Comments for Catbox 17
here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a
substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.
Dear Trubble and Everybody in the Cat Box,
Merry Christmas. We've been busy, but had a great day. We're hoping all of you the best Holiday.
Dan and Lynn
Dear Cat Box Honeys again,
Wholly Cats, where have I been? Helping Santa, I guess. The boards are great, the new style is super and I love it. Great! Just reading a few and we haven't been able to use the webtv much lately. Too slow. Must be the holidays.
If our last post didn't go through Merry Christmas to all of you Honeys.
Great Pic Trubble! I Love it! Thanks FakeMommy
Dan and Lynn
New years resolution: Don't get upset about trifle!
(There is an English expression "don't get upset about trifles (meaning small things) and an English dish jelly (jello) on sponge with fruit topped with custard then cream and then usually sugar strands on those silver balls you get from cake shops. Sometimes it has sherry in. Yum!
It is Christmas day and I am cooking dinner. We have the traditional pudding made so there is no problem over that. What does Jake do just as I have every pan on the stove etc. Enters the kitchen with the intention of making trifle. The and there! And he was even holding two bananas at the going black stage to go in it. (Am I married to a gorilla? )
Banana custard again????
Anyhow guess who lost it big time. Not Jake who didn't in the end make trifle. But me .....out of all proportion. On and on.
I can just see this one in the divorce courts...my client was verbally abused for trying to make a trifle.
His wife is unfit so my client should have Custardy of the Human Cat Kid.....
But seriously this is what gets me every time. Was it done on purpose?
There were other things that didn't add up like why if I was going out at 10.30 did Jake lock himself in his study to play guitar after a peaceful Xmas eve. Said he would come out after I had gone....
It made no sense. And I engaged big time in that one.
Such stupid things to be upset over. If I was out then how could what he was doing be so important. In the light of day, I can't see why it was.
Where does being a victim end and becoming an abuser oneself start?
I have to learn to leave the stupidity with him and not to react again. (Used to be able to). Have to start looking after me. Yippeee!
Hope you all had a good Christmas. Actually we weren't fighting all the time and it was pretty peaceful when I wasn't mad about the trifle. Still is. Daughter as I could have predicted is now back into loving her mother mode.
I am not going to do the codependent thing and ring her. She wants to cut her brother's hair and if they want to do that she will have to come here anyway as she isn't allowed to see him alone. (For his protection).
Even if I am puzzled where it came from I did manage to forgive Jake. The above about the trifle is meant to be a bit humorous with a point!
love jay Good stuff!
I read some of the stories, and I can relate to most of them. I have been with a man for twenty years. He is and has always been very abusive, verbal to me but also verbal and physical to my children.
When I met him, he was so loving and bought my children, bikes and other toys. I know today, this was just a ploy to get to me.
I have five children by my first husband. My youngest son was only two years old when I met him. He has always called him names, hit him, called him fagot, sissy or stupid. My son now is 21 years old and "THANK GOD" has found a wonderful wife and has a beautiful daughter.
My youngest daughter has a three month old daughter and a three year old. She had to stay with me for a couple of days and one morning we woke up and the house was freezing. I went down to the furnace room and he had taken the fuse out of the furnace. At three o'clock that afternoon I told him that I knew what he had done and for him to put the fuse back in the furnace because the baby was ill at that time. He said he didn't know what I was talking about. Anyway, there was a big fight, he called the police and told them I was being mean to him. I told them what he had done and the police asked him if he did. Of course, he denied this. After the police left, he told me he had taken the fuse out because he didn't like any of my children.
This is only one incident that he has pulled. I've had my clothes cut up, my possessions destroyed, my car taken and hid for a week, my friends are no good, my children are stupid, but on the other hand his children are perfect. My children would go to bed at night only to wake up the next morning to find their toys destroyed. Of course, he didn't do it.
After twenty years, and after he turned off the heat on my grandchildren I am walking out. I have told him, and of course he tells me I cannot survive out there by myself, that I am trailer trash.
Five years ago I had cancer. GOD saved me, healed my cancer, healed my soul, healed the hurt I had inside. I am never alone, I know when I walk out that door GOD will walk with me, and I know I cannot truly heal until I am out of that house and away from him. My problem is that I own the home with him. Both of our names are on it and he will not sell, so I have contacted a lawyer to help me get away from him. But he has told me my whole life, that if I ever left him he would hurt my children. He can. One time he hired a gang member to beat up my youngest son, he paid him $100.00 to do this. I knew when they were sitting outside my home for about a week. When I asked him about it he said he got scared that they would really hurt my son bad, so he had called it off. They were just sitting there to scare my son.
Please pray for me that GOD will help me get out of this house as soon as I can. Pray that GOD protects my children.
Thank You for listening. You've got our prayers...
I hope you are all doing great!
Becky, you are sounding good. I hope that all is well? Something I thought you'd get a kick out of- one of my friends bought me "The Stepford Wives" in book form as a Christmas present! I had to giggle when I opened it! It's become sort of an ongoing funny with us.
Astrid, Lynn, Dan, Theressa, Steve, Asha, Jay, AJ, anyone I left out- Happy rest of the Holidays (whichever way you celebrate)!
Is Goodbye the Answer?
I have been in a relationship with an individual who is from Venezuela. She is beautiful (physically) and I originally fell in love with her when she was coming off of a physically abusive relationship herself. Her ex boyfriend is now in prison for patricide and matricide (killing his mother and father) on separate occasions.
I am a clean cut, law abiding American man 30 yrs old, living in Salt Lake City, Utah. My wife really is not from the genre that her ex boyfriend is from, however when we were first married, I noticed a lot of physical manifestations of problems that have plagued me for two and 1/2 years thus far. Never before marriage did I witness any of her outbursts. The day we were married, however, I noticed an immediate and drastic change from her sweet demeanor. I did not close the shower curtain after the shower, she screamed at the top of her lungs at me for almost an hour calling me a pig and sloppy person for not returning the curtain to the closed position after my shower. Nice honeymoon stage.
In the beginning of the marriage, she wielded a large kitchen knife at me, threw a bar stool (in my home) at my chins, hit me and cursed at me. This is when I first attempted to divorce her. She tried to convince me that she had come off of a difficult relationship and needed time to improve herself. I allowed her time, but told her that if there were any further manifestations of violence toward me, I would not be so kind. There was and a four day crying apology ensued. I forgave her again. I also realized at the time how incredibly nice and sweet she can be when she wants to be. So I conceded and did not proceed with the divorce (this was about three months into the marriage). About three months later amidst arguments of whether I was looking at other women's "asses" in the shopping mall or flirting with clerks (none of which are true) and her controlling every second of free time I had-- I was watching football on television on a Saturday (unlike a lot of men, I rarely watch sports programs on T.V.) she came out and turned off the television telling me that I was ignoring her. When I told her that I did not want to turn the television off, she stood in front of the television almost daring me to come turn it on. I didn't fall into the trap of my wife trying to force confrontation, I walked to the nearest sports bar, had a coke and watched the game there. Which brings me to a commonality I have noticed in verbal abuse cases. She says, family shouldn't be in our disputes. She even said things like, "The reason your family hates me is because you tell them about the arguments we have." But there had been other occasions of attempted forced confrontation. One time (and this is more recent, so all of the therapy and anger management and my efforts for two years are out the window) I was online emailing a friend or relative, she accused me of ignoring her because I am not paying full attention to her. She then said that I had better get off line or else she would cut the phone cord to the computer. I was not going to respond to threats, because it gave her more power, so I said, I wish you wouldn't do such a thing-- faster than I could annunciate the letter "G" in the word "thinG" she was cutting the cord, not just once, but into about twenty pieces throughout the length of the cord. Now, she knew that the only way that I could stop her (with scissors in her hand) was to physically stop her. I did not, I just left the house and bought a new cord. (oh yea, threatening-- that is another commonality). She often says things to me like, "You just wait, when you least expect it I will..." I tried to divorce her at this point again and because money was tight and I could not move out of my brand new home, I decided to stay in and lock the extra bedroom. This is when she began her campaign of sleep deprivation. She would have to work late in the day and myself, very early in the morning. She would stay at the door, pick the lock and cry and ask me why I was going to go through with this divorce that we had not even tried counseling and that she was willing to change and do anything it took to keep our relationship alive. After about two weeks of her staying and weeping loudly at my door until 4am (I wake up at 6am)- I gave in feeling sorry for her, asking myself, what will she do without me to take care of her, thinking her income level will go down quite a bit and since Utah is not a 50/50 state when it comes to divorce, I knew she would be getting the short end of the stick no matter what. So foolishly, I agreed to reconcile again if she would attend counseling sessions. (by the way, in an abusive relationship, it is not good for the abused person to attend the session with the abuser) the ignorant therapist did not realize this and invited me to attend.) Not true. It can be very a very useful technique in the right hands.
Now, she has changed, she has never thrown a chair at me or wielded a knife at me since the first incident although she has hit me twice or three times. But it is her anger, jealousy, possessiveness, distrust and ignorance (of what to do in argument situations) that drove her abuse-- that is continuing. Now she has started name calling and saying that my friends call and hang up on her. There is also still a great amount of distrust (that has existed since the beginning although there has never been a reason to distrust me). On Christmas, I wanted to deliver some gifts to my friends house (consequently, my friend, because of my wife's negativity and the way she ruins any social event we have ever been to-- my wife has been disallowed to come to his house-- at he and his girlfriends request.) A reasonable request given the circumstances. Well, I get to talking to him and take a little more time than I expected, I call my wife and tell her I will be leaving his house shortly (I called out of respect for her). She was angry and said something, I do not quite remember and hung up. However, when I got home, she was yelling and asking where I was (when she knew). She then accused me of being homosexual with my friend. How many men have to deal with that coming out of their WIFE'S mouth? She wonders why after apologizing, I cannot just snap back like nothing happened and be happy with her or want to be around her, talk to her, etc. Recently, the worst has happened, I find myself getting just as angry as her and throwing all sorts of curse words and saying things like, "I wish you would just disappear." But I mean it. I do not like starting to become what I loathe.
There have been other things said by her in the course of our marriage like, "I wish you were dead", "I wish I had never married you", "you are gay", "a-hole" and many others. One of my big problems is that when her yelling and name calling is over (and she has forgiven herself and forgotten, I find it most difficult to just let it go and make my anger subside. A great deal of her behaviors are designed to try and force a confrontation-- the old, try and stop me routine. Doing something she knows will upset me in front of me-- she is just begging for me to respond physically. (I NEVER HAVE!!)
I have tried to separate and divorce her twice since the first attempt, but I always feel sorry for her disposition, or she had said she would change. I only wish that I had the fortitude to follow through be the mean guy and say, no, I do not feel sorry for you and say, "I know you will not change enough for us to stay married." She asks me why do I want a divorce, I say that I love her? The reason is that I love myself more and cannot possibly endure any more without suffering certain mental damage. I hope I find the strength to say goodbye. Me too Keith.
Happy, happy holidays and salmon to all you Honey-cats. (Are they still counting Honey-cats' votes in Florida?;) Well, Amy says it all! Good, good to hear this stuff. Read Sartre for more existentialism. Keith- dump this gal unless she agrees to be hospitalized, long term. Dump, dump, and run like heck. Hooray for the lovely English lady who defeated cancer despite suffering abuse, thanks indeed to God, but God helps those who helps themselves. And, I'd like to take that furnace fuse and put it right up his....well, never mind. Perhaps you were cured for a reason. Heartfelt, lurking greetings to all, and especially Honey-doc and her litter. And many honey-hugs to you (doc)!
Sounds awful and YOU ARE THE OK ONE. Do the right thing by getting out. Tell the police about the threat. Isn't it an illegal offence to threaten to kill someone in both the UK and US? My GOD why are you still near him . Get round the clock police protection if you can ... show the police this post, talk to a lawyer and the domestic violence unit. But for goodness sake the house is the least of your worries. God is going to be with you I am sure....I will be praying.
Crumbs, looking at the next few posts I don't know what to say and I was going to say some stuff concerning me and Jake...at least he isn't on the level of the abusers described here.
I will put it down hoping for some help from the regulars though . They will know enough of the story to make sense.
In the hour we saw each other on Christmas day my daughter thawed.. enough to ring me on boxing day. I agreed to make her a work outfit she needs and she wanted me to let her cut her brothers hair and to do me a manicure. I was wary but pleased she was speaking.
This morning she hated me again...Jake rang her last night and said I had said that people had seen through her. (This is true: she has done some awful things to me and appears as very innocent. Professionals have classified her as emotionally disturbed).
