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

Ask The Doc Board

The CatBox Archives

 

(Archives)

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Catbox 14

Comments for Catbox 14

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 13

Back Next

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 03, 2000

S1

I have a feeling the posts are going through really slowly.

Dear Jean, if only the church would stop teaching about marriage and start teaching about communication and codependency! Maybe as a minister's wife you can do something there! I think a lot of marriages would be a lot stronger. I haven't posted much on the message board lately. Mainly I feel the catbox is more objective. I made a pact with myself a long time ago that I frequently break not to be a sympathy seeker. In the catbox you get me as I find myself!

I love the fact that we can say what we think without couching it in "niceness."

Lynn I especially like your posts as they are so down to earth. Makes me feel I can say anything!

I must admit, Theressa, it takes me half a day to read your posts as I usually get cross and then think you are right!

Steve, I do write a lot of poetry and stories. I used when young to be a kind of self styled poet. There is a poets group where I live so I am going to go to it the next time it happens. I have a couple of friends who write and so I will ask if we can go together. I really miss my daughter's poems and songs.

Astrid, I think the strongest men I know are also the gentlest. It took me a long time to want to see strength in the form of strong emotion though. I think it was wrong of your brother to hit anyone, but I would love to see some anger from my husband when someone hurts me. At them and not at me.

What is a 'chosen' brother.

I am totally lost on what to do about my family. Email from my dad that seems to suggest everyone forgets all the hurts. Can't he just say sorry for how he was. Emails from my sister. One demanding I make things up with my mum or she will cancel her trip. One saying she won't be able to visit as she won't have a hire car and demanding I ring. I know this sounds awful but I just want to go into a shell and protect myself. I feel literally bombarded by my family's judgmentalism and brashness. I can't bear the way they are about my daughter. They just seem to want to tell me how bad it is.

Long for the days when my husband was protective about me in front of the family. I just feel like everything would end up in a verbal bloodbath at present and I don't have the emotional energy to cope with that at all. Part of it is I feel so hypersensitive.

No word from husband and son. I am enjoying peace.

Becky. Thanks for all your help. Are you o.k yourself. I felt like you really understood what happens.

Sadheart keep strong and positively affirming.

It isn't I am not trying to face the negative bits of me. I rather need to find and trust in the good parts again. Having been so afraid to feel pain it now feels as if I am feeling all the pain I should have felt and have somehow to learn to handle it and myself with it.

 

 

Give me the dreaming lies

And find the man in my dreaming.

Let me dream my reality

For I dream of you and cannot leave

For fear you will change into the dream

For fear you might become the dream

For fear I will lose the dream

For fear I will lose the light

Of a distant memory of you.

Dear Suzy, I really feel for you. I understand about not wanting to leave without the children. Also about the way somehow we say one thing but desperately hope for another. I wish I had the answers. I suppose for me I forget he may feel rejected too. I think it is probably that if we say that we are going they know how to hit back.

I guess all the answers are somewhere on this site.

Meanwhile, on a lighter note it is getting dark so I am lighting candles and thinking of and saying a prayer for you all. Tomorrow may be brighter, you never know!

Love, Jay

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 03, 2000

S1

Asha here. Hello all.

Lynn, you sound like you're doing really well these days. You said: <<I think I just like my men to be a little stronger than me.>>

Stronger in what way? Physically?

As Astrid said, physical strength never has been a big deal to me. Strength to me comes with a certain sense of self-harmony. Intellect is important to me too, but not in the sense of IQ; in the sense of being able to ponder, question and look deeper into ourselves and those around us.

Astrid said: <<<I think there is a problem with our culture associating strength with violence.>>>

I agree. It probably starts at elementary school, when children learn to protect themselves against their 'weaknesses' - the ones that other children point out and ridicule (often not even real). I am thankful that I was one of the 'outcast' less popular children. I was very lucky to have a mom that told me that children did this because of their own insecurities. Because I was 'different' anyway, I didn't try to fit into their social norms, and tried to find my identity away from the crowd. (Though I still looked for peer role models - in movies, TV shows etc).

I think we are subconsciously drawn to the mate that will teach us whatever we need to learn. So if we need to learn about our own strength and independence (because we aren't strong and independent) maybe we are initially drawn to a situation where the other partner is more dominant. Because that doesn't make up for our lack of strength, we eventually have to face that no-one else's strength can replace ours. And then we create the sorts of situations we are in; which do challenge us to build our own strength. (Makes sense to me though it sounds a bit convoluted)

And Astrid, I agree - the "cult-like" thing was not intentional. It is a thing that happens over time as two people pass their dysfunctional habits back and forth and try to adapt to each other.

Astrid said: <<<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. >>>

I did a bit of this too, without Steve asking me to. Actually I remember saying to a friend, when I first met him, that I might be too artsy-fartsy for him. I like weird hats and funky clothes. I see myself as pretty liberal-minded. I felt he would have a problem with this and 'dressed down' a little, and tried to make our views "fit" in my own mind. This was my doing alone; nothing to do with Steve.

I have been thinking about why I have let others' feelings override my own. I think back to when I had roommates (I lived with several different roommates at various times), and my "strength" in those days was my ability to get along with just about anybody. In doing this, I often put aside my own desires for the "betterment" of the group. Life was just easier that way. There was always someone who was really particular about a certain thing, and I tended to allow them that pickiness and adapt to it. I don't think I sacrificed my principles, but I did "go along" with a lot. Still, I don't remember it as being negative (though I did have pretty good roommates most of the time). Even now, I still don't want to get so entrenched in my thinking so that I'm not open to newer and better ways of thinking, acting, doing. But I'm trying to be aware of warning signals that show me I've gone too far. Again, I think it has something to do with boundaries; knowing what they are and when I'm up against one. I don't want to be opinionated. I want to be open. But I need to know when the "open-ness" endangers my psyche. I'm kind of rambling but I hope you get my drift. Yes. You want to use your get along talent selectively, when it makes sense to you, rather than apply it indiscriminately across the board.

Becky - thank you for your insight. I think you have a pretty good "read" of my feelings. The "cognitive dissonance" is a good description I think. It's like if someone was telling you something was white but you knew it was black, yet it would be so much easier if it *was* white, and you *wish* you could see it as white. So your mind confuses the different feelings. Becky: How are you?

Must run now. Take care everyone.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000

S1

Wondering where everyone is and if they are not managing to get through either o like me didn't scroll down far enough? love Jay That happens when I mess up...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa,

<<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. >>

I think you are right. At least this being mad at myself made me do something I really needed to do: I made my own decision about booking a flight. I just booked. I will be leaving on the 24th and returning the 5th of the new year. I felt so much better after doing this. I really do not need him to get it right for me. I go, cause I want to go, and I told him we might do something together and he declined. OK, so I go.

Funny thing is, I think he is a bit worried about me making my own decision on this, but that's OK. Both of us need to know we can make our own decisions. In the end we will both feel more safe because of it. He called later, wanted to come over, I I felt so at ease, so strong, and I just said OK. He called in on a mutual friend to deliver some things from me, showing he had been with me, he called other friends, his mother, sister while I was there, telling them that I was there, that I would come over, and could they pick me up from the Airport. (OK, bit controlling, but that's OK with me). All the need for secrets seems to have gone, once I made this decision and stuck with it. He is feeling a bit down that he cannot come, said, I wish my papers were in order, we could have gone by car together. It's OK the way it is, I think, and all of a sudden I feel so much more at ease with me, and therefore with him.

I've been looking for a new cell phone and asked his advice, but I did make my own decision, and I like the feeling. So I guess you are right: the slipping back was needed to get me angry enough to take my own responsibility again and it feels great. So, I am not going to throw the towel in yet ! :-) Thanks.

Dear Asha,

Thanks to you too for your comments. I guess I still have a lot of problems with handling the ugly parts of boundary setting. Conflicts just scare the hell out of me. I mean, all I really want to do then is run and hide or do whatever necessary to stop the conflict. I always thought complying was the only way. I am learning to find other ways, like calming myself down and trying to talk. Not always right away, but later, when we have both calmed don and it seems to work. I I really want to learn this, so I am really trying to get myself to be honest, to know what I want and to say what I mean, without to much anger. Maybe I just secretly hoped it would be easier and quicker.... :-).

As for Steve and you, I can see both of you trying to be very careful in what you say to/about each other. You both seem to want to say the right things, but I still feel there is a lot of anger there. If I am right about that, don't repress it. Just don't take it out on each other, but feel it anyway. I really still get so mad at times, but thinking about it, feeling it, helps me to address the underlying problems. Don't get too nice.

Dear Steve,

See the above. I feel a lot of anger in your posts when you address Asha still. As for the bad boys thing, I think you are right. At least for me it goes. I always wanted men a bit wild. I think it has something to do with the *old brain* * new brain* concept David talks about in the Buddha section. We sometimes tend to see the bad boys behaviour as being strong and we want strong men to take care of us. Or something like that. I also know that I always wanted C. to be more adventurous, to make my life interesting I think. Maybe what we think we want is men who are very strong and adventurous, but will stick with us, because we are the only ones they really love. Very romantic and very wrong I guess. But I think that's how it works when you are young.

Dear Astrid, glad to see you back again. How are things going with L.? Still trying to win you back? Don't feel guilty for not sticking by him. You have your own life to live and you know it. Don't go waiting for/on him endlessly. If he changes, he changes, and then you can decide. But it might take years, and he might not change enough or you might not want him anyhow. That is OK. Take care.

Dear Becky, I know these mammography's hurt sometimes, don't they. With all the tension associated it makes it even worse!! Hope to hear good news soon. For the rest, hang in there. If you feel you need to go someplace alone, go. If you are tired you cant do any work on you anyway. You need to relax, reload. Having all this anger and fear around really drains your energy. You might try to find some Reiki fractioned to help you with that, and try to shield off the negative energy by not letting things get at you as much as you can. Take time for you, go for walks outside, do nice things for yourself, love yourself. We're all with you. Lots of hugs and energy coming your way.

Dear Jay,

I am happy to hear the house feels better. You need your house to feel like home, especially when you are no feeling well. For the rest: so you made mistakes, so you get angry: who doesn't. Try to do better next time. And by taking care of you, you maximize the changes that you will handle the situation better next time. Do things to build your inner strength. I think writing and going to classes is a great idea. You have to work on thing that you are good at. If you are constantly working on the thinks you do not do very well, you can easily end up feeling you are no good. You forget the things you are good at!!! Lots of hugs to you too, take care.

Love to all the rest of you. And Trubble, I think it is time to come out from under the bed and start to work on your problems with you Mummies and Daddies. They all love you, and your anger and hurt is for you to sort out. Staying under the bed, definitely won't get you Salmon and Trout either.... OK OK, I get the picture. But, I insist you guys respect my right to sulk. So there. And thanks for validating my plural mommies and daddies. You got lots too? You got favorites? Any Fake ones?

Love , AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Lynn here and is this a test or what? Steve of the Teddy Bear, Dan, Amy, Jean, Jay of the Circus, Becky, Anne, Suzy, B, Theressa, Sadheart, Asha, Astrid, AJ, Dr. I and Trubble. David, too, if you ever pop in. If I missed anyone, Sorry. Not intentional.

First to Steve. Love the bear. Great!! Bear Hugs now, huh?

Asha, Cut, copy and Paste on webtv is "cmd" A, C and V, not control. Sheesh. It's a breeze to play with. Scared to try and put any here just yet.

Loved the bit about beating others chests, too. hehehe Really, I think I like for a man to be strong enough to take care of me when I'm down. Not come in for the attack just because I'm not up to snuff. I can be strong 99% of the time if Have to, That one percent of the time I like to be "taken care of." OK so the percentages change from time to time, but I need a man who is secure enough to be strong for me (with me) when I am unable to be. Best way I can think of putting it.

Had a cat poop week and then worked myself into the granddaddy of migraine's. Light flashing and toilet hugging. Self inflicted I might add. Ouchhh! It must be all my fault. I'm sorry for calling you FakeMommy...

Vent, witch and boo hoo, meow meow. Now I can get it off "my chest." I had a wretched week after my dad and Dan's driving. I waited till Friday when he didn't have to work the next day and said, "Dan I have to talk to you. I'm probably being PMSey witchy and cranky, but I just have to talk it out." He said, "Okay."

And that was the last thing he said. Long story, but the gist of it was/is I finally asked tonight if he were ever going to talk to me about this? Here's where I hate it when therapy is used against me. At least the lingo. He told me he didn't say anything because he didn't want to deny me my feelings and since he didn't agree with all I said he felt it would be denying me my feelings by saying anything. I mean nothing after OK. UGH! Two things: When Dan doesn't want to talk, it's OK to make an appointment to talk at a later time. Also, you guys need to agree to disagree. I guess it's hard to tell the difference when he's being passive aggressive and when he really has reasons for not talking. Lynn, do yourself a favor and stop putting so much import on getting him to yak. 

I felt ignored, what I said was of no importance and then just got down to the basics. I did it to myself again. Had the last word if that makes anyone feel better. He tried to kiss me goodnight and I said that would be denying me my feelings, too, as I don't feel I want to kiss anyone I can't talk to. Ooopps! You are mad! 

Same ole, same ole. That's Spanish I guess. Disengaged, disenchanted, disturbed, distraught and dis ain't fun for me anymore. So knock it off. You ain't gonna get what ain't being offered. You can either accept it and make your life easier, or get yourself all worked up on how awful that is. You're also more likely to get if you let him not give. Make sense?  

Down? No, it's 6:12 AM right now and I haven't been to bed yet. Not the least bit tired. I just don't feel like sharing a room with him, let alone a bed. Then I can sleep all day and not have to play anymore games.

So there is my strong man theory and yes, I would have liked him to say, "I don't agree with you, but I'll hear you out." or some such. But nothing has to be worse than being hit. I feel like I am so insignificant that I'm not worthy of a comment. 

hehehe, re past post way long ago. Moral dilemma. I saved my integrity, but I missed my chance. At least in my heart I know I did the right thing, but it was sure great having a live body to talk to. You guys are all great, too, but when I need a hug I need a hug. Hug, hug

Okay, enough boo who. Not me anymore Another hehehe. Brings to mind Nancy Sinatra and "These boots are made for Walking. Best go put on my Calamity Jane boots and GOWML. Which doesn't mean another man. It means do my genealogy, make some ornaments, trim the tree and the house and hug the cats and dogs. Dan's brother has a term I love. When the good guy gets the bad guy in the movies he says, "Take that, you fool!"

I think I may have to use that as my motto. I'd rather hear you say something like, "So be it." And let it go. I know you want to be heard, but stop fighting him. You will not win and he'll just dig his heels in more. Pick your battles.

Love to you all and I even feel like signing Love,

Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000

S1

The verbal abuse I suffer is intermittent but damaging all the same. Most of the time he is as nice as nine pence but if he is not getting his own way, he twists things I say, tries his amateur psychoanalysis on me which confuses and upsets me (something about my relationship with my parents for example). The worst times were Saturdays when he just wanted left alone. But I needed to take care of business and that meant I needed him to drive. It might have been an hour or two out of the day but boy did he make me pay. Sometimes I wanted to jump out of the moving vehicle! Now I'm feeling a lot better, I've come out of a very dark place and he's not happy. He threatened to leave if I bought my own car (we both earn - I earn much more). This would mean he couldn't afford to make the payments on the car. I said he could sell it and get a cheaper model but he said he has waited for a decent car and now he has one he's not going to give it up. I have back problems and need the car to have a life - he always refused to take me anywhere - even if he was going to the same area - he would pass me at the bus stop!

The things is, the council house is in both our names. I've done all the work to it. He has his own flat in a nearby village - still near his office. I want to keep the house Vie put all the effort into in fact he would never have been allowed a house of this size without me and my daughter.

I need practical advice on making it look like his idea for him to go back where he came from. Any ideas?

 B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000

S1

Hello all, Suzy here... I haven't had a lot of time to read the posts...but I have a question and need advice? ....If my husband is willing to go to personal counseling for anger management and join a support group for men who emotionally abuse,,,is it worth it to continue trying to work on the relationship??? Any and all advice and comments welcome. I believe he is sincere, however, a tiny part of me wonders if this is a last stitch ploy to keep me and not end the marriage. What do you think? Have a GREAT day, Love, Suzy

PS...Jay is right, there is a internet monster eatting all the posts, I sent one this morning and it's no where to be found...SCARY!!!!!hehe

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000

S1

Suzy, Sadheart here...

My husband did all these things when we separated the last time. Of course he was kicked out of the men's group because he showed up drunk 2 times and then organized a "boy's night out" after a meeting and got everyone drunk! <OMG! LOL>

He was nice to me for about 3 months after we reconciled, in May 99. By Xmas 99 all I wanted for Xmas was marriage counseling. (He got me a very expensive carousel instead, which I promptly burst into tears after opening.)

I guess my point is, trust actions, not words. If he can continue to use the things he learns for a long period of time, then by all means work at it!

------

Have a rough weekend coming up. Husband's Xmas party is Saturday. I am not going. I have to be at work at 4:30am Sunday. The thing is I think he will get drunk Sat. If so, I am going to take my son with me to work. I WILL NOT leave him there with a drunk dad. When my son was 3 and younger, I used to come home from work at 10:00pm and find all the lights in the house off and my 3 yr old wandering around the house. Dad would be passed out. NO MORE!

I am prepared to call the police if he will not let me leave with my son. I am planning to have his sleeping bag in the car, and I will be sleeping with the phone. Who knows, he may not come home at all. He stopped drinking in order to reconcile with me, but has not gone to AA...so he is a dry-drunk. <sigh>

If it comes down to this, I guess I will have to stand strong (something I am not always good at) and tell him he needs to leave NOW, not after XMAS. This is one boundary I am not willing to waffle on. Drinking did too much damage to our family. And he scares me even more when he is drunk!

I have been practicing my strength in my mind. Hopefully this weekend will come and go without an explosion...but I am usually very good at predicting.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000

S1

Good grief! He keeps the custard locked in his study! I am starting to count the number of days my son and he have had banana custard. Well over 2 months I reckon. He makes me yogurt instead as I hate custard. Is this a new form of torture?!!!!!!!!

Have to stop as son needs the computer. Son says I am dopey and husband is grumpy.............

A ctually. venting a bit. I don't see why he had to refuse 'to get involved' when I asked him to read a short play I wrote about a space ship my son said was no good! Or to get involved in friendly competition about writing a story called Bob the Frog! Son wanted him to judge.......

