I really should know better, than to tweet about how swimmingly things are going. But that’s what I did last Wednesday morning. By Wednesday afternoon I was stood in our garden in the rain being called the worst thing I can imagine being called. There was more, but I won’t go into that here.
Getting into full therapeutic mode is easier these days. I look at the ground and recall how to respond, the right words and phrases to use so the situation isn’t inflamed and unsettling threats are not followed through. I become what I need to become in a moment.
In these situations neither of us is our real selves. He is controlled, blank, strangely calculating and his words and body language are chillingly cruel. I double-think everything I say and do like a chess player, burying the panic and the hurt. If I dared to really connect with what’s happening, in the garden, in the rain I would disintegrate. So I don’t.
The situation was eventually resolved and repaired by a lengthy email exchange, which is how we do things these days. We worked out the trigger together. I’d underestimated the impact that something which had happened outside the home had had on him.
Once Mr D got home and everyone was settled into their evening activities I sat on my own at the kitchen table and could no longer escape the words and threats I’d heard out in the garden. They come back and haunt me in the end no matter how hard I tell myself he didn’t mean them and they were spoken from a place of past abuse and fear. These episodes are the nearest I get to experiencing emotional abuse. They leave me cold and sad and without words.
He will need support to process the shame and fright which showered down on us both. But I can’t do it immediately. I need to pick myself up and sleep and remember to never, ever declare that things are going swimmingly. All I will say is that we have been continuing to making progress and hopefully that rainy afternoon in the garden was no more than a setback.