I just feel so angry and hurt. Our relationship was so fragile anyway. What possible motivation other than malice could he have had to wreck it deliberately? It makes no sense and to me it seems to be an emotionally abusive thing to do to a child to tell her that.
He says I am the one who is disturbed and he and my daughter are o.k
Somehow I don't think so. I did end up shouting at him but at least I acknowledge my own misbehavior....He has never acknowledged his.
This one whatever some of the other things he did were is definitely passive aggressive and not o.k
I never want to see him again as I just wonder what else he has been saying to our daughter....
When I reported him to the domestic violence unit then he told both children and asked them to support him ( a 12 and 15 year old!) although they had no knowledge of why and now they both think I lied to get him into trouble.
If I am overreacting someone be straight with me as I am just so angry the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.
Dr Irene I am seeing the psych tomorrow and going to try and show her your email and some of the posts and ask her to pass them onto the family therapist. I just wish in England I could find a straight talking therapist like yourself. They just don't do that here.
Mostly I just feel so frustrated. Neither husband or daughter acknowledge their problems. (I don't mean I have none! Plenty of my own mistakes to own).
I'm visiting the site again and getting caught up after 2 months. I've read through the past 3 catboxes and especially liked the dialogues with Steve and Asha. If my ex had been willing to do that, I think our posts would have been very similar. I can see so many of my, his and our issues! It was helpful to see it as an outsider from all (3) sides. Even after the fact, this perspective is helpful in the healing process.
There were also a couple posts about forgiving the self. When I did my EMDR therapy, I found that was a big issue for me. I felt I was unforgivable because I had an abortion in my early 20's. I carried that guilt around, and looked for people to help punish me. In my therapy I asked God to forgive me. He said "I forgive you and love you. Now you have to forgive yourself". Forgiving myself was a huge hurdle, but necessary before I could truly love myself.
As I am learning to love myself, I find myself surrounded by people who treat me in a loving way. When I find myself in the presence of negativity, anger or disrespect, I am able to disengage (most of the time) and be ok with myself. It has made such a difference in my life and I am so grateful!
I still have days where the old thoughts try to invade my peace, but now I can work through it and come out ok on the other side.
This has been such a wonderful site, and I want to thank you again for your insight and strength.
Suzanne And I want to thank you for including this site among the resources you used - to help yourself... Happy New Year Suzanne!
Dear Cat Box Honeys and Trubble,
Lynn here and just a brief post (I hope). I haven't forgotten any of you and I do read the posts and hello to you new ones and I'm glad you are here.
I don't know if this is progress or not, but I've been busy. Too busy at times to post, which I think means too busy to bother or care about venting or maybe I got beyond that for now. I hope. Even the anger, and there is a lot of residual anger in these relationships, doesn't seem to be anymore. I've loved you all and needed and appreciated all of you for your support and input for months and I really do appreciate it. I'm not sure I would have made it through another day at times without my cat box friends. This is a blessing and helps so much because we are not alone (I used to think I was). Never FakeMommy.
Anyhow, I do care and I'm thinking of all of you, but when I don't post I think maybe it means I am getting on with my life. This I hope is progress and I'm sure I'll be back, but at this moment I have so much to do rather than dwell on past "things." Meow! Sounds OK to *Me*. When I first started becoming purrrfect, I remember thinking there was something missing cuz I wasn't worried. FakeMommy says that's cuz I was so used to worrying, it felt strange for stuff to be calm!
Dan and I are still together and things are better from my point of view. At least I'm feeling better about everything. Or feeling better about nothing, whatever the case may be.
Dr. Irene, is this what it's all about? Getting us on our own two feet again? And just "my" own two, not "our." If so. it's working for me right now. FakeMommy says you can only get on your own paws. They're the only four paws you have. Stuff will always happen around you. You have a choice: make a big deal out of it, or make the best. Of course, that's what I always, without exception do.
Christmas was nice. Dan did tell the kitties and puppies that Santa wouldn't be coming (he actually does fly over town with his sleigh and reindeer all lit up, with the help of a helicopter and a neighborhood rancher). It was snowing and he couldn't fly, but he should never have told the kids because they all started acting up. I wouldn't let him rain on my parade though and yesterday I ran into Santa in his everyday clothes doing some after Christmas shopping and he was buying a "self help" book. He told me he loves them! Amen. Meow! Purrs and catkisses since I take my own advice and I'm not mad at anybody! (Except... )
Happy New Year and I'll be back and I'm here doing well.
Love, Prayers and Happy Trails,
Hi- I will call myself Marie. I have been studying this website for about a month. My marital counselor told me to become informed on verbal abuse, and so I have started. Thought it might help me clarify my thoughts to post--perhaps the feedback would be helpful. I have been married 4 1/2 year--we have two children. All along in our relationship their have been sporadic blown up arguments. I attributed much of the earlier arguments to me being too sensitive and proud--b/c that is what my husband, B. would tell me. Our big arguments are always over some way that I hurt his feelings--and his immediate reaction is anger and withdrawal. Unless I immediately apologize for the way I said something--which I will admit may not always be nice but never involved yelling, belittling, or cussing, he would disengage from the family. If we had prior commitments, or I was sick, you name it--he was no longer helping. If I confronted him at all, he would begin cussing. Early on in our relationship I would take this very personally--he would tell me how inadequate I was and how I should be doing a better job at housework and requiring less of him b/c I didn't work. (At the time we had 1 year old twins--and he worked 24 hour shifts. As a result I would fight fire with fire, criticize him, cuss at him. This would only make him violent. By the end of the fight I was convinced that if I had been more attentive to his needs the whole thing would not have happened. He has never apologized for anything he has said, done, not done. They are all a result of my actions. To jump to where we are today. I have compensated by working outside of the home 3 days a week and being solely responsible for running the kids to and from childcare which makes for 10 hour days. In addition I am responsible for 90 % of the household and almost all decision making no matter how much I ask for his help. When he gets his feeling hurt b/c I disapprove of something he has/has not done I simply say--I can understand how me getting frustrated would upset you, but I didn't find you helpful. This falls short of his desired "I was wrong to get frustrated and upset you I am sorry." Over this exact argument, he would not go to Thanksgiving, would not help out, would not speak to me. And again I have become worthless and bad at everything I do. He wants to leave me and take the kids b/c even though he has never been responsible for our children, "it can't be hard if I do it". I am so exhausted by all of this and we have been seeing a counselor who after seeing me thought he was abusive and after seeing him, can't figure out what is going on. He says we have to work on basic communication. My husband last told me he wishes that I would put a knife in my heart and kill myself. Two weeks later he is hurt that I didn't but him a xmas present when I told him that with counseling being so expensive all I wanted was counseling. Well, I have rambled on and probably not made much sense. I just really hope that our counselor can help me to understand and perhaps see the ways that I may be contributing to this mess. I truly want to stay married, however, I am hurting and confused. Thanks for listening/reading.
DEC 28 00
Sometimes when I'm lying late at night
I wonder what your going and if your alright
hoping your smiling where ever you are
but secretly wishing it wasn't to far
I wonder what we'll be doing a year from now
I wonder if we'll meet finally somehow
I hope life is good to you and not very sad
I hope you don't forget me and what we once shared and had
but time has come to spread your wings and fly afar
for you should be a shining star
glowing as long and as bright as can be
not looking at dimly lit star
you can't even see RM Thank you RM!
This is from "Until Today" by Iyanla Vanzant. It touched me and I hope you like it too! Suzanne Thanks Suzanne.
"The voice of love is always calling out to you. It is whispering gently into your heart, reminding you, "I am here for you! I love you just as you are!" Love offers you everything you need and desire. Love wants to give those things and more because love recognizes the jewel that you are. Do you recognize the jewel that love is and offers?
Love wants to hold you, comfort and lift you. Love knows you! It knows what you have to offer life. More important, you don't have to work to get love. The only work love requires from you is the work you must do on yourself. Work on your heart, your mind, your behavior, your false notions about love that have caused you pain, confusion and despair you believe have something to do with love. While you are working on yourself, love wants to keep you aware! Keep your eyes open because there are many things masquerading as love that are not at all loving.
Love will not leave you, nor will it ever dishonor you. Love will not rush you. Love will not come to take anything from you. Love gives to you! Love protects you! Love is the voice of God whispering to you from within yourself. The voice of love tells you that God loves you right now. No matter where you are or what you have done. The voice of love is asking you to tell love where you hurt, tell love why you hurt, tell love how you got hurt. Love wants you to know that it doesn't matter who hurt you, why they hurt you or how long you have been hurting. Love wants you to know that just a little bit of God will heal you!
Until today, you may not have realized that the voice of love is God's voice calling out to you. You may have been so busy trying to find love that you were not able to hear it's call. Just for today, listen closely for the voice of love. Be diligent in remembering that love is always available to care for you and heal whatever is ailing you."
Suzanne, I'm glad you posted that the dialogue between Steve and I has been helpful to you. It seems I gravitate here every time there is a little problem, and wondered if others were tired of hearing every minute detail of my life. :)
Anyways, the last few little problems have built up again, and so here I am.
They seemed so small, I wondered if they would work themselves out, but they seem to have gotten worse.
Steve and I had a discussion last night, and he seems to feel that I'm not treating him well. The problem is I just don't feel close, because of these "little" incidents. I don't feel hostile towards him, but I don't feel loving either. Ok, you haven't been treating him as well as you do when you feel better about him.
Steve was over a few nights and we had a really nice time. I enjoyed his company. Then one night I woke up and he wasn't there. He spent the night downstairs because he couldn't sleep. I knew it wasn't about me, and didn't make an issue about it. The next time he stayed over, I was on the computer when he went to bed (writing to the Catbox probably). I had a lot I wanted to do and so I did it. Steve came downstairs after awhile and said he felt like going home. I said that I understood and he did go home. The next night he came over, I was on the computer again when he went to bed. I had some last minute Xmas projects and was looking for pic's and patterns on the net (being that it was Xmas, there was an deadline for this). He came downstairs awhile later, got dressed and said he was going home. This time, it felt different to me - like punishment for me not going to bed. I didn't feel good about it and said so. I felt as if I put myself and my projects first, instead of putting him first, and there was a consequence. Did you ask him what his expectations of you were when he stayed over? (Maybe you guys need to talk about it being OK for each to do what each wants/has to do without the other feeling left out...)
We weren't able to "get to the bottom" of it. And so I started feeling cool towards him. Then on Friday I mentioned that it would be nice if we did something relaxing together on Sat night. We were leaving Sunday morning (Xmas Eve) to my parents place and I just thought it would be a nice prelude. It was an idea, a very loose plan. On Saturday Steve received a call from a friend and made plans to meet him late afternoon. They had also been planning to get together, but hadn't found a time that worked. I asked Steve how long he planned to visit, and whether it would take up his evening as well, and Steve seemed to feel it would.
What bothered me was that Steve didn't even think about our loose plan before agreeing to meet his friend. I felt that once again I had not been considered. A simple "let me check with Asha because she mentioned doing something this evening" would have gone miles for me. But it didn't happen. Hmmm. Sounds like Steve was mad with you. I mentioned my concern about this to Steve and he seemed to feel I didn't want him to see his friend or something. This isn't true at all. Since the friend was coming late afternoon, I mentioned the idea about him spending a few hours with the friend and then them coming over here. No go. Steve said he wanted to see the friend alone. The problem with all of this was not the actual seeing of the friend, nor Steve's desire to see him one on one, but the way it was discussed with me. I was 'told' instead of talked to, or that's how it felt to me. I guess because Xmas is special to me it made even more of a difference. OK, so Steve had to shut you out, as he felt he was shut out by you. It's sad that he apparently feels this way. But, don't expect to get too far by being reasonable. Either you accept that you will be "punished" from time to time, and pull away from him without taking his stuff personally, or get out of his life. This is about Steve, not you. All you can do is not let your own anger towards him get in the way of your relationship (more below).
Anyway, it has built up, and we discussed this stuff last night and it went around in circles. Steve seems to feel that I was guilting him for seeing his friend instead of spending time with me, which is *so* frustrating to me because that's not at *all* what it's about to me. To me it's about having my feelings considered. Look at his timing and the sequence of events. This is retaliation methinks. He mentioned that he thought I was "making a point" to him by not going to bed when he did which is part of the reason he went home. I wasn't making a point, I was putting my needs over his. Yes. You know that; I know that, but Steve knows what a giving/loving woman you are and how you go out of your way for others. Right or wrong, that Asha is who he is comparing Asha-on-the-computer with. He has to be thinking something like, "If (her mom / some important person) were here, she would not be computing. I guess I'm not too important." This is of course irrational because it is good to be comfortable enough with your mate that you can relax the caretaking and let your hair down - and do your thing. So, assuming I am not too far off base, Steve needs to fix the insecurity inside himself. But - and this is your anger stuff I referred to earlier - knowing how sensitive he is to "rejection" stuff, did you warn him ahead of time that you had stuff to do?
