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Category Archives: The Present -How things are

AWOL

 

The following has been playing on my mind a lot lately…Let’s call this…Therapy

A few weeks ago I heard news of a shooting on a military base in Texas – Fort Hood.

I didn’t know anyone involved or even anyone living nearby but it affected me massively.

The shooter was a military man, he had a wife and kid(s) and he killed -I believe- 3 people, injured around 14 others and then killed himself.

Apparently this man was suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or something similar… he was troubled in one way or another and to be honest I feel for him. I’ve been in dark places before, thankfully not dark enough to harm others but the thought of harming myself…well it wasn’t out of the question. Looking back I shudder at some of the things I used to think, It actually embarrasses me thinking about it but ultimately I got help, things got better and the only times I look back is to remind myself how far I have come.

I realise that we are never safe, there are bad people out there who will hurt us randomly, we will be in the wrong place at the wrong time…stuff like this happens. To be associated with or linked to a military base always holds that worry of attacks, they are obvious targets and perhaps one reason why I wouldn’t choose to live on the base itself but to have someone FROM the INSIDE do something like this is absolutely terrifying.

I’m sure you can see where the PTSD links have affected me. I know there are different levels of it, different versions even and of course different causes; I know that not everyone with PTSD will end up shooting a bunch of people but the fact that this happened…I don’t know.

What about the people injured, the people who witnessed friends and colleagues die…the family and friends of those people… think of the affect it will have on them. Therapy, Some form of PTSD, alcoholism, drug abuse…you know, things to ease the pain. The anger, the hurt…the breakdown of communication between loved ones. Think how many people would be changed by that day and who would then change their relationships at home. The ripple effect of repercussions is terrifying! Where and how does it end?

I suppose this incident has shown me one extreme outcome but all I keep thinking (apart from about the families of those involved) is ‘his poor wife!’

Did she know he was at this point? Were there signs? What were they? How exactly would you ever assume – or believe- that the person you love would actually do something like this?…and what happens to her now? What on earth is going through her mind? Apparently this woman discovered that the shooter was in fact her husband because they said it on the news! How terrible! They had children, how do you explain to a child why daddy isn’t coming home and why these people are looking at them strangely? How does that family move on from this?

This incident has scared me, for the first time since being married, since finding out everything about my husband… the thought of not really knowing your partner – or what they are capable of- has hit home. I don’t for one minute believe he would do anything like this, or that I would let it get to that point… but I’m sure the Fort Hood shooters wife thought the same thing about her husband.

How do you get past this?

xBx

 

 

 

 
 

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It’s been one year….

20130318-121902-AM.jpgIt’s been a year since the shit hit the fan…. so it seems only fitting that I write a post.

I feel I owe it to myself to revisit this blog -to face my demons- but also to anyone still out there wondering ‘what ever happened to Beth?’ so…here I am…and this is what happened

In July we had our first wedding anniversary…I had been anxious about it but we celebrated by burning some bad memories – those in the form of diary entries, letters which held dark confessions and even photos or ‘happy book’ pages which made me feel sick looking back on. Not because the times themselves were bad…but once you find out that most of your relationship has been a lie things kind of take a sour turn.

We took our burn-iversary as a fresh start; a chance to put as many of those bad feelings as we could behind us and instead focus on moving forward…on how to make things better and how to make new…REAL…memories. At the time I was still feeling uneasy, emotions were up and down constantly; some days all I could think about was what he had done whereas others it didn’t even cross my mind.

It was during one of these ‘up’ streaks that we had news from his work that we would have to leave for America….in September! As you can imagine my heart was in my stomach. I had given our marriage one year from THAT day to figure out whether I stayed or we went our separate ways…now I had a matter of weeks to make up my mind!?

One thing that kept nagging me was this gut-wrenching feeling whenever I considered NOT going with him. By this time I was past any “what would people think?” “what would I tell my mother?” crap and had learnt to focus on what I wanted and not what society would find alarming. I wanted to be with him, I wanted to try…but there was so much to do, so much upheaval… this was an international move…I would need a visa…I had loose ends to tie up…I would have to quit the job I loved….

Shit Happens - By ComfortablyNumb

Shit Happens – By ComfortablyNumb

I chewed it over and over -AND OVER…I spoke to my best friend – the only person (offline) who knows EVERYTHING about our situation- and she reminded me that I could always come home if shit went wrong again. Eventually I told my dad and my step-dad about my doubts, hinting that things weren’t peachy between us; I spoke to a good friend from the blogging world…they all said the same… “you can always come home” and “you would regret NOT giving it a go”

So…I went.

