Even though I always tell my clients, "Thank you for coming, it's a big step," today adds a new dimension for me.
If there's a word to describe my life right now, it'd be "confused." Why is he getting more controlling and paranoid? What did I do? I've put my work as a psychologist on pause — to me, it's unethical to work in my present state. I read exposés by psychologists and other mental health professionals about working while depressed, suicidal, and anxious. But my choice right now is to heal, so I can show up fully for myself and my clients.
My therapist is a warm and wise woman. Of course, I don't tell her everything. I'm not ready to. You see, I'm in denial at this point — I'd rather believe that everything he does, from dragging me out of bed at 2 a.m. by my ankles to stealing my possessions, is a result of his alcohol and cocaine abuse. It's the same when he vacillates between "I need to stop; I'm sorry" and "Why are you such a snob? You've changed." To admit to being abused is a bitter pill to swallow. I can hear everyone saying, "Just leave. Only a stupid woman would stay. Why are you so weak?" I can't bear that.
As domestic abuse expert Lundy Bancroft says, the abuser is like a magician. He'll use smoke and mirrors, distort reality, and pull out every single reason and excuse to distract you away from the real reason he abuses — because he wants to.
Whatever the reason, I start to tell my therapist some things, while trying not to blame him.