As many of you know, my marriage is almost a thing of the past. Remediation happened and it’s now a waiting game with the ultra slow, disgusting court system.
As my 30+ year marriage comes to a close, I’m also trying out a new therapist as I feel it’s time to face some things that I’ve tried to ignore. As most of us who have dealt with infidelity can attest, if you don’t face the trauma head on, it’s going to bite you in the ass. You can’t sugarcoat it, you can’t ignore it, you can’t wish it away. You have to work through it, and as many would agree, it’s work. It’s some of the hardest most agonizing work a person or persons will probably ever have to do. We didn’t want it, we didn’t ask for it, but it is ours to deal with.
I’m going back to therapy and although my 1st therapist was a nice gentleman, he was zero help in helping me to rid myself of the trauma and mind games that betrayal/abandonment brings.
I’ve mentioned trauma because I’ve come to terms with what I’ve been dealing with. It’s trauma plain and simple. It’s the death of a marriage, an idea, a covenant, an imagined future, a family structure, a relationship, a perceived trust in someone that was not only taken advantage of, but was destroyed. It’s trauma, and it will NOT leave me the fuck alone. So I need some help, and hopefully I’ve found it.
I met with a female therapist who just seemed to ask all the right questions immediately while quietly listening to my rambling while jotting down notes. I explained my ex’s personality and her subsequent lack of empathy or remorse after her affair. Her eventual distancing herself from our children, and her doubling down on her poor choices to all those around her except the AP.
My therapist asked many questions, but one really stuck out. She simply asked if she was a nurturing mother. I just sat there, picturing the past, all of her actions, her attempts at it and I could only answer “no”. It just always seemed like she was going through the motions, like she wanted to be, but she just didn’t have it in her. I know she loves her kids, she just wasn’t born with the nurturing “gene” so to speak.
This defect is the main reason why her female friends couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that she just left our son. Yes, the affair was abhorrent, but as terrible as that act was, they had the hardest time with the abandonment of her kids. They only knew her apparently friendly yet introverted side. I now am convinced without a doubt that she’s a full blown narcissist. She checks all the boxes that I’ve seen, and also shows sociopathic tendencies. It’s a great sense of guilt for me that I basically set my children up with this person whom they call “Mom”.
So, this is the trauma that I’ve endured. It was emasculating at first, but I’ve come to terms with it. And it’s also why I’m going to try EMDR.
I’m not going to try to explain what EMDR is, just that it’s something I need to try, and something that my therapist has had really good success with. She used herself as an example. She was abused as a child. And in order to come to terms with it, and help others, she had to put it in its proper place. And EMDR did just that.
She explained it like this. Our brain saves all of our memories. That lunch you had on July 13th, 2002, it’s in there, but it’s where it belongs, in the back of the filing cabinet. The amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex are where trauma lives, until it’s filed elsewhere. She said EMDR is not hypnosis, and that it won’t delete her or the memory of the trauma. That’s not possible, but what is possible is putting it where it belongs, in the back of the file cabinet. Still accessible when needed, but not right in the front where it’s debilitating and impossible to talk about or wake up without this albatross around my neck.
I’ll admit that my emotional state has been shit lately. The tears are literally brimming on a moments notice no matter what triggered them. Some stupid sappy commercial, a scene in a movie, a loved ones hug at Thanksgiving, thinking about my kids and how they’re going to handle their parents divorce.
It’s something I need to do for myself and my kids. I’m not really the man they need me to be, and hopefully this will be one more step towards finally getting the old me back. I realize it’s not a guarantee, but it’s something I’m willing to take a chance on.