Think Sadheart. putting it in perspective I will smile at my own situation and send thoughts and prayers for yours. At least I don't have a drunken husband. He refuses to have more than a glass.......Looks down on me if I do.

Keep strong Suzy. I think you are doing the right thing.

Will drop back later. Love Jay

 

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

Hi Jay,

It is fine that you get angry at first. I DO MYSELF WHEN my therapist or someone else says something that is sensitive to me. This is what Dr Irene is talking about when we get defensive. We defend ourselves. ONCE we are able to accept that YES xxxxx is a correction interpretation of present self and we have no need to justify or defend where we are at. We can choose to change where we are at, when we feel ready.

First comes awareness and then comes acceptance. Then when we have accepted we can choose our action. We can choose to say OKAY so, so and so isn't healthy or good for me so I can choose to ACT and change things and improve. OR Okay so I do or am in so and so but I don't mind being here.

Its about learning to accept where we are at, at any given moment and knowing we can improve when we feel ready. WE can make one step at time changes. It might start with being able to set boundaries for ourselves, then we might start finding out and examining our deep beliefs and values, and asking are they serving me?

You see I used to value staying in a relationship no matter what because it was good for my daughter OR so I thought. THEN I saw the effects me staying was having on her, this made me challenge my value and I realized it didn't serve me anymore. MY value is now protect my daughter because I am the only one who can, so if something is not working then its not okay - when she is afraid to make mistakes and is learning destructive patterns for her future, then I AM not justified in keeping her in a place where she is not growing into a healthy human being as GOD intended her to become.

JAY though we have to take one step at a time in growing. FIRST we must recognize what isn't working and accept it is not working and then decide what else to do. IT took me a while to accept that my value needed changing and I had to look for evidence in my daughter's life to prove my value wasn't working. I had to accept that the healthy child I wanted would never be unless I ACTED.

So this is why therapy is so important because it helps you build up these blocks, from recognising/accepting towards changing.

Also a good little book called ACTS of FAITH talks about all the paradoxes that DR IRENE speaks about.

Love Theressa

PS THANKS for your honesty, about being initially angry, this is healthy. THIS means you are not just accepting without question things you are told, this is what adults do. (this not meant to sound patronizing) but its true, some co-dependents never question what their abusers tell them

Thanks Theressa.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

And he can't eat mince pies with me and my son if we put up a tree as he er......... "doesn't believe in them." He he. ???So what will he see? Just getting flippant after all the serious stuff. Hope all in the catbox are o.k. love Jay.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

The trees not the mince pies!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

Good Morning All, ...Suzy here... Well, so much for the idea of reconciliation. When my husband didn't get exactly what he wanted, or things didn't go the way he had planned in the past few days...boy, or boy, was there hell to pay. (He is living in our basement until the divorce is final.) This morning I was rudely awakened to him kicking the bed I was sleeping in loudly saying..."GET UP, WAKE UP, a good mother gets up and gets her children up and makes breakfast for them.!!" (Oh, I forgot to mention this was 5:10 AM.) He went on and on for 20 min. on how he was going to get a lawyer and crucify me because I was doing the same to him. He PROFESSES to LOVE me, what a way to show it. Last night we had a LOUD incident in which he went ballistic yelling, hollering, slamming doors very violently etc. I couldn't help it, he looked like a 2 year old with a bad tantrum and I burst into a smile and said.. "Do you know how ridiculous you look?" Of course, that probably was not the smartest thing to do. It only made things worse.

For you people out there...does it have to be this way during a divorce.? Does it always have to be mean and ugly.? Really what started it all is my H. found out he might have to pay alimony, we have been together shy of 19 years and 5 kids to pay child support, he will be financially ruined. This is the worst for my H. because money and the CONTROL of it has been VERY important to him , his world is going to fall apart and for the next 9 years this is what is going to happen. This is PURE DEVASTATION for him. He has never been physically violent, should I be afraid of that now?

I cannot live this way any more, I want peace, I want to feel the Lord's spirit in my home, I cannot with all this horrible ANGER. I finally came to peace about the divorce and now am filing. He, has been telling me it is over for 5 years now. Now when I finally accepted it and he says, "I NEVER thought you would go through with it, I cannot believe it!!!" I guess he believes it now. I HATE this, it did not have to be this way, all I wanted was respect and love and to be cherished. I can see now I never had that, I only had the hope and dream of it and over and over, these dreams were shattered.

I guess I'm at the "hate all men stage", I cannot even bear to think there is another nice man out there, because if your own husband treated you this way, why couldn't it happen again? It is like he was a soft wooly lamb who threw off his coat to reveled his true wolf self, with all the sharp teeth showing. I know logically, this is not true and there is a lot of kind men out there. I know I need to take care of my self and heal so I won't repeat the pattern again. I hope it is not too late for my children, ages 9-17. My one and only boy is full of anger too, and has been violent, he hates me and wants to go with dad. Should I let him go and not fight for him? Frankly, I am afraid of him and don't know if I can handle him, he is 15, he is a big boy and I am a tiny 4'10" lady. I fear if I don't fight, my son will think I don't care about him, and maybe he'll have a chance to heal and deal with this anger. Or, should I let him go with dad and see the man that he is, and the mere fact he wouldn't be with his sisters will beg to come back, the children are close. ???

I need some good advice from those who have been there. Should I ask for all my lawyer says I'm entitled to? Should I fight for all my kids? Should I get the alimony? (I know these are dumb questions.) I know if I do these things, I am in the biggest fight of my life and now, I just want it over and him to be gone. Please help...THANK YOU. Have a wonderful nice day. Love, Suzy

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

Dear poster (NO NAME GIVEN)

NOT damaging are you kidding, ABUSE is about CONTROL it doesn't have to mean he is calling you names or hitting you - HE IS CONTROLLING YOU SO ITS ABUSE.

Whenever he tries to twist things say "THAT is your opinion, I am not arguing with you about what I said" (THEN don't argue, he is trying to engage you - AND oh boy do I sometimes also fall for this, we all do)

IF you can drive then WHY do you ask him to drive you around?

I imagine how you feel because 12 months ago when we used to share our car this happened to US, me and my X. I was so stuck and people would say WHY do you let him drive? Well where do I start 1) He moans and goes on and on when I am driving - about my driving, 2) He starts a lecture and then I can't concentrate whilst driving 3) He is a truck driver so knows best how I should drive. 4) SO it ends up easier if he drives (when we are both in the car together) THOUGH this opened me up to ABUSIVE behaviour. Because One of many days I spoke up for myself and he was taking me to work so he could take the car for the day whilst he was on holiday from work, he said "RIGHT, I am not driving until you apologies." [What me apologies? for what I thought, for just not doing a task his way, when my way worked, GET STUFFED) I said "I have no need to apologies". HE SAID "YA have if you want to get to work." Okay I could have got a taxi/cab but where we lived was a long way from my mom's house who minds my child and then to get to work - it would cost me more than I would be paid for the days work. SO WHAT COULD I DO?????

Well I was so angry and so frustrated. I said "THIS is our car, so therefore I have a right to use it to get to work." He said "BIG DEAL, I am not going Fucking no where until you apologies".

What happened I APOLOGIZED, why? because I needed to keep my job and I would be late, he would win anyway.

THERE were many more of these occasions, which why I eventually LEFT because I wasn't gonna apologies for being MYSELF any longer. [VENT OVER]

SO you see I know how you may be feeling - STUCK, am I right?

SOLUTION to this problem: Well unless the other is open to compromising so that you both share the car and he will keep quiet when you drive, there isn't one.

THOUGH I did find one solution and it worked. MY X and I went to my mom's for drinks last Christmas and he wanted to have a drink, BUT I had told him since the last time he yelled at me, I would never ever drive again with him in the car. SO he said "Theressa will you drive honey." I said "ABSOLUTELY NOT".

He had to drive home. THOUGH do you know the next time we went out he made me a solemn promise that when I drove home he'd shut up. and not comment. I drove home and he kept quiet and it was fine. THOUGH since then he has yelled, the last time I told him to get out of my car if he didn't like my driving, (I now have my own car!!!) he hasn't been in my car since.

SO I'd say to your partner, there are two options to this problem. 1) Either you share the car appropriately with me OR 2) I get my own car, regardless of whether you can keep yours or not, which by the way is ours.

THEN YOU MUST STICK TO THIS, because you have nothing to feel guilty about, you gave him the choice. If he won't share its not your problem.

YOU HAVE TO LEARN NOT TO LET GUILT OR FEAR RUN YOUR LIFE. YOU see here in this situation you have the MOST power, you can ask him to share or you can get your own car if he refuses, though you've respectfully given him the CHOICE to make.

THIS way you don't have to pay because you don't buy into his GUILT, You see when he acts all hurt by you saying you'll get your own car he is manipulating you. When you buy manipulation the price is HIGH. SO don't buy the manipulation. TELL him how it is as above and let him choose. THIS WAY YOU DON'T GET INTO A FIGHT.

(BY THE WAY I didn't know this back when I had my car problems. BUT I AM GLAD I have it now, so there are now few manipulations he my X can pull on me NOW)

LISTEN to me when I say I understand about the house. I gave up a luxurious house, car and life FOR PEACE. Peace is more valuable than any of the material things in the WORLD that I can promise you I was afraid to face this but I HAVE NOW.

Now what to do about this?? Go to see your housing officer. Tell them you are being emotionally abused. (I DID!!!) and they rehoused me. (THAT is if you really want PEACE) because unless he gets help, he won't change that is a promise I can say with all my heart. IT took me a while to get there but now I know PEACE is very valuable. ALSO a counselor in abuse will help you to figure this all out.

SO let me ask you, you've put allot of effort into the house. HURTS TO LEAVE IT!!! Well look at this way (I have been in the same place as you are now so I don't say this to hurt you just to help you) WELL How MUCH do you think its gonna hurt when you look back on your life in another 20 years and see it so STUCK, so wasted??? Was the house really worth all the pain?? could you answer this question with IT WAS WORTH IT??? If not then its not worth it.

YOU See there is also another option, you have a child YES, RIGHT well if he is being emotionally abusive, TAPE him if you can, and then you can have him moved out of the house under the mental cruelty act. SOUNDS harsh but it may come to this later on, so its best to know where you stand on everything. I was horrified when my therapist suggested I check out my options in case I ever had to leave. BUT I AM GLAD I DID.

YOU can't make him do anything, though you can say what you will do. E.g. You will buy your own car etc as I said above, give him choices, then it breaks the power struggle. BUT stick to what you said you'd do if he was awkward and that is in this case buy your own car.

IT IS CONFUSING ONLY IF YOU DON'T LOOK AT WHAT YOU CAN DO AND DROP THE GUILT FOR LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF THIS IS THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN SURVIVE IS LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF AND NOT BUYING UNNECESSARY GUILT.

YOU GET THE RESPECT YOU SEEK.

Love Theressa

YOU HAVE TO TREAT YOURSELF RIGHT BEFORE THINGS CHANGE.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

Hi EVERYONE,

Now I have some advice, support I seek:

I have a problem and need some help finding some solutions.

I like to do WebPages and manage a site for work. Anyway I've worked hard learning all about them. A colleague asked me about editing, NOW there is some history linked to all of this. Before I took on my current job, the lady who did it previously was on the sick so her duties were distributed temporarily to other staff members. The ideas was when someone new was appointed (In this case me) the duties would be returned to the new worker. (In this case me ) though when I started working one of my duties under my job description wasn't returned - why? because the girl doing it asked her boss who was the head of the department could she keep it and he said YES. He told me it was the way it was and that was that.

Anyway back to the webpages etc (now you know the history) I had attended a couple of web courses, and some time later a full course on line was brought out by our employers, so I wanted to go on it for the initial day so I could collect the stuff to do it. Though it seemed so did my colleague want to go on the course. She went and collected the stuff but then decided not to use it to do the online course. (THIS MAKES ME SO ANGRY, how selfish) Anyway 6 months later she went on 4 webpage courses about designing web pages. I was told I'd been on enough (ME been on two her been on FOUR - does it figure.)

Anyway on Friday she e-mailed me asking me if I could show her how to edit pages. (YES me who has only been on TWO courses, and learnt herself in her own free time the rest of the stuff concerning editing) Well you might have guessed by now that I was angry, that she asked ME to help her to edit pages.

Why should I be angry? because today I found out she wanted me to teach her my stuff so she could go and manage the departmental pages, new job she said she'd do!!!! BUT in order to do it she needs my knowledge. IF she is shown how to edit then she'll get the new task and praise and a future promotion. SO WHY SHOULD I HELP HER????? To get strides over me. WHEN INDEED!!!

SO I am livid, mad, GOOD NESS I AM ANGRY.

NOW: What do I require from my lovely family here, apart from someone to listen to me. I REQUIRE someone to tell me if I am SELFISH or SELFLESS (as in thy self protection)??

Am I wrong to want to not tell her my knowledge? Am I looking after myself? OR BEING childish?

You see it gets me so mad when its not what you know but who you know that helps you climb!! BUT the cheek of it is the one climbing thinks she or he can get knowledge off the likes of me, so in actual fact whilst she climbs and takes all my knowledge I stay right where I am at the bottom.

HOPE SOME CAN HELP, this anger is eating me up.

Love Theressa  I think you are having trouble taking/ asking for what you want in the workplace Theressa. You are mad at her because she knows how to take what she wants. Tip: Watch how she operates and learn from her. Then, you won't feel so left out in the cold.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa

I think I can offer some input to your work dilemma. I went through a similar thing. I had applied to be co-ordinator of a department. The manager of this department, "Bob" was the one making the hiring decisions (and also an emotional abuser IMO), the head of the company, "John" (who we both answered to) had told Bob that he felt I could do the job and was confident in my abilities, but left the hiring discretion to him.

I had been doing the co-ordinator job after the former co-ordinator had left, so I definitely had the skills because I was in fact *doing* the job. Anyways, Bob didn't hire me for the position (mostly I think because I was female, and my having any authority was threatening to him - just my speculation, but I believe it to be true).

After I was told that the position would be given to someone else (a man, with less experience), Bob temporarily filled the position, and I went back to my old position. Bob had never been trained in the position himself and I was the one who had the most knowledge and training in the area. Bob then began to try to "redefine" the position, so that I would continue undertaking the more difficult tasks and he would do the easy ones. Before letting my resentment build, I immediately went to John (head of the company) and told him of the situation. I told him that I had no problem with Bob hiring someone else, but that my fear was that I would end up doing the job anyway, while someone else got paid for it. I told him that I wouldn't do that. John understood, was supportive, and was very clear on my boundaries about this. He spoke with Bob. After that, I continued my simpler job, while Bob flailed around trying to train himself without any former knowledge of the task. He often expressed frustration, but I offered no help, nor was I in any way negative towards him in his undertakings. I just let it be his problem and went along my merry way. I ended up feeling okay about the whole thing because I had very clear boundaries. The good thing about how the situation turned out is that I had less pressure and responsibility, (and eventually got a way better job at a different company anyway).

So Theressa, in your case, I would do something similar - express to your boss what you feel is going on, and explain that you don't want to be responsible for someone else's training for a job that you wanted to have. If your boss clearly understands the circumstances *before* any uncomfortable situations arise, it's easier on you. Also you can explain to your co-worker why you feel uncomfortable about training her. Keep your cool in explaining this to her - practicing this in advance would help. If you keep the focus on the situation and not on your resentment about her new job, you'll be able to deal with this constructively. Also, if both of them are more aware of your desire to do web-pages, maybe you will be considered more seriously when something else comes up. Maybe you'll even be able to work out an arrangement so that the web-page work can be combined between the two of you.

Good luck!

I haven't gone through all the posts and I have to run.

love Asha

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa My thoughts echo Asha's on your work problem.

Dear Suzy. I don't think I have got to leaving yet. But I can really identify with wanting to feel the Lord's spirit in your home. Mine has really felt like home again since it had a kind of prayer spring clean on Saturday. I think that you will have to be very careful with your son. I have a violent daughter so this is an area I can comment on. In the end, you have to protect the other children from the violence.

I am learning with my daughter who rang at least 4 times today to announce that she has decided she is not going to forgive me until she is 18. (I have yet to understand how she wants to forgive me for her violence that the ties are strong even if they "side" with the husband. I have just realized ALL the this number cannot be given out are from her.......I assumed they were the domestic violence unit.

What I am trying to say is if he is violent, let him know you love him and tell him you will have him back but let him make his own choice. I lived in fear of my daughter for a while. My husband never intervened and on one day, I ended up in casualty. She still thinks my husband is wonderful, but I am noticing that she does want contact even if it is only to tell me she doesn't. Now she lives alone and I am sure eventually the crisis to bring her back will happen. (She is only 16). I have a friend who had 4 leave home and they all came back. All live really near now and she is always telling me this is a phase and that they grow through it. Her daughter says the same. love Jay.

Dear Theressa I get the feeling you want me to leave now. Actually. I have legal aid now and there is a chance that things might change. After all the trouble with my daughter I don't want to rush my son. He has to be ready to leave too. He is a lot older than Missy and it has to be his choice. At present I am here as he doesn't want to leave. Also I have the house to myself for a lot of the day and there is a lot of space now to be apart. I need to take it slowly. Also I am not moving in a year I have been in a psychiatric hospital as I am sure that his solicitor would play this one up. He can't send me nuts any more as I have created an extra sitting room.

The reason the anger thing is so difficult is that my husband has for years made me feel it is Wrong to get angry> He is convinced he never does and the therapists think he is scared by having for the first time to feel emotion!

My son has a really good relationship with us both. We try to keep things from him and although he senses it he is one of those kids who copes very well. Actually I think he is sanest of the whole family. He has the offer of therapy whenever he wants it. The one thing I do try to do is not let hi m be over responsible.

There are a lot of things in the family history which have made life very complicated. Not al of what has happened is my husband or mix's fault. (Deaths, daughter abused, other grisly things.) If those things hadn't happened and changed things for us all then I would have left like a shot a long time ago.

If I really think it is time to leave I will. Don't worry. I really appreciate your concern. Thanks.

One really y helpful thing is our friends have seen the problem. A lot of us think my husband has been worse since the death of his best friend. Two years ago I would not have thought I was abused. Now more people are realizing they need to come round to support and not respect his space.

d ear Lynn I hope the migraine has gone away. I used to get them like that. The worst kind of bad head. My aunt got them for years and then she found she was allergic to vitamin C. I guess we are both in different time zones or we could write through the night. I don't ever sleep well.

