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11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

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Comments for Catbox 21

Comments for Catbox 21

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

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

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B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 21, 2001

S1

Thanks Healing Heart for your response.

I have to go through family court to appeal for access to my biological son. I understand that I will not see my stepchildren again. I raised them for about 3 years. I love them like my own son. As for my partner Melissa;.... what can I say? I love her, I miss her terribly. I wish I could have some closure, but the way things went, it was if they just vanished. I really do not want to forget about Melissa. I really love her. I had problems, I treated her wrong. So much happened. I forgive her for her abuse, and in some ways betrayal.

I wish, I wish.

I feel so lonely. I miss my family so much.

I try to keep busy, I have lots to do. But I really would like to think towards some day being with her again. I don't know of any other way of surviving this loss. 

I understand all too well what I need not to do, and how to better treat my partner. But, despite what you know now, you still won't be able to do it. Certainly not in the heat of the moment, or when you feel betrayed. Work instead on accepting that you do not have your family. Learning to accept what is one of the most important parts of your recovery. 

I wish she would just call or email. Some form of dialogue is important. It has been over 60 days, since I have last had any communication.

AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Down to the core of my being I feel that this cannot be. Yes we have to heal and grow. I just don't feel at all that permanent separation is the right path. You have no sane choice; you must respect her choice. You are being abusive and disrespectful if you don't.

The last thing she told me was she loved me. Wanted to help. But she can't. Only you can help yourself.

Now I can't even send a Christmas Card.

The legal system in Ontario Canada, does not make a whole lot of sense.

I am frustrated, sad, and not too enthusiastic these days.

I still have a great sense of humour, but behind the mask is sadness.

I almost wish I could be angry. Something anything to dissipate the angst I feel. 

To the world: I LOVE YOU MELISSA KATRINA. I ALWAYS HAVE SINCE THE DAY I MET YOU IN NOV' 1988, AND ALWAYS WILL. But learn to love yourself more. You don't understand what that means yet... But you can, and if you want to badly enough, you will. Then, and only then - can you love her- or anybody else for that matter.

I AM SORRY

HEARTBROKEN

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 21, 2001

S1

Again to Healing Heart, thanks for your input.

I welcome any and all advice, criticism, or otherwise.

HeartBroken

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 22, 2001

S1

Everyone who's got 'em, be thankful for your pets!

I am very serious.

This weekend narrowly escaped being utterly horrible. I woke up yesterday morning to upset kitties and the mother of all headaches. Headache is explainable by hypoglycemia but upset kitties is not. Turned out our gas stove wasn't shut off properly and WOULD NOT shut off properly so it is now turned off at the valve and the kitchen aired out. I certainly appreciated the warning. Smart kitties. Yeah!

*pouts* and I was going to bake cookies...

So in between dealing with that disaster and the usual busy-season overtime at work, I actually managed to spend some time with C. What a novel concept, a relationship that tends to decrease rather than increase my stress level. I could get used to this. I once again was scatterbrained enough to run my car out of gas today, and then ran the battery down because I had the hazard lights on for too long while I went to get a gas can, and so I was all annoyed at myself and C bought me breakfast and recruited a friend with jumper cables to get me out of there. And NOT ONE word of criticism for how stupid could I be to have done this again (the first two times I ever ran my car out of gas were on the way to pick him up from work on our first pseudo-date, and later that same night -- I was much better about keeping the tank filled when my gas gauge was broken!), laughing a bit with me when I laughed at myself for it, but no anger, no put-downs, no making me feel like he was wasting his day by dealing with this situation even though it took a few hours to resolve. :) I still feel extremely silly for getting in the situation, but at least it wasn't worsened by dealing with someone else getting mad at me or making me feel like my IQ was suddenly chopped in half.

That leaking stove, though...things could have been so much worse. Makes me rethink priorities a bit, y'know?  

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 22, 2001

S1

I am confused.

I do care for myself.

I do care for Melissa

I do miss my children

Why am I being punished with the permanent loss of my step kids, and who knows about my son Paul.

So let me understand this better

Abuse from Husband + Abuse from Wife = loss of relationship to both

Why does the man always have to lose out on the kids.

I had my 2 year old for 24/7 for 2 months prior to our current situation. Running my business, Potty training, renovations.

During this my son experienced a healthy routine with nurturing love, challenges, excitement, healthy food, etc. He was very happy.

Now I missed out on his birthday and Christmas. I miss him terribly. Pity pot?

I object

I feel a simple formula is being applied to my situation

I love my family I miss my family. I screwed up. She had her part

She has pain

I have pain

She has the kids

I have memories

Heartbroken

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 22, 2001

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Lynn here, Dr. Irene, I just read the blue pencils from 19 to 21. I just want to make a brief progress report.

First to answer your question about who didn't listen to me as a child. NOBODY!! Or as an adult with my parents. Subtle way of wearing e down, too. I know if I'm strong I can stand my ground. If it's not illegal or life threatening, who gives a damn? Toughie is when I'm down. Then I can be swayed because it's easier than fighting. Lynn, when you grow up with nobody listening, you are likely to grow up to repeat and repeat louder and repeat again - as though nobody heard you. Stop repeating. You've been heard. Perhaps your partner needs time to mull it over, or doesn't agree with what you've said (and doesn't tell you so!), but, you've been heard. Once or twice say it. Then drop it.

Number 2. I'm always obsessive and an over achiever and a night owl. Well, I started doing a web page (or 10) and I didn't like the sites set up for our genealogy, so I started doing my own html and this led to more and more and I'm off and running. Once I realize that download isn't synonymous with root canal. Giggle! But the html is fascinating and this from a woman who can't learn Spanish. I'll bet I could learn to write it. In my element. For 12 years I really thought I had to go to bed when Dan went to bed. I love graveyard and night shift, so when he goes to bed I go to work. Last night I went to bed at 5:30, up today at 11 and feeling great. I haven't had a sleeping pill (over the counter, as if this makes them ok Only to those who rake in the profits...) for weeks. I'm just not tired at night. Like a good MommyDragonCat I sleep best in a sunny window. Yeah! Hi FakeMommyCat! I know exactly what ya mean!

Success here? Things are changing. If Dan needs me to go to bed with him, he'll have to get a graveyard job and we can both sleep through the day. It's "success" if you're absolutely sure you're not out with Trubble all nite out of anger. And, trust me, human types are excellent at rationalizing why we are not "getting back at"... 

Ain't saying it's right, just saying it works for me. Then when it's time for you-know- what he just heads for the peanut butter. hehehe Send gallons folks. Buy bulk.

Should have named LOCO "Ham". And Trubble, I love your new FirstGrandmaCat. Try DNA, foolproof, isn't it? Then again, why do you need to know? What if you don't like your "real" daddy? Better just sit back and enjoy what you have. I WILL like my RealDaddy FakeMommy. I just know. My RealDaddy (and RealMommy, who I think is B so far) are totally purrrfect...

Oh boy, now I've really gone crazy. Shrinking a cat. Giggle! Trubble, you don't need shrunk and thanks for "talking" to me when I had to talk. You must be black in your heart. I always thought black CATS were the cats whiskers and pajamas all rolled into one (or more). 

Love to all of you. Getting involved in something else doesn't mean you don't care. I do care about Dan, I don't care what he does or doesn't do with/for/to me. I have WebTV! I can always find someone to talk to. 

(((CAT HUGS)))

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 22, 2001

S1

Help!!! I am a 60 year old woman and have been on my own for the last five years. About eight or nine months ago, a friend of mine gave my phone number to an old boyfriend of hers from years ago. He lives about 3000 miles away. Knowing both of us, she thought we would have lots in common and become telephone pals.

We got talking quite a bit and even a little romantic. After 3 calls he said he really wanted to meet me. He offered to come out to visit me for Christmas. He liked my voice and what we talked about. He sounded very sincere. He told me that he wanted to "hold me in his arms for Christmas". I got my apartment all cleaned up and ready for him, I spent days preparing, I was so excited. Just before he was supposed to arrive he called. He said "I don't know how to tell you this but I have met another woman". I was devastated. We didn't talk after that for almost a year. Just before Christmas he called me. I was surprised. He told me that he and the woman split up. He asked me how I was doing and was very charming. I was friendly thinking that I had gone overboard on my expectations the first round with him anyway. You had. Be thankful he was the "cause" of a nice, clean apt! He has phoned several times since and has said he wants to meet me again. I am so mixed up. and there is more. He seems very moody. Sometimes, when I talk to him he acts distant or weird. The bottom line is that I am all mixed up, he can be so good and then he pull back like he's teasing me. What makes a person like this? The same thing that devastates you after 3 phone calls: lack of center; lack of sense of Self...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Hi Poster about distancers and pursuers,

I know what you Mean!! I feel the same way. I met a guy on New Years Eve. He tested me on my cell phone for days, I went to his place a few times, he was great about me having a child etc. He was so accepting of me. He asks about me when I call by his home, as I have a child I don't want her to meet him at such an early stage, so he hasn't been to my house yet. He was so understanding.

Anyway as some of you here on CatBox know my cell phone broke so we couldn't get in contact. I did ring his home a couple of times and leave a message on the answer phone. THEN I gave up. I thought well he is never there so why should I want someone so unavailable, BUT the truth is the ATTENTION was so nice and I felt so overwhelmed and GOOD that he paid me attention.

SO well I didn't ring him again for a week and a half. I then got a new cell phone and texted his cell phone just to say Hi, how are you? He replied back and spent all last Saturday night until 5am texting me, I did text back we had some great laughs texting and he rang me a couple of times through the nite.

He asked me to come around on Sunday, we had such fun. He asked me why I didn't ring for a week and a half. I told him I had a car crash and also I'd been quite busy also it was awkward without my cell phone, especially since I work days and he works shifts so we seemed to miss each other when I rang his home.

Anyway Sunday he showed me lots of affection. We laughed and he listened to me like my X never did. I felt so cherished and cared for. We ended up sleeping together. NO its okay I wanted to. It is strange but I felt so comfortable and it felt okay. I just enjoyed the moment without any guilt. EVEN now I don't regret having this time. I used precautions and made my own choices. I didn't expect to marry him just enjoyed the moment.

I'd spent a week and a half deciding what I wanted and felt it was okay for me to sleep with this guy. I am not ashamed, nor do I feel guilty. I don't make a habit of sleeping with just any one. BUT with this guy and myself we clicked, we are so alike and have such great fun. (May be you think it is very early on well in my opinion, there is no right time, only the fact that a person feels ready).

Anyway as I spoke to my therapist last night who agreed with me that it was healthy for me to make my own choices and not worry about what others might think.

Though I left a message on his answer phone yesterday asking him did he want to come over to my place since my daughter is away at her grandma's. I know he is working late this week but SURELY he'd want to say goodbye before he goes to LONDON tomorrow on a work training course wouldn't he?

Well he didn't ring me back, so last night I texted him just saying ring me if you are coming over. WELL as of yet no reply.

It doesn't feel okay any of this, why? Well with my ex I seemed to have to do all the pursuing. WELL this is not what I want, I want someone who wants to make an effort.

My therapist said "Theressa maybe he is just busy and hasn't checked his answer phone and maybe is mobile isn't charged. He wouldn't be sending you text messages all night on Saturday if he really wasn't interested and nor would he have asked why you hadn't phoned for over a week and half if he wasn't interested"

So I feel mixed up. I don't want to feel needy and YES I have been keeping busy BUT I just don't like not knowing where I stand. I don't expect him to declare undying love for me and ring me every hour. BUT to ring me back may help!!

WHAT IS it with GUYS??

I feel so angry at him. I feel so disappointed myself. WHAT DO you think I should do now? This is why it's not OK to sleep with someone so quickly. You say it felt OK. Yet, now you expect more... If you were really honest with yourself, you would have realized that you would likely feel insecure should he be unavailable. So essentially, you set yourself up for these feelings. Either be more prudent or change your expectations, if you can - very, very hard on this one.  

