Had a good session with the new therapist. He gets it, which is wonderful, and gave me some tools/maps to help me understand this better. The one showing "wobbles" was quite interesting.
It was interesting for me to find out that I fall a little bit into the "dismissive/avoidant" attachment style, but no great surprise given that I've been on my own since I was 19 and am uberindependent...kind of the opposite of co-dependent. Rather than "this relationship defines me" sort of thing, I'm "this relationship has absolutely nothing to do with who I am", which is the other extreme. I'm a mild case, which is great to know....I guess?
He said that it would be well within acceptable for me to email my husband encouraging him to do this, given that although separated we are still married. It's my D/A style that sends up red flags for me, I think. He said its apparent that my husband is still attached to me on some level. Maybe there's hope then.
I still haven't heard from my him about the tool loan or the fishing this weekend that he offered up, so I have made other plans for both. I'm disappointed, but I can't sit around conjuring up good experiences that he's not committed to, if that makes sense. Talk about kidding one's self.
So here's the final draft of the letter I'd like to send to my husband. A letter in the post is probably better than an email, I think...less pressure for him and he can't just hit delete. In a sense it's my swan song...everything is on the table and he either takes my hand or he doesn't. Not sure how much time I should give it to percolate...end of the year maybe? Any feedback on content, timelines and mode of delivery, or anything else, is welcome and encouraged. Thank you so much in advance.
As I said before, I am unbelievably proud of you for opening up to me about your childhood trauma. I am deeply saddened for what you've had to bear and honoured that you chose to trust me. I can only imagine how difficult that was for you.
I've done a lot of thinking and reading in the past few weeks and have learned some very important things.
First, you are not alone. One in six men have walked your path. A brotherhood of support is there but you must be open to it.
Second, you cannot do this alone. You need to deal with it in therapy. I respect that the decision is yours alone to make. I hope you know that you're worth it.
Third, you are still running. Until you get the help you need you will continue to run and hide from yourself and the people who love you. Do you want the next 40 years to be the same as the last?
Fourth, there is absolutely nothing I can do for my husband or my marriage unless you let me. You would whisper "don't leave me" in my ear, and I said I wouldn't. And I didn't. And I haven't yet.
My vows are as true today as they were when I said them to you on our wedding day:
I love you, not only for who you are but for what we are together. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for passing over my weaknesses and instead drawing out the strengths that no one else had looked quite hard enough to find. I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself and I love you for who you are. From this day forward I promise to laugh with you, cry with you, to share your dreams and your goals. I will give you compassion and understanding, especially when the fishing isn't going so well, and I will try to when the Habs are losing. I will remain faithful to our vows for better or for worse, in times of sickness and health. You are my best friend and I will love and respect you always.
When I vowed to give you compassion and understanding, to remain faithful to my vows, to love and respect you always, I meant it. I let you go with love because that is what you wanted and it was something I could give you. It hurt like hell but was the right thing to do.
I see the man you are, and you are a good man. You deserve love. You need to let people love you. But you must love yourself first. You need to give that child a voice. Nothing that happened was your fault, but you are responsible for the decisions you make today.
The only way out of this is through it. A lifetime of hiding, ignoring the past, and trying to do this alone hasn't worked. The only way to slay this is to face it head on. Until then your abuser still has power and will continue to hurt you and, through you, hurt the people you care for.
I have three resources I hope you use:
- I have seen our marriage and my experience in it play out in other people's stories over and over again. I have seen you in their descriptions of their husbands.I found solace in knowing I was not the only one. You can find that too. I have learned from surivors what I can only imagine is the pain in your mind, your soul and your body. There are literally thousands of men there, your brothers, with open hearts, arms and minds. They have supported me and already send their thoughts and prayers to you. They will welcome you with understanding. They can help you. Please reach out to them, for you.
2. Victims No Longer, which is a book by Mike Lew. Many of the survivors on the website recommend it. It is an unbelievably difficult read but one that they all say helped them tremendously. I will be ordering it.
3. *******, who is a therapist in ****** whom I have seen. He has a great deal of experience with male sexual abuse and can help you in this journey. My next appointment is in two weeks. You are welcome to join me to meet him if you are ready to take that step for yourself. Or I can give you his contact info.
No matter where things are with us, I am here for you if and when you decide to deal with your abuse. I will support you in any way I can. All you need to do is ask. Nobody can fill the emptiness or carry this burden for you, but I can walk beside you. I am here for you, for better or for worse, in times of sickness and health. You are my best friend and I will love and respect you always.