I have been fairly silent here because it has been a time of serious introspection.
I am taking courses on cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness. What I’m learning about myself in these courses is intense, healing, and scary all at once.
The thing that I have discovered is that in my own need to justify my reactions I played the victim and in that vilified the man I love. Instead of digging deeper and looking for reasons I started seeing memes that talked about narcassism and while he displays many of the symptoms he has symptoms of other things as well; post secondary traumatic brain injury resulting in anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms.
Was his treatment of me unfair? Absolutely.
Was my reactions to him just as unfair? Absolutely!
I feel completely let down by a system that should have caught all of these things and helped us both cope. Instead they saw a few symptoms and offered drugs. He would try them and things would get better for a bit then stop and he would stop taking them. Instead of insisting they talk to us together they pushed new meds, they didn’t know about some symptoms because they don’t have the knowledge I do of every day life living with this man.
I have my own set of issues and while I always thought I was showing my love, and certainly other people saw my love in my actions, but perhaps he couldn’t because of his own internal dialogue.
So about two years ago I started seeing memes on Facebook talking about narcassist and what the symptoms were. Of course I started seeing symptoms in my husband. To be honest many of the symptoms listed on these memes are true of many mental health conditions and there in lies the problem. Without a true professional diagnosis you won’t know.
In the last several months I started looking at why the man I have loved for the entirety of my adult life suddenly became this person. I started looking back on our lives together. It suddenly dawned on me that changes happened after his concussions, 2 within a few months of each other almost a decade ago. Things that I had no idea could be related to these concussions were on the list.
In the last month I am also seeing my own failings. I certainly closed my heart to this man because his actions hurt me and I was afraid. Owning my own shit is hard. Owning my part in the life I loved falling apart is hard. Facing my own fears and my own hardness and being vulnerable enough to share them here is scary. I became hard and bitter. I didn’t respond with the love in my heart and I held resentment over each thing he did or didn’t do. I judged his actions without actually hearing his cries for help. No he didn’t hear mine either and in that we failed each other.
Truth be told, I still love my husband, even if we are separated and supposed to be getting divorced.
I am still learning and growing, but something I have learned is that I need to take responsibility for my reactions, actions and inaction.
My advice to those of you who feel like you are in an abusive situation, get help. Now. Stop the stigma that therapy is bad. Stop sharing memes on FB with symptoms of xyz, they don’t serve to connect us in love. Listen to one another. If you can’t hear one another clearly get help, individually and together. Coaches are a great tool that can be utilized in helping you narrow down your own desires.
I have no idea what my future is bringing me but the lessons I’m getting right now are hard one’s… Weather this is worth it I don’t know. I am finding gratitude in this as I am growing and without the separation, and devastation I likely would not be doing the work to heal myself or grow in me. I certainly wouldn’t be venturing down the life coaching path and I wouldn’t be growing.
…stay tuned for further enlightening processes.