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The true me???

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LifeDestroyer posted 2/3/2020 10:25 AM

Saturday was interesting. My therapist thought it would be a good idea for N to meet her. She wanted to meet him and get an idea of where is he. She wanted to see how he reacts. He agreed to meet her and spoke with her for over an hour. Afterwards he came over to discuss what they spoke about.

Here's where the interesting part comes in. She told him that she thinks that I may be on the spectrum. I don't remember her ever mentioning that to me. She went on to tell him how her husband is also on the spectrum and has a difficult time expressing his emotions like I do. I was stuck on that for the whole conversation. I kept wondering what the hell are they both seeing or not seeing because to me, I show emotion. I certainly don't show them all of the time but I do show them.

I tried to explain to him that when I don't show them it's because I don't feel confident in my feelings. I am insecure. I am so used to masking my feelings that I don't know how to show them. I then started wondering if I could be on the spectrum. Later that evening I took some Google tests to see because that's obviously the thing to do. According to those I was no near to being on the spectrum. I then found some interesting articles that I felt explained me. I sent him an email with what I found. I also sent it to my therapist.

She told him that I see him as a new version of himself. That bothered him, which was understandable. I explained that before D-Day, I had never seen this side of him. I had never seen the side of him that expressed his emotions like this. It was also because he was never put in a situation like this that required that. He went on to say that it was shame neither one of us got to know the true version of ourselves beforehand. He doesn't know if he has the patience to meet the true me while he is trying to heal himself. That was very hard to hear.

After we spoke about that, we spent some time together. We also went on a nice walk where we spoke about what he needs. Earlier in the week he had asked me some questions about my shame. I went on to answer them, but he didn't agree with them. I did answer all of them truthfully, one though I didn't really have an answer to. I tried to think of something for it. He told me that if I don't have answers to his questions, then I need to just say that. If I need more time, then I need to tell him. He may not be happy with those responses, but he wants that instead of me fluffing him up with an answer.

I am very thankful that he agreed to speak with her. He told her that if speaking to her could help her find a way to help me, then it was worth it. Thursday's session should be an interesting one.

JBWD posted 2/3/2020 11:28 AM

That’s an interesting turn of events, LD. I am quite honestly a little concerned about an IC that would meet with a patient’s BS/WS individually, especially if there was such a “bombshell” provided to someone other than the patient.

I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world for ICs to get perspective by meeting family members, but profound disclosures like this are somewhat troubling to me, especially if it was a surprise to you...

LifeDestroyer posted 2/3/2020 11:34 AM

She says she mentioned it to me during our first meeting, but I honestly don't remember that at all.

hikingout posted 2/3/2020 13:15 PM

I tried to think of something for it. He told me that if I don't have answers to his questions, then I need to just say that. If I need more time, then I need to tell him. He may not be happy with those responses, but he wants that instead of me fluffing him up with an answer.

I think this was an important thing for me to understand - that I sometimes needed to pace a conversation or a question in a way I have had true ability to answer it.

Early on I think I panicked about every question and conversation. There were times that I gave answers that I had to rescind later and that became a frustrating aspect of communication between the two of us. Once I learned to say "I don't know the answer to that right now but I will think about it" it took a lot of the deer in the headlights way I was going about that communication. I had feared previously that if I said that statement he would think I needed more time to come up with a lie or something. That was silly, because he was asking me deep questions, not ones that were just factual "this happened/or this" and I needed time to be introspective to really think equally as deeply.

As for the spectrum - I am guessing you gave her permission to disclose anything at all, because this to me would seem a little bit of a betrayal if it's not something she was sending me to test for or to delve into. Mentioning it one time on an initial appointment would not be enough to just drop that as a speculation on the spouse. But, maybe that's how it works, I didn't have that as a situation.

I get the sense from Neandrathal that he is tired, but I don't think he's just tired from you, I think he is struggling with himself to not only reach stability in the aftermath of infidelity but in a deep sense of introspection of who he is and where he wants to go with that. I don't think you have any influence there because he's in early stages of self discovery as well. It's best you keep doing what you are doing and figure out what you are doing/thinking/perceiving that is unhelpful to you. You have done some good digging lately, stay that course. He needs time to do some of his own as he explores the wayward part of himself.

I have also noticed that sometimes he throws up a block and rejects an idea, but comes back to explore that idea further later after he's had time to digest it. I think that's a defense mechanism, and you can understand why he would definitely be having more of those when it comes to you.

