I know I am so behind on replying to comments, and reading other’s posts. Things have been really hard the last few days. I want to tell all of you thank you for your kind comments, for validating my feelings, for all the support. I really feel like this is a special place, and we have this very special community where we support and understand each other. And I am so thankful that I found this community of people. Xoxo
I texted my best friend on Wednesday: “hubby and Bea have been emailing since February. Everything is so screwed up. I can’t breathe.” She called me, and we talked until I had to get Kay from school. She told me I needed to go to therapy on Thursday and tell Bea what I had found out. She said even if I wanted to quit, I still needed to go, and get closure. She also told me that she believed I should tell Bea and then work through it with her, that I was better than the girl who used to run away. I argued, but she won out. She told me she would be upset with me if I didn’t at least show up on Thursday and talk about it with Bea.
So, off to therapy I went. It sucked. It was the hardest session I have ever had. Even all the memories, and some of the hard things Bea and I have dealt with, this was the hardest…………
Thursday morning. I’m driving to therapy, numb and sick to my stomach. I’m not really here, everything has that strange not real look about it. When I walk into her office, I try to smile, to act like everything is fine. I can’t face this right now.
I sit down, and say hello. I can’t even look at her. It hurts. I can’t do this.
Bea attempts to engage me in small talk. She asks about my hair, she talks about Hagrid. I can’t find it in me to truly respond, the one word answers I give sound hollow and far away. When she realizes this isn’t going to work, she says, “I was wondering if anything had come up after Monday’s session (which I never did post about). You seemed surprised that it wasn’t as scary to talk about the underwear memory this time around.”
I shrug. Part of me wants to respond, wants to weep with pain about all the crap that came up in my head after that session. But I can’t. She doesn’t feel like Bea to me. She doesn’t even feel real.
“Did you have a hard night last night?” She asks.
I don’t say anything. Yes, I had a horrible night. I cried and cried and felt all alone and betrayed and hurt and flooded with memories and everything is a mess. I finally nod my head.
“Im feeling really floaty right now. Is that you or me?”
I’m so far away at this point, I think ‘me’ but can’t get the word out.
“I know if I sit up and plant my feet, I’ll feel more grounded, but I’m so comfortable like this, I’m going to try to feel grounded without sitting up,” she tells me.
I just stare at the floor, not really seeing anything at all.
I’m not sure how much time passes, or if she talks about anything else, but eventually her voice breaks through to me. “Did something happen this week?”
I nod my head. It feels like the most difficult thing to do, to make my head move. I want to pull my knees to my chest and hide my face, but I can not figure out how to move that much right now.
She asks other questions, which I ignore, until she says, “Do you have anything written down?”
I glance at my bag, where I do have a letter written to her. But then I shake my head. I’m not ready to do this, to face this, yet. I can’t. In the back of my mind, I’m feeling some satisfaction that she seems a little lost, and like she is grasping at straws.
She asks me questions, and she talks. I really can’t hear a lot of what is being said. It’s just not getting through the fog. At some point, I whisper, “I can’t do this.”
She waits to see if there is more, and then she asks, “Because talking about it will make it real?”
“And….reactions.” I struggle to force the words out. And then I do move, quickly pulling my legs up and hiding my face. I burst into tears.
“This is really painful. There is so much hurt right now, it’s hard to even be present. It doesn’t feel safe to feel all this, does it? But you aren’t alone, I’m here, and you are safe.” She says softly.
“I am all alone.” I sob the words out. I hate that she tells me she is here. She’s not here, not anymore.
“That came out very clearly. And it feels scary, and painful.”
I just cry and cry. I can’t speak.
“Are there words right now? Or is this a place of no words?” She asks.
“I have words.”
“Can you say them?” She questions.
I shake my head.
“Because you are worried about my reaction?” She makes some sense of the little bit of conversation I’ve made.
I nod my head. Yes.
“Do you think you did something?” She asks gently, like she is speaking to a child afraid of being in trouble.
“I….no. Yes…it’s complicated. I can’t….” I’m confused and overwhelmed and can’t find the words to speak.
“If you can try to say the words, we can make sense of this together. You don’t have to be alone with this,” she tells me.
Her words hurt. I cry harder. “It’s broken. I can’t….it’s just broken.”
“Broken can be fixed.” Her voice is calm, and sure, and I know she means it.
I shake my head. “How? How can this ever be fixed?”
“Well, I don’t know, but I do believe broken can be fixed,” she says. “What’s broken?”
“Everything. Everything is broken. It’s complicated.”
“Okay. This is so very hard. Who broke it?” She’s trying so hard to help me, but I can’t really feel it. Her words seem like an echo, as if she isn’t really here with me.
I can’t answer. The answer is Bea. Bea broke it. But I can’t say that. I’m afraid of hurting her, upsetting her.
“Okay…you didn’t say you broke it, so I don’t think you feel you did anything bad. Yet you are worried about my reaction. I’m really lost here. Is there anything else you can tell me?” She asks.
I shake my head. “Even if I say it, what good will it do? How will it help to talk about it? It can’t be fixed. I just want it erased, gone. I wish I never found out!”
