Journal Entry: May 20, 2014
Part of our plan after leaving Los Angeles last week was to meet with both my husband’s therapist (here forward called The Quack) and my local therapist, as a couple, to discuss how best to handle our son’s graduation, and our interactions with the in-laws. I honestly never wanted to be in a room with The Quack again, but I agreed to meet for this purpose only.
My goal is to put some of the anxiety behind us regarding the graduation, I want it to be special, and happy, and without drama… a girl can dream, right? We will be traveling with our younger son and I am thrilled we will be together as a family. This doesn’t happen often enough. Also, my mother and stepfather will be with us. The small private liberal arts college our son is graduating from is in a very small town over two thousand miles from our home. My parents don’t know about my husband’s sex addiction (the son in law they have loved for more than 30 years), but they do know my husband has chosen not to continue a relationship with his parents and after all these years of torture of all of us, they not only understand, but they are a big support to me and Blue Eyes in whatever he decides regarding his parents. They also know I am “stressed out,” but they think it is due to my husband’s decision regarding his parents.
Some might think we are blowing all of this out of proportion, but you have to understand my in-laws to really be able to understand our fear. First, both Blue Eyes and I are totally beat down by dday and the last four months of disclosure and therapy and dealing with the stalker whore, and more therapy, especially the therapy that dug into my husband’s upbringing and by which he remembered and disclosed details of his abusive childhood and came to realize how his addiction developed, grew, matured, and nearly destroyed his life. In the middle of all that, was my husband’s decision to cut off communication with his family after the declaration that they would “take his name away from him if they could.” Of course my husband is responsible for bringing trauma to my life, but a number of his worst acting out periods can be traced back to altercations with his family. Let’s face it, his whole fucking addiction can be traced back to his family of origin. He never learned to cope, never thought he was good enough, and now we both suck at coping. Geez what a mess. My mother-in-law is very aggressive. She will not back down if she gets the chance to belittle or humiliate us. My husband’s sister has chosen not to attend the graduation. That is her choice and we understand it. There is a lot of history with his sister and family events especially weddings and graduations. Both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law use every possible celebration where they will have the undivided attention of family members, to ruin things. My sister-in-law already told her mother there weren’t enough graduation tickets for her whole family to go. This is a lie. There are unlimited graduation tickets to our son’s graduation as it is held in the public square park of the little town of his college and they put out thousands of chairs. There are actually no tickets. Anyone and everyone who wants to be there is welcome. What a novelty. My mother-in-law knows this. So, she is going to confront me about why I told her daughter that there weren’t enough tickets. No matter what I tell her, she will not believe me. She will not believe her daughter lied to her. She will accuse me of not wanting the sister and her family there. This will all play out AT THE GRADUATION. It’s almost like I can predict the future. Why? Because this kind of shit happens every single time there is a family event. Lies are told and I get scapegoated EVERY SINGLE TIME. Why would now be any different? It used to be worse when my husband’s brother was alive because the two siblings would gang up and blame my husband and me for everything. My husband comes from THE sickest family I have ever been exposed to. Did I know the extent of all this before we got married? Well, maybe not the full extent, but I knew. Did I think it would be such a poison in my marriage because my husband would never mature enough to stand up to any of his family and he would willingly have me absorb much of the torture for the past 30 years? No, I never thought that would be my future. But now, here I am at the weakest point in my life both physically and mentally and I am being forced to see the perpetrators of some of my pain. Unlike my husband, they will never accept culpability for anything that has happened. They will never admit they are anything but perfect. Will my mother-in-law chastise her son in front of my family and call him ungrateful, hateful, and abusive towards her. Yes, she will. She will not care about the truth or take any responsibility, or act with an ounce of humility or respect. She is a narcissist. She thinks she is the center of the universe and she thinks she has the right to destroy people’s lives. She will sweep in, in her designer clothes, and her fancy purse, and run her hands through her “strawberry blonde” hair (she is 74 years old), and know she is better than everyone else there. She is richer, and smarter, and prettier. She is the queen of her own mind and what does my husband do when confronted by the verbal abuse of this monster, his mother, he will stand there and take it and inside it will be eating him alive. The infamous Craig’s List ad went in shortly after a large family event approximately ten years ago. This is how my husband copes with his family, he starts an eight year affair with an old whore from across town. My husband does not cause a scene, nor does he defend himself in any way. Not only does he take it, but he also believes it because when you are told your entire life that you are a horrible son who cannot do anything right, when your every move is orchestrated by an abusive woman, when you are chided, as a ten year old child, that your medical bills are causing stress to your parents and making it difficult for your father’s fancy law firm to be able to get decent medical coverage, you really truly believe what they are saying. What will my father-in-law do? He will heap on his own insults or merely stare with disgust at me, or my husband as his wife spews out vitriol. I have spent years trying to get my husband to understand that none of this is his fault. That he was born to abusive people and that he is good, and smart, and loving, and kind. Did it work? OBVIOUSLY NOT!!!! Did I pay a price for his parent’s abuse of me and our marriage? ABSOLUTELY!
Due to scheduling issues, we ended up at The Quack’s office first. As I sit down in my husband’s therapist office (wearing long pants this time), I announce from the beginning that I will mostly be observing. I am extremely worried about my husband even being able to be around his parents at this point without falling apart, but this is not my battle. I try to remain positive. I am looking at Blue Eyes, as he is looking at The Quack. The Quack is focused on other things besides the graduation and the in laws. My husband is belligerent, he has his arms folded, he has a scowl on his face, and he is unresponsive, and I realize he looks exactly like he does when he is sitting across from his father. But, he is not with his parents. He is with his therapist. The Quack is condescending and arrogant and this therapist is absolutely not a good fit for my husband. I realize my husband has lost his ability to be open minded in The Quack’s presence. I do not want to sit and watch this anymore, so I try and change the subject to my husband’s parents, and the graduation. The Quack agrees that Blue Eyes needs to have prepared statements that he will say to his parent’s no matter what they say and that I should not entertain conversations with them at all. I can agree with his advice on this, but it is his presentation and Blue Eyes’ behavior that is disturbing. When our time is up, I am relieved. We will further discuss with my therapist the prepared statements Blue Eyes will make to his parents.
Our appointment with my therapist is much more productive. Blue Eyes is open-minded and helpful as my therapist guides us through some responses that will hopefully respectfully end any potentially negative conversations between us, and the in laws. We all agree that I will not speak with them except to say hello and turn the conversation over to Blue Eyes. We will attempt to minimize exposure to the in laws. Family dinners will be planned without them. We will avoid them at group events. We will not be alone with them. Although we are still incredibly anxious, we agree to stand by the plan and Blue Eyes will memorize his lines.
About three days after our appointment with The Quack, Blue Eyes finally decides he has had enough. Although he is scared because he doesn’t have a replacement, he cuts ties with The Quack. Just like that, another therapist bites the dust.
For anyone counting, this is two down for me, and one down for my husband. And we march on….