Comments for Yukky Comment
here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a
substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.
When I read the letter from "A Voice", I saw a defensive tone in the words. Merely sending the letter demonstrates defensiveness --- If the topic at hand is not threatening, folks can easily "surf on" to a more interesting website. Pointing a finger at your "ego" is another prime example of a defensive feeling. Your ego, or your influence as an authority figure, is quite irrelevant.
What is relevant is the letter-writer's defensiveness. Such defensiveness would mean that the letter-writer felt somehow threatened or attacked. Something in those few words reminded me of reactions I've seen, in both men and women, to the women's equality movement, where people have felt threatened by the prospect of unsettling change.
Just as there are many who use feminism as a weapon to justify their behavior, some people are easily triggered into crying "Abuse!" when they feel their emotional agenda has been threatened. In every instance, in every social advancement, in every 12-step movement, there are those who exploit the system. So be it. The exploitation does not take away the intrinsic value of the system itself, nor does it affect the truth that brought about the system.
The truth is, some people are abusive in their behavior. Some people are abused. A person who feels threatened by those facts ought to examine their own feelings about the issue. ("Why is this threatening to me? What is it about this that frightens me? How does this relate to me?")
I think the letter from "A Voice" says more about "A Voice" than it does about you, your ego, your website or anyone who participates here. -Cybervoice
Well Cybervoice, we agree. Fully. Typically I disregard stuff like this, but since I'm in the business of helping people fix themselves, when I see a letter like this, I see a person in trouble - who has no clue how they are creating their own trouble. Moreover, if this person feels this way, you can bet there are others out there who likewise agree. Persons prone to abuse / abusing in particular are prone to this type of thinking, invoking it and / or treading very lightly to avoid eliciting it. Very, very sad stuff.
I originally printed the letter thinking those familiar with my views would understand how something like this fits into the paradigm of empowerment / disempowerment as well as of not getting defensive when attacked, since stuff like this really doesn't matter. I didn't realize how many people needed me to fill in the blanks. When Asha voiced her questions, I took the opportunity to explain.
Since I did take the time to explain, I do hope the writer and / or sympathizers use this opportunity to take a look inside themselves. It makes absolutely no difference to me; but it can make all the difference in the world to them.
Thanks for your "validation." Giggle!.
i think this is a very important issue as well. and i think where some confusion comes in about validation vs. being manipulated is that i think we are social animals. we want people to work with, share a joke with, share our day with, share our hopes dreams and desires. this occurs on many many levels in all areas of our lives. think on all the people you know at work, from the organization standpoint - where you don't even know everyone's name - down to the person you sit next to or your boss or whatever. think of your family from the cousins you may have met only once to your children or whatever other members you are in regular contact with. think of your friends that you kvetch with vs. the guy at the counter where you buy your coffee every morning.
as a species we have created organizations, governments, even this board over the internet - connecting with people around the world as a community. we seem to need this. this looks very much like who we are.
in many spiritual traditions, it is said that our lives are a 'mirror reflection' of ourselves. we connect with people who represent or harmonize with various aspects of ourselves. we seem to need to see ourselves reflected, as it were, in the people and the world around us. certainly this gives us some distance from ourselves. how many times have each of us seen someone do or say what we have done or said and realized the implications of it - for good or ill? how many of us have seen someone say or do something and then we decide to incorporate that into who we are? it could be writing a book, singing a song or just listening.
and on this board, as in other places, we learn how we are responsible for our interactions, how much of ourselves we put into our interactions and reactions. so as we live in guilt and pain, we find others who will manipulate us using that, as we manipulate ourselves and others. giving others the power to hurt or protect us - as dr. irene says.
in our interactions, it is much easier sometimes to have a firm opinion to 'bounce up against', to use to see what our own truth is about it. and especially with the issue of abuse and codependency, whether abuser or abused, to have someone put words to what we have been feeling, is a huge relief. suddenly we are empowered, and many of us from that moment actively take charge of our lives again. in this case it is empowering to hear our inner voices reflected out here so clearly, telling us that what we have been going through is hurting us so deeply. Yes. Validation is very important early on... Before you can trust your own faint inner voice, you need to hear it from others.
as another example, it is fun to be with someone who enjoys going to the same kind of movies, or get ice cream. our enjoyment is reflected in the person we are with, and with their own unique contribution, is even amplified to some new levels. lynn loves pistachio, but joe never tried it. so he tries it and loves it! or not - :)
the point is, there are many things going on here. it is not cut and dried. even 10 years ago we were not as clear about abuse/codependency issues that we are now. 40 years ago, we were just beginning to deal with the issues of child abuse. even now there are new things being learned all the time about ourselves. what will we know about this issue in just 10 more years?
the other thing going on is that we seem to be always learning. so we make mistakes. and we are willing to work hard, and even experience pain, to reach our goals. how many of us exercise until we feel 'the burn'? or sacrifice our social lives to go back to school? or even a simple thing like wanting to get home quickly, and we go over the speed limit and get a ticket. we might be angry, but what if we saw, 5 minutes later, a child crossing the street right where we would have been if we hadn't been stopped? not all of us get that luxury of seeing the potential consequences of our mistakes, but whether because we get a ticket, or see that child, we will slow down. and all of us would agree that that is the right thing to do. Life is full of lessons. The lessons present themselves until they are mastered...
so we cannot say that it is wrong to experience pain or hurt - sometimes it is just what we need. on the other hand, in other situations, it might not be. Correct. There is no "right" or "wrong." There is choice. As we become aware of choice, we have the tools to counter habits we used in childhood - that no longer work for us.
is it any wonder that we as human beings get confused or surprised at what this all means? and why our relationships are so difficult sometimes? there is a saying that the doors of truth are guarded by the dragons of paradox and confusion.
dr. irene presents a strong voice which helps many of us clear the confusion we have been living in for so long, helps us hear our own inner voice which has been trying to get our attention for a long time. and yet if we continue to let her be our inner voice, we will once again fall into that confusion. Very correct. Each seeker's goal is to "write the book" instead of master another author's way.
i would say that we do not have all the answers yet. that we are in the process of learning about ourselves. if we knew the answers on how to be with each other, and with ourselves, we would have done it already. the key is being responsible. the key is owning our own voices and being true to who we are. True to the Self is key, at least in my book. the answer seems to be living in the paradox of believing dr. irene has all the answers and that she is learning herself. She has access to answers for herself, though she is continually learning. living in the confusion of when to agree with her and when not to. until we get to the truth. our inner truth, and then seeing there is really no paradox or confusion at all. The confusion you speak of is an integral part of the process. By "trying on" a position, you break out of the mold of old stuff that may not work for you. By trying it on, you are in a position to discard it or modify the framework to better suit you and your needs. The site content is intended to stimulate thought. It is not intended to create "followers."