Keep trying to resist you acting out of fear versus staying your course. At this point he's going to be up and down and has a lot of his own fears. You all are still communicating and connecting let that be enough for now (not that you are saying it isn't)

LifeDestroyer posted 2/3/2020 13:32 PM

Hikingout, there's nothing you wrote that I disagree with.

That is exactly how I felt/feel when answering questions. If I said I needed time I would think he would be mad about that thinking I needed to think of a lie.

Yes, I told her she can tell him about everything we have spoken about. I just honestly don't remember her ever bringing that up with me. So, it was a shock to hear it from him. He wasn't happy about that either.

hikingout posted 2/3/2020 13:39 PM

Yeah, to me the process should have been she was talking with you more about it now that she knows you better. To mention it once in early times...that just doesn't sit right with me.

MrCleanSlate posted 2/3/2020 13:45 PM

I don't know if things are different in the US, but here in Canada IC is just that - individual. Heck my son is going through suicide thoughts and bi-polar and his psych won't tell us what they talk about, except that one time where he admitted to having a plan...but that was a safety issue then. Even in our MC, my wife had a few sessions separately to talk about some childhood issues and they won't discuss that with me.

Counselling should be a safe space. Period. End of Story.

LifeDestroyer posted 2/3/2020 13:55 PM

I wanted her to discuss with him what we've spoken about. I told her she could tell him everything and anything that we have spoken about.
I have no issue with her telling him things. To her recollection she did discuss this with me. To me, I don't remember it. We will be discussing it this Thursday.

MrCleanSlate posted 2/3/2020 14:32 PM

If you are OK with it, then why post it?

It almost sounds like you are writing all this for your BH's benefit rather than for your own.

I did IC for about 4 years. Never once did my BW meet with my IC. I learned a lot through those sessions. I needed that. We needed that.

MC was the place to share everything. Two very different discussions would occur.

LifeDestroyer posted 2/3/2020 14:36 PM

Not sure how it would be for his benefit since he was there and heard it. Maybe I'm posting it to see if anyone else has been told this?

ChangeMe1 posted 2/3/2020 14:43 PM

Hi LD

I echo others thoughts about what your IC shared, as much as I understand you allowed them to share, if this was something they thought was significant it should have been part of a recurring conversation, not a throwaway comment you barely remember.

Aside form anything else I think you need to bring this up with your IC, how do you feel abòut your trust levels with your IC now, not because they shared it but more because they seem to be holding this as a significant underlie to your behaviour yet aren't discussing it or seemingly helping you to work with it.

JBWD posted 2/3/2020 15:18 PM

Please bear with us as we look at this-
There’s been discussion recently where you’re finally feeling empowered to feel emotions, to hold others accountable. This same IC pretty much demanded you “get angry” about N’s disclosure. I know I wonder if this doesn’t fall into a pattern of concessions(?)

I know you’re still focused on R, and I’m certainly projecting how I would approach this- But the way I would approach this is, “Would I be ok with a good friend being given this information before me?” And I wouldn’t be ok with that.

I certainly don’t know your IC, and there seems to be lots of goodness, but I would really think twice about one who would let me surrender such degrees of control over care and disclosure...

ChangeMe1 posted 2/3/2020 15:30 PM

Jumping on the bandwagon JBWD just drove through

This is actually an opportunity to take some of that empowerment and put it to use.

Really think about how you feel about this, and then bring that to your IC, just because they are tour IC doesn't make them always right, and it doesn't invalidate how you feel.

I truly think it would be a positive step to unpack what they have done with them, and it will allow you to then also start the conversation about why they feel that way.

In your shoes, I would feel blindsided, like they have withheld something from me that I should have had the opportunity to process and make choices on (the irony here is not lost on me).

I understand this specific part of the issue may not be why you started this thread but it seems significant and potentially something that can help you.

MrCleanSlate posted 2/3/2020 15:36 PM

Or more to the point she thought BH talking to IC would provide some additional insights for the IC to help unpack what makes LD tick.

Instead, if I were LD I'd feel violated and betrayed..
(Yes waywards are stil allowed to feel things).

hikingout posted 2/3/2020 15:40 PM

Yes, it seems to me before she talked to him, she should have been discussing the process for diagnosis with you. If then she brought it up as "We are looking at her going through this process to see if my hunch is right..." that might seem more up and up. As it stands, she is giving your husband some conjecture that really could change the lens in which he sees you. Not that it did, it's the idea that a professional should not be doing that and influencing the situation at this stage.

