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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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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

Comments to I am Victim, Abuser, Codependent...

Comments to I am Victim, Abuser, Codependent...

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos  Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

  Submit
Remote Name: 141.214.169.36
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.7 [en] (WinNT; U)
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

As always, Dr. Irene's advice is right on target. I went through the same thing for 4 1/2 years and I looked back and tried to figure out what happened. Then I looked back over all my dating and a marriage over the past 20 years and I found 1 common thread. I didn't love myself. I didn't love myself enough to protect myself from abuse or demand respect. I wasn't clear about what I wanted and deserved, so I took whatever came along and tried to make it the forever one.

Now I am making the only "forever one" I have work first. I have to love myself totally and know the love God has for me before I can be healthy enough to be in a truly loving and healthy relationship with another person. I am grateful that at 37 I am finally figuring this stuff out. Now I will have true happiness whether I find that "forever man" or not.

Jack, take care of yourself and I hope you find that healing love inside yourself!

S

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 208.37.157.62
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.72 [en] (Win98; I)
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Jack- I am once again flabbergasted at how incredibly on the money Dr. Irene is. She gives me something to learn about myself every time. I am a 26 year-old male, who like you is just learning for the first time ever to pull my hand from the fire, rather than asking the fire why it's hurting me. And I am learning to respect myself more than I respect anyone else, as odd as it sounds. I am trying to pull away from the compulsion that I have to be in love, have a girlfriend, or even be dating. Not so easy, I suspect our culture has something to do with it. But I suspect it will be worth it in the long run. Who knows whether I'll be happily single or happily married, but I know I'll have self-respect! Well, getting there anyway. Best of luck

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 12.46.84.39
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.05 [en] (Win95; I)
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Jack, I think part of it is just dealing with the fact that the other person ended the relationship. It shouldn't be such a big part of it, but it is. Try to think of it as just a toss of the coin. It was a troubled relationship. To the above 26 year old male - I am impressed! As a woman who is a few years older---I don't often see that level of maturity even in men my age. Unfortunately. :)

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 147.233.132.153
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.08 [en] (Win95; I)
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

I think that Jack is too much of a "co dependent" and a "victim", and that's why he insists on seeing himself as "a guilty abuser". He should first focus on getting self respect and self esteem. He is too worried of hurting someone else, and runs away too much from getting in touch with how hurt he is. He will put up with everything! Jack, love yourself! Get rid of any person in your life that does not show you genuine caring - including a therapist, if you feel he/she does not respect you or care for you enough. Don't short-sell yourself! Yeah!

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 194.7.238.146
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows NT)
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Jack, Your story is bringing tears to my eyes. I recognize so much of what I've been living through the last 18 years. Congratulations on your insights. It is sooo hard not to take it "personally". I liked the comment "to try and press blood out of a rock"..... Alex

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 208.168.53.250
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 95; DigExt)
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Jack and others,

I believe that withdrawing and refusing to communicate are another form of emotional abuse. These actions are usually a sign of pent up anger. Sometimes refusing to communicate is a way an abuser punishes the other person for a perceived wrong. Please do not let people only address and berate one form of abuse while while enabling another. AJ  Right.

 

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 24.66.174.252
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.73 [en] (Win95; U)
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

