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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments to Cat Box 13

Comments for Catbox 13

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

back to Catbox 12

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B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000

S1

Just a short one--

I need a little TLC. I had my second mammogram within a week yesterday. They needed to zero in on a certain spot. I could see it on the first set of x-rays, a kind of dense looking area. I know that it's probably nothing, but two of my aunts have had breast cancer, so I'm a little nervous. H says I'm "making life miserable for everyone else worrying about it." My "worrying" has consisted of mentioning my concern a total of two times! I'm not crying, wringing my hands, etc.

Still, I won't breathe easy until I hear from the doctor. My depression is worse again and this isn't helping. You guys are my support group so I'm asking for positive thoughts.

Thanks,

becky  Lots and lots of positive thoughts and prayers for you Becky.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000

S1

Link back to catbox 12 (blue penciled)

http://drirene.com/forms/comments_cat12.htm

(just trying to help out the doc - you can take this off once it's fixed)

Asha

Thanks Asha!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000

S1

Becky - you have my good thoughts. Take care. I have a family history of breast cancer as well, so I do understand.

My mom has had several lumps, all of which were benign. Please don't worry. And take care of yourself okay?

Asha

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000

S1

Asha here: have been thinking lots and lots over the past couple of days. I've been feeling in shambles; as if a hurricane has struck in my life. I know that I am currently going through one of life's major exams and it's been very uncertain whether I'll get through the test, or just keep repeating it again and again. The lessons keep coming until the learning is mastered. Been thinking that there was one boundary that I had never exercised completely - we work together and that boundary is a really scary one - folding our interconnected businesses (or un-connecting them). This is a really painful one because I have put 3 years of very intense effort and time, and a whole pile of money (a lot borrowed from my dad). We both have very specialized compatible skills. However, the business has suffered because of our personal problems. I always felt we could carry on as business partners regardless of what happened on a personal level, but I'm realizing that this is very unrealistic. There is the whole challenge of deciding just how things will work, and how to communicate this to clients in a professional way so as not to jeopardize future choices or credibility.

It's a very immense load, but one that I must face. I have lived more than 4 years with this relationship instability. I've had enough. I wrote the following (to Steve, though he may not read it, but also to myself). It no longer matters to me how he interprets it. I know what I mean. God knows what I mean. And that's all that really matters.

***

I will be sad no longer. I am strong.

My gift to you is to not allow you to hurt me anymore.

I was taught that if a man ever hits you, you walk away forever.

But no-one told me just how many verbal and emotional strikes were acceptable.

I've just hit the limit.

My compassion for you has been my weakness.

If I believe you are strong and capable, then I will know you are better off without me to abuse.

I will know that without me to support you, you will have no choice but to support yourself.

I will also know that no matter how broken my life appears, that I can always rebuild. That the height of disaster might just be the peak of my growth.

And my strength and growth can be a model for others to be strong and to grow.

If I can do it, so can they.

I will rise above this. I will be okay.

You will rise above this. You will; be OK. Sorry you are (both) hurting...

love to all

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000

S1

Dear AJ... Thank you for your welcome and positive comments. Yes, I do believe my husband loves best that he can and understands. He doesn't love himself, so how can he truly love another? As for me, yes I believe I love him, I definitely care a lot, however, he has hurt me for so long (over and over again), it's really getting old being hurt all the time. I guess I have that little wall built up around me for protection, just so I won't have to hurt again. I believe that wall must come down if we are to heal, I'm not sure I want it to come down. He does'nt like any counselors here in this area. He once went to a men's only group for emotional, verbal and physical abuse, he came home with a Cheshire cat smile, feeling pretty good about himself because all the other guys there were "so bad", it mad him feel "so good", all had been physcially violent offenders, jail and all, so he looked like the "saint"... he never went back. He tells me he needs help, but I see no action on his part. He tells me other times, he's only like this with me and never has any problems with any one else any where else. I feel like he's playing the "mind games" stuff. Right now I just feel all mixed up about us. I will think a lot about your advice, and have been thinking about it...ie: if you don't love him and only stay out of obligation, it will never work." Thank you

Becky, Hi, I'm only 38, last year right before Christmas, I had a baseline mammogram. They said it was fine and sent me home. The next day they called me back for another, "just to be sure", they saw a "tiny something" . My aunt on my mother's side died of breast cancer at 47, so this terrified me a lot. Well, the second mammogram came back suspicious, I was sent on to the specialists a couple weeks before Christmas. I ended up with another mammogram, ultrasound and two core biopsies  then I waited 2 weeks for "the answer". It was a terrible two weeks, I was sure I was going to die, I cut my hair really short because I was sure I'd have to have chemo. I went crazy with worry. I had absolutely no support from my husband, he said I was really kind of being a "baby" about it. (That hurt so bad.) Turns out I had some calcium deposits which were pre-cancerous, but not cancer and all was taken out at the core biopsies. (The biopsies were not painful at all, just sore later and a big bruise. I now follow up every six months, and all is well. )The moral of the story, don't worry, all will be well, they have such wonderful things to help now. Yes, I understand the worry, and the wait is awful, and the imagination can run wild (In sensitive people this happens even more.) So do all the doctors say and be extra kind to yourself to fill the time with positive, self-caring ways and things to do, don't feel guilty a bit about this. I'll say a prayer for you, I'm sure you'll do just fine

Love to all, Suzy (the new gal on the block...aka..butterfly)

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000

S1

Asha again

I had changed the first line on my poem and accidentally submitted the other version.

It said "I will be sad no longer", but I realized that I will feel sad sometimes, for periods, and that's okay, just don't want to live there.

The re-write says:

"I will no longer put my energy into sadness, disappointment and fear.

I am strong.

I will no longer live on false hope."  Very nice change. It puts your life into YOUR hands.

 

Rest is the same. Doesn't really matter anyway - the poem is for me, just wanted to share.

Asha 

 

***

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000

S1

Dear Asha and Suzy,

Thanks for your encouragement and kind thoughts. I had a sonogram last year; I'm full of benign cysts, so maybe this is what it is. At any rate, I'm not in a panic, just understandably nervous. The spot is way back by the chest wall, I guess. She had to really squish me, but it wasn't too bad. I'm one of the fortunate ones that don't experience much discomfort with mammograms.

I'm glad to know that the core biopsies didn't hurt, Suzie, as having that done is something I've always feared. Hopefully, if I need to have it done, it won't be too bad for me, either. At any rate, nothing could possibly be as painful as dying of cancer, so i figure whatever discomfort i go through now is worth it.

I'm sorry that your husband wasn't more supportive. I think they get scared and don't want to admit it, so they distance themselves by hiding behind a rough, tough exterior. Also, by minimizing our feelings, they make the problem less real, and less serious, thus letting themselves off the hook: if the situation is so trivial, they don't have to deal with it.

Asha, I appreciate your poem. I feel much the same way. I'm tired of being jerked around because he can't bring himself to commit to really working on the marriage. He seems to think that this is about who looks worse--him or me, and heaven forbid it's him! I think he still wants me to accept blame for how he's treated me--he doesn't seem willing to settle for anything else. He says he wants to work on things, then does absolutely nothing that's different, and is very offended that i expect him to.

Well, thanks again Asha and Suzy! Take care! Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2000

S1

Becky, thoughts and prayers to you. I hope the results are o.k. We won't complain if you keep posting your feelings here. Do keep in touch and I really empathize about the depression. I think sometimes it a s response to not feeling cared for by our husbands.

Asha my thoughts and prayers are also with you. Guess there is some tough decision making ahead and I hope you and Steve can sort out your differences in a way which means you can both make a positive start again. I like your poem and I think you were right to change the first line.

Theressa, thanks for your posts it is nice to feel so cared for.

Actually, I didn't know it when I last wrote but I was going down with a sickness bug that seems to have got a hold round here. It is pretty nasty as it is impossible to keep anything not even water down.

I decided to re write the agenda. And to write explanations of all the things he wants discussed as some of then just get stupid. He even has prayers written down. I am not sure how he thinks he can stop me or anyone else praying for him! And exorcisms?????????????? I have not tried to exorcise any of my family so who knows what he means......Some days I wonder if he uses the Christian thing as a weapon.

Actually, we did have a small headway yesterday. I was feeling really rough and got worried about dehydration. Husband ignored me. I told him this was the sort of thing I found emotionally abusive and he had to remember the one who ultimately suffers is our son. Today I got a drink brought up and breakfast made and he actually offered to do some shopping. He was also careful to ask about dinner and tell me when he would be back. Please God let there be progress.

I don't think now in my won't go to therapy post that I was really doing much more than logging my brain off. I got a lot of sleep being ill which always makes me feel more positive. I still don't know if I will go. I could just tell him to send the agenda as it is and place a time limit on things. I don't know. A lot of me does feel very ambivalent and I wonder if I am not subconsciously seeking revenge for the times he refused therapy. I have no idea at all. My brain is still a bit at sea from being ill and I of course couldn't keep the tablets down so I am probably going to react to that again.

I think I am going to find out all the foods that contain serotonin out and go on a serotonin high diet so I can get myself off the stupid things. Try St. John's wort too.

At least one good thing happened. I got a call from the leader of a writer's group inviting me along. I am making going a priority. That will be a move towards my new life as me.

Lynn. I really am writing "Love and the Laundry!" It is pretty Mills and Booneish but I will show you as soon as I get it underway. This like the website is going to be nothing to do with my husband. He isn't going to be offered the chance to read it.

Well, despite being washed out, I do feel chirpier. (No Trubble, not a bird!) and I am not running any more Dr Irene. Maybe I just had to reorganize my brain again. :)

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving Thursday. I can't make English politics out yet alone American. As far as I understand it you don't have a president until Friday week? Well here we put up with a woman Prime Minister who still I think, thinks she was elected queen so we can't talk. But we can: Al, drop it buddy. You lost!

By the way Lynn, I keep meaning to tell you I have Circus blood. Via my great Grandmother. She also had a dance troupe and married a Russian Prince! She was also the 'Lady sawn in half.'!!

I think a few posts back you wrote about a Romany connection. I know quite a few of the local Traveller women from teaching childcare and a lot of their children went to the same schools as mine. I think they like me because I don't come from middle class ancestry. I really like them.

Suzy, I am glad you are posting. It is good to have you here. The thing that my, Becky and your husband's all have in common is the ability to hurt by ignoring us when we are most in need of support. It is interesting that we are also holding Christian beliefs and I wonder if there is any connection.

I wonder if my husband is so determined to prove there is no God he assumes if I can't find complete support in God then he has a reason to say there is no God! I really think this is how he may think!

Something I find intriguing is that when I suffered a loss of faith following my daughters disclosure of abuse and got very depressed and suicidal my husband suddenly started liking my Christian friends. Now I have a sort of faith again he seems to be anti Christian again.

I wish in some ways I could get properly back into the Christian thing, but I get really afraid of getting sidetracked into following things that won't work for me. I just can't go with the submission bit and all the good churches have that as part of their belief system which confuses me no end. "Submission" works both ways. Jesus never suggested we hurt ourselves in helping other. Think: He was friends with the prostitute. He didn't marry her. No way will I ever again submit to what I see as control or to abuse.

The trouble is our church leaders haven't really understood what codependence is. I don't feel as yet I have the ability to explain it and I do want to try and write something but I feel I need to have got further along the road. It would be good to find a Codependency Recovery Handbook for Christians and Christian Leaders. Did you look at this thread?

I tried to tell the leader of the Church I like what I was going through and he got angry and said my husband had told him another side of the story. He seems to have changed a bit since then, but i think codependency is just a word here in England as yet.

I am still trying to define it for my course!

Love to all, jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2000

S1

Dear all.

This is just a post to try and make sense of the discussion I just had with my husband. He did read my poem. He showed it to "other people." but he won't say who. "They" told him it was food for a psychoanalyst. Apparently we are coexisting to see if we can rebuild the relationship. I wouldn't mind this but he hasn't asked me if I want this. We are apparently not divorcing. Where is my choice in this? It will take a long time to put the relationship back together. You are telling me! He is happy as he is. (Oh yeah!). I think actually he is pretty riled. He wishes I would break free but he has decided for himself what I mean! I now think I am married to the ultimate controller. Pity for him I won't accept the control. And guess what. He managed to get religion into the discussion again! I think he was a bit put out when I agreed I might have been codependent on the church as well as him. But I don't think he has any idea what codependency is!

It is a breakthrough he read it at all. Good!

Let him think what he likes.

He has lost a good wife. He won't find her again without looking. 

love Jay.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2000

S1

Oh yes and apparently it is food for psychoanalysis according to these mysterious 'other people." Jay   Ugh. He just had to get the dig in...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2000

S1

Hi, everyone,

Just venting a little to keep myself from asking my husband for the 100th time to show me some kindness. Good. You don't need his kindness if it is not freely given. His loss, actually. I asked him earlier today if he couldn't just let me feel how I feel, validate that this is a scary situation and ask me what I need him to do to help me feel better. he replied that he finds me repugnant, and that he can't give me that "right now." UGH! YUK! PHOOEY! What a horrible reply!

Just a week ago this man who finds me repugnant was all over me, telling me he needs and wants me (I returned the affection, but didn't go further. I told him that I need to know and see that he's committed to working on this mess). He accepted that. Now I repulse him because I'm depressed over the state of the marriage and nervous about this mysterious dark spot in my breast.

I've pretty much kept out of his way most of the day. The boys helped me set the tree up and put on the lights. I'll finish decorating during the week. We laughed a lot as they worked (I supervised :-) ); my boys have good senses of humor, and my youngest especially comes up with the funniest remarks. My husband was sitting in the kitchen--his usual spot, in front of the TV,-- and I hope he heard me laughing! He can be repulsed all he wants, but I can still laugh and enjoy life!

jay, I'm sorry you've been so sick! Hope you are better. as for you poem being food for psychoanalysis, I can only think that this is yet another attempt on his part to make you feel that you are the unstable one--sounds familiar! After all, these guys are innocent, they are the normal ones, the nice guys. They just had the misfortune to choose emotionally unstable, crazy women for wives! You only THINK you're being abused!

My husband always accuses me of having PMS whenever I express unhappiness about the marriage, and now that the PMDD commercial is on, he's added that to his arsenal. I hate it when he does that; it feels so disrespectful! It's like: Becky, there's no problem here. I'm not abusing you! You've got PMS and that turns you into an irrational witch! You're making ME suffer!

Well, enough venting. I'm sure I'll be back! :-)

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2000

S1

Hi. This is mostly for any men who may be lurking, although you women may find something valuable here - I really really hope so, because it may avoid disaster for your relationships.

I have been on a difficult road of self-analysis, to discover my hidden parts, those which hurt others. I have found many things along this road. I have seen my ugliness, my cruelty and my insecurity.

I had a partner, whom I was treating very poorly at times. I had to find out why. I believe I have. I believe I am aware of most (not all) of it.

Because I was in this relationship, and on this board, I have more than my SELF at stake. I had a relationship at stake. In this journey, I have realized the fatal error prevalent in the whole exercise. That error is the error of omission. It means that I can work on myself, but not my relationship. Right. It takes two to tango.

The error of omission is also the error of non-admission. What has been missed, by the good doctor and others here, is the essential element of human relationships. Einstein called it the theory of relativity. When your cat fatally knocks an innocent butterfly out of the air on a warm summer Sunday afternoon, what else happens in the world because of it? Nothing? That depends. We don't know what role that butterfly may have played in the next day of it's life. Steve, you are finding fault with your interpretation of my work. I am not surprised to see people make fundamental errors because it's hard to "get" this stuff all at once, but your approach, that of attack, is a non-productive way of handling the issue. All you do is alienate others..

So, apply the relativity theory in my case. I believe, that our up-down relationship was primarily based on relativity rather than substance. There was a bouncing. The bouncing. Back and forth. No one called the cat off. Asha and I simply bounced off each other over and over again. Correct. Each person's job is to stop bouncing off other. That's why I ask people to stop acting out or stop reacting.

A few people here noticed it and remarked. That's very good observation.

I believe the Dr missed the significance and the immensity of it. Nope.

She seemed to think that she had found the "abuser" and the "victim". She in fact stated so. Many times I think. You have not read the site carefully. "Victim" and "abuser" are relative terms. The balance of power is probably the most important variable that will determine whether or not a relationship is abusive. And, any relationship is relative, wholly dependent on the interactive sum of it's parts. That's why Asha can't do it alone Steve. Nor can you. That's why so-called "victims" get "blue penciled" as well as so-called "abusers." .

However, that determination, has created ( I believe ) an "enabling" atmosphere, which in turn has allowed for Name (Asha) to "opt out" of "the solution". You have overstepped your boundaries by repeatedly referring to Asha by her name when she has chosen not to make that name available. Your tendency to hurt when you are hurt is one thing you need to get control over, for your own sake. As you've seen me relate before, "Steve has the problem". Each of you have your own problems. Once in awhile the Dr would kick in something that seemed to vaguely say Asha was abusive too. She was asked not to react to your stuff. But the Dr's proportions where un-balanced. I'm calling about 90-10. Correct. That's about what the balance of power has been in this relationship, about 90/10. Asha has been advised to take her power rather than give it all to you. Others may see it differently. I think the proportionizing of the relationship greatly contributed to it's failure. The failure Steve is with your difficulty in taking responsibility for yourself and accepting that others are the way they are, and doing all this with an attitude of love. You continually resort to cynicism. You sell out to anger to feel good momentarily. I'm sure as you typed this, you felt vindicated. That you "won." I wish it were that easy...  It's almost as if the "approach" itself, is "dysfunctional." Like someone in an abusive relationship developed it - BEFORE their relationship was healed. Or, it never was healed.

I must admit, I found the Dr's proportions offensive. At times I was angered by it. Of course! My comments were designed to help you stay within your own boundaries and control Steve. That would take away 40 points of your power (to be hopefully taken by it's rightful owner, Asha). Nobody "likes" that, at least initially. I'm sure some of my anger was "insecurity"-based. So I had to look at my insecurities. Finding the usual ones was easy. Finding the deeper ones was hard. Very hard. Of course... It took a long time. Then, one day, it came to me. I was watching the dissipation of my relationship. I was asking why? I realized how much "I" had been helped by some of the doctors advice to "me". But then I asked, "OK, now how much has 'my relationship' been helped - or harmed." The relationship won't be helped with one round of this stuff. What's going on now is "normal." That is, you tried it, experienced some initial benefit, found the going tough, and threw in the towel. The relationship won't be helped until you learn to throw in the towel less and less and bounce back from what you perceive as "losses".  Right now, you have reverted to your original style where you are trying to protect yourself. But, you don't realize that you are only protecting your ego and not your Self! In other words, this type of thinking and behavior will not help your integrity Steve. It will give you a semblance of feel good for the moment. You have sold yourSelf out. There is no lasting sense of inner peace and integrity associated with such. 

And, Steve, you are not alone. This is exactly why it is so difficult to effect change in the person who has the power! Kind of like not wanting to give up getting all the chocolates, but, getting fat if you give into the temptation. You would be likely to feel better about yourself if you did not overindulge.

I know this type of talk worries people here and they think I'm running from something or afraid to admit I am wrong or whatever. But I really need to say my peace. And that's fine. I can't help you if you don't speak your peace. 

I am also privy to the observation of a good friends marriage on the rocks. We talk a lot. We are helping each other. I have relayed many of the good things I've found on this board to him and he is very open to it.

[Before I go further I want to insert an observation on Name's last poem: I could have written it referring to HER. I say I "could have". But I would then be making the same mistake, which is to say - it's all her fault. Which I know is not true.]

Excuse me, to continue with my thread...

What my friend and I realized is, yes, learning self-awareness is great. Absolutely a necessity for a happier healthier life. We then observed in both our cases that, while we were "admitting our sins" of hurt against our partners, our partners were now honing in on our sins, and almost completely forgetting to look at themselves. Correct. This is a pitfall and is why you see me "blue penciling" the "disempowered" one (Gee, I like that much better than "victim.") New words: "Negatively Empowered One" NEO and "Negatively Disempowered One NDO." Our sins were so bright and colorful - and admitted -, that they found themselves completely absorbed in looking at what they needed "us" to change about "ourselves", and couldn't seem to see much that needed work on their side of the relativity equation. Correct. That's when the therapist has to help the NDO curb their control tendencies. When they are out of their boundaries. That process is very clear particularly with Lynn.

My friend showed me some papers that his wife had given him, she had gotten them from a "Family Violence Center". His wife had highlighted many of the things she felt he had been doing that were abusive. As I was reading these things, I was incredulously looking at my friend and remarking - "I've seen her do that to you". And "Name does that to me." This isn't to say we weren't also noting the things we were responsible for. We were. Correct. More confirmation: I am currently working with a self-proclaimed former NEO whose wife still cries "Abuse" and regards The Verbally Abusive Relationship as her Bible. Talk about abuse of power! It's very clear to me who is the NDO and NEO in this relationship at this time. Another current couple, a victim of physical abuse, is so angry at her husband, he can do nothing right. Damed if he does, damned if he doesn't. I just told her that if she keeps this up, I am going to ask him why he is putting up with her abuse... Which is exactly what it is, and which I've told both of them. But, this does not get him off the hook. He "loses" it and mistreats her too. It works both ways Steve.

So, yes Steve, that is a pitfall and Asha has been doing a bit of that, but not terribly much (she can be controlling), at least in terms of the info I can get in writing. BOTH of you have a poor sense of what your boundaries are. You tend to walk into each other's space way too often. These boundary infractions may occur many, many times in one very short conversation. They are momentary, yet extremely significant and affect your interaction. Yet, the only way to "fix" this is by each partner fixing their own.

What I'm trying to say in a long way, is that, it really takes two to make a relationship. Not one. It's been said many times before, but I never realized how significant it really can be. Then, you haven't been reading the site carefully enough.

I believe Dr Irene has un-wittlying missed this. I don't know why. I think her approach is going to turn-off many men. I am sometimes turned-off by it. Of course I have found much value in lots of her observations, but the overall approach seems to be wrong. In my opinion, it may actually damage relationships. Yes, if you give up prematurely.

I can almost hear the Dr's resistance to these thoughts of mine - that's ok. It is sometimes hard for me to say what I feel without being thought of as "running" or "smart" or "devious at twisting things". I have to accept that. But as I said earlier, I need to speak my peace. Does this make more sense to you now?

For you men out there...I must tell you that the Dr's approach has failed for my relationship. I will be blamed for it. The Dr's "approach" will likely remain un-challenged by any but me. I still walk away with a great deal of learning, which I thank the Dr - and others here - for. But my relationship is dead, because it was approached only on one side. 2-dimensional instead of the 3 that exist in a relative universe. The Z-plane is the one that gives us depth, yet it is also the scariest to walk through, and the last to be acknowledged.

Perhaps there is a fear of admitting that women can be just as abusive as men. I'm not entirely sure. They absolutely can be!

But in cases like mine, (where I truly KNOW I too have been abused) You have been, but not the way you have abused. It's different. , where the focus goes on me, instead of the relativity in the relationship, the doom is in the air. I think it will be that way for all of us. Until we can reach a place where the relativity is examined, instead of the blame assigned, I think most men are going to be disappointed. In the end, so will some of the women here. A chance has been wasted. It won't come again.

1/2 goes like this: The one labeled "the abuser" may get very defensive if he/she is singled out after their admission. You could lose them completely. Especially if they had assumed that both parties were going to work on their parts in the relationship. Right. That's why I hate those words, but have been having a hard time finding others.

At the same time, the other 1/2 goes like this: "There you have it. They admitted it, let's work on them now. I am ok. They are responsible for how I treat them." Once my "abusers" get into the right frame of mind, I teach them to take their tail out from  between their legs and take their (appropriate) power. The wives are not thrilled, by the way and often feel alienated by me, but, it is just part of the process. Then, and only then, do couples get to live happily ever after... See Steve: you threw in the towel WAY too quickly. 

It just won't work if you give up.

I believe I passed a big test when I admitted my part. I felt alone though. No admission from the other side of the relativity equation was forthcoming. Either from the Dr, or Asha herself. (These are my observations only). There were quite a few others here who seemed to see it, (in fact they brought it to light for me) and gave very good advice. But it didn't go anywhere. The advice was heard by me, but I don't think Asha heard it. She may have thought the advice was only for me. You know Steve, things aren't always "even." But, you expect them to be. Don't. OK, I'm done with this one. I'd like to hear your comments Steve. Dr. Irene

Anyway, I believe that Asha has have been "enabled", by the Dr, to miss the whole relativity thing. I know she won't understand this. I know I'll be seen as running or angry or defensive - or "Don't you think I can think for myself?". That's ok. It's the end anyways. But for others out there, men and women, perhaps my failed relationship can be a sign, warning, lesson, whatever.

I believe our relationship would have made it beautifully (because I believe Name and I are very good people at heart, and actually very compatible) if a more 3-dimensional approach, one that includes relativity, had been taken.

If anyone can understand what I mean, I hope it helps them.

I don't think Name will understand. I think the pattern of this "therapy" has been long-since established. I feel, in her mind, if I challenge something the Dr has put forth, which Name agrees with, I am just "in denial, running, and all that stuff".

I want you all to know, especially Name, that I could have spent a lifetime with her. I did see great possibilities for happiness and fun. But it can't happen, because the focus is too narrow. It's like looking at 2 ants fighting, under a magnifying glass, and you are trying to find out why they are fighting. You zoom in on one ant, because he admitted his part. So you have a crime, and a criminal. If one is guilty for the crime, case-closed. There never was an accomplice, there never was a case of self-defense. No need to look at the other ant.

There never was any "relativity".

I have to ask myself, what good would it be, if I am working on my anger, my button-pushing etc, if my partner is not working on hers? Would I be happy? Would I feel secure in the relationship? Would I TRUST her? That was a big one for me. I needed to know that my partner acknowledged her part in the equation. In my opinion, she did not. And I think the Dr enabled her by keeping the focus on me instead of the relativity in the relationship. I'm not sure Irene was even aware of this happening because she was quite busy just keeping up. Maybe she won't see it this way anyway.

I had to face, that I would never be happy living that way. I want to love and trust. If I can't do both, I'm wasting my time and hers.

I do find it disappointing, that my observations will likely become "steve running, steve twisting, Steve denying etc etc."

But I've said my peace. And I feel at peace.

Name said "But no-one told me just how many verbal and emotional strikes were acceptable. I've just hit the limit. My compassion for you has been my weakness. "

We've both hit the limit on abuse Name. This is my theory at work. Back and forth. But I won't say my compassion for you has been my weakness. Instead, I say, my love for you has been my strength. I will always know how much I loved you. And I will always know how much you loved me. You are a wonderful person with unlimited potential.

There was no wasted time. I take that back. I am lucky (and thankful) to have met you.

Love to all.

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2000

S1

Hello Everyone...Suzy here. I find every ones comments quite interesting. To all those who are sick, feel better soon. To comment on Steve's last message... it's like witnesses to a car wreck, if there are 5 people who witness a car wreck, all have a slightly different story to tell all based on the view of the wreck because of the location and position they were in at the time of the wreck. All of their stories are true because of their perception or reality at the time of the wreck, there is not one true and right answer, for all are correct. I guess what I'm trying to say is....every single person in this life has been abused at one time or another, and every single person in this world has been an abuser at some time or another. It is really, how often we do it, and whether we recognize that we have hurt another person and what we are going to do to make amends. I think a true abuser is one who does it over and over and over and rarely recognizes he (or she) is hurting another, or is a master on being able to turn it around on the other person, to make him (or her)self feel better. I think it gives them a sick sense of control, and making him (or her) self feel better. We can only control one person, ourself, when we try and control another, we will be sorely disappointed for they will never "measure up". There are no "winners" in a couples relationship where abuse is involved. There is no level of measure of who is hurting worse. Where you must look is into your own heart, if you are hurting all the time when you are with a "loved one", then something is wrong and something must be done (ie: counseling, change, leave etc.). If someone is dying, they must do something to cope or leave. Sometimes it's a matter of life and death, even if it is a dying bleeding heart, that no one can see, except yourself and God. There are really no sides to be taken, except your own. I believe this web site is not partial to women, for it has a lot of good articles/books/advice for men as well. Yes, we're all guilty of abuse to some degree, however, some of us, like me, do need support to get through another day and cope and live. I do not feel that this is a male "bashing" site. It is a place to come, be safe, give our opinion, get support and love, something that is very hard to come by when you have been very badly abused. This site is a "God-Send" to me and God bless you all for helping me and God bless Dr. Irene to have the guts to start this much needed site. We are all human, we all need each other, we are all children of God (both male and female) and we need not knock our friends for trying to help and be there. None of us have all the answers, but maybe, just maybe, we can all bring knowledge and experiences to the table to help. Please don't put down the Dr. or the site or women who desperately need one another, we're all doing the best we can. I say follow your heart and do what is best for you, follow , also, your head and be smart and safe. This is a place to find guidance and support and people who have "been there" and care. I love all you are doing...keep up the great work!!!! Suzy Thank you Suzy.