I don't want Steve to have to "check in" with me for every little detail of his life, but if we've made a plan, or even thought about making a plan, I don't like it when he decides unanimously that the plan won't be carried through. I don't think I'm asking for too much. He is asking you to be caring all the time. You humanly can't. He retaliates. You ask him not to retaliate while engaging in retaliation yourself.
Anyway it's a problem for me.
Steve did come with me to visit my family for a couple of days - it was the first time we spent Xmas together. This was really nice. I know Steve is working on himself, and I think it's wonderful. However the good things that happen don't wipe out the bad ones until they specifically get dealt with. When they don't I feel distant. OK. Rome was not built overnight.
Hope all of you had a nice Xmas.
I will read thru the other posts later, when I have some more time.
Dear Sisters: I really need to write this all out, found your website, been reading it for the past week, and thought to myself "it is time." A few things I'm grateful about: 1) I did not marry or live with this man. 2) I've read Patricia Evans' books, both of them (first book; second book) since last spring, every night before I go to bed for "validation" i.e.. "its real; its abuse; I'm not over-reacting to his behavior". 3) I finally got the nerve to move on once I knew it was abuse. 4) I do not intend on going back to him, no matter what. 5) I am no longer in love; though I was very addicted to this relationship; and he dumped me many, many times, this last time "took". 6) He knew from the first day I went to a woman support group about the abuse that I was getting help. Guess what? The abuse got worse!
Our relationship began with "a bang" 18 months ago. We had terrific chemistry. He is 52, I am 45. Both professional - he a psychologist, I'm an legislative analyst. Both come from affluent backgrounds. The sex, passion, chemistry - everything - was great. When I met "Ron", I was recently divorced from a man, after a 15 year marriage, who was also an abuser - but in a different way - he was the type who threw things when he got mad, (not at me) but he had anger inside that would come out from time to time, though never towards me or the kids. It was an unhappy marriage for me and I was glad it was over.
After being with Ron for 1 month, he started saying things about my weight and the line on my face. Then he had an ex-girlfriend always calling him (who was 26 and an ex-druggie). Great crowd, eh? I broke up with him telling him that I didn't like the comments, however, he started to cry, told me that "I was the one" and that the ex-girlfriend was "nothing" but a friend who was having a hard time letting go. One night when she did call though, I asked him again about their status, and he sarcastically said, "what, you want me to $##%% her to get her out of my system?" I broke it off with him again, but he reeled me back in. You have to realize I really had not "felt" like this about any man in my life. He had me "locked in for life." The chemistry between us was hot! Another month or two went by and his comments began getting meaner and meaner. Just little things here and there, but it felt like "a stun gun". Did he really say what I thought? We kept breaking up and getting back together, and the verbal assaults were getting worse and worse, "crazymaking." It started to happen every time we were together. The taunting "don't get too comfortable with me, because I can yank the rug from under you," he'd say. He would turn things around and I would feel like the villain, and HE the victim. He would lead me to believe that MY behavior was unacceptable because I was in pain over the things he would say. He said he wanted me strong, secure, etc. How could I feel secure with him when he would intentionally provoke me saying things to me like, "guess who just left my house and wanted sex?" It was taunting behavior towards me to keep me off balance. The roller coaster ride was horrible. Again though, he had me "hooked in" and he knew it. He even got an attorney "Joe" at one point to call me and tell me to leave him alone, because I was finding out information about Ron and other women through his friends! (Ron represented himself as monogamous to me) Later I discovered that this attorney was a personal friend of his, and he asked me out for a date!! I never went out with him, but we got to be friends on the phone, who told me that this Ron was psycho. Then my mom last February was diagnosed with colon cancer. It was a shock to my whole family. I was devastated because she truly is my best friend. One night when Ron and I were on the phone talking, I shared with him my anxiety of losing my mom, and he said to me, "well, at least you have your girlfriends, unless they dump you too, then you'll always have your TV set." Like I said, after 7 months into the relationship, this is how this guy was treating me. However, I was STILL IN LOVE WITH HIM. Where was my brain?????? I then went out and bought books, went into therapy, went to a local support group which specializes in domestic abuse, and got some insight. I started behaving differently. When he would get into the crazymaking verbal talk, I would make him accountable. Then his "weirdness" escalated and then he would start breaking up with me. It felt like he didn't want the relationship anymore because he got "found out", and could not accept the fact that he was responsible for any of this. He would blame me for everything. I did have sense to know it was not my fault that we were always at odds, but he sure tried to put it all on me!!! It would make me crazy because I would be doing nothing wrong and then he would "stun me" again. It got to be a vicious cycle. We would make up. No apologies, nothing. His actions towards me when we would make up were loving, and then a few hours or days later, it would regress to the same weird stuff. Around Thanksgiving, something finally "snapped in me". I had had enough. The weird part was that he knew I was in therapy, he could feel me "pulling away", he sensed I wasn't the same, I got more "gutsy" towards him - when he acted mean, I wouldn't react anymore - I just started to distance myself - FINALLY - and I stopped calling and making myself available. He was then calling me more, checking up on me, etc. and I simply told him "look, I'm sick of your behavior." He acted like a little boy. I let him reel me in one last time.....however, I was different. I was distant. I was not emotionally available. He knew I was not as interested in sex, "it was not fun or hot anymore". Especially for me. I was done with him. I didn't even look at him the same. It donned on me that he never was emotionally available throughout the entire relationship. He was a commitment phobic and a misogynist. He was every woman's nightmare. However, I stayed with him until the "bitter end" because I wanted to show how "stong" I was. It was my ego kicking in, I think, because my self-esteem was coming back!! Then, on Dec. 15, he finally told me "he wanted to finally end the relationship because he had never done 2 holidays in a row with the same woman". He was "anxious" about the relationship because it was going on "too long" and he had never been with ANYONE longer than he had been with me. I asked him "why now when my mom was dying of cancer? because you said you'd be there for me" and its the "week before Christmas" could you do this? He couldn't explain it other than his anxiety. He reassured me that there was no other woman in the picture. Ha! He did tell me that the real reason why he verbally abused me was because he didn't want me to "get my expectations up" about him or "expect too much" from the relationship. Anyway, I have to say, I have not called him - I have no desire to - and emotionally, I AM FINALLY FREE. I have never been so mistreated by anyone like this. And this will never happen again to me. I am moving into a new place and I am not giving him my new phone number. If he calls me, I am going to hang up in his ear!! If he comes to my new place, I will get a restraining order!! I want nothing more to do with him. FINALLY!!!!!!!!!
I remember the times when my bf and I would go in circles like that, where everything that was said and done was offensive to the other. Every detail and every event was a major ordeal - what a roller coaster! When we weren't battling or feeling cool towards one another, we had some fun times together.
The fun times made it harder to leave, and the exhaustion from the battles made it harder to get up and out. In the last year, it was only a matter of time before we split - way too much water under the bridge. It would have taken an enormous effort on both our parts to change old patterns of interaction and communication. Then I wonder if we could have ever trusted fully and let our defenses down.
Since I left, a lot of people have told me awful stuff they knew about him. In my case, he had such deep and severe problems he wouldn't face, that it never would have worked. So I am grateful to be free and happy again.
Take care, Suzanne
If "dump and run" sounds harsh to you, I would suggest that you detach, take care of yourself (this will likely mean getting out of your current living situation), and make conscious choices. Same thing basically, just rephrased.
Realize that tolerating this kind of abuse is enabling it, and that your wife will be more likely to seek solutions once you stop putting up with her misbehavior. No amount of money or material things can be worth living that way.
Also, look into what's led *you* into this relationship. Examine your own boundaries (or more likely, lack of them) to see how you ended up in a situation like this one. Usually there are small signs along the way, that many of us ignore. Were there any signs you ignored, so you know for future to take them seriously?
If you'd like to go one step further, and offer her some sincere help, if she asks for it, direct her to local abuse resources, if there are any, and to websites like this one, or research some appropriate book titles, so she can learn more about what is causing her so much pain in her life. (I've just started reading the Feeling Good Handbook, and so far I think it's excellent, but check Dr. I's booklist for one that may be more appropriate.) Do this only if she asks, any other "help" becomes control otherwise. But first of all look after you, and remove yourself from the abuse.
I really feel that men and women like her are the ones carrying the most pain, and because they are the most painful to be around, they are the ones that end up alone and lonely. Very sad.
However, staying with her because you feel sorry for her won't help. I don't think it's possible to live with someone in this state (depending on how frequently it occurs) without the negativity having impact on you. You can be compassionate towards her, without forgoing your own life for her. #1 don't put up with her junk, and take care of you. Also, it helps to decide specifically what you want and don't want in a relationship. Writing it down even helps. If she ever reaches "recovery" mode you can give these to her as guidelines.
Good luck Keith.
Marie - hang in there. A lot of what I said to Keith may also apply to you.
Sister - (Be careful, there are brothers here too. :) )
It's scary when you hear of psychologists who are abusive. Which shows that it pays to do some preliminary research about the counseling you choose.
Suzanne - Thank you for telling your story. Carrying guilt around never achieves anything. Guilt is so unproductive. It sounds like you are dealing with it now though. "The only mistake, is the one from which you learn nothing." (I think I've said that a few million times here, but I like it.)
Welcome to all the newcomers and hi to the regular "gang".
take care everyone.
Steve here. Yippeee! He's back!
Irene said (to Asha): "OK, so Steve had to shut you out, as he felt he was shut out by you. It's sad that he apparently feels this way. But, don't expect to get too far by being reasonable. Either you accept that you will be "punished" from time to time, and pull away from him without taking his stuff personally, or get out of his life."
This is wrong Irene. You have made a very incorrect assumption. I'm not doing the tit-for-tat. That is someone else's modus operandis. OK, correct me. When you're not posting, I have to intuit your thoughts. There is bound to be error.
I've been thinking about when you told Asha that I couldn't see my anger because anger is normal for me. I am realizing that this applies much more to Asha than to me. That may be, but, as I keep telling Jay, you have to stop looking outside and look inside you! Unfortunately you do not see this, or if you do, you NEVER call her on it. What are you talking about? I made a specific reference to Asha to check her own stuff out: "But - and this is your anger stuff I referred to earlier - knowing how sensitive he is to "rejection" stuff, did you warn him ahead of time that you had stuff to do?" This contributes to the miscommunication because Asha cannot see how much her anger controls her life.
Pretty much your entire response to Asha's last post about the "plans" (which never ever were plans), is incorrect, based on false assumptions - because Asha wasn't clear - again. Miscommunication? Could be. Passive aggressive? Could be. That's ok, you've been wrong before. Maybe you can think about it again.
I've realized something else. Because you and Asha are in direct contact via email, things are being discussed which I am entirely unaware of. It's no small wonder you are mis-diagnosing at times. There is nothing I say to her that I wouldn't say to you. It's the same ol' same ol': If he's acting yukky towards you, pull back, don't personalize and don't react.
I don't feel like I can participate anymore when I have no idea what "reality" you are getting from Asha, and what you are saying privately to Asha. There's a certain amount of feeling "left out of the loop". Understood and you are correct. That's why I encourage you to participate. I can't do it otherwise...
I will continue to work on me in other ways. I don't think you can help me anymore due to the above circumstance. Well...
If you think about it, you'll probably understand what I mean. I agree 100%. Please correct me by telling me what was going on for you when I mistakenly assumed tit for tat in the exchange you pointed out early in this post.
Take care all. I am sentimental about all those who helped me out. You too Dan. I have nothing but warm feeling toward both you and Lynn. And please stop bailing out when the going gets tough. I am expressly inviting you to take your power! OK?
<<Did you ask him what his expectations of you were when he stayed over? (Maybe you guys need to talk about it being OK for each to do what each wants/has to do without the other feeling left out...)>>
Good point. No I didn't. I think I felt comfortable, and Steve had been spending a lot of time here, and since he used to stay up all hours working on the computer when I went to bed, I didn't think it would be a big deal to him.
<<did you warn him ahead of time that you had stuff to do?>>
No I didn't. Although the week before I had mentioned that he was welcome to come over, but I would be busy doing Xmas projects, and he was perfectly okay with that at that time. In fact, I remember discussing that it felt nice for us not to have to "entertain" each other, and he had agreed at the time.