LIKE JACK IF FEEL LIKE I'M IN THE SAME SITUATION. OR SHOULD I SAY WAS IN . AS LIKE JACK I HAVE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS., AND RIGHT NOW I 'M NOT CERTAIN WHAT POINT WE'RE AT. WE BOTH HAVE ISSUES FROM OUR CHILD-HOODS WHICH WE HAVE NEVER DEALT WITH MINE RAPE & SEXUAL ABUSE AND MY GUYS WAS VERBAL ABUSE FROM HIS FATHER. WE LOVE EACH OTHER MORE THAN ANYTHING BUT BOTH OF US ARE VERY STRONG MINDED (PIG-HEADED/STUBBORN) 95% OF THE TIME WE ARE IN OUR OWN LITTLE WORLD WE LAUGH AND LOVE LIKE NOTHING WE HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE BUT..... WHEN WE HAVE A DISAGREEMENT IT IS LIKE OIL & WATER. IT BECOMES EXPLOSIVE. HE SHUTS ME OUT I AM SENT HOME (WHEN THAT HAPPENS I FEEL LIKE A CHILD BEING PUNISHED) HE THEN WON'T TALK TO ME IF I RAISE MY VOICE HE HANGS UP I CALL BACK AND IT ESCALATES TO ME LOSING CONTROL SCREAMING FREAKING YELLING TO GET HIS ATTENTION. IT'S LIKE ALL I WANT IS FOR HIM TO HEAR ME, AND WHEN HE HANGS UP IT GETS OUT OF CONTROL I SAY HORRIBLE THINGS TO HIM. I'M HURTING SO MUCH I REACT VERY DEFENSIVELY. I SAY HURTFUL THINGS. SO NOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED IS HE HAS LEFT THE CITY WERE WE BOTH LIVE (WE DON'T LIVE TOGETHER) AND HAS NOT SPOKEN TO ME SINCE SUNDAY JULY 2. OUR FIGHT STARTED FRIDAY JUNE 30TH. I HAVE SAID SOME UNFORGIVABLE THINGS AND HE HAS TOLD ME THAT TOO MUCH DAMAGE HAS BEEN DOWN HE HAS SAID I AM SICK AND NEED HELP ETC... HE IS A VERY CONTROLLING MAN BUT I LOVE HIM WITH ALL OF MY HEART. ANOTHER THING THAT HAPPENED WAS THAT I ENDED UP GOING OVER TO HIS HOUSE TO TRY AND WORK THINGS OUT BUT HE HAD FLED THE CITY WHICH I DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL A FEMALE FRIEND OF HIS WHICH HE ALWAYS RUNS TO WHEN WE ARE HAVING ISSUES SHOWS UP AND PROCEEDS TO TELL ME HE IS GONE WHO KNOWS WHEN HE'LL BE BACK HE NEEDS HIS SPACE ITS NOT WORTH IT AND THEN STARTS TELLING ME I'M LOSING IT I'M SO DEPENDANT ON HIM AND ALL THE THINGS BRAD HAS SAID ABOUT ME IS TRUE. WELL THAT CRUSHED ME RIGHT THEN AND THERE AND I CAUSED A SCENE. I FREAKED I WAS SO EMOTIONALLY FRAGILE BY THAT POINT THAT I CERTAINLY DIDN'T NEED TO HEAR THAT SHE DRIVES AWAY LAUGHING AT ME SAYING HOW RIGHT HE WAS. WELL I JUST WANTED TO DIE I HAVE LOST EVERYTHING . SO RIGHT NOW I'M TRYING TO KEEP IT TOGETHER WAITING FOR HIM TO COME HOME HOPING HE WILL CALL ME AND PRAYING THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP IS NOT OVER. BECAUSE HONESTLY I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WILL DO. I WANT TO CALL HIS SISTER ( WE ARE LIKE FAMILY) BUT I ASK IS THAT OKAY TODAY? SHOULD IT JUST BE BETWEEN THE TWO OF US AND A COUNSELOR? I KNOW I HAVE ISSUES AND I WILL DO ANYTHING TO SAVE THIS RELATIONSHIP TO SAVE US. SO NOW THAT I'VE SAID ALL THIS I KNOW IT IS REALLY DIRECTED TO DR, IRENE SO I PRAY SOME WAY THIS GET TO YOU AND YOU CAN HELP . WITH RESPECT CHRISTINE P.S. I'M LOST WITHOUT MY SOUL-MATE...... THANK-YOU:( Christine, please feel free to submit your question here... Please don't use all caps; it's so LOUD!

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 209.4.41.130
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000

S1

Dear Jack,

I feel so bad for you .... but do what I am doing and give your pain to God 'cause face it, you can only change yourself. I've lived with a passive aggressive lying, cheating, man for 7 years and just realized that I am part of his codependent problem. I've backed off and started making myself healthy and not, repeat, not worrying about any of his wants or needs. Get it? make yourself whole and the rest of life's plan will be so much easier. Love and healing to all that face this living daily hell.

 

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 205.188.193.36
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; AOL 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000

S1

Dear Jack, Congratulations on taking a healthy and positive step forward! You are seeking the help you desire! Way to go! And, listen to what Dr Irene is saying, " No person is worth selling your personal integrity over", take care of you! Help yourself! Before long, someone who appreciates you, for you WILL come along! Hang in there, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! a viewing friend!

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 194.83.240.20
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.73 [en] (Win98; U)
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000

S1

Jack,

All you can do now is to look forward. Forget the ifs or the buts they won't serve you now. Better to look forward and learn from your mistakes.

You can make it through, just trust in thy self. Yeah!