A J I hope the trip goes well.

Becky. Hope you're are O.K. Just found where you write about cognitive dissonance and I think that it makes a lot of sense.

Steve.

Where do disappearing posts go? I ever can understand why things can be read mid air. Do they dissolve?

Dan

Where are you?

E everyone else I am thinking of you. Keep strong.

We had mince pies and.........banana custard........for tea to celebrate putting up the tree.......I suppose when you think of it I should be respecting his wish to eat banana custard every day. I suppose I use dot eat Mars Bars. (Sweet).

At least I like my house again and can take interest in it. Also went for a glorious walk in the woods, I am lucky enough to live by a river and woods. It made me remember the food times when the children were young. I used to make rosehip syrup and supplement our meager income from the wild fruit. Collected lots of dead branches to dry. Slipped in the mud and had a wonderful time. That is real therapy. Tomorrow I will collect some rosehips....Love Jay/

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

Jay

Something I notice is that when you focus on what you *can* do you sound grounded and 'in control'. When you focus more on others, or things that you don't have control over you appear to get out of balance. If your family's judgments, ultimatums are too much for you to cope with, could you withdraw from them? Even temporarily? Could you make the decision not to speak with them about certain issues and let them know you don't feel up to discussing these things right now? You could do this in a way that is respectful to both you and them. As in "I really appreciate your concern, but I'm just not up to talking about it right now. Thanks for caring, but I need to focus on more positive things right now." or whatever feels right to you. You don't need to respond to their ultimatums, though I know emotionally this can be difficult.

I think you are also disappointing yourself by expecting your husband to read your plays, participate in friendly competitions etc. It's his choice whether to do this or not, and if you ask him for these things, you need to be prepared for him to say "no" and accept his response gracefully. You can't make him be what you want him to be. He is what he is - take it or leave it. I think you're adding fuel to the fire by being bothered by things that he's doing. You don't have to let them bother you. I think it's a pattern you could work on breaking.

Oh and Jay - about the 'disappearing posts' - do you hit refresh on your browser after submitting and hitting the appropriate 'read the posts' link? Often when I hit the 'read the posts' link my browser doesn't show my post - something to do with old cache or something. When I hit 'refresh' on my computer browser (internet explorer or Netscape) then it always shows up, unless of course Dr. I happens to have been editing at that exact moment.

AJ:

<<<Maybe I just secretly hoped it would be easier and quicker....>>> Yes, don't we all. Who wants to spend a life time in this kind of upheaval? But I think conflict can be resolved most quickly by being faced head on. Running from it makes things worse in the long run (even if it feels better in the short term).

<<<As for Steve and you, I can see both of you trying to be very careful in what you say to/about each other. You both seem to want to say the right things, but I still feel there is a lot of anger there. If I am right about that, don't repress it. Just don't take it out on each other, but feel it anyway. I really still get so mad at times, but thinking about it, feeling it, helps me to address the underlying problems. Don't get too nice. >>>

Thanks. :) It's funny to be told to not be "nice" - so opposite from what we're used to. I don't feel angry right now, but I do feel guarded. As Dr Irene said: “Mess with me once, shame on you. Mess with me twice, shame on me!" It's *my* responsibility to keep myself safe, and I just can't subject myself to push-always anymore. I know that there are no guarantees in life. I do care about Steve and hope he chooses a path that will compliment my own path, but it's a "wait and see" kind of thing right now. I *don't* want to fall into the old pattern anymore. And there are many many things Steve and I would need to look at. I'm realizing that another really big one for me is how we both approach the role of parenting. This is something I am willing to improve, and I need to see that he also wants to constructively improve his parenting methods before I jump back into a relationship. Steve, his kids, his X and his family are a package deal so I need to know I can handle all of it, and that it still enhances my life. I'm not interested in 'fixing' anybody anymore.

Dan

I'd like to hear your point of view about Lynn's last post. Were you really wishing to hear her out? That kind of stuff can be difficult to hear (criticisms, complaints etc.) and I wonder if maybe you didn't comment because you felt bad about what you had done. Everyone is different. Sometimes after hearing something I don't like about myself, I need time and space to really consider it and I can't react positively right away. Also, timing can be important with this. For example, I know there are times when I'm just not in the mood for discussing my faults. If the topic comes up I have learned to just say - I'm not up to talking about this right at this moment, but I *will* talk to you about it later - this evening, tomorrow, or I'll let you know when, whatever. As long as the other person involved knows it won't get swept under the carpet, I think this should be okay. Then you have to respect your partner's feelings of not wanting to get too close until it is dealt with. That's fair too.

Sadheart

Good luck with the upcoming weekend.

Suzy

I'm sorry things are so rough right now. He's probably torn between protecting the status quo and facing the future.

<<If my husband is willing to go to personal counseling for anger management and join a support group for men who emotionally abuse,,,is it worth it continue trying to work on the relationship???>>

Regardless of the status of the relationship, I would be supportive of his getting help.

 

Trubble

If you stay under the bed any longer, I will send my dog to go get you.

bye for now. FakeMommy AkAsha, phooey to youey. You are a yukky dog lover. Yuk yuk yuk!  

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Asha here

I have a lot of mixed feelings and I’m not sure where to go with them. Steve wanted to visit this evening. I wanted to see him, but I couldn’t somehow. I didn’t feel I could handle him walking out mad, and there seems to be no way he can convince me he won’t. I understand his previous anger wasn’t really about me, but I’m so worried about enabling those old patterns. I feel that this is how it goes: he gets mad, he cools down, he wants closeness, I get close, he relaxes, I relax – then he pushes me away. I don’t know how to break this pattern without just not getting close enough *not* to get pushed away. What can I do to change this pattern without repeating old mistakes? I want to give him a chance and yet I am so afraid to continue repeating the old stuff. This one is easier said than done because it is about your internal stuff. Without excusing Steve's ambivalence, you put so much weight on his emotional state, you forget it is about him and not you - and you let it affect you. You are doing OK by maintaining some physical distance as you learn to fix this. Pay attention inside. Watch how acutely sensitive you are to his moods. Watch how you allow his distancing to affect you. This is where you bounce off of him. 

Watch yourself and the internal monologue that sets you up to feel hurt/annoyed, etc. Steve, meanwhile, is doing a very similar thing. He puts too much weight on your hurt /annoyance and before you know it, you two are each bouncing off the other. I think his internal self talk is along the lines of not being able to please you and he gets frustrated with letting you down, you want too much, etc. etc. 

Yuk yuk yuk! Goal: Let the man pull away. It's got nothing to do with you. Look at this until you learn this very important emotional lesson. Then, as you become OK with his pulling away, watch him pull away less and less. 

Steve needs to do similar with letting you feel hurt/ sad, etc.

Lynn needs to do this with Dan and his uncommunicative-ness. 

Get it? This is BIG.

On one hand, I do want to see him and I enjoy his company, on the other hand I don’t feel strong enough to experience another angry episode. He isn’t angry, or doesn’t seem to be, but I’m so afraid to risk another walk-out or push-away type thing. So now *I’m* pushing away before it can happen. You are in the process of learning to make your own emotional state primary as opposed to needing him to feel good so that you can feel good.

I feel bad telling him not to come over. I know that he is really trying to work on his issues. I’m just afraid that neither of us have all the tools yet that will keep us on track. OK. 

I don’t want to expect him to be perfect and I know there will be more backward steps as well as forward steps. But I don’t know if I can handle the backward steps right now. OK. That's why you need to take your space right now. And I don’t think this sets up a very healing atmosphere for Steve. Don't worry about Steve. You've got enough to take care of already.

Earlier I said <<<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.>>> and Dr. I said <<< NO. You need to know that you have the skill to deal with his pushing away. >>> Yes.

What is that skill exactly? Not feeling hurt? Is that really possible? In my brain I know it’s about him and not about me, yet I want him to stop doing this so much! Because somewhere deep down you think that if he feels good, you will feel good. You are making him responsible for your happiness and are therefore working overtime stepping on eggshells or whatever you do to "make" him happy. Yuk yuk yuk. Hard work Asha! And too much responsibility on Steve to feel OK so you can feel OK. 

The reality is that no matter what you want, he will do what he will do, and that has nothing to do with you. It is OK for you to feel OK about him even though he is feeling distant. By "disengaging" you give Steve permission to feel how he feels. He is accepted for being who he is, no strings attached. You respect his feelings. You don't confuse your boundaries with his.  Wouldn't it be cool to do this with each other?

Just how many push-always are one too many? I guess I’m afraid of leading my life on a roller coaster. I want things to be level, even. I know that I’ve let Steve’s actions and words affect me because on some level I guess I believe that he believes what he is saying when he is angry, and because I do love him and care about what he thinks, I allow that to hurt me. I know that life is full of risks, but how many risks are one too many? Where is the risk in becoming emotionally self sufficient? You take away the power you have given him to hurt you simply because he is human and has his own set of feelings.

Another issue that concerns me that hasn't been worked out is the issue surrounding the dog. Steve doesn’t like having the dog in the bedroom at night. I don’t like the dog outside the bedroom because he whines at the door. He’s 12 years old and he’s used to sleeping in the room with me. With a new dog I could get used to the idea of training it to sleep in a new area. My poor dog has been through a lot of upheaval though, and I just don’t want to do this. So don't, unless of course Steve is allergic to the dog or something along those lines. I feel pretty strongly about it, and Steve seems to feel just as strongly that the dog should not be in the room. If it were a piece of furniture, or anything inanimate I would be willing to give on this issue, but I just don’t think I can on this one. I did used to put the dog out while Steve lived with me, and I was never happy about it. Maybe I’m being totally unreasonable but I just don’t think I can bend much on this. When I told Steve this he said he felt sad about it. I don’t understand the sadness. I don’t understand why Steve can’t bend on this one issue. Because it's not about the dog. You two have used every single issue in your lives to turn into a control battle. There is little respect for the other person since each of you make the other responsible for your feelings. My guess is Steve feels the dog is more important to you than he is, meanwhile, you don't understand why he's making such a fuss over the dog. The reality is that this has nothing to do with the dog and everything to do with letting the other person be - and not attaching undue, over-personalized significance to where the other person is at a given point in time. When you guys can respect the right each of you has to feel however they feel and let them feel that way, the dog is no longer the hook for the emotional issue. Am I being clear? 

An aside: This is scary: This is what battling parents do to kids. They make the kids the issue, when it's got nothing to do with the kids.

Dr Irene asked: <<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!>>

I agree, I just hate it when shutting the business down is used as an ultimatum. I guess I could just try to brush this type of ultimatum off, knowing that Steve has always come through for clients in the past. Have you meant the things you have said in anger?  

I’ve also been thinking about how our independence and personal growth could extend to the way we operate together in business. For example, there are projects that I am interested in pursuing which may or may not be of interest to Steve. I am going to make a commitment to pursuing them now. If we need to split off some areas of the business so that we are less dependent on each other and happier about what we are doing then so be it. Hey, this is nothing to be sad about, which is somehow the tone you convey; this is good stuff. You are joined in business, not at the hip.

Dr I said: <<< do you see Steve softer than in prior posts? He is more whole and discovering the lighter aspects of self. >>>

Yes absolutely. A few months ago I would be jumping up and down about this, but I realize now that this is a process of forward steps and backward steps. And just like backward steps aren’t “failure” neither are the forward steps a sign that everything will be forever okay (though I still far prefer the forward steps). I think the less I get really excited about backwards or forwards steps, the more level I feel. Yes. Now you are making you more responsible for your well being. Try also to understand that you are doing the exact same thing in Steve's eyes that you complain about in him. Recognize that your growing ability to see backward steps as process vs. failure, etc., feels good to Steve. He does not want to be judged - worse, he does not want you reacting emotionally to his every move. (What a burden that is!)  I’m discovering growth as a process, not a one-time event. However I’m also afraid to be disappointed, and this may be impeding me. Growth is about the courage to take risks. No risk, no growth.

Steve’s posts are very grounded, healthy and introspective – everything I ever wanted him to be. Which he is. But the earlier stuff is still resonating in my head. And I am very aware of my responsibility to myself. I am in a way angry with myself for tolerating some of the previous mess. Good. You are learning. Again, flip side: Think how ticked he must feel to have allowed himself to go to those places, which I know he knows was his doing.

On a positive note I want to mention that my recent dreams have been full of growth symbolism. First I was buying tulip bulbs with a friend. She had negotiated a price on bulbs and I was offered the same reduced price for even more bulbs. However I wondered if the cashier would know to discount the goods. Then the dream went on to another scenario. The same friend later showed me the initial sprouts from a barrel of seeds. They were hidden beneath a lot of muddy sludge and she had to scrape around it to show me. There was also a long poem written on a window which had a message. (I think it was supposed to be written by Dr. Irene :)) (Cool; you've just gifted me with a talent I wish I had.) I can’t remember all that it said, other than the basic message “take care of yourself”. I think the message of the dream is pretty obvious. I have my own seeds/bulbs to plant. Maybe there is other growth that I can’t see clearly because of the sludge. Maybe focusing on getting a good ‘deal’ in life, and offers that may or may not come through, is detracting me from the planting and nurturing I need to do.

Thanks for listening.

Asha

P.S. Dr. I – I have another idea about NEO and NDO. What about NEO and DO instead? This is easier because “negatively disempowered one” is a double negative. This should also be easier to remember because NEO is a longer word (more power = longer) and DO is shorter. It’s easier for me to remember anyway. I'll go for it. I'd still like to hone down these terms some more. Maybe find a way to make them catchy and have the acronym make more sense with more widely understood meaning. 

By the way, your idea to refresh the browser window and cut and paste just before I save was excellent. Theressa's message below otherwise would have been history. By the way, I am not responsible for lots of the black hole behavior you guys talk about. I don't have a clue what happens to that stuff...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Hi Jay,

NO I am sorry if I implied you must leave, I did not mean to. I was just trying to show you in an objective way what I saw. Sometimes I think though when we are trying to be objective and we see others pain which is similar to our own I think we are sometimes too subjective. OH well I know you are able to make your own choices, so I hope you saw my comments as some things to think about and not to push you into going NOW because YES your correct it is your right to choose to stay or to go.

Further if anyone is to ever leave they should have a plan, a plan should include what steps they will take before actually contemplating leaving e.g. like setting boundaries and limits, seeking therapy etc because like Dan and Lynn and Asha and Steve it may not always be necessary to leave if the two can work on things together.

Another thing though about your son JAY, No matter how old he is, he can't be objective and know what is best for him as far as his parents are concerned because NO one likes giving up on familiarity even if its unhealthy. ALL CHANGE feels uncomfortable, so I know that he wouldn't choose to leave.

YOU see you and your son are doing what I did. I saw all the things I loved, and that were good. So I shut my eyes for along time to the things that were doing damage. YOU see my X makes me laugh like no one else can. HE would take me out and we'd laugh alot. Though it didn't excuse the unhealthiness.

ALSO you say your son is older than MISSY so use this to your advantage. If your husband told any court in the land you weren't capable blah blah, THEY would ask your son, they would ask him where he would like to live and if you were a bad mother.

I know how difficult it is, my mom's friend went through a similar ordeal. THOUGH as Dr Irene would say we all have choices and with those choices come consequences.

THOUGH Jay it is really up to you. We all have our own path to follow, we choose how healthy we want it.

ALL that God says is take what you want as long as you pay for it. SO we choice the actions and the consequences that go with those actions.

I just didn't want Melissa nor any child whatever age they are of mine being in an unhealthy environment. What some people don't realise is when we stay in relationships that are not nurturing and are just a mean of survival we teach and role model unhealthy behaviour.

Though still we all have to make our own decisions on what we want.

Any choice you make is your choice and not mine. Though I doubt if things were so healthy you'd feel so yukky, but only you can ask and answer the question of is it worth staying?

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Dear Trubble,

I have two mommies, one of which I am thinking might be fake. She denies it, but.... And, sad as it is, I don't have any daddy right now, am still looking. So if you got any good ideas..... I am glad you decided to come out from under the bed. I admit I was a little bit worried. Did *she* give you anything to eat while you were there sulking? Take care.  You too? I thought I was the only one... It doesn't really work too good, but I try to make as many mommies and daddies as I can. I try to butter them up real good so they are good to me. But, no matter what I do, they just do something stupid to blow it. I won't rest till I find a mommy and a daddy to take care of me. Then, I'm going to try and get them married, even if it means trying to split them up from whatever fake people they're married to. Yes, she gives me food. Even fresh Trout once. But, I won't eat it. I want FakeMommy to feel guilty.

 

Dear Asha,

Dr. I said both you and Steve are to involved with trying to take care of each others' feelings. My new therapist said the same about C. and me. She said: you pay to much attention to what you feel the other person might want. That's simply too hard to do all the time. It's hard enough to pay attention to what you feel yourself.

Also Dr. I said that when you would allow Steve to withdraw without getting upset, he will start to withdraw less. I noticed this happening with C. and me. Once I could calmly say I was oke with him not wanting to be with me for the holidays, for whatever reason, that I really could respect that (and I did, not just words), the need to withdraw suddenly seemed to become much less (see my earlier post). And not only does he feel much more at ease, so do I. I do not need him to be with me (though I would have liked it), I can take care of me!!! I know I will fall back and be hurt and think he ‘should' do certain things. But right now, knowing I do not need him to do things he does not want to just feels so great. Sure, I some things think a lot of ‘what if's'. But I also realize that they are mainly my own insecurities. Sometimes, when I am tired or had a bad they, I can't see that. But I can take the time to work it out, before acting on it (mostly :-)). I think that when we can really allow the other to make his/her own decisions and when we know the other will do that, we will feel much, much more at ease and save. if you know the other can say no, you can ask what you want so much more freely.

I think you are right now to say you do not want him to come over. It is not about him, it is about you feeling not secure enough to handle it yet, and that's oke, I think. You will be able to handle it after a while, and you will know when the time is right. You can't force this. I told C. once I do not want to see you, I love you, but I simply am not ready to see you yet. And that was oke, for him as well as for me.

Take your time, try not to feel guilty and just explain to Steve you need this time on your own to heal, and that it is not about pushing him away, cause i do not think it is.