Through a series of events with work, visa applications and an unrelated court case the moving date was postponed for a month here and another month there -It was stressful to say the least but we got here in the end and so far I am NOT regretting it.

HOWEVER…(did you see that one coming?) with everything going on with the move the therapy, counseling and everything that goes with it has been put on the back burner. It’s not that we are ignoring the fact that we need to carry on working on things – believe me he made sure I knew that he WILL keep seeing someone and I made sure HE knew that if he didn’t I would have his balls in a vice-it’s just that with any move its stressful and expensive so we have to wait until it’s more feasible to go (and keep going) to sessions in order to make them count.

That being said… I’m bloody dreading it. Its been so nice NOT having to think about shit for a few months. The move has pushed us together and grounded my feelings for him; the stresses of everything have taught us to work together and communicate more than we ever did – I mean yeah there’s still that mars/Venus divide but as far as US as a couple we are much stronger – at least as far as I’m concerned. I suppose I’m finding the idea of going from pretend-ignorant-bliss back to shock-horror-here’s-another-bombshell rather unsettling…but who wouldn’t? As for ‘deeper’ progress there have been a few small victories for us…though reading this back they’re actually rather big.

yeah right lol

yeah right lol

Before we left England he had started feeling more physically (in the bedroom) but it was still rare. Now, however it’s probably 90% of the time. The sensation doesn’t last long but the fact that the frequency has increased massively means we must be doing something right (yay us!) This is a massive confidence boost for me, I don’t feel as rushed to ‘get it over with before he starts yawning’ and I can sometimes tell when it’s happening for him. We did have a type of code but that always reminded us of the ‘issue’ so now we just roll with it and see what happens.

We are a little more spontaneous with it, definitely more passionate/romantic and generally more relaxed…more loving. It’s like we are both actually present…we make eye contact…more kissing…I don’t feel like a hooker! Of course some days it all hits me again that this isn’t a ‘normal’ sex life and that for most couples it’s a lot ‘easier’ for them…but then I remind myself that it’s OURS, it’s working for us…and at least I don’t have a problem with a partner who is done in a few minutes ha ha (sorry but I have to laugh)

Out of the bedroom he is more caring too; he now has a phone and actually texts me during the daytime which has made such a big difference. He leaves notes for me sometimes when he heads off to work and he picks up a little something now and again if he stops off to get petrol or whatever on his way home. He told me a few months ago during a heart to heart that he now genuinely likes cuddles and missed the ones I used to give him; he had started feeling ‘less loved’ by me than before and cared enough -or felt enough- to actually say something about it (I had started blocking myself without realising.) He was honest enough to tell me things that he knew I wouldn’t like hearing -rather than lying to keep me happy) and said openly that he still needed to work some things out with a professional..

I still have issues with porn…like I said…who wouldn’t after everything? I have some filters set up on his phone and on the computer (with his permission – nothing sneaky) but we both agree that neither of us are ready for them to be removed – again not something I LIKED hearing but at least he was honest about it. I don’t like the fact that I haven’t deleted this blog, I don’t like that I WILL be posting on here more frequently once the therapy starts…but its the truth and I have to face it. I still have days where I remember that we do have a lot of work to do (and he agrees) and it hurts like hell but at least we realize this and aren’t just sweeping it under the carpet for good.

Yes there is a LOT of work to be done but we both know that and WILL get back into the swing of it once we are settled with everything else. For now…I am happy that we are making progress on our own. The bottom line in all of this? I’m glad I came with him, I’m glad I gave it a shot and I’m certain I want to keep working on it.

I am so sorry for dropping off the face of the…blogging-world. I have missed you guys, but I can’t lie I’m not looking forward to being back…I will be back though, just not yet.

xBx

 
19 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2014 in The Present -How things are

 

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I’m still here

Hi all … Or those who are still following me… Apologies for the long absence – and for any spelling mistakes as I’m writing this from my phone. I’m not back for good (yet) but I almost feel like I owe you an explanation of where I have been all this time.

Well firstly my arm… Remember a few months back I mentioned that my arm was hurting a lot? Well rather than getting better its got progressively worse. I finally went to the doctors about a month ago and he thought I had torn a ligament in my shoulder thanks to an incident at work involving my boss’ dog. I’ve been going to physical therapy for the last few weeks and he thinks its actually underlying long term nerve damage which was merely bought to attention thanks to that dog.