god, that probably sounds so out there! :) Not at all. it is just difficult to put into words. Yet you did it very well. Thank you. it's like when i was with my 2nd h, i was so confused about how i needed to be to make him happy. no matter what i tried, it didn't work. and now that i see the truth - that there was no way i could be to make him happy, he has to make himself happy, there is no confusion anymore. :) it has literally disappeared. we have all had these experiences at one level or another in different places and times.
and how do we get there? well, when we get there. :) but it seems like what helps is interacting with each other. asking questions, hearing ourselves, hearing others, and being responsible for our own well-being, whatever that means to us. Sometimes we have to reassess what we think of as "well-being" too.
like i say, i don't have any answers. and i don't think anyone else does either. Each person may only provide answers for the Self. i believe this is a process we are all going through. so if anyone out there is discouraged or feels stuck, take heart, you are not alone. and it is not up to you to solve it, either. we are all in this together. the only thing that is up to each of us is our own happiness. and that is plenty. :)
thanks so much for all of you being here, and especially dr. irene. Thank you Char.
Hi Dr Irene,
Even in the later stages of recovery sometimes we revert back to previous poor behaviour like defensiveness don't we? You bet!
Well I recently realised how I still engaged, I still have a hard time not defending and standing up for my hurt but i know there is no future in beating on about the past, even when my X says that he did more. I know we both gave what we were capable of at the time. I was very very angry at him towards the end and so I did very little for him.
My biggest worry is getting all this right most of the time. I feel good about myself finally but I still sometimes get stuck in a yukky place when I am finding a task difficult and will beat myself up. That's part of the process. I also get confused about my therapist saying you can do all you need to. And I will ask "YES but I thought we all had talents and therefore some can do xxx and some can do xxxxx. So how can we all do everything we need." He said "NO, we all have talents but we have the ability to get all that we need from where ever we can. So maybe we can't do xxxx but we can ask someone else to do xxxx." So God gives us all we need but not all we want. That is so true.
Though one biggy for me is doing things for pay offs. I buy into guilt or obligation and fear cuz although I recognise them, I also recognise my fear if I refuse to do xxxx, then who will help me when I need help? I fear that if I say NO, then when I need someone else to say YES they won't. DR Irene how can I deal with this? For starters, stop assuming that others share your pay-off mind set.
My therapist said "This shouldn't be a bother cuz God will send all the help you need. Your therapist is asking you to trust in the Universe. A good thing. Many things you can do yourself anyway so you only need to rely on yourself, you just need to learn these things." WOW he has great confidence in me to learn all these things, but lots of the things the ones I want help with are things that need strength and therefore, this is why I don't like saying NO to my sister's partner or her cuz he helps me, though sometimes she asks me to lend her money. (SHE IS NOT GOOD AT PAYING BACK) I end up out of pocket therefore. Then, I suppose, as long as you remain in your present mind set, you will continue getting burned...
How can I feel and trust that I don't have to buy into guilt fear or manipulation or payoffs? (I read the Fog book already but it doesn't answer this question.)
Thanks and Dr Irene. I too have been defensive and so as most of us on this site though I never have known you to be defensive not obviously anyway, mainly objective. Oh, I have my days. Objectivity is a strong point. AND BRAVE as far as telling some of us the truth. At least the truth as I see it. Brave? I don't know... For another, it might seem stupid. But, for me, it works.
Dr. Irene's comments about validation as having the potential for both positive and negative influence struck a chord with me. For instance, I can see how I sought "validation" from abusive men for many years, somehow thinking that winning their "love" would overcome, once and for all, my abusive father's inability to love me unconditionally and "prove" that I was lovable. I felt great when they were trying to seduce me, and I felt terrible when they attacked or dumped me. I also see that I often chose the wrong therapists and "friends" because they validated my negative beliefs about myself. Ironically, it was only when I started to understand this process and my role in it that I began to seek validation from people who gave me positive and supportive (or at least constructive) feedback. Headed in the right direction! I understand that I was depending too much on negative or positive stuff from outside myself. But it is very difficult to make this transition if you grew up in a dysfunctional and abusive environment without boundaries, where you were blamed for other people's stuff and not given unconditional positive regard as a separate person. Exactly. Blame and responsibility was "normal" for you. In questioning that assumption, you are changing your life for the better. When you find a place you feel comfortable and secure in, you will be much less swayed by positive or negative regard from outside yourself.
I think Dr. Irene that the comment from the reader touched on a different point than your ego. What I have seen in the past is that you do the best you can with the time you have.
It isn't like you have 50 minutes one on one with any of us....well most of us anyway. Sometimes your comments "appear" off, but that is because everyone has their own past that tends to color what they read in a very one dimensional media such as email. True. Sometimes my comments are off, usually when I haven't understood the writer's position well enough. What I like about interactive boards is the opportunity they offer to correct some of this stuff.
So I think it is fair to say that you are trying the best you can to help others with a very difficult and sometimes painful situation. Let's give each other the benefit of the doubt, and keep trying to do no harm. Lets.
Giving power away...I am responsible, I am accountable .After six and a half years in recovery, AA, ACA, ISA and Al-Anon it is a lesson I am still learning. Me too. It's wonderful, isn't it! One of the teachers I learn from is you.
Thanks for being there for me!!! And thanks for the shiny, red apple!
"A VOICE IN THE SH&*HOUSE" :-D
Jesus Christ, Dr. Irene, if all this extrapolative (and I concede: "yukky") talking is what you enjoy doing, then I am just going to go my way, laughing -- and allow you to live with your assumptions and fears on this (what I personally find to be) grandiosely anal website creation of yours. If you want to be mature, then be mature for God's sake, and don't petulantly demand all your readers to be blind and compliant enough to cover for you when you're incorrect, especially when you invite their comments. And, LOL, don't expect Frankenstein's monster to be well-behaved! Which is to say, I think Dr. Irene is the first one who needs to stop all this bouncing activity. If you want to walk in society with a bee in your bonnet, so to speak, then that is your prerogative, Doctor -- but it shows, and you are showing it (after all, you "created" it) -- and since I can see it, I am seeing it and temporarily mirroring it back to you and those who read and trust you. Soooo angry!