Dear Theressa,

About your work issue: I do not know the person, but is it possible to try to work out some kind of compromise, like you might help her, if she helps you get a better position. If you could do that, you might both benefit and require a good friend in the process. (I know you are mad at her now, rightly so, but I suggest you look at it maybe from the point of view I mentioned)

Dear Lynn,

hope you are feeling better. We all seem to get in the same possition every once in a while, don't we? It is so hard to let go, to let the other be who he/she is, without needing them to be what we want them to be. For me my own insecurities get in the way still far to often, but I think I am learning, as we all are. Asha said something about getting comfortable with the process of steps back and steps forward. We all would like the process to be just steps forward, but I guess that is not possible. And as Theressa said: sometimes the steps back are needed, because we are not really done with certain things. If you can look at it this way, it is much easier I think. Dear Becky, any news yet? Hope you are oke. Same goes for all the rest of you, and Dan please stay tuned and give us your version of what happened.

Love to all,

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

dear Suzy,

I have no children and no alimony issues, so I cannot help you there from experience. But I think what you should is try to look at the whole situation with your children's best interest in mind. Maybe you can talk to them, tell your son that not fighting for him does not mean you don't love him, explain you value and respect him enough to let him make his own choice and that you will always be there for him should he decide to come back to you later. After all, he is old enough to decide for him self I think. Maybe you can have a talk with al of them and explain and give them the possibility to say what they would want. Hope you will be all right. We can talk to you, send cyberhugs, but in the end you are the one who has to go trough the pain. My thoughts and hart are with you. Take care and don't loose faith in yourSelf.

Lots of love and hugs and peace to you. AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Hi all.

About the dog...

It's not as simple as it seems at face value. The complete picture needs to be told, especially if Dr Irene is to get a sense of what's really going on.

Ok, I don't like sleeping with dog and cat hair. That's a fact I admit.

Asha's post re: the dog is mostly putting forth the case why the dog must be in the room.

"I don’t like the dog outside the bedroom because he whines at the door. He’s 12 years old and he’s used to sleeping in the room with me. With a new dog I could get used to the idea of training it to sleep in a new area. My poor dog has been through a lot of upheaval though, and I just don’t want to do this. "

You don't like the dog outside the bedroom because he whines at the door? He's too old, and used to being with you everywhere you go. He's "poor" and been thru a lot of upheaval?

Ok. There's a lot I could look at there, and disagree with, but I want to let you have your feelings whether I think they're healthy or not.

I'd like to move on to a fairly serious issue. The one Asha forgot to mention.

I don't want the dog at the foot of the bed when we are going to be physically intimate (sex).

As anyone can see by now, Asha and her dog are VERY close. I'm not judging that. I'm just drawing a boundary for myself.

I can't be intimate with the dog listening/watching us. I don't want to marry the dog. I love the dog, but not enough to marry him. 

Asha doesn't mind the dog with us while we are intimate. She thinks it's perfectly ok. That's why I felt sad. Because I know we are too far apart on this. I know I cannot live like that. It just feels way too weird for me. And it feels weird that Asha would even want this. I can't understand it. It sprouts many other questions about just where I fit in to the relationship. I may not be able to "adjust" that far. I have to consider what I really want in an intimate relationship. Would I be happy with this situation? I don't think so. I think we may need to face the fact that Asha loves her dog in a way that I can't relate to. I've never seen any dog-human relationship that is like this. I'm not judging it. I just don't feel "right" about it as it relates to my place in the relationship.

Asha has remarked about my X and her relationship with our eldest boy. She has noted that my X has made our son into a surrogate husband (emotionally). I tend to agree at some level. What I'm beginning to consider is that it looks very much like Asha and her dog have a similar relationship. I probably don't want to have another husband in the house. I can bend on many many things surrounding her relationship with her dog, but I have a limit. Sex with the surrogate present is very un-settling for me. I am missing the intimacy I would like. I will never get it with Asha. She may already have her mate, and I am just a back-up. Yes, I am aware I am being dramatic. I want to say my feelings though. 

I don't want Asha to change for me.

I am no longer sad. I am strong and comfortable with the way I feel about having sex with the dog there. I don't feel I am unreasonable or angry. I just am.  Good stuff guys. Scroll down down down...

Steve 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Lynn here. I just read some of the recent posts and Dr. Irene's "blue pencils." I don't have a lot of time, but I have a few things I need to say.

First of all, yesterday morning my neighbor called and needed a ride to the clinic. She fell the night before and so I took her in. She has a broken foot, so my day was pretty well tied up. Then Dan's evening as he was fixing up a portable phone and just doing general chores for her. PS. I had Dan's truck yesterday. First time since the fire.

Another, I don't turn on (hehehe Asha, I re read that and I don't mean in That way) the Cat Box if Dan is around. So I don't get here too often. I do read the posts and I'm so glad there is lots of help and support from others.

Now about me. Dr. Irene and Trubble, What has me confused here..... I asked Dan if he felt like talking. I told him I was grumpy. He said okay. Apparently it wasn't, as he never said another word. That kind of confusion I can live without. If it ain't okay, it ain't and say not tonight or some such. I mean, "Do you feel like talking?" and getting an affirmative and then not getting talked to confuses me. So now the battle becomes, "If you don't want to talk, say so."  Lynn, you're not wrong, but why do you need him to SAY it to you? It's understood, I think, even if he messed up by not saying what he really meant. Trying to force him to say what he means just makes 2 wrongs. Besides, not to justify Dan, but is it possible he was expecting you to do the talking?

I threw in another zinger, too. Wonderful. Now we've got 3 wrongs. Had you controlled your need to control by either just talking or letting him indicate what he meant the broken way he does it (which you DO understand), this situation would not have deteriorated. He told me that he was always taught to respect his elders and that is why he takes such things from his mom and my dad. I asked how "elder" I had to get before I before I got listened to? If I get much "elder" I'll be a great(er) grandmother. Like I said, you are not wrong. But, I think your energy is best spent controlling Lynn rather than Dan. He's got his own work to do. When you try to get him to comply, you pretty much ensure that he won't. He just digs his heels in. Which is a dumb thing he does to himself, but that's his stuff. See why you need to fix yours and he needs to fix his? You've got no control over anybody else's! (I know what's coming: "But, what if I'm working on mine but he's not working on his?" My answer: Do that consistently first and then ask that question..)

I do have a thought and I think it was Suzy who brought this up. About Dan and the not driving well (This was definitely passive aggressive) and my dad and the walking out on him. I've been pretty good at doing my job with Dan. In retrospect it seems like he "caught" me when I was down and took advantage (because I let him), but that is deplorable to me. That seem like a vulture swooping in on the weak and dying. Reminded me... I don't necessarily go in for Gargoyles unless they are attached to a building, yet I found two a couple of years ago and bought them. I named them Dan and Lynn. Giggle! One was hunched in the fetal position with her hands over her mouth (Lynn) and the other was spread winged and looking down superior and vulture like (Dan). Symbolic.

I think that may be what I mean by a "man stronger than me." When I am down, I need a man strong enough to be there for me and not one who jumps on the bandwagon and gets his 2 cents in, too. Maybe like when I am a damsel in distress, don't distress me more. My respect goes down the toilet when I recover from that. I think what you want is a partner whose love and self-control for himSelf is greater than his anger for you. Now, that's a friend! But: You're not doing that either! Whenever you make a "zinger," you are not doing it! More on all this near the bottom of this page with Steve & Asha.

Meanwhile. For the migraine (I haven't had a killer in years), I took two Unisom (over the counter sleeping pills) and slept for 14 hours and woke up with the phone call from the neighbor and was feeling okay.

Then last night Dan kissed me goodnight. I didn't say a word and kissed him back. I think he thinks we are "talking" because we are talking. End of chapter, everything is all better. I still maintain that if I can have this conversation with a mechanic, bartender, waitress, clerk, etc. it is not "talking." 

And Jay, I love Dopey and Grumpy. Shall we give us the names of the 7 Dwarfs? Trivia game! Name all 7 without looking them up!

Thanks for being here everyone. Just having someone to tell this stuff to helps. I don't share tittle tattle with friends or neighbors or family and it is Soooooo WONDERFUL to know someone out there hears me.

I have a theory about the missing posts. They were abducted by alien cats and will all pop up someday, somewhere and we'll all have a good laugh, because it won't be anymore confusing than our lives have been. We'll just read and respond and Trubble will Blue pencil and it will make perfect sense to us. Hmmmm... He did seem to have some blue fur around his little front paws... 

Love, Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Hi All,

I need to ask for some help:

My therapist said a few things to me that I need some help digging deeper into, CAN YOU HELP ME my catbox family?

Okay here goes:

I seem to still take things very personal, I thought I had stopped but I haven't. Theressa, learning how to do all this, including not personalizing, is a process. It's not on or off. Give yourself a break! YOU all know I have a problem at work. Well I have some confusion of taking care of the self vs. allowing others to use me. YOU see I have a hard time because I seem to be TOO NICE. I will help others but they don't help me so much, they seem to always be busy when I need help.

Anyway a girl went on some courses I wanted to go on and the courses involved firstly bringing back some materials to work alone on-line, though on returning to the office she decided despite collecting the material she wouldn't bother with the on-line course. I wanted to do the course but was told NO she wanted a turn. THIS MADE ME SO ANGRY. I thought "Selfish bitch".

Then she went on some more courses and GUESS what I went on two and she went on four but now she wants me to train her. I have said some of this in my last post but as you may be aware it is still making me angry. OKAY I could speak to her but I don't want to speak to her. WHY? because the first thing she will do is be off to the boss to say that I won't help her. THEN what can I say? I could say NO and then look bad and be ordered to train her.

SOME of my other colleagues said to me your too nice, your too soft, though its hard when someone who has the ability to make your life hell (e.g your boss) to stand up to them.

SO I AM TOO NICE, so how do I handle this???

I was told this by many about my relationship with my X. "You are too nice" HOW DO I NOT BE TOO NICE WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE A BITCH???

How do I not take this personal when she goes on courses, and is climbing a lot and learning off me and YET I am not moving or climbing a lot???

She seems to get all the breaks, she seems to have some kind of talent for getting the boss on her side, so what is her secret???

Thanks for listening.

Love ALWAYS BEEN TOO NICE

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Dear Steve,

Lynn here. You and I were posting together. I found a place where you and Dan agree. I wish he'd jump in and help you on this one, because I cant. We not only sleep with one dog, we sleep with 2 and anywhere from 4 to 7 cats. As for hair, If I make the bed every day and then sleep with the sheets out over the quilt I don't notice the hair.

As for intimacy (sex) the border (line) collie is very protective of me and tends to bark at Dan. If we put her out she whines.

Not long ago the basset hound attacked Dan when he tried to pull him (dog) out of his (Dan's) chair. I told my son as there is not an aggressive bone in this dogs body. My son asked if I've had him to dog obedience school? I had to laugh. I knew he meant Dan and he did. Those kids lived with their crazy mother.

In all seriousness now. The dog is 12 years old. Really really and at most Asha probably has 2 or 3 more years with the dog. (My old one slept on the bed, too, died at 14). I taught these two to do it.

Now for my opinion. On this, not dogs and cats. About me and all about me. I wonder if Dan would give on some things if I would give on the dog thing. What a wonderful question! I think this is a power play on my part and one I will give on if I had something to give for. ??????? I'm just thinking aloud here. Nice train of thought... The basset has a bench at the foot of the bed to get up on and that could be moved and he is just as happy on the couch. The collie jumps down when I go to sleep. I give myself a certain amount of free press when I don't think Dan is reading (don't I?), but I wonder if he started talking (about the serious, to me, stuff) if I wouldn't even be receptive to "ousting" the dogs. The cats go elsewhere when the bed is in motion.

If I really had to analyze myself (and who wants to do that?) I'd say I'm sabotaging (can't spell it and I ain't looking it up cool.) our sex life... Let me rephrase that. What sex life? There. I do think it says it all (about me). If I don't get talked to I don't want to kiss even. In my case this is not subconscious, but I feel about as romantic as blade of grass when I feel put down and this way I don't have to say no talkee no sexee. But I'll bet it's as simple as that. Do you have an opinion Trubble???? Well, again, you are not wrong - but the attitude. Yuk. I agree with FakeMommy. You were on the right track, but then the attitude messed you up a bit FakeMommy2..

Send the dog to me Steve and Asha. He can sleep on my bed (king size, so there is plenty of room, hehehe) and you two can honeymoon to your hearts content.

If I sent my cats and dogs to you I don't think there would be a honeymoon. I'd still have the same problem and not want to share my body with someone who won't talk to me.

(((Hugs))) Steve. I hear you, but from the other side of the bed.

Love, Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Steve here

Theressa.

How come you are soooo good at seeing how to fix me but you can't help yourself? Smile. Seriously though, you have such great insight for all of us here. 

You are in a difficult position, no doubt about it.

I think you may need to ask you boss why YOU were NOT chosen for the job. Not why SHE WAS. If you are intimidated by him and his power to affect your life, you will have to be very careful how you do it.

You may want to say that you "feel that you may never get a chance to show your skills, and advance in your career."  Nice. Just have to watch the wording and tone. It should reflect a real interest and curiosity rather than a sense of intimidation and anger. 

Maybe?  Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa,

Lynn again. I do so much better responding to one post at a time.

Just a thought, but this co worker sounds like your sister, to me.

Also with work and I haven't worked in years, but I was good at what I did and I knew it. Therefore I didn't have a problem with the boss or the training and found myself that if I taught someone well, it made me look better. My boss saw that though. That might be the difference. I myself would train and teach her and share all my know how and if she became a better employee than me, I'd take that as a feather in my cap. I never had any aspirations to be the boss so it was ok for me to do this and I managed to work m way up in spite of myself.

I was also involved with an ALL male (at the time) volunteer organization for about 12 years. The guys finally figured out that if they taught me to be good it reflected on how good they really were. I went on to become an instructor and was great, because anything I did men seemed to have to do better. My greatest compliment in this is when they called me "one of the boys."

I wouldn't cover for anyone who was pretending, though.

You might get better advice for you from someone else on this. Just the way I did things. Lynn handles things so straight, to the point, and honestly. When she's not emotionally involved...

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Asha here

I want to clarify something. I don't "want" the dog at the foot of the bed (the floor is actually where he sleeps when Steve is here) if Steve and I are going to be intimate, but... My bedroom is a loft room and the door to the room is at the bottom of a set of stairs. There's kind of a spontaneity problem with the set up - having to troop all the way down the stairs and back to put the dog outside the bedroom. I just can't be bothered doing this. It's not like the dog is staring from the foot of the bed, and telling all his friends about it later. As Steve said, I don't find it a big deal. In fact, if it weren't for the loft set up - it would probably be okay with me to have the dog's basket just outside the bedroom door. But that's not the case.

My relationship with the dog doesn't feel unhealthy to me. In fact when I lived with my old roommate, I would get up, the dog and cat would get up with me, and as I left for work, I would look around the corner, and the dog and cat would be on the bed with *her*, on their second shift. I find that sort of thing nurturing and comforting. So did she.

There is no doubt that my dog is very, very special to me. That's not going to change. But no I don't prefer sex with the dog watching, if that's how it appears. (Frankly the dog could care less anyway IMO.)

I could offer to do the trooping back and forth on the loft stairs as a "compromise", but I feel that Steve would still be resentful of the lack of spontaneity and I don't think it would solve the problem.

IMO, *this* is the problem: <<<She may already have her mate, and I am just a back-up. >>>

No the dog is not my *mate* - he is my for-life friend and extremely special to me though. There are certain things I *don't* do with the dog! It's not a competition of who is best. I wish that Steve would not see it this way! Scroll down. You two created this mess. A power play. Control battle... This has very little to do with the dog.

I do love my dog in a way that Steve doesn't relate to - my parents love dogs this way, and our family dog slept in their room (and I'm fairly sure nothing kinky was going on there! :) I know everyone is different in this way, but I don't want to treat my dog differently because of Steve's feelings. The dog is something I really love, and I wish Steve could see that his acceptance of my relationship with the dog means a lot to me. Steve doesn't have to change for me either, but then we remain in a standstill. This issue has been going on for a long time. I *did* try doing it his way - putting the dog outside, putting the dog downstairs, and it didn't make me happy. I think that if Steve wants the relationship, he would have to take a turn in compromising on this issue. If he's miserable doing it though, there's no point.

There are things I can commit to - like cleaning the dog hair regularly, brushing him more, and there are things I can't commit to - like keeping the dog downstairs. These are the issues I feel Steve and I need to get straight before opening ourselves up to more conflict.

Okay, got that off my chest. Onto brighter things!

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Lynn...I guess I extracted something from you with my post.

I love your way with words.

:)

I agree. If you aren't feeling emotionally intimate, there isn't much desire to be physically intimate. But I think that is a personal thing. I know couples who fight and then have sex to make up. Seems to work for them. I can't imagine it for myself though.

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Steve here

Asha: "There are certain things I *don't* do with the dog! It's not a competition of who is best. I wish that Steve would not see it this way!"

I don't see it that way. I know what feels right for ME.

"I do love my dog in a way that Steve doesn't relate to - my parents love dogs this way"

I think we would have to ask them for confirmation on this. As far as I know, your mom does not allow dogs on the bed. She has said this several times.

"My relationship with the dog doesn't feel unhealthy to me."

Nor to me. It's MY relationship with you and your dog that is unhealthy for ME. You must do what's right for you. If you were to change for me, it wouldn't be real. You felt horrible if the dog slept downstairs. We need to face this.

"But no I don't prefer sex with the dog watching, if that's how it appears. (Frankly the dog could care less anyway IMO.) "

If the dog could care less then why can't he be elsewhere? I don't think you are being completely open here. I feel that you believe the dog DOES care. And you are so concerned for HIS feelings that you need to give him what you believe he wants. Or what you want, or whatever...it's rather confusing to me.

I'm feeling something uncomfortable and I need to look at it.

I know there's nothing wrong with you having ANY kind of relationship with your dog. I do not want to change that.

I just feel I can't live with certain aspects of it that feel wrong - for ME. And that's ok. We need to be ok with all of this. We are on a good track, and just because we are working on ourSELVES, doesn't mean we are "meant to be" together in an intimate relationship. Or that because we are healing ourSELVES, our relationship will be healed. I think it will all work out for the higher good. "Friends" may be more appropriate for us in the "higher good" perspective.

We can still love each other as great friends. And I think we will. We have both grown a lot and I think it could be time to grow a bit more. Remember Asha, the higher good...

We cannot be so afraid of "failure" in our relationship that we close our eyes to important issues.

