Wow there are so many good points and observations made here. Thank you all so much for allowing this discussion to evolve and give me so much to consider.
Thanks you Liese, Jones, Monte, PF, Summer, DBS, Yaku, GG, Erica and Jillann. Muah to all of you.
The only validation I got once a few weeks ago was when T said that if he knew how much this would have affected me he would have told me she was coming. I think I was so shocked to hear this that I could not even respond and just let the remark pass.
I have wondered if she was the pushy one until I remember that NO ONE pushes my T around. He is just not that type of person. He is the man of the family and makes the decisions type of person. Yet, I do think at times that he is trying to steer her into doing something productive and earning some kind of living. She had a degree in another field but has never worked at all in the past 25 years. She spent her time jumping horses and spending her time in "society". My T is not wealthy. That is not his lifestyle. I think he also refers clients to her if they have an ED or need nutritional guidance.
I would love for her to be "gone" but I know that will never happen and it would be useless to think it was possible. I think some of what Liese touched on is relevant. I know that if the choice came down to her or me... I would be the one that would "lose". So I tread carefully because it's my T's boundary to hold and I have little to say about it. But it does touch on the child who carries the pain of never being the chosen one. Always being the one ignored or abandoned.
I keep questioning myself about my feelings for my T but I cannot find any evidence of an erotic transference. I just don't have those kinds of feelings towards him. I am attached to him and even love him but it's more like a parental love from a child. The same child who wants to be special and important to someone. But that ship has sailed when I was a toddler. My T says I'm important to him but I cannot feel it and think, "yeah, I'm important for 90 minutes a week" and am WAY down on your list of the real life important people. Then it all begins to feel hopeless and I give up trying to connect with him because it only brings me more pain if I do.
Jones, if I could just convince myself that I have a right to talk about my own personal feeling in relation to his wife being a trigger to emotional flashbacks I would. I would love to get past this because it's frankly destroying my therapy.
yaku...thanks for sharing your experience and for the hugs.
Liese you make a good point about the internet changing the possibility of a true blank slate kind of T. There is just so much info out there. Also, it's been said that PTSD patients do much better with transparency in the relationship. Makes it easier to trust.
I don't think that my T gave it enough thought when she moved in. It surprising to me that a T that is so aware of patient reactions was so obtuse on this issue. I used to be so relieved to arrive to see him. I would sit in reception and look around and read a magazine and take in the new surroundings after being with oldT. I would get there early just to allow being there to lower my stress and anxiety. Then one day I arrive and the furniture was different, the walls were painted a new color and there were new pictures on the wall. It had a distinctly feminine aura to it. I felt a bit uncomfortable with the changes and my radar was in high alert.
Then one day I walked in quite distressed because I was dealing with the grief of not being able to continue with my education for my master's degree and needed so badly to talk to him. Well for some reason I looked at the door next to his office and there was a HUGE new brass nameplate on the door with her name and then M.S. I was quite shaken and couldn't talk to T. I just shut down. I have never been able to talk to him about this since. That was over 2 years ago. I took her brochure and saw that she graduated just a few months before I got my B.S.
The office she uses is also used by a school psychologist who only works evenings. That person pays the rent. I highly doubt the wife pays any rent at all to the practice. At first to allay my fears he told me she didn't work on Mondays and that she saw patients on the hour which meant I wouldn't see her. That tamped down my anxiety for awhile until I began to see her on Monday all the time and then began to see them chatting outside.
You are right Monte. I just want some validation without him making all kinds of excuses for her presence there or telling me that the problem is not his wife. she is not a danger to me and she is very nice. That only makes me more angry and makes me feel like I have no right to feel this way. And then I get angry at T and can't do therapy. I need to figure out a way to get my therapy back on track.
Hi Jones... I do realize that many professionals have spouses in the office. Old T has his wife there and it was disastrous for me. So I specifically searched for a T with no spouse in the office and I thought I was safe with this T. I knew the other Ts in his suite and none were his wife. So I feel like I got blindsided. Your other point about the therapy space is well taken. I know my T feels that his office is the protected space for me but all the other places (reception, stairs, outside the building) are not protected and I'm on my own in those places.
Summer... yes, I felt so insignificant when he so abruptly ended my session to tend to the other client outside his door. I immediately ceased to exist for him and the change was too startling for me to manage so quickly. I'm sorry you experienced this as well.
I'm sorry if I forgot anyone. I truly want to thank you all. I hope I can find the strength and courage to face all of this head on and resolve it. So much is riding on it.