You Need Therapy!
"You need therapy!" he yelled at me. Will, who didn't believe in therapy, was right. I did need therapy, but not for the reasons he insinuated. I needed therapy during my abusive marriage to help me pull myself back together. I mean that literally.
Abuse pulled me apart, diced me in pieces, added a quart of my abuser's personality, threw out most of mine, and then to remolded me into a meatloaf. Baked at 400 and set on the counter to cool, I wondered "What the heck just happened?!" I knew I was different, but I didn't know why and couldn't remember how, so I started on my quest to learn to like myself the way I was.
But I couldn't like myself the way I was.
- I didn't like that I was so quick to anger.
- I didn't want to be the wife and mom who yelled first and thought later.
- I didn't like being paranoid, and I did not understand why I thought some people were out to get me.
- I was scared, lonely, sarcastic, cynical and mean.
- I tried to live above our means to keep up with his family members, gave gifts we didn't have the money for, and generally presented a false front about our financial situation.
In desperation, I tried to escape myself by drinking a large can of beer every day after the kids came home from school. The soft buzz the beer provided was comforting and lasted a couple of hours. By the time dinner rolled around, I sobered up and returned to loathing myself.
One day it rained horribly. The boys came home from school, I went to grab that beer, and realized it was gone. I needed to go out to buy one. I heard the thunder, saw the lightening. My boys came from their rooms dressed in their comfy play clothes, hair drying from the wet run up the drive. I couldn't do it. I couldn't take them from the warm house, back into the rain, so I could have two hours of false peace.
False peace. I decided that false peace was not peace at all. I decided I would find real peace instead. I didn't know where to look; examining myself was depressing and so darn confusing! I didn't know how I'd turned out this way. I wasn't proud of myself. I felt I'd undermined myself, my upbringing, ... my parents loved me more than I loved myself and I needed to find out why.
I started dinner early; I made a meatloaf. I mixed, added, molded and baked, all the while contemplating who I was now and what I wanted to change. Looking back it is so painfully obvious that, at that time, I embodied my husband's outlook on life. I'd taken him in so completely that I thought his mind was mine.
While pounding the meatloaf into shape, I did realize that I was almost the exact opposite of who I'd been on our wedding day. I so longed to be as open and trusting, secure and optimistic as I had been seven years before.
Sadly, I decided I would talk to Will about it. Surely my husband would have some insight into my situation. He knew me better than anyone else. He loved me when I was at my craziest. He'd understand. He had to understand - there was no one else.
Will became angry when I told him about my problem. He couldn't see why I wanted to be someone I wasn't. He told me that I must hate him very much to want to go and change on him now. I didn't understand where his anger came from; I didn't see his logic.
Hindsight is 20/20: I had become him, I didn't like me, so I must hate him. It was a truth I didn't see at the time.
"In fact," he raged, "you don't just hate me, you hate all men!"
"Why would you say any of that?" I cried, shamed and afraid.
"You hate all men because of those a$$ho!es who raped you, Kellie! You don't hate who you are, you hate men!"
Believe it or not, he convinced me.
I spent loads of time trying to pound myself into a shape that didn't fit me, scared to death that I might hate men, scared to hate Will. I believe that he considers himself to be the best template of manhood there is. I believe that when said I didn't like who I'd become (which was like him), he extrapolated it immediately to mean I hated all men.
I think that he believed what he said. I believe his anger presented itself because I (a piece of him) didn't want to be like him. In a way, I triggered an identity crisis in him by having one of my own.
I did need therapy.
Amazingly, he complimented the meatloaf at dinner. My eyes were still red from crying.
Jo, K. (2012, February 19). You Need Therapy!, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, May 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2012/02/you-need-therapy