I shared these with my therapist yesterday and she didn’t react well. She left me feeling kinda shamed about them and suggested that I do affirmations which included “forgiving myself.”
I ended up telling Chloe when we went out to change her name on her driver’s license. And then when Amy called me after work to see how my therapy appointment had gone (because she knew I was going to talk about my unfulfilled desires in my marriage), I ended up telling Amy the horrible truths too, even though I really thought it might make her hate me.
It turned out that telling the ugly truths to my kids was accepted and understood a lot more by my kids than it was by my therapist—and both of them told me they thought this was definitely grounds for finding a different therapist. (Sigh. More on that later.)
Anyway, the two deep dark secrets are that J and I separated for a month when Amy was a couple months old and that years later, I had a one-time occasion when I slept with a woman. I had J’s permission for the latter and he knew all about it but he almost immediately regretted giving me that permission and the problems in our sex life got even worse as a result.
Both Amy and Chloe said that J had no grounds to be mad at me because he had given me permission and both of them thought that our early separation was understandable.
But my therapist did not share their views on either issue. She mentioned that “all higher-order primates are monogamous” (not true) and sounded pretty judgmental when I said I had slept with a woman. She asked if I was just experimenting and I said no, I had known that I was bisexual when I got married and J knew before he married me, too. She didn’t seem to react well.
I felt so vulnerable opening up to her and telling her the two deep, dark secrets I’ve never shared before and I expected that she would recognize just how broken I was over the lack of intimacy in my marriage.
But instead she made me feel ashamed and judged, which was the last reaction I ever expected from a therapist. Honestly, both Chloe and especially Amy took it so much better.
So now I have to decide whether or not to find a different therapist. You know, it’s really kinda ironic and fucked up that I’m such a strong believer in the power of therapy that I’m going into the field myself, but I have never yet found a good therapist of my own.
I really don’t think it’s that I’m expecting too much. Or maybe I am, I don’t know. I just want someone to talk to and help me unravel my past and believe in my future.
I really thought my current therapist was going to be the one. Finally a good therapist who would connect with me where the others have failed, one who wouldn’t just send me home with worksheets I could find online.
I admit that I ignored the red flags that went off when I tried talking to her about my MIL’s narcissism and how it affected both me and J. She tried to appeal to my sympathy with a clinical definition of what kind of upbringing creates the narcissist.
What that essentially did was shut me up about ever talking about my MIL again, even though she continued to be horrible. I just didn’t want my therapist to try to make me feel sorry for my MIL, especially when said MIL was denying her past actions and continuing to cause me harm and anguish.
I just really don’t know why I can’t seem to find a good therapist. I know they’re out there and I still believe in the profession (although honestly a little less now than I did before.) I have really lost a lot of faith in my ability to find a good one. I wonder if I should keep trying or just try to get back to my old habit of journaling all the time.
On a totally unrelated note, Amy suggested that I might find more acceptance of my body type if I date women and I might take her up on that. The only question is when. It seems like it’s way too soon for me to pursue anything like that…not because I’m not ready but because it seems like it’s supposed to be a lot longer that I grieve my husband.