Those of you who know me in real life and those who have been here from the beginning may wonder why my story hasn’t reached a wonderful “phoenix rising from ashes” kind of resolution. Why am I still broken, sore and wounded nearly 10 years on. In fact, I’ve now been divorced longer than I was married, although my relationship did go on for over 18 years.
That is part of the reason. The abuse and manipulation was so invasive and prolonged that it forever changed me. It altered my personality and I won’t ever get back the person I was before I met him. It is hard for me to accept this and to see the silver lining I look for so hard. Yes, I’m stronger and independent now in ways I never imagined I could be, but I also see what I lost and somehow I can’t move past it.
I’ve been doing schema therapy with my current psychologist and we found that the events of my marriage breakup triggered several of my vulnerable schemas, including Emotional Deprivation. It is the “expectation that one’s desire for a normal degree of emotional support will not be adequately met by others. The three major forms of deprivation are: A. Deprivation of Nurturance: Absence of attention, affection, warmth, or companionship. B. Deprivation of Empathy: Absence of understanding, listening, self-disclosure, or mutual sharing of feelings from others. C. Deprivation of Protection: Absence of strength, direction, or guidance from others.”
The second schema it triggered was Abandonment. It is “The perceived instability or unreliability of those available for support and connection. Involves the sense that significant others will not be able to continue providing emotional support, connection, strength, or practical protection because they are emotionally unstable and unpredictable (e.g., angry outbursts), unreliable, or erratically present; because they will die imminently; or because they will abandon the patient in favor of someone better.”
The reason I haven’t been able to fully move on and “get over” my hurt is that I haven’t had access to appropriate therapy. That is, I’m poor. The first couple of years, when I had some money, the therapy was basically focusing on keeping me alive and functioning, but when I got to the stage when I should have been focused on healing, the money ran out and the healing required complex therapy, not something I could do on my own with meditation and exercise.
And so I am stuck with my brokenness, unable to move forward, keeping my functioning to the barest minimum, healing seemingly out of reach. I’ve been playing around the edges with this and that, trying different bulk billing and community psychologists, until just in the recent months, we’ve found something that might actually work.
I am starting group therapy next week, on the advice of my psychologist, to jump start my healing by lifting my mood and energy levels. We listed some goals last week, like lifting energy levels and getting more stuff done, but, frankly, it would take a miracle for me to get more stuff done and go for a walk.
But we’ll see. I’m open to anything at this stage. I’m sick of feeling like this. I want to be me again. If that’s even possible.
Also published on Medium.