Do I Dare to Hope?

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2016-02-12 by Object of Contempt

A couple of days ago, I went to see a psychologist. My options are limited because of financial issues. I can’t truly choose who I will see because I can’t afford the vast majority of them. The ones that will take my health plan are very few. The ones that are Christians are few. The ones that are Christians and take my health plan are so few, I haven’t found one yet. I have seen a therapist before who wasn’t a Christian for talk therapy, and it wasn’t terrible. She didn’t approve of my view of marriage, though. Since that was a big part of why I was there, it did put a kink in the operation.

I had talked very briefly to this new therapist on one visit, and I stressed the fact that my faith is important to me. I even briefly mentioned my views on marriage. She seemed very understanding. My first real appointment was scheduled with a different psychologist, though. I wasn’t sure what to expect. As it turned out, the first one showed up because I had mentioned EMDR as a desired therapy. And, although she performs EMDR as part of her private practice, there were obstacles to doing so in this organization. What they worked out was that she would perform the EMDR with her supervisor attending. This was really nice! I wouldn’t have been able to afford it otherwise. The fact that they were willing to double up for my appointment was unexpected, too.

I didn’t get to experience EMDR during that appointment. The supervising therapist wanted to be more familiar with me and my circumstances, first. It was another uncomfortable time of not knowing how she would respond to me. I stressed my devotion to God and the Bible. I described my situation which has been disregarded by so many I have relied on. I actually felt they believed me. Even when I described my views on headship in a marriage, they didn’t assume I was trying to control or dominate. One of them made a remark that distinguished the desire to lead as opposed to control, and basically backed me up. I doubt that they will tell me about their own religious affiliation or beliefs. Still, they seemed to be on my side so far.

I did mention that divorce seems rather impossible. There are several very bad things that could come out of that. The first therapist mentioned that I should look into it more directly. She doesn’t believe that my wife will change. I suspect she doubts my wife even can change. I think she could. I think that, if family, counselors, pastors, and/or friends had given my wife wisdom and truth as advice, she might be willing to change. As it turns out, she feels strong. She feels right. She knows others are on her side, and so has no concern for my opinions or my hurts. With wisdom, she’d have known that her disregard of my opinions and hurst is the main problem. Not because I’m always right, but because love in marriage is displayed at its most foundational level as a deep concern to do and care for the blessing of the other person.

In my wife, the actions and words show that this foundational level has been non-existent since the very beginning. The fact of my hurt doesn’t even register slightly in her facial expression. Her consistent response is to push back, tell me she can’t, that I’m unfair, that I perceive (or remember) it all wrong. The basic respect that allows a person the right to candid discussion and expression was never afforded to me. Validation has been a rare thing during my entire life. After marriage, it was nearly non-existent. On those rare occasions when someone has validated me, it has been a long-distance acquaintance, or someone who was not really behind me.

Finally, someone has heard my story and validated me. And, they are willing to make changes and do extra work to help me. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t even really trust myself to follow through successfully. I really wish I could have found help within the Christian community. By doing this outside in a secular environment, I worry that I’m about to step on a land mine. Do I dare to hope?

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