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Comments for Catbox 10

Comments for Catbox 10

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   Copyright© 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

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B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000
Time: 09:35 PM

Hi Gang, especially Everybody. Don't you all go nuts now. Mommy is going to go over Catbox 9. In fact she's doing that right now. No abandonment without notice! She wants all you guys to keep posting. And don't worry about her... I work for Trout! So, I'm around.

Mommy said that she wants to make this the board where husbands and wives can begin to come together. And be best the Human Cats, like me, they can be.

Love & purrs, Trubble

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000
Time: 09:53 PM

S1

Okay. I won't talk about what he said or what he did today. I will say that I am angry--very very angry and it really came out. I have ten years of pent up anger and some of it exploded today. Have you seen Forrest Gump? You know the scene where jenny throws rocks at the house where she lived with her abusive father? With all her might, she throws every rock she can get her hands on until she collapses in tears. Forrest says," Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks."

That's how I feel. I'm so angry, and I'm out of rocks. What do I do with the rest of my anger? I want to smash things, and I want to smash this person who is calling me things that I'm not, who is taking his anger at women out on me.

I understand that I need to channel the anger into something productive, and don't worry--I won't be stuck here, in a wheel spinning rage. But for now, this moment, I'm pummeling the air, striking out at the craziness, the injustice of it all. Yes, Steve, he is a tough nut to crack: he is so tough he's petrified! He does not want to feel anything, and above all, he doesn't want to feel responsible. So, he's cruel, hard and mean--and offended that I don't want to hug him!

B., what do you teach? I teach developmental English at the community college level. I enjoy it a lot, but oh my! So I won't go crazy, I've started teaching The Great Gatsby in my Reading Comp. class. They complain at first, but begin to get into it and end up enjoying it. Doing this not only presents them with a challenge that they can feel good about meeting, it helps me keep the gears in my brain from rusting! I also sneak some linguistics into the Phonics (vocab, spelling, basic reading comp) class.

I'm going to go take a deep breath, try to relax, and read a bit in Steve Martin's new book Shopgirl. Love him!

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000
Time: 10:36 PM

S1

Dear Cat Box group,

Lynn here and freezing. Cold, windy and blowing and brrrrr. Steve, Dan can think right now, just not on the web. He's stationed about 4 hours from here living in a cabin with a cell phone. He won't be home for another week. So that might be why I've taken some liberties here. I do love your 100% solution. Why not. What is there to lose? And I've done some thinking, too. Dan and I had five really good years. Dan and I had 5 really not so good years. I've been going back (with all of your help) and trying to figure where and when I changed. Maybe if I change some of it back, at least bend a little, things might get more positive here at the home front.

That's where I am now. We talked again tonight, but just for a minute. No time for any thing like engaging.

Jay, there was a time when I'd post and it would go to limbo, then I'd post, go check and it was on the board. Go back and it was gone. I've read posts that disappear. I lie to think of this as the higher power of the cat box. It takes on a life of it's own at times. Then Asha and I were posting at the wrong sites and it got quite interesting. Kept us on our toes.

B, I wish we all were able to sit down and talk to our mates and say here's what I'd like and the other way around and reach a compromise. It gets so complicated, doesn't it. One request can get blown out of proportion and then it seems to snowball. That's why I wish the guys would post. I thought Dan and I were doing pretty good until he quit posting and reading and then he left town. When he posted though and I did, it seems we could hear whatever the other was saying. Once we went back to the one on one we got engagey again.

Anyhow, I have to go and do some more of my laundry and maybe eat some Trout thing. I love you all and send lots of hugs your way.

(((Hugs & Love)))

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000
Time: 10:38 PM

S1

Dear Becky,

Sorry, I didn't see your post. I'll go read and get back to you. Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000
Time: 11:22 PM

S1

Dear Becky,

Lynn again and GOOD for you! It's about time you got angry. I think it's great. I'll bet you are even feeling better for getting some of it out. Nothing wrong with good healthy honest anger. I've thought all along that you should be angry. I think you have every right to be. And no, I didn't see Forest Gump, but I hear ya' about the rocks.

Keep up the good work and if you need a cheerleader, I'm on your team!

Love The Great Gatsby and Dan and I rented the movie again a few months ago and re watched it. I like the Fitzgerald Bio's, too. Quite an interesting guy (and wife).

My granddaughter learned phonics and she was about 4 and spelled lobster for me ...lopsdr. I sill have the note paper she wrote it on. Sounds like things are going good at work at least.

Take care of yourself, enjoy your anger and if I could send you some more rocks, I would.

(((Hugs))) and Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 03:36 AM

S1

Hi, everyone.

Theressa 100dolars is £70 so as far as I can work it out 25 dollars is 70 divided by 4 on the current exchange rate which is under £20.

So now we know where Dr Irene went! I don't blame her as I know how hard it is when you start something and end up doing a whole lot of work for free and then it escalates. I did this with my teaching for a long while and then I started saying I would only do things for what I am worth.

Becky - about the stones. I went to the beach once and threw stones into the sea for everything I felt angry at the time. It was good to be on the beach as it had an awful lot of stones and I needed a lot and t is write hard to stay mad after you have thrown a lot of stones. I kind of prays first and it was ever so therapeutic even if nothing I was angry about changed.

Sometimes to get the changes we need to be angry first and I know what you mean about the hugs. I think in the end, all we can do in the face of the kind of abuse we get is to ignore it and concentrate on becoming our own person and validating ourselves. I just can't if we don't both leave and go to live in the cat house, see another way.

Lynn, when I said minor physical abuse I was meaning grabbing my wrist and twisting a bowl out of my hand. What I don't understand is why I didn't let go of it when he started. I am not blaming myself for this ,just wondering why I am so willing a victim.

I did ring the police and would have gone to make a statement but then my daughter's problems distracted me and I was so worried about her that I forgot my own problems. I t was a really heavy day yesterday and I got a disappearing long post at midnight.

 

Got into a real guilt trip over my modeling of how men treat you. I have modeled letting men use you. I can't work out why I was the one she told but I got a 2 hour commentary on her love life in al the gory details and ended up saying "Hey you do know this is your mother you are telling." Somewhere I just haven't taught her to respect herself and I feel so bad about that.

Actually. Just to make anyone else who goes down the terrible I am a bad mother road. Dr Irene says 50% is hereditary and 50% is environment. So if both partners are equally responsible then that is 25% of the blame each and if you then deduct say 10% for al the things in the environment you couldn't have changed if you wanted to that leaves 7 1/2 per cent blame for each partner. Adding into this you didn't get it all wrong and so it must be less than 7 1/2 per cent it is better to do what you can to change and stop blaming yourself! If , of course you do agree it is 50% nature and 50% nurture.

Still feeling angry myself, but a bit less so than yesterday. Complete silence here except I just stopped my son posting on here. I usually ensure he can't see what I write.

Steve - Do you mean you think only men can be controlling. I sure live with a control freak but I see things about me that are controlling too.

Asha - you did a good job on Steve! Or rather you did things for yourself and he got he message!

If only my husband would post on this board Dr.Irene and Trubble. If only cats could fly. Only on the backs of brooms! I just don't think it will happen.

Love, and no Laundry. Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 05:35 AM

S1

Hi All,

Hope you had a good weekend, it sounded busy from all your posts!!! and as I see some of you had tiresome weekends, SORRY!!!!

First I'll start with Lynn cuz I read her post first. Lynn, Constructively using your anger how? Well first you must hear the message, as you get the feeling of anger, what is it saying??? It is saying you are unhappy about something which just happened. So go off and cool off {Anger management} Then when you feel calm, [maybe you've gone to cool off by taking a shower or bath, or by meditating, or reading a book] Then you sit and observe, you looking at the options you have for controlling yourself. YOU might go and speak to Dan and say using "I", what you want [NOT what you don't want, your sub-conscious doesn't hear DON'T it only hears the key words, eg, What your gonna do, so if you say I don't want to eat, IT hears EAT, though if you say I am gonna read, IT hears READ etc] {NO!!!! blaming, or issuing blame, you did xxxx, or counterattacking, YOU DID X, YOU DID Y etc.}

LYNN, the laundry, maybe you've sorted this but here's my two cents: Could you sit down with DAN and write a list of all the chores, inside and outside of the home. START with the inside chores first, each choose One item you'd not mind doing off this main list and add it to a new list for each of YOU. Continue until the only jobs left on the list are the jobs you both don't like and the outside of home jobs. YOU SHOULD HAVE AN EQUAL SHARE OF chores on each of your lists!!!

Then Add your outside of the home jobs at the bottom of your separate lists. Are your lists equal in quantity??? e.g 10 jobs listed for DAN 10 jobs listed for LYNN (Remember you each chose the jobs you wanted so each job is worth the same value as in contributing to your household and relationship, so there should not be any resentment felt towards the other, remember you had choices to make, you made them.)

If the list aren't equal cos someone does a job outside the home and another one doesn't take the full time outside job as 3/4 of a list so the one who is at home gets 3/4's of the persons list of CHORES they like doing. Therefore, say DAN works outside the home he'll have a 1/4 of the jobs he likes on his list and LYNN will have her list and 3/4's of jobs which would be on DAN's list if he's on holiday or not a work.

Now you will have left the jobs NO one likes to do. 1/2 these jobs, no matter whether you work outside the home or not. Like cleaning the stove, or drains, or windows, BIG JOBS, not needed every day. Do these on a rota basis. Say one month one does them and the other someone else does them.

Agree if one of you is ill or too busy you'll STOP and have a meeting to ask the one least busy for help.

If the other is finished and wishes to help the other with their chores, THIS IS A CHOICE!!! Do so only if you can do it without wanting anything back in return, if you can't DON'T HELP!!!

Now at the end of the week both STOP and say THANK YOU for working as a team with me. Also if one of you know's that they have a busy schedule coming up at work etc and will find it hard keeping up with home chores then agree to take some of the load off the other person so as the TEAM works well for a limited period of agreed time.

IF your feeling resentful, remember its you both who chose your home routine, and so its you two who can speak up without blame and shame and agree on change at any time it needs changing.

Hi AJ glad you found out what LOL meant, it took me a while to, to find out myself. AS for shouting, NO, I wasn't shouting, not in my opinion anyway, it was for emphasizing what I said and what Jay said, I am not into all this generalizing so for me NO caps don't mean shouting, they mean EMPHASIZING, for others its up to them what their definition is.

Hi Asha, about your reply to my post on the party issue. The reason I rang him back was so he'd see the consequences of him not minding her. Since if he doesn't see that his poor behaviour causes xxxx to happen how can he ever change without the awareness. Also I realised along time ago what causes unnecessary problems is manufacturing anger by non communication in an honest way. SO THIS IS WHY I RANG HIM.

JAY I hear your frustration and REMEMBER IT WELL the times I felt like you did this weekend.

I have some things I want to share also but I'll post them on another post.

Love to you all Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 06:20 AM

S1

Hi All,

BECKY I love Forest Gump!!! I watched only the other week, it rang bells in my ears. I know to the feeling of not having enough rocks, still don't, though I remember what Dr Irene said. When you feel the anger message go cool down and then, set a boundary. this is how you constructively sort your anger, do what you can control. I was so mad at my ex on Friday as you all know. I had some choices to make and some guilt to dump where it belonged. I did it!! It was hard but I did it!!! I set a boundary, that said, I will still go to the party. There is no harm taking the little one. MY ex wanted to stop me going, he didn't succeed. Although I didn't much feel like having fun, since I felt out of place, ONLY one their without a spouse, Well there were some others but its not the first time they'd gone alone without a spouse.

Anyway my ex rang me at 11.00pm and said "Why aren't you home yet, do you know our daughter has dancing in the morning." I said "Yes I know she has dancing, I am waiting for a lift." I didn't engage with him. I was livid though cuz everyone knew he'd rang. They all said "We'd not have that, we'd get a solicitor to sort him so he knows he can't order you about." THEY just don't understand all this do they!!

Anyway On Saturday I had a great time, with my sister's and do you know I noticed my manipulator sister, gets manipulated. THIS was great awareness for me, why? because I realised that manipulators are manipulated also. You see, she manipulates me cuz she knows whatever I still love her, though she feels guilty and obligated and fearful of those whose love doesn't come so easy.

A girl came to the bonfire at my sister's house. We all put some money in a pot and bought fireworks and food. This girl had to go early, to go out to the pub with her mom and to drop off her son at his dad's house. ALL HER CHOICES. Anyway when it came near to her leaving she said to my sister. "GO use some more of those fireworks." My sister "Said, well I thought we'd keep some for later so the kids don't get fed up. We can eat now and watch the bonfire." "OH can we said her friend, and that means my son misses out on them." My sister said "Oh okay go get them." GUILT TRIP OR WHAT!!! Anyway I intervened. cos I wanted to show the two of them what had happened. I said "Maybe MAGs you could let a few off for your pals son and still keep some for later, since its your pals choice if she goes or stays, and not your fault." [The pal didn't like hearing this but well truth and honest are my values] MAGS did this, though she kept saying or I feel guilty. I said "WHY she makes her choices not you." She said "OKAY" Then she dropped the guilt. The pal got to see a few more fireworks and then when she was going, she said "SORRY MAGS I am sorry for being so selfish". MAGS said to me later "T, do you think I was selfish, I said, WHY? you invited us all to your HOUSE, you could of said NO, and then where'd they have the bonfire, so you've not been selfish infact you just met her half way, so she got to see some more fireworks and you got to keep some for later for the kids. A Win-Win in my opinion. She seemed to feel better about this then!!

Anyway my ex rang me just before I went to the bonfire. Here's what happened, ANY opinion please????

He rang me and said "Theressa, what are you doing tonight." I said "Going to my sister's for a bonfire." He said "OH right, good bye".

Anyway later he rang and said "Theressa the decorator is coming in the morning." [He has paid for a good friend of his to decorator MISSY's room.] I said "Okay". Then here comes the GUILT AND blame game!!!! He said "I'm taking MISSY to the bonfire at the Park tomorrow night, all the family is coming down. [His family] I said "Right, she has a birthday party at 5 until 7pm." "He said Oh that is great, I mean if you'd made plans that would be great, wouldn't it, but me, oh it doesn't matter. I mean party, you didn't say anything to me about no party." I said "I know, I only found out just before." I said "Perhaps she could go to the party and the bonfire, she could leave the party a little early and still go with you to the bonfire." He said "Yeah and then we'd inconvenience all the rest." [I said yeah well my priority is my child, if they don't want to wait its their choice, just for them, I am not letting MISSY down.] He said "OH forget it let her go to the party, doesn't matter what I want." [GUILT TRIP]

I said "Okay, though she could do both, so I'll leave it up to you, to sort out with MISSY, I am not bothered, what happens."

Anyway on Sunday Missy said "mommy I won't go to the party cos it will upset daddy". I said "Okay". Then we we're at her dads house to sort out what he'd decided about the party and bonfire. Missy said as soon as she seen her daddy. "Daddy I won't go to the party and upset you." He said "you will, cos its important to you, you want to go to both so you'll go to both". I was amazed.

You see I laid the responsibility and guilt back into her dad's lap. So she went to both after all, and had fun.

My ex went out whilst I was at his sister's house, [He is staying their temporarily] She said to me "Do you know when he rang you on Friday, he didn't go out for long and then he came home and rang you." I said "Yeah I know". She said "He misses you, he still fancies you, I told him if he doesn't sort things soon you'll meet someone else." He didn't reply. I said "Oh" She said "he wanted you to ask him to go with you on Friday, but you didn't ask him." I said "Yeah cos how silly would he feel sat with those at work staring at him cos they know how he brought all this separation on himself." She said "URRMM, he has though hasn't he." I said "I don't like to judge."

This left me confused. I want a guy who wants intimacy and to be healthy, he can't be without help, so how can I take him back??? I can't is the answer, not if he is gonna expected me to give up me again. Not if its only on his terms. Sad as it is I know he won't change. He'll be bossing me about and controlling me all again.

Do you know when I here him be sarcastic with others even it make me cringe, why does this happen?? Does this happen to any of you??

Then this happened: My ex has a roof rack at my house, [it came with the other stuff with the removal firm] I want to get my new carpet for the hallway, its in the way the roof rack really. Anyway I said "I need that roof rack out of my hall way very soon. cos I want to get the carpet laid." My ex said "Its not in the way, just move it and then put it back when the carpets laid. I said "No, it will mark my carpet, take it to your house." He said "I can't it will be stolen and costs a fortune to replace, the house isn't lived in yet as you know." I said "Well I don't want it stuck in my house, its not my roof rack." He said "Oh yeah, but its okay to have my microwave for you to use and my chip fryer, cos they benefit you. After all I do for you, you selfish cow." I didn't reply.

Anyway later on when I went to drop Missy off after the party, it seems his family said They'd made other arrangements and so only him and his sister he lives with were gonna go to the park, he said "Missy would you like mommy to come with us." How could I refuse.

Later at the park at the bonfire, his sister said "He told me that he knows its not your problem the roof rack and he knows its annoying you, but what can he do. He doesn't want it stolen, he thought you'd help him out." I said "Yeah by me leaving my carpet unlaid just so his house can get finished, why should i. My priority is my house, not his." She said "well that's your choice".