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Hi All,

This link is a must for all those involved in intimidate relationships: http://www.clear-impact.com/RelationShifts.htm

Take care and good luck with your life path.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Dr. Irene,

I know you are very busy, but I would find your opinions about intimacy in relationships to be very helpful!

In the past I jumped into the intimate part of a relationship very quickly because I was so afraid of rejection and so desperate for love. Now, I am making the choice to share intimacy with my bf because I love him. I love myself enough to not NEED love, so I feel I'm making choices based on what feels right.

However, I was raised that you wait until you're married to be intimate, and that still hangs in the back of my mind. And unfortunately, as a woman it is far less "acceptable" for to want the sexual closeness and still be a "good girl".

Thank you, Suzanne  I think this is one that you're not going to resolve so easily. My opinions don't matter. You need to untangle your thoughts and values...

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Hi Suzanne,

I want to share with you some words of wisdom from Robert Burney Author of the Wounded souls book. (Dr Irene recommends) I spoke to him just over a week ago about me. I was brought up just like you to be a good girl. WELL this is called the "naughty girl syndrome."

Robert shared with me that it is dysfunctional not to go into anything without realising why you are going into it. It is your expectations which lead you to feel not okay. SO (I don't want to offend anyone here just to share what was shared with me) Robert said and I say this blushing. "If you want to get laid, its your choice". Nothing to feel guilty about, in fact it is fulfilling your needs. NOW however, If you sleep with another to prevent them from leaving you. THIS is dysfunctional. It is about PLEASING YOURSELF, doing what feels okay to you. THERE will always be people to judge you and share their opinions. Robert is on target. But, if you are Theressa, since this post has no signature, apply his words to feeling yukky when you couldn't reach him. Your expectations of the near future were zapped - and you felt hurt...

I decided to do what was right for me, THOUGH I know my family and some friends would be disgraced. WELL I spent 26 Years worrying what they thought of me. I choose my CHOICES and the CONSEQUENCES that go with them.

I don't sleep around willy nilly. Though I also haven't now got this critical parent telling me how awful I am. CUZ I am not awful.

As my therapist said it is society that made up the rules that we had to get married, NOT GOD. God gave us freewill to choose.

SO it is how you feel about sleeping with this person. IF you feel guilt about what others will think, DUMP IT!! I for years in fact until recently was so worried what others thought that I was afraid to live my life for fear it wasn't the right way. WELL now I know I can choose.

I think it depends if you feel comfortable with the other and not pressured. I will share with you my feelings, since I never married, my X, nor am I married to the person I currently date. I DIDN'T feel guilt or bad about sleeping with either of these two people.

 

GUILT is now only felt by me if I KNOW deep down I harmed someone.

The other thing my therapist discussed with me was that: The rule of us all being so sinful and needing punishment. IN FACT this never sat easy with me. SO now I believe we CHOOSE whatever we want to CHOOSE and listen to our feelings. If we feel like a naughty girl then we aren't truly choosing.

A piece of paper doesn't change your union together. SO if you feel happy and want to why ever not!!

Sounds to me like you're trying to convince yourself.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, My husband and I have been together for seven years, married for three and a half years. In our first year of marriage, we bought a house and my daughter from my first marriage lives with us (she's 11 now). Just six weeks prior to our first wedding anniversary- on my husband's 30th b-day- he left work early with a coworker (female) and they ended up going back to her apt and slept together. I found out through a different coworker of his about 4 months afterward. It very nearly destroyed me! I haven't had an easy life but this was the worst feeling in the world. I actually got lost driving to work one day and it's the same route I had driven for over 5 yrs. He blamed his fling on being drunk and he's an alcoholic. Then he blamed it on me by saying that I'm a bad wife. I'm a bad wife because we don't have sex as often as he would like. He would like at minimum to have sex once a day. I would say that we average 3 times a week and don't have sex more often because he's drunk 80% of the time so we literally can't! Anyway- if I wasn't feeling bad enough, hearing how his affair was all my fault made me feel worse. I took a promotion at work- something I had been working for- but it felt anti-climatic to finally get the promotion. Nobody to celebrate my success with. I felt like a loser and - worse- a total fake. Just 4 months after finding out about his infidelity, I had an affair. It was brief (just 3 weeks) but very involved. I realized this new man was not the answer to my problems and was more of an escape hatch for me and my daughter. I ended the affair and confessed to my husband. This was over two years ago. My husband and I have separated and reconciled. Filed for divorce and reconciled. He was arrested for abusing me and- although I never filed charges- the State did file charges and he has a court date next week. Hi abuse of me is more atrocious when he is drinking. He's become a broken record. All I hear is how I was "worse" because all he did was have sex once with another woman and I had a "relationship". Every horrible thing he has done to me in the two years since has all been (by his reasoning) "to hurt me because of my "relationship". These things include: spending a weekend partying w/ his friend when I had to have surgery instead of being there- even just to drive me home from the hospital; collecting women's phone numbers "just in case he needs to "pay me back"; making a pass at my friend and coworker at my company Christmas party (everyone at work knows about it now); keeping finances separate and secret so that I have to ask for money from him and am usually denied. The verbal abuse is daily and constant. Why don't I leave? It's easier to put up with his abuse than the homeless welfare line. "We" have spent all my money and savings because he claimed to have lost every dime through the stock market. I just found out that he has lied and has more money than I ever did. He has said that he will attend counseling. Does a relationship like this ever stand a chance of survival?

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Yippee the telephone company have realised the bill was paid!

Kathleen, please look at Dr Irene's post to me on my post.

Just to clarify, no way was the therapist abusive at all. The whole point about posting what I did, was I needed to work out what I needed to face up to change. I am especially concerned to say this as she will look at the catbox I am sure at some point!

I think she felt a little bad she hadn't helped and her frustration wasn't with herself so much as what do you do when someone isn't helping herself. She was expressing she felt frustrated by my refusal to allow any help and not acting her own frustration. She had every right to feel like this as she offered help at times I didn't take. Notice how concerned you are with your therapist's feelings. This woman is a professional. So, even though she responds to you with real feelings, she is still removed  and you are not "hurting" her if you frustrate her or otherwise challenge her. Therapy is the best place in the world to look at how you react to the world because your therapist will remain "detached" enough to discuss your reactions without involving her ego in the mix. 

There was a particular pattern of behaviour she wanted to get me out of. What she wasn't going to let me do was use justification (believe me I tried!) to get round her. That was why the discussion took so long!!!

Feeling you are abused or a victim doesn't mean that everything about you is o.k. :)

And God, my best friend and Dr Irene agreed with her........(my best friend got the whole story and believe me she is the last person to tell anyone they have a fault!) My best friend knows God well which is why I know God agrees!

The psychologist didn't tear me down. In fact the feeling I had afterwards was more of how it would have been as a child if I had been disciplined for my good rather than as a result of my parent's anger. What I wanted to achieve with my own kids......like all parents failed some of the time.   :)

I didn't come away feeling I was a terrible person or she thought I was. I came away thinking there was an area of my life she had pointed out needed to change and I needed to look at that and take her seriously for my own good.   :)

In terms of being co dependent and therefore hiding what I thought and denying feelings she did me a huge favour as I couldn't put the blame  responsibility anywhere but on me. Whatever the issues had been in the past, and I do have reason to feel mis treated, the issue at that point was that I was hurting others by my own mis behaviour. (As a perfectionist I don't want to admit I can behave wrongly! I even have to be a very good at the recovery co dependent! (failed!))   :) :)

So anyway today I got out the codependency counseling course and realised how far I have to travel to recover: how much work there is to do on me......But I did do the first homework! Yippeee! She got it~!

Dear Heartbroken, You sound in such pain. I don't know what to say. Please take Dr Irene's advice and I really hope that something works out for you.

dear AJ Wow, those kits maybe saved your life! That does put things into perspective. I am terrible at not getting petrol too and running out of the stuff. have an empty tank at this moment......Rather embarrassed on several occasions to having the RAC out (Car Rescue) for that reason!

Lynn Glad of the reason you aren't here so much but I sure do miss you.

Dear All, I guess I have said it all for now. Thinking of you all. love jay

 

(Back to therapist thread) More seriously, I felt concerned about the way you responded to the post. I may have this all wrong, so please forgive me if I have. I sort of felt that as soon as a therapist said something you didn't like you would jump to the next one. I hate it if anyone agrees with Jake's point of view in therapy and I am not very good at not reacting. That doesn't mean the therapist is always wrong though.

Dr Irene, I can't remember if I said in my email to you that the whole problem with my daughter was I was the only one in the family who was setting boundaries but Jake was constantly changing and undermining them and refusing to set them jointly. Yes. I remember that he was undermining your boundary setting. Cardinal rule in parenting: the parents need to present a united front. You two did not. 

The trouble was I didn't on the violent behaviour. I did last week really strongly. That was when I got her back! What is so awful is that the boundaries had to be so strongly set. i.e.. If you are violent I call the police. Not something any parent wants to do. All along I had to make the decision of risking losing her or letting her become a very difficult adult. 

Well this week I have had a little lamb.....   :)

So I guess I am getting better at the boundary stuff.  :)

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

I just looked at my last post and hope it makes sense as I seem to have muddled things up paragraph wise!

Lynn, who is the Grandma Cat?

Kitt the cat is back again and claims this house is no good as it has made her noodles disappear. If only my own life was so simple! jay

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Intelligent woman wants man who is more intelligent, sense of humor but no practical jokes, such as a bucket of water over head or mouse in shoe. Looking forward to hearing from you as a pen pal since I am just taking up computers as my Irish uncle would say Cheerio? Giggle~

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Hello, all!

Jay,

After getting over the shock of learning what my problem is (co-dependency) I began to feel empowered. Now that I have a name for it, i can figure out how to deal with it! Sounds like you may be experiencing something similar. Great!

To everyone:

Nice to see so many new members! I can hardly keep up though. I have been busy dealing with/thinking about my situation. Also preoccupied with my sister's health: she is headed to surgery in February to remove a large mass from her ovary. The doctor thinks it may be malignant but won't know until they get in there. This worries me, and I get really down if i think about it too much. Ovarian cancer is not too curable. One good thing, nothing seems to have spread.

Take care everyone,  Glad you are on track Becky!

Becky

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Hi Jay, and Dr. Irene, and also Jay's therapist,

Jay, I read your post and Dr. Irene's comments. I'm sorry, I jumped the gun! Talk about self-absorbed - I read your first post quickly and immediately saw my own experiences and reacted. Well, guess there's something to work on there!

More later - Kathleen

I think Kathleen made an error that is very common, especially on this site: She wanted you to feel better; she "sided" with you as in validate you. It's a loving error. And it's related to misplaced anger. Good place for Kathleen to pay attention to! 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

S1

Dear Catbox,

I am supposed to marry someone who loses his temper and rages at me very easily. After one bad incident, I asked him to go to therapy then broke it off shortly after for a few months. He went to therapy once, but the therapist said he wasn't an angry person so he felt okay enough to never go again.

I've been reading this site for about a month, and have been looking at my own behavior. I see that I provoke his rage by calling his attention to things that he says that make me feel demeaned or that my interests and feelings aren't valued. There's no way I can marry this guy unless all of these things are addressed.  :)

Is it abusive to make it a condition of continuing the relationship that he go to therapy? No. But don't "make" him go either. If he doesn't want to go, you don't try to convince him. You simply back away. Maybe go away. I want him to go by himself because his raging tells me that he has some very serious issues that he isn't dealing with, and I don't want to be the dumping ground. He has bitten me twice and threatened me, so the rage has exceeded the boundary and gone into physical violence. There's just no way I can go live with him, much less marry him, without feeling assured that he is getting himself under control.

Advice? Support? Pep talks? Therapist referrals for raging bulls?

Thanks,

Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

S1

Dear Becky,

I was so glad to hear from you and to hear you are ok.

I just take the prize for thinking I could be more healed than I was. I'm going on a Christian retreat today and so I guess God is going to speak about it all.