<<You ask him not to retaliate while engaging in retaliation yourself.>>
This one I'm confused about. I don't feel that I'm retaliating, but I do withdraw, Do you act it out by just shutting yourself away, or do you tell him you are feeling upset and need to time out? and I do feel angry at times. OK. It's occurred to me that he interprets my putting myself first as "punishment" and therefore feels he's justified in doing the same thing to me. Close, but... If I've got this wrong, please explain. Yes, you are just doing what you need to do, no problem there. And Steve is doing what Steve is doing. Not your problem. But you know Steve well. Knowing how sensitive he is, it is a sin of omission on your part not to talk to him ahead of time about your plans for the evening. This is passive-aggressive in that it is a sin of omission. Had your visitor been someone you felt less comfortable with, knowing their sensitivity, you would likely have taken that sensitivity into account. Is this clear? (Knowing how sensitive he is, how else would you expect him to interpret it?)
Now you are probably thinking, but that's pretty much what I had done before, when all I did was do for him first. Not quite. You are not doing anything for him. If you are taking time for yourself, letting him know and agree/disagree to is is not for him, though it is. It is really for you. Knowing how he is, why would you want to irritate him?
When I'm upset with him, I just don't desire closeness. I don't consciously retaliate, though I know my feelings show through. It's not conscious. Just something to pay attention to since it gets in your way. If you weren't upset with him, it is more likely that you would have let him know you had work - thus giving him the opportunity to decide whether or not to spend the night. Especially since it's pretty clear he is more comfortable at his own place and stays at your place to be with you. Again, this does not make Steve right or wrong, it is just a matter of consideration on your end - since consideration is one of your strengths.
I don't want to act on them, and I don't want to bury them. Also, I do know it's his stuff. Sometimes I get discouraged though and would like more understanding from him, though I don't expect it. I don't want to pressure him because I know that doesn't help, but I don't know if I can be altogether neutral towards everything he does, unless we remain just friends. My guess is that this type of stuff is what Steve is referring to when he refers to your anger. It is one thing to be mad with him for something and to let him know you are mad because such and such thing he did felt however it felt. But, when you take that anger and displace it onto another, independent communication by withdrawing / not communicating information you would ordinarily communicate to a person you were not angry with, you've taken it a step further: you are acting out.
I was thinking today that negatively empowered people and disempowered people probably get together because they do have something in common - the negatively empowered person puts him/herself first, and the disempowered puts the other first as well. Maybe that's why it's hard for negatively empowered people to understand that it's okay for the other to put themselves first, while they themselves are learning to put the other first. I think there is a simpler way to explain this, but that's what comes to mind. Yes. The implicit "deal" you and Steve made was to put Steve first. Now you are trying to put yourself first, which is healthy for both of you. But, you are not doing it very clearly because displaced anger is getting acted out as you attempt to "assert yourSelf" so to speak. Steve does not strike me as unwilling to let you be first. I think he is reacting to the (unconsciously angry) way you do it. Steve: Please give feedback.
<<Either you accept that you will be "punished" from time to time, and pull away from him without taking his stuff personally, or get out of his life.>>
This is probably true. It all depends on the level and amount of "punishing" which is hard for me to predict for the future. I do take full responsibility for my choices, though I will probably make mistakes. I also don't think I can be as supportive or encouraging of Steve as I once was, because I don't have the energy right now. You are also mad with him. I need to put more into myself. Yes, but you are blaming him for not having put more into yourself until now. Steve didn't "make" you focus on him. You chose to do that. Meanwhile, he's (unconsciously) getting "blamed" for your past inability to put yourSelf first! By the way, most of the "blame" if you will here belongs to your parents, not Steve. You already knew how to put yourself last when you met him. This probably makes it more difficult for him to progress, if he himself is still beating himself up over things, and he thinks that I am too But it's not that he thinks it, you are! This is subtle stuff Asha. I think, on a logical level, I understand that his intentions aren't bad, but the emotional part is harder for me to turn on and off at will. Yes, but you are not being asked to turn off your emotional part. You are being asked to pay attention to it - so you can take the reins and run your life rather than let your anger run you!
I wasn't going to post this last bit, but I think I will. Steve picked up his kids today, and since we didn't see them before Xmas, I had some presents to give them today and we will still be having a turkey dinner tomorrow. Steve spent long hours putting together a 45 minute video montage of the kids, the pets, me and him as a present for them. I was really looking forward to seeing it with them. I think this was a miscommunication, but I was sure that he would "debut" the video to all of us together (I had told him I wanted to wait to see it with the kids). He had made an extra copy to give to his ex, which I thought was nice. He brought it with him when he went to pick up the kids. As it turned out, they all watched it together without me. When they got here and I asked when we would all see it, and Steve told me this, I felt like crying. I realize now that my expectations about the video were totally different than his. Again, miscommunication or passive aggressive anger? Could be either. You do this stuff unwittingly to each other all the time, so I have to assume it's about anger. I had thought we would view it together as a family. Steve said that the kids could watch it again, but it doesn't seem at all the same to me. I don't know if I'm being silly about this. I think it's just a lot of build up YES as well as build up from all the times you felt left out in your life in general... from being left out in the initial Xmas plans with the kids, the thing with Steve's friend Saturday night, and then this. I just feel like so many opportunities to build family closeness have been thrown away and I'm disappointed about it. Again, I'm feeling very emotional about this and maybe it's out of whack. Just pay attention Asha. Pay attention to your feelings. Try not to react to them, but instead to notice them. There is a message there.
That's it for tonight.
jay here and a bit calmer.
Reading the posts I keep thinking and I think I have things to worry about!
Guess I do but so much suffering here and on the message boards. At least I am not being hit (generally), stalked, in fear of all my loved ones being hurt.
So "Jake" taking our son off to his parents for the new year on a freezing cold day when they are saying don't drive and the trains are dodgy and he will have a train and car journey 3 minimum hours long without a coat (both refused to take it) pales in comparison.
Rang a straight talking friend who talked straight and pointed out that I already had bought the ticket for the hospital car park for the accident or hypothermia I was sure the Human Kat Kid will have/suffer from!
Major reactions yet again from me. When do I get to be a grown up again?
Friend should be another Dr Irene.... take care of your Self. You are doing just what Jake is wanting you to. He does it to wind you up....(what harm would there have been in taking the coat.)
The stupid thing is the human KatKid doesn't ever wear a coat. Just one of those adolescent things. He will when he decides it is fashionable. Giggle.
So is this one another trifle????
Upsetting things between me and my daughter. (Dr Irene I noticed the absence of blue pencil on that post I take it that one it wasn't a trifle.) That I can see as serious stuff and worth being concerned about. Jay, I'm sorry, truth is, I don't read everything - no time. I have to get hired to do that. And, frankly, that takes so much time, I don't know that I will continue it much longer. Informational stuff I catch, I generally answer.
Inside is no anger any more: just a void. Is this part of a process.
At least I have four days alone to think and work it out!
Daughter wants me to ring her and this time Jake will know nothing at all. He won't be able to cause any upset.
I did talk to the therapist. Got told you are not going to find a therapist with Dr Irene's approach in this hospital. Which is not a problem. You'll get used to your therapist's approach after a bit. Give it a chance! Also, this is not therapy. I really don't know what it is. Refused to give me psychotherapy. Realised later that family therapy whether I like the therapist or not is the only way forward. Psych did agree I should tell the therapist how I feel......I think they are saying we can't change what is outside of you. Which is obvious and what I have to stop fighting. At least they acknowledged I was the victim. That felt like a relief. The first time anyone had agreed with that.
But I can't keep destroying myself by being a victim. I have somehow to learn not to be.
have to stop destroying myself. Have to stop letting them destroy me.
But you can't just magically wave depression away. I do do all the right things. Except listen....Keep getting picked up on interrupting!!!
Why can't I do the obvious? Just not react.
At least I would if I knew what to do about the loss of all internal monitors. I don't see my own reactions coming. Literally seem to come to in the middle of the reaction. Then I can get out of it but I am the fool by then.....Epileptics have an aura sometimes. I wish I could have one for anger. There is something internal going on I can't identify. I used to be able to be calm. Did have a temper but I could control it.
I guess a lot of the time I just think it out in words when I post.
Believe it or not the only "therapy the psych was interested in was me posting here, She didn't think anything else will help. I tried to find a codependency support group here where I live. No such thing.. The old Jay would have started one. The person I used to be was so pro active. Perhaps I fight too much that it is all going to take a very long time to heal.
Makes you think what years of subtle abuse can do to a confident person.
Guess I have four free days to sort me out. Have to stop twisting God's arm and do it myself......
Some days I ramble on so.....Jay
Give freedom to thoughts but don't let 'em talk to strangers.
Is this the Human KatKid in a philosophical moment or has he got the words from a song?
I am sure it must mean something. It appears when I start the computer up..........
he does come out with stuff like this from time to time.....
Sorry pressed submit too soon. If only I could be as stable and healthy as my own kid! Yesterday he and Jake had a snowball fight . I guess most of us in this situation expect to be hit by a snowball. Human KatKid threw a snowball which hit Jake in the ??? wrong place.
describing Jakes's reaction. Human KatKid was very clear. This was not his problem but Jake's. Not even upset. Just thought Jake should deal with it as his problem and it wasn't something for Human KatKid to worry over.
I would like to say that although neither my partner nor I are good at proper mutual respect and good communication not to mention not playing stupid abusive yelling games, one of the things mentioned in the Faith & Sky story struck me.
Faith mentioned Remarin (sp?) as being a possible factor in increasing her mate's bitchiness. I find with my partner that if he takes ephedrine in any form - this is usually found in allergy medications - he has near-psychotic episodes of uncontrollable totally irrational unprovoked crazy-talking rage. He literally becomes not in his right mind, and I have told him that if he takes these medications he must stay elsewhere or go to hospital because he's off his rocker and it is not safe for me, my animals, or anyone else. He agrees with this - has only vague memories of being upset while on these things. It takes between 1 and 5 hours and is made worse if he has any alchohol whatsoever (one drink is enough). It's like rapid onset PMS to the 100th power. Very scary.
This didn't start like this. The first time I noticed weird reactions to allergy pills (over the counter stuff) he 1) became impotent and 2) started hysterically laughing at a person on the subway whom he insisted looked like a chicken! Now I've seen this behaviour with people on magic mushrooms, hashish, LSD and even alcohol, but in my opinion this was the first indicator that this medicine worked very strangely on him indeed. It is not supposed to do this. Maybe other people's partners have bad reactions to medications or to an inadvertent mixing of medicines? Just a thought - maybe total nutso ravings & based on nothing eruptions where the person seems in a very irrational space could be made worse by drugs? He's no angel off allergy pills, but certainly not unreachable and dangerous in his rages.
I react with irritability to excess caffeine, herbal diet pills and not having enough B12 in my system, all of which are things I can watch for.
Dear HoneyDoc and the rest of the New Year Honeys,
First, thank you HoneyDoc for the explanation on validation and manipulation in the Yukky Comment Board - I finally understand it; however, I have a lot of work to do on mySelf in order to Not need validation. You're welcome HoneyHon. It's funny though - I have a great deal of self-esteem/self-confidence professionally and socially but something happened to the development of my self-esteem with close interpersonal relationship issues. I continue to explore this issue with reading on codependency, a 12 step support group and individual counseling - this appears to be a family of origin issue and based on my family of origin, that makes a lot of sense. :)
Second, I have a question about the exchange between Steve and Asha and HoneyDoc's advice to them. I saw myself in Asha's reactions to Steve - the passive-aggressive stuff or at least not being sensitive to his known sensitivity as a way of acting out anger. My question is whether this is important for them because they continue to work things out between themselves and Steve is really making an effort on himself or whether this stuff is important to Asha just for Asha's sake? Gosh, just posing the question, I think I know the answer but...
In my circumstances, my husband turned out to be a FakeSteve. But we are still living together while I'm working on mySelf; however, I think I pull "an Asha" a lot with my husband especially because I know he is not working on himSelf, he is drinking heavily (My 12 step program is Al-anon), and he is still seething with anger/hostility although he is not continuously raging anymore.
So is it enough that I should mentally catch myself when I pull these "Ashas" with him? or is the goal to work out my inner anger so as not to take it out on him ever because even when we break up, I'll still need to work on the inner anger without focusing it outside of myself? Part of the reason I do it is to protect mySelf from further verbal abuse and, as already stated, I know that I am not trying to work on the relationship instead I'm just trying to work on my issues until I'm ready to leave.
I can't afford on-going codependency therapy so I use this site and another e-mail support group. Here is the url to join the other support group I belong to called Constructive Love:
I found wonderful support and insight there as well.