Then I saw something which always bugged me about my ex. HIS TANTRUMS. Him and Missy went off to see one of the fair rides. The next minute he storms off and the little one is crying. My ex sister asked Missy what is the problem. She said "My dad, said I can't go on the big rides, when I asked, he said "Your so ungrateful." I said "No I am not." and then he stormed off. My ex sister said "oh dear" and Missy said "You know my dad has an attitude problem, he is so silly." We, me and the my ex sister just looked at each other and she said "Do you know I never knew he was so immature." I said "Well you do now, now you know why I moved out. In between two kids for seven years was more than enough." She said "Oh boy, I see your viewpoint now." I realised this is the bit of him I HATE!!!! [YEAH I AM SHOUTING THIS COS I AM ANGRY!!!]

SO you see I've had an eventful weekend, can't wait to hear all your comments.

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 12:09 PM

S1

Hello, Dr. Irene. I have been reading and posting on your site since August, 2000. Hi Jean! My posts are under the name 'Jean'. I am presently reading Patricia Evans books on verbal abuse and have found great insight from them and your site. I have come to the conclusion that after being married for 25 years I have been putting up with verbal abuse from a 'controlling caregiver'. I met my husband when I was 20 and he was 25. He moved me out of my apartment, sold my car and bought a new one, planned our wedding and honeymoon, built his dream house, etc. I felt out of control but at the same time very cared for. I was brought up in a house full of anger (my parents divorced after 30 yrs.of fighting) so I was willing to do just about anything to get along. Besides, how could I not? As he says (even now), "I give you everything. You have absolutely nothing to be unhappy about!". I did not object to his treatment in an obvious manner, but I was gradually becoming less able to interact with him in any way. In August, 2000 he blew up at me in front of some people. Only then did he decide we needed help. He told the counselor that he didn't like the way I was making him act! So we were in marriage counseling for him! Oh, brother...

Counseling lasted three sessions, but of course the counselor didn't know what he was talking about according to my husband. He was a Christian counselor who suggested the book 'Boundaries in Marriage' the first time! It was a real eye-opener to me. I am thankful that I went. My husband only read 3 chapters of the book and was totally uncooperative in the sessions. Now I see that he really did think the counselor would tell me to shape up and when that didn't occur and the doc honed in on HIS behavior, he quit. So now we are at an impasse. I am trying to be more assertive and praying to God to help me. I realize he isn't going to change, but I can! I can control me! Thanks to you and others, I feel like my eyes have been opened after 25 yrs. and I am NOT crazy or selfish or too sensitive, etc. Whew- What a relief!

My question- My husband's abuse is most definitely covert. He discounts, trivializes, criticizes, etc. But he has never called me names. Then I got to thinking. He calls me "Gloria". That is NOT my name. When we were first married, I kept asking, "Who's Gloria??" He would say, "I don't know. I like that name." So I asked him if he had a former girlfriend named Gloria and he assured me that he didn't. So for 25 years he has called me "Gloria" and up until recently I didn't realize that it was usually in a disparaging manner. Like when we are with friends or his family and I do or say something he doesn't like and he will say, "Oh, Gloria!" and everyone laughs. Especially his family. They all call me Glo. And after thinking about it, he doesn't do it around my family. So in September I told him my name is not Gloria and to please call me by my real name. He looked at me like I was from Mars! Do you think this was a subtle form of control? I do, but after all these years, I can't believe that I didn't see it before now. I feel like a chump for letting him belittle me all these years. Do you think he would have stood for it if I had started calling him by another name?? I was just wondering if you had run into this before? I know people have pet names for each other, but something totally different??

Thanks for taking time to read this. - Jean

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 01:09 PM

S1

Good Morning Cat Box and Welcome Jean,

Wow, you guys are posting faster than I can think. Also in Working It Out there is a lot going on (no men, tho...Good for you here, Steve) and I haven't had time to answer anyone there, either.

Great reply to a woman who's husband gave her a list of things for her to do to make him happy.

Theressa, thanks for your suggestion. B, too with the chores. I know where this came from with Dan. His mother would get him angry and he'd clean, clean and clean. Then all was forgiven, I guess. I think he was programmed to clean rather than expressing his anger. He's going to have to fix this one, but I like the list idea. I can split the wood, drain the carburetor and do the plumbing. This gets touchy, because then he thinks I'm in his territory and frequently these things don't get done. I'm going to have to retrain yourself here, too. I'm just learning this, so it's going to take some time.

Theressa, with Becky, I think there was so much anger management on her part that she was getting further down. I have to stick with my first post here. I'm glad she finally got angry. How are you doing Becky? Now that she's realized how angry she really is I thing she'll be able to learn what to do with it.

Jay, are you calling Steve controlling? Grin, or just men in general?? I understand about the police, the daughter, the son, etc. We never seem to get hit with one thing at a time. Muddles the brain. The way I see it is the guy tries to control the girl and the girl tries to control the guy. The girl thinks she's the "good guy" and the guy feels scapegoated and doesn't think. Just for the record.

Asha, I'm so glad you are you. Enough said. You know what I am talking about. Thanks.

Just say Hi, Astrid. We care about you.

Jean, hello. We (male and female) can sure get snowed under by our upbringing, can't we? Gloria, no less? It would make me crazy. I couldn't even post here with an aka. Funny, in our family, my dad has never hit anyone's name the first time. We have to be pretty secure in who we are. My dad even spells my name Lyn now. We don't take offense. This is just a quirk of his. Maybe in is mind Gloria is the good wife and Jean is the not so good wife? Who knows? Have you ever called him anything else?

AJ, I have to tell you what my sister in law did. She's married to Dan's brother and she blew up the other day and told him, "We've done things for 20 years your way and look where we are. Now, we are going to spend the next 20 doing things my way!" She says it's working so far. I haven't told her about Dr. Irene.

Theressa, I'm glad to hear things are changing because you are. Keep up the good work.

Dan will be home later tonight and has to leave early in the morning so I have to go and take some disengage therapy, just in case. It worked so well. I just have to learn to keep it up. I think I should have a Master's Degree in engage, by now! Time to take another course.

Love to all and I'll get back to you when I can.

Loads of Love and Hugs,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 03:39 PM

S1

Dear all. I finally decided I had to leave for a bit. Although I am coming back for my son in the day. Just had it with the abuse I have had for 20 years. Don't know what I will do eventually; depends on how the other half reacts. I will see him if he turns up for the family therapy on Friday. Daughter not speaking again as well as I refused to put up with her rudeness. I just want to take our son and start over somewhere else. The physical violence was the last straw. I like your newfound strength Jay!

Love, jay

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 05:04 PM

S1

God love ya' Jay, I'm glad. Good luck and my prayers and thoughts are with you. (((HUGS))) and Lots more hugs. Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 06:19 PM

S1

Hi! A quick note before dinner.

(((Jay))) I feel for you and I admire your bravery! take care and stay strong!

Theressa, I believe that it was you that mentioned cringing at his sarcasm toward others. i identify with that! Woe to the telemarketer who gets him on the phone. he won't just politely say "no thanks" and hang up. He plays cat and mouse: "who is this?" "Where are you calling from?" "Did I ask you to call me?" (BTW, my older boy used to be a telemarketer, and he said that the surest way to get put down for a call back is to be rude)!

The other night, we got a campaign call for George Bush. The lady said, "This is so-and-so calling for George Bush." He replied "George Bush isn't here!" and laughed uproariously like he'd done something so clever. His aunt and sister happened to be visiting and they looked at him with puzzled expressions, like What are you doing? I suppose there was no real harm done, but that kind of behavior is so sixth grade! (Then I have a 6th grade sense of humor too!)

He will be rude at times to sales people and waitresses; if they can't answer a question, he acts very intolerant. I just fade into the background when he does that.

As for my anger, I've been angry before, but it's usually the impotent rage type of anger--no direction, frustrated exploding. This is more centered. It comes from a solid, sure place inside myself that KNOWS what I want and don't want! I am clearing the air, for myself, at least. I told him last night that if he insists on believing that I'm out to rip him off (just like all the others, he says) then I don't want him around. He can believe what he wants, but he will have to do it elsewhere. I guess he could tell that I meant it. (Knowing that I've done my homework as far as my legal rights are concerned may have made an impression as well).

I need to eat and probably take a headache pill. The cold rainy weather is messing me up!

Oh! Welcome Jean! If it's any comfort, your husband sounds so much like mine. Abusers tend to do and say the same things--and they think their behavior is all about US!

Later, everyone,

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 06:59 PM

S1

Dear Becky,

Glad to hear from you. You're sounding better. I hope so.

I love what you wrote about abusers language. It had to be about us, otherwise they would have to accept responsibility. My X, the beater upper, would beat me to a pulp and then say, "See what you made me do!" YUK YUK YUK YUK YUK!

Take care of yourself. (((HUGS))) And good luck!

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 07:27 PM

S1

I'm still here, and in marginally better spirits. Beware, long and rambling post to follow.

I am a stressball (great word!) right now. I am not dealing all that well with co-workers who seem to be (almost literally) adding two and two and getting five. I wouldn't bother fighting it, except a) the auditors will not be happy if they see these mistakes and b) I'm working for a provider of low-cost sliding-scale health insurance. If the client's income is figured wrong, we could end up overcharging them, and that's just not right. But apparently I am the troublemaker since I'm new and those who have been there for years think that savings accounts (principal not interest) can be counted as income (this is not correct within our guidelines; I checked) and that semi-monthly paychecks are the same as biweekly paychecks. ARGH! It's not even the kind of job I can say "oh well, it's not worth getting stressed about" because if we screw up some kid's health insurance it could do real harm. I'm trying to get better about picking my battles, but this one seems sort of important, but of course nobody wants to listen to me. "You aren't supposed to feel sorry for the kids; just do your job!" That's only part of the point. The rest is I'd prefer not to be told to do it wrong by the people who are training me! Maybe you need to find work in a facility where staff is not so burned out...

Spent a nice partial weekend with Mom. We took my grandmother to tea and we went to see Elisabeth Von Trapp (daughter of one of the Von Trapps of Sound of Music fame) in concert. It was wonderful! I got fed a nice breakfast the next morning and came back to put some overtime in at work. When I finally got home there were 10 messages on my machine -- three automated "vote on Tuesday" things, two hang-ups, one call from my landlord, one call from a friend who wanted to hang out, and three calls from L (my ex).

Apparently things have changed, he's decided he has to rethink his recent belief in the divine of "You don't exist and I don't like you!" Why this is MY problem I don't know, but he's depressed and having disturbing dreams pertaining to faith/religion, and wants Astrid to come make everything better or at least explain everything to him so he can make sense of his life. No. NOT MY JOB! Agreed. This from the person who basically (though not in this vocabulary, but it was the gist of it) told me that religious faith is the ultimate form of codependence, and he was trying to draw his strength from himself rather from any sort of higher power.

That offended me. To say the least. And of course, it used to be that any invocation of a spiritual connection was the fastest way for L to get me un-mad at him, and I came a little too close to falling for it. Again. But I've thought and cried and thought more and realized that I can be "connected" to many people, that I don't WANT to be so "connected" to L or anyone else that I lose my sense of self again, and that spiritual connection or no, L's recent behavior (especially the whole drug issue) is sufficiently unacceptable to me that I can't take him back unless and until I see a meaningful change. Don't fall for anybody's words. Pay attention inside.  

David, if you happen to be reading over here, this might apply to your wife: I am wary of even the changes L is making right now that seem positive, because they are so intermingled with wanting me back (he has asked again, and I have said no again, though much more hesitantly this time than in the past). What assurance do I have that the changes will continue if I come back? Not enough. It's only been three months. And in my case, I don't trust MYSELF not to start snapping at L about things I really don't have the right to ask him to change. I don't want to promise him anything and then feel trapped by the promise. You need to work on your self-control issues, for your own sake.

Went back over childhood memories and such and realized something that I need to keep in mind. I was an avid reader of fairy tales and Victorian-era classic children's books. The pretty girls have blonde hair and blue eyes, or black hair and blue eyes, or maybe either red hair and blue eyes or brown hair and brown eyes. I have brown hair and green eyes. This led me to believe that I was not and could not be pretty. (This is one of the things that my parents didn't know about till years later.) In junior high, I had short-ish straight hair when everyone else had big permed hair. This got me made fun of. I was convinced that I was not pretty. I also had guys pretend to ask me out for someone else as a way of making fun of me.

Once I was in college, I was eventually considered something of a catch. Probably in part because I was one of a handful of females in a hobby that was then even more male-dominated than it is currently. Once I got over wondering if people who tried to catch my attention really meant it, I ended up being what I've referred to as "the practice girlfriend" more times than I care to remember. This tells me you had no self-confidence and you found a way to push guys away. I'd have someone for a few months, then either the other person would give me some variant of "you're too much like a sister to me" or "I can't see us together ten years from now" OR I would be left for someone new and better-suited to the other person. (At least one such couple is now married.) 

Why did/do I continue to fall for this? Because it is still so shocking to me that anyone would be genuinely interested in me! Intellectually I know I'm fairly attractive (even though somewhat heaver than I'd like to be) and those accursed green eyes are my best feature. But the pattern was set when I was quite young. I think the "practice girlfriend" thing applies even to me and L, maybe he just needed more practice than most. *giggle* We did make it through two years (my previous longest relationship was six months!) and he still wants more. Or so he says.

Blah. School is NOT in session. So there.

On the name thing, I basically don't use my true first name EVER unless I have to on a legal document. I will tolerate it from immediate family and older relatives. I use a nickname of it that (as I've said before) is quite close to the name of a current poster here. I once dated a guy who insisted on calling me by my MIDDLE name though! That was weird. No one EVER calls me by my middle name. I told him to cut it out and he just wouldn't. We also have a situation with too many people having the same name or same first initial. I have to differentiate by nicknames or SCA names, as appropriate. :)

Steve and Lynn, the doghouse/cat box was sort of like what C (the one who gave me the flower) used to have with a bunch of his friends -- the Bachelor's B**** Forum, later renamed to the more genteel Bitter and Cynical Men's Committee. It's now the Bitter and Cynical People's Committee (we're now Politically Correct! *giggle*) or perhaps the Bitter and Cynical Poetry Circle.

Steve, on the 50/50 bit: I tried to give 100 and expect 0, but I don't think that truly expecting *nothing* in return is healthy either. Nope.  I think there are some things we all have the right to expect in relationships, and the responsibility to give, no matter what else is going on: we should feel safe, we should expect honesty from our partners, we should give and receive respect.

If L and I never had to get out of bed we would have been fine. *sigh* That's part of what was so frustrating for me about him. I knew he was capable of being loving, considerate, communicating well and being willing to try new things -- the physical relationship had all that to a truly amazing degree. The rest of our relationship found all of those things severely lacking. But because we had that in one area, I believed (perhaps mistakenly) that I could expect it from him in the rest of our interactions, and I'd get frustrated (and on occasion go on a shouting rampage) when I felt I wasn't getting those things in the rest of our relationship.

Jay, I love Macavity and all the rest of the Practical Cats. I wonder who would be who in here. :)

Becky, I hear you about the sarcasm making people cringe. Mom says this about Dad sometimes, that the whole atmosphere was just charged with it whenever he got angry.

For some of you, their solution of the past few years might work -- they have no desire/intention to get a divorce, but found they don't live together well at this point. They live apart, but spend some weekends together, take vacations together, and so forth. They get their space, they get each other's company, and they can usually be on better behavior for a few days if they know they get to go home alone at the end. :) I know I wouldn't ant to live with either one of them either, so it all makes sense to me. Then, I'm too young to feel that is a viable solution for me. I want someone I can LIVE with, I want kids and I want there to be two parents in the home if at all possible.

Jay, good for you for leaving. I think that's exactly what you need to do at this point. Stay strong.

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 09:27 PM

S1

Hmm. Been debating with self whether or not to post 'bout this because it's a little tooo weird. But what the heck, may as well give it a go.

Something L used to do that made me feel all warm fuzzy happy was sing to me, either when we were going to sleep or when we were in the car and an appropriate song came on the radio. So I was putting in some overtime yesterday, like I said, and enjoying that the snarly co-workers were not in the building and I could play the radio in peace. There's this new song out with lyrics that are a little too appropriate (it's called "If You're Gone" I think, don't remember the band), and if I hadn't known that it wasn't possible I would have *sworn* L was there singing along with it. It wasn't the first time I'd heard the song or anything, and I've even thought of him when I heard it before, but this was different.

Was good I was in the office by myself. I wouldn't have wanted the co-workers to see me crying. That freaked me out though. I know it isn't possible, I don't think I've lost my grip on reality that much, but....I don't know. Later that day when I saw him was when he asked me to come back again. And he sounded more like his old self than he had in a very very long time, not to mention more contrite about his part of the stuff that went wrong between us. But of course, once he was done visiting me he was off to visit Cheech and Chong, and I didn't ask because I didn't want to know....but (from the last fight we had) THEY think he's better off without me because he's so much more mellow when he gets high.

