I saw my counselor yesterday and told her about my success on Tuesday night with the women’s group. She leaned over and shook my hand, she was so happy for me.
I feel sort of stupid that the possibility of making friends at my age is such a big deal. Most people have a few friends, right? Due to circumstances in my life, I don’t. I have a few ex co-workers whom I like that I’m friends with on Facebook, but that’s it. They’ve spread out so much that they don’t even live in this town anymore.
I spoke with my counselor about that, and about being disappointed that I still spend so much time thinking about my husband and why/how he came to betray me. As bad as it is, I am certain that my feelings are changing, and I am getting stronger.
Yes, I have setbacks like on Monday where waves of humiliation and despair sweep over me, but even while I’m enduring that I am very aware that I don’t want him back. Even while I am dealing with feelings of love and affection for him, I don’t want him back. I am finally able to look at him for the person that he is. I feel very, very sorry for him.
I am now able to easily conjure up conversations, incidences, imagery, of him being ridiculous and often horribly cruel to me. I became a beaten woman; I was in survival mode. I did what I never thought I’d do in my life, I became a doormat.
Yes, I’d fight back, especially in the earlier years, and our fights were brutal, loud, and intense. But in that last year I was beaten, truly. And I thought, well, I’m out of money and have nowhere to go so I guess I’m stuck with him. He did me a favor by dumping me. I would have continued to be loyal to him and he didn’t deserve that. And I didn’t deserve to live like a pauper simply because he could not work for another person and didn’t have the money to start a business.
Yesterday my counselor said she knew this sounded cold, but did I think that perhaps he stayed with me for my money. And I said, “Yes, he absolutely did.” I’m not saying there weren’t feelings there, I am pretty sure there were, but yes, he did stay with me as long as I had money. And as easily as he cast me aside, perhaps there were no real feelings there.
She also said that she can’t analyze him, but he sounds like a narcissistic sociopath, and I said, “Yes. He is.” And I gave her a short run down on some of the many ways he is both.
I told her that I was dismayed at having the Borderline Personality Disorder label since every woman who cheats and acts erratically is considered BPD and I’m really embarrassed by it. I am also worried that “people say” that counselors don’t want to have BPD clients because they never improve.
Thankfully she nipped that right in the bud. She said in her experience most people diagnosed with BPD are actually victims of PTSD. And I said, “Thank you. Because that fits me so much better.” I have plenty of reasons to have PTSD. But I don’t need to diagnose them or talk about them anymore, I just consider myself highly over sensitive, fearful, and insecure which is what I am dealing with.
So many things that were causing me acute anxiety in the months that followed DDay are now less bothersome, thank god. I was consumed with the idea that I’d be alone forever and never have sex again. Now I think that’s probably not going to be the case, but even if it were, there are worse ways to live. My husband reinforced an old belief I had, that if no one wanted to fuck you, you had no worth. That is a lesson it’s taken me forever to learn.
It’s also helped me a great deal to be a part of the Chump Lady website, because I can hear stories that are worse than mine, and hear how they recovered and went on to a better life. For some women (and men) it takes six months to recover, for others three years or more. It’s all okay and normal. I don’t have to worry so much that it feels like it’s taking too long for me.
When I first started this blog I really thought that my husband and I would eventually reconcile. This was before I knew there was another woman. I’ve been through hell in dealing with the fact that after all I sacrificed for him, this is how he repays me. But in the end I know that it’s not surprising at all, given what I know about him. I was fooling myself.
He tries so hard to portray himself as genuine, but he’s anything but. My family saw right through his act, but I thought they just weren’t being open minded or “worldly” enough.
Even though I feel almost together today, I realize that can be so fleeting too. It’s quite exhausting, actually, to be so profoundly depressed on Monday that I began to have suicidal ideations and then Tuesday feel so up due to my encounter with the women’s group. I just want to be in the middle area and not spend so much time at either end. So that’s my goal, really.
My counselor said she went through a devastating loss in her 30s and found help in the book Chop Wood Carry Water which I think I may have read years ago, I can’t recall. She advised me to find a book that will help ground me. So I’m going to ask other people for recommendations. If you have any for me, please feel free to leave ’em in the comment section.
There is one book I’d like to pick up again, one that I often referred to almost like a bible, The Four Agreements, so I will start there.