If any of your were wondering if I went back after my first counseling session, wonder no more. I did. I was more comfortable than I was the first time, now that she knows the secret about my double life. I decided that I wouldn't bring up the blog or AM again unless she asked, and she didn't ask this session. She had more questions about DauntlessD and JJ and "others," but nothing I couldn't easily handle and nothing too probing.
That session, though, was all about my childhood and growing up years - Not my choice, I can assure you that.
I considered skipping this update because I'm really not interested in sharing my life details with the world, and there are many things about my younger years that would make me immediately identifiable to anyone who knows me in the real world, but a promise is a promise.
First, let me say that I cringe at the phrase "younger years." It implies that I'm now in my "older years," and while the same can be said for anyone living, I suppose, I resent the implication. These are great years! In spite of the issues I have at home, they sure do beat my "younger years."
Anyway, back to the session......
I went back though my childhood and young adult years answering her questions as best I could. Parents? Deceased. Was I close to my parents? To my mother, yes. To my father, no. Siblings? Alive and distant. Children? All but one still living (and, no, I won't talk about it). Abuse as a child? Yes. Sexual abuse? Yes.
Let's stop here for a minute. The number of women I know who were sexually abused as girls or teens is very high. It's much more common, I believe, than most people want to admit. So, if you are one of those out there who is still holding on to that secret, do yourself a favor and let it go. Find a counselor and talk about it and let that burden lift a bit, ok? By the way, the same goes for men who were sexually abused. The stigma of talking about it feels much worse for you guys, which makes it even more important that you say something to someone. You are not alone. You really aren't.
I was hoping that maybe she would be ok with not knowing the details, but I knew that was unreasonable. I was prepared when I walked in that day to have to re-live a bit of the non-fun stuff from my younger years, but that didn't make it much better.
(For those of you hoping that this would be an amusing post, I apologize. As much as I thought about it and tried, I simply couldn't find a way to make child molestation funny. It's just not.)
The counselor made an interesting segue from keeping secrets in childhood to keeping secrets now. Ah, now that would have been an interesting revelation if I weren't already aware of the connection.
She wanted to know what secrets I keep from hubby. "Let's make a list," she said. It didn't look like she had enough paper, but I was willing to go with it. I started with the obvious - JJ, "others," the blog, lots of details around my prowling. The list continued until I finally thought we had exhausted all the secrets.
Then she dropped the bomb. "You know, Kat, when you start couples therapy in a few weeks, you're going to have to give up your secrets. We have a 'no secrets' policy here for couples therapy. It will be completely ineffective unless you both are willing to give up your secrets to each other."
Here's the issue I have with her 'no secrets' policy - Who says that having absolutely *no* secrets from your spouse is the recipe for a happy marriage? Ok, I'll concede that the infidelity thing may not fit into this category and I'll also concede that I ahve more secrets from him than I should, but I am pretty certain that all couples in long term marriages have some secrets from each other. They may be small things (how much she really spent on that sofa, how many times last week he stopped for a beer with the guys after work, and the fact that one of the "guys" was really that secretary from accounting), but full disclosure of every single detail was not in the vows.
Ladies, how many of your husbands know your exact weight? Some will, some won't. Does that mean that those who do not disclose that are "secret keepers?" Oh please.
And guys, does your wife know you're reading this blog right now? Does she know how much you enjoy Cara's photos? Right. I didn't think so.
I don't believe that we give up all rights to own lives and our own private thoughts when we marry. And having our own lives and private thoughts doesn't mean the marriage is in trouble. In fact, one of the secrets to a successful long term marriage is giving your partner a little bit of space to be him/herself.
Okay, that's enough of the heavy stuff for now. So, what are your thoughts on secret keeping within a marriage?