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Grieving: Denial & Isolation

[denial]

[denial] (Photo credit: Shovelling Son)

Denial and Isolation: The first reaction to learning of terminal illness or death of a cherished loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions.”

I did this. I numbed myself, I pretended it wasn’t happening. I shut myself away, I lived on autopilot. I didn’t look up places to live or removal companies because I refused to believe that any of it was real. He didn’t mean what he had said…this was just some fucked up dream…or nightmare…that I willed myself to wake up from.

I still slip back to denial occasionally, there are times I flat out refuse to believe that this is happening to us. I analyse everything and find a reason behind it, ‘he MUST have loved me…otherwise…’; sometimes its just easier to imagine that this isn’t happening. It gives me a break from having to come to terms with reality.

I think a lot of the time I have to justify my choice to stay with my husband to one of my friends who is very ‘anti’ sticking this out. She thinks I’m in denial…but the truth is I have made up my mind. I have thought it through. Im a very logical person and yes its easier to see the wrongs or rights in other peoples lives but i have to deal with my own life, i have HAD to learn more about it and I feel i have to try. I know its not going to be easy…but marriage ISNT always easy…life isn’t always easy and I cant keep running from things…I don’t WANT to run from this.

I have stopped talking to her about it and therefore avoid seeing her as much because her responses are quite negative due to knowing everything about the past issues. Hearing about your friends husband taking the piss and watching porn and lying…well of course that’s going to get your back up and get defensive; but surely learning that he’s been doing this out of a (possible/probable) medical condition rather than through simply being a dickhead…well surely that kind of explains the past behaviour? Surely that kind of cancels it out? Its hard enough trying to get my own head around all of this without having her tell me what’s right and what’s wrong.

Aside from that I think my denial has also been my way of keeping it to myself, saying ‘we are fine’ to family members who don’t know what’s going on isn’t denial is it? That’s just me not wanting to worry them about something that is -firstly very personal but also something that (I hope) will get better. I don’t want them to jump to conclusions like my friend has, because I’m going to do what I want, what I think is right…and if it goes tits up then fair enough. But family and friends are meant to support you no matter what aren’t they?

xBx

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Part 10: Limbo

Thinking RFID

Thinking RFID (Photo credit: @boetter)

Late at night there was a knock on the door… It was him and he wanted to talk. He looked like shit and it made me wonder how someone who-apparently- lacks the ability to feel anything could look so bad if that were true.

“I think I do love you… I have to… Otherwise I wouldn’t feel this shit…would I? I’ve messed up… I AM messed up… I’m so confused. I think I love you but I don’t KNOW that for sure, I don’t know WHAT I feel.. Or if I feel at all. Maybe I’ve blocked things, maybe shit did happen when I was young and it really has messed me up. But I’m not sure whether I’ve felt shit for the past few hours because I don’t want to lose you – and therefore might love you or because I feel guilty knowing that you have no where to go, you’ve given up so much to be with me and now you have nothing”

I was stunned and gutted but strangely hopeful at the same time. I told him to take that thought out of the equation or imagine I had everything I wanted or needed back in my home town and to take some more time to think it over.

Caramel Latte

Caramel Latte (Photo credit: SweetOnVeg)

The next week is a blur, I literally ran on autopilot and lived on mocha and caramel lattes – I wasn’t purposely starving myself but the thought of food made me feel sick, in fact I was physically sick through the shock of it all. I wasn’t hungry and it was only when I googled the effects it would have on my body that I forced myself to have some goodness each day. I continued seeing our counsellor by myself, I asked him if HE had known something was off with us since day one… If it was just me who had been fooled… He said no. He hadn’t seen it coming, he had thought there were some issues – otherwise we wouldn’t have been there but aside from the ones we had spoken about he was as shocked as I was.

My husband had returned every night for the first few days, either to get something he had forgotten, to drop something back or – on the third night just to talk. He asked whether IF he decided to work through this with me I would still want to be with him and how it would ever be ok… I told him I would be there for him, but I wouldn’t be walked all over and that it would take a lot of work to get us back to any kind of normality. we would 100% need professional help, both together and separately, we would need to build the trust back from scratch, he would need to be honest and I would need to get to know the “real” him… I would need to live the “real” us… And only then would I know whether I could stay or not.

After he left I had some more time to think and thought you know what… Fuck therapy right now, if that’s what has scared him off and he’s not ready to face his demons today then forget it for right now. All I really needed to know was whether he loved me (thought/hoped he could/wanted to) and wanted to be with me or not… THEN we can go from there. So I text him:

=(

=( (Photo credit: The Slushey One)

‘OK one last text and I will leave you to it, I’m not going to guilt trip you or anything but I’ve thought about what you just asked me… I think all I would need for us to sort this out is to know that you do love me. Fuck therapy and stuff right now, although I feel it would help both of us and there are definitely issues which need to be dealt with all of that can be addressed later, if I knew you loved me that would be a big enough starting point. THATS what you need to be thinking about. I love you and I always will xx’

I didn’t hear from him for the next 4 days and in that time the reality – and heartbreak- set in. Was that mornings kiss really the last time he would ever tell me he loved me? What if he came back and said no? What if this really was the end of us? I couldn’t stand it, it made me sick. I have history of attempted suicide and had vowed to never ever do that again but my god how I wished I could just curl up and literally die… Die of a broken heart and that way it wasn’t a selfish act, it wasn’t my doing… It was just proof that I couldn’t survive this heart ache.