Steve   Again, scroll down...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Hi Steve and Asha,

Just a thought from Lynn again. I am thinking seriously about Dan and I and the dogs and cats aren't the issue. Communication for me is the issue and it's funny now, but rereading our posts I remember telling Dan when he informs me I do have someone to talk to I reply, "yep, the basset hound."

So I know mine here. What is the underlying issue here guys? Because, honestly, I don't think anyone breaks up over a dog. We may say it is, but.......   :)        Lynn: How do I keep the squirrels from eating all the bird food in the bird food house?

Love you both, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

PS from Lynn,

Options here. Could you two keep the dog and get another house with a bedroom door? Asha could sleep with the dog when Steve is gone and change the sheets and vacuum before Steve came home. Or get a 2 bedroom house. One for the dog and Asha can sleep there when Steve is out of town.

Now figure out a solution for us. Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Steve:

you said: <<If the dog could care less then why can't he be elsewhere?>>

I meant he could care less when we are being "intimate".

<<I don't think you are being completely open here. I feel that you believe the dog DOES care.>>

Yes, I do - he whines and cries at the door when I shut him out, and that bothers me.

<<And you are so concerned for HIS feelings that you need to give him what you believe he wants. Or what you want, or whatever...it's rather confusing to me. >>

Yes, I'm concerned about his feelings. And it is what I want too.

I said: "I do love my dog in a way that Steve doesn't relate to - my parents love dogs this way"

you said: <<<I think we would have to ask them for confirmation on this. As far as I know, your mom does not allow dogs on the bed. She has said this several times.>>>

She doesn't allow dogs on the bed. That's not what I was talking about. My parents treat dogs like family members, similar to me. They let our family dog sleep in their room. Not that what they do is right for everyone or even necessarily me - just that it's part of my family history and probably explains in part the way I am, and have chosen to be with my pets. The dog doesn't sleep on the bed when you're there anyway so I don't really understand what you are getting at.

<<<We can still love each other as great friends. And I think we will. We have both grown a lot and I think it could be time to grow a bit more. Remember Asha, the higher good...

We cannot be so afraid of "failure" in our relationship that we close our eyes to important issues. >>>

I agree. My eyes are wide open. If we can't travel the same path to a higher good, I do accept your friendship. It's never failure when people are honest to themSelves. This is why I need emotional distance; because I realize so much is unresolved. I admit that I get irritated that this one concession would make you so miserable that it is pivotal to whether the relationship continues or ends, but it's your choice. I've tried doing it your way and that doesn't work for me. If there is no other compromise that could work, then que sera sera I guess.

It just doesn't seem to me that this is really about the dog at all.

Asha  I'm sick of hearing about dogs too...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Suzy- Lurking lawyer here. Do as your lawyer advises- go for everything you can, with one exception- Don't know about "alimony"- do you want to indicate to your (soon to be) -ex that you can't make it on your own, and still "need" his money? This is much different than child support- they're his kids too, and need food and shelter no matter where they live. You are a grown up, capable of supporting yourself and helping to support your dependents. DEMAND YOUR HALF OF YOUR COMMUNITY ASSETS! Whether you brought in as much money as he did is NOT the point- your presence in the marriage- cooking, keeping the household going, made him able to earn as he did. Everything is as much yours as his. Don't give up anything unless you choose to do so. You may choose to "buy" your freedom by giving him more than his share. That's your decision, perfectly OK if you are willing to pay that price. But you CAN'T compromise the kids' right to full support in order to buy your freedom. Think of what message you are giving to him when you prepare your complaint. "I'M WORTH IT!" is a good message, since he has not accepted that fact yet, apparently. And get this jerk out of your basement. He can house himself, he's a big boy. He's just maintaining his ability to torment you. If you can't afford the housepayment, move into what you can afford. And as an aside, I am really uncomfortable with animals in the bedroom, especially if they watch. If the dog's whining downstairs, can't (Ummm- Asha? Jay? sorry) let him stay there? Just my feelings, I don't know your dog. But it would give me the creeps!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene,

Lynn again. I just reread the blue pencils and "so be it" I can live with. I just think when it gets to "so be it" I'd be just as well off alone. I don't want to be where I feel I have no one to talk to, and as wonderful as the group here is, it isn't the same as having a mate who will talk to me sometime. I would have settled for later. I didn't like the okay and nothing. It left a huge blank in my gut. It left a huge blank because you are still making this thing a control battle, even though you don't want to! And you don't realize it! Like he said or gave me permission to speak, but didn't offer one word in reply. Later excuse from Dan was that I "ALWAYS" put him on the defensive when I talk to him. That's his broken stuff. Don't react. Boy, do you two bounce off each other! Read the new blue pencil above and see what you think then. 

This gets so over complicated, because I had his truck yesterday and the starter is going out. Then I wonder whether or not to tell him. My thinking is to tell and get it fixed. Previous experience with Dan is nobody tells him what to do. Tell him and let him figure out what to do with his truck - unless you have been using it and still need it in which case it would be OK to announce that you will have it fixed! (Under the circumstances, to ask Dan to fix it because you need to use it would not be a good idea.) Cat poop here. I told him and risked it. If that was putting him on the defensive that was his problem. I was just stating a fact and if he didn't like it or took it wrong, so be it! PS I'm good on starters. I can put them in pretty easily as I have small hands and I can usually get one in without taking off a bunch of other parts. I know it's the starter, too. Key turned and the truck growls like a mean dog. It just isn't in me to play dumb ie "Honey, the truck is making funny noises and would you come out and listen to it and see what I'm doing wrong." This works, but it irritates me when it does.

Normal healthy to me is to tell his and we get it fixed. I've got bigger things to worry about than this. And I can't figure why anyone would care one way or the other.

Thanks, Lynn and come talk to me Trubble. The basset hound talks to me all the time, but

MommyCat Lynn

And we spent 15 minutes last night playing peek a boo with LOCO. This cat should go to Hollywood. He's a natural ham. Trubble would like a pix of LOCO one of these days!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Dear Lurking Lawyer Suzy,

I love it. Good advice. I got no nothing when I left my kids dad. By choice, mine. But there were a lot of underlying reasons. I just wanted OUT!!!

In retrospect I feel I hurt my kids though. Not with him, but with the $$$. From my side I'm glad I did it my way. The price of peace was cheap. I haven't seen the bum over 10 times in 30 some years. And never got into him telling me anything. Life was great.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Hi all.

I just heard something really neat on the radio.

A woman called to say that the gift she and her husband exchange to each other every year at Xmas is a personal letter. She said they've been married 9 years and every year the letters are different because so many things change. They exchange other "little" things but the really big gift every year is the letter.

I thought this was so wonderful and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Dr I said:

<<When you guys can respect the right each of you has to feel however they feel and let them feel that way, the dog is no longer the hook for the emotional issue. Am I being clear?>>

What if I allow it, while not liking it, take my space, and just focus on being less affected/irritated by what he thinks? Yes. Is this respecting his right to feel what he feels? No. He is allowed to feel what he feels. You feel what you feel. That is the boundary issue stuff. The bigger thing, Part 2 of what is going on here, is the anger each of you have towards the other and the little zingers and the digging in of the heels, etc..  I don't have a problem with other people because their personal decisions don't affect my life. There are some things I have trouble "respecting" though I have less trouble "accepting".

<<<You are in the process of learning to make your own emotional state primary as opposed to needing him to feel good so that you can feel good.>>>

Oh boy - you're not kidding. When he feels okay, my energy level goes up. An ultimatum type thing from him and I'm tired, listless, and I feel like I need to re-work my whole life. Dr Irene you are so right here, and this is going to take a lot of re-programming for me. Some new affirmations (for me): My life is an adventure. I have purpose. I am loved, and I am loving. I am grounded and solid. I have great stamina. I am alone, but never lonely. Right. OK for you to feel happy he's happy, sad he's sad, but it comes from a place of centeredness. 

I also need to work on my faith that everything will be okay if I can just let it be. 

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Asha said: "What if I allow it, while not liking it, take my space, and just focus on being less affected/irritated by what he thinks? Is this respecting his right to feel what he feels?"

If you don't like it, I won't like it Asha. What's the point of doing something that we really don't like? I don't think this is respecting in any way, shape or form. It's not disrespecting either. It's not related to "respect" IMO.

I'm not going to be happy with you being unhappy. I would hope I've progressed far enough to see that pretty clearly.

"I also need to work on my faith that everything will be okay if I can just let it be."

Yes Asha, I think you do need to work on that faith. You just need to be you. That's what will make everything ok. When you try to be someone you are not, your insides know it and you will feel sick.

At the same time, it never hurts to look deeper, even when you think you're at the "bottom of it".

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Lynn, Dr I:

I've done some thinking and I feel the underlying issue for me about the dog is this: overcoming my tendency to put others desires above my own (and giving up some of my own principles over it). Sure. You are fighting to find the center. Having given all your life, you are looking to be "selfish" and buck when you find yourself "giving." 

I have a certain guilt feeling about previously adapting for Steve with compromises about the dog i.e., I used to make him homemade dog food, but Steve didn't like me doing this, nor did he like when I fed him cheese or milk anything else that was consumable by humans. I used to feed the dog canned food more often because of this or prepare the homemade food on the weekends when Steve wasn't around. I like to "treat" the dog, but Steve seemed to really resent me giving the dog anything special. Steve had to have felt less important to you than the dog. What little, tiny things could you have done to contribute to his feelings? To accommodate Steve, I also moved the cat's basket from the living room window to the kitchen. I spoke earlier about having put the dog outside at night, which I didn't feel comfortable about, but had tried to adapt to. I also waited to let the dog in the next morning until Steve gave the okay. He didn't like the pets around him first thing in the morning. It's at the power struggle stage by now.

I didn't let the dog on the bed or the couch either during this period but I really missed cuddling with the dog and the cat, and at one point went as far as to set up a camping mattress on the floor so I could have the dog next to me on the weekends when Steve wasn't home without making Steve unhappy. Steve would often ask when he got back if the dog had been on the bed. I went out of my way to make sure the dog did *not* go on the bed, though that's what I wanted. I feel protected by having the dog near, particularly when no-one else is here at night. If you guys weren't so mad with each other; if you had more power in other areas of your married life, if if if if... I don't think you would have felt compelled to somehow make the pets big. While Steve may have not liked x, y and z about the pets, it's likely he would have gotten over it.

When Steve moved out, I reverted to my old routine, which is that the dog is free to be wherever he wants in the house, and sleeps with me on the bed. He eats homemade dog food, and cheese as a treat and a bit of milk from time to time. The cat's basket is back in the living room window.

Another aspect of this issue is that when we were living together Steve found my bed too small and uncomfortable, so rather than have him sleep downstairs alone, I put a foamy on the living room floor for him and I slept on the daybed next to him. I disliked this arrangement, but did this to appease him. Why didn't you guys get a new bed? Finally I had had enough of that and re-arranged the loft, moved my bed to a neighbour's for storage and put 2 foamies side by side because Steve seemed comfortable with the foamies. Finally I bought a king sized bed with a foam mattress so that he would be comfortable, he would have enough room, and I would have some semblance of a bed. I don't find it nearly as comfortable as my old bed How come you didn't find a bed you both liked?, but I thought if it could keep him in the same bed *with* me it was worth it. Steve still said that he felt closed in by the loft and often slept downstairs for various reasons anyway. I just couldn't come up with a solution to keep him there! When you "sacrifice" so much, you are going to get really, really mad when you think he should be giving in. Like with the kids, for example.

So maybe part of it, is that I don't feel like Steve has ever much wanted to sleep next to me anyway, and giving up something meaningful to me when Steve has so often decided to sleep downstairs or go back to his apartment doesn't make sense to me. When he does sleep next to me, it feels to me like the conditions have to be just exactly right; it feels so precarious to me. That's part of the problem. It shouldn't feel precarious. It should feel comfy and secure, even if you are fighting, you know he'll  be there. But, now we're into other stuff. Let's stick to one issue at a time.

I guess I've learned from previous experiences that the more I adapt, the more there is to adapt to and it doesn't solve anything. Right. "Sacrifice" is a better word. By the way, he does it too. Surprised?

So no it's not just about the dog - for me it's about how much giving up is too much. It's about my anger with myself for all the previous compromising. It's about keeping my integrity about how I feel my pets should be treated. It's also about a feeling that no matter what compromises I make, Steve can find reasons not to be close anyway, so why compromise in the first place? Neither of you should be "sacrificing." 

This is how I feel. I don't mean to be in any way hurtful, but the sleeping situation is really a loaded issue when I really think about it. I know. I know you are not trying to be hurtful. One loaded issue dumps into the next, but in many ways you are both making the same mistakes.

take care

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Asha: "I have a certain guilt feeling about previously adapting for Steve with compromises about the dog i.e. I used to make him homemade dog food, but Steve didn't like me doing this, nor did he like when I fed him cheese or milk anything else that was consumable by humans. I used to feed the dog canned food more often because of this or prepare the homemade food on the weekends when Steve wasn't around. I like to "treat" the dog, but Steve seemed to really resent me giving the dog anything special."

There's too much anger in her last post for me to devote much time defending myself on these issues. I don't understand why she does it, but I'm ok with it. I'll just say - no.

Am I making progress? Yes. 

Asha, do you see what you are doing? This is very subtle. Tell me instead how mad you are at him! It's OK! I'm sure he acted plenty creepy, but what Steve is referring to, and I'm glad he's disengaged, is that in just reading the post, you are the good guy and he is the bad guy. And, I know from your perspective, that's exactly how it seems. And, that's fine. But, do you see your anger?

I just want to work on me now.

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Asha: "I don't mean to be in any way hurtful"

I'm not hurt. It doesn't seem like this kind of stuff can hurt me anymore (touch wood). I am really analyzing my physical and mental responses and it seems like I'm neutral. At first read, I felt the muscles in my neck tighten up slightly, (I have, in the past, been way way hyper-sensitive when I feel Asha is attacking me in a personal way) but I caught it really quick.

I put knowledge into practice:

My heart rate slowed and my muscles relaxed. I'm learning to monitor my physiology for signs of emotional distress. I find it really helps to pay attention to my body. Yes. The body doesn't lie.

This is the greatest test of all. When someone says things about you that you see as untrue, it's difficult to just let it go. Yes. Especially in a public forum like this. My natural instinct (or previous programming) is to defend myself against the "perceived" attacks. What I'm realizing is, I don't need to defend my SELF. YES!

I need to just keep on the track and not let anything distract me from my goal. There will probably be lots more coming this way so I need to be ready. Next step Steve: So you don't life in a place of permanent being braced for the worst: compassion for Asha for feeling the way she feels, despite her attack. Just a goal.

I hope I'm not fooling myself but I feel the best I've felt in years. And it will feel even better.

Thank you Dr Irene and everyone here. Thank you Asha for getting me to this place, although it was a roundabout trip.

Wow...

It feels so good to just, be free? Is that what I'm feeling? Yes Steve. She's allowed to feel how she feels and you don't have to like it. 

There's a song I really like by Chris Rea, that seems to strike a warm feeling in me right now...

"You can spend a whole lifetime, trying to be

what's expected of you - but you'll never be free.

May as well go fishing..."

Cheers all! Live long and prosper!

Steve

Yes! I can do it! Cheers!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

Dear Sadheart, AJ, Jay, Theressa, Lynn and Lurking Lawyer....Suzy here. (If I've missed any one who wrote recent advice to me, please forgive me.) THANK YOU all for all of your input and GREAT advice. I wish someday to help others as much as all of you have helped me!...How is Becky?

I have definitely decided on the divorce. I had a couple of recent events which scared me and which put great distrust in my heart towards my husband, even to some extent, fear. He went ballistic one evening a couple of nights ago, too many details to elaborate now....now I know of a surety, I must be smart, I must be safe and I must fight for what is rightly due me. Yes, I feel like I just want to leave it all, even the kids and be free, however, the idea is for the kids to know not to live with abuse, and see a strength in me to take a stand and not take it anymore. I truly do not care about house, car etc, mostly care about me and the children's safety and peace, I want peace most of all. I feel that peace will come soon.

My husband is a master of saying or insinuating terrible things to me when we are alone. Then he will show up like an angel (in front of the kids) and ask if there is any thing he can do for me and I almost feel nauseated. I cannot seem to get out of the "bad guy"- looking thing with my kids. I cannot comprehend this. I cannot even believe it happens, and I cannot defend myself against it. I try not to talk too much to him, however when he lives in the basement it's hard not to cross paths. .I've pleaded with him to leave. It won't happen. My lawyer wants to file for a restraining order and get him out because of the bad stuff the last few days. I wanted it to happen , now I don't want to, once again, be the "bad guy", throwing out the "good dad" just before Christmas. He does have places he could go. He uses the argument he doesn't want to leave the kids any sooner than he has to. He knows this does get to me too. I must sound like a big wimp. It's taken me nearly 19 years to get this strength, and I'm here, I don't like to face it, but I know I must.

I cannot believe the strength and encouragement you all give. I am so proud of you all to care enough to share. Well, that's my update for now, Have a wonderful evening, Love, Suzy

PS. Why is a lawyer lurking here? Is it your specialty? Have you once been abused? You give great advice. I'll think about the alimony thing more. I've been on this site long enough to know, with 5 kids, I do need to get all the help I can to care for them. I really do not want to "take him for all he's worth", but I know I must be smart too. THANK YOU ALL!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

*bounces in happily*

The project is done! It's done, it's done! And there's a good chance I got an A in my class, and very little chance I got less than an A-. I am so happy. :)

I have a new housemate, and since she's waiting on job interview callbacks, she decided to clean the house for me meanwhile. I was not expecting that. I got home from putting in extra time at work and she even had leftover dinner for me. The only downside is two and a half people living here (her boyfriend is here a lot, and he's actually a closer friend than she is right now, though not by as much anymore)...and one phone line. So not much online time for me right now, but that's ok.

the dust will settle soon...y'know, I think right now I'm happy being single. I have enough on my plate as it is. I don't intend to stay married to my work, but it's nice to have the mental SPACE to get everything I need done, done.

Comment to Steve and Asha and pet things: I think in some ways it really is about the dog. Not in a "you love the dog more than me"/"I do not!" way, but in a lifestyle priorities way. "Love me, love my priorities." This, I guess, is why we shouldn't try so hard to adapt to one another in the beginning -- makes for a rude awakening later. And when you discover that your values and priorities clash, it sort of feels like "OK, who is this stranger and what has s/he done with my soul mate?" One of the reasons the research shows that opposites don't attract. The more similarities, the better!

