Counseling could be very beneficial for you. I understand that much of your past is difficult to speak about. Ironically, that is precisely why counseling would be good for you.
You experienced trauma in your past relationship. It makes sense that you are now having trouble with the prospect of new and future relationships. You may also be experiencing depression symptoms. Your desire to isolate may be a sign of depression. The fact that you feel “awkward, ugly and disconnected” may be another sign. Feeling disconnected could also be a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The fact that you are easily startled may also be indicative of PTSD.
In your letter, you provided a logical rationale for why you should attend treatment. “I want my kids to grow up with a healthy, normal parent, I don’t want them to have any emotional problems from having such a weird mother.” Children see their parents as role models. They often learn how to behave based on how they see their parents behave. If a parent has depression, their children may be more likely to experience it at some point in their lives compared to children whose parents do not have the disorder. If you would like to read more about depression and its effect on children, please click here.
Counseling may be difficult but it is the right course of action. You’ve experienced significant trauma in your life. These experiences need to be dealt with for the purpose of improving the quality of your life and increasing your chances of a healthy relationship in the future. It is the right thing to do. It is also the responsible choice and it can help you immensely.
Lastly, one very important quality to note is your resiliency. Despite an unhappy and abusive marriage, you managed to continue your career, finish your education and purchase a home for your family. Those are major life accomplishments. You’ve done very well despite a difficult history. Now you are faced with another challenge in your life. This time, you may need assistance and support and that is why I am recommending therapy. Here is a link to Psychology Today. It may be able to help you locate a therapist in your community. Thanks for your question. I wish you well.