One of the most confusing things to the victim of verbal abuse is the transition from one abusive event to the next. Once the abused person has survived the insult, stonewalling, yelling, whatever, and things go back to “normal” (whatever that means), the victim clings on to the hope that, “OK, Now we will build, we will work together to make a happier life for both of us…”. This ebb and flow is one of the things that keeps victims of abuse in the relationship.
One of the examples I found on the definition of “ebb and flow” seems so appropriate for this post.
“A play’s focus and retreat from the central conflict.”
That is so right on! The main event in an abusive relationship is “ebb’, defined as “receding”. The “ebb” periods are those where our relationships regress. There is decline. The flow of the relationship occurs between the tense moments.
When this ebb and flow is repetitive, it becomes a pattern. That pattern is the difference between a normal healthy relationship with ups and downs, and an abusive relationship with the ebb and flow pattern of forgetting the pain of the previous abusive incedent as the new one, the new tide (tsunami?), arrives.
A crowbar can be used to fix things or destroy things. For example, it can be used as part of fixing a flat tire, or nudging something into place. It can of course be used to destroy too. Well, yesterday my wife and I went to councilor number 1. He, as always, tries to use building techniques that are meant to bring us closer together. Our assignment as of last night, was to realize that any “problem” “WE” may have, is a mutual one. That means that if there is an issue that needs resolving, we communicate “with” each other, NOT “against” each other, to find a solution. My wife reluctantly agreed and the session was over.
This morning, my wife, on the respected advice of a mutual friend went to see another therapist. It seems that this therapist has somehow taken my wife away from the “building” techniques of councilor number one, and instead has introduced a crowbar to pry us apart. In other words, her abuse towards me started to come on full steam! We’ll see what tomorrow brings on. Councilor number 2 it seems for now in any case, has introduced the crowbar and a path to destruction!
As this was her first session there, I will wait a few weeks, and a few more sessions to see if perhaps this is merely a process of allowing my wife to vent her anger and frustrations. I truly hope the initiative will be taken to get “my side of the story”. I will certainly be sure that that concept is at least presented to the second therapist. Hmmm, I guess that is part of my own healing in this, in that I will no longer tolerate the abuse for the long term. Good for me…