Either way it’s fucking horrible. The near-constant ache makes me feel physically sick and I’m so frustrated with the effect it’s having on my everyday life. Sleeping is a bitch, cooking is a pain in the arse… Can openers and jars are my worst enemies right now… It hurts to write, type, drive… I can do it all but god it makes me fucking miserable. It’s like a toothache… Just there… Pissing me off all the time. It’s draining. So that was the main reason I stopped writing… Purely the fact that I physically couldn’t keep up with the act of regularly blogging.

Emotionally I’m ok but at some point i got so overwhelmed in every way possible about things – good and bad – that I just couldn’t write it all down and had some kind of blog meltdown.

I’m still seeing my counsellor and she’s amazing… She even hugs me after each session 🙂 Hubby is doing really well in his sessions, I’m so proud of the work he’s doing. He started hypnotherapy (with the same therapist) a week or so ago and that seems to be helping a lot.

Our first anniversary (which I was so anxious about) came and went and oh my it was amazing. It’s already in the “happy book” and I will share it with you once I’m back on track.

Then there is the relationship biggie- he told me his 10… THE big secret (which I won’t be sharing with you I’m afraid lol) … That was a while back now and the world hasn’t imploded and we are still married – in fact we are now stronger than ever- so I think that should be all you need to know as far as his 10 goes

Finally there’s the bombshell that was dropped last month…and the second biggest thing that has affected me every day since (the first being my blimmin arm)…we were told by his work that rather than having another year in the UK we actually needed to be living in America by the end of October THIS YEAR! At first I freaked out, panicking that WE were not ready for this. I confided in my friend (who knows everything) and she asked me to think of how our relationship is without all the past/therapy stuff and if I would be happy with him if it didn’t exist and honestly I would. Taking all of that away leaves us fine and happy, we still talk and cuddle and don’t fight much (apart from the odd nag but that doesn’t count) so that’s how I’m looking at it. As well as the amount of progress he has made – from not talking or understanding his feelings to at least trying to and wanting to and finding himself bit by bit- in reality he has come a long way – even if I (or us normal people lol) can’t see it AND WE have made progress together too.

With that logic I felt a bit more confident but still weary… Until a shit load of other stuff was thrown into the mix (which i cant and wont go into) meaning there was a possibility that I wouldn’t be able to go with him… And it was then that I realised how much it meant to me. In an instant I went from “can I really be thinking of doing this?” To “fuck this I’m going even if it kills me!!” – funny how things make you realise what matters isn’t it? The idea I had originally given myself a year to ponder was finalised in one moment.

Of course i’m not taking it lightly, i’m not forgetting that there is a lot of work still to be done and i’ve covered my arse incase shit hits the fan once we are over there but the way I see it is a change of scenery can’t be that bad. Why not travel the world while working on all of this? And to be honest the shock news has glued us even stronger together, we became solid, a force, a good team- planning and preparing for the future… It’s been a nice reminder of how strong we really are.

So… It looks like we are going to America. We have managed to get it pushed back till December though which gives us time to tie up a few loose ends before we leave.

So -like I said to BeetleyPete- there’s just a lot going on right now and more time to think about stuff or get on with stuff than to write it all down lol but I’m not curled in a corner or losing the will to live so I guess that means I’m ok lol -though trying to sort out an international move with a dead arm is frustrating as hell!

So… That’s that. I genuinely hope you are all doing well. Hopefully soon I will be back to my usual blogging self… I’m sure I’ll have a lot to write about once we are finally across the pond.

xBx

20130914-110406 PM.jpg

 
21 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2013 in The Present -How things are

 

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#13 As sick as your secrets

**Continuing on from my last post (here) ***

Number 9 Sign

Number 9 Sign (Photo credit: tedeytan)

In order for this to make as much sense as possible, its probably a good idea to read back (if you haven’t already) about our rating scale technique – posted here.

After telling me how he knows he can trust me and explaining that its hard to tell me the things he WANTS to tell me let alone the things he’s not ready to talk about yet…he then said something which made my heart stop.

“I’m really tempted to tell you my 10…but I don’t feel like it’s right yet…

so are you ready for a 9?”

Of course I wont go into detail of it here but that 9 of his was shocking…and not in the way you would assume. what took me by surprise was how NORMAL his 9 was…this massive secret which he was too scared to say to anyone for his entire life…this 9 out of 10 on the scale of difficulty…was something so…common that had I not known it was a ‘9’ for him i probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelid if he told me.