I think I have just been so hurt and mad with Jake that even if I had the word co-dependent I wasn't going to look at me! (Well not really, I just sort of thought I was)  :)  Go Girl! This is exactly the point I try to make over and over again: victim anger is BIG! And too often victims are blind to the scope of their own anger, not taking responsibility for their own behavior. This is why I am always preaching that each person clean up their own act before they - the pot, call the kettle black. This advice stands regardless if an individual is a victim, an abuser, both, or even a cat, especially a cat.

What is really weird is my two closest friends are recovered co dependents and one of them at least has no idea what the word means and they have been trying to say stuff to me and of course Jake and I were "different" in my eyes. (I missed this as both their husbands had drink problems. Mine doesn't.)   :)

I ended up taking St John's Wort and it is starting to make a difference I think but now I combine it with Ignatia if I feel weepy and Sepia which my doctor tells me is for empowerment. I do think this helps but you can't drink coffee. I have decided to do this for 6 months whatever.

And to go to the family therapy. I am going to ask that we talk about family and not so much of me and Jake.

In terms of therapy for me alone, there is none as I can't afford it anymore. I am wondering if I could start a self help group. Sounds good! There must be others out there with the same problem who know it but don't have a reason for AA!

And I guess I am gaining a lot of confidence from my daughter coming home so much and she is confiding in me a lot too. I think this says something vital to the people who judged me when she left. She came back last night again and my guess is she will stick around all day and even better she is working at her college stuff. I am learning not to be pushed around and manipulated by her. In fact we are really getting along.

Kathleen - I do that too, Thanks for posting back.

 

Well I had better go. jay

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

S1

Hi Perdida,

So your husband/partner/bf (whoever) Says he only gets angry because you pull him up about demeaning you. SO ITS YOUR FAULT? NO WAY!! This is a boundary issue. YOU are never ever responsible for how someone else feels when you call them on their POOR behaviour. HOWEVER, do you defend and argue back? THIS IS THE PROBLEM. Look at this link: http://www.drirene.com/when_words.htm IT will give you an idea of how to respond to your husband.  

I think your very RIGHT not to marry this man, at this present time. HE WILL ONLY GET FIXED IF HE GOES TO ABUSE THERAPY, he needs work through all the things that make his self esteem so low, which is why he treats you so badly. YOU also have a low self esteem and this is why you take what he gives and even apologize for being you. YOU SACRIFICE.

Also visit this link: http://www.drirene.com/codepend1.htm

AND finally view this site highly recommended by DR IRENE, Robert Burney explain codependency which you are at length: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/codependency_recovery/16570 Also another of his sites is: Http://www.joy2U&ME.com

Take care, you can climb this mountain, I never thought I could 6 months ago. Though I am getting there. Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa,

Thanks for your response and for the links. I have definitely been defending and explaining - what an utter waste of precious time! Not to mention a complete dragging down of me, my self-respect and esteem, and my sense of joy! Since I've been reading this site, I have made notes of all the negative things my fiancé says, and I have been practicing not responding to them, just writing them down after the conversation. I can see where I would always react and try to get him to see how things bothered me - trying to get him to change! I can see that getting him to change isn't my job! I hate to waste time and I see what a black hole of time this has been.

How do you get someone who doesn't see the point to do therapy? I am feeling like if I couldn't get him to see how demeaning and disrespectful his behavior has been, there's no way I will be able to expect him to attend therapy, much less participate honestly in it if he does go. In short, in your experience, is this a lost cause? Put it this way: as long as you're around, he will seek to pacify you. More often than not, abusive types need to be left in order to feel the pain that motivates their recovery...

Thank you so much,

Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

S1

Can my wife see the changes in me, enough to "feel love" again with me. She doesn't want to touch me says it feels bad. We are separated, she proposes we date, without touching. Do we have a chance, what can I do? I push her sometimes to "feel for me again", this is controlling and sends a bad message to her. How can I end that? What shall I do? You do nothing. Leave all the moves up to her. If she makes no moves for the next year, work with your expectations to be OK with her making no moves.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

S1

Hi everyone,

I found Dr. Irene's site about 2 weeks ago when I started to realize that controlling and abuse is a totally different problem from alcoholism that needs it's own treatment. Yes. Most alcohol programs don't address abuse directly.  My husband is alcoholic and controlling and abusive (verbally, I think emotionally, and has been physically abusive). I've been going to Al-Anon for 2 1/2 years, so I've been learning to be more responsible for myself and to keep looking at myself instead of him.

This is how I came to finally face my own pain. There is so much I'm facing......and the most important thing is I can't make him "see" his controlling and abuse and how much his behavior hurts me and my son. What I can do is "see" myself how much I am hurting. I'm doing that now and finally made the decision to leave, after 12 years. I've threatened to leave several times over the years but I never did although he has left us several times. I always took him back, each time wanting so badly to believe he had changed, that I convinced myself he had. Now I realize this was just the remorse or honeymoon stage of the abuse cycle. I am looking at my core beliefs about myself so I can understand why I allowed myself to be treated so badly. It's a bit scary to go there because I've noticed I "forget" a lot of abuse and I can't remember most of my childhood, I'm afraid of what I'll find. I sense there is a lot of pain back there and I don't want to face it even though I believe I must if I want to continue healing. I've decided to move out of state to a place I used to live where I have friends and my son also has a friend he grew up with. I am planning to continue going to Al-Anon there and also attend domestic violence counseling for support and I think I will find a good therapist to help me with my forgotten past. Dr. Irene, I remember you gave that advice to someone on your site who mentioned something about not remembering much about her past, at least that's what I remember. That sounds like something I would say under those circumstances...

So, thanks Dr. Irene for this site.........it's helped me to see myself and my abusive situation more clearly and is helping me to put words to my feelings. Laura Anne  :)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

S1

Theressa:

I disagree with your therapist. Yes he spent all night talking to you on the cell phone but that does not mean that he is not avoiding you now. I have seen this syndrome several times, where the guy gets close and then backs away or even disappears. It has happened to me several times. Often, if you back off they come running back until you get close again then they run away.

I'd lose him for good.

Sandra

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

S1

Hi all. Sharon here. Well, it'll be 2 weeks since I've made no contact with Ron, aka Dr. Psycho, my abusive ex bf. Saw him this morning on my way to work and he looked pale, tired and sad. Oh well. This 18 month relationship was very abusive, and I know now that it took two of us to create the chaos, because I kept trying to "make nice", which made the dynamics more out of balance, because his reality was different than mine. I could have left sooner, but I couldn't. I was so much "in love." I'm just so thankful we never married or lived together. I'm strong some days, and not so strong on others. Some days I want to call him and say "let's bury the ax" and on some days I realize its time to move on. In my reading of Patricia Evans books, it is apparent to me that this relationship would have NEVER been healthy because we are just two different individuals in different realities. I wanted a relationship and he wanted a dictatorship. He was never serious about having a long term relationship with me, and he did the crazymaking behavior every day we were together. Every behavior outlined in these books was what I witnessed. I am feeling a slow but steady of pulling out of the low self esteem I felt. I just feel sorry for his next girlfriend. His abuse towards me escalated as soon as I started to make him accountable for his poor behavior. I was lucky to NOT have been physically abuse - however, this all hurts just the same. 

Hugs, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

Hi Perdida,

You sound aware this is good!!

First of all I am glad you realise you can not force your partner to do anything. HOWEVER, you also have other choices. You can choose what you will accept or not accept YOUR BOUNDARIES. Though you have to be prepared to put your foot down and then stand on it. YOU know, I know that for our abusers to change they need therapy. Asha and Steve, Dan and Lynn on this catbox got help. So I think that YES help is needed.

So how do you get your partner to get help. Well you lay down what you will accept and what you won't. You say I am unhappy and am not prepared to carry on the way things are, we need therapy if I am to stay in this marriage/relationship. If he refuses, you go anyway and get strong. THE SUPPORT HELPED ME GET TO WHERE I AM AT!! Sometimes the other partner decides to join you in therapy. If not over time you become strong enough to DECIDE whether to go it alone, or whether since your partner has now started therapy to keep on working together.

I asked my partner, I even went to therapy but sadly he didn't want to go. He didn't see him as a problem, it was me who was the problem in his eyes. SO I made the hardest decision I ever made, (AND OH BOY WAS I SCARED, but with Dr Irene's help and others who supported me I got out) AND guess what I survived. I am in tact. And realise without him ever going to therapy I could never have the kind of relationship I deserve. 

I go to therapy still, I've learnt such a lot here in catbox. I am still learning. AND yes I make mistakes. Though I now know that if I make a wrong choice. It is just a lesson. I can learn from my mistakes.

I listed all the good qualities I have, (all the things I can do and if I didn't do them it would effect my life and others) SO you see we are all needed in this world.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

Hi poster,

Who posted this: Can my wife see the changes in me, enough to "feel love" again with me. She doesn't want to touch me says it feels bad. We are separated, she proposes we date, without touching. Do we have a chance, what can I do? I push her sometimes to "feel for me again", this is controlling and sends a bad message to her. How can I end that? What shall I do?

YOU NEED TIME and patience. Your wife's body is on guard, it will not let its guard down until it feels safe. You need to prove to her that you have truly changed. THIS takes time. All habits take time, if we are not careful and we rush we can revert back to old behaviors. YOU can only work on yourself. Get into therapy with an abuse therapist. TAKE all the help you need. THIS IS YOUR ONLY HELP. DAVID a guy on this site got through and is now healthy you can do this also. IF YOU HAVE THE COURAGE. For now take the friendship. Be grateful she even wants to have this. AND do you both a favour, get that therapy.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

Hi Sandra,

Thanks for replying to me. I have decided to just get on with my life, if this guy wants to go out and have some fun then he must do the running from now on. I am not going to ring him, I am not going to contact him. I AM GOING TO GET A LIFE OF MY OWN.

Only time will tell!!

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

Theressa Thank you for the feedback, my name is David and I found this site recently. You are right, I must show the changes for her to feel safe. Welcome David. There are few resources for the angry person; this is one of them. Doc.

 B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

Dear Becky. I am sorry I didn't say how sorry I am to hear about your sister. I do hope that the mass isn't malignant. It must be a huge worry. Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

This is my first visit to this site and I love it. I am currently trying to decide if it's possible to be with someone who is a verbal abuser and also be one myself. I'm seeing a counselor who has told me she is afraid for me and my kids and to be careful. (Escape plan) Nothing has gotten physical yet, but I realize the danger of that. I worry that my husband (married 6 years with 3 boys - 5,13,16) may have a problem that should be dealt with medically. Have an appt to have him seen next, just have to get him to go. Early he said he would, but that he didn't think he really needed to. I guess I want to cover all the choices for working things out before I take the leaving step. (That way I don't feel guilty - Right???!!!) Please share your thoughts. I'm sure you're been abused long enough to have taken on some of hubby's verbal tactics. Don't worry about that now. Right now, listen to your therapist. S/He has the information to best judge safety factors and risks. My advice: this is not the time to worry about hubby. Worry about yourself and your kids.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

Hello To All, I have a bad and at the same time very sad situation. I already lost one wife to my problem with verbal abuse and I am on the verge of losing another, She left me about a month ago due to the fact that she could not take my abusive behavior any longer. But that is not the whole story. I hope I make sense when I write this. My first marriage ended cause my ex-wife met some guy at work and fell in love with this guy because he did not treat her like I did. he understood her and listened to her. Well at first it was very hard for me to handle that I was dumped for some other guy but then I got over it so I say about 2 years later after my divorce I re-married and swore to myself that I was not going to make the same mistake I made with the first wife.  well like 3 months after we married I fell in the same routine I was with the first wife all the distrust and verbal abuse came back and I was aware of it but I just can not contain myself. anyways this went on for about 3 years and then I found out that my recent wife is talking to some guy at work because he understands her and listens to her. Well I forgave her but then I would get mad and throw it back at her face then she would not put up with and leave then I would go beg her and cry to her to come back and she would but then I would throw her mistake back at her face again then she would leave again we did this cycle for about a month then she left without me knowing and I do not know where she is at which is good it has given me time to think. I know that I have a problem I have the exact same problem that that guy Brent on this site has, and the same signs and symptoms that they talk about on controlling behaviors also on this web site. I really need help because I know that I have a problem but do not know how to change, Any suggestions please HELP!!!!!!!!!!  You need professional counseling. Also, read all the stuff on the site, especially the abuser pages. But do yourself a favor and get help. OK?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

