Counselling Again

We had our second counselling session today. My mind is a mess again. Let me try to go over what happened.

It started with the counsellor going over the things we need to work through individually. For Carol, it’s the guilt. Good, glad to know she’s feeling guilty. For me, it’s the anger. Again, I’m trying to keep it to myself when it comes up but it is there. It’s there right now.

“I’m sure you noticed that I was angry with you when you told me you made him food,” I said.

Rick had come to one of the stores last week to pick something up. Funny coincidence, it was the store Carol was in at the moment. The way Carol told me the story, it sounded like she offered to make him food when he showed up. She then said that he asked for food and she just happened to be the person there to make it. Whatever.

“It seemed to me like you were being overly nice to the person who doesn’t deserve it. I don’t like that because I believe that’s what got you into this mess in the first place,” I said.

Carol insisted that she was only showing basic courtesy, getting him what he came to pick up and making the food he asked for, while waiting for his father to show up. When his father did show up, he kicked him out of the store and yelled at him for being there, then complained to Carol about his no good son sitting on his ass at home, collecting a pay check.

Yes, Rick is still getting paid by his parents for the time being for whatever legal reasons. That’s supposed to end in the near future. I don’t mind that arrangement as it makes his father more furious at him and ensures he’ll never get his job back.

We talked about forgiveness. “Who else in your life do you need to forgive?” The counsellor asked. I listed off nearly all my family members and mentioned a close friend, too.

Maybe it was because I was being standoffish that the counsellor had a whole lot more to say to me than Carol. She came to see that I have no trust for anyone and never had a role model in life that I felt safe to talk to. I just kept pointing to Carol, right there, the one I married because I thought I finally found someone I can trust.

“You feel safe telling her your secrets?” She asked.

“I did, I mean, I still talk to her about personal stuff but I keep a lot to myself now,” I replied.

She told me it’s going to be tough to re-establish trust because, “I’ve always been of the mind that if you talk to someone or write something down, it’s not a secret. It will be told or read,” is not a healthy outlook. What can I expect, though? Everyone in my life breaks my trust.

Carol grew up feeling safe and loved with her family. She said she sometimes can’t relate to my life and the messed up relationships with my loved ones. “But now you’re one of them,” I replied.

That’s right. She can’t understand it while she does what they do. Lying, betraying, causing pain. She’s not repeating the history of her life, she’s repeating the history of mine.

We talked about how Carol had postpartum and withdrew from me and I chased her, trying to hold on to the marriage. Communication broke down. Then she went to outside the marriage to meet her needs. “I didn’t realize you needed to be screamed at,” I said.

“This goes back to what we were talking about at our personal session,” the counsellor responds. Yes, the abuse of power. I don’t know if I buy it.

I thought we were supposed to get to the bottom of this so it doesn’t happen again. But, she tells me to go to individual counselling to get my head around the betrayal. I’m waiting for a callback regarding that. I almost felt like it was the two of them against me in the session. I did not care for it at all.

We talked about how our marriage wasn’t working and now we can make a new relationship. I don’t recall our marriage being that bad. Even the night before I caught her, everything seemed fine between us. Hell, even the morning of we were excitedly texting each other about the cool parts of the movie.

I had difficulty explaining this so Carol informed the counsellor, “He’s saying that maybe he (Rick) convinced me that our marriage was worse than it was.”

“Maybe, you convinced yourself,” I replied.

To end the session, we established the first rules of our new relationship:

1. Ask how our day was. Once a day. Don’t ask twice.

2. Actively listen to the response.

3. Hug each other twice a day.

Great, things we’re already doing. Now what?

“Would you like to book a follow up in a couple weeks?”

I waited for Carol to answer. I like that she has to talk. I wish she’d do that more.

We booked the appointment and Carol drove me back to work.

She hugged me and told me she loved me.

I did not respond.

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