P.S. for Jay....I whole heartedly agree...leaders in religion need some sort of guidebook...I'm so sick of hearing..."Well, he didn't hit you did he?...you must stay then, it's the "right" thing to do, don't leave until he hits you." Ugh!! I love my faith, but some of the male leaders need some knowledge, they are so ignorant. Feel better soon, and best of luck Becky!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2000

S1

Suzy - you made some excellent observations.

I feel you've misread me somehow in there though.

"Please don't put down the Dr. or the site or women who desperately need one another, we're all doing the best we can. "

I do not put down the Dr. or the site or women. I call it as I see it. But you bash me in the process. Don't confuse calling it as you see it with attack; I think you have. The Dr has been good for "me", but the approach to relationships has not been good for my relationship. That's how I see it. 

I don't know where you got the idea that I put down women who desperately need one another? I don't think anyone here would agree with you on that item. I sure don't recall doing that. I think that happens Steve because you make put downs without even realizing you are doing it.

However, I detect (correct me if I'm mistaken) that you assume I believe this is a male-bashing site.

I've noticed a little male-bashing. But I accept that there are angry and disappointed women here and I don't mind them male-bashing one bit. Bashing may be a strong word. We all have opinions on the 2 sexes in general. But I still think it comes down to individuals. Sure, we both are influenced by our hormones to some degree, that's part of what makes us different. Testosterone is a fact of life for us men, just as the hormones that flow thru a woman's body are a fact for them.

We seem (both sexes) to spend a lot of energy trying to detach from our hormones. Maybe that's the wrong thing to do. Maybe we should celebrate our hormones?

Anyway, I don't feel you were correct in your assumptions about me. But I respect your opinions.

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Steve

Please call me Asha.

I find your calling me by another name disrespectful. Exactly.

It's also a waste of Dr. I's time to have to go back in and change it all. That's my line and please don't "protect" me, though I appreciate your thought.

***

Here's my life philosophy in a few words: Live out of love and not out of fear.

I believe (my personal philosophy) that at the end of one's life the actions we take and the ripple effect they have (positive or negative) are 'replayed' for us and we get to experience them first hand. True or not true, I choose to believe this so that I will lead a life where I feel responsible for my actions and how they impact others. I can't control the reactions or feelings of others, but I can be responsible for my own.

I know what is true and real for me, and I believe that God also knows. This will, I hope, keep me strong throughout my life.

I know that I have work to do on myself. The fear comes up and the instinct is to react to the fear. Sometimes it is hard to see love in every situation. But as humans we have a choice. I'm not perfect, but I do try to live by my philosophies. I also believe that when I realize I've made a mistake, if I am able to, it serves me best to go back and fix it. I'm not a saint. I don't do everything right. I'm working on it. I try to live by my convictions. I do my best.

But my recent anger and upset are not based in malevolence - they come from become called "spoiled, abusive, anti-Christian" being told that I "LIE", that you don't trust me with your kids, and from your most recent email to me which states "You are so evil." I think that what you see as my 'abusive tendencies' are naturally upset reactions. When I express my feelings/opinions (which don't always support your opinions, or advocate your words or actions) you see 'tit for tat'. But there would only be 'tit for tat' if my intention was to 'get back' at you somehow. It is not. You see malevolence in what I say or how I act towards you where there is none. Anger - yes! Naturally I am angry when someone that I trust and care about tells me I am the above things. I don't let it turn into rage, but being treated this way is unacceptable to me, and shutting off my feelings about it would be lying to myself. The feelings are saying, Asha this is harmful to you - do something! I also ask myself, are my feelings proportionate to what actually took place? In the above case - yes! Yes...

I am not absorbed in whether 'you change you' or not. I simply know that I cannot have a relationship with anyone who distrusts me as much as you do. Whether you are happy, can trust your mate, feel secure etc. are decisions only you can make. I only know that I can't be with someone who feels as unsafe with me as you do.

<<<I want to love and trust. If I can't do both, I'm wasting my time and hers.>>>

Right. Without love and trust, you are wasting your time.

I know deep down that I am loveable, trustable and would be a wonderful mom or step mom if I had the opportunity.

But you have a "feeling of distrust or danger when it comes to her interacting with my kids". I don't warrant this sort of distrust. I have a lot to give, and I can put my energy into those who do trust me and know that I'm a caring, loving human being.

I don't want to be given ultimatums to apologize for what I feel. What I feel is perfectly okay, and a perfectly natural reaction. Yes.

I won't live in a state of anger, but I do need time to heal from hurt that I feel from the statements you've made about me. The feeling of hurt, anger etc. is as natural a reaction as the pain I would feel having my hand on a hot stove. How I *behave* as a result of that feeling is indeed my choice. My choice is to distance myself, to remain neutral towards you, and yes the anger seeps in sometimes. But I don't fire off emails to you that say "you are so evil - goodbye forever" even if momentarily that's what I feel. I resist doing this. I stop myself from acting on this kind of feeling.

Feeling hurt, angry, upset is not abuse. No, but put downs or yelling, for example, don't work. You are much better off and informative if you communicate your concerns calmly and specifically. Your partner may even hear them. Nor is it even malevolent - it's just a bad feeling that will pass. I suppose Jesus or Buddha would be able to suspend all anger and react with love to all people. But I don't suppose either would enjoy being called names. I don't think either would 'apologize' for expressing what they felt or thought.

I know that I could be in a relationship where my behavior was not considered abusive. I know that in my other close relationships I was not considered "abusive". You are not "abusive" per se. You have reacted to Steve and become angry, upset, etc. when the optimal reaction would be along the lines of ignoring his misbehavior or merely pointing it out. From time to time you have tried to control his behavior out of your great desire to help him fix himself, so he can be your partner. I know you love him. No need to prove this anyway. I know what I am inside. Do I sometimes do abusive things? Of course. Does anyone *not* do abusive things at times? Of course! Maybe Jesus or Buddha. Doesn't mean I'm anywhere near perfect. I never said I was (and I don't believe I'd be here if I was anyway). I will admit to abuse that I know I have partaken in. If you interpret something as abuse, and my intentions were in no way malevolent, it's not abuse in my book. Abuse insinuates intent. No. Because Steve does not intend to hurt you, even though he does. He is simply protecting his ego. Feels like life and death to him. Have you noticed that Steve does not realize that his editorial re: my methods was an attack of them. This is simply the difficult "baseline" Steve regards as "normal."  Maybe there are cases of unintentional amoral behavior, but I don't think my actions fall into this category. You "feel" abused, but I didn't *intend* to abuse. Here is where you get yourself into trouble Asha. You interpret Steve's behavior, when you are not in a position to. Try to understand the anger slips away from him. I don't think he sets out to hurt you.

I want a mate who doesn't *need* me to be perfect. That finds it's okay for me to occasionally be disgruntled, even pissed off at them. That's okay! That's human! I am *not* Jesus or Buddha. I am human. I have faults, weaknesses. That's the whole point! Yes...

<<<I was watching the dissipation of my relationship. I was asking why? I realized how much "I" had been helped by some of the doctors advice to "me". But then I asked, "OK, now how much has 'my relationship' been helped - or harmed." >>>

Steve, I think you were expecting it to turn around way too quickly. Exactly. Nor, do I think Steve has a grasp of how many of these turning-around experiences he needs - in many areas. The entirely of his underlying, implicit thinking needs a change of emphasis or interpretation. And, he needs to become more comfortable with his own faults, not see fault as "weakness," deserving of contempt. He's very, very hard on himself. Ouchhh!. I have hurts that never had a chance to get healed and now there are additional ones. These things take a great deal of time. The parts of me that felt "harmed" happened to me before I ever found this site. I believe you have been harmed also. But I think this harm took place way before you ever met me. Again, I'm not saying I've been perfect, but I don't see things like picking out a restaurant you don't like as 'abuse'. And yes, I've blown up, gotten angry, told you to "F" off even. This is the type of junk you want to strive to stop. Still it didn't warrant the kind of distrust you have in me. 100% correct. Steve's distrust is not from you. He did not learn to trust in childhood. Not only doesn't he trust others, especially those others close to his heart, he doesn't trust himself. He does not know that he can control himself in any given situation... My long post on Thursday didn't IMO warrant an ultimatum from you or an apology. This is the sort of thing you interpret as abuse, but it's not malevolent. i.e. my intention was not to hurt you. My intention was to get to the source of the things that felt yukky to me and concerned me most. You added in your mind whatever you added to make it into "abuse".

It's not my goal to push your buttons Steve, nor am I interested in avoiding all your buttons. I am responsible for my own buttons, that's where my responsibility ends. Yes.

By the way Steve, I don't "blame" you for anything.  I have free will too. I chose to be with you - that was my responsibility alone. Women and men can both be abusive. That's never been an issue on this website either. Steve blames me too Asha. According to Steve, my methods don't work and in fact, have made Steve's relationship worse. Notice that Steve does not take responsibility, but tries to put it on me and my methods, and then goes on to say that I did not mess him up on purpose, but I was just missing relativity. Note that I am held responsible for the outcome of his life (which I can never be) - even when he hasn't stayed with the program!

If you are at peace with your current way of seeing things, so be it. However it would never bring me the happiness, peace or safety I seek, so I must leave you to walk your path without me.

I wish you well - as always, peace, love, enlightenment, and trust. And I wish you both same.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

It's not disrespectful to call you Name. That's your opinion. But if it bothers you so much, I won't. You have no concept of boundaries Steve if you think using her name is not disrespectful when she has chosen not to use it. Asha is the only one who has the right to call herself whatever she calls herself. Your anger just slipped away from you again when you used her name in opening this reply. That was another stab, intended or not.

Asha: "But I don't fire off emails to you that say "you are so evil - goodbye forever" even if momentarily that's what I feel. I resist doing this. I stop myself from acting on this kind of feeling."

Am I not allowed to be as angry as you when I feel hurt or abused?

Have I ever said "I want to kill you!? No. You said that. I can smile about it now, but at the time, I was a little bit scared. I don't think you refrain from this behaviour any more than I do.

We both do it Asha. If only you could see it.

Asha: "I don't let it turn into rage"

Honestly Asha, have you never let it turn into rage? Steve, you are comparing apples and oranges. Your baseline anger level is much higher than Asha's and that baseline is evident in your posts. Please see this, for your own sake.. (Note how I too call things how I see them - without attacking or insulting you in the process?)

Why do you feel the need to show me as being a certain way?  I think that's something that hurts me (or I have allowed to hurt me). Your responses always seem to have some sort of added "Steve did this before, Steve once did that, or Steve whatever". Feels a lot like mud-slinging to me. She should instead be talking about her own experience, you are correct, and less about you. But, it is not mud-slinging. This does hurt me. But it's my problem. I guess I wish we could've gotten past this. The way to get past your feeling of mud-slinging Steve is for you to pull in that button that prompts you to feel hurt every time Asha criticizes a  behavior of yours. While, I ask Asha to focus on herself and not on you, my request is not for your sake, though it will benefit you. It is in her interests to focus on her own stuff, just as it is in yours to focus on your stuff. I guess there is no relativity here. This is what I mean about all the relativity. It really does feel like "tit for tat" to me. You make it that Steve. You engage in tit for tat more than she does! I wish I could help you see that. I feel that you are bringing out the artillery again. It doesn't feel constructive, it feels destructive. Like bombing the bridge after it's already been burnt.  YOU are bringing out the artillery my friend. You create your life; you create your experience. 

You've said some things that you KNOW are going to irritate me. Then I get angry and say some things that I KNOW are going to irritate you. The relativity again. Bouncing bouncing forever back and forth. Yes. 

"But my recent anger and upset are not based in malevolence - they come from become called "spoiled, abusive, anti-Christian" being told that I "LIE", that you don't trust me with your kids"

But this is what I feel Asha. That's all. Look at how your anger slips away from you Steve. Look at your words! You are using global character assassination! There is a difference between calling someone "spoiled, abusive, anti-Christian" and telling them that when they did such and such, you felt such and such. Name calling is abusive and you don't even see it!  Unless, it is done to you. Then, you are extremely sensitive. Ever ask yourself why? Because you do it to yourself internally day in and day out and don't see that you do it. You do it to yourself and it feels "normal". You do it to Asha, and it feels "normal."  But, because you do it so much, you are extremely sensitive to it when someone does it to you! I am asking you to stop doing it to yourself! (That's how to stop doing it to others, by the way.) 

Asha :"I know that I could be in a relationship where my behavior was not considered abusive. I know that in my other close relationships I was not considered "abusive"."

But you are (were) in this relationship. Because she allowed herself to be provoked by you and to react to you. The only partner who would not eventually react with anger towards you - because you give so much of it out - can only exist in your imagination. You bring anger with you Steve everywhere you go. Like a curse Steve, anger will eventually invade each and every relationship in your life - until you put an end to it. Your other ones are your other ones. I wasn't there, I haven't talked to your X's nor do I wish to. As you said, you know how you were. But you are here now. I know you have been abusive towards me. I know I have been so towards you. But the only way to change it is to admit it. If you keep feeling you are not abusive, you cannot change it. That's why I feel like I can't have the trust in you I long for so much. Trust begets trust Steve. Asha knows how to trust. You don't. Sorry. It is simply true. You never learned how to trust and you will not be able to trust - until you can trust yourself. And you will not trust yourself until you know you have control over yourself. Which you don't have now because you are run by your emotion.  Gotta go. Will be back.

Asha: "I want a mate who doesn't *need* me to be perfect. That finds it's okay for me to occasionally be disgruntled, even pissed off at them. That's okay! That's human! I am *not* Jesus or Buddha. I am human. I have faults, weaknesses. That's the whole point! "

I don't need you to be perfect Asha. You should know that.

Asha: "My long post on Thursday didn't IMO warrant an ultimatum from you or an apology. This is the sort of thing you interpret as abuse, but it's not malevolent. i.e. my intention was not to hurt you. My intention was to get to the source of the things that felt yukky to me and concerned me most. You added in your mind whatever you added to make it into "abuse". I'm back. Steve, I know you did not intend to hurt her, but you don't recognize your anger. That's why you DO hurt her. Think: you are not slamming the site; but you are. You are not hurting Asha; but you are.

Well that post made me feel extremely yukky. There are ways of making your point without using a nuclear weapon. And again, it brings back the relativity issue. What you posted (and you know it better than anyone) was in no way going to help you get at any source of anything. This is what feels so impossible to me. You cannot say you're sorry, because you aren't. Because you don't believe you did anything to intentionally hurt me. And if you really don't believe you did, then of course I'm scared. I'm very scared of what else you could do to hurt me, without believing/realizing you are doing anything... Oh, knock it off. She's wrong in assuming you are out to intentionally hurt her. That's all. Don't blow it up; it's big enough.

That's what feels so yukky and unhealthy to me. It creates this fear of the unknown. I really don't know what you believe. I hear what you say, but it doesn't ring true to me. 

But, despite all this fear and suffering, I love you. Because I know, at the very core level, you are sincere in your wishes for peace and love. I can read that in you even when you are yelling at me. Now we're talking.

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

The written word, without the adornments of tone of voice and body language:

Steve: "But, despite all this fear and suffering, I love you. Because I know, at the very core level, you are sincere in your wishes for peace and love. I can read that in you even when you are yelling at me."

I reread this, and realized how a misconception could occur. Others may think I am being passive-aggressive with the last sentence. No, at least I didn't. I thought that was a wonderful ending.

I'm not. What I mean to say is, that even when Asha is very very angry with me, deep inside her core, the wonderful angel is still there. I meant to be very honest. And what I mean to say is that even when Steve is very very angry with Asha, deep down inside his core, the wonderful angel is still there. The Self. 

Just wanted to clarify that. :)

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Yes, Steve

A couple of years ago I said "I want to kill you" and that *was* abusive. I've said that already on this site. This after saying I didn't want to talk and you running up the stairs after me anyway. I didn't want to talk about it because I knew I would get irrational. But regardless of that, it wasn't right. I'm *not* perfect! Sure, I can be abusive. I acknowledged it to you, and apologized for it. That happened a couple of years ago. And there were lots of other things I was angry about and have been passive-aggressive about. But somehow you need this abusive stuff to be 'even'. I don't feel it is. I do believe you were the perpetrator far more often, whether you are conscious of this or not. Correct. 

My anger has been about choices *I* have made. Yes, I've been mad at you, but you are what you are, take it or leave it. It's my choice and *my* responsibility to accept or refuse the things in my life I have choices about.

<<<It's not disrespectful to call you ****. That's you're opinion. But if it bothers you so much, I wont. >>>

Pardon my French, but this is BS. You chose to call me Asha all the other times. The point, Asha, is that what you choose to call yourself on a site where you are concerned with anonymity is strictly YOUR business. Others need to respect those boundaries.

<<<Am I not allowed to be as angry as you when I feel hurt or abused?>>>

Yes. But when you act on it by sending that kind of email you cause damage, sometimes irreparable damage, as in this case. Right. This would not have happened if self-control had intervened.

<<<Asha: "I don't let it turn into rage" Honestly Asha, have you never let it turn into rage? >>>

I have felt rageful sometimes. But I very rarely act on that feeling because I know I would cause damage. Correct. ALL of us have the potential for rageful behavior. It's not how you feel that counts, it's what you do with your feelings. (Self-control; self-mastry.)

I know you feel it's all 'tit for tat' stuff. All I know is when I'm hurting and I express that hurt, you react negatively. I don't spend the time and energy thinking of what you are going to feel in reaction to my hurt. I just wanted to get to the root of the hurt, and the current issues, as I see them. You then see it as 'tit for tat' and nothing gets solved. The issues don't get dealt with and then I'm still hurt and in addition you're giving me an ultimatum and demanding an apology.

<<<"But my recent anger and upset are not based in malevolence - they come from become called "spoiled, abusive, anti-Christian" being told that I "LIE", that you don't trust me with your kids"

But this is what I feel Asha. That's all. >>> 

I know. I can't have someone who feels that way as a life partner. I believe that love and trust go hand in hand. No Asha, not always, though in mature love, they do. Steve doesn't have the cognitive or communication skills yet that he needs to effectively convey his anger without bashing or slamming. He, I am sure, did not realize in the heat of the moment, that these were character assassinations. More reason to illustrate the importance of impulse control!

<<<If you keep feeling you are not abusive, you cannot change it. That's why I feel like I can't have the trust in you I long for so much.>>>

Steve - I feel you are, and have been, the primary abuser. Correct. I also don't think you are even remotely aware of it. He's probably somewhat aware, but not when he's being defensive. Right now I am very angry at you and that probably feels like 'abuse'. I've explained why I'm angry. I can't give you the kind of support you are looking for and you can't trust me because I honestly don't believe I am equally responsible for the abuse. You see it one way. I see it another. I can't change you. You can't change me.

<<<I don't need you to be perfect Asha. You should know that.>>> 

I feel that you do need me to be perfect, in the sense that you need me to agree with you or you feel I'm attacking you. Correct Steve. Asha has to watch out for your buttons to a much greater extent than you have to watch out for hers. That I'm not allowed to be upset with you without consequences. I need to know all your buttons and carefully avoid them, or there are nasty consequences. I don't think you are aware of this, by the way. I don't 'blame' you. I just can't live this way anymore.

<<<What you posted (and you know it better than anyone) was in no way going to help you get at any source of anything.>>>

I'm still not sure which part got you so upset. I feel it did get to the source, but wasn't looked at. Especially your ideas of the 'promotion' of the subject matter I mentioned. You've also called me anti-Christian stuff before. I feel that your distrust and our different perceptions of the world was our main problem. And I doubt you'll ever see it the way I do. I accept this, and I think we need to respect each other enough to follow our separate paths now. We've tried this long enough and it's not working. Sad...

<<<you don't believe you did anything to intentionally hurt me. And if you really don't believe you did, then of course I'm scared. I'm very scared of what else you could do to hurt me, without believing/realizing you are doing anything...>>>

Steve - I *didn't* do anything to intentionally hurt you. That's the honest truth. Correct. Neither did Steve. He hurts you when he "loses" it momentarily. I knew that you would not agree with or like a lot of what I said, but I felt you could handle it. You could look more closely at where your fear comes from, or just chalk it up to me and my distrustful ways. Either is fine with me at this point.

<<<I really don't know what you believe. I hear what you say, but it doesn't ring true to me.>>>

It's true.

And I do wish you peace and love. And I wish myself the same. This is too painful for me to keep repeating again and again and again. You see what you see. I see what I see. I know that seeing it your way isn't healthy for me. That's all. This is the ant fight that you see going on. I can't be what you want me to be Steve. I wish it could have been different. It's gone too ugly, for too long.

<<<<Steve: "But, despite all this fear and suffering, I love you. Because I know, at the very core level, you are sincere in your wishes for peace and love. I can read that in you even when you are yelling at me." I reread this, and realized how a misconception could occur. Others may think I am being passive-aggressive with the last sentence.>>>

I know you aren't being passive aggressive - you're seeing it how you see it and you mean well. Yes.

I'm the wonderful angel who also lies, is spoiled, evil, and can't be trusted with your children. Wow! (See why it's important to choose your words?)

Sometimes you think I'm wonderful, sometimes you think I'm evil. None of this has anything to do with me and who I really am. But I can't take the ups and downs.

I do wish you all good things. I am angry, but I have no malice towards you.

I just can't live like this anymore.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Asha, I am so tired of this constant calling me the primary abuser. And when I really think about it, I'm tired of Dr Irene doing the same. Sorry Steve. It is the truth. You have a self-absorbed core. Asha does not. Your personality style lends itself to my-way-or-no-way thinking. Look at you now: aren't you doing exactly that?

That's what I feel is the immense harm in the methodology. It allows one side to consistently rejoice in denial, while punishing the other with repetitive accusations. Wrong. You don't see it. I have no investment in backing either of you to the detriment of the other.

It won't work. It really won't. Be back again...

It isn't about who is the "baddest". Or is it? If so, then there'll be no healing here.

I grow more aware of this with each day. No one here will see it. They are on the other side of the fence. (Sorry I shouldn't say no-one, I mean very few.)

I am tired of being subjected to this.

Please, anyone who wishes, feel free to say "Steve, the primary abuser, is blah blah blah."

This doesn't feel like a place for healing relationships. It's a place to say terrible things about people.

I realize not everyone is using it for that, but some are.

I think you all would understand that, me being a male, and feeling almost absolutely zero support, wouldn't want to continue here any longer.

Bye Theressa, Jay, Asha, Astrid, Anne, Dan, Becky, AJ, and anyone I've missed. Especially you Lynn. You've warmed my heart many times when I thought it was just about frozen.

Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Dear Steve. I don't think we ever thought of this as a place to say terrible things about people. I think you are just really hurt and angry with Asha and that it is a shame you two have now got on such bad terms.

I wish Dan was around to help out with a male perspective.

The point about any relationship where there is abused is the one who is abused also ends up fighting back so the relationship itself is abusive and it takes two as they say to tango.

I thought maybe because I responded in an outward way I was the wrong one in my relationship then I realised how much I was set up to fail. How I could never get it right even when I tried as my partner was undermining every effort at peace. He knew the buttons to push and he pushed and pushed then he could say I was wrong. I was wrong to respond in ways I did and that wouldn't excuse it; but it is so easy to say it is the other person's fault.

Sometimes you have to take responsibility for what you could have walked away from or for engaging in destructive patterns.

Steve. It is disrespectful to call anyone by any name they don't want to be called by. I would be as upset as Asha about this. I am very careful not to identify my husband on this site as that would be abusive to him. I think I know how you felt as there are days i feel like maiming him out of a feeling that the guy needs to be shown for what he is. But you have to try not to respond to abuse with abuse so I don't.

Becky - Keep strong. You are early with your tree. I t made me want to put mine up but we don't do that for a while yet. It is always me and the kids who put the tree up. My husband never helps either - he disapproves of the whole thing. I loved it when the kids were young and they made things and I really miss that now. I'm trying to interest my son in making the cake but I don't think he would unless it was basketball shaped!

Suzy, the trouble is I lose it too....A long time ago there was a horrendous scene and still nobody in the church thought I should leave. An elder's wife even implied she couldn't know it happened as she wasn't there. I think she is one of those who does believe me now though. I lost the idea God would protect me from things long ago. If my faith was based on Jesus makes things o.k then I would have given up years ago. I wish the church wasn't so slow on the uptake.

Lynn and Dan are you back? Hugs to everyone (yes including you Steve as I think you will continue to read even if you don't post!). Off to the writer's group. Excited for the first time in over half a year! love Jay.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Dear Steve, dear dear Steve,

B. here.

Why does there have to be fault????

Why does there have to be one "right" side and one "wrong" side?

Why for heaven's sake can't you allow yourself to identify with Asha's poem and say that you actually feel the same, and see every word as also true for you????

Why not? I also identify with it (can't remember every word now, but I guess I do)!

ALL OF US can and SHOULD identify with any statement that helps us get rid of "engaging" and negativity and detachment from feeling - and embrace healthy ways of living.

Why do you see everything anybody says to you as an attack? It's so frustrating for me to read that. You feel so un loved, so mis-understood, so lonely, so abused, so accused, that it brings tears to my eyes.

But I also get so annoyed!!!! Can't you see we love you? Can't you see we are trying to help you by being your mirror, who tells you what you do and what you look like when you are blind and drowning in your pain and fear?

Did you read my posts about the monster? Did you get it at all that I, too, was HIDING MY FEELINGS from MYSELF (not to mention from others)? "Oh", I used to think, "I am not afraid". I am SOOOOO brave! "I am not angry, I 'UNDERSTAND'". Well, the f... with courage and brains and understanding.

Wake up Steve!

Love, B.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Dear Steve, I do say I am a newcomer to the site, so I cannot judge completely what has happened between you and Asha. Nor, is it my place to judge anyone. I just "observed" from your long letter and maybe, "misread" some of your intentions, for that I am truly sorry. And here comes the "however" part,.....you seem to talk to Asha like my husband Bruce talks to me and I find it very condescending (forgive me, I'm a rotten speller). I really would encourage you to stick with this site whether or not you stick with Asha. My husband is out of town on business for a couple of days more and he really is ready to visit this site and I believe he, and other male watchers, could be very much helped by your thoughts and opinions. There are days my husband (his name is Bruce), is so arrogant and rude and all of "Our" problems are "MY" problems, and other days he will be sorely saddened by what he has done to me and our family because of his angry past. He has admitted this to me. He is very intelligent, like you, and I feel he truly does care....I feel really bad for people who abuse, as somewhere in their past, they have been betrayed by a "loved" one who hurt them. I believe the anger of these past situations does rear its ugly head when we are in a very personal intimate relationship.

