They say that therapy with an abuser is a waste of time, and I think they are wise. Today in therapy, we talked about cats for most of the session. More specifically, we talked about how disrespected he felt because I chose to keep three cats while he was away on deployment.
I am so freaking tired of hearing how disrespected HE feels. I hear it all of the time from him, and I’m (almost) at the point of not caring if he feels disrespected or not. However, the therapist kept talking about the cats, so I decided that she must have a reason for it and rolled with it instead of fighting it.
It didn’t seem to matter that Will and I have already agreed to the terms of keeping three cats in the house; we have talked the cats to death. But still, in therapy, Will said the cats were our main issue because of how disrespected he felt. So, we talked about the cats in therapy when we should have been talking about the abuse in our marriage.
I just deleted a paragraph beginning with “One good thing about talking about the cats is…” I couldn’t finish the stupid sentence. I couldn’t finish the sentence because a thousand possible things were going through my mind, all of them interrelated.
In fact, the therapist could have picked any situation between Will and I and the discomfort of it being related to “everything” would be the same. Will and I rarely have ONE situation UNrelated to our history together. Almost every time we want to confront ONE problem, we wind up discussing two, or three, or four others.
I feel crazy crazy when I problem solve with him because there’s no easy problem, no easy solution, for us.
The therapist said and Will seemed to agree that women do not keep to the subject. Although that may be true some of the time (I am not above embracing a negative stereotype if it helps, which it rarely does), I am not the only person in my house who suffers from that particular compulsion.
When the therapist let this suggestion fall past her lips, I REALLY REALLY forced myself to believe she had a plan and a reason for saying this to us. It was infuriating to be at marriage counseling for a problem that is due, in part, to stereotypical labeling, only to hear the therapist stereotypically label me.
If this counseling is going to work, it seems as if I am going to have to act as if the past didn’t happen. I am going to have to pretend that I am once again a naive 20 year old girl who has never suffered injustice at the hand of the one I love. I have to “let it go” in order to move forward. I feel that the counselor wants me to pretend that we have no history.
It seems like she wants to pretend that she’s been with us from the beginning, and that the beginning is NOW. It only matters what we say NOW. The history between Will and I doesn’t exist. The abuse doesn’t exist (at least not yet because she hasn’t seen it).
This foundation of problems IS our history. Brick builds upon brick and also supports the bricks next to it. I would feel better if instead of pretending that we have no history, she ask me to begin knocking down the bricks that already exist. Acknowledge our history, ask about it, find out how we got to where we are and THEN help us to remove the foul cycle of abusive habits that built our first house so we can build a better one starting NOW.
I wish she had asked about more than the fucking cats.