This is a tough post to write, but I need to share because I’ve always wanted people to know that I don’t have a perfect life. And I think it’s important that your community understands that everyone has their struggles. That you are not alone.
I moved in with Dean on Saturday. He’s been great. He cleared out his place for me, built out storage space in his closet, bought me little things to make me feel at home like candles and bins to store my mittens. He moved my stuff to his place bit by bit over the course of a couple nights. Saturday was the final move-in. It went smoothly…until very late at night.
Maybe it was the stress of the move, maybe it was all the alcohol that Dean had consumed, maybe it was his friends who were giving him grief for not spending enough time with them—probably a combination of all of that. Dean and I had a very horrible incident. I can’t go into the specifics, but it was so bad that our relationship has suffered quite possibly irreparable damage. I almost ended it–which is very Catherine-like to be black and white and abruptly end something. A whole Sunday of crying didn’t relieve me. We went to church that night and prayed together. To his credit, it was his idea. I just wanted to lay in bed and cry. Church perked me up, we got a bite of dinner after not having eaten all day, and I started to feel better. But the next day at work, I held back the tears during meetings. The emotions of Saturday night kept fluttering in and out of my head.
I fired off an email to Dean, “I can’t stop thinking about what happened Saturday night. We need to see someone. We might be over.” Dean quickly found a therapist and the urgency in Dean’s voice caused the therapist concern. The therapist said he’d be willing to schedule a late night session–way outside of his normal office hours.
The therapist is a God-send. Truly. I don’t think Dean could have found anyone better. I have gone through a lot of therapy in my life. I’ve seen psychiatrists, psychologists, hypnotists, nutritionists, you name it-ists. This therapist is so good at what he does, there’s a reason his fees are fairly steep in comparison to other licensed clinicians. He listened, grasped the background, validated our feelings, and helped us move forward. He distinctly remembered phrases we used, “Do you mean resentment or disappointment? Those are two very different things and you said resentment.”
The therapist has an academic background so he wrote on a chalkboard several times which I liked. He gave us the etymology of crisis and how the Greek culture perceived crisis as a turning point. I’ve had a couple therapists who mainly just listened, making you spit back information. That doesn’t really work for me. This therapist said to me afterwards, when I told him how much I enjoyed our session, “I have to teach. It’s my job to teach because you don’t know. I’ve been studying this all my life and I need to give you the tools. You don’t automatically know what the tools are. You don’t just happen upon them while talking during a session. That’s why you’re here. I can help you with the tools.”
I know Dean has felt awful and helpless. He confided in the session, “I feel sick. I love Catherine. I can’t imagine my life without her, but she’s got all the control and power here. She can just leave me and I don’t know what else to do.”
The therapist assured him he was doing the right things. “You made this appointment. You’ve never done therapy before. You brought Catherine here. You do have a lot of control—more so than you think.”
If ever you need help in your relationship, I highly recommend Dr. Grisham.