Dear guy who seems to have lost two wives. Can you get some counseling where you live? You have at least admitted you have a problem but the whole point of that is to find a way to change and work on yourself. There has to be things in your life that you have to sort out which got you to where you are and I think that you might have learnt some of the pattern in your childhood. It is good that you have got to a point where you can start to be honest as that is the first step. maybe you don't know how to change as you don't know what to work on to change so the counselor would be a good option. Love Jay

dear person who is trying to work out if it is possible to live with a verbal abuser and be one yourself. That sounds like you think you can't change you. it may be as you change your partner changes for better or worse then you know where to go. Forgive me if I have this wrong but it sounds like you want to prove your husband is all wrong and you are all right. It would be great if your husband will see a therapist if you think he has a medical problem but my gut reaction was to think that that on it's own won't solve things. It was the words 'have an appointment to have him seen" that worried me. I hope I am not being over the top: believe me I have wanted to prove my own partner all wrong plenty of times! love, Jay everything you said is correct, except that she may be in danger. If that is the case, the first step is GET OUT! Then deal with the rest of the stuff.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001

S1

Well catbox cats finally I don't have a say about the family therapy as God decided to step in and tell me what to do. (Well I guess the choice is still mine!) Went to a prayer meeting last night and all the attention suddenly got focused on me although very few people actually knew me there or that the marriage has problems! Nor was I asking for prayer. What was amazing was that nobody excused the abuse it seemed to be recognised that it was there and I didn't say: but people kept saying things that they couldn't have known that tied up with the situation so completely that I really felt maybe the Almighty night really be rooting for my family and that whatever it was for someone else then for the moment I should stick with Jake and watch out for the changes in both of us......I'm just not your conventional Christian and this was all a great surprise but one thing did come clear was that I had to go to the therapy today.....Nobody knew what stuff I came up with on the retreat. 

Hey maybe God cares about us!  Amazing stuff happens when you are tuned into the Universe! 

Jay

What God didn't say was this particular session would solve things.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa,

Thanks for writing. It sounds like you've been through something similar. I have been in therapy for at least two of the three years I have been with my partner, and he has only gone the one time after biting me and threatening me, when the therapist told him he was okay (although the therapist wanted to see him every week but he didn't go). So I have been growing and becoming more aware and healthy, and my partner is still in the clenched teeth denial mode.

What's so sad for me is that as I get healthier and I think over everything - not to ruminate, but to learn from it - I find myself so resentful and ashamed that I betrayed MYSELF, by setting boundaries that got broken over and over (e.g., ME: "it's a problem for me when you go out with your ex-lover who still wants you enough to ask you out in front of me, and hide it from me" - HIM: "you're insecure" and ME: "your anger is scary, please go to anger management" - HIM: "people lose their tempers in fights, I get to lose my temper") and having my reality twisted until I went to therapy and went on anti-depressants ( which didn't work, only made me fat and more depressed) because I thought it was ME (e.g. -ME: "it's a problem for me when you stare at other women when we're out and when you are nicer to other women than you are to me" - HIM: "I don't stare and I'm not nicer to other women, look at all the things I've done for you" and scariest of all: HIM: "I DON'T REMEMBER BITING YOU...").

What's sad for me is that I remember all this and especially reading what I dump into the catbox, and I feel like I don't love him any more. How can I love someone who has treated me like this? (I better ask the same question of myself, and start NOW loving myself more than anyone!) Yes~ How can I continue in a relationship so twisted? Even is he goes to therapy, how long will it take for me to believe that it might work? More years. Because I will always be looking over my shoulder wondering if he has made changes or if it's just his genius for being nice when he wants to be or when he wants to control the situation.

Thanks again.

Perdida

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001

S1

Dear Trubble, Have you been usurped by this Georgie cat? Who is she/he? If you are usurped I sympathize as I have a cat in my garden that doesn't think I should own it or be in the garden. No, I'm OK. Just real busy these days being Georgie's top aide. Lots of flying back and forth to the White House on the broom FakeMommyLynn gave me. 

Did go to the therapy and actually it was the first time I have felt it was o.k. All day I have had confidence in setting boundaries and not being phased. Kitt did not like the requirement that she was not abusive but the only effect is that she has simulated illness and appears to be staying for dinner! Jake also seems to be more respectful. maybe he was shocked I didn't crumble....... heheeheh~~

Anyway now I don't feel confused any more I feel ok and in control of me and my life. I guess a day is too soon to say but in the end I think I did get the message as it was meant for me.

I just have this feeling the family won't be able to make me a victim any more. I guess all the unexpected confirmation God cared has helped. hehehehehe~~~!!!!

I guess I am on a bit of a high. Did I write a while ago to someone about how there should be miracles in the Catbox. Oh...there most certainly are miracles in the cat box!

love to all catbox cats, jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001

S1

Jay,

Here's a non-denominational spiritual-type thought for you. I've been imagining lately that the big trick of living is to attune mySelf (tks. Dr. Irene) like radio bandwidth. When I hit the right spiritual frequency, I'm then able to pick up signals in my day from God (Buddha, the universe, however you think of it). Yeah! Add Moses, Jesus, and everybody else you can think of... 

I imagine that the best way to tune in is to pay attention to my small, still Self as I ask God what to do next. "Ask and ye shall receive." What chapter and verse is that? Go Girl~~

Actually, it isn't a metaphor. I have really come to believe that this happens. I just think that here in the world of post-Cartesian rationalism we don't have a very sophisticated language for describing it… yet. Yet!  Thank you Silver. 

cheers, silver

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001

S1

My fiancée recently broke up with me after an argument a few days ago. He is a very laid back type- no worries etc... I am usually extremely nice to everyone- almost too sweet except to those close to me- such as my fiancée. When things bother me- such as his lack of help around the house, forgetting to return a video, inability to find his passport on a trip etc... I get so annoyed that I yell things that upset him and belittle him. It is not that I do not love him- it is that I have a problem of saying things in an appropriate manner when I am upset. He reacts by saying I am blowing things out of proportion and that it isn't a big deal and I get worse. This has happened with my first long-term relationship too- which ended in him leaving me. I feel bad hurting those close to me and I think I need to change my behaviour- but when I am acting that way I do not see it- I only see what is upsetting me. Any ideas that could help me break this pattern? I really need help. Thank You, Elena 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2001

S1

Thanks Silver, I liked your post, JaY

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2001

S1

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parentinghurts     

I just set this up for parents of teenagers going through trials. (The parents I mean, as much as the kids.)

Guess I really must have progressed somehow to want to do this...Couldn;t claim=m the day as a bed of roses which would be uncomfortable anyway, but it has been good. Maybe I feel more settled knowing what I am meant to do.

Trubble! I think it is because I don't live in America I miss these things...*that* Georgie cat. I think the one in my8 garden is probably an angry victim. Probably he is angry someone ate my goldfish! (None for him to eat!)

Dear Elena, I know just what you mean! Dr Irene says you go for a walk, do anything rather than give in to what you normally do. There isn't any way through this one but practice. Things do get better if you do. Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2001

S1

I just feel the need to express my feelings, my thoughts. My experience is perhaps very different from that of many posters on this site. I have no fear that my boyfriend will shout and complain - I don't in that sense live my life in fear. We've been going to a therapist for the last 5 months or so and in that time there have been no snide remarks or criticism. But on my 40th birthday I received no present, no acknowledgement, and this was all hidden behind excuses 'I had no time. I didn't know it was important to you' etc., etc. Well I told him to go today - and to think about what he wants out of life and how he is going to achieve it. He listened in silence and said nothing - and then went. What saddens me particularly is that my son is autistic (ok. I'm gay, but was married and have two children - who often come to visit and accepted my boyfriend immediately). My son misses me terribly. I phone frequently, take my children out when I can etc. But my son behaves very badly towards his sister - abuses her with snide comments, put-downs etc. and has a very negative self image 'You have friends, Jamie. 10 people came to your birthday party.' 'Yes, but they don't like me; their parents made them come.' He needs help. So I've been doing more research recently into autism - and in particular into autism (high functioning autism = Aspergers syndrome) and adolescence, depression etc. One third of autistic children develop a mood disorder and in some cases what is diagnosed as autism in childhood might be early onset manic depression. Through my boyfriend, who is manic depressive, I've learnt a lot, and now understand my son better. The genes that have been identified as responsible for manic depression overlap to a considerable extent with those identified as responsible for autism. What has been my son's experience in life? He must have a deep feeling of being different - he went to a special school until a few years ago. He wants to have friends, but his behaviour lets him down - either he becomes overbearing or withdraws. And then I leave him, although I assured my children at the time that it had nothing to do with them, and have remained in frequent contact. Poor genes. So here I am having learnt in the past few days that my son's problems go deeper than I imagined. He didn't really speak until he was 4, had learnt about 18 words - and mummy and daddy were not amongst them - but now at age 11 appears almost normal - at least to outsiders. So it's a shock to realise that this progress will be limited without help and that if he forms relationships later, he will most likely abuse his partners and that he lacks the emotional stuff to be happy. I love my son more than anyone in the world and to be quite honest I am sitting here crying and do not know what more to write.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2001

S1

I just feel the need to express my feelings, my thoughts. My experience is perhaps very different from that of many posters on this site. I have no fear that my boyfriend will shout and complain - I don't in that sense live my life in fear. We've been going to a therapist for the last 5 months or so and in that time there have been no snide remarks or criticism. But on my 40th birthday I received no present, no acknowledgement, and this was all hidden behind excuses 'I had no time. I didn't know it was important to you' etc., etc. Well I told him to go today - and to think about what he wants out of life and how he is going to achieve it. He listened in silence and said nothing - and then went. What saddens me particularly is that my son is autistic (ok. I'm gay, but was married and have two children - who often come to visit and accepted my boyfriend immediately). My son misses me terribly. I phone frequently, take my children out when I can etc. But my son behaves very badly towards his sister - abuses her with snide comments, put-downs etc. and has a very negative self image 'You have friends, Jamie. 10 people came to your birthday party.' 'Yes, but they don't like me; their parents made them come.' He needs help. So I've been doing more research recently into autism - and in particular into autism (high functioning autism = Aspergers syndrome) and adolescence, depression etc. One third of autistic children develop a mood disorder and in some cases what is diagnosed as autism in childhood might be early onset manic depression. Through my boyfriend, who is manic depressive, I've learnt a lot, and now understand my son better. The genes that have been identified as responsible for manic depression overlap to a considerable extent with those identified as responsible for autism. What has been my son's experience in life? He must have a deep feeling of being different - he went to a special school until a few years ago. He wants to have friends, but his behaviour lets him down - either he becomes overbearing or withdraws. And then I leave him, although I assured my children at the time that it had nothing to do with them, and have remained in frequent contact. Poor genes. So here I am having learnt in the past few days that my son's problems go deeper than I imagined. He didn't really speak until he was 4, had learnt about 18 words - and mummy and daddy were not amongst them - but now at age 11 appears almost normal - at least to outsiders. So it's a shock to realise that this progress will be limited without help and that if he forms relationships later, he will most likely abuse his partners and that he lacks the emotional stuff to be happy. I love my son more than anyone in the world and to be quite honest I am sitting here crying and do not know what more to write.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 28, 2001

S1

My purpose for writing is to get some of my feelings out. Has been a very miserable weekend and just when I thought things were on the up. I posted to Dr.Irene under "Reva" a while back now. I have been making progress within myself and my outlook but it seems our relationship is still wayward. So sad.

