I See No Progress

I posted a photo I took of our living room here in the apartment last night. This is the first year in a very long time that we’ve even put lights up. I mean it wasn’t a huge project. I just got the lights from the basement and plugged each strand in to see if they worked. I found one that worked and B strung it up, like you see in the photo.

This is a new strand though. Some of the lights from the original strand went out. Kind of trivial but I’m sure there’s some sort of analogy there, even maybe some parallel to my life.

When I opened up yesterday’s post, to look at it just now, I noticed underneath of is a couple of older posts of mine. One of those posts is last year’s Thanksgiving post. You can read that one right here.

I read through it myself and I not only feel that my life is stagnant, I feel like I regressed. At least last year I had a list of things to be grateful for. This year I posted a photo and was glad that B wasn’t here.

That post is here if you want to compare.

I feel like I regress every single year and that I’m worse off now than I ever was.

I understand that some recent realizations about B, have contributed to feeling, probably, more depressed than I did at this time last year but that still equates to regression or at the very least stagnation.

When I look back at the things I’ve written in the past, I can see how many things about me had not or have not changed.

After the break up with the affair partner (AP), I went back and read things that I’d written to him and about him in my journals back when we had the first affair, which was in the 90s. Yes, I fucked up twice…with the same man no less.

The things I’d written back in the 90s, I was writing again in 2010, 2011 and some of 2012.

It’s alarming to see such a thing. I tend to put it out of my mind after a while but upon reading or realizing that I have the same patterns I’ve always had, it alarms me. It makes me want to be and do different. But then I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

I need therapy. But not just any therapy. i need a therapist who will be supportive and non-judgmental. One that will make room for my personality flaws or disorders or whatever you want to call them. I have ended up with therapists pretty much overall who expect me to behave like a neuro-typical, like someone who has not been severely psychological abused. And yes, I have asked before going to see these so called therapists if they have experience with the very shit that is ‘wrong’ with me.

My preemptive strikes don’t seem to make any difference and I end up with a therapist who might help someone who is grieving a one time loss but has no clue how to help someone who’s been gas lit by passive aggressive assholes all her life. And they don’t seem to understand that yes, the traits fucking rub off.

I have them too. I have narc traits. I can be passive aggressive. I rage. I don’t trust easily.  Depression doesn’t have a quick fix. I’ve done things I’m not proud of and feel guilt and shame.  The therapist I had before going into DBT hell, was judgmental of something I’d told her and had no clue how to validate and most of the time after I finished talking she’d sit there with a look on her face that made it look like she felt sorry for me.

I don’t fucking need their pity. I need their help.

I’m sitting here getting all worked up writing that and the thought process here is triggered by the fact that I have an appointment with a new therapist and I feel like I’ve set myself up for more disappointment and maybe more damage.

She caught me off guard on Wednesday (day before Thanksgiving) with a return phone call. She asked if I had questions but I froze and couldn’t think of any. So I just told her a bit about me and my background as well as what’s going on presently.

I prefaced that with, “Well, how ’bout I tell you a little bit about myself and then you can tell me if you think you can help or not.”

She said, “Okay.” But when I finished, she jumped right to, Okay so let’s set up an appointment. Are you available during the day?”

I answered her question and then said, “Do you have any feedback for what I just told you?”

I don’t remember now exactly what she said because I was too busy feeling a ton of doubt about her. I should’ve hung up but I set an appointment anyway.

I then asked her if she’s familiar with the term ‘family scapegoat.’ I do remember enough to know that she said she’s worked with people with childhood trauma. The WAY she said some things, came off a bit like my mother. So that’s a red flag.

She told me we can’t really know if we’re a good match until we meet. I knew that was bullshit, but I said nothing. Like I said, I could not think of any good questions. I mean, I spit out a couple asking if she was experienced with childhood trauma and scapegoats, but I didn’t walk away satisfied that I wouldn’t be wasting my time going to see her.

She also said that the person who referred me seemed to think we were a good match, so we probably are.


She didn’t even ask who referred me. I got the referral by calling my insurance to get names of therapists who were covered. I got a list of therapists. It had nothing to do with a good match. So she seems a bit disconnected and the usual not so great therapist.

I’m expecting nothing to be honest. In fact I probably have the wrong attitude altogether because I’m on the complete opposite of the ‘hope’ spectrum. I kind of expect to walk out, telling her that I won’t be coming back.