I am composing this message in response because the original one seems to have disturbed your inaccurate and offensive (by way of arrogance) sense of complaisance with yourself just a tad. I am not so much motivated to spoil your sense of comfort (or tranquility, if you have any) as I am to weaken the false sense of comfort you attempt to transfer to your readers through ostensibly apotropaic means by proxy. (They have hope, after all.) I would prefer to save the moral outrage for the things which are TRULY outrageous, as there are certainly enough of them which go unheeded amidst all this moralistic jabber. All I can do here is laugh derisively and then move on to happier trails, and perhaps offer my assistance to people better prepared to accept it.
I still think that engaging in such speech is not a terribly effective way to learn new things about oneself or others; instead it tends to limit knowledge and spontaneity, not to mention navigation in unknown territory, and I for one find that such an approach is the LAST thing that this lonely, prissy, conformist world needs. Perhaps getting to know people, whatever their background, and genuinely getting to know yourself are not in fact what you value highly; your rather long interlude above indicates that perhaps asserting yourself (that is, what you ALREADY have recognised in yourself) and then defending what you have asserted at all costs (while attempting to induce others to take on a similar attitude) might be what you prefer to honor the most instead. What is disturbing to an intelligent person about this second set of values is that it is close-minded and you are TEACHING it. I certainly intended to draw attention to you, not me, and it worked: look at how much you wrote, and the compulsive energy with which you wrote it! It is FUN to ape you, but I imagine it is not at all fun to be that way for longer than it will take me to dispatch this post. And I truly feel sorry for those who are encouraged to view your way of communicating as the only viable or proper way. It is a shame.
I do not appreciate the assumptions you have made about me, which you have no conclusive means of knowing are correct or incorrect, or how. But I am not particularly interested in helping you out of them, either. It seems to me that this is what you'd prefer, that you would rather end up feeling comfortable about the verbal skirmishes you engage in and stick to what you think you know about people rather than actually get to know those who do not (or will not) fit into your inaccurate model of what a person is, and those who do not (or will not) follow your procedures for acceptable communicative operation. That is o.k. with me. Perhaps a seething unconscious hell lies underneath your concrete/candy-coated sense of boundaries, and I would imagine that underneath your educational demeanor you are frightfully bored. (THAT shows a bit, too.) Gosh, I wouldn't want to drag you down to the level of those you presume to straighten out! I SHALL tell you that your concept of the way human beings work and exist (or SHOULD do so) is not entirely accurate, and in this sense, your I personally find your authority as a helper, as well as the purity of your intentions, to be bogus and ironically disrespectful of the boundaries you talk so much about protecting. It's up to you whether you'd prefer to make space to learn more or just pronounce yourself correct JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A BIGGER MOUTH despite my opposition in the hermetic style in which I present it. The stakes are raised, since you have people looking up to you. It is something of an honour system, Dr. Irene, and it is your choice to take the on the challenge or remain stagnant in your position above others. These are YOUR stakes, too; my own investment in them is only temporary and sentimental.
I reckon a lot of small-minded people would feel more comfortable were everything in the world on the table, so to speak, but if you look beyond yourself earnestly, you would find that rarely is this the case -- and thank goodness. (In doing so, you might also find reason to love yourself more deeply than you do now, and might not feel such a need for those around you to behave in a way you can control.) I find your way of viewing the world to be lacking in dimension, Dr. Irene. A chacun son gout, I suppose, and each of us has different needs for security -- which have an impact on the size of each imagination. I still feel sorry for the people you presume to guide, with your constricted and inhibiting Cartesian sense of vision. Because if they are listening to you, then chances are they are impressionable as well.
If I have piqued your curiosity, Dr. Irene, it might serve you to go back and study the Oedipal myths (if such does not impinge on your terribly modern sense of what knowledge is). This DOES have something to do with you, not nearly so much me myself as you assume and have stated. The way it stands, you give offense to the Sphinx, which in a sense is everyone and every thing. If you do your homework, you'll find the standard operation of Mystery in the face of offensive conjecture is to CONFOUND. Elsewise, Mystery would cease to exist, and the world really would be as flat and predictable as you make (wish) it to be. So far as I'm concerned, THAT's disempowerment, and you certainly seem confounded to me. If I've failed to pique your interest and have only succeeded in further confounding you and making you a little more aware of that -- bee in your bonnet -- even if only in the privacy of your own mind -- then this is what's to be expected.
I feel neither helpless nor out of control; merely oppressed in terms of boredom (when I CHOOSE to be) by the generally unacknowledged and underdeveloped morality of the status quo. I PLAY at being out of control in the face of such oppression, and that probably discomforts your limited sense of propriety. If it does, then I am glad. I did not feel invalidated to the point of constriction; I only wanted to trick you into remembering the way it feels. I thank heaven that you'll never get all people to behave the way you want them to! What messes with my life is killjoys like yourself who presume to know human nature through arrogant, limiting, and overly masculinized means, not any of the "abusers" YOU're talking about. LOL, these days, I only allow that to happen for amusement purposes. I assure you, you've not managed to stop me from doing anything worthwhile I intend to do. There are no "ouuucccccches" here (I think they are all yours); you have only succeeded in giving me a good laugh. I smile upon you and your followers like a certain Cat. Oh my...giggle...at least you're no longer afraid to speak!
On a more serious note, you seem to know the site pretty well. I can only guess I pushed some of your buttons somewhere along the way. All I can say is that I'm not worth raising your blood pressure over. I wish you peace, serenity - and lots of fresh Trout! Irene .
Blessings, A voice in the desert
Goodness! For one who claims to be completely disinterested, Voice in the Desert certainly is defensive. Not to mention egotistical. Sad to say, this reminds me of certain abusers I've encountered in my life.
I'm glad you dropped by.
<<don't petulantly demand all your readers to be blind and compliant enough to cover for you when you're incorrect, especially when you invite their comments>>
I can see why you might have thought this. I'm not here to defend Dr. Irene, but would like to offer my thoughts to you. Self empowerment, and not blind compliance, is what Dr. Irene teaches. This along with not "needing" approval; so if even if she did "demand" something, if we agree with the advice she consistently offers, then we wouldn't "need" to go along her demand. And we're (or at least I am) aware that she's human and not some kind of demigod.
I'm curious about what peaked your interest in the site.
take care and blessings to you too.