The little things I referred to in the previous post were the problems before the whole drug mess started. L and I have a basic and fundamental clash of values, and always have: he feels an intense responsibility to a handful of people he's especially close to, and the heck with the rest of the world; I feel a more generalized responsibility towards the world around me, and extend that to all but those who have shown that they do NOT deserve any consideration from me. I also feel that being "educated" in the classical sense of the term is important, and he feels that there are better uses to make of time. Things of this nature. Two years ago, we fought about this stuff constantly. And I've realized that, while neither answer is "right" (and either can be taken too far), my answers are right FOR ME, I need a partner who shares my values to a greater extent, and I shouldn't guilt myself out of the priorities I was raised with (and have developed since being on my own) in the name of "not being a snob." Start there and take it from there. No absolute hard and fasts here...

We had the last class meeting at my professor's house, and he said something about possibly looking further into the journals I cited in my project as possible outlets for publication (since my project is a very preliminary step towards my thesis). I feel like I've found what I belong doing; I wish I'd found it sooner sometimes, but I think I needed a few years away from the ivory tower before I go back for good. :)

Astrid, who really likes her new life... Yippeee!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Astrid. Bravo. Way to go on the school front and the emotional front. I think you may be at least partially right about Asha and I.

I'm still feeling good but I don't want to say much here right now.

Love to all.

"Ring the bells, that still can ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack, a crack in everything.

That's how the light gets in..."

Leonard Cohen

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Hi Steve,

FIRST you didn't answer my question the way I wanted. (This is me being honest)

I wanted to know how to handle being too nice, did this not get across? (Sorry if this sounds blunt, its not meant to be.) Hey, "blunt" is OK.

Anyway good insight from you. Well you know the secret to a co-dependents heart now STEVE ability to try to fix everyone but thy self.

Well I did give myself some advice yesterday evening and then this morning, here goes:

My advice to me:

Theressa how big a deal is this issue with your colleague? Do you really want this extra opportunity which comes with more responsibility? Can you handle more responsibility at this time? What is this really about? Are you letting history cloud your judgement? Do you still have some anger to release about the past? What would happen if you did tell this colleague what to do? Are you still valuable Theressa if you tell her? What would you get out of telling her?

Here's my answers:

1)Theressa how big a deal is this issue with your colleague?

Well its not such a big deal. Though it does have other things connected to it, other thoughts. Those thoughts are: That I am some times unsure when to stand my ground, and knowing if I let my guard down others might think I've gone soft again and start to walk all over me. ASSERTIVENESS IS ABOUT CHOICE, but then why are other colleagues saying your just too nice to others.

I mean is it being true to myself if I give away my value to others????

2) Do you really want this extra opportunity which comes with more responsibility?

Well right now what with MISSY I am finding life tough enough so NO its probably not a good idea, and I am sure as I've read GOD only gives us what we can handle.

3) Can you handle more responsibility at this time?

I could but it wouldn't be wise since I am just managing with all the other stress as it is.

4) What is this really about? It is about showing others that I want respecting.

Though I know we should pick our issues to deal with carefully so we don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. THIS is difficult for me.

5) Are you letting history cloud your judgment? Probably, though I am unsure how to let this to rest. Maybe I can release some of my anger about it. Then although I won't forget it, I can forgive and accept that is the way it is.

6) What would happen if you did tell this colleague what to do? Perhaps then it might look good on me, because the bosses would see that it was me who taught her. They might see that i am good at training. Could help me in the future.

[Thanks Lynn for helping me answer the last question]

ALSO I just sent a e-mail to my colleague because when I did approach her to tell her about the webpages on Monday she was irritated by me and made me feel like I was mothering her. When she cut me short and said she didn't want to know then because lots needed sorting beforehand. The body language I saw in her made me feel like a mothering child. She did a similar thing a few days later. I was brief and to the point and just shared my feelings and explained why I'd done what I'd done.

I also noticed that I am sometimes over helpful. Like when people say oh I don't want to know right now. I still tell them and then feel angry when they don't want to listen.

Also I sometimes tell them cos I think I should and then end up angry with myself.

Anyway there are two things for my awareness. I am glad I sent the e-mail though maybe it will clear the air and not leave things festering.

Thanks a million Theressa

PS Steve one day when I want to make a career out of helping others grow will you do me a reference LOL.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Suzy,

Sadheart here. About "taking him for all he's worth". You know that you will not be doing that if he pays what is required of him by the State. Look on the internet, there are calculators used by the lawyers to figure what he owes. Of course, you can agree to anything you wish. Just remember, it is harder to change it later.

In my case I am accepting 1/3 of what he should be paying. I am doing so because I do make more than him, he has bankruptcy and I do not. And most importantly, if I take what the state says I should have, he will have to live in sub-standard housing and I don't want that for my son when he goes to visit, and I do not want to be "blamed" for him not having a decent place (probably the biggest reason).

I too have the feelings sometimes of running away from it all. Leave the house, car, "stuff" and sometime the child. But not because I don't love my child with all my heart. Just because I don't know how strong I will be when he starts using our son as a weapon against me. (Which I know since we separated before he WILL do).

Be strong Suzy, you CAN do this. It is the hardest thing in the world, but ask yourself...If I only had one year left to live, would I want it to be here, like this, with him? My answer was NO!!

Sadheart...trying to be braveheart...looking forward to being GLADHEART!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Steve here.

Sadheart said (to Suzy): "About "taking him for all he's worth". You know that you will not be doing that if he pays what is required of him by the State."

That may not be entirely accurate, depending on the state. In Canada, I know of cases where men where taken for MORE than they were worth. Some of them committed suicide in this despair and so children lost their fathers.

Here is a (sad) url:

http://www.fact.on.ca/renouf/r_index.htm

I think I would buffer your statement above by saying "take what's fair", regardless of any laws which COULD allow you to take more. All the while, keep in mind, you want to do what's best for the kids.

Steve    Yes Steve, "take what's fair." But, don't disempower the guy. He chose to commit suicide. He didn't have to.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

I had forgotten how powerful the reverend's speech was. It's worth clicking on that link at the bottom of the url. Much of what he said, can be relative in the catbox.

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Theressa: "Steve one day when I want to make a career out of helping others grow, will you do me a reference LOL."

Of course I will. I'll even volunteer as a guinea pig if you want to experiment on me...

:)

Steve  

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Need word/advice here.

I have posted about the fact that I am scared about my husband drinking this weekend. He has not drank heavily in a year, but has not gone to any programs. I spoke to the therapist who saw us both for a short time who has NO CLUE about emotional abuse. But I spoke to him, because I was asking if he would call my hub. (My hub asked if the Doc would continue to see him alone, even though we are separating.) Of course, my hub has not made any move to get an appointment. So, me, trying to control the situation, asked the Doc to call hub. I felt it would be good for hub to have some support and maybe that would prevent the drinking I fear.

The Doc basically said that I am assuming too much by assuming he will drink. What he said made me feel badly about myself. I feel like an untrusting person. But the part of me that wants to be safe is saying...You KNOW him! The recipie is there for him to get smashed. He has nothing left to lose, the marriage is over. He is scary when he is drunk, and mean. In the past, the worst of the crazy-making has been when he is drunk. Nothing physical, but I really feel like now that things are at this point, he will have less inhibition.

He and I are still in the same house until after Xmas. I have to leave for work at 4:00am Sun morning....I am right now planning to take my son with me to work if Dad comes home drunk. I do not feel OK about leaving my son there while Dad is drunk or hung-over. Doc says that I am expecting the worst out of Hub. He said it in a way that caused my mind to read into it...If you expect him to do it, he will, so stop assuming.

Basically I am feeling guilty for my assumptions, but they are based on my knowledge of past behaviors. Please, any thoughts? I guess, if I am prepared and he doesn't get drunk, then he will never know I have assumed anything. But now I am feeling like being prepared is a bad thing. I feel like I am a pessimistic person prone to seeing the worst in him. (Though I stayed for 7 yrs hoping for the best.)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

That above post about the drinking was from me, Sadheart.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Theressa

Here is some feedback about your post. Just some hunches I have.

<<4) What is this really about? It is about showing others that I want respecting.>>

I think Theressa that others will respect you more when you show more Self-respect. By trying to "get" them to respect you, you might actually achieve the opposite affect. If you respect yourself you will make decisions based on your integrity. You will gain more respect overall that way. And if you have your integrity and others still don't show respect, that's their problem. At least you will rest easy. Yes...

<<<6) What would happen if you did tell this colleague what to do? Perhaps then it might look good on me, because the bosses would see that it was me who taught her. They might see that i am good at training. Could help me in the future. >>>

Again, there's that wanting to "look good". Rather than envision how everyone else will feel about what you do, think about how what you do makes *you* feel inside. Do you feel like you are operating out of a 'higher' motive or an ego motive? If it somehow doesn't 'feel' right, then examine your motives.

<<<I also noticed that I am sometimes over helpful. Like when people say oh I don't want to know right now. I still tell them and then feel angry when they don't want to listen.

Also I sometimes tell them cos I think I should and then end up angry with myself. >>>

I think it would help you to pay more attention to the signals others are giving you. If they say they don't want your help, then respect that. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them - they may feel threatened, overwhelmed, or just not in the mood for "help". You may have to make a conscious effort to be more aware of the signals others give you. Don't take it personally. Don't "push" help on others. It's only helpful when someone is open to it. I think you are so eager to please that you are concentrating more on the "pleasing" than on the awareness of what others want from you. Even if you think you really have something to offer someone, it's pointless to waste your energy if it won't be kindly received.

I hope that helps.

Asha

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Lynn here. This is my story and my reason. This is not to imply that others think or feel like this.

My kids' dad .... he liked to rent houses, just to rent houses and tell me we were moving. I went along, of course. I only had 2 kids at the time, so this was about 33 or 34 years ago. I had a dog I adored named Sam. H went and rented a house that took no pets. I complained, etc. and finally got, "It's me or the dog and if you really love me you'll get rid of the dog." I made the wrong choice. And to this day I don't know what happened to my dog (and I'm sure I don't want to know).  Lynn, this happened because your H had little or no personal integrity. This would have never happened if he had not allowed his anger at you to compromise his Self.  

We have opportunities to hurt those we love each day. The test, I think, is to have the love for Self and other be greater than the anger towards same... 

Resentful. Still to this day I hate the SOB for this and myself for being so young, dumb and stupid.

Moral of this one. Ain't nobody going to tell me I can or cannot have a pet and that one never slept on a bed. Everyone I've had since has. Makes perfect sense when I think about it.

So I guess Dan has to pay for his sins by sleeping in a kennel like one of the litter. Maybe this is a test or what, but ....

I'm sure this isn't the end. Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Sadheart:

<<Basically I am feeling guilty for my assumptions, but they are based on my knowledge of past behaviors. Please, any thoughts? I guess, if I am prepared and he doesn't get drunk, then he will never know I have assumed anything. But now I am feeling like being prepared is a bad thing. I feel like I am a pessimistic person prone to seeing the worst in him.>>

Being prepared isn't a bad thing. Especially when it involves risk to your children or to yourself. You can't control his behavior, but you can control yours. I think that's what you are doing. You don't sound pessimistic to me, you sound realistic. It's hard to watch this sort of thing unfold when you've seen it happen dozens of times. Maybe it won't be as bad as you're expecting, but I think you are wise to be prepared in case it does.

You need to take care of you and your child, and it sounds like that's what you are doing. Be responsible for your own behavior and don't 'punish' him for behavior he hasn't yet engaged in. Hope for the best, and have a plan B in case the best doesn't happen.

I wish you luck.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Lynn: "Ain't nobody going to tell me I can or cannot have a pet and that one never slept on a bed. Everyone I've had since has. Makes perfect sense when I think about it."

Hey, those are fightin' words! Haha. I can just picture Fred getting tossed outside, banging on the door, and yelling "WILMA-aaaaaaaaa"!

In all seriousness though, you need to do what's right for you.

It seems like the phrase "The dog or me" is often used. I wonder what it could mean in a broader sense. Perhaps it's really an issue of control. Irene? Scroll down Steve - and Asha. Look for the post with your names highlighted in red. Please read the whole post, not just from your highlighted names.

Or perhaps it's much simpler. Incompatibility. Probably either can be true, and sometimes a mix...

But Lynn, are you angry when you say that stuff? You had mentioned you might give if you got something in return. That sounds like it may be a power struggle. What do you think?

Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Dear Steve,

I never thought about it before, but I've always since had a dog in my life. At least one. As for us, it's not a power struggle right now because although it isn't much fun making whoop with the dogs on the bed I don't care to do anything about it because I don't feel much like making whoopie. The dogs between us just doesn't matter. I know that if we got to where we were a number of years ago (PS, I think I'm a nut, but I like to go to bed and have sex. Great sleeping pill.) Now we don't and getting personal here, but it seems we don't have sex unless I initiate it. I don't anymore. If I cared to, even I would prefer it without the dog thinking Dan was attacking me and trying to keep him away from me.

I think it boils down to not a power struggle, but I don't feel like he talks to me (still same complaint) and when I feel let down in that area I don't tend to feel very romantic toward him. Viscious circle here.

It might be as simple as if I don't have sex with Dan (I've never told him no, he doesn't ask.) he won't talk to me and if Dan doesn't talk to me, I don't want sex. Stalemate.

We have a lot to work out before I even give a darn about retraining the dogs.

This isn't much of an answer, but .....

PS. I sent Asha some pics, but one especially for you.

Thanks Steve, I was just trying self analysis on why I have a dog fetish.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Oh, Steve. Lynn again. I love the Fred/Wilma thing. I can visualize Dan at the bedroom door in his bearskins.... hehehe Me on the bed pealing grapes for the dogs?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Oh, Oh. Edited while it was posting. Peeling.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Now I'm getting silly again. For Whom the Grapes Toll? Sounds exactly like what I said. Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Becky checking in:

Just to let you know that I had an ultrasound today as a follow up to the third mammogram. The person doing it, and the radiologist both say that I have "simple cysts" which is good. She explained everything she was seeing, which i really appreciated as it helped me understand what's happening. It seems these cysts can come and go, get bigger and smaller. I haven't heard from the doctor, but I can reasonably assume that he will agree with their diagnosis. if not...back to square one.

I haven't talked to the Dr. yet about anti-depressants. When i spoke with his office the other day, the person I talked with had not seen the letter from my therapist; at least it wasn't in my file. She suggested that I wait a few days and call back. That is on my "to do" list for tomorrow.

I have had an awful time with migraines this week, and sinus problems today, so I'm about to say the heck with it--I give up! i have broken the record, I think, for number of pills taken in a 24hr. period: 5 imitrex and 6 Excedrin; and that just kept me upright and going, not pain free!

I have decided to not go to the annual Christmas party Saturday night; I'm just not up to it. I'd warned my husband that I didn't want to go; when I reminded him last week, he started with the "You never want to do anything" bit. (Interesting that he was smiling and had a joking tone to his voice, but then my son was in the room. The minute my son left, the anger came out).

This party is for people in his profession, and the food is good, but I'm not up to sitting there for several hours watching people drink and listening to the men talk business. It's also an hour away and I'm physically and emotionally tired. I want to save myself for my niece's church Christmas program the next afternoon.

I have decided that I need to do (or not do) what is right for me at this time and not let "I shoulds" rule me. I went to the Chamber of Commerce party and that was fine, and that's all for me this year. I did tell my husband that I don't feel that he cares all that much about being with me anyway (he cites the steak and lobster as the reason to go). I have told him that if he wants to go, he should; I really don't mind. I'm not sure what he will do.

I just wish that I wasn't so good at letting him "guilt" me! I'm better than I used to be, but there has always been, in this marriage, what I call "the black cloud" : a rumbling, threatening, rolling blackness that is going to unleash a torrent of disapproval if i step out of line in any way. I've come to realize through my experience with him, that he uses guilt and shame to manipulate:you are SUCH a disappointment if you let him down. (BTW, he only has to think you've let him down and you're doomed). While he wants forgiveness, he's not too willing to give it--he's rather a resentful person.

So, knowing this, what do I do? Take care of myself, trust that I know what's right for me and go with it. Staying home from the party is not destructive, selfish, or mean. I'm just not up to forcing myself. It's time i eased up on myself!

I will put in my 2 cents worth on the dog issue. Both dogs that we have had hated thunderstorms and would beg to come into our room. My husband hated dog smell and would gripe and complain when I would let the dog in. But I pointed out that it was either put up with a little doggie smell or listen to whining and scratching at the door all night .(our last dog would bang on the door with his head! He usually slept with my son --oh the dog hair on the bed!-- but when the storms hit, he ran to the ones in charge)!

Also (and I never said this) I could stand doggie smell better than husband smell when husband worked a job all day then came to bed without showering!

I think that with issues such as this, a little good natured compromise is in order. I hear Steve question Asha's ideas about her dog and what the dog wants and needs, and I think that is typical of controlling personalities: they want the last word on how you feel or what you should want or need. When my husband does this sort of thing, i remind him that while he is a smart guy who knows a lot, he doesn't know everything, and he is out of bounds to "decide" that what I'm needing or feeling is wrong--especially since his motivations seem to be so self-centered. In other words, if he doesn't want to give something to me that i say i need, he conveniently decides that I'm wrong to need it.

I'm off track! I'm trying to say that in my opinion, compromises can be reached in these situations, and people's wishes respected, if solving the problem is the goal. If having one's way is the goal, there's an impasse.

I probably sound looped, so I'm signing off for now! The college semester ends next week, regular school the week after, then (bliss) a few weeks' vacation! Till later, Becky

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

I'm so glad to hear from you and about your tests. Hooray and (((HUGS))). As for Christmas Parties, I like most of Dan's co workers. In fact I like them all. We have a couple who insist on bringing their kids though. I like these kids, too. Just not in a bar at ten at night and so when the kids are scheduled, I stay home. Day time barbeques and get togethers. I'm okay with. The little boy told me one night that he didn't like cigarette smoke. At 10 at night in a bar I didn't feel compelled to put my cigarette out. He could have chosen to go visit someone else. He didn't. Meanwhile the little girl was asleep on her mom's lap for hours. Tough call, because like I said, I do like the kids. I just feel there are adult parties and non . I said to Dan if they scheduled one for the kids at the pizza parlor I wouldn't smoke and I'd play Mrs Santa for the kids.

Enough vent vent, not an issue.