I’ll give you what I think would be a (fictional of course) comparison of this ‘9’ of his…

  • ‘I wet the bed till I was 11’
  • ‘I still cry at Disney films’
  • ‘I’m afraid of the dark’

Of course the content was a relief…you would assume something as hard to disclose as that would automatically mean it’s something bad but -like she said before- it’s not always the content that is hard to tell…it’s just that its something of his. What has blown my mind repeatedly in all of this is how little he has ‘Googled’ about this stuff…because if he had then he may have worked out by now that he is not weird…or that other people go through this stuff too. Regardless, because I knew how hard it was to tell me- BEFORE he told me, I was able to react in an encouraging way. Instead of shrugging it off i thanked him for letting me in, instead of giggling or making an inappropriate joke i was able to take it seriously and actually listen to what he was telling me but most importantly i was able to reassure him that he is not a freak…that he shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed and that this thing is more common than he realises…I was able to put his mind at ease -so in that sense the rating scale saved the day as without it i probably wouldn’t have reacted – or appreciated it – the same way.

His therapist had explained to me how he should be telling himself ‘its ok…nothing bad happened’ at any times when he does something which he sees as a ‘fuck up’ – for example spilling a drink like I explained in the post about the oxygen mask…OR when he tells me something of his. So again I was able to remind him of that once he told me his 9- literally by telling him ‘see…nothing bad has happened…its ok’ and then physically by keeping my body language the same, by kissing him etc -My health and social care teacher would be proud lol…those A levels are really paying off now ha ha.

He allowed me to ask questions so I started slow and eventually (a handful of questions later) we got to a point where he didn’t want to talk about it anymore so I let it go and we carried on as normal (see…nothing happened!) I thought it only fair to share one of my higher numbers with him to even the score but again, seeing as I’m probably a bit too open all i could find was a 5/6…that being a poem I had written on the Community Storyboard about cuddling him in bed (here) The reason that was a 5/6 was because its my true feelings about us and its MY blog but I shared that with him (whilst hiding behind a pillow) and he liked it so I think we both felt a little lighter after that- and closer to each other too.

For me to find a 5/6 is pretty rare…there’s not a lot that i wouldn’t tell him or share with him…or not much that i would find difficult anyway… but there was ONE other 5 that I let him into and that was meeting BeetleyPete a few weeks ago. For me meeting Pete (and Mrs Pete) was important to ME. It involved going somewhere I usually go by myself…one of my happy places I suppose (which I don’t have many of now I live here) and introducing my husband to THE blogging legend himself. It was something I was looking forward to and I was almost a little bit protective of…something I didn’t want to be tainted by anything or anyone…something for me…which I allowed him into…something I shared with him. THAT was hard for me to do…but I did it…and nothing bad happened 🙂

Another thing his therapist had explained during that session was what he would feel like after divulging something of his; and so with this information and knowing how big this secret was for him I was prepared for what happened next. I knew how shit he would be feeling…and it was obvious that he was; He said he felt physically sick and that night he asked me NOT to cuddle him in bed (and apologised for asking lol) But i understood why he was being that way so did whatever I could to make him see that no matter what I was still here for him and that this secret had not and would not change anything. For the next few days he was a little bit ‘off’ but I was able to let him ride the wave without giving him too much shit for being in a mood and keep reassuring him without actually making a big deal out of it.

Its been a while since his 9…and he’s back to normal as far as the aftermath of it goes but he’s still not ready for his 10…and I am not pushing for it. Its good to know he felt safe enough to open up to me – and that I knew how to handle it once he did; I think – for us- this was a major breakthrough, I feel closer to him – almost smug actually lol- and I hope he feels closer to me too…but most importantly I hope I have shown him that it IS ok to let me in…because nothing bad happens when he does 🙂

xBx

 

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

Deep Breath

Deep Breath (Photo credit: kagey_b)

So having had a few weeks of “should I stay or go?” I was no closer to a decision. I had felt bad for even thinking about leaving… Not just bad for him but bad for us… For how we could be and for considering throwing in the towel when really – like my counsellor had pointed out- we WERE still moving forward. I think it was panic mode resurfacing, can I do this? Am I strong enough? Will things ever get better… CAN WE EVER BE NORMAL??

I felt even more guilty for thinking all of that without telling him any of it. Usually I would say SOMETHING but every time I was close he would surprise me with a new insight or a positive move so I kept it to myself for weeks. BUT the revelation of keeping his eyes open and banishing demons (posted here) gave us the positive boost we needed- it gave me more hope… A massive point to add to the list of pros and cons building in my mind. I felt good… WE felt good.

