So, this whole therapy thing is a pretty good gig. You answer all these questions on an intake form, from that they can come up with a Million reasons why you may have landed in their office. They start with the basics, listen to you answer them out loud and pay close attention to how you speak. When your tone or your body language changes, you get a “tell me about…?”
For me, this seemed super simple. Tell me about your household. BAM….enough ammo for the first few sessions, LOL. Talking about Paul and the kids. Going into detail about when each of the kids is with us, how old they are and “whose is whose”. From this, she knew at some point I had been with James and Jordan’s Dad and asked, “tell me about what happened there.”
This is when I started crying and I don’t remember stopping for the rest of my session. “He cheated on me.” We were friends for 25 years and he cheated on me. For 10months, until I found out for sure. 10 months of lying, cheating and betrayal, that had left me on guard for life.
Now, I have always been a strong woman. Holding my ground, arguing a side with anyone who will listen, telling people no and making it through things on my own. Picking up the pieces, trying to keep my emotions on the inside and mentally moving on by myself (financially, I owe a huge thank you to my Mom and Dad). My Mom has said to me multiple times in the last 5 years, you are the strongest woman I know. As a matter of fact, a couple weeks after breaking up even my ex said “you are just too strong.”
So….after years of being proud of my strength, I now saw that as why my marriage ended. Anyway, my whole world felt beyond my control during the divorce. Losing time with my kids, moving out of the house that I loved, going from a stay at home mom to having 2 jobs really took a toll on me. So many HUGE changes, that I had very little control over, but I just kept moving.
After saying all that out loud, through blubbering tears, my therapist said “wow.” She then asked, what had made me come see her then and now, 5 years later? It was the fact that, even 5 years later I was feeling the need to control EVERYTHING that I could, because I was constantly living with the fear that at any point someone could take it all away. The truth was that this time, I was the one who was taking it all away.
I was so worried about change, that when even the littlest things came up, I would freak out. Luckily my therapist said that makes good sense. The rational part of our brains, isn’t working well when the emotional part of the brain takes over. My emotion around change, always feels the same. One little wrench in plans and my whole world might fall apart again. After the fact, I can always understand how that is not going to happen. In the moment, my emotions take over and play tricks on me.
As I write this now, I am crying. So…with all of that came the diagnosis of “adjustment disorder.” I didn’t even know that was a thing, but had I….oh please it makes so much sense. All day, everyday I have a hard time adjusting, if things go differently from the way that I saw things going in my head. I make plans and I like to stick to them. Though, in this life I live now, so many people have their hands in the pot. There are many things beyond my control and I have to learn to function and react in an appropriate manner.
This is what I am working on. With my therapist giving me new tools and my husband giving me all his love, I can figure it out. I am strong, but even strong people need help sometimes.