Dr. I- When I read the first post of "Voice in the Desert" I thought it to be gibberish. Upon reading the second post, I am sure. How can a person using such literary references have learned so little in the great writers s/he emulates? Sad, sad, and truly an act of "small mindedness". I wish a worm on "Voice". So there! (What fun to play at a child's level occasionally!) El L. I wish Voice would stop attacking and intellectualizing and just talk about how I've affected their life that is so upsetting to them.
Voice: Are you married to somebody who frequents the site (and is perhaps not taking my advice by blasting you with "my advice?") ???
Reading "Voice" reminds me of one of the first of many wonderful quotes passed on by my spiritual advisor upon walking up the steps of a run-down AA clubhouse in the desert North of LA:
" The ONLY time YOU will walk on water Tim, is when it is raining in the parking lot!" The second was: " Tim, rectal thermometers have degrees!" Giggle!
I love that guy, he taught me to listen... :)
Dear Dr. Irene,
I'm still confused about the validation issue.
Is validation always a form of manipulation? No. It leaves you open to manipulation though if you need validation. Or is manipulation always a form of validation? No, not at all. Or is it about degrees or emphasis or intent? It's about effect. Manipulative people are often not aware that they are being manipulative. Yet, they manipulate you when their words have the desired effect. In other words, does validation become manipulation depending upon how much the person needs outside validation for their Self? Needing to be validated by person X leaves you wide open to being manipulated by person X if person X is manipulative, whether or not person X knows they are manipulating you. I understand validation in terms of your advice - you validate a person's feelings early on but want them to move from that to discover more about the source of their feelings and take responsibility and control of their Self. But validation can also be used to show positive support for a person's feelings or position, such as "good idea" or "good questions" :). Absolutely!
So are we talking about the emphasis here. In other words, support and compliments can be forms of validation but this type of validation can be manipulation depending on what the validator wants/needs from it or what the validatee wants/needs from it? What the validatee wants/needs from it. Or is it about the intent from the perspective of both the validator and validatee? It may or may not be the intent of the validator, but it is the need of the validatee.
In other words, manipulation has little to do with the other person and everything to do with the person needing validation. If I am very, very thirsty, I will go to all lengths to get water from you. I may behave the way I think you want me to be so that you will give me water. The trick is not to need the water. There is nothing inherently wrong with water just as there is nothing inherently wrong with validation. It's what you do with it and whether you sell yourSelf short for it..
So eventually, does a person with
appropriate levels of self-esteem and self-love who has personal power
and control of and responsibility for their Self not need validation? Right. Of any kind? Even compliments or support? Compliments
and support are always welcome and appreciated; they feel good! But, this
individual does not need validation, compliments or support to feel good
about themselves. Their self-esteem, self-love, etc. are inherent and permanent
"fixtures." This individual accepts feedback from others, but knows
they are their only "judge."
Gosh, even my questions are a bit confusing!!!:) Maybe my explanation has been confusing and you are forcing me to think through and better articulate... Wasn't it Einstein who said you didn't really understand something if you couldn't explain it to your Grandmother? Anyway, does this help?
When I first read "A voice in the desert", my reaction was anger, but then I had to laugh! What better practice for not engaging than this? This person, for whatever reason, has come into this safe (for me, anyway) place and begun hurling insults at you and your readers! Yes, my first instinct was to react with anger to this antagonistic (not to mention unenlightened) reader. Then it came to me that this person reminds me a lot of Ignatius Reilly (Confederacy of Dunces), who was also pompous. Quixotic, too. There is a sad, almost pathetic quality to the character, which probably also applies to this person. Great book, by the way, if any of you are looking for a thoroughly enjoyable read!
I, too, am curious as to why this person has become so familiar with this website. Whatever the reason, "Voice" seems awfully offended. Why ever could that be?
OK, so maybe a little of my initial anger has found it's way in, despite my good intentions!
Voice, you think we are impressionable, simpleminded. That is your opinion. Actually, I for one have learned (or RE-learned, for I am sure that at some point I WAS told this) that the ONLY PERSON any of us have ANY BUSINESS thinking for is OURSELVES. How much better the world would be if we all stopped to remember this more often! I can't speak for anyone else, but this site has helped me evolve as a person, and much quicker than it would have happened otherwise. If being impressionable means learning to develop healthier, more evolved ways of interacting, then let me strive to be the most impressionable person I can be!
Good luck with those windmills, Voice!
Doc, as always, thanks for the great work!
Anne Thanks Anne. In answer to one of your questions, I'm glad Voice is here. He or she is exactly the person I am trying to reach. And help. If they'll let me.
"Voice in the Desert" sounds a lot like my former spouse. He, too, would use his excellent education and superior intelligence as a kind of verbal club. It took awhile to notice (in his case, obviously I don't know "Voice" well enough to be sure in his/her case) that it was a smoke screen. When the smoke cleared, there was just a frightened, lonely, alienated, unhappy Inner Child. An apt image was the Wizard of Oz--a little, powerless, ordinary person using subterfuge and trickery to try to control and frighten others. Unfortunately, my Oz, though he didn't believe he had any power, misused power over his wife and children in ways that injured them deeply. He was so heavily defended by his hostility and defensiveness that no one could ever get through to the Real person behind the curtain. All the pomposity and literary allusions and lecturing and pontificating did nothing to help others understand or empathize. It just caused confusion.
I don't see in Dr. Irene what Voice sees. I admit that doesn't mean it isn't there, but I think it's also possible that Dr. Irene (and some of the people who post to this site) act as mirrors or triggers for Voice's fears and anxieties. Voice sounds like he/she feels threatened. Why? Why put so much energy into pointing out the error of our ways? Why not just go read a different web site, or another book?
Back to the subject matter at hand: As a recovering "victim" of abuse, I am learning how not to give away my personal power. One way I unwittingly do that is to depend on others for validation. When I am truly OK with myself, I don't look for it. When I am shaky in my self esteem, or stressed or tired or worried, then I look for it. I am learning to take that appetite for the validation of others as a sign that I have something to work on for myself, about myself, within myself. I'm learning to ask myself what's going on, what do I need to do to help myself heal. The more I can function independently of "other esteem" the more I can truly love and appreciate and get to know others. I am not using them or feeding off of them, I am instead opening myself to them and giving them an invitation to do the same for me. In that space is a possibility for true intimacy, a space without defensiveness or manipulativeness or fear. When I give away my personal power to another I create a void in myself that I hope for the other person to fill, but that hope is vain and empty. It can't be done.