However, I had noticed that he has stopped doing things, he doesn’t speak to anyone apart from me really, he doesn’t socialise much. I realise that this seems like a random tangent but trust me…it will make sense shortly…anyway- Last week he came home and told me about a game of paintball with some workmates but he immediately said he didn’t want to go, I questioned it, telling him it sounded fun, he should have some time off doing something fun… That I didn’t mind and would enjoy some me time etc but still he said no. I asked if he had noticed that he had stopped going out and he said he hadn’t until I pointed it out and agreed that maybe he should do something. I went shopping over the weekend and suggested he and a friend did something… He was up for that but on the day didn’t see any plans through. He never used to be like this and I’ve recognised the signs from experience- depression, lack of interest, almost hibernating because its easier.

A few days later came back from his next solo therapy session and I casually asked how it went. He was vague and didn’t really say much other than that they spoke about some “stuff” we had all talked about. I let it slide figuring he would tell me more when he was ready and when had got his head around it -like usual- but later he showed no signs of opening up. So I asked if they had spoken about the masturbating/porn. I knew they had because it was the first she had heard about any of it when I went so it was bound to have been a main topic.

stress

stress (Photo credit: bottled_void)

He eyed me suspiciously and asked how I knew so I told him the above. He then said that they had talked about it but I wouldn’t like it so…. This got my back up. I don’t like it when people assume I can’t handle something and more importantly it winds me up that something crucial for us has been discussed without giving me any insight. Obviously I know it’s his session etc but if SHE had an insight which could have helped me understand it better… then I don’t understand why she didn’t bring it up there and then -when I told her in our session. Plus this is exactly what HE does… Tell me bits which make it sound terrible and then I worry and eventually I find out that it wasn’t that bad… It drags it out, it stresses me out, it prolongs the agony.

I didn’t push him for it because … Well it’s not right to do that but I got angry (inside) and that massive pro quickly dissolved (and then some) tipping the scales back the other way and making me wonder what the fucking point was. Later still he asked if I really wanted to know (erm duh) and so he told me…

“Ok… She told me to masturbate – without you- and I said no. She asked why and I said that I didn’t need or want to because what we do works, that you wouldn’t be ok with that… and i wouldn’t either. She pushed me and tried to persuade me but I still said no and told her we would have to think of something else… She said I should because its something for me… For myself and that I shouldn’t feel guilty for doing something for me”

*Deep breath…Adopt calm voice and…*

“Firstly thank you for telling me and thank you for saying no. she’s right – you shouldn’t feel guilty for doing something for yourself but you but it’s more about the lying about it, hiding it and affecting others in such a negative way that is not ok. Also for her to suggest that makes me doubt that the extent of you doing it was discussed between you truthfully as I don’t think she would suggest that if she knew… So what happens now? Is this you telling me that someone else has suggested it so now you’re considering it or…?

He said no, he wasn’t going to do it and he had told her about the paintball etc he hugged me tight and asked what I thought about it all. Reluctant to say anything damaging I mulled it over and considered her point. Yes it’s good for him to do things for himself but ultimately it’s  his actions before now that have added to the issue surrounding it. Now she’s suggested it its added the paranoia that had faded drastically back into the mix, it actually makes me feel sick thinking about going against everything I feel is right and crushing myself further for the sake of a quick release… If I were to consider her point about the oxygen mask (posted here) then saying that any of this was ok would be the opposite of what she had suggested. Is this what he needs? Am I wrong to be so against it? Am I preventing him from getting better? Am I fuck!

And so I told him

“Again, it’s good that you said no but do you agree with it? Do you think it would help? (No) Honestly i don’t know if i can do this… do you know I’ve been thinking about leaving? (no…for how long?) for a few weeks now but every time I’ve been on the edge something good has happened and we have moved forward. The other night I turned you down because I couldn’t take it anymore, because all this shit about sex and wanking makes me feel sick and I don’t have the mental energy to pretend I’m ok with it every time but then we had a breakthrough and it felt great but now it’s back to square one.

What she has suggested puts the paranoia back because you’ve been given the go ahead by one person so surely that plants that fucking seed again? We had been making progress in the bedroom and it was working for us but now I’m going to be worried about saying no again in case you do it yourself out of spite (I wouldn’t do that… Is that what you think?) yes! And now even more so. I mean am I supposed to sit downstairs and be ok with it? (No because its not going to happen) you already get to do that for you the difference is that I’m with you… you’re still the one doing it! that’s a compromise we have established and i thought that was good for both if us (it is… i like that you’re with me) It’s already enough that we have to do that together – me being there is the only way I can get intimacy from it and I’m sorry but there are others things to do for you… You could go out, you can do what you want (i know and that’s what i told her) I don’t turn you down and then go and have a wank to suit myself.

