Yep. I found MORE therapy just recently. Had a long break from it. I did a bit of reading on EFT, or Emotionally Focused Therapy, a la Dr Sue Johnson. It sounded plausible. So, I did a bit of research, and found the most advanced (in terms of how many “levels” of training she had) therapist in NZ lived less than an hour from us. Yay! I rang up and booked an appointment. Now, I did this for me. Not a couples thing. Just a way of trying to get me to heal better. To patch up this battered old heart.
I toddled along after work one night, and talked to Jenny for an hour and a half, and she asked me to bring Rog along – would he come? Of course. You see, the thing is, this guy, who broke me, is actually a really great guy, he is sick at what he did, he has willingly put himself through the wringer to try to help me. It hasn’t been easy for him – heck, why should it be, I guess, but he has done all of this and so much more. He has fronted to our community and defended me, called out the bitches who abandoned me, apologised to me multiple times, and understands the depth of my pain. That is the thing I feel so frustrated about. If he is genuinely sorry – and it seems he is – and does the work on himself – which he has, and continues to do – then why the fuck am I still so damn sad and broken??? There MUST be something “wrong” with me. Surely?
Rog and I went along to Jenny together for maybe five more sessions? She was kind, and wanted to help, said she could see a lot of love, but a pile of pain. She usually went at least half an hour over our session times – we were always last of the evening – and never charged any extra. We both found it incredibly frustrating. Obviously this is no longer our first rodeo, and we communicated that to Jenny. But we got a lot of “how does that make you feel? Tell Roger, Paula,” etc. Mmmm, okay, we talk. We talk a lot. He hasn’t, and I haven’t, NOT HEARD any of this. We eventually decided that “recognising our negative patterns” wasn’t getting us where we wanted to get. The last session we had with her had her talking in circles, and mostly spending a lot of time paused. I think she was out of ammunition! BUT. She did give us some reading material I haven’t come across in this time. I am about three quarters of the way through Sue Johnson’s “Love Sense.” It is really interesting. Talks about how we love, avoidant, securely and anxiously attached. I was definitely securely attached, had a good, loving, securely attached relationship growing up with my mother, and was open and loving in my relationships, I loved without fear. Roger, on the other hand, is, or rather was, mostly fairly securely attached, but could easily tip into anxiously attached. With a hit or miss loving style from his parents, particularly his unwell mother, he had to moderate his own feelings of love and being loved. Pretty hard for a little boy. I noticed it with him from the start of us. Heck, this guy is pretty steady. He is physically strong, has run large farming enterprises his entire adult life, growing and doing well with the capital invested. He had pretty good inter-personal skills, could talk to anyone. He is kind. My female friends adored him. Although his formal education wasn’t complete, he is self educated, well read, has a sharp mind and can work through some very complex ideas. He is calm in a crisis (yeah, right, lol) and can problem solve without getting too wound up, unlike me, who always needs to breathe and calm the fuck down! But, he was very physically needy. In bed, he has always taken up 7/8ths of the space, he wraps himself around me, lucky I am not TOO claustrophobic, but he has always done this. He liked to touch me, to meet my eye in public, to send me a smile, or a wink. He liked and craved a lot of sex. Good, connected sex, intense lovemaking, not Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma’am sex. Heck, it was great! I felt so desired and cherished. It wasn’t smothering, he had plenty of friends and activities he liked to do without me, but he was strongly attached to me in many ways. So, it makes sense that when I, for the first time ever, doubted his decision, he immediately labelled that as me not loving him anymore. Cool. I never gave it another thought. My secure love style mean that I wasn’t “monitoring” him as closely as many women I know do their husbands, hey, I’m not the marriage police, and neither do I have any desire to be. Bugger that for a game of soldiers! And it also meant that the conversation we had in bed the night we arrived in our new home was quickly forgotten by me. But hung onto tightly as proof I didn’t love him by him.
I also like the part of the book that seems to explain to me some of my detachment from him. It is to do with oxytocin. I, as an ex-dairy farmer and a horse breeder, have been aware of the effects of oxytocin as the love hormone, the bonding hormone, and its effects on the uterus and milk letdown reflex for years. However, there is a whole raft of new research that has been done in the past ten years that links it with attachment theory. I had it in spades! My milk letdown reflex was very strong. My boobs hurt like hell when the reflex first hit when feeding my babies, like someone had them attached to some kind of electrical device. Uterine cramps as my uterus clamped down hard and fast after birth was agonising, but short lived as my insides resumed normal transmission fast with all of the oxytocin zooming around my body! I would flood milk just thinking about my babies, or smelling their clothing, and during orgasm, milk everywhere! In fact, I never stopped lactating at all from the birth of my first child, until more than two years after I weaned my third – a period of nearly eleven years – and I wasn’t breastfeeding past any of them being about eighteen months. I slept on towels for years. I have a strong bonding tendency, not an insecure bond, just that I believe in the people I love, implicitly. Roger now says that we have kind of swapped roles. My strongly securely attached style has been severed, I am now anxiously attached, or even, if we are honest here, avoidant. My drug supply of oxytocin has been cut off. I can no longer access it for some reason. I actually can FEEL that! He is still anxiously attached, but feels steadier than he ever has in many ways – except for what he has done to me. He feels – rightly – that he has kind of lost me. I don’t love him the way I used to, it is now only let out in small doses. I feel so let down. Yes, by him, but pretty much by “the world” – oh so dramatic, Paula 😉 . Friends, they’ve gone, the “friendship” I had with her, didn’t count, and my unwavering love for him, now very shaky.
At the beginning of the book – and I didn’t want to take it, it was Roger that told Jenny he wanted to read it, and he is about halfway through it – it has a part in it that says that the author has never seen someone who has fully detached from their partner ever come back. He says he thinks that is me.
I think he may be onto something.