Healing is a journey, but my husband is a trust-worthy traveler on that path.
I am just so...what word am I looking for? Happy. Satisfied. Content. Serene.
Let's go with serene, in honor of the Serenity Prayer. It's stupefying to me, the easy way I handled this last little relapse. Really, I amaze myself. It has got to be the EMDR, because that's the only thing that has really changed in my life since we began the process of recovery.
I have changed. I was not distraught, ruined, devastated by his rejection and his insults. I am not saying I was unaffected, but I was not knocked breathless. I am not saying I didn't want him to repent and work to restore the good vibes we had been previously sharing, but I was not in agony waiting for it to happen. I was not desperately pleading for him to " fix it NOW" as if the agony of being rejected by him was more than I could bear.
Part of my resolve has no doubt come from Kantor's book. Reading the description of how passive aggressives interact with their victims was like watching secret footage of my marriage over the years. The book called the psychological tortures my husband put me through abuse, which it was. It also showed me how I fell into the sado-masochistic cycle that perpetuated the abuse.
Kantor underscored the truth I already learned from various self-help books and support groups through the years. I can't change my husband. The only one I can change is myself. Pleading with him to change not only didn't help, it egged him on. Ditto attempts at calm rational discourse and yelling angrily. I tried it all, and I knew none of it worked. But that didn't end my compulsive need to get him to stop rejecting me. Even though I knew no good would come of it, I still felt driven to come to closure, to keep engaging him until he repent of being cruel and show me love and acceptance instead. I could not seem to stop myself.
This time it was easy. It has to be the EMDR. I can't think of any other explanation.
This EMDR stuff is now on my list of must-haves. Any daughter of an NPD out there still in pain? Zip your search engine over to this link and look for a competent therapist as fast as you can. I looked for the highest level of training in my local area and started there. You have nothing to lose except years of anguished relationships and some money you were going to spend anyway on something. Why not spend it on healing your heart? You deserve it. n_n
He has changed too. Joel and Kathy Davisson's Marriage Intensive got the ball rolling. Like Skills twenty-six week program kept it moving in the right direction. And EMDR is helping him keep that ball rolling in the right direction on a daily basis. I am so proud of him and how quickly he recovered himself from the pit in which he fell most recently.
I don't know how much, if any, my lack of tormented response had to do with his quick recovery this past incident. It may have only affected me, or it may have been helpful to him as well. Don't know and don't really care, LOL. It sure made me happy! =D
And in general, he is much happier than he has been in years! In addition to the EMDR, let me remind my readers that he is also taking anti-depressants. That in itself is a huge break from his family dysfunction, which says that physical need is a weakness that good (Christians? or just members of his particular family?) people don't experience. He left a broken leg untreated once for almost twenty-four hours to "see if it will get better" because of the shame he feels about receiving medical treatment. (Oh, his family system is so mean! Yet very Christian "nice" on the outside. God save us from their fate.) So humbling himself to take anti-depressants was huge.
I am really happy today, and satisfied with our relationship. So many insights, people and therapies have come together to help us have the relationship we both always wanted, but just couldn't reach. We are, as Joel and Kathy Davission like to say, "living it and loving it". I almost hate to type that out, afraid I will jinx it.
I also want to strongly emphasize to any battered women (emotionally, spiritually or otherwise) that the only reason this marriage is healing is because we ditched the whole traditional "man rule, wife submit" false teaching of the church. We embraced the "husband source of life" and "wife ezer- ally and friend" interpretation instead.
My husband took responsibility for both the state of our marriage and his own mental health. That will never, ever happen with an NPD partner by the way. If you suspect NPD, do whatever you can to get out of the relationship with as little damage as possible. I can't stress that strongly enough.
But for the PAPD, there is hope. They can learn to identify and express emotions safely, with therapy. That would include treatment for domestic violence as well as trauma therapy. Supportive aids like anti-depressants can make this process easier, as there is good reason these people have been suppressing their emotions. They are usually wounded very deeply, and very angry about that at their core,
So, to all my friends, thank you for your prayers and support through this healing time. To readers going through hell in their marriages, I hope my experience benefits you in some way. And to home school parents reading here who are being marketed to by the "man rule, wife submit" crowd, take warning. It's a simplistic and sinful twist to scriptures written in foreign languages and then translated into English a thousand years later. Go back to the source, dig deep and don't be led into bondage by the home school industry big wigs. They have plenty of money already, they don't need yours.
Peace and good will, SS