Aside from that she’s now made me think I’m wrong, its made me question whether or not i am actually helping or adding to all of this and its made me doubt my own morals. I’m sorry but I can’t go along with something that will make me feel even worse than I already do… So if YOU want to do it then do it… I will understand and i don’t want to be the one hindering your progress…But I will not be here anymore. THAT by the way was a 10 on the scale of difficulty”

WELCOME TO MY WORLD

WELCOME TO MY WORLD (Photo credit: FUNKYAH)

He kissed me and thanked me for my 10. He reassured me that I am NOT hindering anything, that he wasn’t going to do anything and that “if it wasn’t for you god knows where I would be right now… You’re the reason I’m trying to get better so I can be a better person for me and a better husband for you… Because I do not want to lose you” he told me I should talk to him when I feel like leaving and asked how to make it better. I told him I understood how hard it is for him and that I’m never going to force him to tell me anything – its not like j could if i wanted to!- but I just need to be let in and feel PART of his world … Just like I let him into mine…

And that’s when it happened…

To be continued

xBx

 
 

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For better or worse

Therapy in session through quilting

Therapy in session through quilting (Photo credit: fishin widow)

Apologies for being AWOL recently… to be honest I’m not in a great place :/ I have SO much going on in my head AND in reality (good AND bad) that its hard not to just shut down completely and hope that somehow everything will fit into place…well that hasn’t happened so I suppose its time to start writing them all down in some kind of order in an attempt to make it make sense or at least clear some head space.

A few weeks back I visited my husbands therapist (with him) for the first time. The first part is posted here. I said I would go into more detail for some parts so I could pour my heart out a little. Some of the information given that evening hurt to hear, it stung a bit and its probably a lot to do with how I’ve been feeling lately too, of it so…here it is.

When asked how my husbands actions affect me on a daily basis I struggled to find a place to begin.
Noting that we were limited on time I churned out the obvious – sex is an issue, the self esteem issues which comes from his lack of interest, the paranoia from the constant lies, the worry when it comes to leaving due to porn addiction… The gut wrench that comes from knowing my marriage up till now has been a sham… Shall I continue?

She stopped me and talked about the porn/sex/masturbation a bit more as this was the first time she had heard anything about it. She asked whether he watched porn because of the thrill of it, the release… And that annoyed me because it seemed like she was trying to put words in his mouth rather than asking open ended questions. I had gone here hoping that with the three of us more comfortable he would feel able to explain it – with her help NOT to be told the answers.

However to my surprise – and relief- he didn’t agree with her… Instead he shrugged. She asked if it was the fantasy side – no. Is it the release? -no. Is it X? Y?… Z?? – no. He said its nothing, it’s not important to him, it doesn’t do anything for him… He just does it.

*ouch*

I think I would have preferred it her way lol. To hear that cut deep for me, of all the times he’s sneaked off to watch it, lied about it… For all the issues it’s caused… The lack of trust… The lack of confidence… The lack of respect!!! And it means nothing to him?? He did all of the above for something that did nothing?? Despite my gut twisting I didn’t react, I just nodded and tried to let it sink in.

She asked whether the porn was encouraged and what my thoughts on it were … Yeah here we go again lol (if anyone DOESN’T know my thoughts then I suggest you read here lol also if you are lost by now it’s probably best to read up on the back story which starts here) I told her I had offered to watch it with him, been refused and then lied to, that for me porn is now the other woman- the one he wouldn’t or couldn’t stop seeing. I told her that masturbation – whilst understandable in his case… Well I don’t see the necessity when married especially with a wife whom is willing to experiment and who rarely isn’t up for it. I told her how he does masturbate – WITH me, that it hurts that I can’t satisfy him as it is and that the lies before now have made it an issue so the compromise is that he does himself and I’m there with him otherwise no progress will be made in the bedroom and no intimacy will be there for either of us.

Leave

Leave (Photo credit: inf3ktion)

She asked what would happen if he watched porn now…. I would leave. She looked shocked- as I assume many of you are reading that but its a fact. I have had enough of it, he has his boundaries and secrets and issues…I have learned to live with them, that is my one boundary. It doesn’t NEED to happen, its affected us too many times. its me or that basically, there’s only so much shit one person can take. That is my limit.