What made me think this was going to work? What made me think that was how relationships are supposed to be? It's what I was taught as a child. "Be perfect, and I'll be OK." We had some crazy rules in the house I grew up with. You could get in trouble for not accurately reading other people's minds. You could get in trouble when they thought they were reading your mind, and thought they saw malice or evil intent. You could get in trouble for no apparent reason. This made me kind of crazy, though to me it was "normal" and felt like "true love" when I found a man who was the perfect blend of my abusive mother and distant, disconnected alcoholic father. I tried to make the story have a different ending. Maybe if I loved him better than mom had loved dad, I'd be happy. Maybe if I were perfect enough to be lovable, he'd start loving me back. Of course that didn't work, but I sure put my back into the effort. Over 20 years of trying to rewrite the story, and things just kept getting worse.
He was very charming and seductive. He was very sweet and romantic. He was very attentive. I didn't know it was manipulation. He probably didn't either, for that matter. The deal we made, without consciously realizing it, was that we would both make a lifelong project of making him feel OK about himself, keeping him on an even keel, helping him stay ahead of his demons, with a major part of that deal involving me taking the blame whenever he failed to outrun them. It worked remarkably well for all the years I was willing to sacrifice everything for him. It started working less well (but still well enough) after 5 years, when the kids started coming, and some of my time and attention needed to be focused on "real" babies, not my overgrown adult child. But I have a lot of energy and I'm very stubborn and loyal, so we still managed to keep the dance going for a long time after that.
Eventually I woke up. Eventually I noticed that his idea of "love" didn't feel very good. In the house I grew up in, there was a lot of fear, and walking on eggshells, and physical and emotional abuse. Somehow I started loving myself enough to start figuring out that hurting people on purpose is wrong, and it isn't love.
Those of us who give away our personal power are prone to resent the ones we give it to, because we judge that they are misusing the power. We don't realize we've chosen to hurt ourselves, because when we were growing up we heard people say we "made" them mad or they would be happy with us if we'd only act right, or words to that effect. Those people were doing the same thing (giving away personal power with thoughts like "I would be happy if [fill in the blank]"). We didn't see any examples of healthy thinking, and of loving, constructive disagreements, only verbal abuse and blame. As we begin recovering from this, we need sparing amounts of validation focused primarily on getting us moving towards healing ourselves from within. My former husband thinks he's a "victim" of my "abandonment" and that his new wife "healed" him. That may be true, but I think it's more likely that for now they are dancing the same dance as he and I used to dance, living in the same illusion he and I used to live in. Maybe they can keep it up forever, maybe not. For me, I'm very glad to be going in a different direction. No one "makes" me mad or sad or hurt or unhappy. Sometimes I *am* mad or sad or hurt or unhappy, but I can't "fix" those feelings by changing someone else. The only person I can change is me. I can figure out what I need, and how to get it (other than by manipulating someone into doing it for me.) That doesn't mean I don't love, or don't "need people." It just means I'm not unfairly burdening them with expectations that can't be fulfilled. I trust that God loves me, and my loved ones, and takes care of me, and them. I don't need to do God's job (and I can't really do it anyway, and all efforts to overcome that bit of cosmic reality are doomed to failure and sure to make me unhappy.)
Last week a 16 year old step son told me I had ruined his life by marrying his dad. He said he doesn't like me and never will. He is obviously in a lot of pain, and stuck in a lot of blame and anger. He has given me a tremendous amount of power, and rendered himself helpless in the process. None of that thought process is really about me, though. He thinks he'd be happy if I weren't in the picture, but as long as he thinks other people can "make" him happy or unhappy he'll always feel empty. Harboring anger and resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. He doesn't think he has a choice. He thinks he's a victim. Even when people actually do terrible things to us, we still have a choice about how to respond. I hope he figures that out before he hurts himself even more. It's the kind of mind set that suicides have. "Now see what you made me do."
"The end of blaming is the beginning of healing." I thought I'd be fine if my former husband changed. The truth was I needed to change myself. (I also had to get out of the marriage, because it was sick and destructive and addictive, not, as he thought, to "punish" him or hurt him.) My marriage had become part of the problem (living with an abusive alcoholic causes a lot of distorted thinking) but it wasn't the whole problem. The "whole problem" is not really so much a problem as the same life task that everyone has. Get right with God, get right with one's Self, figure out what one's mission is, and carry it out. Live, love, feel, think, pray, grow.
Someone said to me recently, "forgiveness is a matter of giving up all hope of having a perfect past." I forgive for me, so I can move on, not as a way to one-up or manipulate others. If they are feeling uneasy about it, that may be a way for them to see what their hot buttons are, what their weak spots and sick spots are. We all have them. No one's perfect. And nobody gets better by being defensive or hostile or bitter or resentful.
I'm glad "Voice" took the time to write. It triggered a lot of interesting dialogue, inner and outer. If I'm reading it right, "Voice" thinks Dr. Irene oversimplifies. It may seem simple until you try it. Try loving without fear. Try being responsible for your own "stuff" and minding your own business, and giving up the idea you can change other people. Try giving up a lifelong habit of trying to control everything and everybody. It seems simple, but if you have gone through life so far without knowing how to do it, it's pretty darn tough to do. Rewarding, worthwhile, fascinating, empowering, but sometimes incredibly difficult. Lashing out at other people comes from feeling threatened or hurt or scared. Heal those wounds, and you won't need to lash out anymore. Easier said than done, though. "Voice" should give it a try.
Amy Voice can't Amy. Not so easy...