We have a natural tendency to protect ourselves from impending doom....It's almost like, "I'll hurt you first and best, so you can never hurt me like I was hurt in the past." But, this attitude kills the love and intimacy in the relationship before it even starts because you're always "on guard" and healthy love cannot flourish in that atmosphere. I do admire you for taking the time to use this site. I would like to ask you a question (please do not take it wrong or harshly, but I really would like to know.)...Do you use this site to truly help other men and women to help them in their relationships or, do you use this site to "get back" at Asha and "win" others your sympathies. I know that seems harsh to ask (especially since I don't know you well), however, maybe, it would be a really good thing to ask yourself and be honest about. I am an impartial observer but this is all I seem to see. Now, maybe, I have to admit in myself,( because of MY hurt in MY relationship), I see it a little bit more Asha's way, and not just because she is a lady. I hope I'm not chasing you away from this site, because I really think you could help a lot of people, both ladies and men. For you do bring a new and unique perspective and I would like you to post to my husband some time. I'm sorry your relationship has not worked out as planned, it's just the healing of the heart takes a very very very LONG time, and I see my Bruce being very impatient with that. Bruce says, "what is in the past is in the past, so get over it."..then ,if I bring it up again, he will shoot full force blast with his hurting words and find anything I've done in the recent past and call it "abuse" too,.....oh, how this hurts soooooo bad, as it diminishes my healing process. It is a terrible vicious circle that I really hate. I wish you a good day and pray you can understand where I'm coming from and look at my question objectively, for may be it would help me to understand where my Bruce comes from better. Thanks for listening, Suzy

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Hi All, B. here.

Becky, I hope everything turns out to be all right! One of the reasons I'm nursing for so long is, that I know it helps prevent breast cancer, and where I live every 8th woman gets it! My prayers are with you!

I open the catbox quite often and save for reading, but I don't find much time for it. Now I'm really stressed, with all my students' papers... I'll have to take a vacation from the cat box and I don't wanna...

In the meantime much love to all, Asha hang in there.

BTW, when my husband says something that sounds abusive (like: "stop worrying so much over nothing!" or "OK, I permit you to go topless" [at home]) I learned to re-phrase: "You want to say that my worry makes you feel helpless and guilty because you cannot help? Then tell me you are sorry you cannot help instead of being so mean to me!" or "What nonsense, you know it isn't your job to permit or not. I would much rather hear you say what you really mean, which is: 'I really like it when you go topless!'".

It works. He agrees, and anyway no fight, and we both feel good.

Love, B.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Hi. Anne here

Well, I never got to read from the beginning like I said I wanted to. Ended up working on Saturday, then my best friend came down from Atlanta. I have, however, read some of the more recent posts.

Welcome, Suzy. I HEAR YOU!

Becky, I hope every thing turns out ok for you. I'll be praying for you.

Hello to you all!

Lynn, it turns out that we DO have a humane society in the county, but it's a HUGE county & the humane society is far enough away that it really does not do much good. I have found out who is on the board of directors, though, and am going to get in touch with them. I'm willing to do what it takes- this is an issue that I feel very strongly about. The town I went to college in had a spay-neuter (sorry again, Trubble grumble  Your ALT-Text here ) clinic that would perform the operations at a much lower cost than could be found elsewhere. They were an extension of the local humane society.

Steve & Asha, I wish I had some words for you, but my own situation is still so unclear to me that it would be wrong to state any opinion one way or the other. I must say, however, that I believe Dr. Irene tries (and is quite successful) to be fair, to not let people just say "horrible things about one another". She seems to be just as hard on the "victim's" misbehaving as on that of the "abuser". That said, you both seem like intelligent, caring people- and I wish the best for you both.

As for my own situation- a roller coaster ride if ever there was one, I have not a clue what the right thing is to do. There is so much room for error, and counseling is not an option right now (I have given him control of the money, even that which I earn, which is something I'd like to talk about BUT) I am afraid that, should he ever agree to come here, he would be angry about some of the things I have to say.  Deep breath. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous. If he ever agreed to even look at this site, it would mean a great step forward had been taken, and that he was finally willing to do a little soul searching.

I thought I had been successful in getting him to stop calling me names. He likes to call me "freak" and say things like "You're Abby. Abby-NORMAL", etc. I don't know how all this started, but I have asked him many times to not do it. I have allowed it, actually bought into the idea that I am "weird", though in what way I could not tell you. When we first started seeing each other, he would jokingly call me a "freak" and though I did not like it, I would laugh & shrug it off. Didn't want to seem too sensitive, and since I HAD felt a little like a misfit my whole life, thought there might be some truth to the joke. Also, since he had called me that before without me complaining, it was hard to suddenly say I didn't like it & feel that I had a right to be taken seriously. The other night, I was on the phone with a girlfriend & I told her about a thanksgiving card we had received from the wife of one of our friends. He said "His wife is a freak" (he does not care for her at all), then followed it with "Like MY wife isn't", all this while I was still on the phone. I asked him why he said that, said that I did not like it. He just rolled his eyes and shook his head, acting as though I were being unreasonable.

I have tried to let him know when I feel he has behaved rudely toward me & he'll say something like "Well, I think you can be a f***ing bitch sometimes. How do you like THAT?" The truth is, I'm sure I CAN be a bitch sometimes. Anyone can. No one is exempt from occasional misbehaviors. UGHHH!

I have babbled long enough.

Thanks Doc, Trubble & everyone for being here. There is a people-humane society where I come from...  Your ALT-Text here  

-Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Hi!

Just want to let you know that I have to have a third mammogram on Thursday. The person I talked to was uncertain as to why; she said they did the wrong area or something. Ack! Ack! Keep up posted Becky. Prayers and good wishes sent your way.

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Lynn here and we're back. Dog Trubble is in DaddyDan's chair and LOCO is on daddy's shoulders and God (or whomever) is in his Heaven and all is well. WE'RE HOME a yes I'm shouting. Good entrance and good exit, too. Went to breakfast with my dad and his lovely lady friend and first of all dad got into an Irish Catholic Democratic snit. Then he got not bullyish, but downright belligerent about the bill. In public, no less (I don't usually do this), he started in and I just said, "screw this crap" and then looked at Dan and said, "Get me outta here!" Two goods. I spoke up in public (that's why the 5 letter word) and Dan got me outta there. Often (as in always before) he's given some reason why I have to take this from other people. Then I start thinking the fault lies with me (which it doesn't) and then I'm mad at Dan, too. In this case I think I would have left him there with the lady friend who was crying at us not to leave her "like this" and to come tell her goodbye and talk about a bunch of cat litter, crying because she couldn't stand my dad like this either. (86 years ole, does this ever end???) What is she still doing with the bum? Her problem, right Trubble? And, BTW, DaddyDan likes LOCO better than he likes me, so don't feel bad.  Your ALT-Text here  At least were in the same cat box together.

Gotta go. Hi Suzy and Good Luck Becky. Adios Steve and I have a phone call.

Love to ALL, Lynn, who is becoming a Gypsy Orphan ^+^

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

HI all, Just typed a long post and lost it. Ah well.

Becky, I just read your post and started to wonder something else about the lack of support when we need it. Is your husband like mine, a perfectionist?

I get the feeling that I am only acceptable if I am perfect. I was o.k yesterday as I didn't say that much about being sick. When a few years ago I had to have a full body scan investigating for M.S and was really frightened I got no support whatsoever. It turned out to be a trapped nerve.

The moment I was signed off from depression as fit all the support stopped. Dead. Even though it was clear I was still struggling.

I once came round from a faint to be told 'you can't faint here!' No concern and no sympathy.

Lots of other examples. I am o.k to him when and only when I am doing what he approves of. Only I am no longer even sure what that is. I have a feeling that he would love me more if I rode a bike just because that is his chosen form of transport!

Come to think of it he did love me when I rode a bike! Now I don't. I lost my nerve. I am not so perfect.

Wierdly I have a feeling he is happier now I am not working and therefore not 'successful.' I am good at teaching adults and therefore must be able to communicate well. We have a problem with communication. Therefore I am o.k when I am not doing something which shows I have the ability to communicate. he liked me better as very shy which is what I used to be before I started to teach.

Ergo. He is threatened by success. To be perfect I should only be as he wants me to be. Illness is not an option.

You are right they ignore what is difficult for us in the hope it will go away and the 'perfect' wife will return.

I think I can live with my own imperfections.

What I can't bear to live with is this smoldering unacknowledged anger at my imperfections.

It is like a revenge being taken on me for being less than perfect.

Like being a cracked vase. Still useful but not for display.

He will not recognize failure in himself and just accept we all fail.

So he can't forgive failure in me.

Academically he has always got the best grade. At work he is the best in the firm. So to be thought not the absolute best husband must be very painful. After all, everyone likes the guy.

He was never taught to fail and think that it is o,k to fail. Like we all do as weak humans.

So that is why he must set out to prove I am mad and bad. I must be or he will not be perfect.

And I am the one person who sees his imperfections.

So I am dangerous and that is why the covert abuse happens.

I think.

I don't really know what I am trying to say here folks. Just trying to work my thinking through.

My husband tried the PMS track for a while. Actually in my case he may be right but he has conveniently forgotten this now. I think he forgets conveniently about the male menopause. Actually age wise he is about due for it so I wonder if this is why things are so bad at present..........

Of course we are 'emotionally unstable' and 'mad.' That means everything we think or say can be conveniently filed in the dustbin (garbage can). There is no need to hear.

Anne it's good to find your post.

Dear all.

I don't understand. Do you have a president or not and was it Bush? I heard it was and then something about more courts stuff. So does that mean Bush can go to the Whitehouse for now but Gore can push him out maybe? How long could that go on as Bush could then presumably challenge again..........

I think I am raising a son who will know how to treat women! When I told him I was off to the writer's group be gave me a huge hug and said "I knew when you stopped work you were still going to make something really good of yourself." It's only a class. But I just think he will make someone a really good husband some day!

Now if my husband would take lessons from my son......

More chance of Trubble taking lessons from a dog! I doubt that!  Your ALT-Text here  

Love, jay

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Dear Becky, I just read your post. Hope things are fond to be o.k at your next test. Thinking of you and sending you hugs and prayers.

dear Lynn. We missed you. What is the bill? You sound positive and strong. Love. Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Dear Jay,

Here I go again. hehehe What is the bill? As in how much did it cost or huh? That's what a bill is. The check or tab or total that we pay to the cashier. So if that is what you meant, that's what a "bill" is.

Funny because we left my dad in the middle of a busy restaurant holding the bill. hehehe, again. Been here, done this so many times it doesn't count. I know the next scenario. $$$ for Christmas, then he calls my daughter and plays poor baby because her mother won't speak to him and then she calls Dan and the list goes on and on. Don't know if it's strong or just cranky. Dan and I had a very brief few words in the car. I thought he was following a truck pulling a backhoe too close and asked him to please back off. (We have had previous bad driving experiences, mine!) and he didn't so I just unbuckled my seat belt. Same O almost. Then he slows down to about 15 MPH and I guess was going to go the other extreme. I wasn't in the mood. PMS or what you will, I was on a roll I guess and just got in a groove and was going to keep going. Or grooving. Anyhow we talked it over and no biggie, thank goodness.

Hey Steve. Sorry about the caps. Got in a rush.

We have a blizzard blowing in and so I'll turn this over to Dan and go fix dinner (Omelets, Trubble. Coming?)

Prayers for Becky and Love a lots to all, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and the rest of the cat box family,

We made it back. Yippeee!  Your ALT-Text here  

I haven't read all of the posts so I won't be posting to anyone in particular.

Thanksgiving dinner at Lynn's sisters was nice, we arrived after everyone had had their dinner. But she did save us some which was nice of her. The days with the grandkids was great, loads of fun. The motel had a pool and they spent a lot of time there. The weather was fairly nice also, a bit brisk during the mornings and evenings bit no snow.

I had lunch with my High School Sweetheart while we were there and we talked about a lot of events which we have lived through since those days. I guess the things that I wanted to get off my chest with her was our splitting up, the way we did and some of the reasons for it. I also felt a relief because she doesn't feel any ill will toward me. I told her this and her reply was that, I had changed when I got back from Nam and that it just wasn't meant to be. She also expressed relief and was so glad that I had finally called her and we could get together. I am also. Lynn's quite a gal, no?

Lynn has posted about Her father and his behavior, I think, that the man thought that since we had gotten along the previous couple of days that we would overlook it. He made Lynn angry and I also got angry at him, because I felt that he was being unfair to the both of us. I didn't enjoy his attitude and can't believe (I guess I can) that I would always act as a peacekeeper with him and Lynn. I know that I won't do it again.

Our car broke down on the way home, the alternator, (it charges the battery) went out. At first I was kicking myself for not being a better mechanic, but then I said to myself, that's not your profession so how should you know what is wrong. I felt better after that, because I was beating myself for something which wasn't my fault. The pro knew what it was just listening to the car run.

One of the guys from work stopped by earlier and I have to work tomorrow, we get to play in the snow.

I know I said that I wasn't going to post to anyone in particular but

Trubble,

When you decided to enjoy the Egyptian treatment, it was very nice of that person to do this for you. If I had found you eating at the hatchery you would have been grounded for a lot longer than you are now. And now your breaking the computer because your hitting it to hard with your paw. I think for that you should get chicken and rice for 30 days. YukkyDaddyDaN. Fake Fake.  Your ALT-Text here  

Hugs

Dan

A PS from Lynn here. Don't ask Dan's opinion, but I'll bet he wishes Steve or anyone else had me from my birthday to the 1st of the year (hehehe from Dan right now). I loaded a bunch of tapes in the car before we left and sang Christmas Carols ALL the way. He finally bought me a Christmas tape there so he had one of his own to listen to....

If this has ever been a problem with Dan, it's his problem and he keeps it to himself. hohoho

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Jay, You ask if my husband is a perfectionist. in my opinion yes--when it comes to everyone but himself. He expects a lot of others, but very little of himself. An example: he gets very irritated if someone leaves the kitchen light on, yet he does it all the time. He once got angry when my son washed his hands in the kitchen sink, later, my H washed his shoes there! He once told me that he couldn't trust me because instead of the spaghetti I had said I was making I made macaroni. (No, I'm not making this up)!

If I accuse him of breaking a promise, his solution is to say "Well, I won't make any more promises." I take this to mean that he doesn't want to be held accountable for what he says and does; he wants to do "whatever" and have me be okay with that. Yet he holds others to very strict standards.

I sometimes believe that he doesn't want me to be sick, or depressed, or otherwise in a "weakened" condition because that means that I need attention and/or consideration. He has often expressed resentment about my migraines and rough monthly periods--as though HE is being adversely affected! true, these things get in the way; for example, i don't like to travel during that time of the month because I am so miserable. But why can't he be understanding instead of acting like I'm deliberately doing something to him? (The words "self-absorbed" come to mind)!

On the other hand, I'm supposed to be oh so concerned when he is sick--he was in the hospital a couple of years ago, and it was a rough and scary time. But talk about taking it out on someone! I bore the brunt: not only was I to blame for his infected toe (he had stepped on a tack a couple years before while returning a rental car for me. I was too sick to do it. The toe gradually got worse and worse, requiring 2 hospital stays), I was a bad wife because i was hesitant to take over home nursing duties that involved an IV and pump that delivered his medication. I could just see me trying to take care of that while he growled and scowled--no way!

Anyway, i think that I'm just supposed to sit in a corner somewhere and wait to be called, then go away again once he's used me for whatever. I can't need or want anything, I can't be sick, or sad; I have to be totally blank. That way I'm not threatening. Of course, he'd say I was wrong about that!

I can't begin to answer your questions about our presidential dilemma! I'm thoroughly disgusted and confused! I do think, though that once someone is in the White House he's in no danger of being booted out--until the next election anyway!

Becky

PS Tell us about your writing class!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Hello there to all,

I am new to the catbox. Hi! I wanted to comment on the being ignored when sick "thing". This is something my H. does. Not only does he not "allow" <g> me to be sick, the next day he will ALWAYS have something worse. Strange competition.

I have told my H. after 7 years of emotional abuse that it is over. He is angry with me, of course. But, truly, we have been in counseling so often, and nothing changes. Actually, I have changed. I started working on me. So now I know I deserve respect and love. I deserve to have my spouse interact with my son and I, and not just sit in front of the TV.

It took me 7 years to get angry. To show my anger, to use it to fuel me into saying ENOUGH! My anger has made him sick of me. I no longer enable him, so he has no use for me anymore. He is very angry with me and resents that I have learned to say STOP!

Asha and Steve, you are brave to be on this forum together. I hear a lot of my H in Steve's posts though. The anger, the blame, the "You did it too!" Even if the other person did it too, that doesn't make it excusable. Steve I think you are trying, so I give you credit. I wish my H would have.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I hope to read and input when I can.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Hello there to all again,

I wanted to sign my name:

Sadheart

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 27, 2000

S1

Hello everyone, Suzy here. I just love all you ladies so much, I've never seen your faces, but our stories are the same. It makes me feel so validated, like I'm finally not crazy. Anne, Becky, Jay and Asha, your husbands sound like a clone to mine, some of the experiences you write about are so very similar it is so almost scary. Welcome Sadheart, your are a smart lady, you only took 7 years to figure out you lived with an emotional abuser, I took double, nearly 14 years. It was like I was a walking living zombie, alive , but a sleep. When I finally "woke up", it was such a revelation! Of course, that is when the most trouble came, because I had to change and heal myself and then all hell broke loose. Right now I am in the limbo stage wondering what to do after 2 separate (many) marital counseling sessions for 2+ years and then 1+ years of personal counseling sessions and we seem to be at square one. It is really very sad. I'm glad for your discovery, and love enough for yourself to end the abuse.

Love to all, I admire all your strength soooo much! Suzy

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Dear Steve,

Why is it that when people get hurt they lash out? I do that, so maybe I am the primary abuser. Who cares anyway. All I know is that I want the abuse to stop in my relationship with mySelf and others. Cause I really feel the worst abuse is what we do to ourselves. And I do feel that what you are doing know is just that. You feel hurt and no one even wants to understand you, so you will let them know you do not value their opinion anyhow!! And I agree with B 100%: Does there have to be a good side and a bad side? Is winning more important than loving? If she is angry, she is angry. At least she still cares enough to be angry.

I think by nature and upbringing men are maybe more inclined to hit when threatened and women will try to make peace. Something biological maybe, women used to need men to protect them, while having children. It sounds stupid, I know, but time and time I have noticed that we tend out to act from these primary feelings still, however much we think we have outgrown them. But Steve, you have a brain and as everybody says (including Asha and Dr. I.) you are a very smart guy: so use it!!! Not to show Asha or us how smart you are, but to help yourself. There is more to live the anger and hurt and if you start forgiving you can start healing. Hate and anger will not help you heal (nor me, not anyone else, believe me, I know!) Whatever you chose to do, stay with Asha or not, stay with the Catbox or not, please believe we all wish you all the best and lots of love and healing and trust. I still hope and believe you two can work this out. You are just too stubborn not to :-). Or maybe I just need you to work this out, I need to see and believe it can be done. Don't give up yet.

Dear Asha, Keep up the courage and disengage. Let Steve be as angry and mad as he wants. Give yourself room not to let it get at you. I think you are right about trying to work out what to do with your business, but take your time. Take your time for everything and give yourself and him a little time for maybe seeing an talking to each other again. I love you, we all do and I send hugs, love and good wishes to both of you. What more is there to say???

Dear Becky, I hope the test results will be oke. I had a picture taken last year, and this year again, cause I had some blood coming out of a breast. I know the feeling, and I think we all do. It is such a threatening thing this, and we always tend to think the worst. For me it was ok, thank God. Hope it will be too for you. C. gets angry about my being ill too, or worrying for that matter. Last year he really was very unsupportive. This time I did not even tell him. I called my sister and some close friends. I only told him afterwards. I felt I did not want his negative reaction, so why bother, just see you get you needs met somewhere else, like here!! Take care, and please let us know as soon as you know the results (if you want to share of course).

Dear Suzy <<it's just the healing of the heart takes a very very very LONG time, and I see my Bruce being very impatient with that. Bruce says, "what is in the past is in the past, so get over it.">> Yes, Yes, Yes... I know, C. does that all the time. He does not want to talk about things past. I understand know why, I think. He feels upset because talking about the past involves some kind of criticism and when I say I did not like parts of his behaviour, he feels guilty and insecure again and he does not want that. So instead of working at the feeling, he just wants me to shut up!! I am not sure I want that anymore.

For the rest I have really had it. I try so hard (still) to understand to empathize, to sympathize, but there is no mutuality in this. Now these upcoming holidays make everything worse, cause we have to address the question of being together or not. He asked me what are you doing. I said I do not know yet. He said maybe you can go to my mother (he cannot go now, because of nationality problems) and maybe I can come by then. He doesn't want to stay at home, and he doesn't want to make any appointment with me, cause he feels the he will not be able to maybe do something else last minute and he feels responsible for my well being if we do something together and he does not want it. How complicated can you get !!!!

I just said, i do not want to do anything with you, you do not really want to. So I will just go ahead and make my own plans, I  think that will be best. And then again he said, you could go to my mothers. I said maybe I will look for a ticket next week. Later he phoned and said you were going to look for a ticket can you also look for CB (a friend), cause maybe h want to come here before Christmas. I said ok. Then I thought, maybe I do not want to go to his home country, because he really seems to expect that. He is so unclear on everything.

Dr. I. I hate it when you are right (you said some weeks ago you was not at all sure whether C. would be able to commit and I had to be willing and able to withdraw anytime.) Guess the time for withdrawing is there. I think I withdrew by saying I will make my own pans, you make yours. I also said that sometimes I really did not know whether I still wanted to go trough all this trouble and then he said, well i am always a bit depressed this time of the year (he is) and it felt like sort of an excuse. But really I do not know whether I can handle all this withdrawing. We are supposed to see whether there is a possibility of getting back together. IMO withdrawing all the time does not help. He withdraws and I have no reasonable alternative to withdraw also, to detach, cause I will not let him hurt me like that again. So where does that get us in the end? It feels so stupid and I really do not want to play this game. But I also do not want to feel hurt by his pushing me away. I just do not know whether there is still any hope for us to heal when things like this happen. I know Dr. I., you keep saying these things take time, but I would want to see some progress, and he just want me to back off. So maybe I am the abuser, the way he reacts? I don't have enough info AJ. But, let's stop labeling people "abuser" and "victim." The labels imply immutable roles. Yet, that is misleading and simplistic.

Just don't know anymore. Love to you all and hope we will all get through these stupid holidays in tact, more or less.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn and Dan

Glad you are back. At least you two seem to go in the right direction. Welcome again Anne and Sadheart. And Jay take care. And Astrid and Theressa, where are you? Trubble we need you too. We are really making a mess of things out here without your wise comments. Just feeling lousy. I could offer you a whole load of trout and salmon, if that wasn't bribing. Take care, all. Love AJ  Trubble is sulking. Mumbling something about no real mommies and daddies... 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

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Hi Steve,

I understand why you are so angry, you see for years I blamed YES blamed my partner, (HE WAS SO FLAWED!!!) in fact the three counselors I saw before who didn't understand ABUSE told me ITS HIM!!! the ONE I see now understands ABUSE and shows me clearly my ROLE.

He said Victim/Abuser whatever you use comes down to the same thing - TWO BROKEN - HURT PEOPLE!!! In fact Dr Irene has also said this to me and through out her site that THERE IS NO BLACK AND WHITE, she never says MALE ABUSER vs. FEMALE VICTIM, in fact a LADY (forget her name) was an ABUSER in the sense she had most CONTROL of the relationship whether through using FEAR, or ANGER or whatever. SO I DISAGREE THAT DR IRENE SIDES WITH WOMEN.

STEVE the good DR as you call her when she was posting to you may have sounded harsh but it wasn't for ASHA's benefit as much as for STEVE'S she wanted you to feel angry at what you were doing so you could see how it needed changing. It wasn't about ASHA vs. STEVE it was about DR IRENE helping Steve to heal (regardless of who he stayed with or lived with).

I understand at times it sounds like the DR is blaming (that cuz we usually are feeling defensive when our flaws are pointed out to us) though when Dr Irene posts to ASHA she is also straight forward.

STEVE GOD ALWAYS SENDS what we need, maybe (this is my opinion) that what STEVE would relate to is hard FACTS and straight talking BUT maybe Asha wouldn't respond or relate to straight talking so the GOOD Dr was more subtle, less obvious in her advice to ASHA which may have made it sound like she was soft with ASHA but HARSH with Steve.

Steve its different strokes for different folks. What works with one won't work with another. The object is to fix STEVE for STEVE, so STEVE is HEALED!!! And in for ASHA its about fixing ASHA for ASHA so ASHA is HEALED!!!

STEVE's problems are not the same as ASHA's in all respects so a different ANGLE needs to be found. Asha has insecurities lots of them (no offense ASHA, we all have them!!!) so the GOOD DR works on that area with ASHA, with Steve she might work on the most PRIMARY things that are hurting him, maybe they are: HIS anger and his name calling (Whatever!!) SO you see maybe ASHA needs to do the insecurity work before she can tackle her ABUSIVENESS, so its not about taking sides. ITS about Dr Irene helping in the area most urgent.

This therefore, may appear as if STEVE is doing all the work on his abusiveness but ASHA isn't, she is being let of the hook. NO she isn't STEVE cuz once she has dealt with her insecurities she'll also have to deal with any abusiveness on her part.

I am not justifying either STEVE or ASHA I am justifying the FACT that we are all at different stages and need to work on different URGENT things, some may need to do xxxx FIRST others may need to do YYYYYY first.

SO YES Steve ASHA, ME, Lynn, B, JAY, Becky, AJ, SUZY, DAN and all the rest of us, are ABUSIVE, we are ABUSERS, we are VICTIM at different stages. We all use destructive behaviours to get what we want. We all are fighting wars. Though we are all trying to replace these destructive behaviours though they take time. AND at different times we may have different URGENT work to complete, that is different for ALL of us. We all have our own paths.

SO I agree with B, just cos it was ASHA who wrote that poem and not STEVE, Me, Dan, Lynn, B, Becky, Jay, AJ, Suzy or anyone else it RINGS true for all of us. We all enable, we all abuse, we all need HELP in getting FIXED. Though we are all trying the best we can at the present moment.

REMEMBER WHAT DR IRENE SAID TO ME: DR Irene how do we release past hurts if we want to have a happy healthy relationship with our past broken spouses????

YES STEVE Asha is also flawed your correct, (we all are!!) If we didn't know this we'd not be here I'd hope. COS yes we all play a role it takes two to tango.

Here's what the GOOD Dr said: By accepting what is real for other and respecting same. (SO ASHA's REALITY IS ASHA'S you don't need to believe, just to accept this is how she sees it.) Opinions and feelings are not TRUTHS OR FACTS, cuz no-one can tell the whole TRUTH only GOD. He is not biased.

By accepting what is real for the self, and allowing the self to accept such. (SO STEVE's REALITY IS STEVE's Asha doesn't have to believe, just to accept that this is how he sees it). Opinions and feelings are not TRUTH or FACTS, cuz no-one can tell the whole TRUTH only GOD. He is not biased.

By embracing "live and let live." (Allowing others to see things their way and not trying to change their minds. JUST actively listening.

THEN SAYING WELL XXXXX isn't working for ALL of us so lets try something else to HELL with who is to blame or is right or wrong, its NOT WORKING for the WHOLE so lets change it.

IN SHORT if it does not feel GOOD for all the components then its simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH for anyone. SO if Asha isn't part of Steve and his kids family, she is not part of the family FULL STOP, his family, cuz in his family consists of STEVE, his kids, Asha and his X wife however its dressed up, SO they for the benefit of all need to sit down and work out how it is gonna work for the WHOLE, which means all of them.

IN SHORT if EITHER of you is calling the other or blaming or angry about (anything), THE WHOLE THING NEEDS CHANGING, e.g, if your both arguing who should do the housework, or even if only one of you is angry about or arguing about the housework, the WHOLE ROTA SHOULD BE CHANGED until ALL sides are balanced and EQUAL.

