Yesterday I had very good session with the my therapist, Dr. Naomi.¹ I’m not sure if I can accurately refer to her as new, as I have seen her generally every other week for the past 7 months. As I’ve mentioned to her, I sought her out as my sex abuse / D.I.D resource person and my therapist to help me as I continue to walk my personal journey and history of parental abuse and alcoholism, with my history of depression and anxiety, and the sexual issues that every couple with one (or both) partners with a history of sexual abuse. If I could formerly compartmentalize the sessions with her, we would spend half dealing with my history and half with Susan’s history and my relationship with her. Of course, they can’t totally be separated as our stories are linked on many levels. I have committed to my self that if I think I need to talk to Dr. Millie for a whole session – or a number of sessions about my own distinct issues. I will do so.
Yes, Dr. Naomi is woman. I like that in this situation as she can help me understand the damage to the female psyche and how to best support it, based on my wife’s history and my abilities and psychological state. Like many abuse survivors, Susan has a very hard time expressing the hurt, pain, loss, humiliation, shame, guilt and horror she experienced. That’s why she created her parts. She says she intellectually knows that she has she has these emotions but does not feel them. And she is partners with Susan’s therapist. Susan and I have both signed wavers so they can speak to each other.
I can say anything to her on any subject. She has worked with partners of survivors of trauma, male and female; abuse survivors, combat survivors with PTSD. The guys are about my age and have physical issues related to sex.
Why The Good Session
First, I have now parted with my earlier therapist and the mens group that was part of the same clinical practice. I’d be less than honest if I didn’t admit financial considerations weighed on me. I can focus on one therapist, one bill for myself and not trying to divide what gets said to whom. One of the things that really pissed me off about the King and Queen Rat Bastard and sexual abuse is the cost of repairing the damage. One one hand I try not to think about the cost as what needs to be done is what needs to be done. But god-dammit! This is not a random disease or the results of an unfortunate accident. Fuck, no! This was deliberate horrific selfish act of sick, sick people. We spend out-of-pocket thousands and thousands of dollars a year that could have gone for retirement, fixing the house, seeing the grandkids a couple of times a year or who knows what?
Let me get back on track…
Second, I am receiving sympathy from someone who knows and deals with the sex abuse and D.I.D issues. I can say what I want about the abuse. I may be graphic in detailing what I know, graphic in how Susan and I relate sexually, or more accurately, don’t relate sexually.
Third, I received some suggestions on how to react and relate to situations. So much of the self-help books I’ve read comes down to you just have to wait and be patient. That’s important but for me inactive waiting does not help after a point. Dr. Naomi pointed out that my wife is with my therapist one hour a week. I’m with her 75 t0 120 times that. I know I can’t be her therapist, but I can learn to listen better, learn what to watch for, in particular when Susan expresses her belief that she is responsible for her abuse. It’s a fine line I have to walk, but I belive I need find the boundary to be a good support person.
And finally, I can be honest and speak from the heart. I told her that while the mens group was good, I felt I could not get into specifics on my marriage issues and Susan’s abuse with the guys. Her comments let me know she understood and helped me understand why I couldn’t. I told her if there were a group for males partners I would be there.
We have another session planned for two weeks. Meantime I’m taking notes.
¹Of course, that’s a made up name, just as Michael is not my name and Susan is not the name of my sweet wife.