Three days ago I cried myself to sleep.
Crocodile-sized-snot running-down-my-face-and-onto-my-pillow kind of tears.
Resentment woke me several times during the night.
Resentment brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat over and over the next morning, until I finally told myself that I had to table The Beast and focus on the work at hand.
On my work break, I phoned the office of the woman responsible for bringing me to tears.
Well, not responsible as in blame, but in the sense that she led me to the source of my anguish.
The Good Therapist.
The Hardships of an Ill-suited Therapist
Good as in good for me, unlike the last one who simply told me—repeatedly—that in order to heal I needed to quit looking in The Rearview Mirror.
Though that lady was correct, what I had already told her was that I needed help in uncovering the source(s) of my ongoing conflict regarding Warren’s last affair.
And though her tactic might have worked for some, that approach only made me angry.
Those of you who have dealt with finding new or different counselors appreciate just how difficult/painful it is to continue rehashing Life’s Shit each and every time we start over with someone new.
Pigheaded that I am, I refused to succumb to some of the whispers that might have derailed my search for resolution: Who are you to question the expert? and You are just a difficult person were at the top of my Bashing List.
I knew I didn’t want to keep regurgitating my frustration, fear, and fury over Warren’s last affair for the rest of my life.
As such I chose, again and again, to continue my search for the information that would lead me to the root of my conflict.
The Value of The Right Therapist
After looking high and low and contacting a doctor friend of mine, I was lucky enough to stumble on this new support person.
The Good Therapist.
Though now that I repeat that title, I realize it goes much deeper than that.
She isn’t just a good counselor, but turned out to be The Right Therapist.
If you want to read more about how you, too, can find four-leaf-clover-kind-of-luck in shit, click here.
In Tuesday’s session (only the second time I’ve seen her), as I continued to lay out mine and Warren’s and his family’s history—for the familial boundaries are blurry at best—I mentioned that I was a damsel in distress when I met Warren.
My (ex) best friend was a damsel in distress when she and Warren began their affair.
And The Floozy he had his last sexual dalliances with?
She, too, was in need of “saving” when they shacked up.
In between one of my pauses, The Right Therapist used the word resentment.
A wave of Ah-Ha washed over me.
“I think you have hit the nail on the head” I said. “All this time I thought I was dealing with anger” (and more anger).
We wrapped up our time together with me telling her I had some things to think about.
Resentment resounded in my thoughts as I made the trek home.
The floodgates opened wide.
I’m resentful of Warren for his affairs.
I’m resentful of his parents for their interference.
I’m resentful that I have to point out their meddling and manipulations.
I’m resentful of myself for not figuring this out sooner.
I’m resentful that his family brainwashed our children.
I’m resentful that I’ve had to fight so hard throughout our marriage.
I’m resentful that Warren didn’t see this stuff himself.
In some tiny, remote corner of my soul I’m resentful of my children for falling prey to their grandparents’ strings, even though I know it would have been virtually impossible for them to avoid the spells they weave.
I’m resentful that I feel resentful of my kids.
And each time the word echoed, tears welled in my eyes.
During our meeting, the therapist also referenced the damsel in distress, though I don’t recall if it was in the same context with Resentment or as a separate statement.
Somewhere in those thoughts during the next few hours after I returned home, I thought about the damsel in distress.
And the final piece of the puzzle fell into place.
For the past several years I’ve been struggling to replicate a previous, successful battle over the bulge, over my all-encompassing, self-sabotaging behaviors.
I’ve fumed and fretted over my failures.
I’d spend two, three, five days of making successful choices and then, Wham!, I’d return to my old habits.
The Side Effects of Psychology
Though I knew, academically, that the weight didn’t play a part in Warren’s affairs, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get that message into my gut.
Turns out my psyche was creating smoke and mirrors.
The body’s protective mechanism that is too often counterproductive to our healing.
As long as I remained in a conflicted state I avoided being the confidant woman. The quality I ultimately assigned as the cause of Warren’s infidelity.
I am now fairly certain that the threat that led Warren to an affair had nothing to do with feeling insecure about weight or fear of those who were recognizing my success and most everything to do with the fact that he feared not being needed.
By saving myself, I had stripped him of his role.
I exhaled the burden that has been holding me back for these past six years and I felt liberated.
Afraid that this new dynamic may be too strong for us to overcome.
Angry that this new dynamic may be too strong for us to overcome.
Resentful that I have to be going through this in the first place.
Tired and overwhelmed, one of my past Borderline Personality traits reared its ugly head and I spent a few hours looking for an argument with other family members.
And finally, exhausted, I went to bed and wept like I haven’t wept in years.
Though I cried plenty of times in conversations with Warren these past six years, I’m not sure I ever really shed tears of grief until two nights ago.
And some of those tears were likely tears of relief.
I was so overcome with emotion that I feared I couldn’t handle it alone, so I phoned The Right Therapist’s office to move up my next appointment.
I snatched the one odd opening she had for the following day and, surprisingly, rehashed the transformation of my thoughts with a bit of simple assuredness.
“I still have a great deal of work to do,” I said as our time came to an end, “but I no longer have to be a damsel.”
Those may well be the last two pieces of this grief puzzle.
Which makes me relieved…
Amen to that…
How about you? Can you identify a pattern of behavior that has hindered your emotional goals? Share your story and help spread the healing.