SO YES Steve ASHA does need to admit ASHA is abusive, (so am I) whether it is seen in EMOTIONAL DISPLAYS, like venting, or speaking the way she sees things. REMEMBER the anger is not the emotional display. The anger is the tight feeling in your stomach, the sweaty palms and the heavy breathing, BUT Is not the throwing of plates, or name calling. ANGER is the feeling the emotional display is the ACTION.

Asha I am not saying you shouldn't vent, I am saying it is hurting STEVE, but Steve to heal we have to hurt. The same for ASHA when Steve vents you may hurt, though this is necessary if all is not in the open it can't be healed.

SO on the whole YES we ALL play a role!! , we may use the wrong tools!! but as with ASHA and Steve sometimes to bring things out in the OPEN we may use the tools we know which are not REALLY IDEAL, BUT are the only tools we have access to FULLY at the time, cos maybe we haven't YET learnt the new tools for every situation

SO YOUR both valid. Please remember lots of hurt and thrashing about needs to happen and lots of pain may result, if you both can stay and breathe, you will be able to handle the hurt and pain. STEVE you need to realise that ASHA may not use the healthiest tools to bring things out into the open here on the board, AND you to Asha, STEVE may not also use the healthiest tools to bring things out in the open. YOU HAVE To both realise that first you need to heal by yourselves.

SO PLEASE ASHA DON'T RESPOND OR ANSWER ANY OF STEVE'S POSTS, and STEVE PLEASE DON'T answer any of ASHA's post for a short time. (Pretend you are strangers and allow each party to just air their view of how things are for them.)

Then in time you can both feel you've healed enough buttons and can show how you view what each said.

IT IS A TRUE FACT THAT WE HAVE TO HEAL OURSELVES FIRST BEFORE WE CAN JOIN AND HEAL OUR MARRIAGE. SO PLEASE REALISE THIS.

I HOPE YOU DO WHAT I SUGGEST AND PRETEND YOUR BOTH SEPARATE PEOPLE GOING TO SEPARATE COUNSELING SESSIONS. SO IF DR IRENE AGREES AND YOU TWO DO, NEITHER OF YOU ARE ALLOWED TO COMMENT ON THE OTHERS POSTS, ONLY OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BOARD CAN. THEN MAYBE YOU CAN EACH HEAL YOURSELVES FIRST. THEN WHEN YOU ARE BOTH LESS DEFENSIVE YOU CAN WORK TOGETHER,

WHAT DO YOU two think?

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Dear Doc, This is the first time I have visited this site. But it will not be my last. I have been married for 10 years and only come to terms with the fact that my husband is a verbal abuser for the last 6 months. Although it does not change his behavior it helps me deal with the abuse. But I think I will be needing to make some big decisions sometime soon and so will need support. The latest thing I have had to live with is that I while shopping lost the family checkbook and so for the past 3 days have heard what a moron, irresponsible idiot I am. My abuse is very inconsistent which is to say it can be weekly or I can go through 3 months without much incident. I walk on eggshells most days but lately had begun to feel that maybe it would be over. I have spoken to my husband about this and told him I feel he is verbal abusing me (he has a law degree and works in the public) he said he would see a Dr. and get a prescription I am on Prozac and it has helped my a lot. But he has not followed through with this promise. Right now my depression is getting bad, my nightmares are about driving off the road. I have 4 children (8,7,6,5) and one of my own 21 they are the only reason I am there although I am not sure I am strong enough to leave I have been thinking maybe that is what I should be working towards. thanks for listening Deb. Ouchhh!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Wow you guys. Lynn here.

Good Morning. First to Anne. Joke about Abby Normal. From the movie Young Frankenstein with Gene Wilder which is a family classic with us. When my son became engaged he rented it for his wife to be. We all know (knew) all the words and all the punch lines and we can all laugh and get in a good mood just by watching it.

I think this comes from what we put up with in life. Like Becky's H with joke about George Bush. It was funny, but in context with hundreds of others and the tone of voice (I think we fail to understand that) these things are no longer funny. Dan with the smoke alarm, too. When he is sarcastic he seems to get a nasal twang to his tone of voice.

But, if he called me Abby Normal I'd laugh. Our most useful one from the movie is put the candle back. Hopefully without rancor. My personal favorite is "walk this way." My granddaughter and I were just doing that to get to the pool in the motel. Plain silly. But I hear you. I know the slams, too.

Hi Sad and the rest of you. Did I read wrong? I thought Steve said it was over. I'll have to go back and re read a bit. I did some, mostly the blue pencils on my own. Got a littly tiffy myself about Dr. Irene's comment about Dan's project with the window. That was my project. I have had a too small window in a larger hole for 2 years. (the other 5 are done). I was finishing up painting the room and I wanted to do the trim of which there was none and to do this I needed a 2 X 4 in the corner. Anyhow, rather than defend myself which I'm trying to do on this I have to let it go because I finally got my 2 X 4 in the corner and trim up in the inside. I heard Steve on this one. Boo Hoo, I thought the good DR was picking on me. What I didn't explain was the entire story. Wow! She can do windows! I take back all picking! I'm sorry! Windows... the woman makes windows! 

I had quite a tough one about Dan and the driving. Was I ragging on him because of my dad or was I justified. Yep. I was justified. He drove great for over 600 miles and then decides to tailgate. He has had previous records of road rage, but not against the other drivers. Against me. Vicious circle this one. My dad has been known to slam on his brake's when someone tailgates him and then thinks it's funny if they hit him (legally their fault). Morally whose??? 

I hear you all about the continued anger. There does come a point where we get it all out and then can let it go. It happened to me here. Twice on big issues.

What a tough time of the year, too. Maybe it's time to relate my little story. My late H bellyached about hating Christmas. After days of this I picked up the tree (real) opened the door and threw the tree out in the yard (It took off like a bullet) and then went out and got extremely drunk and checked myself into an alcohol, drug and mental hospital. Stayed there for 4 or 5 weeks, too. The tree also stayed in the yard. Quite a joke these days as it was the next year even. My friends and his still tell the story and use it as a lesson and example. The year Lynn ruined Christmas! 

I think my exact words were, "Well, if you don't want a F'n Christmas we wont have a F'n Christmas!" Crash. There goes the tree! I'm a little calmer these days. If Dan doesn't want a Christmas he can go somewhere else or I will because I love the holiday. He's never messed with me over this. PS. My late H turned into a little elf after that experience.  Giggle! What a gal!  (Not what you did, etc., but how you relate the story and are OK with yourself around it. (And, she makes windows too!)

Wish we could charter a plane for all of those with bah humbugs during the Holiday's and just go to Tahoe in the snow and spend the season.

Well guys, to quote an old song, "If we make it through December," Good Luck to all and I think we are all with Becky. Here would be a gift I could relate to and wish for Christmas. A clear mammogram for Becky. After that I can't think of one material thing I want or need. That's what the true gift and spirit means to me. Yes. That's what it's all about...

I have a very large kitten who hides all the time and I never came up with a name for him before. He's been Little One for over a year. I think he acquired a name last night. Garbo. Just for the record I do have one named Abby. And PS. My son loves his new dog.

Love to all of you, old and new. Hang in there. Lynn

Lynn, Trubble wants to know why you didn't name Garbo after him. He won't come out from under the bed now "in honor of Garbo." Go figure...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Dear Deb,

Lynn again. We must have been posting at the same time. Welcome and stick with us. If we can't help we at least give you a place to be heard.

Give yourself a break with the checkbook. Dan went to the post office once to mail the bills and mailed the checkbook, too! Giggle!

(((HUGS))), Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Hi catbox,

Asha, I found the site you mentioned & found it very informative. This is something that I MIGHT even be able to show my husband! I have agonized over whether or not to show him the pages I have printed off Dr. Irene's site, but so far have not had the nerve. I just don't feel "ready" for that, though what I'm afraid of is anybody's guess. I guess because the AngriesOut site is more general, I think he won't be as threatened. I liked the site too.

Theressa had a good point, about you and Steve taking a break from answering each other's posts. You are both here (at least I hope Steve hasn't left us!), which is a tremendous step forward. Remember that we are all here for both of you, no matter what.

I don't know that I agree with the idea that everyone is an abuser, even to a certain extent, but it could be that I am not knowledgeable enough at this point to know better. True, we all do some of the things that abusers do sometimes, but is everyone who drinks an alcoholic? I just don't know. Everyone is not an abuser. But, most people do have it in them to BEHAVE abusively. Especially those who have put up with an abusive partner for years and have HAD IT! I make a distinction between abusive behavior and personality style. 

Becky, I have been reading as many of the posts as I can to get to know all of you , and came across one where you mentioned not being able to be sick or sad & that you felt you had to be blank. This really got to me! I have even gotten to where I practice having no expression at all! It's like he wants a Stepford Wife (if you have seen the movie, you'll know)! They were turned into pleasant robots who never talked back or refused sex, and kept spotless houses! Yuck. My thoughts are with you.

Love,

Anne

PS- Lots of trout, salmon & back scratchings to you, Trubble! Grrrrrrrr.....Promises, promises...  Your ALT-Text here  

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Theressa: <<<ASHA does need to admit ASHA is abusive, (so am I) whether it is seen in EMOTIONAL DISPLAYS, like venting, or speaking the way she sees things. (SNIP) Asha I am not saying you shouldn't vent, I am saying it is hurting STEVE, but Steve to heal we have to hurt. The same for ASHA when Steve vents you may hurt, though this is necessary if all is not in the open it can't be healed.>>>

Theressa thanks for your very long and thoughtful post. I spoke to Steve about what he found so horrible in my one long post that he reacted so badly to. He felt I was making him look like a monster or a "whacko redneck racist". When I read through it, from his perspective I see how this would probably feel. Yes.

I am confused right now about whether to say things that risk hurting Steve, or not say them and feel they are always under the surface. I have been living with my own "Steve-filter" for so long that maybe I am going extreme the other direction, I don't know. I do know I need to vent - *somehow*, *somewhere*. No, you don't need to "vent." You do need to figure out specifically what bothers you and put it into words calmly. Then, speak in "when you (do specific action), I feel (specific emotion)." This is basic assertion / communication skills. The intentions aren't to hurt him, but I know some of the stuff *does* feel hurtful to him. If you know how to say it, you can say virtually anything to anyone. I don't want to tried too carefully around him though either. I feel like laying it all out there - here it is - hurt or no hurt - and dealing with what *is*, what is real, not problems that are imagined.

I was also thinking about the word "abuse". I don't like the word because it has such horrible connotations - beating, torture etc. Exactly. But rather than come up with a softer word, maybe I just need to see that abuse is something that everyone takes and dishes out at some point in their life. Yes. There are 'levels' of abuse that are acceptable and not acceptable. Yes. I too have dished out 'unacceptable' abuse. Yes. I think you are right about working on my insecurities etc first, *then* my abuse. I love what your therapist tells you - wish I knew someone like that (or a Dr Irene) here where I live. Lately I've stopped 'abusing' in my traditional ways - whining about things I don't like - and have just withdrawn when I feel neglected or 'abused'. You see I *am* working on it - just maybe not in a way that Steve can see. Don't just withdraw. Take a walk. Chill. Use the time to figure out exactly what is bothering you.  Practice writing down how you are going to say what you have to say. If you just pull away, you are not acting out, but neither are you dealing with the issue that is bothering you (think of anger as a signal that something in your life needs your attention).

<<<SO IF DR IRENE AGREES AND YOU TWO DO, NEITHER OF YOU ARE ALLOWED TO COMMENT ON THE OTHERS POSTS, ONLY OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BOARD CAN (SNIP) WHAT DO YOU two think? >>>

Theressa, you really do care, don't you? She certainly does. Steve and I have talked a bit in person, not angrily. Good! Obviously there is a ton of hurt still, and we need to separate right now. Since both of you, or even if it were just one of you, have open wounds, best to let those wounds mend a bit before you try to work stuff out. I know that I no longer want a life of ups and downs as we have had, and I don't want to put myself in a position of counting on him for anything because of all the hurt. I need to heal and I don't think I will be able to unless both of us have time away. Right. I don't know what is in the future, perhaps it's better for us just to let each other go completely (and lovingly) and just see where it takes us. Why not become friends in the process? That's what it's really all about...

I agree with your idea of not commenting about each other - in the sense of not reacting, defending or justifying. I think maybe some guidelines would be good, like no intentional personal attacks or something like that. I don't know if it's bad to comment on the others posts - just not to 'defend', to focus on the other as 'flawed' etc. My only problem with this is that I have a sense that things will get swept under the carpet again if I'm too 'careful' about what I say. You can talk about how you feel when so and so does something specific, but you have to keep the emphasis on you and your feelings and how you are going to handle them rather than on how awful the other person is. And some things that are problematic deal with specific behaviors so I don't know how I'd address that. Specifically! As you said earlier some things are hurtful, but you also need to hurt in order to deal with real issues, and face our own vulnerabilities. It seems harsh, but... It's part of life.

So I guess that doesn't really answer your question. I think I'm too confused right now.

I am overwhelmed at decisions that need to be made about our business. We can't continue indefinitely as is and we both need to find some sources of income. I've been avoiding thinking about it and dealing with it, hoping that God will point me in the best direction. So far I'm just confused. Aware of what I want and don't want, not really sure on how to get there. Why would it be so difficult for you two to keep a business relationship for now? Don't talk about other stuff. After all, you both have an interest in your business! 

AJ

I'm probably in no state to give good advice, but my sense with your guy is that you can't expect anything from him or you'll be disappointed. Maybe you could come up with a list (for yourself) of ground rules about what *you* expect in a relationship, but don't in any way expect him to follow them. Just decide for yourself what is acceptable and unacceptable and what you need to do to work on, yourself. I think what Dr. I said is very true that these things take time - sometimes a very *long, long* time. How long are you willing to wait? It's your life, only you can judge. Also, would you just repeat your current patterns with the *next* guy? Or would things be smoother than they currently are. He's non committal - so how long will that be okay for you? he might be a great guy, but you may not be able to offer each other what you both need to heal. That's how I'm feeling with Steve. That I can't deal with someone else's issues right now because my own life is going by and I need to reduce the stress and distress in my life. Nothing personal against him; doesn't mean he's a *bad* person. Just how much energy do I want to put into the problems we continue to have, as opposed to living and rejoicing life? Again, this is not to say that there was no living and rejoicing with him, but my vitality right now feels very low, and I need to recharge or I won't have anything to give *anybody*. Nicely said Asha. Basically, you need to take care of yourself right now. I'm betting Steve feels similarly since he feels beat up too. Do that.

***

I wish I had more to offer the rest of you. I'm thinking of you all - Jay, Becky and everyone else. I just don't feel as positive as I normally do. I've been really absorbing all your posts and it's helping me a lot. I guess I just have to take my turn being the "patient" right now if you understand what I mean. I think I can safely assume I'm speaking for all of Catbox when I say, "We understand. We wish you well."

***

Lynn, I loved your Xmas tree story. No covering up there. Great story... Some people 'fight back' with physical assault, some with words, some by using Xmas trees as projectiles. :) It makes me feel not so alone in the world of imperfect humans. At least all of your 'acting out' is humorous (though I'm sure it wasn't at the time). Funny too, how because you're a woman it just doesn't seem as bad. That's part of what makes it so funny - especially since she's a little tiny thing! If Steve threw my tree out the front yard I'd be calling the police. Good point. A friend of mine felt jealous about some stuff her boyfriend and his friends were talking about (previous relationships etc). She had made them sandwiches. She took the sandwiches to the sink and ripped all of them into little bits. Woman can be pretty abusive too. It's a human thing. Trubble however insists human-cats are excluded from this club.

None of the 'acting out' is justified, including my saying I wanted to 'kill' Steve. I think the abusive behavior comes from either real or imagined slights. Sometimes ‘victims’ even act out with physical violence. A female spouse can constantly criticize, push, attack verbally etc. until one day the guy hits her. He just blows his top because he's had enough. I don't think it's always necessary to label one the 'abuser' and one the ‘victim’, but it *is* important to recognize certain consistent, continual behaviors that provoke because those behaviors will mess up any relationship including the relationship to the Self. I never met anyone who when angry didn't say or do things they did not mean in the heat of the moment. This is normal human behavior. That's why it's important for everybody to take a time out, chill, and then open the mouth. 

***

Anne

Yes the AngriesOut Site is great. The url once again is: http://members.aol.com/AngriesOut/

There's a great link for couples and all kinds of other stuff for pretty much anyone - dealing with anger in children etc. Jay might find it interesting as well. Dr Irene too. 

Thanks also Anne for your support. It means a lot to me.

I think "abuser" has broad definitions - I think we need not to get caught up in the words and just deal with the misbehaviors. Correct. And different writers mean different things despite using the same term. I think we may need as many terms for "abuser" as the Eskimos have for "snow." (I think they have 14 "types".)

****

Actually, just read some of the Docs blue pencil and I *love* the NEO and NDO terms instead of victim and abuser. Makes it far less emotional and takes away the stigma associated with Victim and Abuser. I really like that - I hope it catches on in an even larger way.

bye for now

Asha I like it too. Trouble is, every time I see the acronym, I have to go back and look up what it means!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Dear Deb, Welcome, what a revelation it is to finally "realize" you're being abused, it was for me anyway, I finally woke up, like I was a sleeping zombie or something. Hang in there. Now that you realize and have confronted you husband, watch out for a big storm ahead. Stand your ground, be safe and smart, walk away, if you can, when he starts in with the "idiot" stuff. (Like he is a PERFECT human being who never made a mistake either.) Like my mom says...be a duck, let it roll off your back (like water rolls of the back of a duck in a pond)...maybe I'm not saying this right, but you get the message. Do something nice for yourself and stay in touch with us, I'm fairly new too, it has been such an eye opening experience to talk to these wonderful bright intelligent strong ladies. All of them are my new heros and friends, you will find you are not alone and this is so therapeutic to write and release. Have a wonderful evening all and I challenge each of you to do something nice for yourself tomorrow, as small as a bubble bath to a shopping spree at the mall, whatever you love, curl up with a book, whistle in the wind, whatever....have fun, you ARE worth the time and the trouble. Love, Suzy Good stuff!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Dear LW,

Like many people who post on this site, you remind me of me. Our counselor suggested I figure out, not just what I was getting from the relationship, but what I wanted and needed to be married to him to get from him. When I did that assessment, I came up zero. Same with "what am I getting from this relationship." Nothing at all positive. He didn't even clean the cat boxes. It was good for me when I thought my mission in life was to "make him happy." Then I figured out (a) no one can make anyone else happy and (b) he had gotten increasingly crabby and mean and difficult despite 2 decades of having me for a door mat. In the "what do you want from him that you have to be married to him to get" category, it turns out I should have put "a good dad for our kids." I thought he would do that regardless, and I thought our problems were more or less just between us. It turns out I was making him look like a better dad than he was while we were together (because he is a chameleon--he doesn't really know his own Self or what he wants and needs, so he gets that from his primary relationship. Different wife, different values. No more "good dad" to his kids--though he appears to be doing a fairly good job with hers. Even when I called him about a son who was staying stoned all the time and getting in car wrecks his answer was, "he's not the teenager I'm worried about right now." Oh, boy. His loss, though. He went from living one mile away and having the kids half the time to living 500 miles away and seeing them a few times a year, for a total of maybe 5 weeks max. They are great kids. They miss their dad, but they will be fine without him. I don't know how a parent can be "fine" without his children.

The first time I suggested divorce it was because he was so miserable and seemed to hate me so much. He said no, that would just make things worse. A couple of months later he wanted to know if we were "still friends." I said no. Friends could talk about problems and solve them. Every time I brought up a problem he attacked and blamed and shamed me. I said I figured it was hopeless. This scared him. He said he wanted to get better. Of course it got worse instead. He seems to think healing can be done in the head. He made a decision to save his marriage, so that should be that. I should be grateful for all his effort and sacrifice, and keep my mouth shut. Admittedly, it is hard to "reward" the "good things." For one thing, things he thought made him a wonderful husband were merely the minimum one would expect of any decent person--don't run around, come home for dinner, contribute money to the family expenses, don't beat your wife. This did not mean that he, or the relationship, were special.

I thought it odd that the more I distanced, the more he pursued, but in an angry way, not by showing love. He tried to "win" me back by shaming me. He harped about duty. He whined about me having reached the end of my rope. He cursed and complained and bitterly faulted me for everything. Several times during therapy I said "how would you be acting if you liked me?" He never had an answer. Yet, after I gave up, he still took a few stabs at wanting me back. I said I was sure we had to divorce. He said, "too bad. You're a wonderful woman." Gee, why was it that I didn't know he thought that about me?

Still, it was hard to leave, and hard to break my addiction to him and to the relationship. I found out I was so used to being in "fight or flight" mode that I had to make an effort to like serenity. I had to completely learn to do "the next right thing" for myself, to be gentle and kind to myself, to be my own source of information about who I am and what I want and what feels good and what doesn't. All that had been enmeshed with him for so long. I am so different now, it's amazing. I read old journals or letters and I see all the pain and anguish. I was so used to being in pain I didn't realize that wasn't normal. As Dr. Irene says, my childhood prepared me for abuse and neglect and lack of boundaries and all that stuff. It's no wonder I married this guy (a perfect blend of my abusive but brilliant mother and my alcoholic and emotionally disconnected father). The wonder is that I ever woke up and realized the relationship was going to kill my spirit, or body, or both, unless it either changed or ended. I figured out what I had contributed to it, how I had enabled it. My amends to him now are to always tell him the truth, no matter how I think he's going to like or not like it, and to insist that he treat me with respect. It has worked so well I sometimes wonder if I couldn't have stayed in the marriage and done that. I always decide that I couldn't, though. Because even without the abuse he's just not a very rewarding person to be with. He still says and does really weird things that, now that I'm not "in love" with him anymore, show me what a strange and twisted personality he has. Pity isn't love. Duty isn't love. Fear isn't love. Habit isn't love. When I said "for better or for worse" I didn't honestly mean, "no matter how badly you treat me, no matter how often you put me down or ignore me or belittle me or provoke me or suspect me or lie to me or blame me I will stick around and take it." There has to be acceptance and respect and good will and honesty, or the relationship is not a loving one. Oddly enough, I know I also didn't accept him when we were married. I wanted to change him, to make him be loving and kind and friendly and warm. Now that we're no longer married, I truly do accept that is he what he is--he doesn't do it on purpose, he really can't help it, he's really just scared and lonely and miserable and sad. I hope for the best, but I truly do accept him as he is. Being able to do that has been very good for me, and for our relationship. I'm not afraid of him anymore, or worried about what he thinks. I can be honest and real, and it has freed me to see and appreciate his good qualities. He's not The Devil Incarnate, just a man. A misguided, tortured, sick man, but there's no reason in the world for me to take that personally.

Life is good. Every person in my life is there for a reason. Learning to let go of trying to control everything and everybody has freed me, and restored me to sanity.

Keep up the good work.

Amy

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Another lost post might show up as they keep disappearing. This is a ridiculously angry post so please do feel free to ignore it.

Dr Irene. It is no use what I really need to know is what to do with the unbearable pain that is there inside me. It feels like something physical and I end up so distressed. I get so I want to go into denial and I end up crying and screaming it all out. But then it all comes back at me. I think at the root it is intense feelings of rejection and abandonment. Those might have roots in the past but the things going on in the here and now are unbearable. I keep getting literally hysterical and I don't see it coming. It happens because of triggers but I can't tell when. It has just been a nightmare of an evening. All I really want in the middle of it all is for my husband to hold me and tell me he actually cares. That is not something he will ever do. I know you know most of my story but sometimes I wonder if there is anywhere I could just once find someone who something similar has happened to. I tried but there is nothing in England at all.

I don't think it is self pity. It is just pain. They say you never get more than you can bear but I don't think I can bear this or cope with it any more. A friend is coming round in a bit to pray and I know he and his wife do believe me. He is the one Christian I know who knew what codependency is. I just realized it may well be as his wife is an ex heroin addict.

I just can't go on with this kind of hysteria. But I don't manufacture it. Just an intense feeling that hits me out of nowhere. In hospital they told me it was an understandable reaction to awful circumstances, but I could be calm there as there were no triggers.

Will I always be this fragile?

(The friend came round in the middle of the post. It was comforting. He knows my husband and daughter, so he has a good handle on things.)

I suppose triggers is the operative word as it is a bit like being shot at.

Sorry about this post. Helps to write it all out.

Lynn it helped you wrote about the tree. Made me feel safe sharing.

I don't know why I was so dense about the bill or where I got this from but I thought you meant an act of parliament or congress or whatever you call it. Totally stupid. We say bill too. Bit I didn't twig as I thought the word was check in American!

I looked at the angries out site. My son had a peek but the only thing he was interested in was the picture!

Dr Irene I did look at the link to the part of your web about the church. Great it is there. I just hope some preachers look in! :)

Asha I like what you say about abuse. I think when a relationship turns sour both people do things that are abusive. Probably the baseline is whether the two people in the relationship can admit to this. I can and so but my husband will never admit that what he does is not o.k or very rarely.

In some ways I can identify with what Steve is doing. I feel like pounding out all my grievances all over the board. Would like everyone to know the 'truth.' As I see it anyway. To be honest I feel like I would like revenge and to hurt back. But I guess the only person I would hurt by that tack is me.

I am just not a saint. I am sure forgiving is the right option but sometimes that does not come so easily. Not doing very well as a Christian here am I? To be honest just now I feel like I lost my spiritual, emotional and intellectual intelligence. Everything is raw to the bone. If I could hate then I would be able to get free.

But that is the rub. I can be so very angry and hurt but hate is something I can't feel. I will end up forgiving as it is the easier option. But I sure would like just at this moment the people who have caused me pain to feel the weight of the pain they have given me.

Sorry, the weight of the pain I have accepted.

I once got told I kept things together by being a scapegoat. That it was a positive thing for this reason. I DO NOT WANT TO BE THE REPOSITORY FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S JUNK.

Why do I just get angry and not angry with the people who hurt me. Why do I let them hurt me? Is there some kind of adrenalin in my brain that thrives on hurt? I think I am mostly angry with me for being so angry.

I have things anyone would be genuinely angry about. It would be odd if I wasn't angry. But my anger is inconsequential to the people who have made me angry. They can just walk away. I don't have that choice as the anger is determined to get out no matter how much I pretend it isn't there.

for anyone who asks! Yes I did take the tablets. No I haven't been drinking and I don't do drugs. I just got unbearably angry and it is not a feeling I like.

Just realised there are new people on the board. Hi Deb, Anne, Suzy. I am not always as mad as this. Promise!

Lynn, how did you get calmer? I don't drink enough for a rehab! (I do all the anger management stuff.) The thing is my anger seems to come out in a kind of despairing hysteria. Then when I calm down I feel normal and rational. Then you need to spot the anger earlier and earlier in the "chain." Learn to calm yourself more quickly (practice, practice) and deal with the stuff that seems so big. Cuz, it's never bigger than you can handle. 

And that's when I blank it and try not to feel. That's the mistake you make. Kind of like you are addicted to getting blank. It solves nothing. But neither does fretting hysterically.

In some ways I think I am having a real problem with not being codependent. If I was I could excuse the things my husband does that make me angry and justify them again. Some days I want to lie to him and say he is right about everything and have his approval again. You are codependent.

Some days I am in danger of being a fool.

He would just abuse me again and I would see it again and the cycle would start again.

Some days it would be nice not to be me.....

Time I think to log off. Who knows what I will feel tomorrow. Just now I seem to be a feather in the wind. Codependency recovery built on shifting sands?

love to all and hope your day was better than mine! Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Hi, and welcome to the new "members"! (boy, Lynn and Dan, look at what you started)!

Anne, it's amazing that you refer to the Step ford Wives! I have told my husband that I think that's exactly what he wants: a woman with no needs or desires of her own, no ambitions of her own, who can't think or do anything without filtering it through him first. And, most important, she must make enough money so that he doesn't have to feel responsible for supporting her.

