Well, if you count The Future as the next six months. The CSAT asked us to consider how we’d like to look back on the next six months sitting from next January.
For you to know why he asked that, you’d have to know we’ve entered this next phase of recovery, whatthefuckever it shall be. We’re not in crisis as a couple, I’m not fucking smack dab in the middle of trauma any longer and The Player is moving along pretty well, still learning but feels “solid” with where he is. He’s even been talking about starting to work 12-steps with a sponsor. You won’t hold your breath? Yeah, me, either.
We’ve – or I’ve – been struggling with the lack of amount of energy coming into me and us and I’ve been saying it for a few months now. Each time in therapy together, like once a month, I’ve brought it up. Until recently, The Player acted like he didn’t really know what I was talking about. I’ve said it’s a lack of connection, energy, and time being pointed towards me and our relationship. I stop short of saying we’re lacking intimacy, but maybe that’s it? I don’t know.
Anyway, the CSAT said because of the areas we’ve passed during this recovery, it’s no surprise that we’d need to learn what this next level of our relationship is. During our last session The Player talked about how he feels it’s under a year since he’s been in true, full recovery, because of the medication that has lifted the debilitating depression. Since things have calmed down, I have had more twinges of “huh?” about our relationship. Not necessarily his recovery and his sobriety, but our relationship. Like “What now?”
So during this appointment when the CSAT asked about The Future, The Player did a lot of talking. He said he hoped that we could grow closer, that we will continue to recover in the marriage and I would perhaps even trust him a little (will I ever fully trust him? I don’t know.). He said he hoped we could be closer and “share each other’s burdens.” The CSAT asked him what he meant and The Player said, among other things, when we each need support he wants there to be a very open line of communication to share those burdens, and joys, I suppose.
I just thought to myself, “What the fuck did you just hear?”
After I said, “Can I say something,” the CSAT said he visibly saw me tense up just then and I know he is observant and so I really tried not to physcially tense up but I said, “I feel really defensive about that statement, because while The Player hasn’t really been sharing in my burdens for probably the whole marriage, certianly not deeply and unfortunately when it counted, I certainly have shared in his.”
The Player was surprised. He questioned it. He actually said, “What burdens have I shared with you?” I told him pretty straightforward several conversation examples, I cited several examples (4) of people – including their first and last names – of situations in the past several months that have been stressors that I have allowed him the space to talk and process. I talked about the stress of money and dividing his time. I mentioned specific quotes from him about several of these issues, proving, indeed, I have shared in many of his life’s burdens.
He sat quietly for a moment. “I guess you have shared in my burdens.”
No shit, dumbass.
I every so slightly started tearing up and the CSAT asked me what my emotion was about and I had to tell him, finally, that all of those years I was dealing with the incredible special needs of one of our kids, I hated to admit now that I felt alone. I guess I didn’t know it at the time throughout the years, because I had this false sense of a team or a family unit with myself and The Player, I didn’t notice, he wasn’t only “doing his part,” as I had attributed to his lack of involvement, but he was actively escaping, by having emotional relationships and fucking women all of the years of our marraige. I guess I hadn’t spoken about it so plainly. I guess I haven’t had the mental space to process it until now that The Player wants us to “share in each other’s burdens.”
I have known for many years, and The Player has admitted, the he was unable to take on anymore stressors for a majority of the marriage because of his own shortcomings. He said at that appointment he let so many things get to him that shouldn’t have, that his self-doubt took over his life. We both knew I was better at managing crisis. I was better at juggling the multiple things one must for a family to get through crisis. I told them both that the void I felt with The Player’s absence was filled up by doing the at-home mom thing and the friends and family who stepped in when I needed. They were my surrogate spouses. The middle of the night calls, the help to get the other kids to school when I was in the emergency room or their sibling was hospitalized. I filled it up with hobbies and interests. I traveled to see and traveled with friends (and alone!), made incredible new friends (lost some too, who couldn’t handle the threat of a child of ours dying). I picked up new interests, kept growing as an individual.
The floodgates of tears and emotions has opened apparently, waiting for the perfect opportunity to do so. I hadn’t been able to see it, or really feel it until now, but I have a deep, deep grief for the years I carried my own burden.
I was alone.