i don't think you are arrogant to people but sometimes you are really confusing. i wasn't sure what everyone was talking about here; all i saw was ouchh alot. i thought y'all were talking about the list ouchh.... i left there i was not happy at all with how you handled a problem there. you say over & over at your website its not enabling, its to get people to find good ways to deal with abuse. there were some real cool people on ouchh who were doing that but four or five friends who didn't want the list to be used that way.... they just wanted to use it for their own needs to piss & moan be really angry and stay trapped and bully people. instead of you telling them they need to work on themselves you made them moderators so now they can really avoid dealing with their problems and just let posts go thru that pat them on the back and agree with their ill thinking. then you said the people who don't like it can go somewhere else. a lot of us felt invalidated and really confused like you were taking sides and saying one side was right and the other side was wrong without having all the facts.... i did think it was your ego just a little. you seemed to like the way they stroked it or something. i dunno. it made no sense to tell fifteen people they can go somewhere else so a lil group of four friends could be happy in their sandbox. i would have made a list just for the four or five and told em now you can talk any way you want just with yourselves since that's all you want to do anyway. i wasn't all mad at you. i just left. i was disappointed cos i have control over where i go and what i do but i felt i had no voice at all on something that bothered me really bad. and i tried to speak up but yeah i became scared i was afraid to speak up again cos they would get mad then you would back them up no matter how wrong they were so why would someone want to speak up?? i was embarrassed enough by my abuser i don't need to be embarrassed again at place that's supposed to help people. Dear ... I don't agree with your assessment of what the moderators do. But I do understand your complaint. However, Ouchhh! is not a list about taking responsibility. It is a supportive list where it is OK to encourage and validate each other. Individuals who wanting more than support and validation do not belong on Ouchhh! There are many other lists to choose from (on this site), including a list focused on taking responsibility - which is why it should not be a problem to go elsewhere. I made an administrative decision for the reasons outlined above not to change the nature of the list. So, you see, you and the others were not thrown out, so to speak, you were told you could not change the nature of the list. Hope this makes sense. Regards, Dr. Irene
Yo, your Docness: First, I wanted to say you've dealt with oh-so-brave Voice in a very fair and ultimately loving manner...just as you've dealt with me. I'd also like to point out to Voice, should s/he for their amusement ever deign to visit these pages again, that the truly secure and confident person feels no need to "prove" they're right to anyone, nor do they need to make themselves feel big by belittling others. And, just to make it concrete for ya, Voice, let me ask you if you know about Chuck Norris. First American Grandmaster of Tae Kwon Do. Chosen by the Korean Grandmasters, because of the over 30 years of effort he's put into the sport. Yet...when's the last time you heard of Chuck Norris, say, getting into a fight in a bar? GrandMaster Norris doesn't have to take part in those kinds of behaviors, doesn't have to "prove" he's a man, because he already knows, deep inside, that he is. Just a thought, Voice. "Tex" Yo Tex!
I am not real sure why the person posted that comment, the original. I think perhaps they disagree with something Dr. Irene said and don't know how to express themselves. or perhaps they believe that they can't dispute something a "dr." says.
Ditto to your comment, Dr Irene....Damn you are good! Your site has helped me heal and change, and to enable me not to give my power away. It's been sometime since I visited this site and man! you are still right on..I mean that you really care to share what you know and to help other's see what isn't obvious to most. You are informed and I wouldn't let an uninformed person such as the person who wrote the yukky comment, rile my feathers.. remember the abuser does it purposely to get a rise out of you....to discount and name call you into confusion and to gain "one-ups-manship". Bravo to you, the enlightened, for your comment.....I'm keeping my power, and when I falter, I come back to your site for reminders....because the world is inclined to 'power over'; anyone at any time can be abusive, especially if they are in the position to lead.....mutuality is the way to go, it's what brings happiness to all concerned whether it's realized or not. Thanks for your site and insight. Ruby J. G. Cool. Thanx!
After reading the second response from "voice" My heart goes out to him (her?)...Voice may not really live in the desert, but, "voice in the desert" is a metaphor and a cry for help...My guess (intuit) that voice has never ever been heard before, and has been abused in nearly every way/violated and neglected emotionally in his (her?) spirit since a young child. Voice has no tools to get past the pain of needing and not getting/ the validation in childhood. "Voice" cut off his spirit/heart and lives in his head. So his (her?) heart is dominated by the mind. Let's remember that the abuser is sick and not bad. The abuse "voice" received as a child was his (her?) only training, and has no choice but to vent it on the only people who will listen/us, or go crazy and to mimic what he's (she?) been trained...."voice" obviously wants to be heard, maybe for the first time in their life. The literary diatribe is his (her) only means of expression, because the things of the heart are so illusive....and buried and cut off, in order to survive as a child....Voice guaranteed a response from the Dr. with the "devils advocate attitude" and refers to the pollyannaish "bee in the bonnet" because his, (her?) abuse has been so severe, he (she?) thinks no one could understand the severity of their pain...and his (her?) means of control is a victory, a win, 'a one-up', and the victor only seems to win.....We've been there....hurting, suffering, and confused, with no words to attach to our pain and no way to begin to solve our dilemma of an unhappy and ineffective, abused or abusive life......To want to love and not know how because of childhood abuse is not only sad but the starting point of healing....So lashing out now is "Voices'" only relief, from an isolated and misunderstood inner world by others....drop the rock "voice" and let someone touch your heart. Another means of abuse "voice" received as a child was intellectual/ perhaps there is no way to put this talent to use except in fancy "mind-talk" and via words of the literary nature........so, we are not the "do unto other's as they do unto you type, on this site, "voice". We recognize that as abuse, and if we can't advocate change for the betterment of people's personal lives then we shall walk away. Folks, what if the only attitude that you learned was defensiveness and that became the only way of expression for you? And you couldn't see it? And you didn't know a better way though you suspected and hoped there was one? Would you want people to put you down (abusive)? NO, So be easy on "voice", people. This is a hurting soul who is desperately seeking to be heard but can't begin to get to the truth of the matter because the pain is so vast and has been a lifelong thing....We all came to this world, for a reason, and a purpose, and sometimes things and people; people who profess to love us, damage us, and get in the way of our fulfilling our purpose here in this life, in any happy, meaningful way...That's when we have to surrender to some help when help is needed.....to begin right where one is at now, and begin chipping away at the abuse pain, received; whether in childhood or not, and open up to help, to heal, and be free and happy and feeling.....My intuit is that "Voice" needs to know it wasn't his (her?) fault/the abuse was dealt by sick people and to hurl out at us or be like them (abusive) leads to misery; over and over, the same results. Reading about 'what is abuse' and how to handle it is a good beginning...If I feel violated in any way, then I am being a victim of abuse, whether I have a word for it or not. The form does not matter/it all feels so awful and the same soul violation....So you can deem my writing an assumption, though the spirit has lead me to write this....because, of my own mind, it says, "Voice" read a good book and is practicing the diatribe just read: along with manic depression: and whatever he's accusing the Dr. of, he (she?) is guilty of (boredom, ego, etc.).....WHICH I choose not to go there....So, may the compassionate spirits be with you, to guide and protect you, and keep you safe, and give you courage and a surrendering spirit to heal and be free and happy....namaste' Ruby J.G./ Shaman (in training) May we all be Shamans in training. Voice too.
