Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fiance came with me to therapy

I can't say the session went how I hoped or anticipated, but I am happy to report that I believe it went well, and I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The original plan was to help fiancee gain a good understanding of PTSD as it relates to childhood abuse and help him understand the need for me to still be in therapy. If all that went well and there was time, we were going to begin to broach the whole DID thing.

I'm not sure how well we succeeded in him really understanding PTSD. I'm not sure you can unless you're someone who has it or a therapist who works with it on a daily basis. However, he did seem to get a better grasp of why I still need therapy. Fiancee met me after my last hospitalization, after I was no longer struggling with self-injury and after all of my suicidal ideations has passed. He hasn't seen me in a true struggle and he doesn't understand where I've come from to understand that while we have made tons of progress, we still have a ways to go. I think we were able to at least help him understand a little about why therapy is still necessary and reassure him that I'm not going to stay in therapy for the rest of my life just to be in therapy. I did tell him that I would not put myself on a "healing timeline" and that I couldn't tell him when I wouldn't need/want therapy anymore. That was a decision therapist and I would make together at the appropriate time.

Since he didn't feel the need to ask any questions and had very few comments, I decided to plug on. I laid the groundwork for explaining DID by telling him how my mind was compartmentalized as a child as means of functioning through the abuse. Different compartments in my mind hold thoughts or memories or feelings and they are accessed at different times and are of different levels of intensity and that the eventual goal is for the seperation to not be so great but more fluid. I didn't go as far as to tell him these "compartments" have names and vary in age and have their own thoughts and opinions. We didn't want to freak the poor guy out. This was the first time he'd ever been in a therapist's office.

I also made it clear to him (since he kept saying he was only coming b/c I asked him to) that my goal in him coming was to make sure he knew I was making my best efforts to not have any secrets from him before our marriage. Obviously, we won't know everything about each other before marriage, but I never wanted him to feel or say that I was not the genuine me with him before marriage or I didn't give him the opportunity to talk about or ask about anything from my past that he wanted to before we said "I do."

He didn't skip a beat in saying he understood and that he appreciated what I was doing. At the same time, he didn't ask a single question or really make any statements of his own. So, not exactly what I expected, but I feel I fulfilled my "duty to warn" him before our wedding, so I'm feeling a huge weight is gone.

After we left therapy he wanted to go to Men's Warehouse and pick out his tux for the wedding, so we did. I guess this means I can happily report that we're still getting married and while he doesn't understand everything now, he's willing to deal with and try to understand things as they come up.

We'll see...

1 comment:

  1. Well done you. It can't have been easy (for either of you) but you did it, and I'm sure the questions/thoughts etc will begin to sink in a little bit. You are so brave!