Yesterday my therapist referred to my situation as a "trauma field". In other words, I'm trying to heal and rest while the bombs are still going off, and the mines are still active.
Today in couple's therapy I heard the hum of that trauma field grow louder. The last few days Roi spoke gently, tread softly, and was more or less caring and humane. I have not initiated conversations about "us" or bothered to think about what he's doing when he's not with me. We circled each other carefully.
In therapy stuff started coming up, because that's what you do in therapy, but as I heard Roi's usual responses to my upsets I felt the pain, the rage, the panic, the physicalness of it clench down on my skull, my ribcage, my stomach. Roi was hammering away at how my responses to his "wrongs" were so overblown. As he expanded and expanded his analogy of just how enormous my reactions are, comparing them to nuclear bombs and wastelands and scorched earth -- I don't know exactly what he said because once I started hearing "nuclear" I couldn't hear anything anymore and I said sharply, "I can NOT listen to this. I cannot listen to this. For two reasons. 1) My reactions were not "overblown" for a long time, yet your actions and reactions have remained the same, and 2) we've already established I'm suffering from acute and complex PTSD and I've given you that."
I'm not sure I would have ever done such a thing in therapy before, to interrupt the other person, but frankly I was astonished and angry that the therapist wasn't calling him out on this. After all, she had called me out on being "absolute" earlier.
Her response was to say that she thinks couple's therapy is not good for me right now. That I am too early into my treatment and need to be "stabilized". Which? True. This isn't good for me because I can't HEAR him. All I hear when he starts going off about MY response is a loud hum in my head and I want to break something. And what I want in that moment is for someone to hold Roi accountable for his behavior. In couple's therapy it is still me that has to be accountable. "Yes, I'm doing this to take care of myself. Yes, I'm committed to my therapy. Yes, I'll do that. Yes, yes, yes." while Roi sits on the other side of the couch and for every request that is made on him he has a litany of excuses, "no I haven't been totally honest with my sponsor, but that isn't really the problem. I would think about going to therapy IF I could afford it. I would do this, if that."
So the upshot is that I have to continue to do my hard work, Roi may or may not do anything different, but he IS going to go away for three weeks for some peace and quiet and we're calling an absolute truce in the meantime. No discussion of the relationship. No decisions. No sex. No RELATIONSHIP, just a putting down of the guns.
I can do that. I've been doing that.