Then she asked about sex.
You don’t feel anything? -no
Nothing physical? -no
Nothing emotional? – no
You just do it for Beth? – yeah…

We talked more about WHY the frequency had changed since marriage and the answer gave me that twinge again… Basically whenever he would visit me pre marriage it was usually for one weekend every other week and unbeknownst to me he was acting 100% during those visits -or in his words ‘it was a massive effort to do it that often every time I saw her…but I knew that once that weekend was over I would have the next 2 weeks to be myself…by myself…but once you’re LIVING together…well that means forcing it 100% of the time, there’s no end to it and its exhausting having to pretend to that extent’ – Just writing that made me feel sick. I cant explain it really…I suppose aside from the obvious feelings i.e. stupid…naive…I also feel… used, fooled and like I was PRESSURING him!! (Which I wasn’t at all) It makes me angry to think about how much ‘effort’ it was just to sleep with me…it makes me angry that he put that much effort into something he didn’t want to do…it makes me angry that he still went ahead and married me!

That hurt to hear.

The stupid thing is I knew it really, I figured that out for myself when all of this first came out but I suppose until you actually hear HIM say it there’s always that glimmer of hope that you’re being silly, worrying over nothing…reading too far into it…that you are wrong! Once you hear HIM say THAT…well its real. and its really fucking painful.

She asked me if we ever argue…if there’s ever ANYTHING there which suggests emotions…I mean yeah we have had a few arguments but never really shouting matches (not before all of this anyway and even since there’s been maybe 2…with me doing the shouting) She said THAT must be frustrating because its natural for us to want an argument sometimes but with him I won’t get one…which led her to ask me if I ever let it all out…how do I get it out? What do I do to make myself feel better…DO I cry? Do I allow myself to get angry?

Erm…fuck yes! ‘I usually wait until he’s at work to have a good sob if I feel like it…or when he’s asleep some nights I will lay next to him and let them flow…or I’ll watch some sad shit on TV just so I can sit in tears and feel like I have a valid reason for it’ (By this time I was crying) ‘ I mean I think he KNOWS that I cry about it sometimes but its easier to do it when he’s not around as for starters I don’t want to say shit in the heat of the moment that will undo all of this but also because I have learned that crying to him is pointless… yeah he comforts me physically, he makes all the right noises but I know its bullshit…I know its an act because he doesn’t FEEL anything. He doesn’t empathise…he just does what he knows works…like a puzzle that he’s mastered and knowing that when you need comfort the most is an oxymoron in a way.

She looked to him and asked what it was like to hear me saying those things…he shrugged and shook his head (nothing) He said he didn’t know I was still crying most days and that he wished I would talk to him about it rather than waiting BUT he understood why I didn’t do that and ultimately…hearing that from me… he didn’t FEEL anything. He said he obviously doesn’t LIKE that I feel that way, he doesn’t want me to keep feeling that way, he wants to make it better but as far as emotions go there’s nothing.

lonely traveller

lonely traveller (Photo credit: rprathap)

Double ouch

It made it all real again, the blunt answers, the matter-of-fact way he responded…THAT is why I don’t go to him…because I know all of that too. I KNOW he doesn’t feel anything, I suppose at least he’s being honest about it lol but still… its so…lonely :/

I came out of that session feeling better for understanding more…for knowing more but at the same time I ended up hurting more because I had to hear it all over again… I had my fears and worries confirmed…by him. To be honest (when aren’t I?) we left there feeling closer to each other if anything…more open with each other…which is funny when you think about the content of what we had just been discussing in there. It was…bittersweet would be the word for it I think…but in the weeks since it’s hit me all over again and knocked me a few steps back again – I suppose at least this time I understand it more so hopefully the path back uphill won’t be as tough this time

xBx
(A LOT more to come…)

 
 

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Therapy : The Oxygen Mask

Concepts in Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis

Concepts in Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently met my husbands therapist for the first time. We ended up staying for an extra hour and in those 2 hours I learned so much. There’s a lot of ‘she said’ and numbers involved in this post so apologies if I lose a few of you – a few times throughout lol.

Let me say that due to the nature of this post, this topic…this situation… I’m obviously not going to go into detail of anything that isn’t mine to share so any examples used are purely fabricated for the purpose of… Well giving an example basically lol

The first thing she did was explain all the transactional analysis stuff – which I’ve posted about here– but explained it so it made sense and was relevant to us. The bottom line is that my husband is REALLY hard on himself, maybe not out loud but he is nonetheless. I realised he had low self esteem on some level but I never knew quite the extent of it. For example spilling a drink… To me that’s nothing but for him he hates himself for it – all due to childhood.

