How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board

The CatBox Archives

 

(Archives)

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Back to Normal

 My Story: Getting Back to Normal

April 9, 2003

Hi,

Today my verbally abusive boyfriend of 6 months finally moved his things out of the house due my constant insistence. He didn't want to go and hung on, all the while swinging back and forth between adoring me like no one ever had and criticizing me more and more about things I never even thought were a problem with anyone. Like the dishwater in the sink being a certain level for you to have really clean dishes. What was that about but it did wear on my self esteem without me even knowing it had? I told him I was busy getting my master's degree and didn't have time to attend the Betty Crocker school of dishwashing. I would stand up for myself, but I was still a willing participant as long as he remained in my life. My responsibility.

Almost as soon as we met...he moved in, he was going through a divorce, selling his house yada, yada, yada. Yes, I made a mistake. I am an educated 45 year old artist who owns her own home in the country and must have seemed like a godsend to him. Hmmm. Little did I know what lay ahead was the same verbal abuse and shouting that I survived as a child in my own home.

I always thought I had a good heart and could handle all sorts of tough situations probably because of the breeding ground I grew up in, but this man Bob, really knocked me for a loop. It was his way or I was selfish, or he'd attack my credibility as an artist, a woman. Nothing was off limits to him and he did not debate fairly. Even my religion was brought up once or twice in his negative mudslinging comments. All the while telling me I was too sensitive, I should laugh at myself, lighten up as he continued to put me down. That was the turning point because I knew deep down that he was a vicious person if he was putting down something I could not control like my heritage.

After that day last month, I began telling him he would have to plan to leave but he'd blow up, stomp around the house and he'd say that he'd loose me to another man if he didn't live here with me. Heck, I hadn't had a boyfriend in over a year before him, I assured him men weren't falling out of the trees but to no avail. He'd whine about where was he going to live even though he had money from his house sale. I figured he must have loved me if he didn't want to go but he just wanted to stay to keep abusing me.

Anyway, I finally rented out the room he worked on his computer in, while he was playing a video game last Friday. That was that! Smart move but also I was pretty racked with quilt. That soon subsided when he went into the next phase...

telling me I misinterpreted his words. I don't know.. but how many ways can you misinterpret you are a terrible, terrible cook. I'm just telling you the truth. Hmmm. Not too many ways to misread that statement. As it turned out, he never would have left if I hadn't made it clear that I was through and his cushy game room was gone. I'm finally so proud of myself tonight.

Wow, what a close call emotionally and spiritually. I really did not know so clinically how extraordinarily charming these abusive men can be.

They've really got the whole act down and yes, my self esteem was a bit low at the time I met him as I was stressed about my finances and other unresolved issues. But boy did he clear things up and snap me into reality about how much I actually have going for me. I began seeing an incredible counselor 2 weeks ago who had me pay attention to my breathing when I spoke to her of this man. By week 3 I came in and told her he was out. Tonight he picked up his possessions and the little bit he left to come back for next week...I'm gathering up and putting into a storage facility. bob, be gone!

I was looking for some support instead of missing his face and hoping it was out there; a way to clear out the confusion that he'd poisoned my life with for 6 months and now I know that I was in a verbally abusive relationship. I guess it can happen to anyone at anytime who has not dealt with their childhood issues and I am grateful for your website's clarity and support and my dear friends. I really did not know what I'd been through until I read your warning signs and symptoms or a verbally abusive relationship.

Thank you so much,

sincerely yours,

Tina

Dear Tina,

I'm glad you are getting back to normal! I'm glad you found support and education here. I also suggest you take a look at this exceptionally informative new book by a man who counsels abusive men. Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft.  

Thanks for writing, and I wish you continued success! My warmest regards, Doc