Thanksgiving weekend. It was good. Really good, actually. My parents were really there, engaged, present, real. They let me be upset at times, and at one point during the weekend, my mom helped me to calm down enough to talk about things (things being a general overview of my arguments with hubby). We played board games, watched a movie, shopped. We just spent time together, just being. I didn’t have to be anyone, or do anything for them to want me there, they just wanted me. ME. It was this amazing feeling, like I was okay, and whole. Things weren’t perfect, but that was okay. I felt taken care of, and loved. It was a break that I desperately needed from my current life.
Coming back home was hard. I hadn’t wanted to leave, because I knew reality awaited me. And it really didn’t go well. Kat acted out an awful lot, and hubby said some hurtful things. He insinuated that Kat behaves better without me around, and that he was able to do all “my” chores, so I should not have the difficulties that I do. I don’t know. Coming home was hard. I had missed my little family, but it felt that they didn’t miss me, need me or even want me around. I quickly slipped into this feeling of indifference about everything.
Monday, I saw Bea. I can’t remember most of what we talked about. If I don’t write about my sessions soon after they end, most of the content and conversations get lost somewhere. I do remember a few parts of the conversation, though.
I had been telling her about my weekend with my parents.
“It sounds as if you felt very taken care of, like a lot of your needs were met. Maybe even some old needs were finally met,” Bea said.
I nodded, agreeing, and we moved on to talk about hubby. The conversation went in circles, as it usually does, because the only person who can really help solve the problem was missing– hubby.
After a while, Bea looked at me, and said, “I’m trying to figure out who is here today. I get the sense you don’t feel like this is the real you, but I am not sure who this is.”
I shook my head at her. “It’s not…me. Not real me. I don’t think. I don’t know. But I don’t know who.” My head was messy, and I felt very far away, hiding out in my head, not feeling my body. It was that feeling of things going on around me, and myself reacting but it doesn’t feel like it is me because me is not really here. Nothing feels real. I wish I had the words to describe it.
“If you pause and focus, you’ll know if it is the real you.” She talked about the observer part everyone has, and how the observer would know who was here today.
I didn’t get what she was saying. “Everything is just….gone. I was so upset..last week? Tuesday? And I know I was upset. But I can’t feel it, cant even remember what it felt like.”
“Being able to put things in a box, a container, that is a skill. It’s a good skill to have,” she told me.
I wanted to tell her it wasn’t like that. But I really just couldn’t. I was too tired, and didn’t really care that she had it wrong.
“I bet by Thursday you will have your feelings back. They can’t be contained forever.” She reminded me that our feelings are like the weather, they change.
I don’t even remember how we ended things, but I have this general impression that I didn’t really want to leave, and that I felt sad. I wanted to talk about so much, but it was all under the surface, hiding from me, because I was so indifferent.
The rest of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday passed in a blur. Monday night I decided that hubby and I needed couple’s therapy. I emailed Bea, and asked what she thought. I wanted her opinion because I knew enough to know I was so very indifferent feeling right then that it seemed a great idea, but other parts might not be so okay with it. “I sometimes feel like my entire life has been a lie, but it doesn’t have to be anymore. I can make a choice, now. I want a marriage where my husband is my secure base, where its him I want for comfort and support– not my best friend or therapist. (There is nothing wrong with needing my best friend or therapist for support, but my husband should be on that list, too. He should be on the list of people I trust, and he is not. And that’s just not okay anymore.) So….. I don’t know. Is couples therapy a terrible idea?”
She emailed back, saying it was okay, and that she understood wanting the things I wanted out of my marriage, but something about her wording threw me off and sent out alarm bells that she felt this was a very bad idea. I wrote back, explaining that her wording was making me feel like even though she said it was an okay idea, she didn’t really feel that way. I felt like that was big progress on my part, because I never would have written that second email a year ago. I would have done nothing and stressed out that she thought I was making bad choices. I can see now that feeling so numb and indifferent helped out in that way.
Bea emailed back, and explained further; she didn’t think therapy as a couple was a bad idea, but she was concerned about what would happen when I was asked to expose more of myself than I am comfortable with in a session. She stated that we could talk about this more the next day in session.
Wednesday night, I woke up from a nightmare, and started writing. I had written some after the session before Thanksgiving, and so I added on to that, with the intent to give it to Bea to read. I wrote a lot about everything. I never really did fall back asleep, and the morning passed quickly. I got Kat off to school, and headed to Bea’s……………………………
(To be continued……..)