Monday, February 07, 2005

The first appointment

Wow. I just came out of my first appointment with the counselor. Wow. A lot of this was him getting to know me and my situation, so I got to do a lot of (directed) talking about my life, my situation, my son, my family and so on. I liked him a lot. We talked some about the situation with the domestic abuse charges and I think he's pretty at ease with that. I don't think it's often that he hears about domestic abuse complaints where the police and prosecutor declined to press charges. We started to go into some of my wife's behavior, and he stopped me and said "let's stay with you for the moment". We went over my family history, my education level, my life experience, it seemed like just about everything. When we started talking about my wife's behavior and things that had happened, it helped that I had the names and phone numbers for our marriage counselors and at least one of my wife's counselors. I think the fact that what I say can be checked into helps a lot.

At the end I told him that I had been doubting myself about the whole situation. I asked him if I was being unreasonable or if I was seeing things that weren't there. He said he felt I'd been very reasonable and that the important thing was that I should not blame myself for what had happened. I told him that I was angry at her family for pretending nothing was wrong and he said that it's common for families to ignore or turn a blind eye towards schizophrenia.

His opinion of my wife was that he felt that if even half of what I told him was true that an evaluation should be performed. He also said that the fact that I was afraid of how she'd react should not deter me. He's right, if I think there's a problem, I can't fail to do something because it's not just she and I involved, there's our son to consider.

As I left I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I guess in part it's that I pretty much laid everything out and I felt like he evaluated it all and let me know that I shouldn't blame myself.

As I sat in my car I suddenly found tears in my eyes. A lot of it was relief, both at just telling it all and discovering that my experience with the possible mental illness of a spouse is not uncommon. I finally got the tears to stop and called my attorney to leave a message. I told her that I'd had my first appointment, that I'd liked him a lot, and that I'd given him permission to talk to her if she felt she needed to. I also told her that he told me that we should definitely have my wife evaluated.

I'll keep you updated...