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, December 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2012/02/you-need-therapy