I hear you about the people smell. I sleep with the dogs and cats, but no shower-go sleep elsewhere. I swear this is because I'm only 5 foot tall and my nose is usually right in peoples armpits.

We have a dog too, who is terrorized be thunder. She gets between us and buries her head under a pillow and shakes. We just wrap our arms around her and when it clears she gets down.

I'm not sure this is a problem in our house. We've always slept with the critters. Maybe if we get amorous again we could rent a room for the occasion.

I can beat you on the Excedrin. That's all I ever take for mine anymore. That and sleep. My last one I gave myself though.

I guess we have to realize there are pet people and non pet people. My son gave me the acid test a couple of years ago when he put his snake in my arms. He loved my ring and then coiled up to my arm and around my neck. Then the son came and retrieved him after taking a picture! I prefer my pets to be fuzzy.

Take care and I'm so glad to hear from you.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

Becky: "I hear Steve question Asha's ideas about her dog and what the dog wants and needs, and I think that is typical of controlling personalities: they want the last word on how you feel or what you should want or need." 

That's kinda offensive to me but what the heck...I'll take a stab at it...  And here is my stab: "typical of controlling personalities" is the victim person's subjective take. To the angry person, it just feels as though he or she is being pushed aside by the person they love. This is probably because the pet (or whatever the issue) has been unwittingly used in the past by the victim person to subtly retaliate. 

A similar and very common dynamic in my practice is the woman who subtly pushes the angry husband out because she feels he is too tough with the kid. The kindest, most well meaning woman takes it upon herself to "protect" the kid (who doesn't need protection) from dad. Dad unfortunately responds by becoming tougher, looking bad, being bad. Oh, the tangled webs we weave...

Perhaps you are hearing/reading wrong Becky. I want Asha to do what's right for her. I want to do what's right for me. I'm not going to get into it much more because I don't want to have to feel like I MUST defend myself - due to Asha posting her personal profiles of me, which are her opinions only. I know what the truth is.

Lynn: "I guess we have to realize there are pet people and non pet people."

This is getting a over-blown methinks. There are pet people, and other pet people and more pet people and different pet people. And people who don't like dogs but like cats, and vice versa, and people who hate all mammals but like reptiles etc etc and thousands of gray shades between. And I suppose there are people who hate all animals, although I've never met one.

I love animals. Period. I had a dog that went with me everywhere for more than 10 years. We went to wilderness places together that no human had ever set foot. He was/is very special to me. Now my X has him.

I had a cat that slept on my bed every night. He was well-behaved and didn't rip up the place at 5am in the morning like Asha's cat has a habit of doing.

It's unfortunate (for the sake of clarity) that Asha's posting is causing people to think I don't like pets and am controlling because of it. Only she knows if that's what she intended.

I'm just worn out. No more pet-talk for me for awhile. Of course you're worn out Steve. This dynamic has nothing to do with pets and everything to do with partnership. 

Asha: Do a little soul searching, please. In your frustration with Steve, have you ever gotten back at him by using the pet to make Steve feel less than? (I would be very surprised if you hadn't since this is one of the few places where you did have some power. You certainly didn't over his kids for example. And, you are human. No matter how much you swallow your anger, it's GOT to be there...)

Steve: If Asha can own this one, be aware that you are personally responsible to your own integrity first and to Asha second to never to bring her admission up and throw it in her face out of your own anger, ever, ever, ever. OK?

Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Hello All....Suzy here. Becky, I'm so glad you have good news, my aunt has the same thing with the cysts, it's a pain, literally and figuratively (SP?), but I'm sure you'll be okay. What are you going to college for?

Sadheart, I do think you are a brave heart and I definitely will pray for your gladheart, because I am sure you will deserve it. Yes, I think a plan B would be good, don't worry about being distrusting, listen to that little voice , it's fine to be prepared for the worst, and if it does'nt happen, great!

Steve, you're right, that was a powerful letter of the man who committed suicide. Am I reading you right?,,, Are you insinuating to be careful for what I ask for or I might push him over the edge? I think, he is already over the edge and I refuse to blame myself if he does something stupid. I think many have the wrong opinion that I "want it ALL", not so, my husband thinks I deserve nothing, because I "never did anything to deserve it". He even tried to trick me not to have 1/2 the retirement, which I am entitled to by law. I have to go by my gut, he has been very abusive to me, his words are cunning and powerful and smooth, he can make any bad thing he does.. go back to me and my behaviour, he LOVES to twist things, I think it gives him the "feel good" he needs and in a way, control and power.

I soon will be in a mess I feel as because of my husband's recent behavior, he will be escorted out of the home. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this, on the one hand, he deserves it for the violent behavior shown, on the other hand...it is almost Christmas. Does it ever get easier?

Lynn, I am with you, I am choosing the dog. My dog doesn't sleep with me, however, he is my joy. I am sure God gave him to me because he needed me as much as I needed him. He was a abused neglected dog, we're perfect for each other.

Steve, my husband hates animals, all animals, now you've met a person who hates animals, yes, I agree there is fuzzy animal people, reptile people etc, etc. I don't think it is so much about control as it is, an animal gives unconditional love always, and never talks back and knows just when to give a hug, and when to protect etc. To a woman who is abused, this can be a source of one tiny joy, a little something to love unconditionally back. A little animal can heal so much, they are a gift.

Theressa, you are a smart lady, able to dissect all of your problems at work and able to ask...what is really going on here? This gift in itself proves you are strong, and healing and able to accomplish all. I love the Lord will not give more than you can handle, some days, I think the Lord forgot about me, However, I know he is there any time I need him, only a prayer a way.

Good night to all. Love, Suzy

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Suzy (to me): "Are you insinuating to be careful for what I ask for or I might push him over the edge?"

No Suzy. Not at all. I was just showing how what's right with the legal system isn't always what's right for families. That's why some men get pushed too far. When they are left with absolutely nothing, and a future full of the same, there's not much hope. True, but, I think, just more reverse sex victim mentality. There is always hope. Each person scripts their life, creates their own hope... 

Many women are becoming more aware of the sexism in family court, because they are living with it in stepfamilies, or their brother is getting discriminated against or whatever.

I think you will know inside what is fair. As long as you don't use the legal system as a form of punishment, which is all too common in family breakdowns.

You sound very reasonable to me.

As far as Christmas goes, I wouldn't let that make you stay in a dangerous situation. We are all praying for you.

Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Steve

Just a note that despite our differences on the above issues: I give you credit for sticking with this forum.

I would have said this to any other guy who came here and stuck with it this long, so to be fair, I will say it to you too.

Good on you.

You said that only I know what I intended re: my post of yesterday about the underlying issue about the dog. My intention was to get to the bottom of my feelings about having the dog in the room, and where those feelings come from. Something like what David described in the Buddha section - peeling the onion to see what's inside. (BTW David, why don't you ever visit us at this section? This section needs more male input!)

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

One more addition on dogs.

I do dog rescue. I have rescued probably 25+ dogs over 3 years. I take them in or place them in other foster homes. I have never had more than 5 in my home at once, but I know that was a lot to handle for my Hub. I tried to not have him too inconvenienced, but truly we had no hobbies and never did anything anyway, so I started this.

Almost EVERY one of my rescues were terrified of my husband. Some were so terrified I would have to move them to another foster home. My own personal dog would not come near him for 5 yrs. All of this "rejection" made my Hub angry. He didn't seem to understand that the dogs were reading his body language and can "sense" that a person is angry.

Well, yesterday, my "Mommy" radar must have been on high-tune. I decided to call a girl that adopted a VERY SPECIAL little female from me. This little female dog was a joy to be around and the smartest dog I had EVER met. And the only foster that my husband ever said he loved and missed. I took great pains to find her a "performance" home where she could rise to her potential as an agility dog. Her new Mommy lived 855 miles from me! She had her 6 weeks. When I called yesterday, she was sobbing. I asked what was wrong and she said "I can't believe YOU are calling me!!! She was just killed!" I was heartbroken.

I called my husband because I was hurting so badly and I really needed someone to talk to and I knew he loved her too. His reaction was to get angry that I scared him because I was crying. When he understood what happened, he said "Oh." So cold. I have been crying on and off since I found out. Partly because I would have loved a hug or to be held...but that was always out of his ability.

At least I have always received unconditional love from my dogs. And the joy and fulfillment that usually goes with rescuing an abused, cold, hurt animal and watching it blossom into a beautiful compainion filled the empty part of my heart that was aching to be loved.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. I could sure use some cyber hugs. My heart is still hurting badly over the news. Such a sudden, tragic end to a life with such promise.. (She was just 1 yrs old) I truly hoped to see her at some national shows (She was a purebred) Some days I feel like G*d is testing me and seeing just how much sorrow I can take.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Dear Suzy,

I am sorry about your situation. Hope you will be able to get through with the least possible damage. Did you read Rhonda's posts about taking the high road? She did what she felt she should do, in spite of all the awful thing her husband did in and out the courts and it really seemed to have worked for her.

You are not putting your husband out just before Christmas to spite him. You are putting him out to be safe and because you really cannot longer live with the situation as it is. That is all right. You tried hard enough. Just see that you get a good lawyer, one familiar maybe with abuse cases and do what you have to for yourSelf and your kids, and try to think a little ahead, beyond the fright, fight or flight reactions. What do you really want, what do you need and what are you willing to do for it. Take care, sending you lots of love and energy.

Dear Asha and Steve,

I feel you two are still trying to ‘win'. Whatever you want to win is not quite clear to me. Caue if one of you wins the dog issue, another issue will pop up, like the holiday thing you fought about a couple of weeks ago. Why don't you let the dog decide :-) leave the door open, and let him decide whether he stays in, or goes out. I mean, don't make it into an issue you have to decide about. Like, you can argue about whether you like rain or not. But it will rain, or not, all the same without you interfering. Could you try to see these issues as such? It is like making them a non-issue. Nobody wins, so there is no need to fight.

Dear Theresa,

About the being too nice: did you read Beattie's Codependent no more? It addresses just that issue. We are too nice, want to help/rescue people that in turn get mad at us, because they do not want to be rescued and we get mad, because we just wanted to do the good thing. If you haven't read it, please do. If you have, maybe time for a re read??

A general thought that just popped up about the Self. The feeling of Self maybe linked to our general energy level: a low Selfworth lead to a low energy level and the only way we know how to replenish it is through others. If we have enough Selfworth, we know that we can always depend on ourselves to replenish and give us all the energy, good feeling we need. Then it is much easier to share, cause we know we can refill anytime. Therefore we get less afraid of ‘loosing'. Why should you fight to keep something that you can easily refill.

Just a thought, not too clear maybe, but I hope you get my drift.

Love to all and have a good weekend

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Hi all, I read most of the posts on this section, but rarely post. I am posting about leaving your husband and what is rightfully yours. I left my H 3 months ago. We sold our house and split the profits. The original plan was 50/50 custody, our child was miserable so this did not last long. She now only goes every other weekend. Thankfully for me I have a great career and make enough to support myself. He is not giving me one cent, I am accepting this because although he makes great money as well he is in counseling and I know it costs a lot when your insurance does not cover any of it. If he was not in counseling I would request child support. I also wanted my freedom from his abuse so bad that I let him take whatever he wanted out of the house and all of the toys we had accumulated in 14 yrs. My family and friends were appalled, but for me it was a matter of respect for myself. He felt they were his anyways since he paid for them and since they were more important than his child and me, I felt he should have them. I did request my half of the money from the house and some of the furniture that I needed. I am finding that some months are harder to pay my bills, I was used to a very comfortable lifestyle and not really having to worry about money, I must say I feel very lonely at times, but my family and friends have all commented about the change in me. I am more at peace and on an even keel than I was for 14 yrs. I guess my moods before were like a roller coaster and my child is so much happier that at times I want to cry because I did not think any child would or could be happy about parents splitting up, but mine is. Do what is in your heart and keep in mind that being vindictive will also hurt you in the long run. Nuts

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Dear whoever you are: (Re: the toys he bought)

"He felt they were his anyways since he paid for them and since they were more important than his child and me."

If you feel like this, there is a chance you are sending this message to your child. I'm not saying you're wrong to feel it, I'm just saying it WILL have an effect.  :)

I personally don't think it's good for kids to hear bad things about either parent. And you seem to be linking you and your child as one entity. My X and I may have certain feelings about each other but we both love our children as individuals.

She used to say bad things about me to the kids, because, and she will admit this now, she was angry with me. She was also a little concerned that I may go for custody so she was wrongly trying to create distance between myself and my children.

Since there seems to be a lot of women here either divorcing or contemplating it, and there are children involved, I'd like to give some links that I believe are valuable in this situation.

Kids come first.

http://www.reenasommerassociates.mb.ca/parent.html

http://www.robin.no/~dadwatch/pasdir/pasindex.html

We always have to be vigilant to prevent our anger toward our spouses/x-spouse from hurting our children.  Yes! And once again, Steve nailed on the head what the disempowered nice persons (still looking for new word for "victims") unwittingly do to their kids. Notice how innocently this stuff is done: out of fear. There has been subjective and perhaps objective reason to fear - because that's what happens when the disempowered haven't yet learned to take their power.... 

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Hi All,

Well lots of things are coming up that I need to work on and I hope some of you more advanced people can help me.

I see my EGO is still running my life!!

You see today I blew it big time. I lost my self control, this has been happening a lot lately. NOW TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I read Dr Irene's article on self control. I've read it many times. BUT well I just can't seem to sort this problem. Practice, practice, practice!

You see I was speaking to my X. In fact it was very productive, he told me some home truths about me I wasn't defensive. He told me that some of my problems with MISSY might be because of me not being so organized. GOSH DID HE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. So Yes he was correct. I DID fall short of self control here though. I did find myself saying BUT I can't help it that I so disorganized because I have so much to try and do, and I am tired and worn out and WISH someone could help me deal with MISSY.

He told me that we could sort it out as long as I didn't contact any child counselors or psychologists, since they would only tell me that I am a bad mother and if I am losing my cool. I am an unfit mother and will probably take her away from me. I felt very angry and stuck and hurt when he said this. I mean I said If I don't know how to behave and neither do you, how are we gonna teach MISSY? Its okay saying we can sort this ourselves but i can't.

Then he said "Look Theressa I gave you all this money (which he did!!) but boy have i had to pay for it. He gave me £1000. Lot of money YES. What did I give him, well I told him he didn't have to pay me keep from September until January.£400 worth of money plus £200 for clothes I had to buy Missy because he had no money to contribute. HE shared the furniture with me. HOWEVER, we had a sofa I paid for with my endowment. (OKAY so the endowment we both paid for, but he also had an endowment that he had and we paid for. but he cashed it in and spent all the money on himself.) He also when he worked bought lots of things with what he called his money, SINCE he paid half the bills WHY should he give me any more money when he lived with me. MIGHT i ask? SO if I add up all the hours I worked in our home and looked after our child and went to work outside of the home, and kept him when he decided yet again to change jobs, I'd say I did my fair share.

OH but he has a bank loan, he got out and he gave me £1000 of it. OH and not forgetting he gave me all the furniture. Well he didn't actually but it sounds GOOD, to his family. He left the tv, BUT he had just bought one just before we separated. He left a video OH but he just bought one. HE left a stereo OH but he just bought One. YOU SEE his money that didn't go on the bills went straight in his pocket. THOUGH he sees no worth in what i did all those years. He left the bed, well actually he was meant to take it but at the last minute he decided not to. He left me a £300 deposit and I bought a cooker.

SO what it all comes down to is MONEY. Money is worth so much but any other contributions is just worth ZERO, well in his book YES. WELL this is when I blew. NAUGHTY YES!!!! I blew because I know your all say "OH NO NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY" but I blew because I am fed up of being told I didn't do anything all those years!!!

SO how do I deal with this. I've tried being aware of my anger before it turns into an emotional display but I never am aware of it. SO THIS IS WHAT I NEED YOUR HELP WITH, please!!!

CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH THIS???

I do have an ANGER problem, I think!!! Just don't know what to do with it??? How to handle it?? The smallest things are getting to me?? I am taking so much personal??? THE weak bits are on full view.

HELP!!! OH SOMEONE HELP!!! PLEASE!!!!

How can I stop counterattacking???

STEVE you hit the nail on the head when you said I ENGAGE, Well YES I have been. YES I know these are buttons, but I just don't know what to do???

I don't always engage, though when things like the MONEY vs. all I did, I end up engaging. HELP???

Love Theressa

PS I didn't realize I had so far still to go, YIKES This is all getting heavy carrying all this. I feel worn out. I THOUGHT LEAVING WOULD MAKE IT EASIER.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Sounds like you finally got your head on straight! Except for the counselor part...if the counselor does not understand emotional abuse, why are you paying for his/her services? Emotional abuse far more damaging than physical abuse (short of death). When it comes to money, make sure you are getting your money's worth...not to mention the time you are wasting. DITCH BOTH JERKS!!!! I speak from experience....from the Heart of Texas.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Hi everyone. This is likely to be a long post and sorry for not reading all yours first. I hope everyone is o.k..

I have just had a really scary time. Lynn had the year she threw out the Christmas tree. Jay has just had the year she, er, got certified sane!

I got into my car to go for a short break to get away from all the stress. Also I was feeling very angry and I thought it better to go away and calm down. I have been stopping the stupid seroxat again.

I felt fine and then nearing the town, a seaport I know and love well I felt really unwell. I went to casualty. It was seroxat (Paxil withdrawal. One thing I was NOT was feeling suicidal or a danger to anyone. Just weepy. Feeling very ill and strange but coherent.

To cut a long story short I was offered a bed on a psychiatric hospital for the night. VOLUNTARY admission.

However this place in a psychiatric ward on a general hospital was scary and I was horrified to find it was a locked ward. As a voluntary patient they have to release you if you say you want to go.

They refused. As I have worked in a psychiatric hospital I know this is not legal here. Also I discharged myself once before when I was depressed. Nobody has ever thought me mad.

I spent a night feeling very frightened in an office which had all sorts of things I know from experience of working with others people can use to self harm. I pointed this out to the doctor as general issue of safety. He and a social worker and the doctor who admitted me concluded from this remark to emphasize I was NOT suicidal I was!

To cut a long story short they tried to section me. Legally, the doctor should have asked if I had any intention of harming myself or thoughts of suicide. Nobody asked this.

Anyway, unexplained, nurses started to follow me at arms length. I have to stop it is tea time and my husband made it. I will continue later.  love Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Hi Theressa.

