Wednesday, 18 April 2012


I tell Deirdre what happened at the play party - about playing on my own and giving permission for Virgil to play with Voracious C. It's a satisfying vignette and she asks me to describe in more detail how I felt at the time. I say: Well, when Virgil asked me to describe what I had been doing in front of the others I felt annoyed actually and defensive. It was cheeky of him but he always likes to hear about my solo adventures in as much detail as possible. It turns him on.

The next minute, sensing that my approval was desired, I felt under pressure but also that the way to be powerful was to take the initiative and be gracious. As they went off to play I got a hot feeling in my face, neck and chest. My stomach turned over. When I see him with other people I feel jealous.

Deirdre says: What's in your jealousy? I say: it's mostly about being left out: that he's doing something that doesn't involve me. I was simultaneously thinking how touching it was to hear Ellie saying how much she likes to watch her boyfriend playing with other people. I feel such a failure.

Then I say: Actually it has occurred to me that Virgil would like to involve me much more in his solo adventures, not by being there of course, but by telling me about them and talking them over together. In this way he wants our open relationship to be much more of a shared thing. I have quite consciously closed down this possibility because I am hurting and fear it will make it worse, and because I'm angry and want to shut him out. 

I tell Virgil repeatedly that I don't want to know the fine detail of what he does. I want very tight control over what I hear and when I hear it. Quite often when I do ask him questions it's a very pointed interrogation designed to elicit information that I can then torture myself with. Certainly I tend only to remember the things that support my fear and insecurity. 

I realise that this might not be the way to go - that opening up to being Virgil's confidante might help me to feel more involved in his solo adventures and therefore happier. And I want to feel happy more than anything.

Virgil would like to come home to me from dates and tell me how they went and what they did together. I remember a lover of his from the beginning of our relationship. We spoke about her at length. I knew, for example, that he was making her memorise an entire chapter of a music magazine in order to be tested on it. I was curious, slightly wary and shy of her youth and glamour but confident that I was the one he loved and was starting a relationship with. She meant something to him, but it was something else and not a threat to me.

Deirdre says: Virgil likes to bring you stories. He's a raconteur. His experiences away from you are made even better when he shares them with you afterwards at home. He reminds me of the figure of the cadger, whose role is to hold the falconer's perch and to relate tales of the day's sport. What kind of woman do you think Virgil would like to entertain with these stories?

A queen, I reply. She's a queen. Someone regal, generous, comfortable in herself, confident in her power and supremacy. The kind of woman Virgil thought I was when we met and before this over-dependence set in. I try to think of myself as a queen, as Virgil's queen to whom he brings home stories of his exploits and adventures. Deirdre says: I'm going to set you some homework this week and it's to imagine yourself as this queen as often as possible.

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