She listens to my sobs, and says softly, “Anything causing you this much pain is worth talking about.”
I shake my head, again. “Even if I do tell you, you’ll probably just think it doesn’t matter and I am being silly and stupid!” The words fly out of my mouth, so quickly I can’t stop them.
“No, no. I would never think that. Anything causing this much hurt and distress is big. It’s very big and it matters.” She tells me.
“I…hubby….I found an email…..” I can’t get out anymore than that before I start crying so hard I can’t breathe.
“You found an email he wrote? And it was really upsetting?” She clarifies.
I nod. Yes.
She waits for more, but when I don’t say anything, she asks me if the email was recent.
“February….” I mean to say more, to tell her since February but I can’t get the words out.
She hesitatingly asks, “Did he cheat?”
“No…I…it’s not…I mean…he didn’t really…I can’t..it’s complicated.”
“I really hope I didn’t do anything to hurt you, to make you feel this badly, but if it’s not something hubby did, I feel like I have to ask if I’ve done anything?” She says the words slowly, like she is maybe thinking out loud.
I freeze. I feel sick. I won’t lie to her, but I really, really don’t want to answer this question. Slowly, I nod my head yes. I feel devastated. I can’t even. It’s just too hard. I have no idea what she says next. I just curl into myself, and go far, far away. I eventually pull a notebook out of my bag, and hold it out to her.
She reads it, and then she talks. I don’t remember all her words. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, that was never my intention. I can only imagine how bad this feels, how much pain it is. I know it has to feel really scary, and I’m sure when you found it yesterday you felt like we had been conspiring against you. I’m sure it feels like I can’t be trusted anymore. I’m so sorry. This….it’s not just a job to me, I give everything I can. I don’t take your feelings, your safety or your trust lightly. I do think this can be repaired, worked through. I believe that. We’ve worked too hard, and this is too important to not fight for our relationship.”
I don’t say anything for quite a while. I’m drifting between really far away and a less far away. “You hold have told me. Why didn’t you tell me?”
She sounds so sad when she answers me. “I don’t have a perfect answer. He emailed during times when your stability was wavering, and I have just thought if I don’t respond, he will be questioning you, and that is not something you can handle right now, and if I can keep him calm, get him to wait, to be more supportive….I know even when you don’t want to talk to him that if things at home became unstable it might be really too much. I want to help build in support, and protection for you. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but I’m not working with him, hubby and I aren’t in cahoots. I know how much your trust means, and it isn’t something I ever have or ever will take for granted.”
I don’t respond, I’m hearing her, but all I can do is cry. This hurts. It hurts because I know she is hurt now, it hurts because I feel betrayed, it hurts because I feel alone, it hurts because my safe person isn’t safe right now.
“I can’t imagine how bad this hurts. I was wrong. I should have told you. I’m learning an important lesson right now. And if this ever comes up again, with anyone, I will tell the person next time.”
“No more emailing with him. You don’t email him. Or talk to him. No more, ever.” I say the words, and I’m not loud, but the anger in my words is something anyone in the room would have felt.
“No more emailing him. I understand. You are mad, that’s good. Get mad, be mad. You have every right to be mad. This feels like a huge betrayal.” She says calmly. I’m expecting her to get angry back, I have never spoken to Bea in anger before. I don’t know what to make of this.
“You should have told me! I’m not even mad that you emailed him back. I’m mad that you didn’t tell me.”
“I know. I know. This isn’t a small thing, it’s huge. I’ve been an important part of your life for a long time now. In some ways, I’ve been a big part, and in other ways, not. But this feels huge, and it is huge. It matters. Of course you are upset, and hurt. I understand why you are upset.”
I sigh. I hate that she knows she is important. It feels like she shouldn’t be, like it is ridiculous that she is. “I don’t want it to matter.” I say, sadly.
“I know. It hurts. If it didn’t matter, it wouldn’t hurt. I think that we have done some really good work together. I’ve known you a long time now, and I think this relationship is too important to not fight for. This matters to me. And I really do believe we can talk it through and repair this. I want to do that with you. This relationship is worth that.” She tells me.
“I can’t…I can’t,” I whimper. It feels good to hear her say it matters to her, to know she wants to fight for this relationship, that it is important to her. But this all feels so bad. And there is so much to contain, and I can’t go to her. I’m alone and flooded with memories and feelings and nothing feels okay.
“I know it feels like that. I know it does. I think you can. You came here today,” she points out.
“I didn’t…I didn’t want to. Kay made me. She told me…..she’d be mad if I didn’t. She said that I could face it…that I was better than the girl who runs away.” I whisper the words.
“Thank you, Kay. And she is right. We can work through this. You can work through this.”
I hear tears in her voice, and it pains me. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” I tell her, frantically.
“Don’t apologize. You have nothing to be sorry for. Why shouldn’t I feel some of this pain? It’s okay for me to cry, to feel this hurt, too.” She has said this before, that it is okay for her to cry and feel sad.