She explained that he knows he NEEDS to change but some things he doesn’t necessarily WANT to… Not yet anyway. The reason he NEEDS to change… the reason he wants to WANT to change is to stay with me. He’s doing this for us because he knows that I cant live like this forever. (sounds like I’m a bitch but I need to look out for me too and basically he doesn’t want to lose me) She told me that it would be a long road but he has made so much progress already and I should be proud (I am) and that the trick is to make HIM feel proud of himself too.

She told me that some of his secrets, the things he doesn’t tell me aren’t necessarily BAD, it’s more that he finds hard to tell me because he’s kept them close for years, they’re his good memories and he wants to keep them and needs to learn that he CAN tell them without bad repercussions. I suppose in childhood he learnt (subconsciously) that if he didn’t tell then he couldn’t get in trouble etc so instead he kept everything to himself.

She then used the example of rating each “secret” on a scale of difficulty, 1 being ‘without MUCH effort’ (though for him that’s still a lot) and 10 being ‘wouldn’t tell a soul’. She asked me to give examples of a 1 – which I found difficult in itself as there’s not much I DONT find easy to disclose. So Instead I chose a 2… ‘My mum and dad split when I was nine and he has lived in America ever since’ That statement – for me- has been said so often that now it’s just another fact. I don’t LIKE that fact, I don’t LIKE the ‘awwws’ and the questions that follow but I find it relatively easy to tell. On my husbands scale that would be a ‘7’.

I was then asked to give an example (not necessarily true) of a 10 in my mind. I honestly could not think of anything of my own bad enough to be rated a 10. I mean telling someone their family member just died etc that’s pretty hard but that’s not MY secret is it? The therapist stepped in and said she would find it quite hard to think of one too but maybe if she had cheated on her husband then telling him would be a 10. I have to be honest here…I disagree…and that’s made me question whether I’m just too brutal/blunt/open….THAT for me would be a ‘7’ yes it would be hard but surely if I had cheated in the first place I wouldn’t find it that hard to hurt him anyway.

ANYWAY, seeing as my 2 (pretty easy) was the equivalent of his 7 (really hard) hopefully I haven’t lost you and you see the difference – AND my point. They explained the consequences of telling me (or anyone) anything over a 2, he feels physically sick the higher the number, he berates himself, he panics, he worries….and these symptoms or repercussions can last for days afterwards so basically whenever he reveals things I need to soothe him and thank him etc and at the same time try not to react too much either way -basically don’t make a big deal out of it but don’t ignore the fact he’s opening up…to me.

We agreed to state the rating whenever anything new has been discussed as some of them – to me- are so ‘normal’ i.e. ‘one time this guy at work….’ = ‘4’… that I often don’t realise that it was anything other than small talk.

To put it into perspective once more she asked him the following questions:

How many people have you told a ‘1’ ? – one or two (being me and her)
How many people have you told a ‘5’? – one (me)
How many people have you told a ’10’? one (me again)

Bottom line is...I am the one he trusts, I am the one he is opening up to and I am the one he wants to talk to and be himself with. It suddenly dawned on me that when we first started dating he would often say ‘god I’ve never told anyone that before’ about things which – again- didn’t seem like a big deal to me… well now it does. I asked if that’s the reason he married me – ‘I guess so’

She did ask me how it (our situation) affects me day to day etc but I will leave that for another post so I can pour my heart out a little without taking away from the stuff in this one as all of the above really did open my eyes to exactly what we are going through – and that’s the focus here.

When wrapping up our session she asked if I had any questions….

‘What would you say were the 3 things I CAN to do help….and what 3 things should I steer clear of?’

Oxygen mask made in NY

Oxygen mask made in NY (Photo credit: K. Todd Storch)

To help:

  • He’s already critical of everything so ease off – don’t ignore issues when they arise but think about wording and calming before exploding etc – basically give him a shit sandwich where you give a positive then the negative and follow it with another positive.
  • Thank him when he opens up – its really fucking hard for him to do so
  • Appreciate that he’s trying– for US

As for things to avoid she gave the example of the oxygen mask dropping when a plane is going down….

Who do you put the mask on first? (I said the kids lol) WRONG!
You put it on yourself and THEN help others because how can you help others if you’re not strong enough? Basically I need to take care of myself too otherwise I wont be any good to anyone, take a break, have some fun, treat myself… because I need to be strong for him…just like he is using therapy as his oxygen mask….so that he can be strong for me too.

xBx

 
 

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