I think that abusers are very self-absorbed; they can't understand that it's not all about them. A few years ago, because of some discomfort I was having in my jaw, it was recommended that I get my jaw and teeth fixed. This would require surgery and braces. My husband went the rounds of the doctors with me, acted sympathetic and said that the cost wasn't important, relief from my pain was. When we found out that insurance wouldn't cover the braces, he went from loving to resentful and angry. He said, "What good would it do ME if you had your teeth fixed?" I wasn't working at the time and could not come up with 4000.00(still couldn't).

Point is, they are totally locked up in the "me, my, mine" trap. Can't see beyond it, and don't want us to either.

I'm glad to see Dr. I comment to Steve. I've said it before, Steve sounds so much like my husband! So angry, so threatened and resentful: you're either for me or against me! My way or nothing! The Doctor's observations about Steve's mistrust of himself are right on, IMO. I made a similar observation on the message board earlier today: I believe that my husband doesn't trust himself, so he projects that mistrust onto me (and the world in general). I think that he doesn't believe that he can change, he doesn't want to take the risks involved in changing, so he wants to stay put and have me stay put with him.

Trouble is, I'm moving! I have to because the way I have been (still am in some respects) is more painful to me than the hard work of change. My co-dependency, low (basement level!) confidence and self-esteem have caused me so much heartache, and not just in this relationship, either! I like myself so much better now, and doors have opened to me, I believe, because I am ready for them to open. And I am ready because I work darn hard to be!

I saw Dr. Z today and talked to her about an antidepressant. I've been worse, and had an anxiety attack on Saturday that was so bad I literally couldn't breathe except for wheezing sounds. She is sending a letter to my primary care Dr. explaining what's happening and recommending a med and dosage. We agreed to start with a low dose. I'll call him at the end of the week. Excellent!

My husband has been a bit kinder, giving hugs, asking if he can help me. That's nice, but also typical after a blow up. He read an article I asked him to read. I was rather proud that when he asked where it was, I calmly told him instead of running and getting it for him. Former Ms Codependence would have gotten it, marked the page, or better yet read it to him! I simply told him and went on upstairs like I'd planned, smiling all the way!

Thanks again, everyone for your good thoughts about the mammogram. I am hoping that the third time is the charm, and that all is well.

Oh, Lynn! Your Christmas tree story reminds me of one told by a member of my Home Extension group. One evening we were telling husband stories and she related how she was getting the house ready for company one day when her husband decided to set the ladder up in the dining room and repair the ceiling--a job he'd been putting off for ages. This soft spoken gentle lady grabbed the ladder and threw it out into the back yard saying, "If you can't do these things with me in mind, don't do them at all!" We laughed so hard, not only because it was so funny to imagine, but because we appreciated the idea of taking things into your own hands and doing something about them, even if it is something that later, seems so silly!

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Asha here

Just to clarify. I don't think Steve's "abuse" is/was intentional, as in pre-meditated. What I was trying to say is that some abuse is an "attack" (the tit for tat thing - 'fighting back') and other times something can be said that feels abusive, while the person who said it had no intention to hurt the other. What I meant was 'intention to hurt' vs. no intent to hurt, though I know sometimes people aren't even conscious of their intentions. You can't know of the other's intention Asha. Often, the person him or her /self doesn't know! Think of the venom that comes out as the expression of the angry person's hurt and anger. I don't think it's productive to go much further than that. All you need to know is that it is not OK for you to be treated (or treat) that way.

(((Jay))) I'm glad you had someone to pray with. Remember that you are working on yourself - give yourself credit for where you are right now and how far you have come.

Jay - I didn't understand what Lynn meant about 'the bill' at first either so you weren't alone. Sometimes when all of us, including myself, post here I think we assume everyone knows what we mean. I've gone back and read some of my own posts that didn't even make much sense to *me* after I'd written them. Like "Does anyone *not* do abusive things at times?" huh? I meant - everybody 'abuses' at some point or other in their lives. I've noticed we all do this (say things that don't make sense) and then others misinterpret. Like the veggie thing. Lynn is anti-Veggie. :)

Jay, you are so hard on yourself. I had made some suggestions to David at the Buddha section about using affirmations and listening to tapes. Maybe that would help you too. Basically I write out positive statements in the present tense about how I want to be feeling e.g. I am strong. It's okay for me to hurt or to feel whatever I feel. I know that I am worthy of love and I follow my higher path.

That kind of thing.

I look at this as like physical exercise. If you do a couple of situps and then say to heck with it, it won't work, but when you use affirmations regularly - choose one and repeat it to yourself many times throughout the day, every time you feel stressed or even when you're not stressed - it makes an impact in your thinking patterns. It gives you something to replace the negative thoughts with. I make up my own based on what I would ideally want my thoughts to be.

Also playing tapes - inspirational or self-help tapes like Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway is good. I played that one over and over and over... Rather than fill your mind with depressing news or violent TV, it seems like a healthy alternative.

It's hard to hold onto your integrity when faced with the sorts of emotions you are going through. The short term gain isn't worth it though IMO.

You are a good person Jay. I think you just need to learn how to stop torturing yourself with your own thoughts. (as most of us here do).

***

Last note (hi to everyone else). I do want to say that despite seeing many things different than me, that I do respect Steve's past choices to post. I think it has been very courageous of him; particularly when he felt so attacked, to still respond in some way and just see what happened. I've told him this - that I feel many men are terrified to post that have the same thoughts and fears he does. But he chose to do it anyway. So I think there is a part of him that is very brave.

***

Must go to Tae-bo class - (karate chop). Hope that will make me feel better.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000

S1

Hi all. Love too. Steve here. Hi!

My original reason for coming back was to tell Theressa she is an amazing person. I read her last post and just about cried. She was so right on so many things. Everything I think. Thank you Theressa. Thank you so much.

Others too. So much caring. Thank you all.

Now, I wish to talk about our favorite Doc.

Well, I went back (after a much-needed cooling off period) to re-read some of Irene's blue stuff.

Irene, you are a wonderful person (you knew I thought that already). You said so much that I can't respond to all of it but I want to say, I see most of what you are trying to get thru to me. And you are very very accurate in your observations. I am awestruck at how good you are at this. I know you have lots of experience but I still am very impressed at your insight. I'm not trying to butter you up (smile) so you'll go easy on me during my next outburst. I just sincerely feel you are fantastic. Oh sure...I let ME hurt MY ego with some of your hard truths but in the long run, it is so good for me. Yippeee! He got it!

Something else, not just your good perception, but your caring. I always knew you cared. But I never felt it so spirit-deep before. I wish I could sum it up more clearly. I don't know if you've read Lord of the Rings but you remind me of Lady Galadriel. 

Just one specific thing you said that I wanted to address, because I found it so powerful:

Irene to Steve: "you will not be able to trust - until you can trust yourself. And you will not trust yourself until you know you have control over yourself."

Thank you so much for this concept. It feels like a revelation which I now will examine very closely. How I wish I could get instant control over myself. But, I think it's going to be difficult. I don't want to be pessimistic in any way. I just have a feeling I'm going to have to do a huge amount of work to acquire the self-control I desperately need. Oh Steve, we all need it!  A quote from the teachings of the Buddha, Canto XII, The Self: 

"159. Let a man mold himself into what he admonishes others to be. Thus well-controlled he can control others. It is extremely difficult indeed to control one's own self.

"160. The self is the master of the self. Who else can that master be? With the self fully subdued, one obtains the sublime refuge which is very difficult to achieve."

But the awakening is a God-send.

This place is full of angels. All of you.

I wish I could apologize pre-emptively for any "hot-headed" outbursts I may put forth in the future. You see, I had thought I was getting better at controlling it, but I guess I wasn't. Ouch. 

For some reason, I guess because I'm so thankful, I just want to go on and on about how lucky I feel to have Irene observing me. I remember being a teenager and having this teacher who was like a mentor to me during the tough years. I carry that memory with me always. I'm sure I will carry Irene in the same place for the rest of my life. *Blush, blush*

She is so so much more than a doctor. She is a wonderful human being. I'm crying. And I'm ok with it. I'm crying because I love her spirit. Thank you Steve. And I love your spirit... I'm glad you came back. OK to mess up or not mess up all you want...

Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Hi Steve,

GLAD you decided to come back!!!

Steve it takes time to trust your feelings and to really see the TRUTH with a capital T. I too was in deep denial for a long time. I find when I am tired I slip the most. I find when I get frustrated that I end up back reverting in the old, old ways. Though I heard a song on the radio that said "Dust yourself off and start again". SO if I slip I desite this and then move on.

My partner was never as awake as you are, this is why I left him. I tried and tried but really in the end it was my fear that pushed me to leave, you see I couldn't behave strong with the looming threat over me that he'd blow if I spoke up ever. I walked constantly on egg shells. I couldn't set boundaries with him because he would tell me Your gonna pay for this big time. He threatened many times that THINGS will Change around here or else. He actually meant I am gonna be in charge and your gonna comply otherwise I will get mad and you'll have no choice.

I asked him to go to counseling but he said NO, I've been before and she couldn't help me. I don't want to change I am okay as I am. It is you who needs to change, to start doing all the housework as a good partner should. YOU should want to look after me. (Even when I have hurt you!! because I financially provide for you, so you should gratefully provide, no matter what)

The last straw was when he said to me "JUST wait until we move, I am gonna teach you a lesson, I'll be in charge and you'll do as I say, or else." I truly saw his control then, and I saw how I enabled it. I said "NO, you won't be moving in my flat with me. So you won't be needing to dominate and be over me."

I didn't want to be like a caged animal anymore.

Though both you and ASHA have great commitment to your own individual growths and growth as a couple, please don't throw that away. Sometimes as in my case it is necessary to part so you can grow. Whether that be temporary or permanently, HOWEVER, this in my opinion is only necessary if the other prevents the other from growing, I do not think you nor ASHA try to stop the other growing.

Sadly my partner did want to stop me growing, his insecurities went so deep he couldn't allow me to find my own path. In the beginning I wanted him to control everything since I didn't know where to start, but once I found my feet he couldn't let me grow and expand. It was like when a father trains up his child and yet when the child reaches adolescence and needs now to venture out on her own to find her own way and to modify the things he trained her to do, to fit her own personality., he feel threatened and can't allow her to loosen from his grip. So he does everything using fear to prevent her from loosening, though she fights back and he fights harder, and harder, she can't win, that is unless she frees her self totally from the chains. If only he could have let her loosen the chains bit by bit then it wouldn't have been so uncomfortable for all concerned. BUT he resisted and the child fought back the resistance, the result is the child runs when she is frees herself.

This is what happened to me. I just wanted to grow and love me, though he resisted and wouldn't let me. He used fear to keep me down He couldn't see that its this fear that would set me free. I decided I had to leave and get healthy so that I could be saved and maybe, just maybe he'd realise what he'd done didn't work. THOUGH he continues to try to convert me to the needy, good little girl he first met. Though now she is a woman she isn't so needy anymore.

In the end leaving was the only option, though if he'd have worked on his own self like you and Asha then YES I could have stayed. This is why would support anyone like yourself who is facing his insecurities and his weak spots and ask them to not give up, the journey is worth the hard work.

PEACE is more valuable than GOLD.

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Hi Jay,

Where in England do you live?

I live in England and I go to a counseling center set up by the local churches. My counselor was co-dependent himself. I saw a couple of counselors before and they hadn't a clue about abuse so they just told me to leave. They didn't realise the control and hold my partner had over me. MY NEW counselor I currently see understands abuse and helped me to make steps to leave, after it was established that my partner would not go to counseling or any kind of therapy because he didn't think it was him, he thought it was ALL me.

If you ring the domestic violence hotline which you can get by ringing 0161 839 8574 OR you can obtain a number for your area by ring 0800 192 192 and ask for local domestic violence centres. They ALL have a list of therapists available. THE difference is immense between an ordinary counselor for marriage guidance and an ABUSE counselor.

Take care, I know over here there seems to be little available but there is still help if you seek it out. Even if you go alone.

Love Theressa And if you guys need me to be an intermediary for email addresses, addresses, etc., please email me.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

None of my posts yesterday went through. Maybe just as well as I was pretty upset. I am not writing again until this gets through as they were 3 long ones. Also I am puzzled. Happy Holiday? I thought Thanksgiving ended last week. Do you in the US celebrate Christmas for all of December? Or is it another holiday? love jay Well Jay, Thanksgiving is only a day and Christmas is only a day... But, this is the "Holiday Season," that time between Thanksgiving and New Year's. It's a special time.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. I., Trubble and of course all the rest of you,

I am pretty puzzled by your answers to Steve (glad you calmed down again Steve and came back and are willing to do some more growing!). Not because I find them in itself puzzling, but because they had me thinking about something that bothered me a long time. It is about power and balance. We have all been saying that actually it does not matter who is the abuser or victim (or NEO/NDO), because both have their own problems to solve and that it is sometimes very hard to distinguish anyway. Even so, you have more than once told Steve and David, that, though their partners had work to do, they had to do theirs first, and you even told David: yes you have to become Buddha. So the sort of work seems to be different for NEO's and NDO's, as is the timing. Which means it does matter which role you play, even if not in the way of blaming. It's really much the same work. What order who does what in depends on where they are at any given time.

I have been struggling a lot whether I might be the abuser in our relation after all, cause C. is so afraid of me, so defensive and I did have a lot of power in our relationship. I had financial power, we lived in my country, spoke my language (though I did learn to speak his fairly well), and I did (have to) make a lot of the important decisions, cause he did not seem to want to be bothered. He got a wake-up call and left, said he he felt he could not live without me, and he could not handle that. He needed to learn to depend on himself and felt that was impossible with me. Ok, so far. Now, after a couple of months of struggling, of desperately wanting him to come back, I got a wake-up call too and realized he did a lot of abusive things, like getting mad about the silliest things, like refusing to talk, withdrawing, sulking, driving way too fast, not taking any responsibility. I found this site and that really changed my whole perspective. I felt I too had a right to say things, to want things etc.

Now, we are trying to get back together again, and I really am at a loss whether to put my foot down and get (use) my power, or whether to try to be Buddha and help him reach his goals as you told David. (Somehow I am very afraid you are going to tell me I have to do both ! :-) ) You CAN'T HELP ANYONE REACH THEIR GOALS. You can only CARE FOR YOURSELF! That is your only job! And based on the next paragraph, I think there is also confusion on what I mean regarding "taking your power." It is about personal responsibility, caring for the self, and expecting no one else to do it for you. It is not about manipulation, obligation, guilt or anything else. It is simply about each individual making whatever decisions they need to make to help themselves feel a sense of self-respect and integrity.

Now, if I should be the (primary) abuser, the last thing I should do is take my power. If I am the (primary) victim, that is the first thing I should do OTOH. I think, maybe people are NEO/NDO depending on which plane of the relationship you look. I feel that maybe I had much more power on the material plane, while C. was (maybe as a reaction, maybe not) had much ore power on the emotional plane. I do not know how to fight, he is an expert though (I feel) It makes things pretty complicated. I feel his primary goal was to be independent and he reached that (lots of hard work too). Now he feels he has done his part and we can start over again. But I feel there are all these other issues to be resolved that were never addressed in the first place and maybe are only now visible because the overall issue of his dependency was addressed. He does not want to be reminded of past hurts, cause it makes him feel insecure again, and guilty and that was his main reason for leaving anyway. But I do not want to get back together, without the issues I have been learning about being addressed too.

I just do not know anymore. I do not know whether I am making any sense. Comments are very much appreciated. I think you are confusing yourself. Don't bother talking about power and victims and abusers. Simply do good by you and use your self respect and integrity as how you gauge whether or not you are doing good. This goes for everybody!

Dear Asha, you will find a solution for the business problems. I think you are doing the right thing, by waiting a little now. Hang in there. Love and hugs. Thanks for your comments. C. does good things too occasionally and can be very sweet. I am not sure yet whether he really is not committed, or just protecting himself. I am still giving him some credit. I feel he wants me to go to his mom's cause he still hopes he will be able to get there by New Years as well. He says so all the time and sort of pressures me mildly to go and not go anyplace else. I could see this as interfering, and say, sure when i go to his mom's at last I am ‘safe', no holidays to strange and exotic places and changes of meeting interesting guys. But for time being I still choose not to think this and take a positive approach and think he really would want us to be together in his home country if possible. He even told me he would like that. And I do know, not being able to go there and see his family and just smell the smell, eat the food, talk the language, is really very very hard for him. So, still making excuses and not knowing either I am doing the right thing. But well, who can tell, until it is all past anyway. I feel more or less ok most of the time, so I'll just stick around a little longer.

Jay, take care, hope you are feeling better, and I am real glad you got friends that care enough to pray with you.

Sorry about this long post, it's something that has been bothering me for a long time and I hope you can help. Lots of love, hugs and healing to all of you (us).

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

sorry AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Hi All,

A point this lunch time I was thinking about, my lack of awareness about communicating. Here goes how my thinking went: I was thinking about how angry my X gets. The other night Monday, I went to my therapy session as usual (my X usually calls by when I return to say goodnight to Missy) anyway I had also arranged to meet my uncle to retrieve some money from him for a planned party he is helping to pay towards, then I had to go and give a family friend the money to book the function room, we got on to talking about the writing on the invitations etc. The time was now 8.am, I went to my mom's to pick up MISSY, she wouldn't get ready, she messed about, we left my mom's at 8.20am. I had forgotten my cell phone this morning.

Anyway when I arrived home my X was sat in his car (he has no key to my place) he didn't look pleased. Though he didn't say much. As I entered the living room I notice my cell phone upon the tv. My X said "I've been sat waiting for you since 7.40pm its now 45 minutes later, why didn't you ring me." Did you have therapy? I said "YES". He said "Nice if you'd have let me know." I said "Yeah sorry, I forgot my cell phone." I THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE THAT.

Anyway it wasn't. I began to wash the dishes. My X was in Missy's room chatting to her. I heard them going on about a broken toy. So I went into the room and said "What is up, what's broken". My X said "What has it got to do with you." I said "Everything to do with me she is my daughter to, I have a right to know." He said "Mind your own business and shut the f* up with that attitude, I've had it with your bad attitude." I said "Its my house and I will ask about what I want in my house." He said "I've had enough, I'll take the rest of my stuff now." (He had a microwave and chip fryer stored at my house - in fact he said I could use the microwave until he moved in his new place). I said "Okay". He then said "You know your one ungrateful bitch, you after all these years I've given you a good home and how do you repay me with a f-ing attitude." I said "Since your not coming again, what about the £180 I lent you, will I be getting that back?" [I asked because usually he'd say NO, why should i give it back to you, I've done xxxxx for you all these years.] Anyway I'd rather ask and at least I'd know. He said "I've done xxxx for you and you want £180 back from me." I said "Well Yes, unless your gonna be swanning off with it." He then walked back into the kitchen and said "Do you know what hurts the most and makes me so angry is that you think after 7 years I'd rip you off, you don't think much of me, I've always paid my debts."

Then he left. The point is he doesn't pay his debts not in the way of paying back xxx pounds to me. He usually will say "You want xxx off me after all I've done for you." [No-one would think that I'd worked full time myself for the past 5 years and cleaned the house and looked after our child, and kept him when he changed jobs more regularly than the job centre.] He has contributed to our relationship BUT so did I!!! SO I think it pushed a button because he probably had no intention of paying back the money, just using his usual guilt trip.

WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK?

Though I did note this lunch time that maybe I was impolite not phoning to tell him I'd be late. Though what angers me is that if he decides to come later he won't tell me, I am gonna be in anyway after all. SO AS USUAL ITS ONE RULE FOR ME AND ONE FOR HIM!!

This is a toughie for me, being able to decide how I spend my time, and also not rushing MISSY when I pick her up, versus being there on time when he is gonna call to see MISSY. You see he comes Mon, Wed, Fri to see her at my house (school nights), and he takes her out on a Sunday away from my house. Though some nights MISSY is cranky and won't get ready so we end up late and then he ends up angry at me.

This was always the case when we lived together he couldn't understand that I would be late home, I mean how could a child make you late, I ask you!!! SO this is a big time button for me. WHERE I am just being unreasonable versus me jumping and making sure I am around without fail for him, when he calls to see MISSY.

How can I sort this out???

Anyone, a male perspective would be good, though I'd be glad of a object perspective from whoever has the time.

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Dear Catbox. As soon as I posted my post appeared with 1 of yesterday's. That proves it. The internet is haunted.

Hi, to all the new people.

Steve, I am glad you didn't really go!

Asha, wise words to me. I read 'Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway' a long time ago and had forgotten about it. Will have to remember who I lent it to! Good idea about the positive affirmations.

About to go into town to see a solicitor. Got a letter in the post this morning from my husbands solicitor asking me to desist from my aggressive behaviour. He has conveniently forgotten how he seriously bruised me on the arm on two occasions. One of these is recorded with the doctor. It states consistent with grip marks. He would, according to this letter like things settled amicably. How? by ESP? He refuses to talk. Actually if I can get legal aid I think I will take out an injunction. I wonder if you can do this for non verbal responses?

Saw the therapist this morning and it was really helpful as she made me sit in her chair and look at myself on the sofa. Weird as I could only imagine this dead girl who was me. But the person I became in the chair was a lot preferable. I am remaining her as long as we can. The therapist suggested a lot of ways I could not go mad which is one option for the girl on the sofa. Retreat from the pain into madness.....One thing we both agreed is that I need both a rest and the catbox!

Theressa, thanks for the info. I rang the number and talked to someone. Helped a lot, thanks.

A solicitor is an attorney. I think.

I am going to make a room for me in the house. My husband has a locked study so why shouldn't I make a really nice space all mine for me and our son.

I am also going to have friends round. Nobody comes. Probably they are embarrassed by my husband's rudeness. He never smiles and ignores my visitors. Lucky if he even says hello.

I am also going to have prayer meetings here if I want. I would just like to get a peaceful vibe into the house again. I DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS.

He is actually afraid of prayer! Forbids prayer and hides Christian books from view. Actually I am going to ask some friends round to pray out all the coldness and all the violence and all the unwelcome feelings.

He cannot cast me out of the nest. He is going away at the weekend so it will be a good time.

I think I will have a party. Just for me.

I will have who I want at it.

I think the best revenge at all is to say nothing at all about the letter and pretend it hasn't arrived.

He will just get one without reference to his!

I will be completely unbothered and act happy.

I will finish this later as I am now late for the solicitor!

Love, Jay

Good luck Jay! We're with you!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn,

Does DAN remember good old Coronation Street - it's her 40th Birthday on 9th December. NOW that is one of those long time soaps that is about he working class folk, I LOVE IT!! and so does my 6 year old MISSY.

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Welcome back Steve!

I am glad to see that the cool-head prevailed. It is good that you are open to realizations whether they are good or not.

Right now I am dealing with trying to manage the anxiety attacks I am suffering from as we go through the holidays, knowing he is moving out.

One minute he is fine, the next, for no obvious reason, he is angry. I have a HIGHLY tuned antenna to this. I am extremely empathic to the point of it being intrusive on my own feelings. The only way I can describe what happens when he gets angry...is it feels like my stomach flips, I get short of breath, I am hyper vigilant and ready to run at the slightest thing. This is due to my past physical abuse. With a true sociopath (my brother) you HAVE to learn to sense to slightest change in mood and be ready to protect yourself.

My H. is so shut off from his feelings that he does not even know how to identify them. Therapists have given him "mood" sheets with faces on them showing things like anxious, frustrated, shocked, etc. He still cannot identify his emotions. So many times he cannot tell me what he is feeling AND he is not even aware of being angry. It is very exhausting having to worry about watching out for HIS feelings as well as my own. He won't take anti-depressants either, even thought the one time he did EVERYONE mentioned how different he was.

I am hoping that he will truly work on himself when we separate. I will continue to work on me as well.

Sorry to ramble on. Sometimes I need a place to put all the stuff in my head. ;) And, this is just as good a place as any!

Sadheart

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Lynn (LW) here, hehehe. Have to start off with a laugh. I got a free sample of Oil of Olay for the mature woman. Provital. Directions: "Smooth liberally on face and neck every day as needed. Children under six months of age, consult a doctor." hehehe, again. Hehehehe!

Good morning group and welcome new ones. Wow, wow and WOW. And a special big (((HUG))) to Steve. I don't know why (this happens with Dan, too), but this is so tough for men. Boys don't get trained in emotional stuff. Little girls can cry, but little boys have to "be a man." Change I mean. I am also so proud of Steve and Dan for making the effort. I saw Dan slip back into the driving thing the other day, but it didn't take long to get that straight. I'm so proud of Dan too for standing up next to me and leaving when my dad started in on us. :)

This may be feminine thinking but I like my mean (Hey, how many do you need? Heheheh!) to be on my side and protect me. I don't have to be right, there just comes a time when I need to know they are on our/my side. Speaking of, Dan still lights my cigarettes and opens doors for me (car included). Nice guy! (And, what about her? Not only can she put in windows, but she's also a lady! Cool!) I like this. It seems we get along fine and then when we let outside  internal (I know what you mean, but what you do with anything from the "outside" gets handled from the inside. That's why you have some control over it.) influences working the whole thing gets crazy. 

We also had my dads girlfriend trying to tell us what she didn't/doesn't like about my dad and that just has to be her problem. Wish I could get her here. I adore the lady.

Theressa, Dan's family left England in 1839 or so and I don't know if he watched Coronation Street or not. Was Dan born here or there? Hehehehe! I'll let him answer. He likes TV. I could go the rest of my life without one. As for $$$ we have always had one pot for the money. It's ours, period. I think this was tough for Dan for a time, too, as I don't think he ever got anything new or anything just because he wanted it. I think if he wants something and the bills are paid, go get it! Our children are raised and our bills are few so treat yourself good. We earned it. I'm talking about going and getting a $100 tool that he needs rather than Mickey Mousing around and not doing the job because he needs something that would make the job easier and the results look better. Especially if the results don't clutter the living room for 6 weeks... Hehehehe! (Oh yes, rare form today!)

Steve, Me thinks this is the easy part, my friend. I still think you will make it though because you are so willing to make an effort. Hooray. This is what I mean when I say this is so tough for men. I think men are programmed not to change or feel. Crude term, but appropriate. Peers think if you change at all for a woman you are "p***y whipped." Look at the relationships the non pw's have. I'll bet not good. What's really nice about Steve is his ability to re-evaluate stuff later - and switch tracks if need be. Some men are too rigid or have too much ego to let themselves do that -  unfortunately also part of our cultural training.

Hello you new ones. Gee, I can hardly keep up. I am reading the posts though and my thoughts are with you all. One of you mentioned age. I do think Dan and I are the Senior Citizens of the Cat Box. *th grandchild due in February and I think Dan may have a little "adopted" in his heart one. His former girlfriend has one granddaughter named Dani. I can't imagine he'll forget her. We have 2 others by love, too. My kids half sister and her half sister. They are all brothers and sisters to my kids and call us Granny and Papa, too. My X's other X. We all know who we are and where we fit into the scheme of things. Just don't ask me to explain it. It would take a whole page. I see Dr. Irene that you even have an extended family. Isn't it great? You bet!

Dan and I are easing slowly into a better relationship. Little signs. Nice signs, though. A squeeze of the hands after he's kissed me goodnight and rolled over to go to sleep. Nice. Nice.

I think all of our names is a memory test. Becky, Asha and Steve, Astrid (are you out there somewhere?), B, AJ, Jay, Theressa, David, Suzy, Anne, Amy, Deb and Sadheart. If I forgot one please don't take offense, just remind me you are here. 

Christmas is one day only. I just get into the spirit early and love the glitz, glitter and lights. Shame to have for too short a time, so I stretch it here.

Now remember, if you are a "mature" 6 month old child using Provital. Consult a doctor before using it. Good point Lynn. That sounds like a candidate for the back cover of Consumer Reports!