Last night he complained (again) about lack of sex and then started yelling. He said things like I should "know my place", I am "inconsistent", and ordered me to turn the stereo back on..."do it now". That was it. I got up and walked. I went to the nearest friends house and talked. Then he rang up and proceeded to rant and rave over the phone about how I am trying to "control" him. This "c" word has been in his vocabulary for a while now. So I am at the end of the road.

This person who can be the most beautiful person in the world can also seem like the ugliest. And after Christmas hols.  I am due to start work tomorrow. What perfect timing. Now I feel depressed and exhausted. I would just love a couple of you out there with kind, empowering hearts to send out some positive energy my way. Just a little to get me through the next couple of days.

P.S Trubble...my cat's called Tully (and is better looking!!!) Doubtful.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 28, 2001

S1

My, My.....I must say.......I can't recall the last time I felt so conflicted. Chomp'in at the bit while at the same time..... doing everything in my power to convince myself that I should bite my tongue. Now......I'm no doctor and....well......if the truth be told......my formal education reached levels that promoted in me not a sense of pride but rather the complete opposite......STILL..... to the woman who...... this past Tuesday posed the question, "Do relationships like these ever have a chance of surviving?". If you were my sister, I'd say..........AHHHHHHHHHH! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH!!! WHY in God's NAME would you ever WANT for this relationship to survive? My word........when so many are struggling to develop within themselves a sense of inner strength......a sense of inner peace. Working towards personal responsibility....an understanding not so much of our partners but rather ourselves......YOUR concern is finding SOMEone to JUSTIFY your remaining in a situation that you PROBABLY already KNOW you should leave! Now tell me......REALLY..........what is it about YOU......not HIM......that compels YOU to stay in such a situation? Given the fact that you mentioned both welfare and the homeless.....I suppose one could safely assume that your concern is........ FINANCIAL? A concern, I might add that is felt by many and that indeed..........is extremely valid....particularly when there are mouths other than your OWN to feed. When considering your situation AND from what YOU'VE said, personally, I can't help but wonder if it would be more in your best interest to DIScontinue ANY thoughts of staying....putting your focus MORE on ways of leaving! Regardless.........you're NOT my sister........so I won't!!! I'm sorry Dr. Irene...... sometimes I have this HUGE problem resisting these urges. Trust me......I'm so emotionally SPUN that SOMEdays I LITERALLY look like cotton candy! HA! No WONDER he's ALWAYS on my tail :o) Yes, finances are no laughing matter. But, life is what it is and it certainly is not fair. Your only sane option is to make the best of what you find on your plate, whatever that is. Of course, you could instead complain or blame others. You might even entertain sarcasm towards those who try to point out your options, as though they somehow had a hand in creating your situation. 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 28, 2001

S1

My husband is very demanding and goes off at the slightest infraction. He recently called my 10 year old son an asshole and told me that if I were a man he would beat me up. He puts on a good show around other people, attending Sunday school and reflecting on life in such a thoughtful manner. However, when he is at home, he is a tyrant. He basically doesn't want to have anything to do with us, reading books and playing on the computer for hours at a time. He "takes us off the shelf to play with" when he's in the mood but the rest of the time wants to be left alone-that is when he is not screaming profanities at us.

For me, I guess I am an enabler, I go around making sure everything is perfect for everyone, which of course it never is. My husband blames everyone for everything and hates everyone.

I do not want my children to live in this kind of environment and grow up with this baggage. However, I do not want them to be from a divorced family. From the outside, no one would no this is going on. The two boys are successful and well adjusted.

After reading your site, I know I need to set clear limits on what I will tolerate. When I do, he gives me the silent treatment and acts like I am the one causing all the problems. I need to stand my ground but how can my husband be convinced that he should change? Please give me your thoughts--he seems to listen to others opinions more than mine. One time he did not acknowledge my birthday for approximately 1 full month-not even to say Happy Birthday until some friends told him he was way out of line. He is selfish and mean spirited and I do not know what to do.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 28, 2001

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, I am so confused! My husband and I have been married for 16 yrs. Right from the start he was a verbally abusive person. Calling me names for no apparent reason, by this I mean just sitting around watching TV ect. and he would just look at me and call me a "b****" or "W****" Just out of the blue. Well, I was young and had never experienced things like this, I guess I was in "shock" This stuff went on for about 2 yrs, name calling, he'd get me down in the floor and hold me there while patting my face, not hitting, but patting. This made me furious and he knew it, but he did it anyway. There was a little hair pulling thrown in there too, not just from him, but I also did it back to him. When I told him I was going to leave him if things kept going the way they were, he stopped doing them. We both accepted God into our lives and things were a lot better for a while. About 7 yrs ago, he started leaving me all alone to go work on his "2nd love" as he refers to it, his Race Car. Now I like this too, but he seems to be obsessed by this thing. He lives, eats, breaths, and sleeps this thing. I got burned out on it early on, so I quit going with him so much. This made him mad. We go into several arguments about this. Terrible ones. I finally got a hobby of my own again. Horses. Not before much arguing and him forbidding me to get one. I finally got fed up and bought myself one anyway. Then we have to start dealing with jealousy on his part. He'd constantly check up on me, searched my purse, my e-mail, my car, anything where he "thought" I was hiding something. I developed an alcohol problem. I drank for about a year, then I just woke up and thought, NO. This is not a life. I got myself into rehab and have been working on myself ever since. I go to counseling at least once a week and I am a stronger person for it. My husband and I separated in April. I was seeing my own individual counselor, but he thought we ought to be seeing marriage counselor. I eventually agreed. I got a lot of my issues out in the open "I only felt safe doing this with a counselor present" He aired his own too. During this separation I was constantly harassed on the phone by him. He followed me to friends houses saying that I "Must have another man" or else why would I leave him...He caused me to wreck my truck by pulling across the road directly in front of me. He finally admitted he did this so I wouldn't have anything to drive. Anyway, we reconciled in Aug. Things were good for a while, then slowly they started getting bad again, only this time he abused our 11yr old son. Called him names and then began tearing away at his confidence. This kid was getting to be a wreck. My son and I left New Years Eve. I told him he either got help with his problem or I would divorce him. Was that controlling for me to do that? I talk with him most everyday, and he sees his son everyday too. He only lives about 1/4 of a mile from us, so it's hard to feel disconnected from him. He's made an appointment with a counselor, but he still does not see how his behavior is controlling. He told me just last night that I was the one driving a wedge between him and me. That I needed to change too. that it was my fault our son was disrespectful of him and doesn't want much to do with him. He always says "You don't love me" I want to see him get the help he needs, not just for our marriage, but for his well being too, and our son. Kids need both parents, but not at the expense of our sanity. Am I doing the right thing here? He just keeps me so upset and confused. Sometimes I think it is my problem, but then I back up and think again. I'm not the one who makes him behave in the ways that he does. I do love him. It hasn't been all bad, there really have been a lot of good times throughout our marriage too.

Confused...    This is not the forum for new posters to ask the doc questions, though you may get a paw print here and there.. But, you are likely to hear from the other posters! To get Dr. Irene's input, look here.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

I have a question mostly to the men in the group. I was talking to my bf about our intimate relationship. He said that for a man, if there is something his partner can't satisfy (won't do) that he will get it elsewhere - video, pictures, maybe even another woman. This really bothered me because I wouldn't want that - I would want to know that I was enough for my husband.

Is his statement true to some extent? Thanks.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

i am helping a women get through verbal abuse, it is devastating. The self esteem is so low that they are helpless and feel helpless. She feels independent but really isn't. She had built up a tolerance to the abuse and would rather stay in the relationship and not face the unknown.. How can i help her....thanks...I love her very much and want the abuse to end...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Hi

I found this web site from a cross reference when I was searching for the definition of the word sociopath. That is what I was beginning to think my husband was. Since discovering the concept of verbal abuse I have read everything I could find on the subject. It all sounds so familiar but I think I may be mistaken in thinking my husband is a verbal abuser. I am trying to decide if I should put my 4 children through the ordeal of a divorce or if I should just learn better to deal with him myself. He doesn't hurt me or scream at me in anger. What he does seems to be more insidious. I have tried to start setting limits. It took me a while to realize I actually had some. I find myself in the trap of trying to explain how I feel in a better way to him so he will "see". He never "sees". He will never "see". I will have to agree that all of this is, like he says, all my fault and go back to acquiescing. There will be no other way. Am I right to believe this? I would appreciate any suggestions.

Stuck

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Hi Everyone, B. here!  Yippeee! RealMommy! I missed you and thought you forgot me...  

I've been too busy to read the posts, plus ill with pneumonia (5 weeks and it's still with me! Imagine that!), Oh my... Hope you are OK-er each and every day... but I missed Trubble my RealSon (here's Salmon from Norway for you <<---< ) and all of you, so I hopped for a visit and here I see many new faces! She is my RealMommy. At last...

First, to the last post with the question: "He said that for a man, if there is something his partner can't satisfy (won't do) that he will get it elsewhere - video, pictures, maybe even another woman."

I am not a man, but I know several, and I can tell you he speaks for himself only. He generalizes as a manipulation meant to convince you to accept what he tells you about himself and how he would act - or would LIKE to act. He thinks that if you believe all men are like that, you will force yourself to accept this treatment despite your feelings.

You, however, say "This really bothered me because I wouldn't want that - I would want to know that I was enough for my husband."

Listen to YOURSELF. This is a boundary: he tells you "I am like that". You do not want to live with that. You are looking for a different type of commitment. Ergo: this guy is probably not for you. Or better: think about it, FEEL with all your honesty and integrity towards yourself whether you want to live with such morals (or whatever you call it) - and if you realize, as you have already stated, that you do not want that, you may choose to leave him.

Note: you cannot change him, you cannot argue with him. He tells you quite honestly that this is what he will do. Now it is your choice to decide if you want it. Don't fall for the manipulation. It does not matter how many men are like him. The only thing that matters is: will you be sacrificing your Self if you agreed to live with that? Because, if you let him know you don't want such a relationship - but still choose to stay with him, this is the first stage of sacrifice. Your actions tell the guy what you are willing or not willing to put up with.

Hope I made myself clear. Crystal clear, as always.

My report, Dr. Irene: H is regularly going to counseling and I see progress. I am also going regularly and getting stronger learning who I am, what I want to do, what I don't want etc. Especially concerning work and place of living. I realized I hated the teaching part of my work - so now I changed that! I realized I wanted to move from our tiny apartment on the 3rd floor to a house on the ground in some out-of-town place (somewhere with air and green fields and quiet!), talked about it with H in an "I" style (I feel very unhappy here, I need to live in a..., I want to move to yyyy..., I would like to rent out our apt. and use the money to rent a house... etc.) - and he agreed to do it in the near future.  Yipppeeee!

Changes! Changes! I learn how to know what I want and what I don't want, and how to GET what I want in a way full of integrity. Stupid FakeMommyDocIrene thinks that is excellent, so very cool. But, RealMommy, now, please watch it. You know, there is a risk of your becoming so healthy, you no longer bend over backwards to please me... Then what? Your RealSon Trubble

Thanks for being here! Love, B.

PS. I don't know if you heard RealMommy, but I think I found my RealDaddy, but I haven't told him yet. I work for him part time and I think he's beyond cool. Like you, he understands people and treats others well. He gets pretty much what he wants. He does it with integrity and, like you RealMommy, he doesn't sell out... Jury's still out, He lives in this big White House. If Georgie W. Cat is my RealDaddy, I've got to get you two together.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Dear Stuck, B. here.

you write: "I have tried to start setting limits. It took me a while to realize I actually had some. I find myself in the trap of trying to explain how I feel in a better way to him so he will "see"."

OOPS! Mistake No. 1. Setting limits is one thing, a healthy one. However, "explaining yourself" and "trying to make him see" is quite another thing, and a co dependent one.

It is not your job to make him see. You can't make anyone see. It's his choice. Explaining, to an abuser, is just giving up your power. No need to explain. Imagine that: He stands on your foot. It hurts you. You say: "You are stepping on my foot (description of his behaviour, what he DOES). It hurts me (description of what you feel). Please move your foot (description of what you need him to do, since in this case you cannot move your foot yourself.).