I can’t stand being the source of people’s pain, unless I’m so angry I can’t feel their hurt. But now, I can feel it. And it sucks. “This sucks. I know…I know you didn’t do this on purpose. I’m just…I hate this.”
I snap a few more times at her, in between crying and saying sorry. She handles my anger and crying, and tells me I have nothing to be sorry for, that she is the one who is sorry.
“I hate this. I know why you wrote him back, I know why he wrote. This hurts. I can see your side, and get it, and it sucks.” I tell her.
“It’s a gift to be able to see all sides. It is hard, but it is a good thing.”
“It sucks. I can always see both sides. That’s why it’s so hard.” I say through my tears.
“I know, I know that makes it hard. I can see your side, why you feel so betrayed and hurt, and I can see me from that time period’s side. I can hold both those perspectives, and feel compassion for both,” she tells me. Maybe that is what I am missing; compassion for both. I feel more compassionate towards her side, hubby’s side. I know why I feel the way I do, but I am berating myself for it, and feeling stupid over it, and hating myself for being upset.
“How is this ever going to be fixed? I can’t.” I wail.
“It feels huge, insurmountable right now. But we can work this through. We can talk about this as long as you need to. If we have to talk about it for 10 weeks, longer, we can.”
I shake my head. I feel gone, or maybe it’s that I feel she is gone. I don’t know anymore.
“Do you have the emails?” She asks.
I nod. Sort of. I took pictures of them with my phone. I couldn’t just forward it to myself. I don’t want hubby to know what I found. So, I have them, sort of.
“Why don’t you bring that on Monday, and we can go through it? I can tell you what I was thinking?” She suggests.
I shake my head vehemently. “No. No. We are not doing that. You are not to read it. No.” If she doesn’t remember all the things he said, I don’t want it all coming back to her. He wrote awful things. Some may be true, but he said mean, mean things, and described me as this monster person. I’m ashamed over it, and hurt, and I don’t want to face that right now.
“Okay. We don’t have to do that. That’s okay. We can go through my notes from that time, if you want.” She says.
“You don’t look for those emails and you don’t read them either,” I tell her. I need her to do this, if I’m ever going to trust her again. I don’t comment on her notes, at all. I’m honestly afraid to know what she has written. I’m picturing awful things in her notes about me.
“Okay. I won’t read them. I won’t look for them, and I won’t read them,” she says seriously.
“I hope not,” I lash out at her. I’m angry and hurt, and I can’t take much more.
“I won’t. If I say I won’t, I really won’t.” She says softly.
I stop and think for a minute. I know this is true, if I think about all our history. “Okay, okay. I know that,” I relent.
I don’t remember how we ended things. I know she asked me if I was going to talk to Kay today, and she encouraged me to do so. “When your safe person is suddenly not safe, you need someone else to help you see objectively, to help you know the world is still safe.”
I tell her I will call or text Kay today. I’m glad she knows that she doesn’t feel safe right now. I wish she did feel safe. I hate this. “I hate this so much. I hate all of it,” I tell her. “I can trust Kay. She would never talk to him without telling me.”
“She’s much safer than I am right now. It’s okay to hate me right now. That’s okay.” She gives me permission to be mad.
I shake my head. “I don’t hate you. I hate things people do, I hate this, but I don’t hate you. I don’t hate people.” After thinking a minute, I add, “Well, maybe my mother in law. But that is a whole different thing.” My mother in law manipulates and hurts people on purpose, she doesn’t care who she hurts, or who is caught in her crossfire. She only cares about herself and getting what she wants. Bea is not like that all.
“Maybe you are feeling a similarity between me and her? Like I manipulated things?” Bea asks.
I shake my head. “I feel…..like you lied, like you knew what his feelings were, and have been disagreeing with me even though I am telling you exactly what he has said. But no. You aren’t like her. You didn’t…this wasn’t to hurt me, I know that.” I’m still crying and I feel like I must look a huge mess.
“No, I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you. I honesty was doing what I believed was best at the time. In hindsight I could have done something differently, but I was truly doing what I believed was best for you. Your safety was my only concern. And things were very unstable, I wanted to do anything I could to keep things as stable as I could.”
I nod my head and cry quietly. “I know. I know you, I know that.”
She tells me that she is human, and flawed and she will make mistakes. She tells me she has work to do, too, because she is human. “When it feels like we are walking a tightrope, doing this very tricky balancing act, I have to do my best to keep things as stable as I can for you. It’s….things can be really unpredictable and for every Alice, there is a suicide attempt or a hospitalization. You did get through some really hard spots, but there can be so many what ifs, and I have to do what I can to help you build resources. I’d feel terrible, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I felt negligent, if I hadn’t done all I could for you.”
I don’t respond, but her words do penetrate. I can feel that she does care, that she does want me safe and she is here. I only feel that for a minute, and then it’s gone, replaced with hurt over what I feel is lost. I dissolve into tears again.
I don’t know how we end things. She tells me we can email, I can call or text, whatever I need. I remember it being hard to sit up, not wanting her to see me. I couldn’t look at her when I left, and I practically ran out the door.