So, it's still not good enough. But just good enough to make me WISH it was good enough. 

But wishing doesn't get me very far. Right. Time to recognize your worth and stop being fearful of a man who is actually emotionally available.

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 09:52 PM

S1

Jay: "Steve - Do you mean you think only men can be controlling. I sure live with a control freak but I see things about me that are controlling too."

Oh, no, I think it's not based on sex at all. I've seen plenty of both sexes controlling the other, as well as same sexes controlling each other.

Astrid: "Steve, on the 50/50 bit: I tried to give 100 and expect 0, but I don't think that truly expecting *nothing* in return is healthy either. I think there are some things we all have the right to expect in relationships, and the responsibility to give, no matter what else is going on: we should feel safe, we should expect honesty from our partners, we should give and receive respect."

I disagree with you Astrid. At one time I would have seen it that way. But now, I understand the problems that come with "expectations". We should not "expect" honesty. We should just have it as a boundary and if WE are giving 100 honesty and getting none in return, we simply move on. Goodbye.

If you always "expect", then you will be at the blind mercy of the gods of "impatience". I think real love is 100/0. That doesn't mean you tolerate getting kicked in the teeth by someone who doesn't respect you. It just means you give your best without thinking of it as a mutual fund. Then, you will soon clearly see what your mate is going to truly be like. If he/she's right or wrong for you, you'll see it clearly.

I believe that to have a "real" relationship (not based on expectations) you need to see what's real about it. It's like lighting a real fire under someone's feet, and watching to see how long it takes for them to react, as opposed to "asking" them how long it would take for them to react to a fire under their foot.

100/0 will give you a much clearer picture of what your spouse is really like. 50/50 will make it a business competition and "let the games begin" will be the war cry after the starting gun goes off.

If you know you're giving 100 and expecting 0, then you will never be in that "competitive business relationship". You will be in a loving relationship - or out. There will be no in-between where both partners are constantly checking their own emotional bank accounts to see if the other has fulfilled their "expectations" yet.

Just my opinions of course. At this time. Subject to change without notice. Grin. Grin.

Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000
Time: 09:58 PM

S1

Theressa:

I understand why you rang him back (to see consequences etc.), but there may come a time when it won't matter to you if he sees the consequences or not. What he sees and doesn't see is up to him, and no amount of effort on your part will help him, if *he* doesn't want to see. By telling him your plans you gave him the opportunity to call you at the party - basically you engaged him (without realizing it), and he engaged back. Do you see what I mean? I say this because I think you're accurately reading his intentions, but it's when you stop responding to them that I think you'll make the most impact.

Jay - It would be nice to take credit for Steve, but just as I'm not responsible for his anger, neither am I responsible for his happiness. I'm just glad he's choosing the latter. I can't make anyone change except myself. It sounds like you also are doing just that. I'll send good thoughts your way.

Hi everyone else. Busy day today - my love to you all. To you too

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000
Time: 05:52 AM

S1

Hi All,

I'll reply to Lynn first because I saw her post first. Lynn do you see me changing. My therapist said last night at my session. "Theressa a small part of you still seeks reconciliation, you know this don't you. Theressa you describe your ex's behaviour and it's the way kids act, though he is STUCK at this stage, its not ridiculous or pathetic nor is your ex, he is simply doing what he knows, he has no awareness like you do, you've enabled him and covered for him by people pleasing for a long time and stopped him suffering the consequences, you are still somewhat. Your ex doesn't believe in change cos he has had to go through any, you've helped him stay stuck, though now you've stopped enabling him quite a bit he might see the consequences for his actions. You can't rush him to see them any quicker than he wants to. FIRST you have to stop enabling and make them sit up and listen and take note, how you do this is by not enabling. YES it might be hard, it will mean letting him down lots, it will mean the fear of him not coming back, it will be the fear of being lonely, it will be the fear of abandonment of disapproval. It will mean you'll have to learn to do the things you get him to do. BUT you can learn, it doesn't need to be perfect, just like you are teaching Missy she can try her best, and not worry what others say, the same for Theressa. You see when you take the blame when he says look what you made me do. You enabled him. LYNN isn't this a coincidence its what you also said.

Becky do you mean with the telemarketer my ex, I should answer the phone and say stop bothering me, I'll do what I want? I was a little confused by your reply on this.

It helped Becky to know that not only I cringe when my ex is sarcastic with others, my therapist said its cos we have hot buttons and the manipulation is a wire to them. If we let the wire connect to the hot button we feel the pain.

Hi Asha, I hear you when you say you understand why I rang him back. My therapist told me I need to strengthen the TRUE SELF then when I love ME wholly I won't be bothered about protecting my ex, I will be bothered what is truly right for Theressa. ASHA it is hard for me, I can't dump the notion of us ever reconciling and someone dropping a magic spell on my ex and him changing. I keep hoping he'll wake up and get to therapy. SOME dream eh!!! How'd sort this out?

My therapist said its like when you had your old car Theressa it was familiar and although it had flaws it seem comfortable. Then you got your new one, it was unfamiliar and had few flaws but you felt uncomfortable with it, it was new, you didn't know it. This is a metaphor of THERESSA going through all these changes. There new, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable, but YOU can do it, I know you can. THERAPIST HAS GREAT FAITH IN ME. He told me just to act and push forward. It sounds easier but its as hard as hell.

I want my daughter to see her daddy though how'd I keep up friendship for MISSY's sake and still move on and leave behind the past? Some say its best to be friends than enemies, BUT how do you re-negoiate a new relationship of just friendship for your children's sake with the other parent?

My therapist said Theressa okay so you don't sleep with this guy, he doesn't live with you, he lives on his own BUT you go out to Pizza palour, you went to the bonfire with him. What mixed message is this? ASHA I am confused, how can I just not go anymore to these things, isn't this not being friends?

When I first started therapy the therapists said you can still be friends has he changed his mind? What do you make of this?

YOU said Asha that by phoning him I was engaging, OKAY!! But isn't it impolite if a parent is gonna visit their kid if your out and they don't know where you are? What else could I have done? YES so you say I understood his intentions, I think I did!!! Though how do I not react to them, can you explain this to me?

Thanks all of you Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000
Time: 06:36 AM

S1

OK, Steve, here's where I have a problem with your concept of expecting nothing from a partner, and solving it all by setting boundaries:

I know you probably don't really mean it this way, but it sounds like you think everyone should start off from the *expectation* that a prospective or current partner is going to be bad news, or at the very least unwilling to put effort into a relationship.

"No expectations" could easily equate to "expect the worst and then be grateful when you don't get it." Or "expect the worst and be prepared to be defensive at all times." Or "expect that I'll be treated badly because I don't deserve any better, so I'm going to give and give and give because that's the only way anyone will ever be able to stand to be with me." Bad news.

I agree that we shouldn't expect our partners to, say, be mind-readers. Or even to give exactly 50% at all times in all things.

And I agree that keeping a "balance sheet" in a relationship is a bad move, and that ideally both partners will be giving without thought of return. But the basic stuff has to come first. Respect, Safety, and Trust.

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000
Time: 09:20 AM

S1

Hi, all jay again I forgot to say welcome to Jean. Well, I really did get myself out of the house. Won't say where to as my husband might read that. If only he would start posting. I would gladly pay Dr. Irene for her comments!

Vented on a friend all evening. Some people in this world are Saints! But I was totally amazed that I slept. Now back in the house during the day and taken with an urge to clean and clear it out.

Daughter being extremely abusive. I am not bothering to engage. I have just had enough and want a life. Taking it a bit slowly. But I will be o.k. Husband silent but that is nothing new.

It feels so weird. I thought I would be distraught and instead I just feel like I am taking care of myself. It occurred to me the housework thing might be an attempt to claim I put nothing into the family home and so that is another reason for cleaning it.

I hope that my son is o.k and can't wait for the end of school.

Steve, I am not there so I don't know if you are controlling or not!

Becky. I am neither brave or strong, just exhausted and I do want the marriage to work out. I don't know why I love the guy, but I do. I don't know why I should be willing to forgive my husband or daughter, but I am, which is probably a gift from God!

But on the other hand I can't tolerate the control issue. I have to be my own person. Maybe you have a better experience of your Southern Baptist style of Christianity but I got sold on the submission thing for years and now I feel like a fool. I want to write a book about it eventually. I even thought I had to wear the type of clothes my husband or the church dictated. I am a very intelligent person and I behave like that.....No mind of my own at all. That really frightens me as I still know a lot of people thinking like that.

Sorry anyone who objects to this Christian vent. It is not meant to bring any particular religion into the board. I have taught numerous Muslims over the years and respect all faiths even if I think mine is the right one. It is just a personal vent and I am not rejecting God or Jesus anyone religious out there so don't pray for me to see the light!!!! 

But sometimes I wonder how much religion made me co dependence. I take responsibility for my actions, so I am not saying that this is the fault of the church. It is my fault for not thinking for myself. Have you seen Verbal Abuse & the Church?

Naughty me I rag on the telemarketing sales people dreadfully. No wonder they keep calling. Becky, on this one, I do think that a lot of people do this and it is just getting fed up at the constant interruptions. I confess to being terrible about this!

Oh dear, I think you have a point. I am not very tolerant of salespeople either. Sixth grade is probably our reception. Perhaps I need to see others don't see my behaviour about this in the same light as myself and change. No guilt!

I think it is you who are strong. You seem very clear on what you do and don't want and to be utilizing your anger well. I am not doing so well at that.

Astrid, Now that is interesting, which cat is which. I'm glad you didn't confuse sex with the other things in a relationship with your ex. Also, I think that God is bigger than us (This is getting to be a religious post) so I am glad you don't take responsibility for your ex's religious search. I have seen people genuinely change, so I know that it is possible as a result of a religious conversion. (I have my own story to tell about myself there) but I have also seen people think they will change and change for a while and then go back. Also I think people think everything will change in a miraculous way all at once, but they just don't. People think generally they have changed more than they have and I have seen church elders act out their own controlling ways on their flock. So if he goes through a conversion of any sort I would not go back until you have seen a good lot of changing!

As for your solution, it could work. I won't reject it out of hand. Thank you. There must have been something in these partners to make us stay for so long that wasn't all bad.

I sometimes think that marriage therapy should be really direct and tough instead of all this letting each say what they think. I have always subscribed to the let people reach their own conclusions therapy, but I Think now that there is a place for the other kind.

Which is why I like this board so much. I trust the people who post to really say what they think.

Astrid, about the drug thing. My husband once had a load of dope I was worried about and got into a state about. I eventually found he had used the lot and it didn't exist any more!

Asha, take the credit for you! Thanks for the support and everyone else, thanks too.

Jean, welcome! I just read your post. Maybe some of what I said in the part of this post to Becky applies to you too? I have a feeling that some Christian guys get a strong message they can be in charge with that bit about 'wives submit.' And we never get told, don't submit to abuse. I was horrified to learn there is a whole group in the US where the wives give in and do what their husbands want on everything. What a gift to a guy who is controlling and of course if God has said it.......

The best thing Dr. Irene has said to me is to not let people treat you worse than you would treat yourself. Close. More accurate: Not to let other people treat you worse than you would treat them. You have a right to be called by the name you want. I have heard preachers preach we have no rights. We do have responsibilities and one of them is to love our neighbor and we love ourselves. If we let ourselves be disrespected, then we are not loving out neighbor.

Also, if it is physical abuse the church tends to be sympathetic. But I think a lot of Christian guys justify their covert abuse by thinking their wives have to follow their lead on everything. I will probably be labeled a heretic now and once again, I don't want to offend the religious sensibilities of anyone else on the board. Don't worry; you're not offensive at all. 

What a 'religious post!:

Well folks I had better get on. I just hope I can keep strong in all this going on with me. It is weird but I thought I would be distraught but more I feel relieved and like I am getting a rest from all the hassle! My brain needs it. Love and hugs. Jay

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000
Time: 09:28 AM

S1

I wanted to share this with Becky:

Recovery From Love Addiction

by Irene Matiatos, Ph.D.

Pia Mellody has written a wonderful book called Facing Love Addiction. The main premise is that we look to another to give us what emotional "stuff" we need and do not have. The problem is that the love addict's solution doesn't work very well for very long. Idealized infatuation may feel like love, but it is little more than an empty promise of what the future will bring. (see love vs. infatuation)

We are unable to participate in a mature love relationship before we develop the ability to provide ourselves with the right emotional "stuff." (Call it "self-respect", "self-love", whatever...) Love addicts spend more energy manipulating the environment -- in order to get others to give them what they need -- than they do in noticing and meeting their own needs. Trying to control events and other people drives them. Unfortunately, an obsession with things outside the self does little in meeting one's own needs. It does however provide a distraction from dealing with the inner self. It can be very difficult to get off this merry-go-round. Think of a farmer who must till his soil, fertilize, weed, and water his crop so it may thrive. Instead of getting on with the day-to-day work of farming, he becomes focused on how good he will feel driving the new car he will buy with his earnings. Spending most of his time test driving different models and negotiating prices, the farmer's crop fails. Resigned to a miserable car-less winter, the farmer becomes lost in his new dream: he'll get an even nicer car next fall!

I've never seen a case of love addiction where the love addict was relatively happy with his or her life. Susceptible individuals usually have a goal or a dream and feel they are "on hold" until someone comes into their lives to help them materialize it. Maybe the dream is a prettier, more comfortable home; children; a good social life; moving to the city; moving to the country; a partner to open a store with; a divorce from a partner you opened a store with; and on and on.

The bottom line is that if you are not happy with your Right Now, you are likely to be dreaming of a future that is different from your Here and Now. You are likely to vacillate between a sense of purposeless, mindless floating, depression, and an obsession with Getting There -- rather than on Living Your Life! If you don't know how to live in the Here and Now now, what makes you think you could miraculously do it if you got what you wanted? Where do you think the phrase, "Be careful of what you wish for...you might get it" comes from?

The solution is to put yourself closer to where you want to be and do it without the partner you are waiting for. If you want a prettier home, dress your house up. If you want a better social life, start socializing. If you want to live in San Diego, move. Half the battle in taking care of yourself is figuring out what you want. The other half is engaging in the process that will eventually get you there. As you get to know yourself better and begin to take action, you invest more energy in yourself and less energy in manipulating others. You are learning to control yourself, the only person you have any real control over. You empower yourself to meet more of your needs and, as you do, your contentment increases. You are more inclined to stay in the Here and Now because There is Here Now!

Bonus: As you live in the Here and Now, you are much more likely to attract the person you wanted in the first place! When you meet your emotional needs, you are more likely to make a love relationship work.

So, if you are seriously interested in recovering from love addiction, the best prescription is: Get A Life! What have you got to lose but your misery?

Love Theressa  What a compliment. Thanks Theressa.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000
Time: 03:09 PM

S1

Hi all, B. here,

Jay, my interactive board is: "B's Board: Working the Marriage". Search the site and it will show up.

Asha, No chance of getting hubby here... for now.

You say: "As long as you accept things you don't want to accept, your H doesn't have to change". Right, I agree.

I do have outside help every day, but it's not enough - and there's a limit to paid help...

Of course I respect my H's "no". But mostly the problem is not the "no" to my request, it's the passivity of not taking care of things UNLESS I ask.

Steve, You say: "To really get in touch with your feelings, and change them, you have to face the fear that is preventing you from doing that. Do you know what that fear is?"

No I don't, but when I read what you wrote I had a "bingo" feeling: Yes, it's a FEAR. I want to talk to him, but I'm afraid. Also, I feel that talking with him is like trying to change HIM, and I would rather change myself first.

I liked your story about giving 100. Actually, I've noticed that when I give up entirely on expecting him to share the load, when at the same time I'm very loving - he starts doing more and more, and taking responsibility! It probably has something to do with the fact, that when I "expect" him to help he "senses" it subconsciously and reacts to that as a pressure. When I let go of my expectations and my anger about doing everything, the pressure is off him, but he also does not feel "punished" for "not doing anything". So he is relieved of his own feelings of guilt, uselessness, inadequacy etc.

Hey! Could that be IT? Could that be the answer I was looking for? Let myself be totally ME, i.e. self sufficient, PLUS be loving to him? But that sounds suspiciously like the "good old" co-dependent pattern, doesn't it? I'm confused!!!!

Thank you everyone who tried to help me! I am still thinking about everything you said and trying to learn. Going to read CatBox 10 now! B.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000
Time: 04:56 PM

S1

Astrid

I think what Steve is getting at with the 100/0 giving idea is that by giving up expectations of a particular outcome you free yourself up to make choices based on reality, not on what you 'wish' the other person would do. He doesn't mean 'sacrificing' i.e. giving when you don't want to, or putting others needs/wants before taking care of yourself. He means total acceptance of what "is". I think this idea honors the fact that you can't control others behaviors, and when you give 100 you won't be giving resentfully or out of manipulation, and you won't be disappointed if the other person doesn't give back. You may however, become more selective of what, and to whom you give. Get what I mean? I think it's a more empowered way of looking at giving. The problem with a lot of people is that they give with an expectation of a certain outcome, and then if that outcome doesn't happen they feel like martyrs. It's just one way of wording it - the 100/0 probably brings up visions of 'overgiving' or putting up with misbehavior from your partner; I don't think this is what Steve meant. I like the concept though.

