Therapy gets real

My therapy session yesterday was completely draining. I was so wiped out from it that I ended up having to take a nap afterwards.

I’m told that this is a sign of a good therapist. My oldest daughter said that she had similar experiences with therapy, too.

But wow…yikes, it was intense. My therapist got down to the roots of my anger and that was very painful and uncomfortable.

I’m still eating far less than I should be and am not drinking enough water. I told her that I didn’t know how I would be able to get through grad school, because simply driving an hour each way to take Dyl and Sav to the grocery store the other day required a full day of rest to make up for it.

She asked if I had eaten something with protein before I left and if I’d had much water and of course the answer to both was no. She said that of course a trip like that would take a lot out of me because I didn’t have enough fuel.

So I guess that makes me feel a little better about my future prospects but I have to get to the bottom of why (in her words) I’m still self-harming.

I guess I never thought of it that way; I always thought “self-harm” was like cutting yourself or something more serious. And in that, I also realize that I really DO have the thought processes of an anorexic, because I’m minimizing the seriousness of what I’m doing to myself.

If I’m pretty consistently taking in less than 1,000 calories a day and drinking a tiny fraction of the water I’m supposed to, I guess that’s kind of serious. (I guess. I’m still minimizing the effects it has on me. Isn’t that just how everyone maintains their weight?)

So then I told her about my dream and about the sexual problems my husband and I had for so many years. I’ve since found out that those problems were his own way of coping with the abuse he suffered, especially since he had the habit long before he met me.

But I do still have a lot of anger, which is manifesting in these “self-harming” habits. And I’m angry about so much. First and foremost, I’m angry at my mother-in-law and stepFIL, for subjecting J to that abuse for so many years.

I’m angry that when I wrote about it, she called me a liar and said that I was mentally unstable and always had been. She said the kids and I were dead to her and we’d never get another dime from her (which I suspect would’ve happened anyway, since she didn’t send me a birthday card and that was before I wrote the article.)

I’m so, so angry that J spent his whole life trying to please her, at times not even defending me to her. (Especially early in our marriage, when she blamed me for him not becoming a lawyer or a doctor, which he never even wanted to be. But because she said that to me when he wasn’t around, he wouldn’t confront her about it.)

And yes, I’m angry at him too, which feels so irrational. He was overall a very good husband, especially in the last 6 years or so. It feels wrong to be angry at him.

But I am anyway because he was so damaged and in the process of living his life, he damaged me, too. None of that is to say that I was innocent or blameless and I’m not trying to say that I was.

But the fact of the matter is that because he was so unwilling to seek help about how he was raised, he did a lot of collateral damage to me and the kids, too.

I’m just now beginning to explore that reality and I’m honestly scared of how it will end up. I don’t think it will make me hate him, as I know and understand that it wasn’t intentional.

But did it kinda fuck me up, living under the shadow of how he had been extremely abused and never dealt with it? Yeah, it really did.

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