particularly this is true of sexual fantasies, which are often accompanied by feelings of guilt. Being able to share these with someone who will respect them, and even make them into reality, requires enormous trust – and when trust is invested and repaid, it leads to a feeling of hugs security.
This feels a bit like allowing a guest into your private room – a place where nobody has been before. There are precious and delicate things in your room, things that are special to you, and this makes you very vulnerable. Will your guest admire your treasured possessions, cherish them as you do, or will they think they are silly, laugh at them, mock you for valuing them?
There are many tests to be passed to make a relationship successful. It is like a computer game where you pass through many, increasingly difficult levels before you meet the ultimate challenge, the big boss, the most powerful opponent – except, of course that there is no final level in a relationship – you never stop playing the game.