Jay - I don't understand the question about control to Steve (I may have I missed something). I can tell you from my perspective that he has been doing extremely well in 'not controlling'. Maybe he'll slip - he probably will, but I see that he is really growing. The neat thing is that it's not so much about 'trying hard' it's about changing old patterns. To me, he appears far more relaxed than he's ever been. Great! Letting go is much less work...

And thanks, I do take credit for me. The earlier me was fine too - I just didn't have all the tools and knowledge to make better choices. I'm also lucky because Steve has made choices I'm happy with. If he hadn't, I'd still be okay, though - it's a bonus that he's made choices I like. Yeah!

You sound strong, and I like that you're moving right along in your quest for positive change. Good for you!

<<Of course I respect my H's "no". But mostly the problem is not the "no" to my request, it's the passivity of not taking care of things UNLESS I ask.>>

B - the reason I spoke about respecting the 'no' is because I myself could not respect it. I knew that living that way was unacceptable to me, so if I respected the 'no' it would mean facing the fact that I couldn't live with certain things. If he does do things when you ask, maybe it's not so bad. You have to remember that it's not his pattern to know to take care of these things - his upbringing didn't teach him that. Maybe if you ask regularly (and he continues to co-operate) it will eventually become his new pattern.

<<when I read what you wrote I had a "bingo" feeling: Yes, it's a FEAR. I want to talk to him, but I'm afraid. Also, I feel that talking with him is like trying to change HIM, and I would rather change myself first.>>

This is interesting, because I recently realized that I haven't always asked for what I want clearly either. I would say things like "can WE clear out the gutters", or I would say "such and such needs doing" instead of clearly asking "Steve, will you do the dishes tonight?" Good! (And accept a negative answer when given).

Sounds like both of us are afraid to "want" anything from our partners. Rather silly, isn't it? I think we have to see it as changing *ourselves* because we are learning to honor ourselves by clearly asking for help from our partners. The self-work we need to do is to learn not to be over-responsible, and to honor our partners by allowing them to also be responsible, and by giving them ample opportunity to do so. Sounds good.

I think what you said about giving up expectations makes sense. That's what I meant by respecting 'no'. Then there's no temptation to manipulate the partner into doing what you want them to do. The co-dependent pattern, in your words, is the SACRIFICING. Respecting no, giving 100/0, or in other words total acceptance of other's choices is not sacrificing - it's facing reality, and working within it.

Take care everyone.

Asha

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000
Time: 06:27 PM

S1

Happy election day (at least for some of us)! hahahahaha! Boy do some of you non-cat type humans know how to make a mess of that!

I wish I had time to write in-depth posts like the rest of you; I really appreciate and learn from them! I never seem to have a solid block of time where I'm sure that I'll have complete privacy.

Theressa, I'm not sure what you're asking regarding the telemarketers. I guess I'm saying why not just say "I'm not interested" and hang up? Why does he need to be confrontational? I agree that those calls are a pain, but the people are just trying to earn a living. As I said, my older son was one for awhile, called for all kinds of companies and organizations, and was pretty good at it: he earned lots of bonuses. But he quit, in large part, because he couldn't handle the rudeness anymore.

As for the George Bush remark, if my husband weren't so smart alecky as a rule, it wouldn't have embarrassed me as much. I must add that I am much less embarrassed and upset these days as in years past. I used to think that his rudeness reflected on me somehow. Now I understand that it's about him and reflects him, and that the person he's directing it at doesn't automatically think I'm the same way.

The discussion of the 100% rule is interesting. I do think it is difficult if not impossible to not want or expect a return of some kind on your investment in a relationship. Yes, you do have the option to move on if the other person isn't giving anything back, but most people, in my opinion, tend to want to hang in there and hope that things get better. So they live with the inequity. In other words, it's not so simple to say "Okay, you're not giving back--goodbye"!

Religious upbringing: I was raised in a small church (1960's era) where the prevailing attitude was "Trust in the Lord and everything will be okay". Nothing wrong with that, but I remember some women whose husbands were alcoholics, and/or didn't share their wives' religious convictions. I wonder if any of these women would have ever seriously considered separation or divorce--I doubt it!

The idea was that marriage is forever, and if it takes that long for him to come to his senses, you stay strong in your faith and pray for the grace to deal with him. Again, this is a personal decision. I wonder, though, how many people use this kind of thinking to avoid thinking for themselves and perhaps taking action.

My husband doesn't have the religious "the husband is the head of the home" viewpoint; in fact, he blows off any references I make to the biblical view of marriage. He was raised in the Catholic church, so you see that his attitude is quite different from that of the church.

Gotta run. Oh! BTW, Astrid, from one brown haired, green eyed girl to another, I think blonde, blue eyed princesses are a dime a dozen, and way too dependent on the guys on white horses. Have you ever read The Practical Princess? That was one of my sons' favorite books when they were small. It teaches a valuable lesson about not being helpless, and shows that a girl can be IN CHARGE!

(I loved Beauty and the Beast when I was a kid--how ironic is that!)

 

See you all later,

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 01:07 AM

S1

Becky:

You said: <<The idea was that marriage is forever, and if it takes that long for him to come to his senses, you stay strong in your faith and pray for the grace to deal with him. Again, this is a personal decision. I wonder, though, how many people use this kind of thinking to avoid thinking for themselves and perhaps taking action.>>

I think the problem with this is that by staying, some of their partners don't have incentive to 'come to their senses'. As you said, I think that some people use religion so they don't have to be completely responsible for themselves. It's easier to say, "the scriptures say... " And you can pretty much define the scriptures to fit any belief you want.

I like the idea of marriage as forever - putting up with the good and bad. But when poor treatment or abuse is involved, you aren't doing favors to the abuser by tolerating the behavior. Still, every situation and every person is individual. It's definitely not easy - simple to understand maybe, but not so simple to carry out. I think most people like the idea of "happily ever after". That's why it's so jarring when it doesn't happen that way. I also think that creating distance is a process for many people who find they are in abusive relationships. I think a lot of people go through stages of preparation until they reach a point where they really feel the only ultimate solution is to leave.

I'll bet your husband has a good core deep down, but doesn't have a clue how to access it. He must feel really out of control to want to control so much. I just hope you don't wait until all your love from him drains away before you see what could happen if you separated. But you also have to be ready for either outcome. He might change for the better, or remain in denial. If financially and emotionally you were able to leave do you feel he would physically threaten you in any way?

Seeing what's happened with Steve gives me compassion for your H. Your H's behaviors are unacceptable, but life would be so much happier for him if he faced up to his problems because you were no longer available to look after his needs.

I honestly didn't think Steve would make the kind of transformation he's been making. And what's great is, *he* is the one who is benefiting most. That's cuz Steve is a cat-human.  Like *Me*

take care Becky

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 07:06 AM

S1

Hi, it's B. Purrrrrrrrr

Asha, you say: "Sounds like both of us are afraid to "want" anything from our partners. Rather silly, isn't it? I think we have to see it as changing *ourselves* because we are learning to honor ourselves by clearly asking for help from our partners. The self-work we need to do is to learn not to be over-responsible, and to honor our partners by allowing them to also be responsible, and by giving them ample opportunity to do so."

Yes Yes YES!

That's it! That's what I was looking for! My heart knew it inside, but I (I = my conscious brain??? :-) ) could not put my finger paw on it! I really have to print out what you've said here! and re-read it 3 times daily, like a medicine. I AM afraid to "want" or "need" anything from him, but on the other hand I do need and do want. I just realized I've lived like that since childhood: I learned I had no chance of getting my needs met, and "wants"?! My father had a saying about that (untranslatable to English), which basically meant: "so you want... so what?" (though he always tried to help me). My mother simply showed me my needs don't count by never remembering them, then ignoring them when I tried to express them, and ordering me to give them up for my younger sister's needs. I learned to be a very very very "independent" and "self sufficient" little helper. I bet most of you have a similar story!

By the way, that's why I suspect all those experts that recommend "teaching children independence". All they advise seems to be "refuse to fill the child's needs, so that he/she will learn to be independent". Sorry, dumb experts, you mean make the child into a victim like you!

Oh Dr. Irene, I bet you want to write here: Hey, B. have you noticed how angry you sound? Mommy says she thinks it's real cool that you're mad!

Yes, yes, I have. I am angry (i like it when Richard Gere says to Julia Roberts in "Pretty woman" when they're in the bath tub: "I am ANGRY, I am angry with my father! It took me 3000 $ and xx years to say that" [he paid his therapist to learn to say that... and then revenged by ruining his father's company and making money from it...]) LOVE to all of you.

PS. I didn't read all the posts yet, but Astrid and Becky have brown hair fur and green eyes? Funny, me too! And I don't like blue eyes or blond. I was so glad my daughter has brown hair fur and eyes! She's beautiful like her father (oh, yes, my H looks like an Italian model in my eyes, or Gary Cooper, or Greg from Dharma and Greg if you watch it). B.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 07:15 AM

S1

Hi, jay again,

Asha, the comment relates to an earlier post by Steve where it looks like he is saying only men are controlling. I just admire both of you so much. Just wish the same things would happen with me and my husband.

B. I am sorry about my son's post on your site! I will read it later.

I am still away from home but coming back for my son. I wish I really knew what I wanted in the long term. Staying away at night feels weird but I get so much more sleep being out of it for a bit. Saw the therapist this morning and yet again it is back to me being too much into blaming myself and justifying everyone else's unacceptable behaviour. Any ideas on how I change this?

Just now I wish I could be really hard. But it goes wrong when I try to be. I just mustn't come back home without progress that benefits me. This is so hard as all possibility of progress is blocked by my husband.

Love, Jay

 

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 11:46 AM

S1

Hi All,

I need some support in my next step. I understood what Becky meant when she said I could have said "I am not interested when my ex rang at the party the other night. OR maybe I could say don't lecture me.

I am trying to learn to remove fear, obligation and guilt from my life and its hard work, changing these patterns. Though I need some input. Last night my ex rang me at my nan's house. It was 7.45pm. He said "I want to see what work the decorator has done." [He is paying the decorator to decorate MISSY's room] WHAT DID I DO? you guessed it I got up and went straight to my house to let him in. My nan said "Theressa you jump for that man like your on hot coals". I didn't think about it until later. SHE is correct. I always have jumped for him like I am on hot coals when ever he asked. OH BOY what a realisation. I was watching a tv show and enjoying it but when he rang, HIM FIRST and forget that I planned to watch the end of the programme. I felt guilty that I'd kept MISSY up and what would he say. IRRESPONSIBLE I FELT, having MISSY out so late. I went out cos the decorator was in and I couldn't sit in peace.

The fear that drove me to hop up and jump as if on hot coals bothers me. IS THIS CO-DEPENDENT??? I think it is!!! do you all agree?? Would I have been better saying I am coming home at 8 o'clock. And if he said well I am waiting I should say: That's up to you, I'll be home at 8 o'clock. THIS IS SCARY FOR ME!!! why? well he might lecture me. Maybe I could say don't lecture me. I'd feel guilty keeping MISSY up late. [Is this guilt called for??]

As I say he came to see the decorating. I had a headache and just wanted to sit down. MY ex said "I'll put the kettle on and you can make a cuppa. I've been working all day." [Do I have a choice??] I said "That's nout to do with me." All of a sudden he said "RIGHT, I will be going to get a cuppa at home, see you". And off he went. AM I JUST BEING AWKWARD. Have I got it right about not doing things out of guilt???

Where does give and take come in to this??

RIGHT NOW I AM CONFUSED BIG TIME!!! You see I am Missy's parent and so is her dad, RIGHT!! The experts recommend that if both parents can remain civil and friends it helps the children. OKAY!!! THIS IS WHERE I AM CONFUSED!!!! How do you become friends in fact how do you re-negotiate another relationship that is based not on being intimate or together but being something [blank] that is healthy for the children???

Hopefully someone understands my frustration as I can't make head or tale of all this. Do I just shut the door and say OUT don't come back?? Obviously this is hard since MISSY has her daddy come around to see her. I thought it was best to allow MISSY's dad to see her whenever he wants. The agreed 3 times in the week, for one hour at my house since its school nights and she has to read her reading book and get ready for bed. GOD KNOWS WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I EVER MEET ANYONE ELSE, ME, MY NEW MAN, MY DAUGHTER AND MY EX -How would this work LOL. Its not funny really I am very mixed up.

I know he won't change. I know I am still enabling him a lot, cos of my fear that I might do things wrong and messy things up for MISSY.

What is a girl suppose to do in these circumstances??? I want my daughter to have a healthy environment, I want to please me. I am just not sure how I re-negotiate things???

I AM SHOUTING COS I NEED SOMEONE TO HEAR ME, I AM STUCK AND LOST, ANYONE OUT THERE!!!

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 11:46 AM

S1

Hi Jean, B. here.

Just a quick note: I know many cases where someone calls someone else by a totally invented name. All of them do it to humiliate and feel superior, all of them unconscious of it ("what do you want? I'm just kidding, can't you take a joke?").

will be back later.

love

B.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 11:56 AM

S1

Good Morning Cat Box,

Lynn here, I posted yesterday and I see it didn't go through. Not much as I was on my way out to vote and lunch.

Speaking of voting, I loved Becky's H's response about George Bush not being there. I can see where it wasn't funny after ALL the abusive others. I got like that with Dan and the put down jokes. Some probably were funny. After years of put downs, none were. Thankfully he's quit.

Jay, I don't know what to tell you about your son, except, I'd say quit apologizing for him. Let him do his own. I hope you are doing ok.

B and Theressa and Asha, I'm wondering about the chores. Dan has frequently asked me for a list of his "Honey Do's." I thought or felt this was so demeaning to do to him. I also thought that any 1st grader could have seen that the roof leaked and needed immediate attention. Maybe e needed a list. I wasn't listening there. I'd say, "you know what needs done." Next time I'll make him a list.

Dan won't be back for another full week at least. This is good for me right now. As I'm trying to tell David it is human nature to want what we can't have and truthfully, Dan has never looked as good as he does right now. Time for healing and a time for growing.

Dr. Irene, I said, too, that cats can fly. Anything is possible, but keep him away from here unless he brings bromo. MommyDoc2: Are you saying you don't want *Me* around? 

Hi Steve. How are things with you? Sounds good. Grin, too.

Astrid, How are things today? Any better? I hope so.

Jean, are you out there?

Happy today. Things are looking better here and Dan is learning, too. He didn't spend his 12 hours R & R explaining anything to me.

Jay's son, did you have something to say?

Love and hugs to all of you, Lynn Yeah!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 12:44 PM

S1

Hi All,

No reply to my post yet. I NEED HELP, guess some will come soon.

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 01:10 PM

S1

Theressa

Did you read my earlier post to you?

I think some of it might help.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 02:42 PM

S1

Dear Theressa, I don't know if this will help but I am getting the message loud and clear for me that I best serve my kids by looking after myself.

I think you are conditioned to jump for your ex, but maybe it would help to look at who else in your life you jumped like that for. And why?

Maybe it would help to have things planned n advance and promise yourself you will stick to them. I think your ex may not be aware of how demanding he is and he is possibly used to having you jump so much he doesn't expect any different. So maybe he was thrown.

But you need to set the boundaries you want as you are the one who has to care for Missy full time. Keep the agreements clear.

I think you are getting into that guilt trip we all as mothers get into where we make things bigger than they need to be out of our desire to be really good mothers. A great desire, but I find the guilt trips are counter productive. Most of the time, if you get it wrong then it can be changed. All Missy really needs to know is you did what you thought best for her.

I hope this makes sense as I am feeling pretty fuddled tonight about my own situation.

Lynn, Ah well, talk about proving the therapist right. I spent an hour this morning getting to the point where I could stop mking wxcuses for everyone and say, yes I have been treated appallingly.

Then I see my son's message and go overboard. I doubt if anyone was terribly worried about "boo hoo, quack quack"! And probably nobody would have thought it was me. So he can do his own apologising from now on and if he does have something to say he can say it!

Meantime, I am so exhausted. I think if I am honest the therapy was something which opened the floodgates again as I started to feel really down. Also suddenly the shops are playing carols and our Christmas is just going to be so terribly complicated this year with my daughter saying she is going to a friend, my sister and kids over from New Zealand and my husband not speaking to my parents. I think I am going to ignore it and do the whole thing on a different day!

A year ago I had a proper family and I feel just now like my heart is breaking. I just want to go back to the happy times. It has been such an awful year. I can't say what my daughter has done now, but it was pretty awful. No way can I let her be with her cousins in the state she is in at the moment.

I feel too exhausted to make the journey back to where I have been staying tonight and can't feel like the company they have. I just feel frightened I don't have the strength to leave and of going back to being dominated again. Just to make life easier.

I think like Theressa, I am saying HELP. But I guess in the end I can only make my own choices.

