Monday is my appointment with my counsellor so off I went this morning, determined not to end up in floods of tears like last week. I was only kidding myself though it wasn't long before I was crying again. Is this really doing me any good...trawling over the embers of a dead relationship. My counsellor is pointing out all sorts of stuff I wasn't even aware of...how controlling my stbx has been and how he made all the important decisions during our relationship and then consulted me afterwards to make me feel like I'd been involved when I wasn't. Is it productive to gothrough all of this...from day one of our time together? We were happy for a long time...years Then he decided he wanted to persue other avenues..again without consulting me...but I wasn't to be part of this new life. Is it doing any good questioning our whole relationship like i'm being asked to now All it's doing is making me think the last eleven years were a waste of time and what seemed real to me at the time is apparently all in my head...our relationship wasn't what I thought it was if my counsellor is to be believed. If I wasn't fed up before I am now...this doesn't seem worth the effort i feel worse than i did when I started this weeks ago. All i want her to tell me is how to deal with what's happened so that I don't feel like c**p every day. I want to know how to get him out of my head every minute of the day... I want to know how to function without him But most of all I want her to tell me how to stop the constant knot in my stomach and the torment in my head. I don't want to be questioning every litle thing that ever happened to us it's not necessary. I just want it all to end
Yes I agree with what's been said already. I found a counsellor within a week or so after discovering my ex's affair, I was a bit of a mess and was just desperate to get some help I just hit the first counsellor who appeared alphabetically! prior to this I always had a little bit of a low opinion of counselling. When my ex found out I was going to counselling she said I must be mentally ill and may be I was not well enough to have the kids staying with me - bless her what a thoughtful and caring woman she is!!!!
It really helped just to be able to get things out of my head as we are in this surreal situation and in total shock. After about five or six weeks my counsellor was getting to move on to "lets talk about your childhood stuff" sure people do have deep rooted behavioural patterns which may need to change but I was like I just need to get through the next minute I just needed help to do that I also thought they were starting to be judgemental and not even in a positive constructive way either! So I stopped.
A year or so later I started counselling again this time I was more selective in who I chose reading up on them and what they offered. At this time I was having lots of issues with my ex over the kids it was really stressing me out and I was having lots of problems dealing with her. So I asked the counsellor to focus on these issues only and help me deal with them effectively. the strategy was people only wind you up because you let them - and now the buttons my ex used to press to wind me up no longer work
So yes counselling is not for everybody and also the quality and expertise of counsellors can vary. The are counsellors who specialise in different areas also there are different counselling techniques as well. Many of us on here have had life changing experience, we have either discovered an affair or that our ex's have given us the out of the blue bomb shell. So we are really in shock and totally disorientated because we don't know what's real and what's not counselling a person in this sort of position is a lot different than counselling someone who has social phobia.
Yes do shop around as has been mentioned and yes Wiki is a really good place to get counselling too. Ultimately people can guide you but only you can make things better.
Hi GG I went to some Counselling and she was good in the early stages to help me unleash some stress. I then had to transfer to another one. It was getting expensive and I could see her under my medical insurance. She was totally useless even blaming some of my state of mind on the death of my Mam 5 years previous. What a load of tosh so I packed in Counselling which felt like a big decision but it wasnt really. I then went to larn to meditate( my mates thought that was hilarious and that I had lost the plot completely) but I can honestly say it really helped and is a very useful skill to develop. If you are interested PM me and I will send you the details. Take care....if you are questioning your counsellor you are getting better ! Danny x
What I had wanted to say about reviewing the relationship, re-looking at it. In all honesty you are going to be doing that anyway for quite some time to come (probably). Things still come to light for me over 2 years on, where I go 'ahhh - that was why...etc.) In all honesty I am not sure whether it is a good thing to do this with the support of your counselor, or conversely if she is forcing a process that should happen more organically.
I think perhaps if you don't feel comfortable with her, and it is adding more stress, this is perhaps the wrong time, or the wrong counselor. (But I take on board Esox's arguement too, that uncomfortable may not be bad.)
I tried two counselors. One (private) was wonderful, gentle and helped me with coping strategies similar to Mitchum's. But of course, I could not afford her. The person offered by the NHS I thought was dangerous. I probably went for six months and was loathe to give up any form of support. I did report the person to the GP who said it was that or nothing. It took some courage to stop, but I did - it was doing more harm than good. I have never regretted the decision.