I did survive though, and I could survive longer because if I’ve learned anything from my past it’s that even when you feel THAT low, when you feel like you can’t take any more… You do. You take it and you kick its ass! You get through it… Somehow. My “somehow” was “denial”. I refused to believe he couldn’t feel anything, he had cried at a film once, I had seen him look like shit… He has been shaking whenever I had seen him on those few days…Besides, believing it would mean I would have to accept that none of our past, none of our memories.. our special things… our wedding vows and the photos that made me so happy to look back at… None of it was real.

xBx

 

 

 

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Part 9: Secrets & Lies

wait

wait (Photo credit: CmdrFire)

The counsellor asked what was going on at which point I just glared at my husband and signalled him to speak
“Well… She found out I had been watching porn and masturbating”
I glared again waiting for the rest but he left it at that! The counsellor began to speak and I raised my hand to stop him before adding “erm AND he wants a divorce” The counsellor laughed for a split second, assuming I was joking, before realising I was serious. He separated us so he could talk to us separately…my husband went first.

The wait was excruciating but soon enough the door opened, my husband left and I was called in. Panicked about where he had gone I was informed he had stepped out for a breather but would be back. He asked me what I knew about my husband, what I knew about his past…his upbringing. I told him what I knew…anything I could think of that might be relevant…he was possibly sexually abused, his mum is sick, his aunt would beat him regularly when he was young but he has blocked a lot out…he got into drugs and into trouble because of it…I stopped, at a loss and desperate to know what was going on.

My husband came back in and the 2 of us were encouraged to talk to each other. Of course he said nothing and left it for me to go first…how?? I don’t have a clue what’s going on…YOU GO! He told me that he had been lying to me, he wasn’t the person I thought he was…the person he had made out to be…he had A LOT of secrets and had lied to me since the start. Taken back I asked if he used to be a woman…SO inappropriate but I had to break the tension. He smiled, said no and then his expression changed completely. I asked him to explain more to me, what the lies were…. But he was vague and just kept saying ‘stuff’ or ‘everything’

Frustrated I turned to the counsellor and asked where we go from here as I still don’t know anything. He agreed and said that although he cant tell me himself he does think we need to talk about it. He explained to my husband that I needed to know, I should know…I deserved to know. Here was a woman who was willing to walk to the ends of the earth for her man…but she cant do that if he doesn’t let her in. He agreed to tell me…just not there, so we headed home with me still in the dark. Once home – and after a LOT of deflecting from him and practically begging from me he told me the truth.

Lies

Lies (Photo credit: mcritz)

‘Everything I have ever said to you (about feelings) has been a lie…I don’t know if I love you, I don’t know if I ever have and I don’t know if I ever can…I am numb. I feel nothing, not just for you…not just love…for anything…for anyone. I haven’t ever felt anything. If you say a lie enough times eventually it becomes true, I thought maybe if I said I loved you enough times I would believe it and I would feel it and it would be true. I thought if I said I was happy with you, if I pretended to be upset some times…but it hasn’t worked, every tear you’ve seen me shed has been fake, every smile, every laugh…its all been fake, its all been an act and I’m so tired of acting. I cant do it anymore’

Wow!

He told me that if he had been himself I would be miserable…but by acting and lying…he was miserable. He had tried to love me, he had really wanted to…but how could he love me if he had lied to such an extent? Or if he wasn’t being himself? He said he would miss me if I did leave, but didn’t think it would bother him that much whether I stayed or went and that I could take my time packing my things and arranging where I was going to go…..

HOLD…THE FUCK…ON.

You really want me to go? You really want to end this without even hearing my response? Without seeing if we could sort it out?

He was shocked…he asked how I could even think about moving past this with him, how I could ever forgive him and how I didn’t hate him at that moment -I know a few of you are probably asking the same thing right now but the answer: because I DO love him and I vowed to love him for better or worse…besides, he had lied to try and benefit both of us, yes it was still lying but he didn’t do it with the intention of breaking my heart, he had done it to try and find happiness for himself, he had acted in such a way that he knew made me happy… he hadn’t cheated, he hadn’t beaten me or been a horrible person…there was still a chance that I would love the ’real him’ just as much IF I got the chance to know him. I couldn’t have left without at least trying, without understanding what was happening to me…to US…or without taking some time to let everything sink in fully.

He packed a few bags and went to stay at a friends to give me us both some space to think about everything, to establish what we wanted, whether he felt anything and what to do next.

Left alone I was numb…ironically.

xBx

 

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Part 2: Clearing the air

Clearing

Clearing (Photo credit: maury.mccown)

Once married and living together we kicked our experimenting up a notch, dressing up, role playing, oils, blindfolds… But still nothing seemed to work. I was happy to try things and although it was hard not to feel responsible or like I wasn’t good enough for him, i always tried to stay positive. Despite this, he told me he felt pressured because he felt he was letting me down or disappointing me.

Around this time he began distancing himself, he told me he didn’t like cuddling me in bed – despite doing so frequently and even initiating it, he told me that he didn’t enjoy doing some of the things that we did together – some of the things that made our relationship special- and finally he confessed that physically he rarely felt anything during sex and therefore didn’t really want to do it anymore.

All of the above came as a surprise and was massively upsetting. Newlyweds and he’s already fed up with his wife! Newlyweds who have bypassed the honeymoon period and gone straight to middle aged resent and no sex…

We had a long talk in which we cleared the air. He agreed he should see a doctor about the lack of physical sensitivity, we established which activities he had been pretending to like – apparently because he wanted to show an interest in things I liked… Which is sweet but I would have been fine about it if he had told me earlier… Regardless you can’t blame him for trying right? We talked about sex…he put the evenings revelations down to stress, frustration and embarrassment; he had felt it was easier to stop doing things which didn’t have an obvious answer rather than working through it. I told him that’s not how we work, that I’m here to support him…and ended on a high note, both feeling positive and hopeful of things to come (excuse the pun)

 

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