<<Had your visitor been someone you felt less comfortable with, knowing their sensitivity, you would likely have taken that sensitivity into account. Is this clear?>>
I think I understand what you are saying. I really didn't feel any conscious anger when I was working at the computer when Steve had been over. Maybe the problem is that I'm awkward about how to "put myself first". I knew that I wasn't ready to go to bed, and I didn't think about what time I would be going to bed in advance, before Steve came over. I did know he wanted me to come to bed though, but I was looking for pic's for a Xmas project and felt in a time crunch. When he lived here he used to stay up on the computer until all hours after I went to bed and I never asked him not to, so maybe I felt he would understand. I didn't feel mad at him, I actually felt quite warm towards him at the time. The funny thing is that the first night he left, I felt okay about it because of how he approached me. He came down and said he had lots to do at home and would I mind if he went home - very considerate, and caring. The next night, there was none of that. He got dressed and put his jacket on and basically said goodbye. That's when I started to feel angry. It felt like the same old junk - like "punishment" for not going to bed when he wanted me to. OK. I understand. Perhaps he had expected that you would be more considerate of him given that he had explained so warmly how he felt the night before...
<<But, when you take that anger and displace it onto another, independent communication by withdrawing / not communicating information you would ordinarily communicate to a person you were not angry with, you've taken it a step further: you are acting out.>>
I think it's more that I haven't figured out the difference between caring for Steve and "caretaking". The problem is that Steve often thinks I have hidden motives where there are none. For example I wasn't "making a point". I really just felt I wanted to stay up longer. He didn't have to go to bed at that time either, he could have stayed up with me. Did you tell him? If you don't, Steve is likely to fill in the blanks - with his own more painful agenda.
<<Now you are trying to put yourself first, which is healthy for both of you. But, you are not doing it very clearly because displaced anger is getting acted out as you attempt to "assert yourSelf" so to speak.>>
I think that that maybe it's more that it feels very 'freeing' to put myself first and I forget that Steve is sensitive in some areas. I think I need to treat Steve as you mentioned, as I would a guest. It's so funny... The one person we are most committed to and care about most - is the one that we esteem the least! It's generally a good idea to treat your partner as well as you would treat a guest, even if it feels like "work" in the beginning.
<<Meanwhile, he's (unconsciously) getting "blamed" for your past inability to put yourSelf first! By the way, most of the "blame" if you will here belongs to your parents, not Steve. You already knew how to put yourself last when you met him.>>
Agreed. I know that blame is unproductive, and I don't think it's blame so much as my current fear of repeating old mistakes. OK. He gets withdrawal on your part because you did not know how to protect yourself in the past. He still gets it. I am learning about boundaries, and I have been thinking about what I *really* expect out of a relationship, if I'm going to be in one at all. My anger for Steve seems to build when something looks like an old pattern, and subsides when things look healthy to me. Why are you letting yourself bounce off Steve so? For example I was mad about the "going home" issue, but not so mad that I didn't feel we could work it out. Good. By the way, anger is OK. God gave us anger. It's when we don't pay attention or take care of the little stuff that anger grows... But then there was the loose plan that wasn't even a consideration. I did try to talk to Steve about this, but I felt he wasn't interested in my feelings about it (except to interpret it as 'guilting' him). I started to feel *very* cool towards him after this. And the video without me just seemed to sum up to me that my feelings are unimportant to him. He seems to find it such a hassle to consider my feelings, and I don't think there's anything I can do by myself to fix this, except withdraw (because I *do* want someone who can consider me if I'm going to be in a relationship). I'm tired of my wish for consideration being interpreted as control or guilting, when that's not at all what it is. The state of "hopelessness" that Steve reaches when things get tough is also something that repels me. I believe that if two people want solutions they will find them, but when Steve acts like there's no hope, then I find myself moving away from him. Sounds like each of you don't communicate enough and interpret the other person's intentions too much...
Thanks for the input.
Hi All, I stumbled upon the answer to my situation in my marriage: Verbal, emotional and mental abuse. This is my third marriage. I am 8 months pregnant and have a beautiful two year old daughter. We are an educated and entertaining couple with all the material successes. But, alas, I have so much anger and sadness inside my heart that I no longer see myself as me. I am a strong woman who is successful. Inside my marriage I have a man who puts me down, insists I do very little in our large home and constantly tells me I do not know what it takes to run a business as he does. He is a recovering alcoholic who has not been to a meeting in two years. He cheated on his wife, left her and his child to marry me 5 years ago. Who was I kidding? Bad people cheat, right? He constantly calls my mom and family losers and they are wonderfully loving people struggling in life like any of us and trying to be and do their best. My dad passed away this year and all my husband seems to be able to say about him is that he could buy a hell of a good cup of coffee on the job! Put downs everywhere! He tells me I need to look in the mirror as of late (I am really pregnant.. only gained 29 lbs thus far) A put down. He calls me many names and is angry at the drop of a hat. I heard him chanting "pshyco" downstairs the other night as he watched my daughter play...he was directing this at me. I have endured this for many years with him...demanding, judgmental and mean angry behavior. He tells me that if I leave him he will prove to the courts that I am nuts, mental psycho and take my most precious children away. I am scared. He is smart, handsome and slick.. he can make anyone believe him. I have read that this explosive and aggressive arguing that we do can harm my children. I do not want them marrying another man down the road who hates women this way and abuses them verbally. He calls me a loser: I earn more, have more education at the college level and take care of myself physically. I read, I have friends and care for a 4000sq foot house. My associates love me and I do well at work: all outstanding reviews for years. I have lived all over the country. I just can't pick a good man! He is being nice now since ruining Christmas. When I came home Xmass night (I would not let him go with me to my moms) I asked for help since I am so pregers and was carrying my sleeping two year old in my arms. he looked at me and whipped me the bird! Never helped me. I feel so alone and unloved. The worse thing here is that I am just as ugly as he is when push comes to shove. I feel the anger and lash out severely when cornered or when he unjustly crucifies me or my loved ones. I have gotten a sharp tongue and threaten to leave always. He always counters with threats to sue my family, put a court order keeping my beloved mom from her granddaughter who she watched flawlessly for the first year of her life while we both worked heavy careers. He says that the blowups we have will show me to be crazy! I feel that I am a victim who has turned abuser???? I want to use your help when I leave and go to a lawyer to show her and the courts that I am not nuts but a victim who has learned how to abuse due to the abused situation and abuser (my husband) Can anyone lend information or direction on what is happening to me???? I am a loving, Libra who thrives on balance...he says I am all at fault. He says I am unstable, He says I am a loser, He says now I used to be normal until I started being with family...truth is I have always been with my family!! go figure.. another twist of the truth. I am so scared of his manipulative ways. I am a shred of who I really am anymore. I look more like him on the inside than me. Help me with information that will counter what he says. He listens to my phone conversations and tries to get my attention on him while I am talking. When I tell him to stop it he blows up at me! The other night I was talking with mom about dads dying last year at Xmas and how she was doing with it all. .he had an issue with this phone conversation! Imagine that! He comes into my room twice a night and wakes me up to see what's going on with me? is it guilt? Last night he asked me at 2:00 am "when are the papers coming?" I was woken up from a deep sleep with this question. I never told him I was seeing an attorney. Where is this coming from??? This morning he demanded I smell the bed sheets he sleeps in.. I was appalled: I inquired as to what he meant. .he said well someone has been in here! He was wondering who I was sleeping with??? Can you imagine?? how insane is this person?? where will it stop??? His own daughter (15 years old) from first marriage has asked me to leave him. He makes her cry whenever they work on anything together. HELP HELP HELP ME>..I am on the verge of leaving...I need to just squeek over that codependent edge I carry to do it...help me get there ..someone... I can't raise another baby girl inside this woman hating, controlling, insecure and abusive relationship. I don't want my girls calling me in 20 years crying to me about the terrible person they married...
Can someone please tell me if I am at fault 9 days ago, Me and my so called b/f where in the bedroom. I had not felt good and like the fool that I am, I hoped he would notice. I was watching tv and he was into his addiction <the computer> He got an IM and that made me mad, I said to him Rick I really don't feel good, He said ok and then got off line. We started talking about how I felt. And he started an argument with me. He had drank 3 rum and cokes and went to the kitchen to get another one. I went into the kitchen and said your not drinking anymore. At this point all I wanted to do is talk, not be ignored anymore. Well he says I'm going to bed. I said no we need to talk. He starts to get in the bed. Well me in rage now picks up the glass throws it against the wall. He sets in his chair. The I throw the a small reading stand. I say now will you pay attention to me. With that he smacks me with a closed fist on my face, Then sets down. I am angry yelling that why would you hit me knowing I am sick. he gets back up pulls his arm back. With that I push him away. He goes crazy and grabs the little finger on my left hand twist it as far back as he can till I am on the bed. Then tried to choke me. I am kicking and screaming for help. I bite him on the stomach. And hit him square in the mouth. With that he gets up and goes to the bathroom. I am crying uncontrollably so he comes back to me and puts his hand over my mouth trying to stop me. I did not notice any blood on his lip. I call my daughter to come get me. He starts picking up the glass saying I hit him first. I am telling no way did I hit you first. He says I have finger prints on this glass says you threw it at me. I didn't! then he goes into the bathroom comes back out and is bleeding on the left side lower lip. I am left handed would I have not hit him on the right side? He was facing me. Part of me believe he cut him self cause he knew if someone heard me that he could go to jail. I am sitting here with my hand in pain for almost a week I could not use it. It is still swollen and has a knot on the top of my hand I guess my question is. Since I fought back. And I threw the glass does this make THIS one my fault? there has been 4 other violent fights where I get the worse end of the deal bloody nose, and mouth, large bumps on my head bruises on my arms and legs. We are about the same size. And if he does hit me. I will not just lay down and get beat like a dog.
Just a quick one to "am I at fault?"
I don't really think it matters at this point who is at fault (though, from your post, I would say you are BOTH being abusive!). What is REALLY disturbing to me is that you are BOTH engaging in violent behavior in the presence of your child. You said he is your boyfriend, not husband, so getting away from each other will be easier than if you were married. Please, for your daughter, GET HELP!!!!
If this sounds insensitive, I am sorry, but your daughter's well-being is what matters-not who is at fault!
Dear Dr Irene.
Just saw your comment. I am sorry if you thought I was implying you *should* have replied to a post of mine. I am just grateful when you do. Didn't take it that way...
For the English the current exchange rate is 1.45 dollars to the £. So 50 dollars is £35.00.
I looked at your for hire rates and by English standards they are cheap.
I just hope you are still having a bit of time once I get my credit card sorted (forgot to pay it!) as I already was thinking about whether it would be good to write to you again. (I was already thinking this).
Also I don't think of the board as therapy. It *is* therapeutic to write out your thoughts and see them in print. I think that this is getting recognized by a lot of therapists.
I am a terrible patient as I criticize everything. I think what the psych was probably saying was she was keeping the involvement to a minimum as the problem wasn't all to do with me and that is the only bit they can help. (Heard this somewhere before????).
Dear all. Wow so much post and so many people. I think the catbox is going to need to have kittens!!!!!
Suzanne your post was so lovely. I think I am going to make a poster of those words for some very special friends who have been through a lot.
Sister - actually more brothers would be great too but I guess the whole trouble about some forms of abuse they get so justified in the abuser's mind that whatever they study or work with they lose the plot.
TW I see what you are saying. I definitely got worse character wise on Seroxat (Paxil). But i do know people who say it gave them back their life. I guess the only thing you can do is to get the person to stop the drug under medical supervision for a while.
Marie, I read, I hear and I know from experience these things happen. I really wish you well and send you hugs and prayers.
The same for you dear person I hope has a fuse in the furnace now.
Steve you sound threatened by Asha emailing the doc. Why don't you email her yourself? (Really I am jealous of Asha as Jake won't post at all!). Seriously. I think there is just so much value when both halves of a couple post.
I never can think what to write to either of you but your posts help a lot and Asha they are not boring.
Dear Fragile Turtle. If you can get the courage to do so then do go. I get a taste of the same thing but there is some space between. One thing I know for certain nobody has the right to use any psychological term in a denigrating way about anyone else. Again my prayers.
Everyone else I am thinking of you.....So Santa reads Self Help books does he.........
And tonight with Jake away...I got a call from my daughter who actually looked pretty sick with flu when I went round to her. We had a good time together and tomorrow she and a friend are coming round for a meal. So Jake didn't undermine things as much as he may have intended...I am still trying to work out his motivation. The Healthy Human KatKid rang while I was there on his mobile to say he was well and safe and not frozen.....We didn't let on I was in the room to either of them....let him come back and find we are. I am just enjoying the truce. (And the peace). Love jay.