All I know is no present or bunches of flowers can make things better, The only thing that will is a rational discussion with my husband and finding that he will accept 50% responsibility for our joint mess. Cats unfortunately can't fly even on broomsticks. But if you find one that does, can I borrow it? *Me* Is that an invitation to your home? (Once I'm no longer grounded, that is...)

The moral of this post is if you are going to have therapy make sure you go and see a friend after.

I just wondered have I got into a self fulfilling prophecy over my marriage?

Asha, that is just it with the scriptures. People do use them to justify their own ends, I think. I don't think it is so much that people use them as a way of not thinking, but more that there is this enormous fear fuelled by the condemnation you get from others if you can't go along with what they say.

I got sick of being told how to raise my children. Mostly by people who subscribed to using the "rod." I couldn't. But I felt like I was somehow not doing the spiritual thing. I tried for a very brief time and just couldn't find it right so I stopped. In fact I found that I was seeing a lo tof what I would deem child abuse. I am sure there are people out ther who think my daughter is like she is as I disobeyed God.

Actually, I think she would have been even worse. Even more messed up.

Standing up, with others, for what I thought meant, along with changes in the law, that the church I went to stopped being so extreme.

Seems to me just now we are all having to put our anger in the right place and be angry at the right things and admit we are angry and handle that in a way that makes for change. I think maybe Steve is right about choosing anger. Tonight I choose to be angry with the behaviour of my husband and daughter. I love them still, but I am going to be true to myself and say what they are doing, all the lies and collusion and rudeness and abuse I get is NOT O.K.

I am NOT going to say 'but this happened or that happened to them. Actually, looking back over my own life I think I suffered far worse things than either of them and I don't blame them for those things. I am not a scapegoat. And I have just realised how hard I am banging the keys!

I am not responsible for my daughter's choice of boyfriend. her messes with them. Her arguments with other people. Her determination not to go to school. Her abusive language. I taught her something else and if she has chosen to reject that and that has brought consequences then this is not about me.

I am not responsible for my husband's refusal to communicate, He can choose to change or NOT.

I am not responsible for all the things I ahve been accused of that I didn't do.

I am only responsible for my own mess. That is so big it is enough!!!

Trubble. Where are you? Hi Dr Irene and everyone else.

Love, Jay

 

Becky, I think in the end I was just venting my own religious gripes

Who won the election?   hahahahahaha!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 02:58 PM

S1

Hi Cat Box, B. here,

Theressa, you asked:

"YOU said Asha that by phoning him I was engaging, OKAY!! But isn't it impolite if a parent is gonna visit their kid if your out and they don't know where you are? What else could I have done? YES so you say I understood his intentions, I think I did!!! Though how do I not react to them, can you explain this to me?"

I'm not Asha, but I agree with her. I told you the same thing. I said, that if he was supposed to come it depends on how: Did he make a date beforehand ("Theressa, is it OK if I come visit this Xday?" and you said "yes"). In such a case, of course you have to notify him. However, if you knew he wanted to come, but he never specifically made the date - you owe him nothing. This is not his home anymore, and he should call before he comes. In such a case, you don't have to be home or let him know you're going out just because you guess or sense or otherwise "know" he intends to come. By his answer to you, it seems obvious that he was not going to come! Had he meant to come, he would have been free to baby-sit Missy, but he said he could not, so you were not polite at all. You were engaging. Or, to say it in a different way, you wanted his approval, you "asked for" his control, and you wanted to *save him any inconvenience*. You would have felt guilty had he come and not found you at home! Had you gone with Missy to the party WITHOUT calling him, and found out later that he didn't even come - wouldn't you have felt relieved? Like in "Oh, I did what I wanted and didn't get caught!" ? So you tell him beforehand, just like a goody girl (Good Dog! Good dog! Ooops, sorry Trubble... Yesss....Opppsss! ) who tells her parents where she's going.

Get my point?

It's none of his business where you are.

You have to feel that inside you.

Also, let's say he was completely OK and made an appointment to come that evening. In that case the polite thing to do is let him know something came up and both of you won't be home. No details! Remember what Dr. Irene says about abusers: Any information you give WILL be used against you. And you give it not because of politeness but because you need to PLEASE him. Learn to feel that, so that you can stop it. You need to learn to only please yourself.

I hope I don't sound too harsh. This advice is for myself too. I'm so like you! Just this morning I talked with my babysitter (she's a co- dependent too and we're both working on it) about how we should both learn to stop "answering to questions" like good girls, when the question or comment or whatever is not a questions at all but a form of abuse or control.

Example: her sister told her the moment they met: "Why do you wear your hair like that? It looks better when you (description)". She answered: "Everyone does what's right for them". I said: This was partly engaging. You were defensive. What did you feel? She said: "I thought to myself: 'She sounds just like our mother. What a weird comment, 'cause she never used to care about such things!" I said to her: OK, not engaging would be to say to her: "What a weird comment!" This is what she felt and thought, this way she ignores the comment, making it clear it's nothing to discuss.

Asha,

About being afraid to "want" something from our partners: My therapist told me today (BTW, I find it great that we all benefit from everybody's therapist...) that the work I have to do is to get in touch with how NEEDY I really am. She said nobody in my life gives me what I NEED. I give and give but never get. She said that when I get in touch with all that neediness inside me, I will start to change. I guess she's right, but I am not completely sure how to "get in touch" with that. Dr. Irene, is that what you call "sitting with your feelings" or what?

To Theressa again,

Just read your latest post.

Yes I agree it was co-dependent of you to jump to his command. This is scary for you, to NOT be a pleaser. It makes you feel guilty. You would rather inconvenience yourself than anybody else. Time you started respecting and caring for Theressa!!!! You deserve it!!! You are lovable! You're a prize! You're pure gold! Start treating yourself like such! Why do you feel guilty keeping Missy late? I'm sure you are a responsible parent and you don't harm her. (I read your posts... I also think you posted on my board before, right? So I remember you. Trust your parenting. You fall for his criticism all the time!)

About the kettle and cuppa: You were 100%. He go angry you didn't do what he wanted and tried his usual trick of making you guilty in order to make you do what he wants. Well, this time his manipulation didn't work. Good for you! You kept your self respect. But he was YUCKY.

"give and take" will come into this when you've healed more, and he starts respecting you because he'll get it that you do not allow disrespect any more.

About the "experts" concerning Missy: why do you care about them so much???? Who are they? Are you talking in general, or are they professionals who know you and discussed your specific situation? My guess: in general. Here's what I think (i'm no expert!!!! you don't have to listen to me!!!):

Don't worry about becoming friends. This will take time. You cannot negotiate anything with him. You can learn to be dis-engaging. If you want to help and protect Missy, the best thing to do is heal yourself, learn to love and please and respect yourself, and show her a model of a self-respecting woman with clear boundaries.

"Do I just shut the door and say OUT don't come back??"

Is that what you need and want? Missy can meet him somewhere else.

Love,

B.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 03:03 PM

S1

Oh, Jay, forgot to tell you: Don't worry so much about your son's writing. It was rather funny, and what do I care! Anyone can write anything! It's not as if he painted my walls with mustard or something! You sound too guilty and upset about it. Why? (that's a rhetoric question...).

B.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 04:00 PM

S1

Yeah, actually it was funny B. He has been trying to post something silly on Dr Irene's site for ages. hehehehe! He should contact me! I'll help him get silly stuff up! hehehehe! Talking of painting walls. My daughter once painted our bathroom with poster paints to "help" us.

Actually, my son is very wise, maybe he should join Steve and be the other male on the site. He could give a kid's perspective. He once demanded that my husband and I BOTH WENT TO OUR ROOMS! He is also the family initiator of group hugs.

 Love, Jay

AARHH this guilt thing. Why is it so stupidly strong in me that It even comes over when I think I am being light hearted. The truth is I got into what people might think and overreacted to justify myself.

Trubble I wish I was a cat-human. Yes. We are the best! Then I could be enigmatic and no one would know whether I got it right or wrong and I wouldn't care. I have been visiting a cat called Lupenstein. It is totally crazy.

I threaten to kidnap him on a regular basis. He just does his own thing. Good name for a crazy cat, that.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 04:32 PM

S1

Dear Everyone and Dr. Irene & Trubble, too,

Mostly for you Theressa, but good for all of us. A lady named N wrote a post to David over in Buddha. It's pretty good. And Theressa. Yes you did jump. But you recognized it this time. I do wonder if your X would be so involved with Missy if you weren't around. By being friend doesn't mean sharing the "everything" you did as a couple. You could both re marry and still remain friends and have the common interests with Missy. ie Sports, dances, school activities and the rest. I still think it's a mistake that you are even there when he visits, and I don't think it did Missy much good to watch you jump. She will learn the same behavior from you and do it with her H.

To the rest, I called my dad today and just let him rattle on. We wanted to go out to a nice supper club for diner and each pay their own expenses. Dad said it was too expensive, they didn't eat there anymore and we could get food just as good at a diner (he named the place). It has loud fluorescent lights, plastic booths for 4 and really good food. Just not a place to go have a nice family dinner for Thanksgiving. Then he got into politics. He's an Irish Catholic Democrat who believes a bad democrat is better than a good republican and can get utterly radical. And funny! Anyhow, it was one of the first times I've talked to him that he didn't get my stomach churning. I made it clear we had plans for dinner and he was welcome to come or not. Then I did a bit of pot stirring myself. I suggested since the election was/is so close that they should share the tie and preside jointly! Pretty funny now.

Hope all is well with you ALL and Jay, don't worry about the kid. Boo Hoo Quack Quack could become our new phrase for venting. :) Unless Trubble eats the duck! Slurp! It was yunmmie.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 07:27 PM

S1

Theressa:

I had posted a big long post to you yesterday and I guess it didn't go through. I usually save them, but didn't this time. I'm sorry about that! Guess it wasn't meant to be.

I hope I can remember most of it. I'm a bit confused as to what I've already posted and what I haven't so excuse any repetition here.

First - I think your therapist sounds great!

I had said that I was going to post earlier that I do think you still love your ex, and that's okay. You can feel all the feelings, but you don't have to act on them. You can love him, but not tolerate the behavior.

Sometimes the best way to show love doesn't feel very loving. Literally having to shut the door on someone doesn't feel like a loving act. But tolerating poor behavior from others is much less loving - to both you and the 'misbehaver'. Because the misbehaver then has no incentive to change.

I had mentioned your car racks issue as an example. You can choose to not make it an issue. Decide if it really *is* a big inconvenience to you to have them, or if it's just something for you to both engage over. If it is a real problem for you then you can still be neutral about it. For example you could tell him where you will put them, for him to pick up, say by the end of the week or whatever's reasonable. If he engages with you, you acknowledge what he says, but you don't engage. e.g. I understand that you're not happy about this, but I need to have them out of my way. So if you can't pick them up by the end of this week, I'll drop them over to you. ... Again, as I said, if they really are not that big a deal to begin with then don't make a big deal of it. You can be civil and reasonable, not angry sounding or sarcastic. Thinking things through ahead of time would probably help. i.e. how would you like to see yourself responding to him?

As long as you bend to his every whim he has no incentive to become a healthier person. It's when you stop bending you may start to see change. And if he doesn't change, it's better to start emotionally removing yourself now.

You can feel all the feelings - the love, the anger whatever. Just don't react to them. As much as possible, plan what you want to say in advance. And don't expect good behavior in return from him. He's likely to push your buttons harder as you start to remove them.

If I had not done all this myself, then I don't feel that Steve would have had the incentive to make the changes he has been making. And trying to *help* him realize things in the past made little impact. It was when I gave him the room to realize them on his own that things started to change.

<<The reason I rang him back was so he'd see the consequences of him not minding her. Since if he doesn't see that his poor behaviour causes xxxx to happen how can he ever change without the awareness.>>

But Theressa, his awareness is not your job. All you can do is demonstrate to him your own awareness. He'll figure it out on his own (or not).

<< Also I realised along time ago what causes unnecessary problems is manufacturing anger by non communication in an honest way. SO THIS IS WHY I RANG HIM.>>

By all means, be honest. Just don't be guilted in to having to "report" to him on his terms. Think about what's really fair - to both of you, and to Missy. I'm not suggesting you play games with him, I'm suggesting you *stop* playing games (subconscious ones).

I think that was the bulk of what I wanted to say.

I hope that helps a bit.

Asha

p.s. Hi all. Haven't read many of the posts today, but will soon.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 08:18 PM

S1

Okay, guys, here's the deal: we had an awful weekend. Among other things, he was back to the old you're-out-to-take-me-for-everything-I've-got nonsense. After I made it clear that I would not be in the same atmosphere with a man who believed that of me, he backed off and took it back, and said (for the millionth time) that he wants to try to fix things between us. When I asked him how he was going to do that, he was silent.

My dilemma: i want to hug him, and I'm too scared to. I'm lonely and I want the reassurance of a pair of arms around me. I want him to hug me and know that it really means what I need it to mean.

What do I do? What would you do?

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 08:22 PM

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, Take care and get some rest. We know Trubble lurks.

Dear Trubble, You have been such a good kitty. What's up? I'm glad you are behavin'. I didn't want to tell you this yet, but yes. I am your real mommy. I just knew it! I was with a bunch of Gypsies when you were born and I found you a good home. Now behave for MommyDoc. All you did was complain about the wind on the back of the broom. No more tuna shall be thy new motto! Send it to LOCO. All tuna for LOCO, my little brother. Is LOCO all cat or is he a cat-human too?

Dear AJ, are you still with us? Jean, too? I just went to the website recommended by N at Buddha. I think it's joy2meu.com. It looks good and Theressa, it has some stuff on inner child, too. Lots of stuff.

B, Becky, Asha & Steve, Astrid and Jay, Whew! I didn't intentionally leave anyone out. I hope all is going well. Things are good here and I can't stress enough the joys of a separation. I feel so much better, stronger and not at all anti Dan. Time to reorganize my thinking and do nothing for another week (other than laundry). I'm interdependent, too. I can't get a fire burning. Have to dig out a candle I guess. All is cozy here tonight. The critters are nestled like babies and I'm starting a new book. Loco is in his element. He's curled up on a shopping bag (full). 

Try a week off. It really works. Same goes for you MommyDoc. We're getting so we muddle better. We don't always seem to be off on the same days. Phew!!

Have a good night and I'll talk to you all soon. Love, Hugs, Purrs, Salmon, Trout, no tuna, Prayers and Everything,

Lynn Bye mommy & kisses to daddy Dan (Was he the gypsy cat?)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 08:49 PM

S1

Theressa

<<you go out to Pizza palour, you went to the bonfire with him. What mixed message is this? ASHA I am confused, how can I just not go anymore to these things, isn't this not being friends? >>

It's your choice whether to go with him or not, but I think the way you could be an even better friend to him right now is to leave him alone for awhile. Or at least until he expresses an interest in doing some work on himself. Otherwise you are accepting and encouraging the bad behavior.

<<YOU said Asha that by phoning him I was engaging, OKAY!! But isn't it impolite if a parent is gonna visit their kid if your out and they don't know where you are? What else could I have done? YES so you say I understood his intentions, I think I did!!! Though how do I not react to them, can you explain this to me? >>

If the plan was made in advance that you were supposed to call him then, okay. But you aren't obligated to give him a daily report either. I just read B's response about your H saying he wouldn't be available that evening anyway - in this case you had no obligation to call him. Actually B's response to you on this was really good advice, IMO. Saves me having to type it all out again. I am learning to break similar patterns of 'giving away control' myself, so I know where you're at.

<<Do I just shut the door and say OUT don't come back>> No - you don't need to be rude. Be civil, but set your boundaries. Tell him you need some time away from him and that you need to pre-arrange times for him to take Missy. Don't be rude, sarcastic or angry, just be firm.

***

Hey you brunette green eyed women, I'm blondish with blue eyes and you are giving me a complex!! :) I think whether we are blond, brunette, purple, orange, turquoise or brown with black stripes we all have our own inner beauty.

***

B

I'm glad my post made some sense. I think I relate to what you are going through. My parents did try to fill my needs but they made a habit of putting everyone else's needs above their own, so that's where I got my role modelling. I thought that was normal, and in fact a good thing. Now that I'm learning, I can probably teach them!

Yes, I agree that we all benefit from everyone's therapy. That's why I don't understand Lynn's therapist wanting Dan to cut all ties with the site.

BTW "needy" is another word I don't like (especially if it applies to me! :) I prefer words like 'lacking knowledge' or 'not having the tools." I like empowering words - that's what works for me. Those of us seeking approval from others are likely to already reprimand ourselves too much already and these words don't help. Just a little pet peeve I have.

I think you could ask yourself, not what makes you "needy", but what do you *want* and *require* in your life? And how can you create it for yourself?

But I'm not a therapist. :)

To Theressa you said: <<the polite thing to do is let him know something came up and both of you won't be home. No details!>>

I agree, except that I think mothers have to be be fair in giving their X's ample time with their kids, and avoid last minute changes unless necessary. Some custodial parents use their power over their children to toy with their X's. I say this because I've seen it firsthand. Agreed though that details aren't necessary.

B - you give good advice.