I do love you all and Trubble, you are darling jumping out of the present. A lifetime supply of Salmon for you. Love and prayers for all of us, too, Lynn  Trubble is still under the bed. He says, "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr......"

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Theressa

One thing came to my mind with your post. If you were to truly GOWYL would your X still be able to come by and visit at your house? i.e. What if you met someone else?

I think it's the one thing that you are afraid (intimidated maybe even?) to let go of. ('course I'm just speaking from my own perspective, that's how I'd feel - I'd be on some level wanting to avoid the X's punishments, wrath etc.)

What if you rearranged things so that he picks her up from your mom's place? Then he wouldn't have the opportunity to be abusive to you.

As for your arriving late - it's probably a natural thing to be a bit frustrated when somebody isn't there when expected. Mistakes happen though - depends on how often you're late. It doesn't justify lashing out though.

It also doesn't sound like your arrangement is concrete. If you don't set up specific times then how can you be 'late'? I would suggest setting up specific times. Maybe you could re-arrange so that he either takes Missy overnight to his place. I know this might seem disruptive to her, but honestly, will you be able to completely get on with your life, and open yourself up to future new relationships if you continue the current setup? Also, he disrupts your life. It's your choice, I'm not saying what's right or wrong.

Another option is that when he drops by to see Missy - you go elsewhere until he leaves. This way you limit the opportunities for him to be abusive.

You know your situation best, but the setup seems geared towards what's convenient for him, and maybe not so much for your own best interests. If you do choose to continue things as they are, maybe you can limit your interactions with him to just the initial greeting and the goodbye and don't be drawn in to what goes on between the two of them - again limiting the opportunities for him to abuse you.

AJ

I honestly can't say whether you are NEO or NDO. To me it sounds like your "power" is based on circumstance, while his is based in action, but I could be wrong. In any case, I don't think you need to "put your foot down" - I don't think that's what boundaries are about. I think it's more a case of being in touch with what feels right and wrong for you on a "Self" basis and not on an ego basis. This is controlling what you 'can' control (that's healthy and not ego based) and respecting other's rights to control themselves. i.e. when you ask for something from your partner and he says no, he's not infringing on your boundaries. Rather than resist, complain or try to control, you accept the no, like it or not, and then decide from there what you plan to do. If the "no" is consistent and something you think would be essential for you to have a happy relationship, then you can make the decision not to be with him. For example, if he refuses consistently to help with household chores, that may be a bottom line for you. Also respect that he has his own 'bottom lines' - but be ready to distinguish which ones are ego based and which ones are based on the Self (as I suggested you do with yourself). If the bottom line is your something unacceptable or unhealthy for you, again you can say no to it.

I don't know if that helps. I have been thru a crash course recently in boundaries and I know how ugly it can get when you keep your boundaries firm. The ugliness is temporary though, and I know the long term benefits far outweigh any temptation to give up your boundaries.

Jay

So sad that your husband won't own up to his part in the breakdown of your relationship. I think you are right in having some sort of social life and inviting more people over. It's your house too! I think the idea of praying away the negative vibes is great. Are there other support groups where you live where you could befriend people who won't be put off by your husband's rudeness? It's so sad because he sounds like such a fearful man, who probably thinks he has to control everything to make things right. If he could just see (and so many other men in his position) how life could be better if he quit punishing himself and those he cares about. I think I will pray too, for him and the many other men and women who run away from their fears, who have monsters in their closets and are terrified to face them. We are all just products of the little children we once were and grow up to be terrified adults.

lots of love to you Jay

Sadheart

I understand what you mean about getting short of breath, pulse racing etc. Even when there is no threat of physical violence the threat of intense anger is very terrifying. I think it's an instinctive reaction - probably even more so because you were physically abused previous to this relationship.

Not being aware of emotions - that seems a common theme. I wonder if Steve could comment about that, or anyone who understands this. It's like maybe the emotions are so painful that they are buried in a place that isn't accessible - sort of like people who dissociate (like those with multiple personalities) because facing the pain is too scary. A survival mechanism, I guess. I'm trying to understand this myself so if anyone can shed some light on this, please do.

 

Lynn

<<<This may be feminine thinking but I like my men to be on my side and protect me.>>> Sad that women have to apologize for being "feminine" these days!

Lynn, I understand what you mean, but I have to bring this up. I think this is why so many men are afraid to be vulnerable and be honest about their fears. It's like they feel if they are weak, then they can't be our "protectors". I think as women, we need to show our men that they can protect us best by facing their own monsters first; by protecting and trusting themselves.

I was thinking about how many men are a product of war. Almost everyone I know has a male relative, within a couple of generations, that went to war. How could that not impact your psyche and the psyche of your children and grandchildren? Men weren't supposed to be emotional - that was laughed at. Look at the dysfunction in our society as a result of that - the patterns that continue to get passed on from generation to generation. I think we need to let men know that it's good to 'feel' - pain, sorrow, fear; that it's okay to cry. It disturbs me that so few men are willing to open up; to come to a forum like this one.

BTW, does anyone, Dr. I especially, know of former male NEO's who could be invited to this forum and offer help to other men who are in growth stages? We need more *men* on this site! I wish this was a place where men felt welcome and embraced. How can we make it that way? Dan? Steve?  I'd love that.  

And Lynn - I understand what you meant - the word 'protect' triggered my response. I think it's great when both sexes are courteous and caring to each other - us women can do a lot to contribute to that as well, and men too.

I want to also say that I think this site is amazing. Sometimes it feels like a soap opera, but it's real life. So strange and wonderful that we can all be so close without ever having met in person.

love to all

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Asha,

I wanted to comment on the part of men being able to cry and show emotion. It is amazing how early this is "trained" into them. This past weekend my 6 yr old son was playing with another 6 yr old. My son is VERY compassionate and sensitive. The other little boy has been influenced by his father to be a "man". My son and he ran into each other and my son was hit in the eye, but he immediate apologized to the other child. My son was crying and the other child said "Why don't you act like a MAN and stop crying!". This upset my son more than the hurt eye! I told him that it was OK to cry.

I want my son to be able to express emotions like anger, sadness, happiness. I want him to be able to express anger appropriately. Sometimes if he is very angry we scream into pillows or hit them. Usually he ends up laughing.

I hope I am breaking the cycle of suppression that seemed to be passed to the men in my husbands family.

Sadheart.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Steve here.

Theressa: (her husband said) "JUST wait until we move, I am gonna teach you a lesson, I'll be in charge and you'll do as I say, or else."

I feel for you Theressa. I don't believe you can remain with someone who believes this. It doesn't matter how much you hurt him or need to work on yourself. You can't live with "do as I say". That's not love in my opinion. Obviously he's hurting very much to feel like that. He must be VERY insecure. Do you know what he meant by "or else"? Do you feel this may have been a physical threat or just "if you don't do what I say I'll kick you out"?

The "broken toy" fight you had...

[My X said "What has it got to do with you." I said "Everything to do with me she is my daughter to, I have a right to know." He said "Mind your own business and shut the f* up with that attitude, I've had it with your bad attitude."]

I see both of you making small mistakes which are common and cause the other to over-react.

He is probably so defensive, relating to past issues, that he is now seeing your concern for your daughter as an infringement on or a distrust/criticism of his parenting abilities with his daughter. Excellent Steve!

I'm sure you know (cuz you're a very smart woman) that you probably engaged and jumped on the merry-go-round when he invited you.

I know this is a long way about it but I think you could have "dis-armed" him if you had said in reply to "what's it got to do with you", - "I'm not entirely sure, I'm going to leave the room and think about it and when I know for sure what I'm feeling, I'll tell you." That would do 2 things. It would make it impossible for him to feel "threatened", and it would also show him that you are really working on understanding your feelings. Yes, YES, YES!!!

Something about that fight reminds me of my X in reverse. I had this problem with her, when something was wrong, i.e., the kids were fighting and one would run into their room crying or something...if X would go in first to talk to our boy, and I came in shortly after, she would say to me, in a defensive tone of voice "it's ok, I'm handling it".

I'm not positive what this meant but I think it must be one of 2 things. Either she thought I thought she wasn't capable of handling the situation, or she wanted to be "THE savior" for our children. We were already apart, so in many areas she was already trying to be the "only parent they needed". She had said several times that kids don't need dads. Wow...

Anyways, my response was usually just to turn around and walk out. I avoided this issue, which probably wasn't the best thing, but I think I know what to do now. 

In many of your posts, you and your X appear to be completely locked into a pattern. Somebody has to stop. I think it has to be you Theressa because you're the only one aware enough. He is in too much fear I think. Bingo, again!

"I mean how could a child make you late, I ask you!!! "

Haha. Good one. I always try to have at least 15 minutes of "buffer" time whenever my kids are involved. If, as it seems in your case, you don't have that, then you will be late. That should be ok. You need to make him understand this way ahead of time. That this is just the way it is sometimes. Maybe he already knows this and is just punishing you because you 'hurt him" and around it goes again.

Here are some urls that may be of interest. One, from a study at the University of Haifa, Israel, is very VERY in depth/intense and sometimes difficult to read, but has some valid points. The other is just a quick tip sheet.

http://utenti.tripod.it/PUBSERVER/Articoli/benzeev_lovehurts.htm

http://www.agt.net/public/couchtlk/tip1.htm

In the meantime, as Irene would say, just work on removing your buttons. I truly know how hard that is. And, you are certainly demonstrating the fruits of your labor: Steve, Your insight and understanding as well as your attitude towards what Theressa's hubby is doing shows me that not only do you know, but so is your empathy and Self-love. Good stuff!  

***********************************

Jay: You and your husband are in different worlds. But you are ok. I did find one thing very interesting in what you said near the end.

"I think the best revenge at all is to say nothing at all about the letter and pretend it hasn't arrived. "

Revenge isn't really what you want is it Jay? Excellent.

Also, be a little wary of the solicitor. Some will actively attempt to add fuel to the fire. There's my distrust again. But I've seen it in many cases. Good advice.

"I am going to make a room for me in the house. My husband has a locked study so why shouldn't I make a really nice space all mine for me and our son"

This also feels like "revenge" to me. If you are at this point, you are not going to be ok in this relationship. Both of you are in the reactionary mode it appears. I don't understand why he would forbid prayer, unless you are openly praying for "him to get better". Hehe. Hehehe. Then he might feel offended/threatened. If, on the other hand, you were praying for "my husband to understand how much I love him", he may be ok with it.. Ok, Dr. Steve...

"I am also going to have prayer meetings here if I want. "

That's fine Jay, as long as you are not doing it to get "revenge" or a reaction from him. But, Jay, it may not really "feel" like "revenge." Nevertheless, check it out. It is.

It looks like you are on a spiritual journey that your H can't join in with. You can't expect him to. I have some friends that are in the same situation. Although the husband is not anti-prayer or anything like that. However, he just cannot proceed at the same rate, or even on the same path. Christians are often debating many of the "lessons" in the bible and rarely agree. That's why there's a million different "sub-species" of Christianity. And other religions too!

I believe God doesn't care how you get there. "My" God certainly doesn't care. He just wants you to get there. That's why, I think, He gives us so many different vehicles to choose from. No one can take the exact same journey as someone else. If you need your husband to walk side-by-side on the journey, it probably won't work. He may never see it like you. That doesn't mean he's wrong, or you're wrong.

The best situation is to respect each others own personal journey. Sometimes, you just won't "match up" anymore and one will walk far away from the other. You have to decide for yourself if you can live with him when you are so far apart. If both of you are unhappy with each other, I think you should commit to being friends, but not mates. You have a son, and he needs to see his parents as being friends. You are his role models. That's why the revenge thing will not be good. For you, or your son. If he sees you out for revenge, he will learn it too. You probably don't want that to happen.

Steve Thank you Steve.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Hi catbox,

I've missed something. What does NEO and NDO stand for? Let's see if I can get this right, especially since I made them up: "Negatively Empowered One" who is commonly seem as abusive and "Nevatively Disempowered One," commonly seen as victimized. Victim/abuse stuff is a function of the imbalance of power in the relationship. 

Welcome back, Steve! I liked your reference to Lady Galadriel! Those books are staples, and once every 2-3 years I'll go back & read them.

Hugs,

Anne

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Steve here.

Sadheart: "It is very exhausting having to worry about watching out for HIS feelings as well as my own."

It is exhausting (just ask Asha Giggle! ), but you could ask him to watch his feelings and you'll watch yours.

"He won't take anti-depressants either, even thought the one time he did EVERYONE mentioned how different he was."

I think taking drugs is someone's personal choice. You can't expect him to do that. I personally wouldn't take them. I want to face my demons head on. I feel it's more pure. I don't want to add any more chemicals to my "wild brain soup" than are already there. You never know what kind of creature could come out of that toxic waste dump. 

:)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Got back from the therapist still feeling strong and then suddenly turned to jelly. The doc came out and prescribed tranquilizers. The police came as I got scared. My head went out of the window and it all fell apart. Lack of sleep as usual playing a part.

Really lost it and finding it hard to calm down. Got too upset. Paronoid which is new. Panic attack yesterday and now this.

Madness would be a better option. Hardly.

Solicitor was o.k and wrote a long letter to my husband via his solicitor. Knew about codependency and very experienced. Got legal aid. His letter was really so much wind. Mine was asking for information denied and to feel safe in my own home.

Brain now out to grass. Husband even lied to the doctor.

Steve, it is not really revenge as such. What it is is just wanting the truth to be acknowledged. The games to stop. Also my husband has had his own locked lair for 14 years. I just decided to have space of my own. Now you are putting it differently and that is appropriate. But, listen to Steve. It would be hard, if not impossible for you not to feel some sense of getting back. It's human. It's normal. It's OK. Let yourself feel what you feel, like it or not. Also, never forget that what you feel and what you do are two entirely different things.

He is genuinely frightened of prayer. Weird... Of church. I stopped worrying about people's different spiritual paths long ago. God can do his own work.

My husband isn't going to know about the prayer meetings. I own half the house. He would smoke dope here with his friends if he wanted to and never mind my wishes. He had some for quite a while and I wasn't happy. If he can have drugs I can have prayers. Also he plays Sympathy for the devil often enough!

Sadheart, thanks for your prayers. I need them! So do we all.

Theressa, Thanks for the phone nos. I did ring the national one and it is good to know they are there to talk to. Part of my difficulty in the town I live in is I have taught quite a few people involved in the refuge.

Asha thanks for your words of wisdom. Will look at the Buddha section

Not up to commenting on other's posts just now so will look again tomorrow.

Love to all of you. Nice to have such a big party in the catbox! love, Jay

 B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

S1

Hello Cat Box Family,

Lynn here with a brief one I hope. I was on the web tv trying to get a group sheet or a family pedigree and just trying to add our genealogy and can't download, etc, and enough .... It's simply that I have other things in my life today other than Dan did this, etc., etc. Yippeee!

Isn't it great?? I was starting to think there would be no life beyond the cat box. There is - and I'm so happy. Another happy. Dan has had to work and he's scanning for a Christmas tree (without being asked). He knows how much this means to me and I guess thinks there is no sense in a hassle. Hooray for him, too. Just make sure you don't project it out the door until after the New Year... Hehehehe!

Reason I posted. It is about Steve's post and what he calls his cynical attitude (I think in reference to Jay's Solicitor). I'm cynical, too. Hey, it's reality. I go the other direction though. I trust everyone until they prove wrong. Not too bright either. I frequently give second and 15th chances until I finally have no more trust to give. Then I say adios. What works for me is that I do trust. When I am wronged, then it is their problem. And sorry guys. I never got into The Lord of the Rings et al. I simply do not understand Science Fiction or Fantasy. Ah well, there is enough for me to read and I'm happy. Two of my favorites: "Forgive, but don't forget."  And, "Mess with me once, shame on you. Mess with me twice, shame on me!"

Trubble, with the acronyms, I don't know most either, but I love SIB. It means stay in bed. When all else fails SIB ^_^

I'm reading Anne-Margret's Bio right now and I like her thinking. She says, "I don't cook and I don't care." Now is that healthy or what? Especially if you can afford it...

Love to all of you and I'm reading. If I come up with an earth shattering solution I'll share my knowledge.

Loads of Love and Happy and Healthy thoughts,

Lynn Trubble is still mad at you.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Wow, it takes me a while, I never get jokes either...."catbox"...where you dump all the "poop"...ha ha Hahahah! Suzy here, hello all my new friends.. since this is the catbox, I wanted to do a little dumping-no pun intended. These past couple of weeks have been many defining moments, it just became clear nothing was going to change and I want out. My husband just got back from a vacation with his family, he was sooo happy there according to him and my son who traveled with him. I've TRIED AND TRIED it all, you name it, I've given it a shot, I cannot think of anything new to save my marriage, now I think I must save me and the kids. I told him I would let him go and I definitely wanted a divorce. I really did it in a kind and very loving way and tone. I told him to go back home, be happy, I in a sense released him from our tornado life. With all we've been through I thought he'd go peaceful and quiet, I felt all the ugly storms were gone, guess I was soooo wrong. I wanted so badly to for him take me in his arms and say "I love you sooo much, please don't go." with a hug, of course. How could I expect that much? Instead, he looked at me with the most horrid look of disgust and almost hatred and meanly said. "GET READY FOR THE BIGGEST BATTLE OF YOUR LIFE, I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE AND I'M FIGHTING FOR...MY...KIDS, SO , ARE YOU HIRING YOUR LAWYER AGAIN?" This just crushed me, I thought we were a little past this stuff. It makes me feel like I cannot leave unless I leave my kids, I don't want court/custody battles, I REFUSE to use our children as pawns. Thanks for listening, any advice? I think the children need to be away from the abuse, nothing ever gets better. got to go, Suzy  Don't let him intimidate you Suzy. He knows he hate court stuff and he's probably using it against you. Just do what you have to do, one day at a time, one step at a time.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Dear Suzy

<<<catbox"...where you dump all the "poop"...>>>

That's great. :) I never thought of it that way, but it's totally appropriate for this forum.

I don't have any words of advice for your situation but you might find others in similar situations in one of the forums at this url:

http://www.divorcenet.com/forum2/#forums

I hope it's helpful. I really feel for you. What an awful situation.

Love and prayers.

Asha

p.s. - someone asked about NDO and NEO - scroll up and read Dr. I's red pencil (near the top) - Negatively Disempowered One and Negatively Empowered One.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Hi Jay,

Right so what you taught these at the refuge. SO DOES THAT MEAN THAT JAY EVER GET HELP. Jay I go to counseling right on my door step. People in my neighborhood see me go into the counseling centre, I've seen a fair few people I recognize and they recognize me. Well it used to bother me alot!! I used to dread anyone seeing me after all wouldn't they think I must be NUTS.

Well not anymore, I go and if anyone sees me, who cares. What does it say about me. That I'm NUTS, for wanting to straighten out my life? That I am perfect so I never need any help? That I want to sort out my life and in turn help my son? That I am very brave to be able to go and work on past mistakes and the things that are wrong in my life? That I am honest and human, that sometimes I need help? THAT I am a strong person for being able to face the things that aren't okay instead of hiding them away, for fear someone my see me flawed?

Jay your allowing your self consciousness about what others will think to cloud you from the fact you need to go to the refuge. THEY are all excuses. SO just because you know your doctor would you not go and tell him if you had a deadly disease would you rather die? Or if your son needed serious help would you say OH No I can't take him to the hospital - I know so and so, better let him stay sick?

JAY it doesn't matter what others think, what does matter is that you face all the judgmental people and say TO HELL WITH YOU I WANT TO GET SORTED FOR MY SON, AND HE IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR JUDGMENTS.

So Jay really you have no excuses left!!!

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Steve here.

Suzy wrote: "It makes me feel like I cannot leave unless I leave my kids, I don't want court/custody battles, I REFUSE to use our children as pawns. Thanks for listening, any advice? I think the children need to be away from the abuse, nothing ever gets better."

Suzy. I feel for you so much. There is hope though. I thought my X would never put the kids needs ahead of her anger toward me (She has been punishing me since I met Asha, even though she told me to go when we broke up - long story. Steve: Do you ever feel angry at Asha for the price your ex made you pay for her? "And I didn't even get my money's worth..." etc.??). It all seemed to change about a month ago when I went to pick them up for a visit. Their mother and I got into a bad fight and our youngest son ran into his bedroom crying. We immediately stopped fighting and went in to try to make him feel better.

There were tears in my X's eyes and mine as well. We went downstairs, all four of us, and I extended my hand to my X and said "Truce" and she warmly agreed. Our children were so happy to see us do this.

I believe she has given up her anger with me and now realizes the KIDS COME FIRST! ALWAYS! Wonderful!

We are going to Family counseling on Monday and I am really looking forward to it.

You are so right to refuse to use the children as pawns. I respect you so much for that attitude.

All I can suggest for you to do is to try extra-hard not to react to your husbands anger. He may be just scared and feeling rejected. He can get over it. Tell your children you love them very often. Even when you think they know it. And never ever say a bad thing about their father to them, even if you believe it to be true. Try very hard to let your children see that you don't hate their father. You can't do a lot about what he chooses to do, other than ask him to put the children first. You will both know what's best for the children. But it may be hard to let it come to the surface. Your husband sounds like he's hurting too. All excellent...

I'm going to be posting some things I've discovered about my own hurt that may be helpful to you understanding him. It's very "deep" stuff so it may take me awhile to get it together. I'm psyched! Send it to me, I'll edit it into an article...

For now, let me just say that I believe I tried to hurt Asha in order to not hurt her. Yes. Sounds crazy I know but I think I was trying to push her away because I wanted to protect her from me. Subconsciously I knew I was capable of being very hurtful, and I didn't think Asha was strong enough to survive my mean-ness. So I would try to make her stop loving me, try to keep her from getting too close. It's so silly, but I think it's real. It is very real and not uncommon Steve. My Self knew how dangerous my ego was, and actually used my ego to protect Asha. I'm not positive of course, but I think I'm on the right track. It's interesting for me to realize that Asha is now stronger because of all this. And, so are you. This stuff is multidimensional. Ask yourself too if part of pushing Asha away was about protecting Steve. You know the old one about get rid of them before they get rid of you...

There's a lot more to it than that and I hope get to it when I have more time.

Our prayers are with you, your children, and your husband. And you and your family Steve. And everybody else out there...

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Dear Steve

<<For now, let me just say that I believe I tried to hurt Asha in order to not hurt her. Sounds crazy I know but I think I was trying to push her away because I wanted to protect her from me. Subconsciously I knew I was capable of being very hurtful, and I didn't think Asha was strong enough to survive my mean-ness. So I would try to make her stop loving me, try to keep her from getting too close.>>

Right, right, right!!! And Thanks! I really am absolutely sure you are on the right track. C. and me talked about this sort of thing a couple of times and he once said I am so afraid to hurt you again and that makes me feel upset. I feel he is afraid I might not be strong enough and he also does not want to feel the guilt and responsibility associated with it (which his his problem to solve actually I think. Yes, it is his. He has to realize there is no reason for guilt: we do the best we know how when we do whatever, and responsibility - for the self - is just part of life. He cannot be responsible for you, no matter how much he may want to protect you. Only you can be responsible for you. I can never and will not absolve him). It felt so silly when he said that at the time. I stated I could not promise him to never feel pain for something he did, but I did feel I could handle it better. I also said that if I would be able to promise him I would never be hurt by him, then I would not want to be with him anyway.

I am learning to see things a little different and understand a little better what his problem is with that: he is afraid of my hurt, cause he feels guilty and the last thing he want is to feel guilty, cause feeling guilty makes him do things he does not really want to do, or act out, because he is mad that "i" make him do things. That's why he has to dump the guilt. And, if he applies reason, he'll see why guilt makes no sense. It is irrational. So it is my job to not let all the irrational ‘ego-things' he says get at me and not to engage and it is his job to get rid of this extreme feeling of responsibility and guilt and not to blame me when he feels it.

Interesting concept, eh? Now you got it. 

I am so glad you posted this, because it really helped me to put things into place. it seems it is not only a thing that I came up with, but that it probably is a real thing. This feels so great and I really needed this.

Lots of love and keep thinking,

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Steve....Suzy here, THANKYOU so much for the advice, it did make sense to me. I look forward to the DEEP stuff later. Got to get to work now, talk more later. Have a great day and thanks for responding to my plea for help and insight. Good luck to you and to Asha. Best Wishes, Suzy

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box family,

I loved the poop dumping. hehehe. Lynn here. I just was into a long post and went to the other room and lost my letter??

I was writing to all of you and so I'll try and get back later.

Talk to you soon and much love and strength.

(((Cat Box))) hugs and love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Jay

((((hugs))))

I really wish you weren't feeling so much pain.

I really do wonder if you would be better off living somewhere else just so you don't have to deal with the relationship pressure.

Also, when you mentioned the room of your own I didn't perceive that as revenge. We have a myriad of feelings. Codependents don't typically allow themselves to feel all they could feel, all that is inside. It gets censored for not being "nice." This is akin to denial. No doubt "revenge" is the the primary feeling, but, it's there, promise. It's OK. It's funny how we all project our own feelings into what we read about the other. Yes! Steve saw the revenge because he lives there more. You don't, so you did not perceive revenge. But, do you see Steve softer than in prior posts? He is more whole and discovering the lighter aspects of self. Codependents need to allow themselves to experience the darker aspects. Yin and yang, anima and animus. You need both sides. I know the feeling of wanting a "space" that I can be creative in, and the freedom to make that space my own. You could make it your own spiritual haven. Add some nice smelling candles, or potpourri or incense and decorate it with colors that make you feel good. I really like the idea. Not to be 'even' but just to have a place you can call yours. 

I agree with Theressa that seeking help is a sign of strength and who cares what anyone else thinks. It's ridiculous that seeking help should have any sort of 'stigma'. Shows how low on the priority list our own emotional health is, in general, in society.

It takes great strength to reach out and say "I'm hurting" and reach out to others. Our pride can impede us in so many ways because we 'look bad' asking for help. I have to admit that I too felt that way when I went to a counselor (looking around in the parking lot, hoping nobody I knew would be in the waiting room). Really silly though, if they were in the waiting room, they'd be seeking the same help I was! Oh how our egos get in the way sometimes!

Maybe the word "therapy" needs a new name - like Self Empowerment or something like that. I see the therapeutic process as aligning the personality with the spiritual Self. How about "Spiritual Personalityment" or SP. Giggle! When you go to exercise class no-one says "oh she isn't physically well". Therapy is about wellness. Anyways, once again, who cares what anyone thinks. Be proud of yourself for doing something about it.

take care everybody

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Hi all, B. here,

Hi Lynn, you sound really great. So does Dan. It's so encouraging!

My H is seeing his therapist, and we both see a lot of improvement. They talk a lot about H's dad (I told about him in the Cat Box). H stopped denying his feelings. Yippee, as Dr. Irene says! Yippeee! Please tell hubby he's got my personal invitation to join us.

Steve, so glad to see "the new improved" you! And you give great advice, too! How did you find the research by Haifa University, BTW?

Theressa, I agree that you engage with your X. He seems very unhappy and lost. He does not realise how dependent he is on you.

About the "being late" thing. Tell him in advance you cannot predict when you'll come home. Try not to rush Missy up, because it's hurtful and damaging to Missy. Maybe you can suggest, that you call him when you get home, and then he can come over. Or, you can arrange to call him before you leave Missy's caretaker's home, and only then he will start driving to your place.

Also, leave him be when he's with her, UNLESS he's controlling and abusive towards her. If he does that, don't tell HIM what to do or not to do, but immediately empower Missy, turning to her and asking her things like: "what do YOU feel about that? is this OK with you? what would YOU prefer? is there something you want to say?" or saying out loud what you see that she feels: "you are hurt because..." and such. That way you teach her that she has a right to her feelings, and that nobody has a right to do this to her. Also, you can say that you know daddy didn't mean to hurt/upset her, but that she should tell him what she feels, because she is important to him and he will try not to hurt her if he knows it does. It might help him to hear you say that. Or it might help only her.

