We had been discussing stuff. Everything and nothing. I steered us to us. She has had one individual therapy session so far. Her assignment for next time: Journaling.
I’m a writer. Not professionally (I wish I had those skills). I enjoy putting thoughts on the page and seeing where they go. She, on the other hand hates to write.
Her journal is to be pretty simple. If she feels something, she’s to write it down.
She feels no emotion (her words). She says that she is emotionally numb. This is why we had to nix the marriage counseling. She couldn’t participate.
In our last marriage counseling session, she was asked to sit directly in front of me, look at me and tell me what she saw. “I see my husband, the man that I love and the father of my children.” Therapist jumped in with, “You need to say what you really feel, not what I want to hear. Because what you said over there (where she had been sitting) wasn’t what you just said.”
She couldn’t do it.
“I don’t know what you’re after. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be saying. “
I jumped in. I told them what I saw. It wasn’t a happy picture. “I see the boss. The person that controls all aspects of my life.”
On the ride home I asked her about it. She talked about truly not knowing what to say.
“I told you what I saw. That was it.”
You need to be honest with me or we can’t get anywhere.
“I am being honest. I can’t say stuff like you can because I don’t feel anything.”
2 weeks later we were done with marriage counseling. She began individual therapy with our old counselor.
The therapist have her the following:
When you feel something, write it down.
Get with your doctor. I think your anti-depressant is working too well. They seem to have shut everything off.
Back To Now
Here we are tonight having our chat.
Have you written anything?
Do you have an app?
Have you called the doctor?
I can’t take any time off.
You can make a late afternoon appointment (she was deflecting).
I don’t want to get of my meds.
Why not? Therapist told you to call the doctor about this.
I’m finally stable. I finally know what it’s like to be stable. I don’t want to stop my meds, they keep me from feeling any pain.
Uh-oh. This is a concerning development for me. Part of the therapy was to get into contact with her emotions. Then we could work on our marriage (this assumed we were both in a decent place to resume that). Now she doesn’t want to get in touch with those feelings.
“If I take the meds, I don’t feel pain.”
You have to have pain to appreciate joy.
“Don’t push me on this.”
Here’s where I backed off in a dramatic way, which is a new thing. I told her that I was concerned and that’s as far as I would go. Her response was very predictable.
“Anytime we disagree like this you take it too far. That’s what happened last week over marriage counseling.”
That’s a very true statement she made. I do push my opinion pretty hard. I do out a lot of pressure on her to do things the way I think she should. THAT is something I’m really trying to change.
To be honest, that is an appropriate thing to do sometimes. I think this is one of those times. Last week was not. The biggest problem here is me. I have a decades long history of doing this. I try to
suggest push her in the direction I think she should go. Understandably, she now thinks that is my constant reaction. And she’s right. I basically called wolf too many times. Now the wolf is here and I’m powerless to influence.
Here’s another problem: I’m supposed to give her guidance. She’s supposed to give me guidance as well. I trust her guidance. She does not trust mine. In this case she should.
Her decision to stay on her meds will likely serve as a delay to her recovery.
That, however, is her call.
Who am I?
We went back to discussing stuff. I had asked her 3 questions, each receiving a 1 word answer. To get get to continue this trend, I asked her, “who am I!” expecting to hear my name. Her answer surprised me.
I was intrigued. I told her what I had been after. But then I remembered back to our final therapy together. She was asked the exact same question and couldn’t give an answer any deeper than my name, that I am her husband and the father of her kids. A very shallow answer.
I’m not judging her on this and I’m not discounting what she said either.
A. All of those things are true.
B. That’s where she is right now.
She herself had said that she can’t go very deep.
Being the fast acting genius I am, I repeated the question:
“Who am I?”
What do you mean?
I mean, what do you see?
I see Marty (yes, that’s the short version of my name).
No, no, no. Who am I?
What are you after?
I want to know who you see when you look at me.
Oh my gosh. We’re back in therapist’s office!
The question stands. Who am I?
She then played her trump card.
“My head is on the pillow and I can’t think straight. I’m not doing this,”
Another 2 things:
1. She truly was tired.
2. I truly believe that’s a defense mechanism. ‘I don’t want to have this conversation right now. Leave me alone and bug me another time,’
I’ve pulled that logic on her once in live argument. It didn’t go very well. I really do think she’s crazy tired; she works hard. But I also think that it’s an easy way out of conversations.
Here’s where things get tricky. Over the last 7 days I have changed. For the better. I think. I really hope it sticks. But the issue here is, exactly 7 days ago I had told her what I thought of the, “my head is on the pillow” comment. And when she told me that I was over pursuing the argument, that I was arguing in circles and that she was desperate for sleep.
I pushed too far.
I really want to know who she sees when she looks at me. She won’t tell me.
1. She doesn’t know
2. She won’t tell me because it will hurt my feelings, crush my soul and send me back to the nut house.
I think it’s a combination of the 2.
I need to know the answer though.
I need to know her opinion of me.
I need to know who she sees.
Is he a good guy?
Is he a villain?
Is he a hero?
Is he an anti-hero?
Does she admire him?
Does she look up to him?
Does she him and want to look away in disgust?
Maybe she doesn’t know what she sees.
Maybe she doesn’t know who I am.
I sure don’t.
I really and truly don’t know who or what I am now.
I’m not the guy I was 7 days ago.
I’m a changed man. Hopefully for the better and hopefully it isn’t temporary.
That is a worry. Am I acting like a better man or have I become a better man?
7 days is way to soon to know.