A Paradigm Shift

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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.

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26 thoughts on “A Paradigm Shift

  1. Yay! No one should tell you what to do. This is YOUR life. Again, yay! You might make it as a couple or you might not but there are years together and children together so trying for rconciliation makes sense. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks C! You are always so supportive no matter where my crazy path twists and turns. I know no matter how I choose to go forward, it is not an easy path, but to know there are people that truly care and understand is invaluable! Thank you so, so much! XOXO

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  2. This is such a treacherous journey and I have found it more so when I put my fate in the hands of others. I did that with my husband and I got burned. We need help out of the trauma, and to determine where our own weaknesses lie, but we also need to be able to use our own instincts. I have written about some of our therapy. I had one woman tell me I am so confrontational it was no wonder my husband doesn’t tell me the truth? Um okay? Therapists are just like other people. They come in all shapes and sizes and with their own spectrum of baggage. Use your instincts and maybe re-define your safety boundaries. Communication is so important! I think it is wonderful that you two could have a productive conversation at this point and you felt validated. Whatever the outcome, you’ve got tools now yo use. Much love to you! ♥️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Leigh,

      I wish I could say I am surprised but I too believe we have to trust our own intuition. Sometimes therapists do these things we just don’t understand. I would be very curious to hear where all these diagnoses actually came from. Your paradigm shift is huge. I will look forward to hearing how things progress. Trust yourself! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have an email out to my primary therapist at the inpatient. I am waiting to hear back from her. I am absolutely sure that she did not say anything about BPD because she was not responsible for any diagnoses and there is simply NOTHING AT ALL in any of my records. I believe it was pure conjecture by Dr. M. Very frustrating! On the upside, I am glad I found out now before it was too late! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Leigh! The epiphany! I so understand that. I know epiphany. Epiphany is my middle name! Only God knows what is good for you, and only YOU know what risks you are willing to take and for what expected outcome. As such, whatever decision you can own (instead of being thrown at you by others and external factors) is a good decision. You know you might get hurt, you know he might still be lying, but there is the odd chance that he is indeed on the path of recovery and becoming a better person – a man God intended him to be. I’m praying for you, that you not only not get hurt but get a wonderful reward for taking this risk. And remember, nothing is forever – whenever you feel unsafe, you know, YOU KNOW, you can get out of this. Make it as safe as possible.

    One more thought: because this is such an emotional turmoil with losing trust in your therapist and gaining (some small) trust in him, would it be worth for you to talk to his therapist? At the end, he was (allegedly) saying those things that made you take the leap towards divorce, maybe it would be helpful to check in with him for his first-hand opinion. You are on my mind. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes…I have already asked for verification from Dr. B. and Will supports that 100%. I am currently waiting to hear back from him as well as my primary therapist from inpatient. I am tackling this head on and eyes wide open…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I am really speechless that a professional like Dr.M reacted in the way which a qualified one should not. I suspect she is trying to justify for her numbers or so in her research which is dangerous and unethical. Maybe you can check with staff at Arizona centre whether they had mentioned or fed her wrongly. If not, please file a complaint against her as I certainly don’t wish another family nearly broken up just for her own paper research.

    Nonetheless, I am glad for you and Will but please be on your guard. Even though Will may be in late 50s, it is always the best to ask for full disclosure, no contact letters to all his APs and post nuptial agreement. I think Will will be more than happy.