On the other hand, she has come into helping you with other things that I have highly agreed with. I still think this would make me intensely leery of her and you can't go through this process with someone you don't trust. I fired my first IC for telling me not to confess, because I couldn't trust what she would have told me moving forward.

[This message edited by hikingout at 3:40 PM, February 3rd (Monday)]

Neanderthal posted 2/3/2020 16:31 PM

Hi guys!
I know LD and I are probably supposed to avoid each others threads but I thought I would say a few things.

Meeting her IC was not my idea. In fact I was hesitant.
We met once. As soon as it was over, I went straight to LD's place to discuss it all.
I assumed I was the last to know about the IC's quasi diagnosis. For the record, I don't think she is qualified to make that determination.

So I guess I take a little offense to the "they/them" talk. I have betrayed LD enough. This time I was an unknowing participant.

As far as seeing her differently. Hikingout is correct. Yesterday it did put a different lens on things (not in a bad way BTW). I am a cause and effect kind of guy. So she offered a possible explanation for something I have been struggling with. Today I looked at it differently. Regardless of the cause, how does LD fix it? That's what matters most to me now.

Also I am really glad you guys are here to keep us on track. I will now disappear into the night, unless called upon.

LD, I am sorry if posting here invades your space or feeling of safety.

[This message edited by Neanderthal at 4:45 PM, February 3rd (Monday)]

DaddyDom posted 2/3/2020 17:06 PM

I tried to explain to him that when I don't show them it's because I don't feel confident in my feelings. I am insecure. I am so used to masking my feelings that I don't know how to show them.

(Raises hand) Me too. In fact, I just saw my IC this week as well, and had a somewhat similar conversation. She noted that I'm not being very vulnerable, and tend to "pull back" rather than share my feelings. Honestly, like you, I've learned not really be aware of my own feelings, and even when I am, I often feel they are insignificant. I can share openly about some things, such as politics, but deeper issues just get automatically shoved into a box somewhere in back of my brain, and even I'm not aware of them until I find some reason to go looking for them. In other words, it is not just you.

I've been trying to work on this, partly by asking myself how I feel about things sometimes, and why. But also through trying to share "safe" feelings as "practice" to working up to deeper things. I discuss how I feel about things going on in the news, finances, work, the superbowl, whatever, things that I have feelings about but that don't require me to take too much of a risk sharing. Then, over time and practice, I hope to work up to becoming more in touch with my own feelings, and learning to share those with my wife and people close to me.

I think it is wonderful that you and N are being so patient with each other. It does take time and we all go at our own pace, which is sometimes forward and sometimes backward.

I think it is good that your therapist and N met. As long as it is all out in the open and everyone is agrees, it can be very helpful to a therapist to get to know the other spouse to some degree. As others have said however, IC is about you, not your marriage, and so just bear that in mind. The two don't have to be exclusive, but at the end of the day, your IC's first priority is and should be you.

Justsomelady posted 2/3/2020 22:00 PM

Wow! That is a big reveal. I guess I can see some of what she is saying...but like you said, you had to stifle a lot of feelings for a lot of years so it may just be something you are still maturing and growing in. Do you feel a lot of empathy for others, or is there a disconnect? I think that plays a role in it as well. I am surprised your therapist didn’t do more to assess you and prepare you though...she has had good insights.

I’ve often thought it would be cool to have my therapist and husband meet and “download” everything into him about me - and inform her about him and our dynamic more too.

If this is true, what does it mean to you?

LifeDestroyer posted 2/4/2020 06:35 AM

I thought I felt empathy for others, but I also thought it was easy to see my feelings. I know it's easy for people to see my feelings while at work, but that's with different circumstances/feelings.

If I am on the spectrum what does this mean? I honestly have no clue. I felt like it was almost an excuse for my crappy feelings and felt bad.

I need to figure out how to show the feelings I do feel.

Need2Do posted 2/4/2020 15:03 PM

LD, if you don't mind, what did your IC say? I have been attempting to get something out of mine...more like 'do I have a tumor?' yeah bad humour...I bought it at walmart...as my H would say...anyway, I asked her straight out if I was a narcissist. I needed to know if I was, and what I had to do to correct, affect change, but all she said was that she worked with 'narcs' and I didn't present as one...I disagree...I have about 100 pages if 'disagree'...but from what you have described about yourself, I run rather parallel.

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