You know you are angry and have a problem with it. That's a big step right there. The money thing vs. self-worth is the perfect opportunity for you. It's obviously one of your biggest buttons and you can use it as your personal test. :)

As I said before, I monitor my physiology to first to help find out how I feel. That is the easy part. Then you have to make a huge effort to not act on the feeling Right. - or, stop feeling it.  In the long run, you want to stop feeling the anger, but during the moment of anger, it sometimes is easier to just control your outward actions. Right. Reworded: You want to control your behavior in response  to the feeling you are experiencing. Later on, when you are cool-headed, you want to look at the underlying thinking (that created the emotion) to see how much sense it makes. It is likely that you are in the bad habit of implicitly believing silly stuff that just isn't true!

It's not easy. But it's possible, and the more you practice, the better you get, just like piano lessons. Yeah!

Spend time thinking about those things that make you angry and do as Dr Irene says...all the things she says.

Theressa, you know what to do. You know it's hard so you maybe are afraid of working on something you feel is so difficult?

I know how difficult it is, but I am starting to feel some real rewards and they are soooo worth the effort. I mean REALLY worth it. I can't emphasize it enough.  Yeah, yeah, yeah! You begin to have some confidence in yourself; you feel less out of control; less like a leaf blowing in the wind; more like the director of your own life; integrity zooms up! Yippeee yippeee yippeee!  (You are "fixing" or "pulling in" your buttons.)

Steve

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Steve here.

After all Irene has done pointed out for me, I am becoming a firm believer in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).  Thanx Steve!

This website has lots of info on it

http://www.cognitivetherapy.com/

For those of you interested in the drugs vs therapy issue:

http://www.cognitivetherapy.com/raising_qs.html

and

http://www.cognitivetherapy.com/globe_art.html

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Steve, I guess I was probably not all that clear in my post. I was just trying to say that when a person chooses to leave a marriage they need to consider how being vindictive will affect them and their children in the long run. I have not once said a bad thing about my child's father. I have actually been the push to get her to accept his efforts to finally act like a parent. My daughter was part of the final straw in my choice to leave, she actually asked me why I stayed since Dad was so mean to me. She was closed off and very angry, now she is open, loving and growing in healthy ways. I am still having to push for her to even spend time with him, calling him, just basic stuff. She sees my actions as being a strong individual who decided to finally take care of myself. My daughter has been in counciling, we have read books about abusive behavior and her and I keep a very open line of communication. So I just wanted to set the record straight. Not to be rude but there is a very angry tone to your posts when you think it is a woman. I know that woman can also be the abusers and my previous post was just meant to point out the taking it all when one chooses to leave sometimes is more hurtful. We each have to live with our choices and how they will affect our children if there are any involved. I wish you the very best. Nuts

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Jays continuation. I find myself followed at arms length (unexplained) by a male. I try to go to the loo and he dashes forward grabs my arm and a female nurse I previously thought was a patient demands tp come INTO the loo to watch me pee...fortunately the ward sister who believes me intervenes and I Lock the door. (They ask me not to but I will never waver let someone invade my privacy to that extent. )

It turns out they think I will kill myself. This is because I pointed out that had I been in any danger of doing so it was really stupid to put me alone in an office with various things someone could self harm with and that they hadn't asked what was in my bag so clearly they had no worries but perhaps they would like to think about that for people who really are at risk!!

Fortunately the ward sister believes me and [produces pen and paper to make a complaint. I also remembered the way you can get help is to ring an advocacy agency. Did this by going into the phone both and using my mobile so they couldn't hear.

It was obvious to the advocate I was completely o.k and she rang the consultant. He wasn't happy about the way things had been handled it seems and my complaint even after no sleep was clear and lucid.

Suddenly I am told I will not like it but I am being moved to another ward. Actually I am very happy to be away from these people and I find the staff on this different ward polite and pleasant. Also I discover that while until the consultant comes they still have to stay with me they do not feel they have to be at arms length literally. Nor is it really hospital policy to watch someone pee.

I lock the door again. The advocate and consultant are quite clear I have no need to be in the hospital and I am free.

Frightening. The first doctor could have managed to keep me in a ward which has no access to fresh air for 6 months.

So this is the day Steve Jay decides you are right about the drugs issue. I now think Paxil is a realy dangerous drug.

Jay is also going to handle her anger ny writing to the right people to suggest that the ward procedures should be changed. I have seen things from both sides. I have worked on a ward with disturbed and suicidal people and NEVER saw and this was in a very Victorian hospital people and they were not treated with such a lack of respect.

I have been for a very short time genuinely suicidal and I was not treated with such a lack of respect.

Maybe the good thing is I have decided so my husband can't use this incident to see the psychologist I had when I was ill and get her to write something saying I am sane and not suicidal.

Oh yes. I got REALLY ANGRY about everything that has happened to me in the last year. Took myself off and vented where none could see. Let it ALL out. IT FELT GREAT. Now I feel calm and definitely neither suicidal o depressed.

I took control in a situation where I could have lost my freedom and I beat the whole system by keeping my head.

Got back to find that there was a letter from the family therapist saying that she was impressed my husband and I managed to set an agenda. Have to laugh as the only reason it got sent was I got so fed up of the way it was being used as a control issue I thought let him send it as it stands. I don't have to defend myself. The session is the day after I next see my solicitor and I am thinking about divorce.

Husband is sometimes nice. Doesn't want to change and doesn't want a divorce.

Realised that they will see through him.

I think after the last few days I could keep calm in any situation.

Also refusing to enter into my parents trying to guilt me.

I feel pretty mean. In a good sense. As if I will no longer tolerate nonsense from anyone. Haven't been.

It feels good.

I think that in a few months I will look at our own towns advocacy office and volunteer. Good way of using the skills I have. Also it would mean I can work again at what I loved doing .

Maybe this is the week that Jay nearly lost her freedom and proved she could be free.

It turned out there had been previous concerns about the particular hospital staff involved. It was so easy to see how they had control issues. They didn't like the ward sister telling them to be less intrusive.

Also how stupid NOT to ask what someone has with them. Dangerous for the other patients too. What if I had had pills, knives, needles. (I didn't) What if another patient had got hold of the bag?

I think they were probably trying to do a cover up as they didn't follow procedure.

Love Jay who is feeling very strong and sane and non depressed and non suicidal. And NOT codependent. I am going to live my own life. and others can join in or not as they wish.

Husband has even managed to communicate slightly. To give him credit he did make dinner. I just thought it a bit stupid when I put my feet on the settee he moved forward like a scalded cat. I might have touched him....I just ignored it. Usually I would have felt upset.

I have been terrified and overcome the terror. (It was really terrifying to think someone has arbitrarily decided t take away your freedom).

And 2 days later no more seroxat withdrawal symptoms. (I've had the lecture about sudden withdrawal Dr Irene. But research on the internet showed people had so many different reactions that slow withdrawal didn't help a lot of people. Yes i know peole have to be careful. The terror was about the lack of respect and explanation. About seeing people abuse control. It doesn't happen like that in my home town. Those people were getting a kick out of control.

Somehow I think only Lynn is going to understand why I can laugh at this now.

Trubble. If I could I think I would become a cat. Less bother and they feed you trout. I will read the posts later/. Have to look at the damage as my son has managed to overflow the upstairs sink and it is now raining in the lounge as we as outside.

I think that if it rains as much as it has been doing there is some sort of process which will mean in the summer there will be a drought! I looked at the sea and it was so rough and grey. Not a day for getting a ferry to France on.

What is nice is after the "event' I felt justified in booking into a hotel and having steak for dinner and using room service and I slept for a very long time and had hot showers and really pigged out on the continental breakfast and went shopping in much nicer shop than home. (Jay is now also fat and broke!)

love to all. jay.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Dear AJ I think you are right about focusing on what I can do and also about the unrealistic expectations. We did get progress tonight as we at least sat on the same sofa and watched 'Friends'. WE BOTH LAUGHED. So even if he was being daft about physical contact there was some common ground.

Also I think I am not going to allow my family to dominate with their putting everyone down. I just get so cross when my parents criticize their best friends non stop. Makes me wonder why they have them for friends. I think they enjoy pulling others apart and that is not my way. I have withdrawn from contact for a bit as I need the space. My dad rang up and tried to guilt me by saying he had had an accident. I know this sons mean but I THOUGHT YOU ARE NOT BLAMING ME FOR THIS not Im I interested in my mothers "upset." I will get into contact as I want to not because they use emotional blackmail. That is what used to happen when I was a child. When my parents were in a serious car crash that didn't let me know then so why would they need me to be concerned now. I will get in touch in my own time and I am not going to be manipulated! (I think I like that word so I will leave the misspelling. (and that one).

Whoops, sorry Asha, I just realized I am replying to your post.

Theressa, I hope i haven't offended you as I do appreciate your care. Our crazy English law means that my son would probably make the choice who he lived with. He is very clear. Would like us both to make up but I think he is starting to see that it is not me who refuses to resolve things or 2 both of us bi weekly.

It is now getting urgent to sort it out as he has started to tell me things are worrying him. This may be a good ting he is talking as it ay mean my husband will see the need to communicate as he is more sensitive to my son's needs. Actually the Friends movie was good as we were all 3 doing something together and the second sitting room is making a much better sense of space. (If I could have my daughter home and o.k I would give it up gladly . It was her bedroom.

Dear Steve and Asha, I hope you don't mind me asking but doesn't the dog jump up on the bed. The dogs I have had would get jealous of boyfriends.

But seriously Steve, are you jealous of a dog? I think people do get close to their pets, but pets can't talk and you can't do a LOT of things you can with another human. Not being a particular animal lover. I still haven't got the cat I can see you might ne irritated by the closeness, but I think you have to accept Asha as a pet person. Some of us are and some of us aren't. But Asha was once o.k to you with the dog......

Lynn, What fire? are you and Dan o.k? I think I have missed something maybe in the posts?

I think you are right about the alien cats. I think they have jinxed my computer as every time I do a long post it freezes up! What is "refresh on the browser. Probably this is English anyway, but I am not understanding this one.

Dan, I know just how frustrating it is when someone won't communicate. I think in this respect Lynn and I and you and my husband are similar. Only at least you do the house eventually! I can only explain that when I need to talk I need to talk and I get l screwed up inside if I get ignored. With me it would only take some eye contact and a few words to break the "spell.' My guess is you and my husband want a degree of space we are not prepared to give so there has to be a half way meeting place. You can be the nice guy or you could frustrate Lynn by not talking about what concerns her for ages. You can (if you are like my husband enjoy the sense of frustration you can build up.) Or you could respond. Also we need hugs. Much argument and distress is avoided by a gentle word and a hug.

OH if only my husband would.......

Theressa, I think maybe you are confusing being too nice with not defending yourself. I wondered if there is a personnel officer where you work? Do you really have time to train this person?

Lynn, you reminded me of something. I was about 17 and I had a dream that I was being strangled by something with furry arms. Woke up to find the dog (cocker spaniel) IN my bed. UNDER the bed clothes with its front legs around my neck and it's head on the pillow. I have to say I haven't wanted a dog in the bedroom since. It was even asleep!

Theressa, Lynn has a point. Your boss must be aware that YOU are the one who has the knowledge to train someone else.

Steve, couldn't you be the one to remove the dog? Asha is saying this is about spontaneity.

Asha, I love the letter idea It won't happen here. Maybe I will write to my children instead.

Dear Suzy, Reading your story makes me think my own situation is not as bad. I really hope things work out for you. Can only send Hugs.

Astrid, you sound in good shape. HOORAY!

Sadheart. Keep strong and take your son to work. Maybe your husband will surprise you by not drinking.

Dear Lynn. What I think you are saying about the story about you and your dad and the dog is that you have some history which has made you as you are. Sometimes I think we need our partners to respect our history and they way it makes us. For years my husband told me my childhood history hadn't happened the way it did. It really hurt. I think he just doesn't have the ability to empathize. One thing that does feel better is he changed on that when I got ill. I don't know why he changed. Possibly it is hard for someone to understand the associated pain.

Dear Becky. I was just so glad to see your post and to hear about the mammogram. I hope your mind gets put at rest soon. If it was me I would not go to the party. It is just one party and you have been through a stressful time. I don't know how depressed you are but the 'Do one nice thing for yourself each day.' was good advice for me. Had my first facial....Had massages....Some days just a bath with nice stuff in it. I know there was a point I couldn't so this though. Aromatherapy oils do help a lot. I use Ylang Ylang a lot i n a burner. Also walks in the fresh air . One really BIG mistake I made was to feel I couldn't take time off work as I was too needed. Then I had to and the place didn't collapse. Could you get your doctor to sign you off work for a few weeks? Believe me someone else will be found to do the marking.

Steve I don't think you are controlling. I do think you are angry though! That's okay with me.

dear Suzy. Please don't feel guilty about not allowing danger to continue. I did have a God type thought though. Someone said last week God is a God of miracles. I know what you mean as a lot of my anger lately has been at the fact God seemed to help everyone but me. (Yes I know, Lord ...........). Something I have forgotten is to have faith. My best friend's husband was my husband's best friend and an alcoholic. We were friends in both his drinking days and his "miracle' days. He really did change although there were relapses. Sometimes I wonder if he died at 45 as God knew he was never going to keep off the drink forever. He inherited the alcoholism. I do know my best friend is someone who has done  better than most of us. She is 2 years on content and happy. I hope we get the same kind of miracles and maybe the putting your husband out is the one thing God can use.

The stuff either my daughter is the only way my husband has ever agreed to family therapy. It is the only way that he will ever get the help HE needs. Strangely enough his best friend was the only person who ever got him back into church and that was for his funeral and he started to respect some Christian friends as a result. I had lost sight of that. Where the 'everything works together for good is I don't know.' Bt IF God IS as HE says then surely there HAVE to be miracles eventually here in the catbox.

The catbox and Dr Irene's site are the only place I can express my difficulties with the submission thing and I am sure forgiveness is not always about letting and abuser stay.

The alien cats are at it again. My second post of the day was there and it ha disappeared.....The alien cats ate it. I will wait until tomorrow to see if I need to tell you how I got away.....It was a very long post so I think they are censoring it. It was a positive and strong post and so my theory is the alien cats feed off the positive stuff we write. I must say I was deemed to be sane in the end.....love Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Yes, definitely alien cats. They must be watching as my second post is none there. Trubble are you in touch with these aliens? I think that you are having secret rides in a spaceship with some alien cats and not telling us!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Sorry, just looked at my posts. I should type slowly and read through. Shocked by all the mistakes......love jay

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

Suzy's here!!...Dear Jay, I'm sorry you had such a horrible time lately. I especially liked how you said something how you found your freedom when you weren't free. I was once on Paxil for a very severe depression and Xanax as well for very severe panic anxiety disorder attacks. I even became agoraphobic (afraid of leaving home, not wanting to be with other people etc.). The paxil gave me enough to pull out of the depression, it took about a year actually. The xanax helped so I could go out and function out in public. I was slowly taken off and all was well, although I did notice hand tremors and such towards the end of the paxil. I am grateful for the medication, because it helped to pull me through when I had no energy to do so. But, you MUST be under a doctor's care, You could have a sudden heart attack etc. with too fast of withdraw. Later, I went a different route with behavioral therapy, you know, learning to visualize pleasant things, breathing techniques etc. I liked this better, but it had to be learned and took a long time. Now I am drug free and I use the breathing techniques more now. I see no shame in using a drug, if needed, do it. I am a very artistic person, so for me, I needed a paintbrush and that was my best therapy ever. You need a passion, something you love. Of course, when you're so low, it's hard to look at an artists magazine let alone do painting. Just do one tiny thing at a time. At first, I just had to hold the paint brush, then look at the book, then scribble, the more I was able to do my love and passion, the quicker I healed. So find something you love and start small so as not to overwhelm yourself.

My mom signed herself into a mental ward once for rest and it was a scary place to visit. I think you were probably right, to go to a motel and sleep and sleep and eat all your favorites, probably would have been more therapeutic. I can just imagine all you went through, There is no shame in asking for help. I think our depressions and anxieties are due mostly to the outside influences of our abuse we have suffered, I am convinced of it! I think the old body says "enough is enough, I am going to make sure you pay attention to me and make sure you'll take care of me, so here is depression, here is illness, accidents, and anxieties." So, don't beat yourself up at all. I ADMIRE your courage in going to a hospital to get help, some days I think I'd like to sign myself in somewhere, but I'm too CHICKEN, so I suffer in silence.

Theressa: I think you're on the right track, you notice your anger and why. You have taken a HUGE step in healing in my humble opinion. At least you are aware, some people never get this far ever. I ALWAYS want to have the last word, I WANT to be heard and appreciated and it's SO FRUSTRATING when our emotional needs are not met by an inconsiderate person who supposedly loves us. So, somewhere deep inside of you you have to do this for yourself, because it's unlikely your husband will, he is too into himself. I always got hung up on "Hey, I did this and this...I Listened to you on this and this....I hugged you...I comforted you.....WHY DON'T YOU EVER JUST WILLINGLY GIVE BACK A TENTH OF THE LOVE AND CARE I GAVE TO YOU....WHY?????? Then one day I realized, it was never going to happen with this man and I had to get over it, I do yearn for it, but I cannot expect it from him because he doesn't love or respect himself, so how can I expect him to love and respect me? You know, I'm in the beginning process of a divorce, I was so down in the dumps.. "poor me"...then I realized today.. "HEY, I DON'T HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE ABUSE ANY MORE, I AM GOING TO BE FREE SOON AND I'M SO HAPPY ABOUT IT!!!" Of course, I'm very sad, but all of a sudden I did feel lighter inside. Because of my faith, I am not too bitter, I figure God will dish out any punishments deserved, he is the loser (my husband, not God..he he). I just feel sad and I feel pity for him and I know I have done all I can do to help my husband. Right now he lives in the basement and when I see him I get teary eyed because I think of the dream of "what might have been..." So, I wish he would go so I won't feel so sad and I can go forward, it's like were stuck.

Steve: Where do you find all these web sites? I never heard of this disorder about children of divorce, there were some good points, I still refuse to do the pawn thing. I try to not put down the kids father, I've gotten after my mom (she likes to bash my H.) I remind her ..this is a man I have spent nearly 20 years with, and share 5 children with, they love him, I even love him and I don't won't have bashing because it makes the children forced to choose their loyaltys. As far as the divorce, I just need to live, I don't want him destitute.

 Have a Great evening!!!

to Catbox 15