    Plus I think your family would be happy that they can remain as one. However I would urge you both to focus on Lord first and place Him as the centre of your lives. He won’t fail you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Ponder, great suggestions and I am taking all of those steps. Will is aware that nothing is a sure thing and that his acquiescence in certain things is required…he agrees to it all. I am following up with both my former inpatient therapist and with Will’s therapist. I am doing nothing on Will’s word alone. Trust is still a long ways off. 😉

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  5. Hi, right now the two of you are going to be in a honeymoon stage. Euphoria is going to be present for a while because both of you are so excited about the possibly of having a new life together. I think that is wonderful. I also know, based on my training, that reality will set in at some point. This may simplistic but you both need to get out and join a hiking club, start walking, start running 5K’s, do something physical. Will has to have some outlet for all that intensity he used to focus on his addictions. My husband and my daughters do a lot of walking and exercising. One is a runner. I asked why I never saw her angry or frustrated even during the ridiculous adolescent phase. She said every time she got stressed she started running and the stress was gone. Will needs to fill up his empty time with positive things that give him physical relief. There really are endorphins that come from running or any extreme exercise. I hope you both are in good enough health to do something like that together. By being outside, not in a gym, the two of you have time to bond, talk about things that need to be talked about, and just generally enjoy where you are, who you’re with and what you are doing. You need to be a couple doing something positive.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is valuable, useful advice. I used to BEG him to hike with me, to just walk the dog with me…he rarely would, preferring instead to stay home on his computer(now I know why!). He has already recognized how much this hurt me…his lack of interest in spending this type of quality time with me. He has said he wishes he could have that time back now but wants it going forward. The release of that energy is an added bonus that was unrecognized! There is certainly no feeling at this time of a “honeymoon”… we are being far too cautious and protective still. But, I am counting that as healthy and reasonable given everything we have been thru. As usual, C, you are so in tune with me and my thoughts/emotions/queries….thank you! ❤️

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  6. I’m happy to read this…mostly because you’re joy is so evident. My advice is give it time and both of you just need to understand – there will still be ups and down but communication is so imperative. We all want our spouses to get it, but really the only way they can is if we’re telling them what we need from them and explain why we need it. I’m rooting for you two! I’m so proud that you’re heart refuses to get cold and always hopes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you can bet there is no rushing into anything here. He will not be moving back in anytime soon and we will still have some major boundaries in place. We are both aware there are no guarantees but are willing to work hard and try. Thank you for your support Kaye! Xoxo

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  7. When I was in treatment I was diagnosed as a sex addict; one who preyed on men in positions of authority. Also I got labeled with antisocial personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. There was talk of assigning BPD to me as well, but that was dropped.

    What I really have is dysthymia (depression that’s lasted for years) and PTSD that stems from childhood sexual abuse that’s been reinforces in several traumatic adult experiences. I also have aspergers, which makes me more susceptible to trusting unsafe people. I have a maladaptive way of self soothing that is a result of having been sexualized at an early age. That’s the sex addiction. I was unlucky enough to have a therapist (who was also a priest) who was a liar and who was sexually deviant. He abused me, not the other way around.

    In my opinion, most therapists are not all that good. Usually that’s okay because often people just need a supportive, safe environment where they can explore their problems with someone who will give them an unbiased reality check. With all those wrong diagnoses, I still got better in treatment because nobody was abusing me and it was a safe place.

    You seem to have a good grasp of what is right for you and what kind of helpful support you need. I wish you all the best as you continue to grow and heal.

    GP

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you GP…I feel like I am getting to that place where I am able to trust myself again and listen to my gut. I am more shocked than anything I guess, and now that I know I don’t have her to deal with anymore , I actually feel a great sense of relief. I didn’t realize how much stress she was adding to my already stressful situation. Thank you for sharing your experience…it helps to hear others have gone thru and survived terrible circumstances. It gives me hope!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, Anonymous…I am assuming you are rolling your eyes in derision or dismissal of my change of heart. I would like more input though. All opinions, thought, views and experiences are welcome her. Thank! 😊

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  8. Dang, it was misplaced. Not re: your blog. I read allot of recovery blogs and it’s hard to get passed all the amateur psychoanalysts in Internet blog world. I like supporting other addicts and families but we can all do without all the psychobabbling. Just my opinion. Sorry, it wasn’t an eyeroll @ u! Keep on keepin on

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah….I see….yes it it a frustrating process trying to sort through all this crap and then finding out the person “qualified” to help is less than scrupulous! THAT is definitely worth an eye roll! 😊

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