***

Jay

<<Saw the therapist this morning and yet again it is back to me being too much into blaming myself and justifying everyone else's unnnacceptable behaviour. Any ideas on how I change this? >>

Just acknowledge the slip, forgive yourself and get back on track. Give yourself credit for your strength and your commitment to a healthier life!

Good for you to hand over other's responsibilities back to them! This is exactly what I mean.

***

Lynn - I thought Becky's H's response was funny too. I won't share what Steve said once, but he had the guy on the other end of the line laughing too. Nothing against telemarketers who need to make a living, but my time is valuable too. And Becky - I know this isn't really the issue, no offense to you intended.

Lynn, I think when Dan asked you for a list, he really wanted a list. Better make one unless you want him to keep doing the laundry.

I'm glad you're enjoying your time alone.

I love the suggestion of Jay's son's new phrase for venting. Boo Hoo Quack Quack!!

Much better than &%$#%%^%&!!

Hi everyone else! Gotta go!

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000
Time: 10:25 PM

S1

Becky:

<<I want him to hug me and know that it really means what I need it to mean.>>

What do you need it to mean?

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000
Time: 05:07 AM

S1

Hi Guys,

Thanks so much all of you for such FAB advice. SO stop the ABUSE but remain civil. I think I can do that!!!

I know that I tell far too many details, I need to work on this. I get mixed up cos I've seen so many couples use their kids to fight, with that I don't want this. POWER/CONTROL THING!!! I want MISSY to see her daddy as much as she wants. Maybe a good idea you all prompted me to is: That in future, I could say in advance I won't be in xxxxx. and leave it at that, let him say oh well I could still come and mind MISSY, or oh well I'll do xxxx. That way he can make his own choices. Maybe I could say well since you can't see her xxxx. Maybe I could drop her with you xxxxx instead. Then my therapist said "Theressa why do you not speak up when he manipulates you or tries to guilt you, like with the cuppa. WHEN you want to say F**** you." Why don't you say what you want to say. I don't mean say F*** you but why not say, I am not putting up with this, please leave." IS it cos of fear, fear he won't come back. MAYBE he won't is that so bad? Or maybe he might see that you won't put up with his BS anymore and think if I want to be at Theressa I have to respect her. THIS is what stirred up all those feelings yesterday, UNSURE of where the next block was. Thanks all of you for helping me.

Its hard work this ridding guilt, thanks for all the support. Love Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000
Time: 06:00 AM

S1

Hi All,

Who else did I jump for and why?

I jumped for my primary school best pal. Though I dumped her in my last couple of years of seniors (High school) because I was fed up of trying to please her. Maybe I need to get fed up of pleasing my ex. And start pleasing me.

The roof rack. I can afford to wait a couple more weeks for the roof rack to be removed and the carpet to be laid, but if its not gone by then, I'll say the roof rack has to go. I think anger fuelled my decision first off, because I was angry that my ex was happy to keep the rack at my house, JUST SO HE Could finish his house and move in and so it wouldn't be kept at his empty property and get stolen. If anyone broke in. Though he said, I've no where to put it safe so your stuck with it. [Or that is at least what I felt!!!] is this passive-aggressive, or standing up for myself and not buying guilt???

Jay never go back to the same old, just to stay familiar it STUNTS YOUR GROWTH AND EVERYONE ELSES ALSO!!!! Further God isn't a fearing GOD he is a loving supporting God he wouldn't support anyone ABUSING anyone else, nor permit, I am sure. This is why I do not like organised religions. THEY are preaching a fearing God, one who throws you into the hell fire if you make mistakes. When I was a child I was told if you mess up your off to hell. SO this is why I thought mistakes were bad. If your good all the time you get to go to heaven. THOUGH no one is good all the time, some of us get good at not getting caught, by people pleasing, deny, or counterattacking but we're still guilty, we're gonna be, cos we're human. In my school class I was told all SINS are equal, all are SINS, so I guess I am never gonna be able to reach these high goals. WELL I dumped that BS where it belonged. GOD isn't full of giving out fear. PEOPLE ARE!! God doesn't use ABUSE to keep us in line, OR CONTROL, otherwise why would he give us the gift of CHOICE. I don't have all the answers. THOUGH I don't support the notion of an ABUSIVE GOD, who support people who CONTROL OTHERS, and make others feel NOT GOOD ENOUGH. God wants us to grow. So mistakes are inevitable, we mess up big time.

Then the other day a guy said to me. "Where is the justice then? I mean so your saying mistakes are learning points, and that you don't believe in a GOD who'd throw you into hell, or support controlling."

I said "YES that is right. God offer guidance through lessons in our lives, he provides stumbling blocks so that we may get up and learn, so yes he does offer guidance, but not control, he offer direction but he allows us to make mistakes. ISN'T this what any healthy parent would do."

The guy said "SO what about child abusers, sex offenders, murders, so does GOD say Okay you messed up not to worry you'll learn. So there is no hell fire, so how are these son of a bitches gonna get what they deserve."

I said "They are sick inside. Eventually they may fix what is wrong inside and become healthy. I don't think punishment is gonna stop them being SICK though boundaries will help curb their sickness, say in going to JAIL so they can't harm others. Though in the end. You can punish all you like but they the sick people have already lost, they don't have a healthy self. They are lost and sick, I guess GOD provides help to them in some form. I don't know how, I am not GOD but what goes around comes around. They may not get punished but they may heal."

He said "What a load of BS."

Well I am unsure myself, what happens to these people. ANY IDEAS?? You see I believe we come here on earth to grow and have future lives. I don't excuse those who hurt others. Though I do believe they should be kept away from others so as not to hurt them. So eventually I believe these people will get healed. ITS not about paying the price for the crime. Its about stopping the harm from happening again by keeping these sick people away from the healthy. In fact some of these people may get healed. Isn't that what we're all doing here??? We aren't as sick as these people. BUT WE are sick inside. Not like child abusers, or murders, or sex offenders, but emotionally we've been sick and still are. This doesn't mean that they are justified in hurting others. Though it does suggest they are doing it cos they are SICK and don't know how to get unsick. THAT IS WHY I THINK REHABILITATING AND GIVING THERAPY TO THESE PEOPLE IS IMPORTANT. These people have deep wounds, and they need to heal, maybe not in this live time but one day maybe.

LOTS OF YOU MAY DISAGREE WITH MY THOUGHTS, BUT THERE MY OPINIONS AND IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO TAKE THEM ON, JUST ACCEPT THERE MY OPINIONS.

Thanks for listening Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000
Time: 06:12 AM

S1

Hi well the words are flowing today,

DEPENDENCY OR LOVE??

All the books I've read in the past said, you are dependent on your spouse that is why you stay. SO DID I REALLY NEVER LOVE HIM or was I only dependent on him?

Can you not love someone if your co-dependent?? Mommy doesn't think codependency and love are mutually exclusive, except that it's hard to love, she says, when you don't love yourself first. Downhill from there, she says... [Maybe DOC can answer this one]

This confuses me since I like him around to do the practical stuff cos I realise I am not so practical. That is not to say I couldn't do this stuff it just we all have talents and this isn't one of mine. That means that it may be more difficult for me and further won't be the same as someone who is talented. Though I like my ex's jokes, I like his dress sense, I like it went he dances at parties and makes me laugh. I don't like his criticism and constant reminders that I am not doing things okay. You see my ex thought that if he could just help me. If he could just show me a better way, then I would improve. Though he didn't realise there is a limit for everyone. Some of us might practice for years to decorate and never be as good as another. DO YOU AGREE??? So undermining their every effort is useless. You can show them and then you have to accept that maybe they just can only do it mediocre and accept it. THIS IS ALL I EVER WANTED. You see he wasn't so good at forms, so I did them. He didn't like reading so I did it with our daughter. I was able to accept that some things he can't do so I could compliment our relationship by using my strengths to do what I could and HOPED he'd do the things he could. NO Need for criticism. YOU SEE my EX thinks he was helping me get good at doing what I wasn't strong in. DIY etc. Though it didn't help his constant reminding me that if only I could do it this way, it would be better, though however hard I tried I failed since I never was gonna be strong in that talent cos It wasn't a gift I was given from GOD he gave me a different gift.

ACCEPTANCE IS all I ever wanted.

He my ex grew up being told you must do your best. Otherwise he was punished. So he is doing what he knows, as a way to help improvement. HE wasn't told though that sometimes you just can't reach the others expectations if its not in your capability. SO I guess its not his fault. Though what I guess is suppose to happen is that If I don't accept this behaviour he might then question if its working. AM I RIGHT IS THIS WHAT IS MEANT TO HAPPEN???

Thanks ALL Love Theresa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000
Time: 01:21 PM

S1

Theressa

About the roof racks, I think you are angry because you put yourself before your X, but he doesn't do the same for you. Easy to solve though - just stop putting yourself last. I think your idea of giving him a timeline to pick up the racks is a good idea. Just don't whine or get emotional about it.

I agree with your thoughts on 'punishment', criminals etc. These people have their own living hell already. That's not to say that behavior won't/shouldn't have consequences.

Theressa, I also think you can love someone if you are co-dependent. I think it's just that co-dependents (there's that yukky label again) can confuse love with sacrificing, and other unhealthy stuff. Very well put, Mommy says.

Also, "teaching" and "help" are often a form of control. Yep. True helping can only really happen when the help is desired. Sounds like you X was subjected to a lot of "help" in his own life.

Your X may or may not figure this out, but you can probably help in a bigger sense by not "helping" him yourself, unless he wants the help. You can at least teach him that you won't tolerate abuse or control. Since he is pretty entrenched in his patterns, I would expect things to get worse before they get better, as you start to enforce your boundaries. But you would still be giving him the opportunity to take the high road. Mommy says that he will want the help, will even  insist on; but when you try to give it, it will be done wrong or will be seen as controlling. Which is exactly how I feel about Mommy and her dumb punishment lately.

take care

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000
Time: 02:13 PM

S1

Asha,

I want the hug to mean love, respect and commitment. So far I'm afraid it's been his way of trying to put a band aid on a gaping wound: "There! All fixed! Now, Becky, be happy!" It's just not enough anymore.

To all:

Okay, okay! So the George Bush remark was funny! I know I sound defensive, but I don't care: when you live with a person who has a smart mouth as a rule, it stops being funny. I've had my fill of his smart aleck comments to me when I'm trying to be serious, either about the marriage or other things. He has a way of either smarting off or making jokes when it's least appropriate, and I haven't any tolerance, anymore. Also, I guess I'm different; it wouldn't occur to me to say that. It just seems disrespectful.

I shouldn't be writing today. I guess I've had it with his "stuff"--all of it, even the relatively benign stuff. I'm going to take a nap, and will check in later when I'm in a better mood.

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000
Time: 04:11 PM

S1

Dear all, welcome Jean

Still here, just having a hard time keeping up. Went to a new therapist which I rather like. She says she can help me to speed up the process of boundary setting and getting closer to my feelings. Told her about the site and I think she is ok with it. Says, you just might get some contrary advice, but that's no problem. I am glad I found someone who is willing to give advice. My last therapist only wanted to know what I thought about everything myself!! Not for me, I need someone to tell me I am acting stupid, or ok once in a while. Validation-dependency??? .Right now I am very tired of all this learning and working on myself, even though it is very exiting. I would like a holiday!! When I read your post I get the impression we all need that.

Lynn, I am so glad you are liking Dan again. I was momentarily afraid you would just quit and throw him out. Where would that leave us. No good example to follow. And I know what you mean about wanting to have what you haven't: the grass is always more green at the other side of the river (no idea whether this is applicable in English too. Should be I suppose) It's also the game of getting closer and retracting. I find that when I get closer, C. gets scared and retracts, and I do the same: The dance of wounded souls (Robert Burney). Stupid game, don't want to play anymore.

Theressa, you wrote about love versus dependency. I think this is a very hard issue to solve, and I am not even sure whether it is really solvable. I wrote to David something Erich Fromm wrote about this: if you need someone because you love tem, it's love. If you love someone (or think you do) because you need them, it's not love, it's dependency. C. said i am so afraid to hurt you again. And I said, I cannot promise you I will never feel hurt because of you, and if I could promise it, I would not want to be with you and I do not think you would want to be with me. I think you will always sort of depend on someone you love, but I feel it is important that there has to be a choice. Love should not lead to a kind of dependency that forces you to accept anything and everything.

Hope this make's sense. If not, leave it be.

I hope the rest of you is doing ok. I read some good things at David's board too. Glad he's talking again.

Love to all. Trubble and Dr. I.: sorry we are giving you so much work. You're comments do mean a lot however and thanks again for all the work you put into this site. Cant we get you a grant or something , so you can quit working a concentrate on US :) Take care, love Dear AJ; thank you for being so thoughtful. I'd rather you get me a clone! The problem is too much to do; no time. But, the new system of paying for my comments is working. Lots fewer people to post to equals more time! Maybe I can even write an article now...

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000
Time: 05:39 PM

S1

Dear Becky and AJ, Hi the rest.

Lynn here with a quick one. It's 2 above zero here. 33 C, I think and so I've been busy and have just a couple of quick remarks.

Yea, the grass is greener works here in USA, too. This goes for both of you and maybe all of us. The hug from the guy. That's what did it. It was just a warm hug with no nothing else. Just a warm hug. It felt so good that I literally melted. No strings, no nothing but a hug. Enough said!

About the joke. After hundred's of yukkies one funny one doesn't compensate for the uglies.

Glad about the new therapist AJ. And Dr. Irene, I had a thought about "our" new one. I wonder if she'd do a phone consult with me? I think I'll call and see. GREAT idea!

I'm thinking of all of you and I'll try and respond to the rest later. Hi, Trubble ^_^ Hi RealMommy

Love, Laughter and Salmon,

Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000
Time: 06:35 PM

S1

Lynn back and I've been reading closer and thinking so here goes.

First about men changing us. This can work both ways Steve and Dan. I'm just doing this from my perspective. Dan's X is veeeery tall, large and chesty. Dan has always liked bosom's. Well, how I finally figured it out...... If I wanted a bigger chest to feel better about myself that's ok. (Dan has never requested that I get silicone). For me and my ego and if that's all it would take I would have had this done years ago. For me and my self esteem. Period. Now if Dan needed for me to have a bigger bustline so he would like me or love me better, NEVER!!! That's how I determine the changes I can make. His X has coal black hair (dyed like someone painted it with black enamel, meow). Not me and never could be. I like my mouse brown with gray (I frost it grayer) and brown eyes. That's me, the real me. And hair shorter than Dan's he likes long hair, too). Now I could get tits, dye my hair black, let it grow, wear 4 inch wedgies and what would he have? A better relationship? A happier life? A prettier woman? A better sex life? All he would have is a carbon copy of something that isn't me.

So boiled down to the basics, I have to be happy with myself first. The same with Dan. It would be silly for me to say I wanted him shorter with red hair and different color eyes. That won't make me like him better. That won't make him listen to me. etc., etc., etc.!!!

For the chores, yep. I wish he were here right now doing the wood hauling, shoveling, scraping, cat box cleaning and garbage hauling. Sure makes the laundry and dishes seem a piece of cake. But there are options. I can hire someone to haul my wood and shovel the walks. That doesn't have much to do with love either, from my point of view. Just helps in a joint functioning household.

As for the criminals, I truly believe some are so truly sociopathic (sp) that they can fool anyone and I agree, they need help and should be locked up forever. I've also known a couple of murderers. Wife killers, which doesn't let them off the hook, but one in particular I thought was a real nice guy. He probably was and is. I just think divorce would have been a better solution although I can see where we can get to such extremes in our relationships. My opinion on God in these cases is that I don't think after the fact a human type person (non clinically crazy) ever has such a great life. Even released the burden of grief and guilt seems to go with them the rest of their lives. I also believe some are totally beyond redemption.

My dad has a tape of jokes by a Catholic Priest and this one I love: Three priests of different denominations were shipwrecked and to shorten the story the Catholic kept saying, "I'll wait for God to help me." Finally God says, "I sent you a raft, a kayak and a rubber boat. What else do you want me to do?" How do we recognize the help God is sending us? I feel some never do.

Ok, there. You got the opinion of a short brown eyed flat chested brunette with gray streaks who wears what she likes because it pleases her who loves *Me*, LOCO, other cats and some dogs, bats, spiders and trolls, and who believes God gives us the choices and lets us decide how to use them. I'm so glad you don't change the color of your fur and wear stilts! How would LOCO and *Me* recognize you? How could we rub  up against your leg? And, Cheese Whiz, no surgery RealMommy! You'd be so off balance, you'd fall off your broom!

Off my soapbox and with love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 05:03 AM

S1

Becky:

One thing that has helped me in the past is making the decision to make conscious choices. That means if you accept a hug, you accept it with no regrets later. (and no blame)

This way you accept what 'is' and wherever he or you are 'at' at the moment without later feeling like a martyr, a phony or whatever. You accept the responsibility of any consequences.

Don't know if that helps, but it helped me.