 

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 152.163.205.30
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; AOL 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000

S1

My story...... The Road To Heart Break ( part 9) http://www.themestream.com/articles/91021.html The secret that will shatter my dreams > > >The >Road To Heart Break ( part 8)  http://www.themestream.com/articles/85116.html After the rape, I struggled to be free, what would possibly bring me back into the arms of a monster > >The Road To Heart Break ( part 7)  http://www.themestream.com/articles/80362.html The pain continues...... > >The Road To >Heart Break ( part 6)  http://www.themestream.com/articles/78655.html >The next part to my true story of living through >domestic violence. In >this part I find the courage to >escape, could I really be free? > >The Road To heart >Break ( part >5) > http://www.themestream.com/articles/75684.html >The violence escalates.... > > >The Road To >Heart Break ( part >4) > http://www.themestream.com/articles/73180.html >Walking on eggshells..... > > >The Road To Heart >Break ( part >3) > http://www.themestream.com/articles/70166.html >Losing Myself...... > >The Road To Heart Break ( >part >2) > http://www.themestream.com/articles/70021.html >giving it all up for love..... > >The Road To Heart >Break >The >beginning...... http://www.themestream.com/articles/66196.html > >Thought it might be easier to have it all in one >place. >Thanks, Edie Freitas. > > >

Thank you for the links Edie! Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 204.60.39.213
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/3.01C-SNET  (Win95; U)
Date: Sunday, July 09, 2000

S1

Jack, Thanks so much for sharing this. It is the first time I've been to this site and I appreciate the clarity. I have felt so guilty for not being able to make this relationship better.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 205.188.195.37
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; AOL 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2000

S1

Hi Jack - This is just how I feel I know that I am the victim and the abuser - what a horrible realization! Im sorry for your experiences but glad you are taking things into your own hands - This is my first day on this site and realizing (sounds corny but...)we are each made up of different segments like the petals on the daisy - I am not just the victim in a verbally abusive relationship - I am the abuser too. I am co-dependent - I do not respect boundaries - I am depressed - I am happy - I am loving - I am mean - I am selfish. Jealousy? Lets not go there. Too much too talk about. This site is the stepping stone for wellness for me - thanks for your contribution. Pat

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 32.101.132.225
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/3.0C-WorldNet  (Win95; U)
Date: Friday, July 14, 2000

S1

Hello Jack.. I felt your pain.. I too was a victim of abuse. I was married to a man that never wanted me. I was hurt with a lot of rejections and I could not communicate with him. He would yell at me and say something like what are u talking about. I was never ever fulfilled as a women thru my own husband. Today i am free from him and I am still healing thru it. And we must think of us not them for we have tried in every possible way. But they didn't want us and why would we stay with a person if they don't want us. Live today and forget yesterday for i am doing that today. it will take time but we are free from a victim of abuse...Keep a smile on your face and it will take u to a happier life....for I to don't want to live in the past. its a fight that we deal with everyday not to remember the past. I know I still do and want to let go but how I really don't have a answer yet. All I know is I take it one day at a time and pray that one day it will not be so hard on me.. Take care Jack.. You did the right thing...A friend... :)

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 208.191.234.235
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows 98)
Date: Monday, July 24, 2000

S1

Jack, I feel your frustration. I think somewhere in your past someone else has treated you the same way your girlfriend did and you have mistaken this treatment for love. Though familiar, it isn't a healthy love. The major feat hear is that you recognize your actions, the only ones you have control over. As far as your relationship, its hard to be in a healthy relationship with someone that is obviously passive/aggressive. Has someone abandoned you in your childhood? Was there a parent that left, wasn't available emotionally, someone you tried desperately to get attention from? Have you read "Beyond Codependancy" and ", Codependent No More", great books, they helped me tremendously. I too have been where you are, I just wanted this person I believed I loved to affirm what I felt for him. The more I pushed the further away he became. This was many years ago, it has come to light that he has a serious problem with commitment. Combine that with my need for affirmation and you have a real "Hollywood Movie in the Making", little humor there. I am now married to a wonderfully loving, supportive man, he has my whole heart and treats it with the utmost care! Good luck Jack, there is a sensitive, warm lady out there somewhere, and I pray the Lord leads you to her, soooooon!

Val

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 205.188.200.41
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; AOL 4.0; Windows 98; DigExt)
Date: Wednesday, August 02, 2000

S1

Jack, Now that the crack to the truth has begun, don't try to patch it up when the going gets tough. We are often times raised as children with incomplete emotional education, so it is no wonder that it takes us a few years & tears to become aware of some of these less obvious, but just as serious, issues! What I have found in my life is that once I started being more honest and self respecting of myself, I found I started to become more aware of others' boundaries. It begins a circle of self acceptance, and then acceptance of others. The world may still throw out the same abuses and hardships, but you now have a best friend looking out for you. And that is YOU. Good love... :-)

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 64.79.80.66
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2000

S1

Jack, you got out early! Be thankful it didn't happen after 20 years of marriage! After 2 kids and 20 years, there's a lot more at stake.

Good Luck!

Bill

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 198.50.11.220
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705)
Date: Friday, February 28, 2003

S1

Wow! I simply typed "i am an abuse" into Google and found this sight and then started reading about myself...Jack sounds a lot like me. Here's one comment which might give Jack some solace...I was in the same situation but not for 3 years...more like 12! Yes, count em, 12 years. Talk about lost time and self-inflicted pain.

