We have all heard of the “Aha Moment” or maybe the “Tipping Point” or some similar phrase to describe a time when a monumental thought, an “epiphany” changed the course of your path forward. I believe this may have just happened and I am still trying to understand why. Let me explain.
As you know, divorce is pending for Will and I. I came to this painful decision based on several things which I had been brought to believe. Those things are:
He is more than a sex addict…he is a narcissist and a sociopath.
NPD’s and Sociopaths do not ever recover.
His behavior, his breaking boundaries is all self-serving.
He is incapable of ever truly learning how to love.
He will always be an addict because of his other issues.
He is not doing well in recovery and this is proof of his inability
to make any significant changes.
These are things which I have been told by my therapist who I trusted. My therapist, Dr. M. was in direct contact with Will’s therapist, Dr. B. I was being told by Dr. M. all of the issues Will was facing because she had spoken directly with Dr. B. I had no reason not to believe her. Until this past weekend.
As per the infamous “safety plan”, Will and I do not talk. We have not really spoken, had any face to face conversation for over six months. We have had polite small talk at family events and 30 minutes of texting about the house, the dog, taxes, vehicles etc…per week and ZERO discussions about us, the divorce the future, or, HEAVEN FORBID!…Feelings! So, Saturday night, we had arranged to meet, with our “safety person” in tow, to discuss getting the house ready to put on the market. A few hours before them coming over, I texted (yes, out of our prescribed time…scandalous!) to ask Will one question to think about before he came over. I asked for him to simply finish this sentence, “If I want to stay married and keep Leigh in my life, I need to…” When they arrived, my son-in-law, our safety person, went into the office to do some work and allow us some privacy. Will knelt down in front of me and said all of the things I have longed for him to say for the last 37 years…about honoring me, cherishing me, making me a priority. But they were just words. What struck me was his demeanor, his humility and his sincerity. Who was this man? Now, I am not the same person I was last year. I am far more skeptical, maybe more cynical and definitely less trusting…particularly in Will. So, I did not trust at all what I was hearing or feeling, but what I decided was that I would be open to talking…really talking and listening to one another for the first time in forever. So, that is what we did for several hours. This is what I found out.
He has not been diagnosed with either NPD or any sociopathology.
He has made huge strides in his recovery.
His boundary breaking has been out of his desire for service…to me.
He is in an incredible amount of pain over his past…because of his
love for me and our family.
He has been sober for over 10 months.
He is doing well in recovery and Dr. B. is working well with him.
He has made significant changes in his life and his thinking and
continues to do so.
So, I asked myself, for the first time in a loooong time….Is reconciliation still a possibility? We both agreed that we could not continue to move forward with the restrictions of the current safety plan barring us from speaking. We both believe that these restrictions on communication have been hampering us in our recovery individually and certainly have been pushing us towards divorce. We agreed we would approach our therapists and advise that we wished to continue in our individual therapy but wanted to seek couples counseling as we wished to move towards reconciliation rather than divorce. I emailed Dr. M. It did not go well. She accused me of having mental issues beyond her area of expertise. She accused me of instability and said that she could not treat me until I was more stable and had managed my Borderline Personality Disorder (WHAT?!?!?) She told me that she absolutely did not support my decision to seek couples therapy or have any communication with Will. I was hurt and confused. I had believed that she was my advocate and that she was a support person. I asked where she had gotten her diagnosis of BPD, would she be willing to have a session with both Will and I and Dr. B? She replied that my inpatient facility had told her I had BPD and No, she was not interested in any sessions with us as a couple along with Dr. B. I emailed my inpatient counselor, Dr. K. I do not believe that Dr. K ever said anything about BPD because I also have all of my patient records including clinical notes, chart entries and ALL diagnoses. There is NO mention, anywhere, in any of the over 100 pages of anyone saying anything about BPD. There are several notes indicating where Dr. K spoke with Dr. M. during my stay and apprised her of my progress and how I was managing both of my diagnoses: trauma; post betrayal discovery and mild depressive disorder. Hmmmm….why do you think she didn’t want a session with Will and Dr. B. present? Maybe they would call her out on her Bullshit!? Why manipulate and lie to me in the first place? Well, if I chose reconciliation early on, that would have led to couples counseling and less business for her. She is a researcher and my decisions and recovery were not fitting into her expected outcomes and skewing her data. Other than that, I am clueless. I am in disbelief and I feel my trust has been violated … Again!
So, what does this mean for me? For us as a couple? Well, I still have my DBT therapist who is still supportive and will continue to work with me REGARDLESS OF MY PERSONAL MARITAL DECISIONS and remain unbiased and non-judgemental as good therapists should. Will and I are researching couples therapists and will be going to an initial session later this week. I am grateful that I have come far enough in my recovery to recognize healthy from unhealthy both in my personal relationships with family and friends and with professional relationships with
unethical misguided therapists. I am thankful that I am now strong enough to be my own advocate and stand up for what I want and need and to know the difference between those things. And I am extremely aware that I am responsible for my decisions regarding my future…not Will, not some therapist, not God, nobody but me. I can make the decision to rely on others or to trust others but I can also look within and determine when it is right to rely on and trust in myself. The paradigm has truly shifted….in my favor.