Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

My Abuser Ridicules Therapy (No Surprise There)

I was wrong for what I did. I sought validation by eliciting a mirror response in him. I was wrong because I tried to control him, control his reaction.

I was wrong for what I did. I sought validation by eliciting a mirror response in him. I was wrong because I tried to control him, control his reaction.So yesterday, Will and I argued. No surprise, so I won’t go into the whole thing, just the part about therapy for Marc (son) and for marriage counseling.

Will disagrees with anyone going to therapy of any kind. He says that people who go to therapy are weak (at best), and that therapy is a sorry way to deal with problems/issues. (These are not his exact words, but me paraphrasing.)

Marc is in therapy. I put him there because I feel he needs someone outside of our family to talk to and confide in. Will and I are … well, we are his parents and we love him, but our problems coupled with Marc’s age-appropriate rebellion causes me to doubt my ability to parent him well right now.

So, when Will was deployed, I told Marc “Six sessions. If you don’t want to go back after six, you don’t have to.”

Will is having a fit over it now. When he deployed, I told him I needed help with Marc and tried to discuss therapy to fill in the gap, and Will largely ignored me. That left me with the “decision” to make on my own.

I wasn’t surprised, by the way. Will talks about and says he does a lot of things he simply doesn’t. For example, he “lets” me make the major parenting decisions. That way, all the blame and wrong falls on my shoulders if “my decision” doesn’t work out.

So, no, I am not surprised I’m facing the “THERAPY IS MAKING MY KIDS WEAK” mentality at this point. During the “discussion” with Will yesterday about Marc and therapy, I told him I would consider dropping the 6 session requirement down to 4, but I wanted to talk to him later about it because I was upset.

Anyway, that is some background, but here is the meat of this post: Last night, I found myself trying to make Will mad because I was angry at him.

I was angry with him because, over dinner with his father, Will began laying it on thick and heavy about how “society” thinks pills are the answer to everything and weak people go to therapy because they don’t know how to deal with reality. I mean, he was practically yelling it and looking directly at Marc as he said it. This went on for about 3 minutes at least.

Finally, I reminded him that I take antidepressants and I’m glad I do. I had hoped he would calm down a bit because he’s promised not to undermine me in front of the kids, and that was precisely what he was doing. Telling Marc and Eddie that I was weak because I took pills and went to therapy.

He ignored me and kept ranting.

I knew that if I pressed the issue, we’d end up in a fight in front of Will’s father. But I couldn’t let it go internally.

I was SO MAD. A little later, I found myself making digs at Will about things he doesn’t like me to pick at. I said that Will was a flip-flopper (says one thing when convenient, then changes to the other later). I know I said one other thing which got no reaction, but I cannot remember for the life of me what it was. Probably can’t remember it ’cause it didn’t work.

But the flip-flopper thing didn’t work either. I mean, I could tell he was ticked, but he didn’t take the bait.

Round about this point, I realized that I was trying to control his anger – to control him. The more terrible thing about it was that I didn’t know WHY I wanted to make him angry.

In hindsight, I guess I wanted my anger validated by seeing him angry. I wanted to make him feel the same pinched way I felt – wanting to say something but being constrained by the situation.

He said, to his father, “She’s trying to dig at me,” and I got angrier. Why is it okay for him to undermine and “dig at me” over important issues? Why, when I do it, does he ignore it?

Oh shit. I just figured it out. He did it on purpose to get a rise out of me, calculating that, in the end, I would look like the idiot. Whether I fought back or not, he got his way.

I was wrong for what I did. Classic co-dependency, seeking validation by eliciting a mirror response in someone else. I was wrong because I tried to control him, control his reaction.


He was successful.

My challenge is to … what? Of course to NOT try to control him passively aggressively, but there’s more to it than that.

I’ve got to learn to not react habitually when he is stepping on my toes. The next time I feel that way, I could walk out. Or I could speak up, then walk out. Or I could speak up, not walk out, but deflect the rest of the conversation away from my heart.

I could try not to react to the anger I feel knowing he is undermining me, and trust that later, I’ll take the opportunity to speak my mind. If I choose. Later, speaking my mind may not be so important.

This morning, I told him that I had tried to make him mad the night before and I was sorry. I told him that it was something I was working on, wanting to overcome, and I didn’t plan on doing it again.

You can imagine how the following “discussion” went. He took the opportunity to tell me how twisted I am and how I am twisting our sons the same way.

But I didn’t react. Good for me. (?)

Read this entire post and more. Buy My Abusive Marriage . . . and what i’m doing in it by Kellie Jo Holly (or preview the book now).