B1: Submit
Remote Name: 66.137.171.249
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705)
Date: Saturday, June 21, 2003

S1

I too found this place by looking around for something that could answer all the misery I've been in. At this point there's no telling what happened to Jack. Perhaps he is happily with someone else and has learned from his mistakes. I hope so. But I think that maybe posting something even after all the time has passed since his initial posting might help someone else who stumbles onto this site. I am currently going through being dumped. He told me it was over the night of my son's birthday party. And at a time when there are some terrible things going on in my life. Good timing. I was with this man for 4 1/2 years. That's a long time. I invested much more emotion into that relationship than he ever did. Someone once told me that it was the "principle of the least interested," though I can't find that in clear writing anywhere. But it's true. The one who has the most interest has the most to lose. The man I was with was alternate between being fun to be around and being aloof and withdrawn. I was CONSTANTLY trying to get him to affirm his love for me because it just felt so weird. And it turned into an obsession and almost like an addiction. Finally I isolated myself so much that he was my whole world and I lost interest in anything. I could not do much more than just function and worry and watch my life fall away before my eyes. In the end he told me that it was over because I was always wanting to talk about the relationship that drove him away. I too did some things that were out of character and the guilt is the problem that keeps me from getting on with things. I cringe when I think about my reactions at times. But then, there was that little inner voice that said yes, but why were you reacting in the first place? Something was obviously wrong or you wouldn't feel that way. He didn't abuse me physically or anything like that. He was just distant and yet still staying in the relationship. It was more like this: it wasn't WHAT he was doing, it was more like what he was NOT doing. And he was the kind of person who could be so helpful sometimes that it actually hurt my feelings instead of making me feel good. He was the kind of person who would agree with you if you said you wanted to break up. I tried it once or twice and I think it hurt worse that he was okay with it, and yet...he stayed in the relationship which made it more confusing. I honestly cannot explain this relationship in any rational way. I've never been so confused in my life. Unfortunately, there's not much out there on the Internet on this issue. Everytime I would look for something that even RESEMBLED my relationship I would pull up the typical stuff like overt abuse. You know, physical, verbal, etc. Nothing sounded like the hell I was in. Not until I read Jack's letter. I just hurt all over for him. And anyone else who's experienced it. Sometimes the silence is worse than the noise, so to speak. In fact, at this point I just don't know which is worse. But, I will say one thing. Even if you will never completely understand what happened in a relationship, which is possible, you really do need to do some self-inspection. I've come to that realization. I was forced into it. If you are unhappy with yourself then you're going to probably attract people who will zone in on it and take advantage of you. Your clinginess will just disinterest them. And because you are there wanting them so much, they have the leeway to be all that more distant and know you'll be there. It reminds me of a toddler who is learning to explore. He will leave mother to go look around but will peek in on mother to make sure she's still there so that he can go explore some more. She empowers him by her being there waiting for him. And sadly, I think some adults are just the same way. They are probably secretly watching to see that you're there so that they can do their own thing. And if for some reason they think you're not there so much, they throw you a tidbit just to keep you hanging in there. It's warped, really it is. Some people aren't happy with what they can have. They just want what they can't have because I think secretly they are unhappy inside too. Incidently, the last woman he was seeing before me weirded out too. He dropped her like a hot potato and she never felt any closure. In her case, she became obsessed and could not let go. She stalked both of us for about two years. I kind of get the feeling that he may be the one with the problem. Not that I don't have problems though, cause I know I do. Too many people I know feel like he can't have a "normal" relationship with anyone. I tried so hard to make it work but kept falling on my ass because it's hard to not react to someone who is hot and cold. It only intensified all the guilt and further acting out. It was a vicious cycle. I'm so glad I found this place. I really do hope that what I've written will help at least one person out there who's in misery and confusion. Just start working on you. That's what I'm doing. Find out why you let yourself get sucked into turmoil. Believe me, you had issues LONG before any of the crap started or else you wouldn't be allowing any of it to happen. Go back and find who you are again. It's so hard and you may not know who you are anymore. But you have to. Start empowering yourself and working on getting well so that it will not happen again. It's not really about stepping over their boundaries. It's mostly about not ever erecting any of your own in the first place. You really do have to love yourself before you can love someone else. And if you love yourself, then you won't put up with someone ignoring you and making you feel lonely and confused. I'm working on this right now in my life and it's really painful, but I know that I have to do it because no one else is going to do it for me. I was warned before I started seeing this man. An incredibly insightful person told me exactly what would happen and it all came true. This person told me that he would drain me. That he feeds off of others (like a vampire) so that the relationship is all about what it does for him. I wish I could find this person but they moved away. Drained anyone? Hope I helped some. Good luck to anyone out there hurting and confused. You deserve so much more than this.