Is there really a need to explain why it hurts when someone stands on your foot??????!!!!

Get my point?

Now, if he does something which you don't like, but you can control your reaction, set the limit by doing so. Example: Say He says something demeaning to you. You say: "This was demeaning, and I don't like that. Please respect me by not talking like that to me". Then say nothing or leave the room. If he apologizes, great. If he tries to argue etc. (you are too sensitive, lablab) - do not engage. Maintain your boundaries and dignity by leaving the room, or looking him straight in the eye and repeating: "I have just told you I consider this disrespectful towards me. Please stop". Don't argue at all, don't explain - just define to him what is accepted and what is not, what you like and what you do not like. How you want and expect to be treated.

This is setting a boundary.

You say "He will never "see". I will have to agree that all of this is, like he says, all my fault and go back to acquiescing."

Why? This is irrational thinking. The fact that he does not see does not invalidate your feelings. It just means that he cannot relate to what you feel and what you tell him. So stop. Don't share. Just set a boundary. Refer to actions: you do this, I don't like this, please don't do it.

Be careful not to cross his boundaries. For example, you can't set a boundary concerning what shirt HE will wear. Even if you don't like it.

Your job is now only to learn to identify his behaviors that hurt you, and point them out to him, asking him to stop them and start respecting you. Don't argue, don't explain, read all this site - Dr. Irene explains that very well.

Take care of your self and feel like a queen! Expect respect! Expect dignity from yourself!

Good luck, B.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Which option in receiving Dr. Irene's advice should I chose if I would like her input on my posts to this board? Thanks!   No longer available, sorry. The available options are here.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Help. I have been seeing a councelor for almost two years and gained a awareness of my own and my husband's co-dependency and have worked to address it. He is the aggressor and there has been some physical in the past but I now have to face the fact that he is and has always been verbally abusive. It isn't there all the time and comes out of nowhere. He has his nice phase but true closeness, openness, intimacy is not here. The loneliness I feel is sometimes almost unbearable. I can't seem to get past the awful things he says and the way he suddenly pulls away and let it run off my back. I can't seem to stop letting it crush me. I go from anger to sadness to fear to loss of self confidence. Any suggestions!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

To the person asking for help,

I understand where you are coming from! My husband also has nice phases, but his mean ones are so bad they wipe the nice times right out! It is very hard to forget the harsh and hateful words because they burn right into you.

I have been working very hard on detaching, meaning I remind myself that his meanness is about him, not me. Sure, the words hurt. But when I remind myself to not take them personally, it helps. I know deep down that he is misplacing his anger and personal issues onto me. I hate that he does that, especially since he keeps saying he loves me. But that's what he wants to do, that's what he will do unless he decides to change. Some days are better than others. Once last week, he was coming at me endlessly, like a pit bull. I fell apart. On my good days, i walk away and stay relatively calm. I take each day as it comes, and no matter how I handle things I think about what I did right and what I need to do to do better.

Keep going to counseling, and give yourself lots of time to learn how to trust and take care of yourself. As you do this, you'll find that your focus shifts from how to get him to change to changing yourself and you will feel so much more powerful and in control of your life! Keep posting here, too and on the message board. There's lots of support for you here!

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Lynn here checking in. B, I hope you are better and I'm sorry you've been sick. Becky, I love your definition for detach. Knowing it's not about you! I always had a tough time with that. Detach doesn't have to mean you don't care. Hi Jay. Things sound lots better. I'm glad for you.

For the one who asked about the videos and the "getting the sex they want elsewhere", that's controlling. If it feels yukky it probably is. Don't fall for that.

Hi everybody else. Astrid, too. Get the gas fixed! Worse headache I'd had in years. We got a detector.

Progress report. First of all, I quit reading "The" books some time ago. I got all the information I needed and it was time to put some of it to practice. It's working and both ways. Dan is still in therapy and last week he asked me if I'd like to ride up to town with him. I did and we had a good time shopping.

Neat one on progress. At least I think so. I was adding data to our "family tree" and he was messing with the "electronics" and disconnected me. I barked. He barked back, one sentence of something like, "well, I didn't do it on purpose." I knew he didn't. I apologized and said I knew he didn't. Cool! End of story. 6 months ago it would have been a knock down drag out. This felt like good. I said poor and felt like I could. He said poo poo and that was the end of it.

Supreme test. His mother called him a week ago. Shining on him for reasons we know about. We just talked it over and had a chuckle or two. I never asked him to cut her out of his life. I just wanted him to recognize the con when it was on and not defend it.  He did. No fight there either. She sent me Christmas presents again. I kept them and Dan told her thanks and that I liked them (which I did). Excellent, with one exception:  recognize that although you are "right" in wanting Dan to recognize the con, you have to accept if he does not and deal with your anger had he not recognized it, rather than direct him to recognize it - so you don't have to be mad, essentially. In other words, if you can't deal with your frustration when Dan doesn't get the con, you make him responsible for your emotional well-being. 

We have been so busy with life that there doesn't seem to be time to dwell on past things and maybe some of the past things are settled. They are as far as I'm concerned. Some I just had to say that "that hurt" or "that made me angry," etc., and not have him tell me, "you don't have to feel that way." 

Anyhow, don't rock the boat, eh Trubble? and I loved the pick of the salmon. <<----< Or something. Good cat! Keep up the good work. And Jay, the grand cat in DC is Barbara Bush. She reminds me of everybody's dream grandmother. Yeah. She's RealGranny.

I'm getting it Dr. Irene. I used to say if I said something once, Dan didn't hear it. If I said it twice, I was nagging. I give him twice and then let it go. Sometimes I don't even bother with the twice.

We're on our way in 3 weeks to go see the new grandbaby. It wont be here till the 1st week of Feb, but we've made reservations and have our trip planned.

I'll check in before then though and Love and prayers to all of you,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Hmm, no catbox 22? Look after your mommy Trubble I bet she is real busy and that is why.  She's just a bad FakeMommy.

Dear Reva.

Lots of hugs. Once controlling people they get hold of the C word they use it a lot on whoever they are trying to control. A sure admission of guilt. Or refusal to take responsibility for one's actions.

But you did walk away from it all. I just don't understand why you didn't tell him you would speak when he was calmer and put the phone down.

It is pretty rotten to have to go back to work after a time of aggravation. mad I don't know really what to say about that except hugs and don't give him the satisfaction of seeing you down when you do.

Dear person with an autistic son. When I worked with parents of children with ADHD one part of the process they had to go through was to accept the child they had isn't the child they thought they were going to have and to learn to accept the child they have as they were. It seems to be almost like a bereavement process. I think it may be the same with autism and don't forget that an autistic child may achieve great things too. What wasn't clear from your post is whether you have help and don't forget there are degrees of autism and Asperger's syndrome and there is help available. It may be rare, but with therapy, some people with Asperger's syndrome do manage to have a happy marriage. Some do hold down good jobs, academic careers etc. If you can get the right help now......

Dear person whose husband forgot their birthday. I just wondered, but are birthdays painful for your husband for some reason? A well known Christian writer whose name escapes me wrote how he used to refuse to acknowledge his birthday as his dad had done some awful things to him on it. True. But still hurtful nonetheless. What you are telling the reader however is not to personalize it when this happens because it is not about the reader. The omission is entirely about the person making the omission.

That said, I wonder if you should stop letting the Sunday school think he is o.k. Perfectionists don't like to feel they have a failed marriage and I think that is what is probably stopping you getting support for you.

This is just a hunch on my part, but you might find it useful looking at some of the discussion on the message Yak board about Christianity and submission and also maybe the God Help Us emails.

dear Confused, There are degrees of everything but if a guy is prepared to pull out in front of you to wreck you car then you are in DANGER. What use will you be to your son if you get killed? Some people in life need a safe distance between you and them.

Whatever the good times were, they aren't happening now. You do the right thing by leaving. I really hope things work out for you.

Wow, B. I'm sorry to hear about the pneumonia, but your report to Dr Irene sure gives some of the rest of us hope! Hugs.

Meanwhile, day 3 of deciding to live as a recovered codependent. I have decided to do/think whatever the recovered response would be. (Not denial, just trying a different approach to life.) yesterday was hairy, but I did manage to see it was Jake's problem he forgot to bring me a drink of water while I was in bed throwing up all day and solved it finally by ringing Human Katkid on my mobile to the downstairs phone.   Then when I felt better said calmly I found it strange anyone would want a marriage to continue if they didn't bother to bring even a drink when their wife was sick . This resulted in a flurry of tea and toast. Purrrfect!

But Dr Irene there is something I disagree with you about. I don't think you can say to victims "the pot call the kettle black." That would put them on a level with the abuser. Victims and boy have I found this out, do have BIG anger to deal and I think a lot of us end up returning abuse for abuse, but it isn't quite the same thing as being equal to the abuser. Acting out anger about and towards an abuser isn't good and we do have to take responsibility for our own behaviour but the abuser's behaviour should not have been there in the first place. That is like saying we allowed ourselves to be abused. That's not an accurate reflection of what I've said. The reason I ask victims to clean up their act is 1. Because their integrity suffers if they don't. 2. Because they are less likely to be heard if they don't. 3. Because they are re-acting rather than acting. I ask everybody to take responsibility for their behavior. This has nothing to do with allowing yourself to be abused, though you put yourself in a position that increases the probability of continued abuse.

I think we only do that once we have been made aware of what we should and shouldn't accept and only then can we be in any way responsible for what happens. (We have the choice then not to allow or react to abuse). The responsibility only comes when we know we have a choice. You're splitting hairs. Stop personalizing the awareness thing. Abuse is wrong period. When you don't stop it, aware or unaware, you are more likely to get it. That is fact. Simple reality. I'm not assigning blame. You are. Stop assigning blame and putting words into my mouth.

Once we know we have a choice then the whole thing changes. So now if I do something that doesn't stop abuse in it's tracks I am partly responsible as I made the wrong choice how to act. But only if I have enough knowledge to know what to do. The same exact statement can be made for your abuser. The abuser also lacks the knowledge of what to do. Again, stop assigning blame. It's non judgmental. Kind of like if you drop an apple, it will fall. It's not good or bad that it fell, it's just what happens.

Actually, (cat like licked the cream kind of smile) I have enough self esteem now to be happy if we agree or disagree cos it feels o.k to have my own opinion now. i.e.. I still respect both of us even if we do disagree on this. Yes, and I'm glad for you! But, please recognize why we disagree. We disagree because you insert a value judgment I do not. Do so if you want, but please don't misrepresent my position.

Kitt the cat is also changing fast. Still wanting Mommy Jaycat a lot and that is so healing. Thanks everyone who has been praying. (But please don't stop as I really would like to understand why things got as they did.) Have to go as Jakecat has come home early. love, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

When the denial lifts, dealing with the realities of the pseudo-relationship is mind bending. Like a labyrinth. I can finally see now that the strange "this doesn't feel right" thoughts I have had for so long are not because of me. It was there because IT IS NOT RIGHT! I have asked him to leave after three years of being manipulated into believing these feelings were all in my head.

It came in a flash, like a light bulb and when it did, I became very fearful, because the realization that I am dealing with a human with no human construct is scary. I am merely a projection, a mirror to him. It finally all made sense. There is a saying that when one is pointing a finger at you, the three fingers that are curled back are pointing back to the one who is doing the finger pointing. I noticed that the very things he pointed out to me (usually with a sneer or a tone of contempt) were the very things he was doing himself. A pattern emerged and I began to follow it and write about it. This is what saved me. My "good" and my success were a reminder to him of what he was not and I now believe my best interest were not in his best interest (unlike a caring individual). Now that I have asked him to leave, I have Mr. Nice Guy on my hands and this is where I have made my mistakes before. All the requests I have made for change have happened in a 24hr period. This time, rather than bargain with myself ( I am sure you all can relate to this one ) about how maybe this time he is serious and maybe he really has heard me after all, I stayed emotionally de-tached. This was very difficult because once he realized that the act that usually worked in the past was not working now, he changed into Mr. Sarcasm: "Well, I hope you can find Mr. Perfect." "Hmmmm, guess I'll have all the freedom I need now." "Who needs a relationship like this anyways."