Went back to look at Suzanne's link for me and saw the post from the person asking am I at fault. Yes if you stay i a relationship where your daughter is involved and witnesses violence you are actually abusing her.
the baseline is you always protect the young. You don't fight back, you call the police.
I know that sounds awful but I had to do it more than once on a family member for a child's sake.
If you do stay, getting out is the right solution but not one I know from experience of having a friend a husband who drank you will take then please get a mobile and in any crisis ring 999 or whatever as soon as you start to feel frightened.
And please don't involve your child. Ann says it all....jay
I do believe I have became the abuser also! My daughter is 21 and has never seen any of this. For over a year it was just verbal, then covert abuse, now I am acting out and that is when the fights start. No matter married or not. It's still hard to just get out! I am going to get My self some help. He does not seem to have any remorse. I hit him back so he is ok with it. But what if I don't hit back?
I am learning about boundaries, and I have been thinking about what I *really* expect out of a relationship, if I'm going to be in one at all. My anger for Steve seems to build when something looks like an old pattern, and subsides when things look healthy to me.
Dr I said: <<Why are you letting yourself bounce off Steve so?>>
It's not Steve that I'm afraid of, it's the fear that *I* will put up with stuff that I know is bad for me. Until Steve and I talk things through, and resolve them in some way, I detach. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like an anger feeling, just a knowledge that the specific incident represents something I won't choose to live with. I guess that's where the pulling away comes in. I think this is the pattern for me - resolvable anger, (if the thing I'm angry with gets talked about and dealt with in some way, and I'm not told my anger is "wrong", then it ends there). Excellent. For the record, anger is not good, bad, right, or wrong. It is a healthy signal from you to you. Rage is a different story. That's angry gone awry. Big. Again, not wrong or bad, but simply unproductive and destructive. Little need for rage. When the incident doesn't get dealt with I pull away. This is sometimes followed by a feeling of deeper hurt or disappointment which I try not to act on (but sometimes have which probably really gets Steve upset...), then a feeling of wanting just the friendship, but no more than that. When things do get talked about, and my feelings are acknowledged and respected, then I draw closer. I think both of you agree that it is OK to disagree, and Steve has posted more than once that he wants you to be your own person with all the thoughts and feelings that belong to you. But, in real life, you are saying that Steve has difficulty respecting how you think and feel without bouncing off your thoughts and feelings. I think what happens, in addition to reacting to your angry outbursts as per above, Steve's automatic thinking too often auto pilots him into hurtful and subsequent angry spaces. It also takes him a while to regain his emotional balance. During this interim period, there is lots of room for yukkiness to continue or ensue. My guess is he finds it particularly difficult to deal with your anger or other negativity, such as your pulling away, while he is in the middle of his own reaction.
I suppose none of this is bad, but I know Steve finds these patterns of mine painful. I don't wish to hurt him, but I can't think of a healthier "pattern" I can create alone. I don't think either of you want to hurt the other.
If there is a better way, I'm all ears. Me too.
Asha here again.
Just wanted to say that I figured out exactly why being "excluded" (or that's how I felt) from being with the kids while they, Steve and his X watched the family video together hurt so much. It's all old stuff. Yep.
I wrote down for myself a list of past incidents where I felt exactly the same way. It *is* the stuff of the *past* You can almost bet any overly strong reaction is rooted outside of the triggering incident. and I treated myself poorly by allowing certain things to go on. I've decided not to say it here because it's all painful - it's stuff I'm not wanting to be angry about anymore, and Steve would feel hurt if I were to mention it. I don't want to protect him, nor do I want to inflict more pain about the past. Excellent. All that matters is that you know.
Anyway, I know exactly what the feeling brings up - and it's mostly that I allowed myself to be "put last". That's okay some of the time, but not as a lifestyle.
I realize I am super-aware of anything that feels like this, and it probably is best for me if I do gravitate away from this sort of stuff. So I've probably done the right thing for myself by detaching. I'm not being ugly and mean about it - stomping off etc. Though I'm not overly exuberant, I feel that I'm being friendly (except for the moment that I heard they'd already seen the video, when I felt like bursting into tears - I *was* angry, walked away without explanation, and made one sarcastic comment to Steve about it, but also I allowed the feeling to dissipate as quickly as I could), but don't want physical closeness. It feels like friendship to me.
Steve's not posting, nor is he talking "solutions". Don't know if he's processing the info, or has just given up. It's a back and forth for him Asha. That's the normal struggle for all of us, no?
Anyways, I can't do it for him... No.
Peace to him anyway, and to all of us who carry around far too much pain. Amen.
Asha, something puzzles me but it may be because I just don't know enough. But Steve and his ex had kids together so I guess the video would mean a lot to both of them and even if they are not together those would be memories they will always and their kids would always want to share. I guess all trying to say is I think that you would have to accept that those memories are a part of the current Steve. For the kids they are memories too.
Steve, what I don't get is why you had to watch the video with your ex while Asha looks after your kids.
Just guessing but was it about trying to say to Asha you trust her with your kids. Did it all just go wrong.
I think you two need to sit down and draw up some kind of written contract about what you want and what the boundaries are. Like me and Jake (who refuses to do this) it seems like so often you mis communicate.
In fact like me and Jake just now..Rang him and got cut off mid sentence yet again. I thought he was being really awful. It turned out that the Human KatKid was in the middle of something with cousins and wanted a quick word. Result one inner trifle with custard added! Probably Jake still has no idea he offended me.
There was an element of disrespect as he still didn't want to say sorry. He did cross me boundary. I want to be listened to until the end of a sentence! But I think this was probably more about Jake's lack of upbringing (you can be the son of a headmaster and still have no manners!) than it was about me.
(One of the sisters in law pushed a plate of gravy into the face of her future husband. She was tired of him licking it off the plate at Sunday dinner!!!!Jake's mother once said she gave up on table manners........Another time LOL Jake and I had an argument and I slammed the kitchen outside door and the window broke. In the same hour the same sister in law to be slammed a door and a picture plate fell off the wallll.and smashed...Jake's mother didn't express any surprise or anger at all.
Makes me think as I come from a place of over strict boundaries (father would lock the door if I was literally a minute late home.) Is it that jake can't handle any boundary setting as he has non e and so can't handle me as I can't work without a framework AND vice versa.
It did happen with our daughter I would set a boundary about coming in and because of the way she was, make it not too early: but I am the only driver and there was the possibility of her being approached by a known pedophile, so I saw my needing to know where she was. I lived in a town in my childhood and got to know some pretty seedy characters. Jake lived in the country and either just came in when he wanted or had to be picked up because of distance.
So our role models were totally different. Jake wasn't trained for city life and I wasn't trained not to be over cautious. Also reasonably we do live in a pretty dangerous area.
My boundary was I wanted to have my daughter in at a reasonable time for me to get to bed and I would collect her. Jake's was to have no boundary and not make a fuss.......
but then his past never included jailbirds and hells angels so he has always been pretty naive.
I should be aware of all this. I think I was before things happened to make me see I was a victim.
The communication problem is about coming from two amazingly different families and for a long time I fitted with Jake's as I though I had found what was normal and then I did a lot of training and grew as a person and realised what I had found wasn't.
And Jake has never understood that anger is a normal emotion. That it is o.k to be angry. I learnt it was o.k not to be.....Then Jake's friend and then his uncle died and he thought he could handle grief without the anger stage??? THIS IS NOT ABOUT JAKE IT IS ABOUT HIS MOTHER and the way she acts.
I don't mean she is a bad person but she didn't teach her kids to handle anger and nor did my parents.
The insensitivity also comes from Jake's parents. Ring her in a depressed state literally weeping and she really does tell you "think about the third world/" The most I got when I was recovering from being suicidal was "clean the windows!!!!' (I think she thought this would cheer me up).
Don't get me wrong I do actually like my mother in law. I can see I could have a lot worse. J the friend who died used to say Kate and I were complementary and until I saw the way he made me a victim I felt that too. I think a lot of it is about us both having to handle changes we can't handle.
I think Jake victimizes me and has taught our daughter to because it feels safer than admitting his anger. He is lost as "bad things don't happen 9but they have) and he has to put that somewhere and I am lost because when bad things happen I expect him to be there for me only he can't as he is in denial.
Steve is going to post about look inside yourself Jay.....I have been. Just not particularly in this post which is more about making sense of things that happen.
I guess the way out will be within me.
One thing I do know I think this break is a very good thing. I am really pleased as my daughter still wants to be round despite flu.
really pleased too as I had a whole day when I was smiling. Lynn I met this man in the bookshop (we have an amazing one that runs all sorts of groups and stays open until really late.) He helped me find a book on XML. Which he said to learn instead of HTML. (Honest it wasn't a pick up the place just is friendly). I found an Idiot's guide.....Actually then found him again in the self help section.. There is an Idiot's Guide to Managing Difficult People in the same series. Must have a look next time I am in!! Told Jake and he was scathing but I held my ground and said I am still going to learn as I actually do understand the book!!! Have only just realised I thought the inevitable put down was sad on Jake's part. love jay
Looking for books and any other materials on surviving years of being married to a female sociopath. That has abandoned all her family, children and the past life. I need to find some way to understand on how to adjust what I lived which was a reality so to speak. Then to find out that it was not a reality. Anyone understand this or been here ? B
Steve watched the video with his X *and* the kids, while I was at home, waiting for them to come back to my place.
The video was shot on my camera, and it was all stuff taken since Steve and I were together. His X wasn't in the video. I wonder if she may have even felt sad viewing it, given that I think she still seems to care a lot for Steve.
It just seemed like a wasted opportunity for family closeness, and appeared to me to be inappropriate for them to see the "debut" together. I still don't get this.
I had thought this was a present to the kids and I, and I had thought that the point of it was that we would all get to see it together as a group. Since, they've now all seen it, there is no anticipation or excitement about it. In fact it's no big deal for them to see it again. I obviously envisioned something quite different than Steve did. Ouchhh...
It's possible that there was a miscommunication of sorts, but I feel there was a certain amount of thoughtlessness. Sounds that way...
A different issue - my emailing Dr. Irene - this is why Steve is telling me he can't post on the catbox. I really feel this is just another excuse not to work things through.
Steve wants me to show him all my emails to her, and I don't feel the need to do this. Steve says I'm "not being honest". It feels like a shift in focus to another of my "problems" rather than do the work. That and my supposed "anger problem" which I feel is a misperception on Steve's part. The angrier partner often feels that the less angry partner has an anger problem. That's cuz 1. it's real easy to be angry with the angrier person and 2. the angrier person is very sensitive to anything remotely approaching anger and is likely to angry at you for getting mad at him/her!.
I'm working on my stuff - that's the only thing I *do* have control over. Yes...
Dear Steve: I don't think you are being fair to me. You are quick to criticize any "mistakes" I make, yet, rarely tell me when something is "on." I have, in the past, written "pages" just for you and asked for feedback. You have given virtually none. You feel I am biased towards Asha, in part given the personal communications. Well, why not personally communicate and bias me too! You are not fair to me because you keep me in the dark, then jump all over me if I fail to intuit you. Or, God forbid, if I say something you don't like!
Despite the fact that you are the one who has chosen not to communicate (for very good rationalizations - no typo - by the way), you proceed to make things worse: You proceed to flip the responsibility around and thus feel victimized! Now you believe you are justified in having reason to shut the "enemy" out, so to speak. (This is the old Seek and ye shall find mentality.)
It saddens me greatly to watch you doing this to yourself, not realizing that you are shooting yourself in the foot - over and over and over... Why would you want to do this to yourself?
I wish I knew how to get through to you... I am feeling very frustrated that I cannot. Because, damn it, if you would let me show you through the darkness, you might just find the God damn light! Irene
Asha I am sorry I misunderstood completely. I would be upset too if that was what happened. love Jay
Hello Dr. Irene and Catbox Readers:
I have been reading your website for months now. I have a question that feels really stupid to me but I know you have heard them all.
I am very well educated, have had several service oriented careers, own my own house and a nice one at that, am attractive, intelligent, giving, am finishing up my doctoral degree, you know the drill, and did I mention codependent (with an abusive father and nutty/abusive mother who has had therapy and now treats me very well).
So my question is: How in the heck can I meet a guy who will treat me the way I want to be treated? Am I wearing a label that says "I am not normal or worth attracting a good guy". Am I just too old (45) and have passed up all the good guys? Are nice guys not able to see me or be attracted to me because they see the codependency? Am I outranking or intimidating men by my education/career? Guess that was more than one question.