Jay,

I really feel for you. Your last post reminded me of what I talked with my therapist this week: she said that it shows that I am both angry and weak, and that's why some people abuse me. I asked, what can I do to stop allowing this abuse? She said: get stronger inside. And previously she told me, that I am trying to raise myself by myself, that I'm doing it alone, and that nobody can do it alone. It's too much. She said I need help, and that's what she's there for.

I think you are in the same position. You are too alone. You need all the help and loving support you can get, and DO get it!

I loved Asha's suggestions to you. I think they're great. Also, you can try to imagine yourself as a child, and the Jay of today hugging little Jay and comforting her. It is really healing. The weak Jay is the child who was so abused. She needs a grown up to be there for her, give her good thoughts and support, believe in her and in her worth. Be that grown up.

All my love, and best wishes to everybody, including all I didn't mention - AJ, Anne, Astrid, Sadheart, Suzy, and I hope I left noone. B.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Wow. What a lot to catch up on. :) We missed you.

I've been on a bit of a roller coaster but not quite as intense of one as usual. This one has ups and downs but doesn't turn upside down in a big loop. Life does seem to be getting better.

The low points came from dealing with extended family. I have a cousin who is about five years older than me. She has had two out of wedlock kids (one is half-Puerto Rican, which really did not thrill her parents -- they can be a bit racist at times, but now they are raising this child), been married and divorced twice (one was to the father of her second child), and that divorce is not yet final but she's moved in with another man and wants to have a child with him! *shudders* Never mind she doesn't have custody of the two she has! My aunt and uncle just formally adopted my cousin's oldest daughter, and the younger one is living there most of the time. That one's father is suing for custody but refusing to submit to court-ordered drug tests, since pot is his weekend entertainment of choice. And imagine how those poor kids must feel, to know that their parents don't want them enough...but that their mom wants to make another baby with a "better" man. :(

Of course, Mom had to get in a few digs about "aren't you glad you got rid of that loser when you did?" And that hurt. Yes, the main reason L and I broke up was because of his drug use. Yes, I disagree with his choices there to the extent that I can't maintain a viable relationship unless that changes. But "got rid of that loser" was not appropriate -- L is not a "loser", he's a basically good and loving individual who is flawed in ways I can't live with. I wish I had said so. At least I had the pride to keep from bursting into tears in front of her. Yes, Astrid, a sad choice of words. Speaks volumes about mom and how she treats herself. But, before you get too mad with her, try to remember that this is her way of taking your side and supporting  you.

I'm also a bit depressed about this: Mom's aunt and uncle (her father's last living brother and his wife) just celebrated their 50th anniversary. Many of Mom's generation were there with spouse number two or three. How many of us are even going to make it through fifty years anymore? OTOH, my grandparents were married 56 years, and Mom used to pray they would get a divorce. Remember, these are the people who taught her to treat herself poorly. More mixed feelings. Why? Expect mixed feelings. No good guy, no bad guy... I loved my grandfather very much, we were close in an odd sort of way, and it wasn't easy to find out that he had physically abused my grandmother throughout their marriage. His anger did not mess with his ability to be a loving grandpa. Excellent. But marriage was forever to her, and she stuck by him through his repeated commitments to mental institutions, even after he pulled a knife on her in front of their nine-year-old daughter (not exactly one of Mom's favorite memories, that...) But this was the same man who helped me learn to ride a bicycle, and who made it clear that he loved my mother and me very much. Repeated commitment... Bipolar maybe? The man was sick. If your temperature is 105F, your forehead won't feel cool to the touch. And your mom was powerless to lower the fever...

My parents have been married (such as they are *heh*) for I think 31 years. I'm not sure if they'll ever share a house again, but they have been together since they were 18, married since they were 20.

Other than L's drug-using buddies, everyone things I'm better off without him. Aha! (And those buddies think he's better off without ME. Supposedly he's more relaxed when he's under the influence, or some such nonsense.) Intellectually, I know that we shouldn't be together, and we might not be the best choice even if he quit the drugs. And before L and I got together, I was having a blast being a swinging single.

But after two years and too many promises and plans, I still feel as if there's something wrong with me for being unable to stick by him no matter what, unable to make him happy, unable to meet his needs without worrying about him meeting my own. What's wrong with you is that you think there is something wrong with you for caring for yourSelf the amount that you do, which prevents you from sticking with him. Men in the catbox, take note: I don't do gender issues here too much, but this is one I think. Ancient wisdom in most cultures all came up with the same idea, which has persisted to this day, that it's a woman's job to figure out what a man desires and to do it, no questions asked. No time or space for her own desires; indeed, she shouldn't have any. She has to be perfectly accountable for her behavior, and has to be watched over by her husband's family or her own, because she is naturally less moral somehow. And if she's not a good wife or a sheltered virgin, she must be a whore and therefore is not deserving of respect. It's in the Bible (Jesus was friends with the prostitute, yes, but what about Paul and "let the woman learn in silence"?), it's in the Kama Sutra, it's in Plato, it's in the Eddas, it's probably a lot of other places I haven't read yet, it's in a good bit of modern self-help (John Gray anyone?), it's something fun for politicians to use to bash each other (welfare queens anyone?), and it's rampant in popular culture (Father Knows Best, not Mother...and what about all those lousy B-movie horror flicks that essentially have death as a punishment for a girl who loses her virginity?). Sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's covert, but it's always THERE. And I've internalized it. And I don't like that. At all. I've internalized first, that I should have stayed committed to my man no matter how bad he was (since he wasn't actually beating or cheating), and second, that I was lucky he wanted "damaged goods" like me at all. (Lightbulb: so THIS is why I freaked out when he threw my fairly wild past in my face during one particularly horrible fight.)

Yes, opposites are everywhere and are integrated into our culture... So, where's the problem? This is not a black and white issue. The way I see it, all it means is that the organism's goal is to strive for growth and a measure of integration with its opposite (whatever). On men and women: The woman care for, the man provides. No problem. Women have a uterus; men produce semen. Put them together, and society lives on. There is integration of the specialized opposite polarities..

Same with the woman's role to care for, stick by, make the partner happy, etc. Integration of the polar opposite cannot be lacking. While your husband will not bear your children, he will care for them. It is your task to care for, support, etc. your partner, but it is implicit that your partner must first take basic care of him/her self. You don't tend to your partner's other internal functions , do you? ("Dear, you appear thirsty. So, I'll drink a glass of water.")

In the above example, if the man's reproductive system were "broken," there can be no children. It is not the woman's obligation to "fix" the broken system or somehow figure out how to compensate for his inability to propagate. If he can do something about it, he will. If he can't, he'll have to let it go - since it's beyond his control.

The higher Self strives towards healthy integration of opposites. The Self will give you some pretty loud signals (like confusion, depression, etc.)  when you don't heed nature's call. 

So male catboxers, take note: this is a very heavy load to carry, and when you do things that make your lady feel she has let you down, you make it heavier. And if you are (like my father was far too often) abusive about being helpful around the house, you are engaging in one of the most horrendous acts of crazy-making I can contemplate. (Dad was known to throw dishes that were not done properly to his standards, then later to do them himself because we couldn't be trusted...Mom's friends were amazed she had a husband who did the dishes. So she's taking abusive junk from him and from society at the same time.) And yes, I realize that the rigid roles for men are just as bad in their own way. But since I was born a woman, I can't really speak to that quite as much. :) Astrid: Stop it! Now you are telling the guys what YOU need them to DO to MAKE YOU feel better. That would be nice, but don't bother. If your man can't be trusted and runs around the house throwing dishes, you have a choice: you don't have to put up with it. Especially in this day and age. Don't make others responsible for you!

But anyway. We internalize these things -- remember my long-ago post about how ugly I thought I was as a kid for having green eyes, thanks to my extensive fairy tale reading? This is the same thing on a slightly different scale. And imagine the embarrassment for the child of two folks big into the civil rights movement to realize that she is caught in this same pattern. And afraid to step out of it because of the screams of "YOU EVIL MAN-HATING LEZZIE FEMINAZI!", never mind that such screams would not come from anyone worthy of my time, and that they probably exist mainly in my own head. And to realize that my parents were caught in it as well (see above about dishes). Here's the key word Astrid, your key word: "thought." You thought were were an ugly kid cuz of your gorgeous green eyes. Thought vs. think. Past tense. Now you know otherwise. Same concept can go elsewhere too!

OK, now on to good stuff: I've made a friend at work; she's my age, graduated early from college too, and doesn't like the prejudice and craziness going on any more than I do. I've made quite a few new friends, or gotten closer to old ones, lately. My professor likes me, which is always nice. Oh! And I did something I haven't done in over three years -- I called in sick to work (sore throat, no voice, fever, in general need of physical and mental rest) Tuesday. Slept and drank tea and ate soup and feel much much better now. I'd be a total mess if I'd tried to push on through like normal. I'm actually sort of proud of myself for this, though I feel weird because I *never* call in sick. But darnit, I WAS sick. And I can't collapse the last week of the semester. Good for you for listening to your body, though I hear a tad of guilt still in there. Dump the guilt and

I'll have more to say later, I'm sure, but this is plenty long enough for now and my kitties are complaining that they feel neglected. :)

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Steve said: For now, let me just say that I believe I tried to hurt Asha in order to not hurt her. Sounds crazy I know but I think I was trying to push her away because I wanted to protect her from me. Subconsciously I knew I was capable of being very hurtful, and I didn't think Asha was strong enough to survive my mean-ness. So I would try to make her stop loving me, try to keep her from getting too close. It's so silly, but I think it's real. My Self knew how dangerous my ego was, and actually used my ego to protect Asha. I'm not positive of course, but I think I'm on the right track. It's interesting for me to realize that Asha is now stronger because of all this.

Wow! I think that's amazing. I think that's right on. That could very well explain what was going on with my former husband (also named Steve). He also pushed me away to hasten the day I would leave, because he has these huge abandonment issues. Make it happen on your own terms, and then you at least have control. I had a foster child who would try to provoke me into hitting her. She had been physically and verbally abused and neglected. I didn't do it, but I felt strongly that she wanted me to, so she could get it over with. My Steve certainly didn't love himself, and didn't believe he was lovable, but did all kinds of stuff on an Ego level to hide from that. Based on what you said, I now see he might have known, at a very deep level, that he was hurting me and would never stop. So he pushed me away, and all the Ego stuff made it look, to him and others, as if he was totally innocent of any role in the breakup. He probably thought all along he was going to be abandoned. Every sign of anger or unhappiness or disappointment on my part, any request for changed behavior, looked to him like evidence of the inevitable. For 18 years of our 23 year marriage he fantasized that I was having affairs. After the marriage ended he blamed me for "letting him think" I was cheating on him, as if I could read his mind and had some way of knowing what he thought. Poor man. I'm sorry he doesn't love himself and I'm sorry his true Self is so buried in gunk and I wish I had been stronger and more patient, but I think I probably would have been if he had been able to find the courage to look into his own heart and to believe he could heal and be strong and, as Asha said, "live out of love and not out of fear." I pray for him that someday he finds that. I pray that his current wife will have the strength and courage and grace to be his Buddha, or, if not that, that if this third marriage ends he might wake up and notice that the common denominator is him. I figure we get such a long life span because we have so much to learn.

Steve, thanks for coming back. I'm so glad to have your perspective.

Amy

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Steve here.

To Asha and Jay:

Asha: "Also, when you mentioned the room of your own I didn't perceive that as revenge. It's funny how we all project our own feelings into what we read about the other"

That's very true Asha, we all have our own glasses. Mine are still a little fogged up right now. Smile.

I didn't perceive that as revenge either. I was asking Jay to think about it, because she had mentioned revenge earlier in her post. I didn't perceive it one way or the other.

Jay: I understand the wish for a safe-feeling "space". I think it's a great idea. However, I don't feel comfortable about the "locks" thing.

I guess it depends on whether your husband was locking it to keep YOU out, or for some other safety reason (burglars, etc). If he was locking YOU out, it's almost symbolic of him locking you out of the fortress of his SELF.

I have compassion for him also. I have to. Or I couldn't have compassion for me. He is obviously hurting as much or more than I was (still am, I think, but trying to figure it all out). Maybe I'll get out from under the bed for you. No sweet talk. To the point. Honest. Got any Trout? Your ALT-Text here  

Love to all. 

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

Steve here

Astrid: "Ancient wisdom in most cultures all came up with the same idea, which has persisted to this day, that it's a woman's job to figure out what a man desires and to do it, no questions asked. No time or space for her own desires; indeed, she shouldn't have any. She has to be perfectly accountable for her behavior, and has to be watched over by her husband's family or her own, because she is naturally less moral somehow. And if she's not a good wife or a sheltered virgin, she must be a whore and therefore is not deserving of respect. It's in the Bible ..."

I agree with that in some ways. Especially regarding the Greco-Roman Empire countries. It's a large generalization but probably fairly close to the mark.

This is a double-edged sword for both sexes. We've both been anthropologically shuttled into roles which we aren't very comfortable with now, if we indeed ever were.

Men were expected to be the providers, protectors (even sacrificing their lives in tribal/national wars). The "Strong". No wonder we have such trouble being "weak". Our cultures continue to reinforce this. Men don't like to see weak men. And many women don't like to see weak men - right Lynn? :)

I think, at a very primitive level, a weak man could be seen as useless, redundant.

I was talking to a friend last week and he kept trying to tell me how women want a "bad boy". He sincerely believes that most women are attracted to a "strong, dominating and sure-of-himself" type man. And they are repulsed by a weak, emotional "effeminate" man. At least, when it comes to "mating" or choosing a long-term partner.

I think I can see this. I remember high-school and I think the majority of women were definitely attracted to the "bad boys". I used to be very puzzled by this, especially when they seemed to be attracted to men who didn't respect women as equals. That would make men feel that to get a mate, they needed to be "bad", perhaps even treat women roughly.

I would like feedback on this from the women here. Whether they feel they have ever fallen victim to this kind of thought, or whether women they know are like this. I believe much of it happens at a sub-conscious level so you may have to really think hard to see it.

I've been thinking also, especially with nations like the USA, where being the world policeman means you need soldiers, there is probably very little incentive for the culture in general to do anything that would contribute to the "weakening" of men. This could actually weaken the nation's defense or war-making capabilities. Maybe?

Hmm....  Hmmmm....

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Asha here

Just wanted to describe a process I feel I'm going through right now. It's like de-programming. I was not completely aware of how significant this programming was until this last episode with Steve. Steve mentioned to me that it probably happened bit by bit over the course of our relationship and continued building on itself. I think that's true.

I'm currently re-thinking everything I think and feel about what's going on around me; things like what I listen to on the radio, what I watch on TV, how I set up my home, my work priorities, my thoughts on bringing up children etc etc etc.

I didn't realize how much I had 'adapted' to Steve. :) In the beginning of the relationship I felt that adapting was the right thing; that people had to compromise to make a relationship work. What I didn't realize - on a conscious level - was that as I continued to adapt, I was slowly leaving the joyful, creative, social, trustful, open, expressive me behind. It's scary to think this could happen without my even having realized this. I thought that I had great integrity and principles, and didn't see that I was distancing myself from my own thoughts and feelings. Yes. It's called "loss of self" or such. Not healthy...

This leads me to another thought; if I need time to 'de-program' imagine how engrained someone like Steve's programming must be, and how many of those thought patterns he has 'bought into' as I did, will have to be re-discovered with new eyes. (I have great faith, however that he can do this, if he is determined and makes it an absolute commitment.) I think he has Asha. 

I'm not proud that I did sacrifice my principles in order to try to 'go with the flow'. It didn't happen in a dramatic way - just a slow transition into an 'unsafe' way of living. It's almost cultish how it happens. First the attraction to someone I admired and respected, then small points of 'adaptation' that didn't seem significant (after all, I loved and respected him - how could his way be wrong? Cuz you left yourSelf by the wayside, expecting way too much from Steve.), then more and more adaptations, until I was accepting the 'unacceptable' in my life without even realizing it was unacceptable to me. I had done this in different ways with my earlier boyfriend (spending large amounts of money on things I didn't agree with - letting his choices prevail over mine) but I thought I had learned from that and that I would never do it again. That time I had done it on a conscious level - doing things I felt uncomfortable with, putting his judgment over mine. This time it was not conscious. But now you are aware. Excellent.

This is why I need time away from Steve. To find out who I am and what I truly feel. Yes. That person you were is the woman Steve fell in love with. It feels really like the right thing; for me and for him. For me to know who I am and where my healthy boundaries are, and to grow stronger so that I know I could never allow myself to be so hurt again. For him, so that he knows he can never hurt me again, because I will not allow it. Nor does he want to hurt you.

Something really shook me over this last episode. I had never seen so clearly how the things Steve said impacted me on a deep personal level. I think I was justifying the behavior to myself on some level so that the relationship would not have to end. I realize that I too have been in denial, without even knowing it. Excellent...

On a more positive note - if over 4 years this sort of programming has led me to denial, 4 more years of positive programming should lead me to positive awareness. The programming can go either way.

I think the 'justifying' was about making Steve 'okay'. What I mean is without justifying the unhealthy behavior, I could not have chosen to be with Steve. I wasn't ready to let go, so I made it 'okay' in my head, not that bad, not nearly as bad as it was for 'other people'. I focused on what was good - the creative work together, the interesting conversations, the humor we shared, and 'blanked out' the bad stuff. Obviously not completely, or I never would have come here. But on a certain internal level, I could not walk away from it because I had bought into it. Steve didn't 'do' this to me and yet I did it without knowing it. This has happened to *me*; someone with a good solid upbringing, parents that really care about me, and with (at least I thought...?) a high level of self esteem. Scary. I must doubt myself a lot and not realize I'm doing it. Also notice that even though Steve did not like it when you started setting boundaries for yourself (hey, change is frightening; we like to know what to expect). After he had time to sit with it, he liked you better. He respected you for raising your expectations of him. He chose to go with the program. :)

I don't know if any of that makes sense but I felt I wanted to write it down. Perfect sense. Thank you Asha.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Steve here

After reading your last post Asha, I feel like I have to do some positive affirmations reminding myself that I am a good person. I'm not saying you're wrong in the way you see it. I'm just saying that when reading that, it's easy for me to forget that I have some good attributes as well. Don't you dare lose your boundaries Steve! Check it out: Asha sees negatives and that affects you. No surprise. It takes time to be empathic enough with your own stuff

I just need to be able to not only see my negatives, but the whole picture. I need to see the good parts of me, as well as the bad. Yes. And to be OK with the

I guess I would like some credit, although I don't need it. It would just make me "feel good" to know you acknowledge the other side. Do YOU acknowledge the other side? It's easy for you to see and talk about the bad things about me and forget that I have some good attributes. I too adapted to some things and sacrificed a great deal for our relationship. Yes. And both of you operated out of good intent. However, what's done is done and I need to move on from here with no regrets or resentment. In the end, I was responsible for any sacrifices I made. Not you. And maybe they will turn out to be worthy sacrifices. Only time will tell.

Like I said, I don't NEED you to say nice things. Oh... I think you DO need her to say something nice. But keep working on the Self and you won't. Acknowledgment will just be icing on an already yummy cake. And it's probably not even a good idea to mention it. But then again, maybe someone can find something in there... :)

I also really need time away from you Asha. There seems to be some sort of, as yet un-defined, negativity in the air, and I would like to avoid it for awhile. I don't think I can respond to much in the way of requests right now. I need to do a lot of work, not only on fixing my cloudy vision, but also examining what I really want for a life, now that I am finding out what I don't want.

I have to prioritize my healing process. You are mildly mad at her. She let you down by pulling away from you, so you are going to push her away a bit. You still care too much about what other people, especially Asha, thinks. 

I think I am being completely open and truly non-angry. However, if someone can see something in my post that doesn't look right, I'm all ears now. I've thought I was clear before, when I wasn't.

Lots and lots of work.

Love to all - even me. It's about time. You bet! This is such wonderful stuff! Bless you kiddo.

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Hi All,

Welcome newcomers!!

B, Thanks those suggestions are good, I will use them.

Steve and Asha I want to say WELL DONE the both of you for being so mature about all this, YES you both need the space and then when you've healed enough alone, you may be able to heal the rest together. ROBERT BURNEY author of Dance with the wounded souls said this is how it should be. HEAL THY SELF FIRST AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE and then HEAL the rest with your mate.

Everyone else make yourselves a good day.

Love Theressa

 B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Dear Asha,

I think I understand how you feel and I wish I was there already. I think you make a lot of sense in writing what you write and I am so happy for you. Are you not seeing Steve at all, is that possible with your business? Or are you just going to refrain from having ‘a relation', as not sleeping together, not trying to live together? Both you and Steve sound very determined at healing I do think you are right that this is sort of de-programming. You said: I learned this program in 4 years, so I can learn another one in 4 years too. How is that for us, staying in a relation for 15, 20, 30 years. Do you think I will take that long to deprogram?

Sometimes I am not really sure whether deprogramming is at all possible. I haven't seen C. for about 3 months and then I thought I had pretty much got it together again and that it would be save to see him. But I guess I was wrong there. Admitted, I only found out about all this while not seeing him, so maybe I just was not strong enough yet, maybe we learned a lot, but not enough yet.

I feel myself slipping back, again making excuses for mis-behaviours, again giving him way to much power over what I feel, what I decide and what I want to do. I am doing things to please him again and making excuses for myself too. At times I just disconnect the phone, as I do not want to talk to him and don't feel I have the right to simply say that to him. I feel that maybe I do not want to see him this weekend, but I know, that should he call, i will most likely say yes, and I do get so mad at myself for that. It is as if I am loosing my own will again. I see it happening, but it feels I have no way to stop it. It really scares me and I just want to throw the towel in the ring and have nothing to do with this anymore.

My new therapist is great, an I think she works the way Dr. I. works. She is very direct and point out what certain behaviours might mean. But I feel like I have a constant lack of time here, I do need things to improve NOW so much, even though I know it takes time. I do not want to fight all the time, I do not want to grow and learn and feel so unhappy.

Right now I am just feeling so scared and I feel I cannot say anything comforting or give any even remotely good advice here now. I just feel so stupid for feeling myself slipping back again and not knowing how to handle it. Sorry about the pitty pot.

Dear Becky, any news yet? I do think of you a lot. Please take care of yourself, more then ever, You need it.

Dear Jay, hope you are ok, and making a space for yourself sounds a great idea. I wanted that for years, but felt so guilty about it I could never do it. But I think it is a very good way of taking care of yourself. At least if you will not use it to punish him.

Dear B. So glad your husband is working on things. About the getting stronger inside your therapist suggests: that's what it is all about isn't it. I know when at times I feel strong, it is so much easier to think clear, to not let myself be ordered around, not care so much about small things and to engage. But it is just so hard to keep feeling strong, to stay close to what you really want and need.

Lots of love to the rest of you and take care all.

AJ

PS. I just thought maybe a good way to handle the slipping back is to constantly remind myself that I am my own person, that I have a right to my own feelings, and so has he. That I can and will make my own choices and can and will say, calmly, what I feel I need to say. That I can act, not react. I will learn this, I will be ok. (Sort of Asha's positive affirmations, but less general, more situation oriented I guess.) I hope I can take my own advice.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Hi AJ,

I am so sorry you are feeling lost, stuck, not okay,

I think we sometimes slip back because we are meant to, we still have some wounds to heal in that area, so if the buttons continue to be pressed we still have some healing in that area.

Also things are meant to happen on many levels, so at times it feels like we are going backwards, even when we are not.

Though also I remember what Dr Irene said about things having to become new behaviours - first we have to practice, practice, practice and eventually the new behaviours click and we are no longer doing them consciously but they have become subconscious.

So if you haven't since C for 3 months, give yourself a break. It takes time to heal alone, which you've been doing, but then you have to still learn new behaviours and practice them until they become a habit. It is like moving an old chest of draws, we need to do a lot of thrashing and pushing about - we have to practice, take risks, get it wrong and see which steps we need to change and keep at it.

If you have a willing partner anything is possible. I AM AFRAID I Didn't have.

My therapist said FIRST YOU HEAL WHAT YOU CAN ON YOUR OWN, then you have to heal what you can in your relationship. Only then can you both continue to grow together, you will be learning all your lives.

Has C being having therapy? because if he hasn't been this is a PROBLEM, because he will still have alot of hurt under his buttons, even if you've worked on yours.

Anyway, please remember you've come along way, at least you are aware now of what you see as not okay. PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK FOR WHERE YOU ARE ON YOUR JOURNEY NOW. AND REMEMBER EVERYTHING HAPPENS WHEN ITS MEANT TO.

Love Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Steve, Sadheart here,

I'd like to make a comment on what I saw go on in Asha's post and your response.

Asha said she found that she had changed a lot of things to "adapt" to you, things which changed her essence. What you read into it was that she was saying was that YOU were BAD or NEGATIVE. I don't think that is the case at all, she just didn't like how she adapted changed HER. It does not need to be a reflection of YOU.

I am sometimes guilty of this type of "listening" as well. When you listen to Asha, you hear the negative things that your mind already tells you (subconsciously or consciously) . It's like you are trying to hear a confirmation of your fears. What I find I have to constantly do if I find myself reacting to something negative that I think I heard is stop and breathe, and use the positive affirmations I am trying to learn.

Sadheart

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

DR IRENE I HOPE IT IS OKAY TO COPY AND PASTE THIS FROM ELSE WHERE ON YOUR SITE, IF IT IS NOT I HOPE YOU WILL DELETE IT. Perfectly OK. Thank you Theressa.

THANKS THERESSA 

***********************

Anyone in an ABUSIVE family, or environment with Children SHOULD READ THIS ARTICLE, THE link is provided below:

DIVORCE: Protecting The Children http://www.drirene.com/divorce.htm

Why? click on this link, well it will show you how harmful keeping children whatever age in an abusive home environment.

I know it was the hardest and most scary decision I ever made, but I made it because I realised the hurt that would result later if I didn't.

You wouldn't have met a more scared individual, but well I got up and woke up and got out!!!

HOORAY for Missy I did it!!!

I know how hard it is, was to leave and take such a major decision that would effect my whole life, BUT I left the fancy car, fancy house, money, FOR what? MY LITTLE GIRL

Love Missy's mommy

Theressa 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Answering the posts backwards.

AJ it is not revenge. Just my husband took this privilege 14 years ago.

I'm sorry you feel scared.

Steve, I think there are a lot of strong women in the Bible. Also there are matriarchal societies. I am not sure about women wanting "bad' boys. Lots of nice gals do. I know when I was younger I didn't want someone 'straight' in the terminology of my generation. I married a man who still has hair down to his waist. But actually he is the straightest person I ever met. I would love an evening with someone who could really let their hair down. Someone free. Someone who could socialize and who wasn't so damn careful!!!

I am however sick of being treated roughly emotionally. I would like someone who wears their heart on their sleeve for a bit.

My husband uses locks. Symptomatic of his locked nature. If things get difficult he literally locks himself away. I think it is paranoia or inadequacy. Aren't they really the same?

Astrid. I am glad you took some time off. Think relationships are sometimes too complicated to sort without a break.

B I think I agree with you and your therapist. I just need to get out of the mood I am in at present.

Asha, I just don't have the money or choice to go elsewhere hence the room. Husband away this weekend so I will indulge in some nest making.

I feel bad not giving more but just now I am right out of energy with my own situation. The doc (Giggle! Boy, did I just fix a funny typo on "doc"...) gave me some tranquilizers but no instructions so I have been using them to keep calm. I need to find out who I am again. One thing that the therapist made clear is that I have lost my sense of Self completely. It has gone into hiding.

Don't know what I am supposed to do about that. Sometimes I wonder if I really am mad. Then I see someone who tells me I clearly am not. I wish I knew. Look inside. All your answers are only found inside yourSelf.