I remained neutral (gosh it was soooo hard not to engage in this by defending myself) I learned to shut off my hurtful/angry feelings by reminding myself that this was a play to engage me into a full fledge argument which would allow him to vent his anger, thus leaving him feel better. Imagine that! Yelling at me makes him feel better! I also learned to plug my ears and yes, right in front of him at the moment. Not hearing it enabled me not to react.

After Mr. Sarcasm, I had Mr. Martyr.

"You never thought I was good enough." "Lord knows I try." (in a tone of contempt) "You don't know how I contribute to this relationship"

I simply agreed with everything he said. I stopped defending for this simple reason is I finally believed me. Not him.

Mr. Martyr turned to Mr. Angry. No words spoken but the tension in the house caused my stomach to feel sick and it was by this time that the bargaining began for me. Maybe I was being mean? Maybe he was understanding and I was not seeing it? Counter acting these thoughts was as difficult as not engaging. The only thing that kept me on track was my gut feeling. Let me explain: When I thought about the possibility of staying and the hope (false hope) that it may work, my mind felt racy, my stomach felt excited. I know that excitement and nervousness in the stomach are very similar and I had to distinguish between the two: it was nervousness. When I listened to my thoughts of, "no more" and "I have had enough" my stomach felt kinda full and grounded an almost strange.

I must go now to my class, I just realised the time! He will leave in two more days. I am putting these strategies to the test here. In other words, I am becoming objective rather than subjective in order to survive. I hope this helps. I can be contacted at lisa_lussin@hotmail.com if anyone can relate.

After this

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Dear Catbox,

Thanks for your posts and thanks Dr. Irene for your comments.

Regarding boundaries, that was a very helpful comment from Theressa. I remembered (how easily I have blocked out bad memories and covered up for him even to myself) that a year ago I told him that he had to go to therapy as a condition of us staying together. A year ago! after a really scary incident of physical abuse. And he went once but didn't continue, then we broke up for awhile. And I remembered all the other boundaries. What a pushover (doormat!) I must have seemed to him. So I reminded him of my request that he go to therapy, and told him that I still felt that way. Now I am getting the silent treatment, which means either that he is looking for a therapist (in a perfect world) or he is waiting for me to break the silence to see what he is doing. Well, I won't.

I have been dealing with feelings of fear at having been so firm. I wish I could have a simple, loving relationship that didn't involve therapy! With all due respect, Dr. Irene! But on the other hand, therapy isn't a punishment, it's an opportunity; and it doesn't say that he is a horrible person. I always looked forward to getting to know myself better in therapy. It just seems like making it a condition of staying together, as I have had to do with this abusive person, is a big thing to ask. I feel like I am going to lose him because he wants someone who thinks he is perfect. (The anonymous poster will write again and say s/he can't believe his/her eyes again...) But then I remind myself, I am worth it, and the alternative of staying in the mess that the relationship has been isn't acceptable. He doesn't think it's a mess, he thinks it's perfect, and this is the only way he will know that I really do think it it's worth giving up. I guess I'm just kind of grieving right now.

Thanks, everyone,

Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

parentinghurts does exist whatever the end of the link here says! I am not sure why it is doing this. If only I had Dr Irene's skill at setting up support groups. Jay. Egroups was taken over by Yahoo. Posters have to reregister.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

*waves*

The gas company couldn't find anything wrong; they think it was a pilot light out or something. But no reoccurrences of that particular problem.

Class started last week. The reading list is quite extensive but I'll manage, and even manage to enjoy it. Though I had forgotten how expensive literature coursework can be. I spent $160 on books for two classes, and a couple of the books are on back order!

That reminds me, I have some Shakespeare to read. 'night all. *hugs*

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Just a question...........after counseling, reading, and many sagas later just getting over the latest verbal onslaught. Hubby desperately hanging on pleading undying love one minute, and cool withdrawal next. So the question.............how, when is enough enough????? After the 'act' and I have recovered slightly it is hard to determine my level of commitment. I love this person and love the tender side of him, but hate the angry. So confusing!

Please help.

Bec

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Hi All,

Well I need to post!! I need support, I need direction, I need someone to take this tight knot out of my stomach YES IT IS FEAR!!

I dropped the new guy I had told you all about (long story - he was just not ready for a long term relationship) No regrets it was part of my learning.

Anyway what I need support with, I received a letter from my X (We've been split since last August) he said After 7 months (I think it is after 5 months actually) he met someone new but he had to end it because he really wanted me and I was in his heart. He said he wanted to take things real slow and we should see how things go, because he doesn't want to stay apart.

Well as you can imagine I was hurt first cuz I found out from my daughter he had someone new, but then I got this letter, I cried and cried. He shared all his feelings in this letter.

I haven't made any definite decisions yet!!!

My therapist said "Theressa it is like you being your X's life line if you pull him in, he will pull you back down".

What do you all think?

I know what DR Irene has advised others, she has advised them that the ABUSER (Negatively empowered One) needs TREATMENT. So does the victim, (Negatively disempowered one).

If he went to therapy would he get fixed? Maybe.

It is just so hard for me to know what to do?? I had thought things were settled, we were separated. I was angry when I found out he had met someone else, angry that he had a happy ending.

He doesn't want us to live together. As he knows I don't want this!!

Though as my therapist said He'll have you back in the hole in no time. He can't help it.

Dan and Steve, Asha and Lynn how come it worked out for you people?

Are your relationships now healthy?

Or am I chasing after a dream/fantasy????

AM I SUPPOSE TO say you have to go to therapy before I'd ever consider being back with you?? If I just say NO I don't want to know cuz I don't want to be dragged back down how will he ever get fixed???

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE ADVISE ME!!!

Is it the goal meant to be he SAYS yes I will go to therapy? and goes!!

OR am I in a fantasy world. Cuz I want a healthy relationship!! Will he ever be able to offer me this, even if he goes to therapy??

Thanks Theressa

You've got to get healthy enough to tell him that you won't put up with his junk. Since he can't fix it alone, you ask him to get help. The rest is up to him. Your job will be to continually reject his junk, but doing so with integrity. Both of you need integrity to guide you. You are both guided by neediness instead.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa,

You do not NEED us to tell you what to do. It is your live you are living and your responsibility and yours alone. We talked about that so may times and it goes for all of us. I can't give you any advice on this, just my thoughts..... I think you should look in your hart: do you WANT him, would you consider him as a partner, do you still feel love???? Then try to figure out in what aspects you really want your relationship to change, before you could be oke with it ever again. The try to tell him that in order to even consider a relationship with him you want him and you to work on these issues. And take your time to reach a decision, don't let yourself be rushed into it, be it yes or no. Take your time to decide whether you would want to try, without feeling you have to make any final commitments for now. You don't. If you would consider giving it a change, take it slow, maybe just start by writing him a letter too in which you explain what you want.

I know this is a hard decision to make, but I think the first thing you should ask yourself is whether you love him and would want to be with him again. And the, start practicing your boundary stuff on him, and be as open and honest as you can and ask him to do the same, if that means having conflicts. And DON'T EVER AGAIN PUT UP WITH ABUSE!!!!!!

As for me, I have been real busy, trying to deal with my relation with C. getting better, which is kind of scary. It seems that if thing get wrong, I can work on them getting better. If things go better, I get scared. Also if I get what I want, I seem to want more and more, which is not a very good thing I guess. And, I got more to loose, so I tend to stay away from conflicts more. I am yet working on how to handle this. This weekend we had a long talk about lost of things and then he got nervous and said he really felt bad about my analyzing and structuring things. Later he was able t say that he actually admired my ability t do that, but that after a while it really made him nervous, cause he could not keep up. I said for me it was so easy, for me the hard part is dealing with feelings and intuition. It was scary, but also felt very good to have these things out in the open. We are so different in the way we look at a problem, and I do feel we have a lot to teach each other. I had to back of then, cause I really got scared and wanted to run. I decided to stay, take a shower, to have some time alone and that was oke. But the first reaction was run, cause it was so scary to see the differences between us in the open. I said this to him, said I was scared he would not like me if I was not the way he was, and he said that is your problem, I do like you very very much.

I am slowly learning not to let his moods (which are not half as bad as they used to be) bother me. But it is still hard work. But I really feel he wants to be with me and we can even joke about some things that would have blown up some time ago.

So progress i think, but lost of work ahead still.

Love you all, and take care.

AJ

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa,

You sound really happy. Do you still love him? If you do, go for it... BUT!

I didn't like it that he wrote about the other woman he met, like he's with this other woman but can't get you out of his mind. It sounds like he was already abusing the other woman with his memories of you. And it also sounds like he is playing the jealousy card: if he tells you about her, will it spur you to reconcile if he tells you in the same breath that you are more important? It sounds like he is playing on what he remembers as your insecurities.

So please step back and coolly analyze! Don't rush!

And Theressa, what does he say about changing himself? Is he getting some help with that? Will he read some of these pages if you feel comfortable telling him about this site? Will he see a therapist? Or does he still think he has done nothing wrong, that your problems are "normal" and not as bad as other peoples', and that your problems are things you two can get through on your own... NOT HARDLY! No words can convince him that your problems are NOT normal. Only the distance that you put between you, for the safety of your spirit, will be able to show him this.

Don't forget what brought you here to this site.

I send strong words of caution because I tried the same thing this summer. I was stronger and more conscious, but he was not. He treated me disrespectfully, treated other women better than he treated me, got angry and raged at little things, and bit me for the second time - only this time it was worse because he left teeth marks on my face and said he was only trying to kiss me.

Theressa, my ex, like your ex, said he couldn't get me out of his mind, that he had tried to see other people and couldn't - this line is hard to resist when you still care. He also said that he wanted to go slow and see what would happen, blah blah blah. I didn't get a plan from him about how he had made/would make changes in his behavior. Please Theressa, give yourself at least six months of careful interaction with him, if you do get back together. Make sure he has a plan to make these changes that he needs to make - the plan should involve therapy. If he won't do it, he doesn't care enough about you or about himself to be worth your time, energy and spiritual investment.

Take care, good luck, I am wishing for you to have a beautiful success story! You too.

Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Asha here

Hi to everybody.

I'm very busy lately so can't post quite so much. I'm so glad to hear about B and Lynn, and feel my situation is similar. It's like I've done the "schooling" and now it's time to do the "work". I feel that Steve and I are doing much better. The main difference is that yucky things still happen, but they don't get yuckier. They happen and then we let them go and move on to other happier stuff (like Lynn said, these things used to compound on themselves and turn into something way worse than they ever really were).

Theressa - why not send your X-hubby to the catbox? What do you have to lose? Even if he's really angry at first, it would get your feelings and the issues you're concerned about into the open. When I think about what happened between Steve and I here I think it's really amazing how we have both grown from communicating on this site. If you remember, Steve wasn't very thrilled when he first found my posts, but now he realizes the role he has played in our relationship problems and takes responsibility. He doesn't take it personally when I'm feeling down anymore. I too realize that his bad moods are nothing to do with me.

I think the biggest mistake of the Patricia Evans books is the general impression it leaves that the "abuser" is a hopeless case. Yes. That and that there is no recognition of the victim's own anger and how same compromises their communication. I honestly think that most angry people don't realize how they contribute to making their lives miserable and don't believe that they have the power to change that.

My biggest difficulty with Steve over the last while was being able to allow him to make mistakes that were reminiscent of the old patterns. Dr Irene was really helpful to me in this area, explaining that by continuing to expect bad behavior from him (since he is now in "recovery" mode) I was creating my own self-fulfilling prophecy. It was my own fear of reverting back to accepting unacceptable behavior that put me "on guard". Now I let him screw up and I don't see it as a "sign". I know that he's working on his stuff and I also know that I'm strong enough to make positive choices for myself. My boundaries are much more firmly in place.