Before talking to her I also talked to a male therapist who I think is probably old enough to be my father. I didn’t get to ask him questions either and just summed up my background and present life.  He was leaving for a couple weeks for the holiday and will be back the first week in December.

I would like to meet with him too but not sure how I can do that without first deciding against the other therapist. I guess I’ll call my insurance and see how that works or IF it works.

I get a better vibe from the man than I do the woman. But then I’ve been wrong before.

I want to circle back to what I said about realizations about B. I have come to understand that he is really passive aggressive in a chronic and probably a pathological way. I also know and understand that he has been this way for a long time, since childhood to be exact. We’ve talked about it and he has admitted to being this way since then.

He has said that he didn’t understand that that’s what he is/was doing but has now that he knows something about it, he can see how he was that way as a kid too.

That being said though, he may very well have become even more so with me. And that’s because of my own control issues. I did not develop control issues upon moving in with B. I had those issues looooong before I even met him.

So a PA and a control freak move in together. Um, it can’t help but be toxic. I’ve done some intense blaming lately of him, after years of believing that it’s 100% all me that is the problem here. But I have responsibility too, despite having C-PTSD, I can’t just lay all of our problems on his lap.

Much of the time we’ve lived together, I’ve found something wrong with so many things that he’s done or does. Even the smallest shit like putting something in the wrong drawer and reacting in a way that is disproportionate to the offense. Which isn’t really an offense is it? It’s just being human.

I also think there have been some ‘rule changes’ as well. Like I’ll get mad at him for throwing something away but then when I find something sitting there because he’s not sure of whether to throw it away or not, I get mad that he didn’t just chuck it.

One solution would be to simply ask and he does that sometimes. But there are times that he assumes, goes with that and doesn’t bother asking. I’m not just talking about whether to throw something away or keep it here either. That was just an example of one thing.

Being financially dependent on him, not doing much but sitting around watching YT or reading, is pretty passive aggressive too.

I’m not in denial. There is no doubt he’s been PA and as a result has put me in a spin of confusion as his lies are usually that of information omission.

I also know that saying that you forgot is passive aggressive. And in some cases I think this holds true for B. But I also do think there’s some legit forgetfulness given the stress of walking on eggshells around me. He’s said to me in the past that I make him feel like he can do nothing right.

I was thinking about that last night in relation to my recent understanding of his passive aggression. And in relation to my behavior. I can pin point one incident at the beginning of us living together that I would say started the whole dynamic.

He was folding clean rags in the basement instead of bringing them upstairs to fold them, which I would’ve preferred.  As he folded them, he put them in a pile on top of the drier he’d just gotten them out of. But we were in the process of cleaning and I knew that the top of the drier was dirty and dusty.

I got pissed when I saw this and my reaction was of a disproportionate amount. I screamed so loud and intensely, it was a screech. Anyone else would’ve said, “Yo look! I’m not gonna put up what that shit. I don’t deserve to be screamed at like that. You have a problem, talk to me in a civil way and with respect.”

My point is that it’s become a never ending cycle. To me most of the things he does that bothers me seem like common sense. But the answer is not in screeching at him for it. I’ve just created an even MORE passive aggressive guy.

And as he’s become more PA, I’ve become more controlling.

That being said though, I have not become more controlling only because of his defense against it. It’s also a result of being financially dependent on someone else and I don’t see that as his fault at all.

When I start to think in such a way where I’m looking at myself and what my actions have been to contribute to the dynamic, and then talk to someone about it, I expect one of two things. Either the person will think of me as making excuses for HIM and that he is actually abusive or just see what I’ve done and said and judge me as the abusive one.

But I don’t see either one to be true. Although I probably have more shitty feelings about myself than I do about him, I can see the toxic cycle we are in pretty clearly. It’s not a case of denial to the point where I think he’s all good and I”m all bad.  I think I went through that when I first discovered how bad his PA behavior actually are. Seeing his behavior for what it is, helped me to see where some of my reactions are coming from.

PA remarks can feel like punches to the gut and leave you very confused.  So yeah, although he’s a quiet guy and I’m the one flying off the handle, yelling, he’s no innocent.  So I do see it.  But I’m not fault free here either.

Even though, it’s helpful and awakening, to see and understand the toxic behavior of someone else toward you, true progress doesn’t come from focusing on someone else and their behaviors. It comes from seeing, understanding and working hard to change your own.