AJ:

Don't know if you read the paid options but Dr Irene is offering to monitor individual posts for a very nominal monthly fee. (see the section that says "Frequent Poster Advantage") I think it's well worth it, and we all benefit. I think this is a great service because we all get the support and input of others, and can read Dr. Irene's blue pencil on others in similar situations. When it's a particularly tough month it's really nice to get the personalized "blue pencil". Thanks Asha. But $50 for 4 weeks, is not exactly nominal. Especially outside the US. I've raised the on-line price for everything. I just can't keep up the old pace anymore and this is an effective way to cut down my work on the site, as well as get reimbursement for my time.  I have mixed feelings about charging people. While I'm no longer OK with either how much free time I have left nor am I any longer OK with working for free - especially when I already do lots of gratis or fee sliding in my practice. Yet, I come from a tradition that a helping professional "should" give it away, and I love the give-it-away philosophy of the early web - which, in these days of dot.com doom, I think won't last much longer. 

Dr. I has done a lot of free stuff, which is really nice, but I think she deserves to get paid for what she does too. I like this web format. I think it is an innovative way to educate people about these issues. It's well worth the fee during times when people really want to monitor and change their behavior. What I like most is that a partner can join in at any time, paid or not. Some spouses would never otherwise consider therapy. This isn't therapy; the goal is to get people to therapy or at least to get started to think about therapy and personal improvement. I think this could be a great future trend. Hope so anyway.

(by the way, to the suspicious minded - I'm not Dr. I's publicist, nor am I affiliated with her in any way :) Thanks again. But, no more plugs, OK? 

love Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 06:35 AM

S1

Don't know about the duck, Trubble; but plenty round here. But I just ate a whole packet of mini jam rolls. Horrendous morning. I just managed to be in a minor accident 5 minutes before the family therapy and felt coerced into continuing.

Feel really weepy and down. Need hugs! can't seem to stop crying at all. HUG HUG HUG, PURRRRRRRR, KISS, KISS!!!! Trying hard to take comfort that my husband admitted he didn't know what co-dependency means and he is willing (if he is speaking the truth) to look at the issues. You'll find out soon enough!

Still no word from my daughter either.

Feeling angry and upset and hopeless and frightened of getting depressed again. Of course you do. When you've been there once or twice, it will take you time to recognize that you can be depressed without being DEPRESSED...  Just focus on taking care of YOU, not your hubby or kid, just YOU. And deal with whatever comes up one step at a time. Stop "what iffing" the future. What we imagine is always worse than any reality. That awful ill, weepy despair feels overwhelming. 

At least the therapist also said she felt paralyzed! I feel like that all the time.

She said we had to set an agenda. I will have about 1000 points on mine! She said set small steps. All my issues are too big. Nope. Even the biggest issue is dealt with one small step at a time. Always.

I am feeling really scared. 

And alone.

And frightened.

I hope that this is not any more than a reaction to a stressful morning!

By the way, if I go offline it will be because I haven't got the money for the phone bill....At least I would have it if I got money for work done!

Also totally weird letter about my daughter came contradicting things my husband said. I am confused to add to my pain. What is - is. Stop fretting about her; there is nothing you can do for her - other than keep her mom in the best possible shape.

Is it that, if codependents avoid their pain, I have stopped being codependent and started to feel mine? Someone out there can you tell me if this is what is happening? Yes! No longer focusing as much on others, you are finally feeling what is inside YOU. The good news: Now that you are beginning to see and feel what the problems are, you are in a position to begin to handle them.

Trubble, I just have to get a cat to cuddle!  Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle!

Trubble, I suppose that is the wrong reason for getting a cat. No wrong reason, ever!

Just now a catbox seems like a good alternative to where I am.

Got to pull myself out of the pit and love myself enough not to let myself go under again. Yeah!

Becky. I can't put it into words, but I know exactly what you mean about the hug.

AJ I agree with you about Dr. Irene. I am so poor as I was forever agreeing to give free time on my teaching and go to meetings etc. I am just glad the site is here.

Lynn, I too am glad you didn't throw Dan out. But Dan, if you are secretly reading, I think you need to take some positive action and work on yourself. He has been...and is. 

Becky, I hope you are feeling better today. I guess it isn't a good week for some of us. I do understand about how irritating the George Bush type thing got. It is very different when you read about things from a distance.

Well I guess I had better do some nice things for me and all that and love myself a bit. It is so stupid to feel guilty about this but I was a puritan metaphorically speaking for years.

Weird isn't it, but I feel better for writing out how I am today and how I feel. Not weird. Normal. Feel better.

Love to all, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 09:14 AM

S1

Hi Jay,

I want to reply to you first cos you sound like you need someone to listen and support you.

Is it that, if codependents avoid their pain, I have stopped being codependent and started to feel mine? Someone out there can you tell me if this is what is happening?

Well in my opinion if you can avoid their pain you're half way there. And if you can feel your own, by allowing yourself to be sad without needing to get up and make yourself happy, your feeling your pain. I think your therapist is GOOD!!! Small steps are what makes for professionals, experts, SUCCESSFUL people. Change anything and the link is broken. You broke the link by not taking on or being responsible for fixing their pain. WHICH you cannot do anyway without hurting you.

If you pity someone else and try to help them without them wanting it, your not SELF CARING, so this is a big step you took to leave your co-dependency behind. This what DR I means when she says Care about them, not for THEM. So allow them to have their pain and not RESCUE them, listen and accept YES rescue and correct and sort out NO!!!!

Small step maybe to allow yourself to cry for limited amounts of grief time and then keep busy the rest of the time, CALL this your black hole time. The rest tell yourself you have great resources and can cope, say "I may not like this, but, I CAN STAND THIS". See yourself making the small steps.

The steps you made the first not getting involved in rescue others from their pain. The next one is putting yourself FIRST, so ask what am I getting from this action, behaviour.

APPROVAL perhaps??? DUMP it you don't need approval, make your own life and know your here and important cuz GOD thinks so. That is all that matters. So does Trubble 

ABANDONMENT WORRIES perhaps??? You can get support from where ever you need to.

Not so long ago I felt just the same as you, I thought the world would end. What did I do? Well I let myself feel in set aside times, I let all the tears out. I wrote some letters "Anger letters" to tell those who hurt me how angry and hurt I was. I then set boundaries, for all the areas that angered me.

I thought about what behaviour I would accept and what I wouldn't.

Also Jay its normal, to feel so hopeless and sad when you can't go and rescue others. JUST allow the feelings, allow yourself to feel angry at them, to even hate them for how their behaving, ALWAYS label the behaviour and not the PERSON. Cos we are all mixtures of good and bad.

AND take comfort in knowing that the intention behind all our behaviours is good. YES even the negative behaviours like rescuing, this intention is to feel that you are caring. THOUGH you can be caring by just allowing people to have their pain. SO change the behaviours to meet the intentions you want.

Hope this helps.

Plan some time taking care of yourself, bubble baths, walks in the park, lying down just to rest. YES resting is allowed, it relaxing and letting things flow and a time to listen to what is inside you.

Love Theressa Excellent, excellent, excellent advice! Thanks Theressa!

PS we all know how you feel, so allow yourself to feel, IT IS OKAY to feel whatever you feel.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 09:36 AM

S1

Hi Jay,

I posted some useful in my opinion, information about your son. please take a look its on G's thread. Your first thread you visited.

Love Theressa

PS: Thanks for the insight into my question about how abusers find out. I guess this is why I have to stop enabling him so maybe he sees the need to change.

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 10:35 AM

S1

Thanks, Theressa, what yous ay is very true. In fact my son and I have a good relationship but methinks that I come over differently from how I sound. I was amused more than anything and we hug an awful lot and he does get involved indecision making about his own life. He just chose his own school after discussion with me. I took him on the visits and he made his own choices.

We just have some pretty silly times with the computer. My worry was that other people might get offended and think he was reading the site which wouldn't be too appropriate.

He may of course not be cactus at all! My son is hurt and frightened by his parents pain, but all we are both doing all we can to minimize this. I'm interested in the links though.

I got my codependency counseling correspondence course yesterday. I am quite eager to get started. Maybe I overdid it a bit yesterday on this.

I really appreciated all the time you spent writing to me. I felt very supported.

I feel a lot better now. I just hope I don't get prosecuted for dangerous driving though! I had the bath before you wrote! It is definitely a day for chocolate too!

I think it is a great idea to set time limits on the black hole feeling. Especially when I get really down about my daughter.

I wrote the agenda and did get the small steps. Think I was just totally overwhelmed this morning. I even looked at and changed a short story I wrote since then. It makes me feel like I really am recovering as before I would have been knocked out for the whole day by events.

Going back to G's site in a minute to have another look.

Love and thanks, Jay 

Also I am a really great believer in spending time with children and that is (HEY THAT IS!@!!!!!!!) an area where my husband and I do agree and encourage each other. Wow, Theressa, you just found a chink in our mutual armour! I had forgotten this area of agreement in all my pain.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 11:34 AM

S1

Hi Jay,

Glad it helped you, in fact it helped me cuz I'd forgotten the mistaken goal of Undue attention "involve me". This is somewhat what I need to do with my daughter, Sometimes when we're out I expect her to behave, she gets bored and goes a little attention seeking, I get angry, she say sorry, though it could be avoided if I involved her and asked her a few questions, or had some task she could do well I talk for a wee while and then agreed to speak and listen to her a few moments later. I guess I needed the FOCUS myself.

Missy is also so hurt by our crazy relationship, me and her dad's. So it inevitable she'd been hurting, like your son. I guess as DOC says we can't rescue them from what is meant to be.

Oh well I also saw how I try to control things to get approval. I guess these old habits are ones I need to seed out and get rid of. So that's my next step.

Love to you all its weekend and I am gonna enjoy it, I've had a lovely day today. Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 12:23 PM

S1

(((Jay)))

Remember that those bad feelings will passed. You've taken some amazing steps, so no wonder you're feeling overwhelmed.

You're not alone. We're here for you.

I think that pain is a necessary step in growth sometimes - better to face it than run from it IMO. Doesn't mean you have to give it more power than it needs though. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 12:26 PM

S1

Hi Lynn,

I read all of joy2me.com I thought you all would have known about it long before me. This is where I learnt so much. I spoke to the author of the book dancing with the wounded souls a few times.

Here is his other site. His name is Robert Burney; he's a gifted teacher, and the author of that book I recommend so much, Codependence: Dance of the Wounded Souls. I think I'll send Trubble to him.

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/codependency_recovery/21246

take care and thanks Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 12:26 PM

S1

Hi Lynn,

I read all of joy2me.com I thought you all would have known about it long before me. This is where I learnt so much. I spoke to the author of the book dancing with the wounded souls a few times.

Here is his other site.

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/codependency_recovery/21246

take care and thanks Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 12:49 PM

S1

Good Morning Cat Box,

Hugs and All to all. Lynn here and it's still cold and snowing. We have had 3 very mild winters. Must be catch up time. I hope the sun comes out this afternoon so I can go get some more wood hauled.

I like that about the correspondence course for co dependents. And yes. Therapy hurts. I think we actually re live the past painful events and then get them and the hurts into a category and they somehow aren't as big anymore.

Dan won't be reading. He's staying in a cabin about 40 miles from civilization and even if they had a computer, I'm sure he wouldn't be on it in front of a group. That's why I've been pretty open here lately. Rather funny, too, when he reads any of the posts he tends to scroll past mine. I guess he thinks he's heard all I have to say. Grin

I'm glad there is something like this site for those low on cash, but also for those who aren't comfortable with therapy. Some people I know are so anti "shrink" they think it's telling "All our secrets." Well, of course it is, but the thought is to keep the secrets inside." They just do come to the surface eventually.

Dan swore for years that he and his X went to therapy and the "shrink" didn't save the marriage. Even his family thinks therapy is no good because it didn't work for Dan and X. Well, when I started here I interrogated him about why he didn't think the therapy worked. He can get quite a snide tone to his voice. I kept at it and had him describe each session. They went for the intro and X never went back. (They weren't living together.) Dan went to a couple more and X never showed. She suggested Dan keep coming for himself and he thought she was just after his money as he was there for marriage counseling. And the therapist couldn't save the marriage? I asked again, what marriage? He still didn't get it! What marriage counseling I asked. He still went on. Finally he had to admit that if only one went there wasn't much counseling being done and if the X said it was over and refused to go, that it wasn't the therapist's fault the marriage couldn't be saved.

Dan has also tended to be lazy. If I wasn't on his back he didn't do the work. I don't know what his aims are now, but I can't do this for him. He's had the wake up call. Now I hope he stays awake. I'm afraid he doesn't have a very good track record, so I'm not sure. Pia Melody has a workbook for doing codependence work at home.

If I sound bummed, I guess maybe I am just skeptical, again. And, you should be skeptical. But, there is no need to be bummed about it. It's good if Dan does his work, but it's not the end of the world if he doesn't. Besides, you should expect Dan to "forget" this stuff on and off. But, once woken up, reawakening is much, much easier. I'm going to have to let it go though. Just get myself better.

Great one with Asha. I had a friend who committed suicide and I dwelt on this for years. Dan thought he could bully me out of my feelings. Asha picked up a typo of mine and after that I was okay with his death. I have to think about him now to get him back in my mind.

So it does help to have the peer support here. Sometimes the reality therapy is better than talking it out over and over and over.

Our old therapist listened and took notes. She was the type who waited until we figured it out. I prefer Dr. Irene's method. I am a "directive" therapist. A word or two could get my mind working. I was so wrapped up in my misery that I couldn't think of what was wrong or why I was so unhappy.

I almost erased this. I'm babbling on almost in a pity party. I think I'll go ahead and get it out and post. I think I'm disappointed because I had a book on couples and I hid it and couldn't find it. Dan then decided we were ready to work on it and I still couldn't find it. On my trip I bought another one. It's still sitting here. He can read where he's at. He made it sound so important when I didn't know where it was. Now that I found it he's not interested?

That might be what's wrong. See, the long rambling lets us collect our thoughts. Dan bought and ordered every recommended book. He also has a bunch as he took some Psychology classes when he was working on his masters degree, so we have those books, too.

It's like I'm starting to feel that he buys them to get me comfortable again, then he doesn't have to read them. As if they'll sink in by some form of osmosis. Please stop fretting about what he is or isn't reading/doing. All you have to do is call him on it when he treats you yukky.

Ok, enough. Now I'll go put the books away and if he wants to read them they are there and if he doesn't, well, they are still there. Boo Hoo Quack Quack. Meow! Sad RealMommy: Come and take care of *Me* and forget you have any worries... I need Trout.

I do like it Jay. It says it all.

I hope you are all doing good today. ((HUGS)) and I'm thinking of you all with love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 12:52 PM

S1

I just read Theressa and Asha.

Thanks, we must have been posting at the same time. Nice to know you are there.

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 01:32 PM

S1

Dear all, AJ here.

Dear Asha, I did not know about getting monitored for a monthly fee, I'll get a peep later on. Don't know whether it would also work form Europe, but I am full willing to pay our Dr. to keep up the good work. As you say it benefits us all. But, seriously, I do think that a site like this deserves some sort of governmental health grant. I don't know whether that can be done in the USA, I think in Europe it would make a fair change. It's a relatively cheap and very effective means to help people help themselves I think. Thanks AJ. No such thing here.

Dr. I. by the way may comments was by no means meant to criticize you for not paying enough attention to us. As Asha says, you are already doing so much! I never took it that way!

Dear Lynn, been thinking about what you said about what to change and what not. It's a hot issue when you start recovering, I think. You want to work things out, but you also want to be YOU and you don't know how to get these things together, at least I find it very hard. I want please him, but I also want to please me, and sometimes the two don't go together. I know, I should give priority to Me, but it's hard sometimes to know when to keep firm and when to bend. I remember you telling about the boundaries that were walls. We don't want any of those, at least not really, do we. Gets lonely behind them. But how far do you go? I don't know, struggling a lot with that myself.

Dear Jay: lots and lots of hugs and love. My cats are sending you their love to. They do expect some cuddling in return though!! Yeah! Take care. I was rather surprised about your therapist saying she felt paralyzed too. Don't know if it's a good idea to stay with a therapist who cannot handle the situation. She can handle it. She was just empathizing... As for the small step, I totally agree. Our problems can be soooo overwhelming and we simply cannot see the end of it, and that gets us panicking all the way. Small step you can handle, like ok I'll look after my health and take a glass of orange juice each morning. I also have the experience that if you find you are able to do the small steps the right way, you'll start to feel good about yourself again and get strong enough to take bigger steps. It builds confidence. And, Jay, we are here to cheer you on as Dr. I. said to Lynn. You'll do fine in the long run.

PS. Apart from bubble baths, sun baths are great to to improve your mental state as well.

Dear Becky, hug him if You want to hug him, Hug him because You feel you want it. Fear never got anybody anywhere. I agree with Asha on the conscious choice: you do this, knowing, he may not react as you would want him, but if you still want to hug him, by all means go ahead girl. You're married to the man: you are entitled to hug him I think.....

