Another go-round last night... I'm less angry, but more alone.
She yelled at me again over the side effects of the meds and I VERY FIRMLY responded that that was not okay, never okay, and she had to stop at once because it was a deliberate hurt that had no place in a marriage. She calmed down after that and we worked on more constructive language in which to speak about such things.
And then in a basically calm, constructive dialogue, she revealed to me just how much she doesn't get this, and doesn't want to deal with it.
She is more disgusted by MS than ever. She thinks when I come here I get brainwashed by other people's stories - taking other survivors' pain and even *facts* into myself, when what I got was (in her repeated assertion) so much more minor. I asked her how being painfully and terrifyingly raped was minor.
Her: "Look, everybody has trauma in their life. I broke my arm once. It hurt but it isn't something I dwell on. My father died and it broke my heart. You have to not submerge yourself in it."
Me: "Do you grasp any difference between sexual assault and a nasty fall?"
Her: "I'm not saying it's not bad, I'm saying people have bad things happen in their lives and move beyond them."
Me: "Okay, let's talk about your broken arm. Suppose you didn't fall. Suppose you were walking down the street and suddenly a guy chased you, grabbed you, held you down while you screamed, and then slowly hyper-twisted your arm past the breaking point, so it took about 20 minutes for it to actually break. While you were helpless underneath him as he hurt you. Same broken arm. Would you feel differently about that experience than what you actually got?"
Me: "Now your dad. Suppose it wasn't a heart attack. Suppose you two were walking together and suddenly someone jumped on him and stabbed him to death, slowly while he begged for his life, and you were forced to watch. Same dead father. Would that feel different?"
Her: "Okay, I get the point that some events are more gross and shocking than others. I just don't see how you can't turn it off. You aren't a kid anymore. It's over. I don't get why it still seems so everyday to you."
Me: "That's kind of what the entire field of therapy and psychology are based on. Look, let's pretend right now that you were filing your nails and accidentally ripped one of them completely off--"
Her: "Ew! Don't talk about that!"
Me: "It's an example. So you rip your own fingernail off--"
Her: "Stop it, I'm gonna be sick!"
Me: "--and you know as you're sitting there that it's over. You still have 9 fingernails that you won't be ripping off. Nothing else is going to happen to you and you aren't going to die from it. Imagine looking at your finger and thinking all of those thoughts really really hard. Would it make your finger stop hurting?"
Me: "Right. If it was possible to consciously stop the body's emergency response signals, we'd be extinct. Everyone would think their way out of pain when it was really needed, and end up dead. The system malfunctions, the system doesn't obey you. It's a danger alarm and you can't control it. You know... there are books out there that go over what the effects of this stuff are on survivors, men or women. Would you want to read some?"
Her: "No. You want to submerge yourself in this, and I don't want to ever think about it except if I see it effecting you, I don't want any more."
Very civil, very courteous back-and-forth.
I am in this on my own.
"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny