counselling: anger inbetween sessions(13 Posts)
Hi, I've posted a couple of times about ongoing issues with the DH-MIL-ME triangle and I've recently started counselling sessions for the second time in 2 years this time with a male counsellor.
He seems much more direct than my previous counsellor and doesn't advise but says it how it is. As a result I'm leaving sessions feeling absolutely livid with DH and then taking it all out on him once I'm home.
Eg Today I blew my top when I walked in to see DH after counselling as my counsellor pointed out that I'm complaining that MIL subtly controls DH and yet I'm being subtly controlled by DH (after Id talked through recent events).It had never occurred to me before today and yet it's so obvious. That DH silencing me about my MIL problems has actually created a huge wedge in important relationships and friendships with other people because I wasn't being honest with them or being myself. He also said that DH and I don't communicate (DH won't talk and I'm sick of trying) and that he should actually be counselling him, not me. This made me furious because I'm dragging myself to counselling every week trying to fix our relationship and change myself when all along he's the stubborn, bone idol, ignorant, mummy's boy-jerk. Sorry I'm just so angry. How do I channel this aggression between sessions? And is my counsellor perhaps being too direct during sessions?
On,y you can answer the direct question, but saying it as it is seems to have activated something in you that's making you much less passive.
If your seeing things in a new light and your emotions are reacting to that, then your anger is a long time coming. Rather then being reactive maybe start being more active, and channel this forward momentum in to where you need to go with this new information.
Maybe when seeing the counsellor again discuss his directness, and talk through these new feelings, I think it sounds like you have just woken from the fog lovely.
Your reaction seems completely normal. You are seeing the truth, it angers you and you won't pretend everything is fine. Good.
Your counsellor is doing a great job of helping you to see the truth of the situation.
I think it's good that I'm seeing things from a new angle, but I literally walked in and said "my counsellor has said he should be counselling you not me, so when are you going to make your fucking appointment?" This is after things have been fine for a good couple of weeks now. My DH was in total shock. I get that I may be angry after sessions, but I'm not so good at channeling it in a positive way.
I also said "and it's not surprising that you can't see your mother's controlling ways when you won't let me talk to who I want about out problems. I'm telling all out fucking friends what's been going on from now on...."
DH was just like.... where did all this come from?! Total shock. I'm shocked myself. I sped home to get back as fast as I could so that I could lay into him. This isn't really a healthy way to deal with my anger is it?
Sorry op I'm rather amused this end
How do you think you should handle this ? My question is before you grew a pair so to speak
How was the old way working out for you? Seems to me you've stopped shall we say fucking around,
And cut to the chase, I wouldn't keep questioning it to be honest, how about let's see how your dh handles it.
How's he going to cope with the new improved you, let's put it this way your counsellor isnt interested
In taking weeks charging you to gaze at your navel. Seems to me you've been doing a lot of that and got no answers.
You've been looking internally for some time I reckon, it's not you its him, this is what the counsellor is getting at. Looks like he's pointed out the obvious, and your now confused, because maybe you was led to believe it was all on you.
What do you think would be a "positive way" of handling your justifiable anger? [Confused]
Has he made the fucking appointment? I do hope you have started telling everyone.
Did he really ask where has this come from? How inflammatory is that! It has come from him behaving badly and you deciding you have had enough of it. FFS you are needing therapy to deal with the shit he and his family are dumping on you, and you had just got home from your counselling session.
But the problem to him is you getting angry and demanding change, not his behaviour. Jesus wept.
Okay as a word of warning I personally would beware any therapist who said they should have the partner in front of them and not the client they had
Be sure the thoughts and conclusions you are drawing are your own
Yeah, I thought that too Ronald. I thought that was quite incendiary.
Her anger is justified but I think if a counsellor says something so triggering then he should at least talk about the tools to deal with anger in between sessions.
My counsellor and I once talked at length about her role in our counselling. She asked me how I saw it and I said,
you ask pertinent questions about my experiences to draw me out so you are not just a passive listener, how are you with other clients, and is your way of handling me any different?
Obv she was not able to talk about her other clients only to generalise and say, if I think some people need more help expressing I will ask more questions
I actually asked her because I trusted her, to point out the big and obvious ways that my behaviour might have me going over a cliff, but I was not in counselling because of someone who was currently in my life, but my mother who wasn't because I chose that. My counselling was all about not having trustworthy people in my life, like ever, and I told my counsellor that sometimes I really needed the counselling to skirt the territories of advice or at least a heavy hint that behaviour I was proposing might not be in my best interests. But then I am in my 40's, we knew each other fairly well by that point, I trusted her, and more to the point, my request was generated by me, you know? I really needed someone to grab me by the lapels, as much as counsellors ever would or should do that.
I just get the feeling your counsellor may have crossed a boundary there and has activated anger in you in ways that you are struggling to handle, and are expressing inappropriately. It's ok to be angry, it's not ok to take it out on someone when you get home. I'm not saying you are wrong to feel anger, but your spouse may feel it's you and the counsellor against him now. And if he has an abusive mother then he probably has not got the skills to deal with this effectively. Not excusing him at all love, I have a nightmare MIL and a spouse in denial some of the time.
I've taken all the advice on board. Thanks everyone. I think what I will do is tell my counsellor what happened after our counselling session this week and see what he says. I will be able to judge whether he's worth staying with from there. It's more difficult with a male counsellor I'm some ways as I'm not sure he cam fully understand the mundane depths of PND which has a large bearing on all that'd happened. He looks at me with puzzlement at times I feel. I've had 2 previous female counsellors and always felt like they 'got' me and that they liked me. I'm not sure this one likes me that much. Just a feeling I get...
I think gut feelings are right and you should maybe find someone else. Have a look at counsellors in your area online, they should list their specialisms on their page. I don't know whether your counsellor has mentioned the term Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or has described your MIL as toxic. Have a look at this link
and see if it rings any bells. If it does I would advise you look for a female counsellor who knows what NPD is, you can phone up a few and see if you seem to gel with any over the phone. Females with NPD often go after other females in special ways, and yes, maybe only a female could really get that. I wish you boundless luck chaka
My counsellor had a mother with NPD herself, and while she never mentioned it when talking to me it came up in our first phone conversation. I never felt I needed to explain myself to her, quite the opposite. She was on my side. There was often a wry grin and a raised eyebrow when I was describing something abusive that would seem to other ears as just plain petty or insignificant. I used to think "you know me lady, you've been there"
I think you're right, women have a different level of understanding of 'women's issues.' I have been on that website before and read a couple of books- my MIL shows strong traits of NPD and DH fits the bill of golden child and a lot of his qualities match the traits of the golden child too. Ive been in touch with a female life coach this morning who has been strongly recommended to me by a friend. Apparently she's extremely empathetic so I will see how counselling goes with my male counsellor this week and go from there.
I'm not sure it's working as he talks quite a lot. I'll be mid-flow when he'll interrupt me and give an analogy of something for often 5-10 minutes so I've lost my rythm by the time he finishes. I love counsellor input but it often feels like I don't get to have my say.
Aw man, you are aware and that is so significant. You go out there and find someone who you can talk to, you deserve that. Persevere, you can make it through. I would encourage him to go to a counsellor too. He sounds like he needs it. I'm trying to suggest to my husband that he should give it a go. At least he could have a safe venue in which to talk about the ways I piss him off. I am sure there are many in number and to which I am highly oblivious. I come with baggage, my mum was NPD and so is his. I hope you get some lovely person who can help you with the PND, I am not a mother but I think if I was I probably would be highly susceptible to it, and I do not discount the distress it must bring. I have seen the effect on my sisters, i don't discount it. I wish you all the best. If you need somewhere to talk, with the support of others, I highly recommend the "Cannot communicate with batshit" thread about NPD people, not so much a mother and MIL bashing thread as a safe platform for angsty feelings. You're doing good, you're trying, that is so positive
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