I have dated a lot, lived with 2 ex's (the first for 8 years, and the second 6 years so I can make a commitment). I even lowered my standards (I would only date successful, attractive, intelligent men, I was a bit extreme on this-I worked in a hospital and I only dated them if they were M.D.'s or PhD's,) I now have matured, become less superficial so I don't exclude men if they are not the above but my criteria still includes intelligent, moral, giving.
I have also taken a 2 year break from dating only to start dating again and get involved with someone who turned out to have a temper and even verbally abused my once (the second time he tried I left for good).
But the fact is that my relationships are getting much worse. My first boyfriend (8 year one) never verbally abused me, he treated me well, I broke up with him because he had no career aspirations, he still works at his first job in a grocery store and is 46 and he allowed his mother to interfere in our lives often! I fell madly in love with someone after we broke up and was with him for 6 years and left because I found he was a chronic liar, weird lies that took me a long time to catch on to.
I pick mild-mannered types who later turn out to be self-centered, sex-addicted or alcohol abusers or both. Since reading your website, I realize that my intuitions have been correct in the most recent relationships I have been in. So I will be trusting that now. Perhaps I have sort of answered my own question?
Dear Turtle, You are not fragile by any means, re-read your post, you are "awake" and know exactly what is going on. You are being horribly emotionally, verbally abused, you are not ugly inside as you say, you are just fed up and you are defending yourself. I know how you feel, when you finally try and defend yourself, you see yourself as "him", because he will twist it to be so, and after all the years of abuse you may even believe a bit of what he says, after all there is that shred of "truth", do not beat yourself up. You are obviously intelligent and very well read and well versed. Only believe what your friends and co workers say about you, how competent, intelligent, and WONDERFUL
Becky checking in--
I'm recovering from a yucky day. i woke up with a very bad tension type headache which finally stopped after 6 pills and an ice pack. Husband ripped into me again which didn't help. He is taking his aunt to the hospital New Year's day to visit his uncle who is in intensive care. I am not going, because I can't get in to see him anyway, and I'm not up to several hours in a waiting room. We had planned to cook a ham for dinner that day, so i asked how his plans would affect that. (I was wondering if he would be home in time to eat it) He blew up at me. according to him, I was telling him that he couldn't take his aunt because I want to cook the ham! I told him to stop, that I wasn't saying that at all, and of course, he wouldn't stop. His coup de gras was "I'll eat the ham! I bought it! When's the last time you bothered to buy a ham?" I guess I was supposed to be filled with shame and guilt?
Anyway, I am going to make the ham. My son will be home and we will both want to eat. If H is here, fine. If not, it won't be the first time I've eaten without him, or been alone on New Years.
He then informed me that he will be gone all day tomorrow as well, where I don't know. If he thinks he's punishing me, he is wrong! If he runs off tomorrow that I will take that as a sign that he is only trying to get back at me. I told him that I am very used to being alone, and that i don't take it personally, that his absence is just a sign of his inability to relate. I left it at that.
If he leaves tomorrow, I may go to a movie, or maybe go New Years Day (son will be working all day). At any rate, this lady will not be suffering!
We got 6 more inches of snow. Anyone here NOT being affected by the weather in some way? I like winter, but this is overkill!
Have a safe New Year celebration, everyone. I will probably check in over the next few days, so if anyone is alone and bored and wants to post, I'll probably be around.
PS Trubble, don't you hiss at me! Be a good kitty, promise not to bother my son's fish, and you can come for a visit. I'll let you watch the bird feeder from the window. Trout FakeMommy, Trout. Or Salmon. Only. Fresh, not frozen.
Slight correction - I apparently "lied" about Steve asking me to show him my emails to the Doc. He asked me if I "would" show him, because he thought that I had told him I would. I do remember saying early on that "one day..." but not now. Still, the consequence is that he says he won't post.
Why make it an issue Steve?
Also, I was mistaken. The video wasn't intended for me, it was just for the kids.
You ask me what am I trying to do by mentioning the emails? I see things dying in this relationship because I feel you have given up, and I don't like your reasons. I'm trying to tell you that I see those reasons as a cop-out, and I don't believe them. I say this here, because I can't seem to get through. You fall back into the negative patterns and can't see yourself doing it. I am helpless to make you see that. Me too, apparently.
Regardless of whether you remain with me, I would like to see you have a happy life, and I don't think you are going to create it with the things you are doing (and not doing) now.
Dr Irene, please check your email.
I've been lurking in the catbox a bit - need to shake the litter off my paws! I've also posted elsewhere on this life-changing, awesome site.
Here's my question/comment/dilemma...don't know exactly what it is: My stbx (YAY!) moved out the 7th of Dec. He got served with papers for the "big D" on the 26th. He didn't react with a lot of anger, like I thought he would, but was actually sorta nice...for a few days. He keeps wanting to "talk" to me when he is here to see the kids or dropping them off. He's making a big show of being "nice", but very quickly into the conversations, the passive aggressive stuff starts coming out. I sit there thinking "YUK, but I don't have to live with him anymore!!!" He took the kids and visited his family today (traditional after Christmas get-together). When he came back to drop them off, he wanted to talk. So, I said OK, very guardedly. The gist of the thing is this: he knows that I want a Divorce, am willing to go to court, and have retained an attorney. He got into his superior-patronizing mode, started ticking off points with his fingers as to why we should try sitting down with a third party, an arbitrator, and work out support and visitation issues without using attorneys. The light went on in my head, and I said "I take it that your family won't bail you out this time?" They have spent thousands of dollars over the years getting him out of financial binds he has gottten himself and us into. He had to admit that they won't. I find this very interesting. So, basically, he doesn't want to spend the money. More on that in a minute.
What I told him was that, sure, I could do that, except that whenever we have tried to "work things through", especially when it comes to money issues, he makes things VERY difficult, unless I go along with anything he says. He gets angry if I question even the explanation of what he wants to do, let alone diagree with him on doing it. I told him that because of his past behaviors and attitiudes (typically abuser) that there was no way I could trust that the best interests of the children and myself would be served except by going to court and getting orders. He then snottily explained that it would cost a great deal of money, that the costs would continue to go up, yadda yadda. He still thinks that I haven't thought this whole thing through for months!
The problem is that there really isn't much money to work with. He has never been much of a businessman - we've been of the financial edge for all 20 years. What he is saying is "logical" from just that point of view. He says that if I force him into paying an attorney, I will be taking money away from the children (bull), and that I will get much less money on the court order than he is giving me. I already know that and am prepared to get a job or work from home (with 7 homeschooling kids)and he could impulsively stop giving me any money until we go to court, or bluster his way into something fishy with a naive arbitrator. Duh!
I've realized that, as I read the above posts, and have been typing this out, I have my answer. He could apply for legal aid. He could NOT put the first-last-and-deposit down on the apartment he insists he must have NOW. I must protect myself and the children, and I really think that I need an attorney in order to make sure that he can't bluster his way into a deal that benefits him more. Guess I answered my own question.
One more thing though, I was very proud of myself. I wouldn't engage him several times, had to say "Stop this now" twice, and at the end of the conversation, when he was getting hotter under the collar because I didn't fall into line with his idea, He said "You're not being reasonable!" I replied with "Yep, live with it," Then he once again told me, arrogantly that I should KNOW that the retainer won't cover all the costs. I turned around (I had been searching thru the clean laundry for dd's PJ's) and, yes, I was naughty and used sarcasm, but I put my hands to my cheeks in "shock" and said "Oh, I NEVER would have thought of that!" then calmy, "Please stop treating me like I'm an idiot." He said "Well, sometimes you are!" So I pointed to the door and said "You need to leave now." And he DID. I did it...I stood my ground, saw through his bullshit, and didn't take his abuse!!!
What a Happy New Year this will be for me and my precious children!!!Praise God cuz he's right there with me!
Love and Peace, Laure
I am on my own too. Loving it and loth to step outside the front door. My daughter is round again which is nice. But I will hardly be going out clubbing with her....Someone just ranf to ask if I needed company and no I don't think I will. it is the feeling of peace and calm and no fear that is what feels so o.k just now. If I do make a mistake I know it is my own and not attributed to me. I can make a decision and own it as mine. Also significantly, the depression lifted like a bad cloud disapearing behind the sun........
I don't mean after this I will leave: but I don't think Jake knows what a gift he gave me. Peace.
He didn't think about what I might feel left alone either. That is o.k by me as I got just what I needed. Just as long as he doesn't come back early........
Anyway if you do want to log on tonight I will look into the catbox from time to time: though we are in different time zones so I don\t know how it will work out.
To EVERYONE IN THE CATBOX. HAPPY NEW YEAR! And I hope we all get so emotionally healthy we can look after the catbox kittens!
Oh Trubble, you are so sweet - who is the cute little kitty with you in the pic?
Just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone.
I'll be away for a couple of days, but I hope the New Year brings all of us serenity, love and wisdom...
take care everybody
I see that Trubble's Kitty friend is "Loco".
Wierd, but that last post didn't go thru at first, even when I hit refresh, ctrl refresh, and even shift refresh. Then about 10 minutes later, there it was. Sometimes I think these things "hang" in cyberspace for awhile. ???
Daughter round again today and it went well again: just I realised how much I walk on eggshells with my whole family. But I did set some boundaries like I don't have to have her smoking in the living room and she respected them.....Jake didn't have time to come to the phone as he was washing up and yet again put it down before I had finished speaking.
I really think he has just no manners. I did say how I felt though and I think I have a right not to be treated so rudely. How can you insist you want a relationship t heal and then not have time to say Happy New Year??
I genuinely think Jake has no clue. What on earth do you do when someone is so lacking in general unsderstanding they don't know what is abusive or disrespectful. And how do I put it into the context it is only me he treats this way...???
Don't feel hurt even: sort of clinical. Like he is something that I can put away now I have said this and enjoy the evening: Jay
Husband is gone, taking his aunt to the hospital. I didn't know that he had planned that for today as well as tomorrow. He asked if I wanted to go with, but I declined. Made a big mistake explaining why--that there are unresolved issues and I feel very uncomfortable and sad. He became angry (big surprise)! Insulted me and my family. said he should have known that my coming from such a dysfunctional family would lead to trouble. Unbelievable!
I know where he gets that--my sisters have also been divorced. He overlooks the circimstances, however: one sister's husband wouldn't give up the drugs and was running around on her, another's got her and another woman pregnant at the same time, left her, their daughter and unborn child for the other one. He now has two kids with her; they aren't married. My other sister's husband is wheel chair bound. When they married he was able to have a home (lived in a nursing home for years), go on trips, adopt a daughter. She felt they needed counseling. he went once, decided that there was no problem and quit. He called my sister a coward for leaving.
Of course we need to "forget" that both his (my H's) sister and brother have been divorced; that doesn't count, I guess!
I know that H just wants to hurt me, and yes, I was hurt by his coldness and rejection. I think that I really need to get to the place where I don't expect anything different from him. Then I won't be so hurt. I did do a good job of taking care of Self, though, went off by myself and prayed for a long time, then put comforting music on and made something to eat. I became centered again, and stronger in my resolve that something will change over this coming year. i'll admit that I am scared; on the other hand, nothing could be harder than living with an angry man who thinks his anger is your fault.
Jay, I'm glad that you are having a peacful time with your daughter. I know what you mean about hoping that Jake won't come home early! Last summer mine went on a business trip and came home without warning, a day before i expected him. I almost fell apart. I wasn't ready. I didn't want to give up the relaxed way i was feeling and living; I didn't want to give up the good nights sleep!
Speaking of which, I've spent the last couple of nights in the spare room and have slept so well! I can spread out, and there is no snoring, gasping, wheezing, blowing and snorting to keep me awake. I will probably stay in here until school starts up again--about a week--so I can get some rest. I will need it as I'll have to be up at 6am every day and i'm not a morning person. (I have an 8am class at the college to teach--ugh--and my school library job starts at 7:45). I may stay in here longer, especially if he continues to wage war whenever I don't play his game of "Let's pretend that everything is alright."
Trubble, you can be awfully demanding! I will get you some fresh salmon, now what will you bring me?
To everyone, have a good start to the new year, and let's all resolve to continue to learn and grow! ((((hugs))))
Dear Becky, thought I would look in again and found you on the boards. I am doing much the same with the eating and sleeping, have every candle and lamp lit and all sorts of aromatherapy stuff around to enjoy. Nobody to tell me I can't refry the rice????
"jake" refused to believe I came from a dysfunctional family for years. Now it suits him to believe that! I am so peaceful and spaced out from non alchoholic punch which seems to be pretty potent...herbs do have an effect I need to log off . The prayer is the one thing I haven't got round to yet so thanks for the reminder!