And that is my message I think. Learn to trust your instincts - if you feel it is not the service you need right now then change, as you would a hairdresser you didn't quite gel with. Ask around for recommendations - when I did I was amazed how many people knew someone who knew someone, if you see that I mean.
Like Mithcum - the wikipeeps have been a wonder - these lovely people who wear their battle stained tee shirt of divorce have shown a kindness and empathy for which I will always be grateful.
Trust your instincts, and take care.
And once again, I am glad you are feeling better today.
I think you should be comfortable with your counsellor, if uneasy with some of the feelings it unleashes. I left one counsellor because I really didn't see the point of paying for someone to say, Mmm and how did that make you feel? from time to time. That approach did not help me. I wanted coping strategies when I was falling apart.
If you're not getting the support you feel you need, find another counsellor. I found someone who helped me think things through and gently pushed me towards acceptance of my new and frightening situation. She gave me coping strategies and helped me see that some of my hurt went back as far as the loss of my parents when I was young and was grief not dealt with at the time.
We need many coping strategies at this stressful time and professional counselling is just one of them. We need friends and hopefully family who will be there for us too; people who will listen (again!)and be constructive and never judgemental. Having someone to pour it all out to (again and again) helps it all to make sense.
I would never have got through it however without my friends here in wiki who were and still are my best 'counsellors'. Wiki friends listened and helped me more than I can say.
Lean on us and let us help with your healing. I've never unravelled just how the thoughts, good wishes and virtual hugs of total strangers can fortify us against the pain but I'm here to prove that they do. Virtual friends become real friends in time because they know, without being told, just how you're feeling.
GG, Been there under differant circumstances.... i wrote something similar in an email to a friend. He said take that email with you next week and show the counsellor at the start of the session. I did as i would not have said it to her face!
It worked for me, we discussed my feelings more than reviewed the past. It turns out i was not participating in the sessions as much as i should, I was going over old ground and she was reacting to that. We changed tack and i learnt i needed to understand what was my fault, what wasnt and how i could change things for the better.
Better not bitter was her mantra.
Counselling can strip you down to the bones... i saw two differant counsellors at the start. One was a listener and the other far more interactive. I preferred the latter and stuck with her. You could try someone else?
Food for thought but you have made the big step to go in the first place. It is a sign of strength being able to ask for help.
I came out of it a better person i think. i took more control of my life and understood my limitations. I also realised it was not all my fault which was important.
Sometimes you just need a big hug though.... (((( GG ))))
GG I'm afraid it does get worse before it gets better.
You need to discuss how you are feeling with your counsellor. You need to tell them exactly what you have posted here.
It is very uncomfortable and painful confronting this stuff. I had to face into the very sad fact that my husband wasn't who I thought he was. This is what I bang on about a little in my posts, figuring out the stuff that made me end up with someone like my Stbx. I wanted to run away from it all too. I was VERY angry at first that there seemed to be some evidence that perhaps things were not as they seemed at the time with my Stbx.
Here's the thing. You were happy, those things happened, they mattered. No one can take that away from you, ever. I am so glad I persisted with working to understand, because over time I understood what had happened to me and why I ended up in the situation I did. Then everything made sense and I could grieve the loss and then over time, things started to get better, slowly.
Counselling isn't for everybody. What I can say though is that as a result of mine, I am happier than I have been in years. I'm three and a half stone lighter, I have a great life and I am very happily living alone. I know exactly the point you are at GG and it is the hardest thing to face into. It doesn't mean your relationship was a lie, it means perhaps your husband and yourself saw things differently. But I decided to stick with the counselling even though it was very upsetting and figure out what happened if only because I wanted to understand it so I didn't end up with someone like Stbx again.
I would at least talk to your counsellor about how the process is making you feel and take it from there. Couselling was without doubt one of the hardest things I've done, but it has also been the most life changing.
Hmmm, I found therapy very useful but I think it is very important to be in tine with your therapist. You don't mention how long you have been going and it took me months to really click with mine. I found that when I started I was in crisis and just surviving. But as I got through crisis then we really focused on me and my behaviours. We focused on me a lot more than my stbx and I found that very very useful.
If your therapist is not working for you then get a new one.