Voice? Your only means for harassing the Dr. is "conjecture to confound?" That's abuse! Do you have no self-dignity, to get on an abuse website for healing and be abusive? "conjecture to confound"? No-one is confounded....it's clear you are abusive and unhappy.....VOICE IN THE SUN. You know that, I know that Sun, but Voice won't give me a chance to get through to find the SUN... Oh well...
Ruby, I'm with you.
Let's be gentle on Voice. Voice has his/her story and none of us can judge his/her perspective.
Healing thoughts to you, Voice.
I think what it boils down to is that some people experience words as weapons, and some people experience words, as, well, words. When I read Dr. Irene's comment, "No, I'd characterize it as your opinion", my first instinct was that I felt hostility in that phrase. But, that is actually a perfectly benign statement- it all depends on whether one gives their own opinion any value. I, for one, am very uncomfortable giving my own opinion; hence, in the random times I show up on this site, I tend to try to buttress my arguments with important authors, or I even try to emphasize my faith in God- but on some level it's all a decoy, because underlying it all is a fear that my opinion is worth less than Dr. Irene's, or anyone else on this site. To be honest, I had the same thoughts as this emailer, but the only difference is that I knew that it was because I felt so small that Dr. Irene looked so huge to me. It seems like the emailer is in a bad way right now. I too, get a little intimidated by the advice sometimes, but I try to look for the reasons why in me- one of my many failings is that I am afraid to make definite comments, so when I read the advice of someone who really knows what she thinks, I admit, I get a little nervous. and when I send in the occasional poem, I do get a little nervous about the "cyberspace claw". Totally irrational, but there you are. How do I cope? I have a sense of humor about the whole thing. I ask myself what my real motivations are, whenever I write anything to this site. When I am just writing for "validation", which IS manipulation and I am so glad she pointed that out, I usually just take a pass and wait till next time. When I feel like I actually have something to say, and I feel like my honesty may actually benefit people, then I say something. Ultimately, I am doing it all for my own self-growth, and what's so wrong with that? From a purely objective standpoint, this site has done wonders for me. D
I admire the honesty of your post and I hope you stick around.
I think another thing to think about is how many of us believe we have to even *have* an "opinion"; a specific view on how things are. I find that my "opinion" is not solid, but ever-evolving. I think an "opinion" is just a point of view at any given moment. I'm just comfortable knowing that my in-the-moment perspective is valid, and that there is far more than I or anyone can ever know completely.
Yet those with "strong" opinions often seem to find followers... Maybe there are more people than you might imagine who don't believe their own thoughts and feelings are valid.
Good thoughts to you.
To Asha, from D.
Thank you for your post. I hate having to own up to the think that I have a lot of the same feelings as this dude, but lets face it, they do cross my mind from time to time. Sometimes I feel like if I had my own webpage and I could give out advice, that would make my life all better. But I know I have a lot of pain inside about real world relationships, which is why I like writing so much. I just get such strong feelings about people so fast- this site is a safe haven for me, because for the most part, I am not trying to manipulate people. I had the most trouble when I emailed Dr. irene directly, because I wanted her validation soooooooooo much. I'm kinda good with words, I can write good poems, and when Dr. Irene posted one of them in June, I hit the roof with excitement. I still think about that, I have to admit. I felt like I was able to sum up everything this website meant to me. (It was called "Can You Love Yourself", by the way). The thing is, was that I had to be admired. That's how I would have described it. I had to be admired.
I often feel the compulsion to "have an opinion", but often I just don't. I think I am afraid of people thinking I'm stupid, or not learned. But that's stupid of me because it keeps me from listening to others and learning. It's like, my ego tells me I should already know everything, and that I'm a bad person if I don't. And instead of asking questions, I'll get embarassed because I am ignorant, which is silly because everybody is ignorant about stuff initially, and the only way you learn is by asking questions. And sometimes you just wanna make "I feel" statements, which I have a hard time with, because I am afraid of noone else agreeing with me. Low self-esteem- I don't value my wants and needs and desires, I feel like I have to be approved of first. Like I love this website, for example, but I still feel like it's my dirty secret, and somewhat dangerous, like if people know what I'm really thinking and feeling, everyone will start laughing at me, and people who aren't familiar with the site, if I try to describe it to them, will think I'm some sort of loser. This is why half the time I don't use my real name when I post. My "secret" will be out.
Thanks for the feedback. That meant a lot to me D.
Repeat 10 times, "I don't need people's validation"......:)
Hey - I don't use my real name when I post, and there's nothing wrong with you wanting to be discreet.
Lots of prestigious, high powered types are dysfunctional too, but they don't go advertising it. (Actually I believe all of us here on earth are here because we are *not* perfect, and do have things to learn)
There's nothing wrong with not having an opinion - in fact I think you are being more honest than some who feel they must have one on every issue. If I do have an "opinion" on something I don't ever want it to be so strong that I'm not willing to consider new information.
No-one can agree with you all the time, because we all come from different experiences and perspectives. Just know that your feelings are unique and important, and no *less* important, than anyone else's.
Also, everybody doesn't need to know every thing about your life. Some things are appropriate to share, some are less appropriate. The main thing, I think, is that you are honest to yourself. What you share and don't share is your choice, and in some circumstances not sharing certain personal information is a better choice. Just my "opinion". :)
Actualy voice you did me a favour as I started thinking ore about my own need for validation and looking at Dr Irene's links. Personally, I fond her site realy useful and if I am honest I fall into both camps. You don't get straight talking therapists where I live and I have learnt and progressed more by posting on the site than anywhere else.
If you really need a laugh why do yo do this bt finding material from other people's pain? That to me seems sadistic.
And why do you resent that other people feel helped by Dr Irene. Given the amount of free time she gives and that she was caring enouigh to make the site and it gets used by a lot of people, often with really awful stories to tell I think she is a realy great person and I don't care how big or small her ego is.
What you do come accross is as someone who desperately needs help for themselves.
Are you upset as someone close to you uses the site? Don't forget it is for users and victims so maybe you could look at what you think is applicable to you and think about it.
Nobody asks you to read here hownever so it is your choiice!