I think I understand what Lynn means about checking up less often as we get ourselves more together. I think it's happening with me as well. And that it *is* me getting more together, not just burying myself under "stuff" (work, or friends, or whatever).
Having the housemates here has been a blessing -- one of them had a childhood similar to mine (mostly happy, definitely not "normal", but with bits of yukky stuff here and there, and she was also homeschooled for several years for much the same reasons I was). Nice to know I'm not quite the oddball I feel like. :)
Work has gotten better, and I have definitely made plans to get a foot out of the door. The county is running a civil service exam for school secretaries -- the pay is what I'm making now to slightly higher, and one of the districts that needs new secretaries is RIGHT next door to where I go to college. Worth looking into. I've also re-written my resume and am going to start sending it out to new places.
I've made a list of schools to apply to for my PhD when I'm done with my MA. This has also made me realize I've got two to three years left in this city, and then I will most likely be moving on someplace new, anywhere from one hour to several states away.
I had the sort of week last week that would normally have caused me to go to pieces -- a co-worker (whose daughter also works with us) died unexpectedly, my closest friend at work was fired (which I grudgingly have to admit she probably deserved), a close friend of mine is doing something with her life that I consider a bad choice, and I had to do the grit-teeth-and-force-self-to-be-polite thing with some relatives that I dislike. Did a bit of grumbling about it all to my housemates, and my dad, and C, but didn't end up feeling like "I can't HANDLE this!" Most of it's not really my business anyway and the bits that are, I CAN deal with. And C in particular was wonderful. We went for pizza and he spent about half an hour listening to me rant, complained a bit about an obnoxious member of HIS family (his grandmother, who seems to think it's OK to say "you're getting fat!" to a teenage girl in recovery from anorexia), and then proceeded to make me laugh.
I don't know where this is going. I know that when I'm done with my master's, I go where I need to go and anyone who's in my life romantically will have to make the choice to follow or leave. When I was with L, I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what and where would be acceptable to him, and how to fit my life around his (even though his chosen career path is much easier to find jobs in than mine! A wannabe English professor has to go where the jobs are; someone who is in comp sci has it much easier). I will not do that again.
Meanwhile, I am happy, and content (a strange feeling) in C's company. We sat in my apartment playing with the cats, me with my head rested on his shoulder, not saying anything. L would have tried to seduce me (probably successfully); some people I dated in the past would have started up the whole "You're quiet! What are you thinking? What's wrong? What's going on?" line of chatter. But nothing. Just contented, smiling silence. I'm taking things slowly, physically and emotionally, this time -- I think this is a first for me, normally one or the other or both seems to be happening too fast.
Other fun discoveries: Once you start validating yourself, the rest of the world is quick to follow. When I started talking about my plans for continuing my studies and for taking the civil service exams meanwhile, Mom looked at me with real respect and said "Wow. You've really got this all figured out, haven't you?" My chosen brother says I sound like he felt when he realized he wanted to be a nurse. My father (who is also a college professor, though in a different field) talks to me about what's happening at work as if he's speaking to a junior colleague. I like this.
I'm getting back into my old hobbies, especially dancing. I've started working on my web page seriously, for the first time in about ten months! And I'm even writing again (some stuff for your creative page soon, I hope). I haven't done much writing the whole time I was with L, or after. Maybe I can even get myself to keep a steady journal, which I haven't been able to do since I was 17 and my mother read mine. New Year's resolution, perhaps?
That reminds me, I'm expected at a party soon, and I need to figure out what I'm going to wear and dig my car out of this infernal snow. :)
Everyone hang in there, and perhaps a New Year's resolution to validate yourself is in order? :)
Dear Dr. Irene,
Happy New Year! Your web site has hepled me soooo much! I was recently showing one of my friends and I discovered that you have changed things.
I just wanted to let you know that I really liked it when I could look at the (old) list of topics and just click and there I was....I could read about something that was on my mind....or maybe see about how someone else had delt with a particular situation...or see about characteristics of the controller, etc. I still love your site....but I am just saying that it seemed to be a little more "user friendly" in the past.
You have helped me so much and I will continue to visit and show friends...I just thought that I would let you know from my prespective that it was a little better before you made all of these changes.
Thanks for listening (reading) and thanks for having a passion and pursuing what you love....for you are someone who has made a GREAT influence / difference in my life....THANKS!
Dear Astrid, You sound brilliant and really together. An encouragement to us all. love Jay
Happy New Year
Dan & Lynn
from evreything i have read here at this sight in the past couple of weeks i feel i dont need to tell my story all of the woman here have told it allready a little here and alittle there but in its fullness .the only thing im seeking now is if there is a clear answer to my question .can there ever be a full relationship with the abuser after 10 years of it?is there any hope at all? it doesnt seem so after all ive researched but i still havnt seen any stories of having a healthy relationship with a husband after the abuse .not only to myself but kids too 4 of them 2 ours 2 mine.are there any sucess stories?or is this it ?its over over over and should remain so because its a lost cause for all involved ? even after all the therapy too?should all move on to find hope somewhere else of having a healthy relationship?quetions,questions ,questions please does someone have answers! signed looking for a future
Happy New Year, all!
In answer to "looking for answers". I don't want to discourage you, but you might need to face the fact that it is time to move on. I know...I gave it 20 years, and now I see that even after I kicked him out and started divorce proceedings, he is still very much stuck in his abuser-type personality and, since as is typical, doesn't see that what he does is bad, that, no, there is no hope for us. I, too, read and read and read, looked all over this site, asked other people, prayed, and finally came to the conclusion that until and unless HE decides to change, to face all his inner demons, which he told me he didn't want to do, then I needed to make some tough choices. I had grown within myself. I had learned to love ME instead of belive all the junk he was feeding me to keep me under his heel, and I realized that he really didn't want to change, but I already had.
So, for the sake of my own sanity and the sake of the health of my children, I had to give him an ultimatum: Get help, make some changes, or get out. He chose to hold on to what was comfortable and I told him to leave. I was no longer willing to put up with the abuse, nor to play the I'll-promise-to-be-better game which never actually lasted for more than a few weeks. Your husband, when faced with the probable loss of his family, might just get a clue. Mine didn't. It depends upon where he is, I guess. Just be sure YOU are ready for such a big move, or you'll end up right back where you started; maybe even worse off than before.
I guess my advice to you is to keep growing and changing yourself. You can't change him. All you can do it change your response to him and decide how much you are willing to put up with. Just don't go back! keep going up the road. I speak from experience here. If you go back on what you've given yourself, he will manage to grind you even lower until it all becomes intolerable.
I also didn't want to face the fact that he wasn't/didn't want to/couldn't change, but once I finally did, my eyes were opened to who he really is, and I realized I could not face living for the rest of my life with a person who would treat someone so badly whom he professed to love.
If you haven't already, read Patricia Evans' book "Verbally ABusive People". Other good ones were "Nasty Men" and "Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them". If you are worried about how God views this, read "Keeping the Faith". These were not ALL the books I read, but they were the clearest and most straightforward.
Bless you in your decisions!
Love and Peace, Laure
Oops! That should have been address to "looking for a future"! Sorry! Laure
This is looking for a future my name is Sue thank you Lauri for your kind words .I almost did leave a year ago but I was doing it on my own with no outside help .It proved to be to difficult and I lost my strength,we were back together again and started to plan our wedding that did take place in august 2000.I really thought we were going to do this right this time we began attending church and promised to leave the past behind .But even before th wedding it was apparent it was the wrong thing to do but I put off my feelings as maybe pre wedding jitters that it was going to be ok .With Gods help we were going to be fine .On my wedding day I had finger bruises under my arm that I was sure not to lift my arms during that day with my sleevless gown on .A few days before I was in his way to stop him from getting my son then 10 he was in his room where I told him to go and lock the door the strange thing is I dont remember what started the whole thing .All I knew was I didnt want my husband to confront my ds he was acting erational. Any ways I was in the way thats what Im told that I should stay out of his way or he will move me .This of course is only one instance in the 10 years of our relationship .Well it happened again a simillar thing and this time my son told school .So at this point my husband is not here and is not allowed to come here or the dcf will remove my kids .Im am just now opening all this stuff up in my locked up closet I had for all this stuff and boy it hurts .I knew all this stuff for years im not sure why its all hitting me like a ton of bricks all at once I could go on 4 ever thats what I do at night all this stuff Im purposely remembering so I wont put them away again and let it start all over, been here so many times but this time feels so much different I have support in many more areas then I ever new existed so I hope to gain the strength I need to stop this crazy cycle that I am becoming very aware of now.This has all happened in the last 4 weeks so Im trying to take my time before saying anything to any one about my decision this time to really stop this Ive said it before but just couldnt do it .The loneliness is really hard I wanted to get married so I wouldnt have to be alone anymore but here I am again alone with the kids .But I feel better every day its all becoming a little clearer.I think the hardest thing is admitting to myself that this is really happening and has been ,but truly accepting it .The guilt I feel for letting this happen to my kids is more than I could say .It has mostly been verbal, mental and emotional abuse but there have been those moments it becomes physical espeacially when I confront him .Which I do alot and then its all my fault for getting in the way .I see the cycle now the more I go over it Ive been blasting myself with info every day as much as possible .And in a group for domestic violence my kids will start soon and my husband will start on the 4th of Jan. anger management but I hear so much that it dosent matter if they go they dont change 4 long .And I really dont think I have the strength to ever do this again and put my kids through it either Im totally rambeling it feels good to say what I feel and have it validated by others who understand .Thank you 4 this sight Im not sure where I would gain the strength from if I hadnt read so much info that made me really open my eyes to the truth. Sue and I know there is a future 4 me and my family
This is looking for a future my name is Sue thank you Lauri for your kind words .I almost did leave a year ago but I was doing it on my own with no outside help .It proved to be to difficult and I lost my strength,we were back together again and started to plan our wedding that did take place in august 2000.I really thought we were going to do this right this time we began attending church and promised to leave the past behind .But even before th wedding it was apparent it was the wrong thing to do but I put off my feelings as maybe pre wedding jitters that it was going to be ok .With Gods help we were going to be fine .On my wedding day I had finger bruises under my arm that I was sure not to lift my arms during that day with my sleevless gown on .A few days before I was in his way to stop him from getting my son then 10 he was in his room where I told him to go and lock the door the strange thing is I dont remember what started the whole thing .All I knew was I didnt want my husband to confront my ds he was acting erational. Any ways I was in the way thats what Im told that I should stay out of his way or he will move me .This of course is only one instance in the 10 years of our relationship .Well it happened again a simillar thing and this time my son told school .So at this point my husband is not here and is not allowed to come here or the dcf will remove my kids .Im am just now opening all this stuff up in my locked up closet I had for all this stuff and boy it hurts .I knew all this stuff for years im not sure why its all hitting me like a ton of bricks all at once I could go on 4 ever thats what I do at night all this stuff Im purposely remembering so I wont put them away again and let it start all over, been here so many times but this time feels so much different I have support in many more areas then I ever new existed so I hope to gain the strength I need to stop this crazy cycle that I am becoming very aware of now.This has all happened in the last 4 weeks so Im trying to take my time before saying anything to any one about my decision this time to really stop this Ive said it before but just couldnt do it .The loneliness is really hard I wanted to get married so I wouldnt have to be alone anymore but here I am again alone with the kids .But I feel better every day its all becoming a little clearer.I think the hardest thing is admitting to myself that this is really happening and has been ,but truly accepting it .The guilt I feel for letting this happen to my kids is more than I could say .It has mostly been verbal, mental and emotional abuse but there have been those moments it becomes physical espeacially when I confront him .Which I do alot and then its all my fault for getting in the way .I see the cycle now the more I go over it Ive been blasting myself with info every day as much as possible .And in a group for domestic violence my kids will start soon and my husband will start on the 4th of Jan. anger management but I hear so much that it dosent matter if they go they dont change 4 long .And I really dont think I have the strength to ever do this again and put my kids through it either Im totally rambeling it feels good to say what I feel and have it validated by others who understand .Thank you 4 this sight Im not sure where I would gain the strength from if I hadnt read so much info that made me really open my eyes to the truth. Sue and I know there is a future 4 me and my family ps i have the bookno visible wounds and have the verbally abusive relationship no order
Found this site but cannot forward to friend under Tell a Friend...something of a glitch as send to box simply sends back to you....????Cannot forward....why? Under Like this Site....and the send to box should be blank....not listed for your site....very strange....VERY important stuff here....glad I found it...please have programmer fix asap.....please...so we gals can pass this on to many in need of this site!!! Thanks! Happy New Year!