Not having a job means there is just no focus to the day. Being ill means it is hard to get a job. I am trying to structure the day so I write but I am not sure if I can do this.

Hard to make choices. But I need to make some choices to define myself apart from the relationship with my husband. There must be things I can do.

The truth is now I am frightened of failure i a way I never used to be. I seem to have failed at human relationships despite working for years helping others in their relationships.

I wish I knew how to become myself again.

I suppose it will happen. Got to give myself time and let the tortured and negative thoughts go.

I suppose in some sort of religious sense I am at the end of myself. Or am I as there is so much in religion I just can't accept. So, stick with spirituality. Spirituality is your relationship with your Creator. Religion is man's attempt to explain and systematize it. Man is imperfect; your Creator is not.

I despise myself for being depressed. I don't think I have the right to be. You do. Although it would be odd if I wasn't.

I think I will sign off as I am meandering into complete waffle! We love waffles.

love, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Steve here.

Sadheart: "What I find I have to constantly do if I find myself reacting to something negative that I think I heard is stop and breathe, and use the positive affirmations I am trying to learn."

Yes, exactly.

There's something else I have to look at. It's that part of me that "worries" about the things Ashas DOESN'T see in herself. I think I keep waiting for her to acknowledge some things. What I have to learn is that, I have to fix ME, not her. I have to completely let go of my worry that she won't see certain things. When I feel better about my behaviour, I can THEN ask Asha if she will work on certain things, and if not, that's totally ok.

If I have my boundaries set "correctly" - not egocentrically, as Dr Irene has noted - then I will do what's right for my SELF.

I am struggling with this right now. But I feel like I'm getting closer to "letting go".

I do need some time away from Asha's feelings. I tend to concentrate on her feelings about my behaviour. I really need to look at my feelings about everything now. What do I want? What do I see when I take off my smudgey grungy glasses?

But I think things have to be tackled in a certain order. I can't find out what I really want until I've worked on my "programming". Excellent thinking.

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

AJ

Thanks for your reply. Yes Steve and I will see each other a bit for business, but there aren't that many projects we're both involved in. I think that when his kids come over I would like to invite them along with Steve (depending on how he feels) to do some projects I had promised to do with them.

I think the distance I need is more than anything an emotional distance. This because when I have gotten to close he has always pushed me away. I think if he allows himself to be weak, he will get stronger and maybe learn not to do this. It's exactly because I *do* care about him that I need to detach emotionally. I can't let myself be hurt with his pushing away. I need to know he has the skill to stop doing that before I could let myself get close again. NO. You need to know that you have the skill to deal with his pushing away.

Also, I need to uncover the me I am and want to be, and risk that Steve just might not like me that way. I need to be me 'all the way' because I've forgotten some of who that is.

I'm not making any specific rules about it; it's just on a 'how do I feel' basis. At this moment I don't want to expect anything from him, nor do I want him to expect anything from me. We live apart already so that makes it easier.

<<<How is that for us, staying in a relation for 15, 20, 30 years. Do you think i will take that long to deprogram? >>>

No. I think it depends on how motivated you are. If you're anything like me, I think that you can 'de-program' or 're-program' a great deal within 6 months to a year. I know that when I used my affirmations technique, several years ago, I spent about 6 intensive months 'brainwashing' (or maybe brain cleansing?) myself with positive thinking. It made a huge impact on my psyche and on my life's events.

<<<Sometimes I am not really sure whether deprogramming is at all possible.>>> It is.

I think it's easier if you know what program is running. With my first boyfriend I saw clearly some parts of the program. With Steve I was unaware that the same program was still running, but in a different way. I think the more aware I become of this program that is faulty- what it is and where it comes from, the more I can do about it.

Funny but, Steve said my post brought up bad feelings for him (about not being a good person). In that same way, I kick in the feeling of being responsible for his feelings when I read his reply post. I think that's what Dr. Irene is saying when she says we infringe on each others boundaries without realizing it. Yes. I right away feel that I wasn't "looking after his feelings" by posting my own feelings. This is the thinking I need to change.

<<<At times I just disconnect the phone, as I do not want to talk to him and don't feel I have the right to simply say that to him. I feel that maybe I do not want to see him this weekend, but I know, that should he call, I will most likely say yes, and I do get so mad at myself for that. It is as if I am loosing my own will again. I see it happening, but it feels I have no way to stop it. You do. You need to learn how to control your emotions here. You are losing nothing - but trust in yourself. It really scares me and I just want to throw the towel in the ring and have nothing to do with this anymore. >>>

Don't throw in the towel. This is a great opportunity for your growth. Yes. You have to be prepared to keep your integrity despite how he may react negatively though. I think if you build up enough strength within yourself, you will learn to do this. Saying 'no' doesn't have to be angry, aggressive etc. (I think some of us have some mixed up ideas about what assertiveness means). It can be gentle, self-caring and done for the higher good of the relationship.

<<<Right now I am just feeling so scared and I feel I cannot say anything comforting or give any even remotely good advice here now. I just feel so stupid for feeling myself slipping back again and not knowing how to handle it. Sorry about the pity pot. >>>

You don't always have to give. You can just take sometimes. You're beating yourself up. As Dr. I would say, don't. If you slip back, acknowledge it, find out what you need to do and then get back on track. You will.

<<<I just thought maybe a good way to handle the slipping back is to constantly remind myself that I am my own person, that I have a right to my own feelings, and so has he. That I can and will make my own choices and can and will say, calmly, what I feel I need to say. That I can act, not react. I will learn this, I will be ok. (Sort of Asha's positive affirmations, but less general, more situation oriented I guess.) I hope I can take my own advice. >>>

yes. And it's okay to make mistakes. I use situation oriented affirmations too. The more specific the better sometimes. Just what you said "I can and will make my own choices. I will say calmly what I need to say. etc."

Sadheart

you said <<<Asha said she found that she had changed a lot of things to "adapt" to you, things which changed her essence. What you read into it was that she was saying was that YOU were BAD or NEGATIVE. I don't think that is the case at all, she just didn't like how she adapted changed HER. It does not need to be a reflection of YOU. >>>

So true - and I hear him hearing the negative things (which aren't intended to be negative) and guilt myself over it. I am working on changing this.

Jay

<<<I despise myself for being depressed.>>>

I really hate to hear you say this. It's like you're beating yourself up for beating yourself up. Please stop. You don't have to be so perfect. It's okay that you are where you are in life. YES!

Steve

<<<There's something else I have to look at. It's that part of me that "worries" about the things Asha DOESN'T see in herself. >>>

First, I let this push my buttons a bit (the old feeling that Steve's focusing on me and my faults instead of his own he was.) but I really would like to understand this while you aren't being defensive. What are these things that worry you? What things do you see that you don't think I am seeing in myself? I am curious because I feel I know inside most of what I need to change, and would like to hear your concerns about me. Excellent. Done in the right spirit. Asha, you know best what is "wrong" with Steve; Steve knows best what is "wrong" with you. You've said this often, but I never get a clear picture. 

Hi everyone. How are you Becky? Nice to see you're back Astrid.

To everyone else, Theressa, Amy, B, Lynn, Dan, Anne and anyone I've missed - take care.

love Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box family,

Lynn here and doing well. Had a bit of a surprise though. I don't recall having heard the term, but I knew it when it hit. Residual anger. I got mad at Dan all over again and thank Trubble for the Cat Box, because I backed off and thought it out and then talked it over with Dan. Earlier it would have been a fight.

Steve, yes I like strong men. I don't mean chest beating Tarzan's. I think I just like my men to be a little stronger than me.

I don't think Dan left us, he's been working a lot lately. I haven't seen much of him lately. I guess I'm taking up all his quality time.

I am reading the posts and I am here still. Getting better all the time ^_^

I love you all and wish you all tons of hugs and prayers,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Hi all. especially all the new people.

Checking in to get myself back together a bit. Have just been feeling so upset and angry I went into a kind of giant tantrum mode. Not very happy with me now!

Yes I know I am hard on myself. I have plenty to be upset at. Just I hate the part of myself that loses control. Doesn't help anything.

I think it is the part of me that wasn't allowed to be when I was a kid.

I hate hw angry I am. I hate how angry you make me This is all one anger.

Divided we fall One common hatred Makes our unity.

Despising each other Seems an eternity We will not give in

I am screaming At your silence You are silent At my screaming

 

We are both hurting We are both hurt We are both unkind And yielding weapons

We are both victims We both abuse We will not give in For fear of love

Beautiful...

Somehow I have got to get out of the mindset I am in. Yes. I just lose it for no reason now. As if all the hurt is so near the surface. In some ways I wish I didn't have Christian theology so I really could indulge in some ongoing hatred. You could; you're choosing not to.  In the end God gets me every time! Right. The Universe just works that way. Just as well really. Just sometimes I think I suppress the awful side of my nature so much and it is just hypocritical to be nice. Just accept all that you are. It's OK. God still love you and so do we.

Or am I just honest about where at? I have no idea. I guess I just won't allow myself to make mistakes. And I feel in the way my marriage has gone and with my daughter I made huge mistakes. Join the club.

Don't know how my son ended up so o.k.

Or sometimes I wonder why he won't talk about divorce. How can someone not want that if they have given up on the marriage. Does he hope one day it will all be o.k? I can't see why go the the therapy else.

I am lost. At least my daughter rings me back to tell me not to ring her!

I wish that something would happen to bring my whole family to it's senses! Including me......love Jay The "something" you seek is inside you Jay. Bring yourself to your senses, like the stuff you find or not. All else will follow.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Hello all!

I had my third mammogram yesterday and probably won't hear from the doctor until Monday or Tuesday. Unlike the others, this one HURT! I'm still sore! Seems the spot they did last week was of no concern; it was there last year and determined not to be a problem. The person who did the x-ray this time told me that she really doesn't think there is anything to worry about, that this area just looked a bit different and he wanted it rechecked. She said that the way the tissues are compressed can alter things.

So, I guess I wait! I'm relieved, but also irritated that they couldn't get it right the second time--a break down in communication when they scheduled me caused confusion and the person who did it the second time didn't know what she was supposed to look for, so she guessed--wrong!

Asha, I understand what you mean when you say that you adapted to Steve over time, and that you (I'm paraphrasing) overlooked some things to make him all right. While I believe that adapting to one's partner is important, it's equally important to be reasonable about it. When you adapt to the extent that your individuality and integrity are compromised, you've gone too far. My husband has expected me to do this; to go along with things that I do not feel right about, that go against my grain. When I don't, he gets very angry; he sees me as being unsupportive.

I think that above all else, he doesn't want to feel "wrong" or "to blame." If I disagree, or do something differently, he interprets that as my saying that he is wrong. Steve, your reaction to Asha's statements sounds a little like that to me. Like you think she is blaming you for her actions. I think that the dynamic between you is to blame (same with me and my H. Our dysfunctions feed off of each other). I can probably identify with her position more than I can with yours, so I feel safe in saying that while Asha realizes that she made some wrong choices, she also understands that one slowly becomes accustomed to walking on an emotional tightrope when one is involved with an angry person. And sometimes, to stay emotionally intact, you go along, give in, keep your mouth shut, etc. Problem is, that's good only for the moment. While peace may be preserved for a time, inside you are in constant turmoil, and eventually you pay dearly for it. My therapist once described this turmoil as cognitive dissonance, that unsettled feeling in your mind when you are trying to reconcile what you know should be with what is. If you've ever heard music that features dissonance (notes that are slightly off) imagine that feeling in your mind! Bid Ugh!

I think this is where many of us are. I'm thinking of Jay in particular, and myself as well. I had a rather major depression in the 1980's and got through it. I swore I'd never get like that again, and I didn't. But guess what? I have the symptoms again: apathy, tearfulness, tired all the time, trouble sleeping. I cry almost every morning. Some days are fine, but more often they are not. I spent too many years hanging on to "I'm sorry" "I love you", "I want to work things out." and no action behind the words, nothing that lasted very long anyway. I put up a brave fight and a good front, but my mind and body are tired.

I wish we could all get together for a group hug! Let's see if I can remember everyone: ((((Lynn, Dan, Asha, Steve, Astrid, B, Jay, Anne, Suzy,Theressa, Sadheart))) If I forgot anyone, forgive me. Oh yes (((Dr. I and Trubble))). Hey, we're just background music, or dissonance, depending on your point of view.

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Steve here

Asha: "First, I let this push my buttons a bit (the old feeling that Steve's focusing on me and my faults instead of his own) but I really would like to understand this while you aren't being defensive. What are these things that worry you? What things do you see that you don't think I am seeing in myself? I am curious because I feel I know inside most of what I need to change, and would like to hear your concerns about me. You've said this often, but I never get a clear picture. "

I'm not focusing on your faults Asha. I'm just saying what I feel. I want to focus on MY faults. I cannot talk about my feelings about you until I am ok with ME. I don't want you to concern yourself with this at all. I just need to know what's right for me. Clear thinking Steve, and you are right. But, she's asking. It's OK to give your feedback.

Remember we talked about this? How we need to be able to express ourselves without worrying about what the other will think? I don't want to wear a filter any more than you do. I want to access my inner feelings and get to the root. 

Asha: "So true - and I hear him hearing the negative things (which aren't intended to be negative) and guilt myself over it. I am working on changing this. "

Yes, you are guilting yourself. I am not doing that to you. It's ok for me to hear negative things. I don't see them as being "intended" at all. You hear what you hear. I am ok with that. I'm glad you are working on it.

Asha: "Funny but, Steve said my post brought up bad feelings for him (about not being a good person)."

Yes, but I wasn't holding you responsible for my feelings. That is the mistake you seem to be making here. At a deeper, subtle level, you do Steve. This is the childish subconscious stuff we all harbor, until we get a handle on it. The stuff about mommy and daddy being rotten... Pay attention. Even though I know you were not consciously holding her responsible, I'm willing to wager that you were. At that level, you both expect way too much from each other without realizing you do it to each other. But, each of you senses it.

" In that same way, I kick in the feeling of being responsible for his feelings when I read his reply post. I think that's what Dr. Irene is saying when she says we infringe on each others boundaries without realizing it. I right away feel that I wasn't "looking after his feelings" by posting my own feelings. This is the thinking I need to change."

Yes, yes. I am not wanting you to be responsible for my feelings. No, you do not. You seem to be assuming I want that. I don't. Not at all. Correct. That is a pattern we develop and need to break free of completely. It's ok to be respectful of each others feelings, but we cannot be RESPONSIBLE for them. This can almost have the effect of invalidating them in a strange way. Yes. But you each need to get into the subtle, subconscious stuff in your own psyche to effect mastery over it.

Becky: You made some good observations in your last post. Thank you for that.

Jay: "Yes I know I am hard on myself. I have plenty to be upset at. Just I hate the part of myself that loses control. Doesn't help anything."

Don't hate it Jay. Face it and work on it. You are a good person. I know what you mean though. It's very frustrating when you know you lose control of yourself. But it was even worse when I DIDN'T know I was losing control. Now at least I can work on it. Isn't going inside wonderful? So very, very powerful! Elusive, yet evident once you begin to pay attention and stop judging the Self.

By the way, I found your short "poetry" at the beginning very moving, although sad. Maybe you should try more poetry? You are quite good at it, and it seems to really express your feelings. It may be helpful in healing. Yes...

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Steve here

B said: "Steve, so glad to see "the new improved" you! And you give great advice, too! How did you find the research by Haifa University, BTW? "

Ha. "Improved" sounds like the job is finished. Let's say "improving" instead. I found that research by typing the following into a search engine...

"Why do we hurt the one we love?"

Sometimes you get trash when you search a sentence, but once in awhile it actually proves fruitful.

Thanks for your words of encouragement B. Now go twirl around the house topless if you wish...oh my gosh, was I ever shocked when I read that. I must be really sheltered.

:)

Lynn - it's ok for a man to beat his chest and yoddle. As long as he doesn't beat anyone elses chest. :)))

{~._.~} _( Y )_ (:_~*~_:) (_)-(_)

 

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Sorry, that last weird thing was supposed to be a teddy, but I forgot that this form wraps things if you don't use a carriage return.

{~._.~}

_( Y )_

(:_~*~_:)

(_)-(_)  Hey, teddy's allowed to lie down!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000

S1

Jay,

I understand your frustration with yourself when you lose control. Speaking from my own experience, I feel that we act out in the face of abuse because we feel that we are in danger (same as the abuser, I guess --sorry--forgot the acronym), we are so hurt, and so tired of trying to reason with him that it seems that there is nothing else to do but strike back.

I'm getting much better at not doing that because I've made myself very very conscious of what I'm thinking and feeling. If i begin to get edgy or very mad, I'm more likely now to say to myself, "Becky, you are on the verge of striking out. That's what he wants you to do so you'll be the abusive one in his eyes. Stop, be quiet, walk away." In the past I was likely to either break into pieces and run away, or verbally or physically strike back (in the form of a grab or push). I learned the hard way that that last bit could endanger my life--he pushed me across a room by my throat once after i grabbed his arm. He is 6'3" around 240 lbs.

Striking out also endangers me emotionally. If I try to fight back I always, and I mean always, lose. He makes mincemeat out of me; his mouth should be registered as a lethal weapon.

As I said, I learned to understand myself better, why i did those things. I wanted to be heard, paid attention to, respected. When he lashed out or turned his back, I was overcome with panic: he HAD to hear me, otherwise I'd die!

I know better, now. Every time i succeed at detaching, I feel so great! I'm calmer, feel safer somehow. I also feel more in control of myself, something I was giving to HIM every time I lost it.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is not to get so down on yourself about this; at the same time, concentrate on learning alternative behaviors, learn to talk yourself "down" when you feel that you're about to lose control. remember that every time you do you are giving him YOUR power and more fuel to use against you. You unwittingly affirm his contention that you are the unstable one with all the problems. Not fair, but that's the way it is.

I hope this helps,

Becky

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000

S1

Hi jay here, I wish we all lived near so I could have you all round. The catbox has helped preserve what little sanity I have left. Anyway I really am having people round tonight to pray out all the nasties and get some good vibes in as husband and son are away for the weekend. Am determined the whole lot will happen anointing oil for the depression and all and hope some others will benefit as well. Just want all the violence and coldness to go and this is a good way as I also have to tidy up to make it fit for people and hospitable.

Becky thanks especially for your words. felt so much better after reading them..

Steve there is no revenge in this. I just want to see if God is bigger than all the mess. Getting the most spiritual lot I know to help. May seem crazy to some but who cares.

I once worked in a hospital where there was a girl who seemed to be haunted. In the end they did get her to see a priest I think.

W ho cares about the psychology of it all. I will try anything that will work. And it will be great just to have people round and feel relaxed!

Theressa, you asked where I live. I am reluctant to put this on the catbox as I would be too easily identified by people I don't want to know my business. I don't mind Dr I emailing my email address onto you if you like and she is willing. Sure. Email me and Theressa, send me your email and I'll be the messenger.

Just sometime I want to have a career around here again.

Have decided while unemployed I really am going to be a writer and do my courses. Also realised I can justify to myself working part time in a supermarket if it is to justify the courses and a writing career as it would not be forever.

Found as better off last year I have loads of Christmas stuff we didn't use so that is a good thing. Think tomorrow son and I will work on the tree and make things nice.

I am going to ask my friends to pray for all in the catbox too. We could lay hands on the computer!!! 

I am not turning into a religious nut. I have known these people a long time and they really don't pressure me. ( I went through the religious nut thing a long time ago and grew up!) 

love, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000

S1

Jay, I just read your latest post. This is Jean. I have been posting on the support board and had missed you there. I don't think you are crazy at all to have people pray for you and please! have them pray for the rest of us, too. Here I am a minister's wife and totally confused by my husband's behavior at times. Although I must say that thanks to this site, I am not as confused as I was when I found this site in August. I have been gradually learning to stand up for myself and my boundaries. It is a continuous battle.

I love my husband and I think deep down that he is a good person. It's just he is in a different reality. That is sad, but true. I was talking to his sister this morning (she doesn't understand him either! lol) and I told her it was just like when Glenda the good witch in the Wizard of Oz came down out of the sky in her little bubble. She stepped out and interacted and then got back in her bubble and took off. I used to say my husband lived in his own little world, but now I call it 'The Bubble'. Every now and then he comes out to interact, but most of the time, he is in the Bubble. My sister-in-law thought that was hilarious!

I did finally ask one of the older ministers in our church to pray for us as a couple. I didn't elaborate, but he said he could sense that something was wrong. I trust him to keep my confidence. There are very few people who have an inkling that my husband and I don't get along. It's not that we fight all the time. It's just like he is here, but he is not at the same time. We are civil (most of the time) but that's not what I envisioned marriage to be. It is sad that after all this time, we still seem like strangers at times. I try to talk to him, but I have come to the realization that I ask all the questions. He doesn't ask about me. It's not that he doesn't care at all, but if it's not affecting him at the time, then he doesn't feel the need to interact. I continue to remember all the women (and men) on the board in my thoughts and prayers. Please continue to remember me. - Jean

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000

S1

Asha, I know what you mean about the "cult-like" thing. The major difference as I see it is that the guys weren't intending to brainwash us, so to speak. Yes. There is no true malice there, I don't think that they intended to take advantage, but...(sorry, Lynn, more science fiction) I am reminded of a scene in the book Sharra's Exile, where the main character (who has to this point not had anything approximating a happy life) is wondering if his wife fell in love with him because being around someone else in pain was painful to HER, so she needed to make things better for him. I know that feeling all too well. L's not had a happy life by any stretch of the imagination, saw himself as a horrible person who had nothing to offer, and I got insanely caught up in wanting to prove him wrong.

I think that, at least if he gets his head together and gets off the drugs, he has a lot to offer someone. I just doubt that it will be me. I don't think I could retrain myself to accept all the little things I am not comfortable with. Nor should you Astrid. Drug use is not a "little thing." It goes hand in hand with escapist thinking and poor ability to cope with life. That's big. And Steve, it's not that the things you're doing are necessarily wrong per se, it's that they make the individual uncomfortable. Make sense? My usual example fits here -- I don't want to live on hamburgers, pizza and Kraft dinner for the rest of my life. Doesn't mean I think he's a bad person (though I wish he'd take care of his health better in general), but *I* can't exist happily on such a monotonous diet, I am NOT going to make two meals so he'll be happy, and I can't afford to eat out all the time (though I spent a lot of money taking him to dinner where we could both find things we like).

This probably sounds petty, childish and flat-out stupid on both our parts. But it is a real issue for me. I tried to get over it, to realize that not everyone was raised in a family that is into weird ethnic dishes of various sorts and/or taught as a child that going to a nice restaurant and demanding "Gimme a hamburger!" is rude It is. ...but I can't live happily with such a narrow and restrictive choice of food (or entertainment, which was another issue with us). mindset. And I suppose I could just go out and fend for myself, and do with myself or with friends those things that he doesn't enjoy. But I want a *partner* that I can do things with. And after a while, the pleasure of his company (or the desire to stop making him feel bad, I don't know which anymore) outweighed my desire to do my own thing. So I stopped fencing, I stopped eating out anywhere but diners, I stopped going to plays, I neglected my online collaborative story, etc. I listened to the music he wanted to listen to, and was outright apologetic about introducing music of my own. We talked about what he wanted to talk about. It was just easier that way. I don't think he was intentionally trying to hurt me with any of this. I doubt it, though I don't even know a thing about hin.  But it just wasn't worth making him uncomfortable, or making myself uncomfortable by dragging a sullen and unwilling companion with me to someplace he didn't want to be, doing something he didn't want to be doing. It was his choice to be sullen Astrid. That was a dumb move on his part. His loss. That's why I changed your wording above to read "restrictive mindset." 

Of course, part of me didn't like this, and as a result there were points especially early on when it would be fair to say that I was definitely the primary abuser -- sarcastic and belittling, a younger copy of Dad on one of his rampages, picking fights over very trivial things, coming up with new and different ways to say "you idiot, don't you know ANYthing?" every time. I was embarrassed by him in some ways, and disgusted with myself for being embarrassed. When you find yourself behaving in a way that you don't like yourself, the message is, get out of that context. You are forcing things otherwise and not letting nature take it's course. (He may have decided you were worth opening his mind for, for example.)

This was wrong of me. I didn't like myself that way, I didn't like the way it made him feel, and when he started fighting back things got really ugly. Neither of us treated the other the way we should have, but it was in different ways. I blew up at him more often, but when he lost his temper he really lost it.

One of the things that happened while I wasn't posting here was that I hit a parked car. I remembered L doing the same thing and, even knowing nobody had seen him, he left a note. Somehow that's one of my fondest memories of him. Yes. That is evidence of really, really good internal stuff. I left a note, but I guess the other person didn't want to bother over a miniscule dent in the bumper. I still did the right thing. Both of us are capable of being good people and doing the right thing. The dynamic we had with each other just wasn't good. Astrid, the dynamic between you cannot be OK if either one of you is not doing everything in your power to care for the Self. Had you been Self caring, you would have left him. Had he cared enough for you and been smart enough to get out of his own way, he would have taken your walking out as a wake up call and gotten on the recovery bandwagon himself. 

Feedback on the whole "strong man" thing -- there are different kinds of strength. Physical strength isn't a big deal to me, and I've even dated men who are considerably shorter than me. :) Strong intellect is another matter though -- for me it's an absolute requirement in a partner.

My chosen brother is a nurse (stereotypically female profession if ever there was one!) and a Quaker (hence, a pacifist). He isn't interested in team sports, though he used to be a cross-country runner in school. Yet, he is one of the strongest people I know. It takes real strength and courage, to a degree that I certainly do not have, to work day after day in an intensive care unit, trying to save lives, knowing that well over half of the people who come into your unit will not leave alive, and that many of those who leave alive will be irreparably damaged -- yet to keep on in the hopes of saving lives, or at least easing pain. I admire him so much for that. And his engineer girlfriend certainly does not feel that he is less than a real man! :)

I think there is a problem with our culture associating strength with violence. Good point. How else could L come to me proud that he had "defended" me by hitting his younger sister when she made derogatory comments about my weight? (Never mind that his sister is nearly a foot shorter and probably a good 100 pounds lighter than he is!) I need no such defense from harsh words, yet all too many men seem eager to provide it, though perhaps not in such a case as that. If I should need defense from someone's actions, if someone should choose to "bash" me physically for my religion, my (perceived or actual) sexual orientation, or the company I keep, or just for being a woman who dares to walk alone at night...to a point, I can defend myself, though I would appreciate whatever help I could get!

I don't connect being emotional with being weak at all. Men are programmed to do that. Humanity, regardless of gender, laughs and cries and dances -- it's part of what makes us human. And I can't remember where but I know there's some stuff on the net about "why nice guys finish last" that says it's generally because the "nice guys" aren't that nice. They're either spineless or extra-good at manipulating people (step right up and get your covert abuse here! *sigh*). Many a self-proclaimed "nice guy" (L was one such but by no means the only one) has hurt me. I don't go for the bad-boy sorts, most of the time I find them boring and rude. I have been known, a time or two, to set my heart on an unrepentant ladies' man, and part of my attraction to L was the knowledge that since he thought he was lucky to have *me* he wouldn't be trying to juggle five other women like some other guys I knew and had been involved with. Not to mention, how he approached me was just wonderful -- gently took my hand, smiled at me, and asked "Do you mind if I flirt with you?" When someone is that much of a gentleman, how could I mind? *smiles sadly* I just wish he had been like *that* more often. 

My cousin, the one with the kids, seems to go for the bad-news sorts though. She wants to be taken care of, especially financially, and has no patience for men she sees as weak (though she'll string them along). It rather disgusts me. Your cousin is very, very angry at men. She is using them. They are not human to her; men are objects. Very sad.

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000

S1

Don't know what happened to the last two posts! But if this now makes any sense had a great evening with some great friends and they did pray and every doorpost anointed with oil and opened the window to let the bad out and prayed good vibes into the house and anointed me and now for the first time in ages the house feels warm and cozy. Great therapy. Love Jay :)

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