I read the response from theVoice in the Desert. I have only one question, what is the point of that diatribe? As the old saying goes, what someone accuses someone else of doing, is the one who is actually portraying those behaviors. I find Dr. Irene's sight extremely helpful. I was going to a therapist and at that time happened to run across Dr. Irene's sight.(I was in a horribly abusive relationship at the time.) If I am impressionable, all I can say is that I am very thankful that I am still open to good sound suggestions that have been suggested by Dr. Irene on this sight. With therapy and this site, It has made a remarkable difference in my life in terms of how to handle abusive situations. One thing I have learned is that I don't have to engage. I find Voice in the Desert's message so wordy that the true meaning actually gets lost somewhere around the third or fourth line. (Talking loud and saying nothing so to speak.) If this person is so disatified with this Dr. Irene's website and her approach to dealing with abuse, I would say don't read it. Also, you don't have to accept her suggestions. In the Al-Anon program, EGO means easing God out. The self is that part of us that communicates with God. I would suggest to Desert to listen to self more often. Papoose
there are some who believe that our enemies can be our best teachers: they challenge our patience, our calm, our understanding. Desert Voice began an offensive and we can resspond in several ways. we could defend or we could attack, or we could observe and move on, or go make a cup of tea. DV seems to want to expose our beloved Dr. Irene and to tear down this site. its our choice to respond in whatever way we choose. it is a saturday morning, and i sip my cup of tea (well, decaf coffee) and wonder why someone WANTS to break down this wonderful forum. i have no desire to engage with DV, no desire to repair him, calm him, to retaliate, to ask if he is happy, angry or lonely. rather, i prefer only to read what he wrote and be thankful that i harbour no such desire to expose and destroy, as he appears to want to do.
i take thanks that Maker did not fashion me from similar stuff as he.
peace to you all, many thanks to Dr. Irene, Hellooo to Truble,
Ouch! I just sent you my story (Marriages to sociopaths), and did not want to leave without saying that yes, I am getting validation at this point. It is actually happening less, as I am feeling pretty good about myself. This is the first relationship for me that I didn't have to take care of someone else's happiness and am free to seek my own. I realize that each person is responsible for how they feel and how they act, and I know I allowed myself to be treated the way I did. I also know I like practicing what I have learned in my new relationship.
For once, I have learned how to love myself, and no longer deny that sometimes I feel angry, or sad, or indulgent. I try to figure out what is behind those feelings, and deal with the real problem, not the symptoms. My boyfriend is very good about seeing through some of my masks (yes, I am working on those, too) and isolating what is bothering me. We talk out everything until we both feel satisfied with the result, and we do it lovingly and kindly, too. I still see a counselor, and have taken a class to overcome my co-dependency issues. I still go to ACOA, and sometimes Al-Anon, but now only 2-3 times a year. My counselor sees me about every 2-3 months now as I have made good progress in owning my feelings and realizing that I can speak up when I am mistreated. My boyfriend thought I was undervaluing my skills at work, and encouraged me to ask for more money. I was really frightened, but they agreed with me and gave me a substantial raise! My boyfriend thinks I need to finish my college degree (I lack two semesters) and go on to law school. I'm thinking about it, too. He works at a great job, with a lot of flexibility and said he will watch my daughter so I can start school again part-time until I'm comfortable going full-time. He has even signed up to learn coaching for her Little League team, and he never played baseball! Plus, with my daughter's rare condition, it requires quarterly meetings all over our state, and he goes and participates fully, too.
So, I'd just like to say to "nameless voice in the desert": stop hiding behind your personal feelings about Dr. Irene and stop using it as an excuse not to express yourself. Own your feelings and treat people more kindly. No one is responsible for how you feel and act except you!
I so agree with not allowing anyone to hurt you! I have learned that very important lesson through counseling. It's amazing that I now can instantly see that a comment is abusive and not accept it. Your site has helped me so much, I have changed through the help of counseling also. I came on the site today to add my success story, it's by chance I read this. I clearly understood your comments to the reader,but I'm a different person than I was 6mo. ago. Abuse kept me in a fog, now no abuse is allowed. It was very difficult to realize that I was allowing not only my abuser but people in my life hurt me! The best part is my marriage is great now, I changed his behavior had to. Needless to say I would have ended the marriage if his behavior didn't. Thanks for your site Loving myself here!!!!!
Is "A voice in the desert" attempting to diminish the affects of verbal abuse and therefore the victims that endure it? I am a 43 year old male with technical skills ,diplomas and even certified to instruct. Today is my second visit to this website and here is where I'm at right now, TODAY... (Dear Doc, I do appreciate your advice to others as well as those that mean well.) I am now carrying the following in my wallet in an effort as to not leave behind a mystery, should an opportunity comes my way...) ' Heart Of Anguish, Soul Of Sorrow ' Johnny June 23, 2002 When I walk along the path of life sometimes I come across the ruins of my past I am thankful for what remains... just bitter memories. The new path ahead doesn't seem to have been travelled. With wishful inspiration I think to myself... "...this is gotta be my second chance..." "...where I get it right..." How was I to know that this one was destined for more grief? I have been so mistaken...resulting with "Ignorant just rewards" How long will it continue, tormenting me? My heart now weighs me down, more each day... I didn't mean for it to be this way. I only wanted to learn to love. A kind of love that we could have called our own. But now, I see, it is not to be. There's only profound sadness, the kind that kills the soul. Years have past and we were still going nowhere. If only I could have known...if I could relive that day...I'd have turned away. But the warnings WERE there...I just conveniently ignored them...like a gambler Now all I can do is cry to myself in silent contempt... alone within my heart of anguish, my soul of sorrow. Over burdened, with no more motivation, I am spent. Temptation of death awaits... Most of me feels like it already died, with the living bits ravaging what's left of my spirit...like a disease. I cannot take anymore... I can hear the the darkness laughing and getting ready to claim me... With profound sadness, the kind that kills the soul, all I can do is pity myself in silent contempt... alone within my heart of anguish, my soul of sorrow. 'When I'm Dead And Gone' March 16, 2003 By the time this is read, I will already have died. I had hoped for a peaceful or meaningful death. I do regret that this last action will hurt some of the people that were close to me. Some will silently or even openly, condemn me. I'm truly sorry for this grief. However, I'm not sorry that I'm finally dead and gone. My torment will have ended and my tormenter will need to find another victim to satisfy the insatiable need to destroy another's spirit. I can finally say that when I had wanted to die or that I was being driven to it, it finally happened. All the warning signs were there. I never kept it a secret, and pleaded for the torments to stop. Of course it fell on deaf ears, and so I can now claim retribution for whatever it's worth. But it and all other things won't matter to me now. I may be condemned to the second stage of hell, but I'm confident that with all my experience, I'm sure Satan will grant me 'vindication'.