a world at odds

I recently started seeing a therapist.  This was partially my choice and partially at the request of my husband, who thinks I need therapy in a serious way.  So far she seems to be good for me, very honest and realistic and to the point.  Part of the reason for going to see a therapist was so that I would be able to go see someone on my own but that J would also go with me, and occasionally go on his own.  That way we’d be covering all our bases, you know?

Well, we had our first couple’s session with her last week and then I met with her on my own yesterday.  Here’s what she had to say …

therapist: Margaret, I don’t think that I can see you guys as a couple.

me: Ok.  Can you say something about why?

therapist: Because the way that he spoke to you in our session last week was mean, definitely verging on verbal abuse, and I know that your goal is to try and fix your relationship but that’s not something I think I can actually help you with.

me: Because … ?

therapist: Because I believe he has a narcissistic personality disorder and it’s fairly obvious to me that the best thing for you would be to leave him.

Oh.

Now, let’s be honest here.  That is definitely not what a therapist is supposed to do.  A therapist is supposed to be objective and removed and all that jazz.  So as far as that goes, I think that the opinion she offered me was not actually part of her job description, and that she should have kept it to herself.

But, let us also be clear on one thing.  This is the second time that J and I (mostly me) have attempted therapy in the last two years to try and get a handle on the problems in our relationship.  And this is the second time that the therapist has told me the same thing.  Truly.  Our last therapist said the exact same thing.

And really, the impression that the new therapist got of him in our one session together was a damn good picture of who he actually is in real life.  And, if you read the definition of narcissistic personality disorder (a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy) and you know J at all, you’ll realize that’s it’s a pretty dead on diagnosis, and one that can actually be made quite quickly.

So, tonight J has an appointment with her on his own, and she’s going to tell him that she doesn’t want to have him as a client.  She asked me how I thought he’d react to that and I chuckled to myself.  He’s going to think that it’s not his fault, that she’s crazy and mistaken, and that I somehow influenced her to think negatively of him.  And then this is going to be the end of us going to therapy together for at least another two years.

And that, my dears, is J to an absolute t.

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One thought on “a world at odds

  1. Hi honey.

    I agree with you and the therapists about J’s narcissism. That doesn’t mean that he’s a bad person. In fact, he’s been a great friend to me, and he’s a wonderful person in many ways. However, having seen him in many relationships, particularly yours, J does not make a good PARTNER. And that is what he is supposed to be for you.

    Granted, comparing Justin and J is unfair, because Justin was abusive. However, let me relate my decision-making process in leaving him. At some point I realized that despite the fact that Justin could be nice, sweet, smart, etc., and despite the fact that he really never meant to be horrible to me, he was sick, and he wasn’t going to get better. His sickness made me miserable, and it wasn’t going to improve. What could I do? I could stay and be miserable, probably for the rest of my life, or I could leave. So I left. It was so incredibly difficult. But I’m much happier now. Am I advising you to leave J? No, not at all. Your relationship is your own, and your happiness is your own, and I’m thousands of miles away. You know best, and this is your life, and the experiences of others may be interesting, but are not, in the end, an indication of what you should do. But whatever you do, I will support you as much as I can from across the Atlantic (including giving you and Darwin a place to stay here, if you can afford to fly over, for a break, or for longer).

    On the subject of the therapist: while therapists are supposed to be objective, I’ve heard from several of them that if they perceive something that is actively bad for you, they believe it to be their medical responsibility to point it out to you. Shrug.

    Love you honey.

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