Last night, Buddy joined me at my therapy session. It was a little weird because my therapist was running about 20 minutes late, and it was kind of awkward to not know how long to wait. I knew I had an appointment - it had been confirmed, but this had never happened before, and she doesn't have a receptionist in the building, so...? Buddy was about 15 minutes late, so we wanted 5 minutes together and decided we'd only wait 5 more, and she opened the door about 2 minutes later. So, better late than never.
It was kind of strange to be there with him. I had told him a couple months ago about the types of things I've talked about because I didn't want him to be caught off guard by any topic that might come up, but it felt odd to have him there. Normally, the session is just a conversation, more or less, between me and my therapist. She'll ask how I'm doing and if anything in particular is bothering me, and then we just kind of have a conversation until a topic sticks and then she might ask me to elaborate. She basically leads me through talking to a solution or clarity on whatever it is I'm working through. With Buddy there, I didn't have any specific agenda with him there - it was just so meaningful to have his support in the room. It took a little longer to start the conversation, but some really good things did come out of it.
We talked for a bit about how Buddy handles things and how we kind of react to each other. For a while now, I've had a hard time wrapping my head around how this can be such a traumatic thing for me and he can just be like, "it is what it is." The fact of the matter is, he IS sad, but something that's probably as basic as the difference between men and women allows for him to not think about his biological clock constantly. He's also not surrounded by a community (on The Bump, through blogs, on Facebook) of women that remind him of the situation. It's not a bad thing that that community is around me, it just is. I also had no idea that he actually is comfortable telling people that we aren't having kids and indicating that fertility is the reason. I know he has told people we aren't having them, but last night he said that his coworkers know it's because we can't (yes, I realize we chose not to do treatments, but left on our own, we consider ourselves unable, or at the very least highly unlikely, to have them).
In the beginning of our infertility experience, we talked about it often. I mean, it was hard not to. It was on our minds a lot and it was an incredibly emotional time in our home. But it fell out of his thinking much more quickly than it did mine. I don't bring it up much because I don't want him to feel bad because the bulk of our infertility is on his side. What I didn't know is that he doesn't bring it up not because he feels badly or because he doesn't think about it, but because he doesn't want to "trigger" me. From the conversation with the therapist, he's a lot more aware of when I'm triggered than I thought he was. I keep a lot of it to myself because sometimes, I have a bad week and everything gets to me, but apparently I'm far more transparent - at least to my husband - than I thought. So basically, in the same way I'm been shielding him from my emotions, he's been trying to help my in his own way by avoiding upsets. I think moving on from here, we can be more open and communicate more feelings and know that they're not bad to express and we aren't going to hurt each other with them.
Anyway, the very exciting thing for me is that I graduated from therapy. The last couple of sessions before this one have been less emotional and I didn't feel like I had as much "stuff" to talk about. We still talked obviously, but I didn't come into those sessions with a mental list of things that I wanted to cover. So we decided that we'll just play it be ear, and see how it goes. I didn't make my next appointment, and I don't intend to. I know I'm welcome to contact my therapist if I have a small issue that I want perspective on, and she asked me to keep in touch. I feel incredibly lucky to have found her, because I think she was just the right fit for me. I'll be forever grateful for her help and guidance. As cheesy as it may sound, she is a part of this process for me, and she'll always be thought of in kind regards as a big reason that we were able to get through this time. It was the absolute best thing I could have done for myself. It's the end of yet another phase for me, but I'm looking forward to taking what I've learned and reflected on carrying it with me.