Lots of love to all of you and take care.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 01:55 PM

S1

Dear AJ, Hi the rest of you,

I just figured out what it is. I did it, too. Dan's chain saw was out in the yard, uncovered, covered with snow and frozen. I brought it in. Half of me thought it's his, let him take care of it. I reminded him it was out there Monday night. What to do? I also had to move two of the sheers of plywood that he had over my bike that fell down and blocked the gate. A neighbor had to help me out of the yard. I left the wood. Dan crawled over it to get in the house. I was going to kill myself crawling over it to bring loads of wood in.

What to do????? Ask Dan to be more considerate of you, recognizing that he doesn't set out to be inconsiderate, but just doesn't think. Ask him to take a moment before he goes on a trip and either think about loose ends or ask you about any.

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 02:00 PM

S1

Dear Lynn, I know what you mean about the books. We have this problem too. Still at least he has agreed to find out what codependency is! I am not convinced what the therapist knew as she asked me to define it and I suppose she could just have wanted to know what I meant by it.

I got better as the day went past; but I would love a loan of your cats AJ!

I wrote a kind of poem earlier that people on the message board seemed to like and there is a good one too from Marya which she wrote. Just to be different I am putting mine here too so I don't lose it. I will do that in a separate post as I keep writing long ones which get lost.

yeah, Asha, a lot has happened in such a short time with my thinking that maybe it would be surprising if I wasn't a bit overwhelmed. No pain without gain and all that.

I do think AJ has a good point about the grant, but in my experience grants tend to be too small to do what you really want.

I just had another positive thought. At least after 20 years my husband is going to go to therapy. He still refuses to read the site though.......I hope he looks. The therapist thought it was a positive move for me to use it. But to give myself brownie points I didn't try to persuade him when he said No. Brownie points and cookies and Trout!

So that is 2 positive thoughts about the relationship. On a really bad day.

AJ I think the therapist meant that our relationship seemed paralyzing. As if there was an impasse that was impossible to break which is how I have felt for a long time. S o I was quite impressed she picked this up and it made me feel slightly more trusting of her. She also said NO to my husband at one point and I have got so frustrated feeling people just listen to and believe him. Maybe it is not so good to be pleased about that but it felt like vindication.

At least he acknowledged how angry I feel. I just hate living with these angry feelings. But I suppose they won't, like the sadness, last forever. I have to find the joy within again.

The more I think about it, I do think codependency is an illness created or caught from a dysfunctional family. I guess you reach fever pitch with some illnesses and then the danger passes. Maybe today was a fever pitch day.

Love, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 02:05 PM

S1

I know what you say to me, You deny this to others.

I know what you do to me, I wish someone would see.

I know how you are, You convince others they know better.

You deny my reality, I don't understand yours.

You say I twist your words, And then you twist mine.

You hurt me, And demand I say sorry.

And now I take my power And refuse you.

You redouble your efforts, You increase the pain.

But you have not seen something, That I see you now for what you are.

That I see me for what I was, And I have changed.

So the pain I feel Is the pain of change.

So the pain I feel Is your loss.

The pain I feel Is the hurt of chains.

The chains that bound me, Pressing into me.

As I force them apart And become free

So I am only down today Because the chains are pressing in.

Because I have seen the weakest link And I am breaking free.

By Jay.

This is beautiful Jay. I put it up on the site properly. Look here.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 04:25 PM

S1

Dear Dr Irene, I am in a verbally unhealthy marriage. I am 38 he 40. Been married 5 years. I was a single mom with little to no contact of the birth father. We met and married my husband when my son was 5.He was very "needy" for a father and I had been "single" 3 years after a trail of abusive men. I had gotten off the welfare cycle and put myself thru school and was employed. We never really dated he basically moved in. So I guess I was as needy as my son for allowing this all to come together so quickly Anyways, we married and had 2 sons. He is the most wonderful parent to all 3.

The thing that really puzzles me is how we got to this point of utter disrespect on both sides. I was never told a lot about his history and found out later he had been abused sexually by an older sibling. I was abused as well as a child and felt betrayed for not being aware of the whole picture. The thing I don't know is when i get to the breaking point or the reacting stage.. (I am new to this stuff) I yell or use foul language, I am "disgusting" I am told to watch MY mouth (he doesn't) or the children are asked, "Can you say that?" I was thinking of leaving but with me the one who has been "home" with the kids, I have no car no job and little self esteem. We are apartment managers and are both home. With my third child I really needed support to breastfeed for the 15 mo I actually did I was so happy he was soooo supportive. He is a good father and a crappy inattentive husband. Is that because we are bad for each other. Or could he be traumatized from childhood? I know I am but I like sex.

I also have gained weight which I am having trouble losing. I am trying. We have no sex at all. Is this marriage even a marriage? I feel better when we aren't together.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 04:29 PM

S1

My name is Michelle I posted with out leaving my name. I am the apartment manager.

Thanks Michelle. There is now a special forum to post a question like this for me. Look here.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 04:46 PM

S1

Jay, (and all)

I love your poem! I hope you are feeling better by now. Seems we've all had the "ickies" lately, and my episodes come around more frequently than in days past. In thinking about it, I've come to realize that I'm restless, angry, sad, irritable, etc. because a big change is taking place (as you say in your poem, the pain of change).

I'm no longer able to live in denial. I no longer latch onto the least little thing and pin all my hopes on it. I no longer think, "Now we've reached an understanding, and everything will be okay," just because he said "I'm sorry."

I've changed the way I think about myself, and consequently, the way I think about him and the marriage has changed. A long time a go, my former counselor told me that once a person's self respect has increased to a certain level, they can no longer tolerate disrespect and abuse, even if it means leaving. I didn't understand that then; I do now.

As for the hugs. The same therapist also told me that, if he didn't change, I would have to live on a day by day, moment by moment basis with him. In other words, if something happens that's good (like a hug) take it at face value, reading into it no more or less than it is. I've tried, and it's too hard living that way. It's like always waiting for the other show to drop: things may be good for now, but that can change in an instant. He loves me now; that can change, too, depending on what I've done to "make" him not love me (or trust me, or approve of me, etc).

I want a commitment from him to work on this; I want him to follow through, or i don't want to be around him much. I'm already getting ambivalent about attending business related holiday parties with him. I don't want to be with him if he's not working this marriage, and working on himself. I feel so rejected all of the time, and when he introduces me to people, and acts like Mr. Charming, I wilt inside. Besides, there's hardly been a time that he didn't, at some point after a party, express his disgust with me for something I supposedly did or didn't do. For example, he asked where I'd like to sit one time, and I chose a table. Later, he criticized me for choosing a table where "a bunch of snobs" were sitting. I didn't know these people, and just because they didn't fall all over us, doesn't mean they were snobs. (At this particular function, people tend to keep to their own "company groups.")

Anyway, I'm so tired of being hurt. I let my guard down and end up getting kicked in the teeth for it.

I did accept a hug yesterday morning (he initiated). I guess i want to know that he's hugging me because he loves me, not because he's "been bad" and wants my reassurance. Does that make sense?

Becky

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000
Time: 06:53 PM

S1

Well, life is better.

I feel vindicated and sane. I like this. Sometimes being able to shout "I TOLD YOU SO!!!" at the world in general is just the thing. Though I will warn that Nice Girl Astrid has left the building for this particular post. :) And UnNiceGirl Astrid is posting? Purrrrr anyway.

#1: The auditors were in at work. One of the things I had a co-worker telling me to do incorrectly was one of the things the auditors caught and raised a big stink about. So, the co-worker who is always acting like she doesn't like me (the one who was giving the bad information) has big-time egg on her face. *giggles* Giggle! And my manager knows that just because I'm new and the co-worker has been there for 17 years doesn't automatically mean that she knows what she's talking about more than I do. Score one for common sense. *bounces*

#2: The girl L was dating for a bit after we broke up came to dance practice two nights ago. Shortly after their little fling ended, she decided to quit smoking pot AND cigarettes and has been off both for a little over a month! Yay! And we're still friends, which makes me feel a lot better. And apparently she, too, got tired of drugs being L's favorite conversation topic. Yay!

My faith in the universe is once again justified. Now if this darn Florida thing would just be settled already.....  Only in America... 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2000
Time: 03:35 AM

S1

Dear Becky, AJ here

You wrote <<I did accept a hug yesterday morning (he initiated). I guess i want to know that he's hugging me because he loves me, not because he's "been bad" and wants my reassurance. Does that make sense? >>

It makes a lot of sense, but even so I think you need to accept that you will never know for sure. You can only go by your own feelings as to how it feels to You. Should you ask him, how can you be sure whether he is telling the truth, he may not even know it himself. I have been struggling with things like this a lot and now I just try to accept that what is, is. If it feels good to me, it is good. If it doesn't it is not.

If something does not feel good I try to figure it out and maybe talk to him about that. But I have to accept that even talking is not always going to get me a better feeling or even a solution. I may try to talk to him, but \ there is no way I can ever be sure he will follow through in the long run (nor anyone else, b.t.w.). He may change his mind (as you may) and that should be ok. If you need to know for sure what he feels, I think you want control, and you will just never get that. I do think that you can and should expect some basic things like trying to work, showing respect and such and not acting immediately as to what he feels (anger mistrust etc.) But you can and will never be 100% certain about what anyone else feels. You (we all) will just have to learn to live with that.

For me this is still very very hard to accept, but I do think this is what it is all about: you cannot make people feel the way you want them to feel.

Dear Astrid, glad you got some validation at work. Sometimes it is just sooo important. Hope things will get better from here. It can be a long struggle though, which is not so much different from the one we have with our partners here, I think. I had four years of it, got validation in the long run and now we are starting to built again. It's hard work, but in my case I feel it's worth it. I like the work and I do want it to work and it starts working. Btw: ik had to leave before it got better !! How's that for a parallel??? Take care.

C. and me had some though talk again about things. He doesn't want to dwell on the past too much, just wants to see if we can start all over again. (the 'male' clean-slate-model (sorry Steve :-)) but the past keeps popping up. I am confident though it will pop up less and less if we keep processing it. At least that's how it works for me. I try not to process everything with him though, but some things concern both of us. We are planning a weekend away, so that will be some test. I did the planning and got myself all worked up and nervous about whether he is going to like it etc etc. Feeling sooo responsible, want it to be nice. I then felt mad at him for me having to do the planning. He really doesn't have the time though, and I initiated it as sort of a birthday present, so why do I get mad? Cause I am unsure, and that makes me mad, so I put the blame on him. I am learning though and happy about that. He did not say I had to get upset and start worrying about whether he liked it or not. I did that all by myself, so it's my responsibility to get rid of it all by myself. I did it mostly by giving him part of the responsibility in choosing the location and that worked fine. He was willing to take it and really say what he wanted and we made a mutual choice and that feels great. So now I am looking forward to the weekend and going to see him tonight and looking forward to that too. It's been a long time that I really looked forward to seeing him, without fear or distress and I know that's the way I want to go.

We will get through all these yukkie periods whole and alive and we'll be telling each other how glad we are we got here. And have a reunion in a Cat/Doghouse some place nice. We won't need separate houses, cause we will be sooo healthy, we can just talk about things, without having to vent or shout or whatever. (might be boring though, will see...) Keep the faith alive. Lots of love and hugs for all who need them.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2000
Time: 05:43 AM

S1

Dear all, Yes, I am feeling a lot better this morning which is odd as I got really upset in the night! I found a really abusive message from my daughter on my mobile and got freaked out by her hatred. But than I rang her and apparently this is an old message. So at least she didn't say that she still meant it!

I did make it clear I won't tolerate abuse though. My husband told me she is starting to see she has an anger management problem; so maybe that will lead to progress.

I even managed to cook a dinner he seemed to like. I cooked it for me not him as it were.

Also he says he wants to look at why I am so angry at him. Maybe, just maybe this will lead to progress. Or not. I am back this morning to getting on with my life.

I can hardly believe I feel like this.

So Asha, you are right. The bad feelings passed. What does IMO mean?

AJ yes, small steps, I am starting to take them. I always did want everything tied up and sorted yesterday.

Lynn, I guess the question is how much do you want the wood moved for you? If you don't care leave it as long as you can stand it. I wish it would snow rather than rain here, But I guess if it froze it would make all the floods into an ice rink. So maybe not.

It isn't that cold here, but it is cold.

Somewhere on Dr Irene's site I read something about living in the here and now and making the here and now o.k for you. I was just thinking how cold my house seems vibe wise and I am going to start having people round and making it pretty again and livable. It was something about people always being in need of dreams to escape reality but you have to make what you want to happen in the present. It kind of freed me to do things as they would be about making things right for me. I mean so I nurture my Self.

Dear Michelle, Hi. I hope Dr. Irene replies to you soon. It is good you felt you could post. I wondered a couple of things. Have you and your husband either of you ever had therapy for the sexual abuse. I do think that this is vital for anyone who has been through it and that it requires a specialist kind of therapy.

Also, have you thought about taking time outs when you get angry?

If you and your husband could visit a counselor together, then maybe they could point you in the right direction. If not you could go alone. I t doesn't sound hope less to me, but disrespect breeds disrespect. So you could be bringing each other down.

The good thing is that as long as you are willing to work onn yourself, changes will happen. Keep posting, We are a good bunch here.

becky. The bit you wrote about self respect is so helpful. I want to get mine back so I am confident enough to know what to do.

Hooray, Astrid, I am really glad you got some vindication and you sound really strong.

AJ, You sound like you are really getting together in your thinking and I hope the holiday goes well.

A healthy cathouse full of healed and healthy cats.....and dogs.... Trubble all you will have to do is eat the trout! Yummy!

Love to all, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2000
Time: 08:55 AM

S1

Dear all,

going to vent big time. Not about C., but about my sister and mother. Sis said some days ago that she thought I was acting very selfish in not going to see my mother more often and that my mother had every right to ask me to come over more often. I felt very bad about that, I know I should go more often, but I really feel out of sorts for some days when I go there. I always feel so pressured, and I realize it's my own problem, but even so. Sis says I am acting very selfish and I am just constantly thinking about myself and my problems and am not even able to do simple things like going to visit my mother. I never got on with my mother. My father died when I was 18 and my sister was abroad at the time. I never have been able to break as I should have at that age and I think it still shows. I know it is immature and I should be able to let it go, but I can't.

I think my mother is very manipulative and I would just as soon never see her again. I go there, cause I have too and I never ever went because I want to. She calls every week and complains I do not call. I do every once in a while, but every time I call I always get this: why don't yoiu come, why don't yo call routine, and I feel guilty and don't want to call again. Let alone go there.

I really feel bad about all this. My sister says, I am not going to pester you about it, and what I feel is what I feel. You can't tell me not to feel that and I can't tell you to go more often. So lets just leave it at that. But I feel so guilty and it's like I need my sister validation to not go, and she will not give it, as is her right, I know that. But it is just there between us. It is as if I cannot trust her if she thinks I am selfish on this an to preoccupied with my problems. I feel I need to sort things out with me in connection to C. and that's important. The problem with my mother is been their for as long as I know. I have been trying to avoid is as long as I know. I just don not know how to handle this. I do not want to feel guilty. I have had this guilt put on me by my mother for years and years. Never good enough, never just let me be. I can see her pint of view, but somehow that doesn't help me. I feel I am obliged to go, but I simply do not want to. I want to cry like a child: I hate you, I hate you.

Have no idea what to do....

Sorry about rambling. Love to you all and happy weekend.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2000
Time: 01:28 PM

S1

Good Morning Everyone,

Lynn here, AJ, I just read your post about your mother. Deja Vu all over again, but mine is my father. This didn't work for me, but it sure made me feel better. I told him about three dozen times what I didn't like him doing (I stuck to the here and now) and then I wrote him a letter. This one got cute, because he called me and said, "do you know who this is?" Of course I know and said so firmly. We are at a truce and I am going to see him Thanksgiving. Can you tell your mom what you don't like her doing? If not write her a letter (some suggest not mailing them, only if you let it all out). I mean telling her what you don't like at the moment. I also think it is very hard to interact with anyone while/when we are in a toxic relationship. Try some of the inner child work (in your spare time? chuckle). That site I mentioned is pretty good at joy2meu.com and gives validation to your anger. Good Luck.

Jay, Healthy loving Cat and Dog houses. Sounds like bliss. And I moved the wood because I had to to get into the house with the logs for the fire without killing myself. I just found myself angry over the chain saw mostly, because here I am still picking up his stuff! Ancient History now. I did it! Sounds like things are good with you. Good for you.

Astrid, there is something they tell me ( I have a tough time on this), but is you can sit back and wait, things like that all work out. Patience does work. I usually can't wait.

Asha and Steve, How are things with you two? Have a nice weekend.

Michelle and Jean, if you are still out there drop us a line. We might not have any suggestions, but we'll listen.

Theressa, you ok? I hope so. Stay strong. Hi Missy.

Hugs Becky. I hope this weekend is going better for you. I hear you about the pretense of Holiday Parties and going and pretending you are having a good time. Not much fun, is it?

Dr. Irene and Trubble, Happy Veteran's Day. You too RealMommy. (Hear that FakeMommy who is still not letting me roam?)

Dan called last night. He'll be home Tuesday. Guess it's time to do the dishes. Won't get my tub in until next spring if this weather keeps up.

Love to all of you. Keep up the good work, Lynn

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