Theressa, I think if you are strong enough to know that you don't "need" him, and can detach when old patterns come up, you could also decide that it's worth giving him a chance. However you will have to be willing to put up with a lot of resistance at first because you would be changing the "dance" and the old dance is the one he's most comfortable with (although deep down it doesn't make him very happy). You would have to be strong and be willing to walk away without being crushed if he doesn't choose to change. Only you can decide what is right for you. If it was me, I would (for my own sake) refer him to the catbox, and maybe suggest therapy as my conditions for working at the relationship. If he is unwilling, I would accept his unwillingness gracefully and move on. I personally would do this (if I still loved him) because it is a great test of Self (mySelf). However, if the line of physical violence had been crossed, I would in no way risk my physical safety, even for someone I deeply loved.

AJ:

I think I understand what you are saying about how you look at a problem differently than C. Sometimes this has nothing to do with dysfunction, but just individual strengths and preferences. For example I usually have about 5 - 10 ideas going in my head at a time. I used to try to share these with Steve as they came up and he would either not listen or feign interest (sometimes while typing away on his keyboard at the other end of the phone line which drove me nuts!). Now, he tries to be honest that he just gets overwhelmed and can't process what I'm saying at that time, or that he's busy. This is much easier for me to accept. However he also likes to stay informed and it's not easy for me to do that because of his different style. In the past I used to work at a slower pace than I was comfortable with because I felt I had to run everything by him first, which led me to feel resentful, because I knew that I could have achieved far more. Now I send emails telling him what's going on and he can read them at his leisure, (and when I do that he can't say I didn't tell him what was going on!) He is also trusting me much more. I think he understands that it's not necessary for me to adapt to his style and he knows (at least I think he does) that I do care what he thinks and respect his input, but that I need to be responsible for my own life by getting things done at a pace that feels right to me.

Trubble, I came across a fish that you might like on the internet. This is for you. (Even though you like B better than me! ;)

<*}}}}>><   Yummmmmmmy! Thanks FakeMommyAkasha!

bye all

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Three days of being a normal human being and then.. The Dr hinted it might be the menopause but I think it is because there was another control issue today. In a nutshell, if Jake was going to give me money for an outstanding phone bill, why couldn't he just do that instead of send upsetting emails and other stuff I won't go into.  Why indeed.

I didn't get so much angry with him as fall into the pits of depression. You don't have to go here. Stop reacting to him in destructive ways. Recognize and stop the underlying irrational thinking - because if push came to shove, you could live w/o him. You would not fold. If I am meant to stay with this guy then why can't I cope right with it? feel like he managed to control me and I got manipulated and tearful. I guess if it isn't the menopause it could be PMS? If God is going to work it out he is going to have to hurry up or I may dissolve!

However, the one bright spot in a pretty bad day is I think my daughter is going to be home soon. I just hope Jake and I get sorted before we have her back. But what can you do when only one of you wants to Tango? Tango alone.

Another bright spot was someone wants another window cleaning story so I might need you guys to help out!!! I have established you are sadly lacking in "Postman Pat" in America which eliminates him. (You are deprived! Possibly only of an irritating jingle about him.) and I know you have drapes instead of curtains. But something the editor of this journal said made me wonder, do your window cleaners clean the inside of the windows too????

My friends and family are killing themselves with laughter. My American friend who never had a window cleaner probably feels like strangling me. She had to answer the Postman Pat question from the bathroom. I think it was an English one with a tub in, and not the other kind. (I hope so, her husband who is English relayed the message).

And something I can tell you I have been sucking on a Sepia tablet as I write and I sort of feel normalized. These homeopathic things do seem to work. My doctor can prescribe more potent doses as she is a GP. And now I have remembered that I had coffee today which rendered all the earlier tablets useless. No idea why but coffee is the one thing you can't have and I am a caffeine addict.

And Trubble, I went to the garden centre and goodness me, they have these codependent parrots. They are so controlled by their masters in the store that despite being free and able to talk they don't take their power and fly away to freedom. They were just kind of loose in the shop and kind of gave you a shock as they talked as you walked by. These birds cost more than £1000 (I think that is about $2,500 ) each, so for their owners to let them loose like that they must have been very sure of their codependency! Uh, now where exactly is this shop?

Trubble! I must put a cat in the window!! (of my window cleaning thing.)

love Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Hi all, Sharon here, Well, Kathleen, Theresa, Perdida, and all of you as well, as I've been reading the posts, I've come to realize that we love these people, we want the best for ourselves, we want the best for them, and we try hard to "make nice" sometimes, and when we do, that's when the trouble begins. The "making nice" for me begins when I've had to react to verbal abuse that I don't understand where its coming from or "why", so I click into this "making nice" mode to not rock the boat. Sound familiar?

I had no choice but to end a relationship with my bf around the Christmas/New Year holidays. He had been abusing me for most of the time (18 months). We broke up at least 10 times within the last 18 months. He, a psychologist, told me that he enjoyed being abusive, people liked his toxic mouth, and he wasn't going to change. He basically told me to either "put up with his abuse, or leave." I stayed for awhile "making nice" "walking on eggshells" and it got weirder and worse, bizarre, so I had no choice but to end it.

Yes, I'm hurting. Yes, I miss him. Yes, I've been through this before with him. The only difference is now I am aware that I was abused, and it was deliberate and intentional, because he wanted me "gone". Before I was aware, the only thing I felt was pain and confusion. Once I started to read, get into therapy for myself, I realized that he was not going to change, and he told me so! Now that this awareness is here for me - I felt as though I was continuing to hurt myself - he was even saying this to me - which made me feel that I lacked self-respect. It was a mind trip! It still is. However, he got his "wish" because I now am gone. I have not spoke to him in over 2 weeks. No more "pining" or "make nice" or "let's talk" or "pleads". I'm just not there in his life. (we did not live together) I do think he found someone else, I do think he will abuse her also. He will not change for anyone. He thinks his behavior is fine and accepting by everyone, however, he has never had a long term relationship with a woman. This man has problems, but then so do I, in the sense that I should have left a long time ago. My self esteem is low and I am fighting depression. My sleep is affected, and I think about "it" constantly. However, there are things that I want to share with you that I find give me inner peace: 1) separation is a good thing; when you get out of a situation that's unhealthy, its an adjustment, but once you find "your center", you can get healthy again. This is my goal!! 2) when you stay away from "them", the message is loud and clear. You get your personal power back. This is my goal!! 3) separating from someone you care about is painful, and you go through the mourning process. However, that person is also going through it, even though they wanted out. So....months down the line, when there is a new and improved "you" (in my case "me); "me" all complete, healthier, slimmer (I need to lose 20 lbs) wiser, more in control -- my feelings will be different. I will be away from him and have time to work on me for a change. Hopefully, my goals here will be reached by my birthday, May 12. Then, I'm gonna walk into the grocery store where he and I both shop, I'm gonna run into him with confidence pouring out of my soul, as my spirit will have finally returned. How he tried to take it!!!!!! Wish me luck in achieving my personal goals for myself! I no longer want to suffer; I want success!

Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

What is the sound of a camel's back breaking?

Me, today. This was the LAST straw!

I haven't been this out-and-out MAD in a long time. And it feels curiously like the moment when I realized that I had to get out of my relationship with L.

I need to get out of this job. No more questions asked. I will try to do it in a dignified way, but I am not staying. Their "crunch time" of year has just ended, and I had promised myself I'd stick through that as best I could. Now, they get no more such consideration from me.

The verbally abusive co-worker did it again. She was giving me instructions for how to fill out a form, and mis-spoke one bit of the directions in such a way that it contradicted what the form said and confused me. I asked for clarification, and she said "I SAID [the right thing] the first time!"

Well, maybe I'm going deaf or something!

I told her what I thought I had heard her say, and she said, a big smile on her face all the while, "You make me so angry, Astrid, you always have to argue with me about everything. You just frustrate me."

I realized a few things in quick succession here:

1. There was no response that I could give to this, because any attempt to defend myself would be interpreted as more argument from me.

2. The smile didn't make up for the words. Quite the contrary.

3. She tells me to ask questions, "there are no stupid questions" etc and then she tries to make me feel bad when I ask questions.

4. She has NEVER apologized for raising her voice to me that other time. She seems to enjoy making me feel ill-at-ease, and I don't know why.

5. THIS IS ABUSE! It is escalating in intensity, it is crazy-making, and I do not need to be subjected to it. And since past experiences have shown that management will not do one darn thing about this woman, it's up to me to take the responsibility to remove myself from the abusive situation. And in some ways it's like getting out of an abusive romance: there are the practical "where will I go?" considerations to be dealt with. I can't afford to be unemployed, because this would be considered a "voluntary quit" and I wouldn't get unemployment insurance. And I have school and rent and such to pay for somehow, and not as much saved as I would need to be jobless for any length of time. So I won't go till I have a place to go, but I will get myself a place as fast as possible.

I went to my temp agency to see my representative, and she was out sick. So I left a message, saying basically that I won't go storming off the job today or tomorrow, but I have some concerns about my assignment that I would like to discuss with her personally.

I've stuck this out for eight, almost nine, months. That's enough. Accepting abusive treatment from a senior co-worker (who doesn't even have the flimsy justification of being in a position of authority over me) is NOT, repeat NOT, something I consider an acceptable working condition.

Wish me luck, cats. I need it. :P    

Astrid  

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Catbox,

I'm sooooo angry right now I just have to vent!!!!! I'm leaving my husband as soon as my income tax refund gets here and it can't come soon enough! I've already made arrangements where I'm going and I'm having a REAL hard time waiting! My husband threatened my son today saying he would like to bash his head with a shovel because my husband perceived my son was being disrespectful to him when my son said something wasn't my son's business. My husband brought a police officer to the house tonight trying to kick my son out. My son is 19. During the conversation with the officer (I was flustered) my son told the officer that I also was on the lease. Then I realized (duh) that's right, I am! So my husband couldn't kick my son out unless I agreed! He's getting his family's help because they have always believed whatever he says! They've never asked me my side of anything! When I've tried to talk to his mother about my husband's abuse, she told me "Well, M told me it was your son's fault". The other time I tried to let her know about my husband's abuse of us I sent her pamphlets from a domestic violence center. She never responded to me and in fact my husband told me that she says it's my fault that he went to jail for shoving and threatening me one time! Do you believe the DENIAL that this family is in? I thank God that I'm loving myself enough now to realize I don't deserve this bad treatment! So many incidents of abuse from him towards me and my son these last 12 years it's unbelievable that I stayed so long.

You know, I always felt so stupid for putting up with it, that's why I couldn't keep going to domestic violence shelters for counseling ( We moved a lot). I knew I needed to go, but I couldn't do it, I was too scared and I thought if he would just see.....

I did keep going to Al-Anon though, and I learned to love myself there because of the unconditional love from the other members. Thanks for being here for me......Laura Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Laura Anne again,

I forgot to say I'm sooooooooo angry that I'm lashing out at my husband, I'M being verbally abusive. Sometimes I'm able to disengage, but most of the time I can't. I think it's from allowing myself to accept his abuse for so long that I honestly can't stop myself from venting all over him!  At least you recognize it. Good for you! The check should be here within the next two weeks........God I hope it's here sooner than that........I don't know how much more I can take.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Sharon,

Good for you for taking your Self back! Thanks for your post! (I love to get answers and see my name...)

Some of the things you said were so familiar. The walking on eggshells thing and making nice, just to keep things smooth. But the most intriguing thing you said was that he "wanted you gone." How did you know that? I have so often felt that was what was going on behind my BF's negative communications, relationship-hostile decisions, and secretive trust-busting friendships with other women. Why can't partners just be honest? I asked if we shouldn't see other people, pointed out that his behavior made me feel that he didn't really want to be with me - I gave him so many comfortable honorable "outs" and he kept insisting that I was wrong, that he only wanted to be with me. And still, continued the disrespect and would pull away and disappear if relationship issues didn't go his way, always right when I would have liked more closeness and open communication.

Why would a guy stay with a woman he so clearly does not value, in a relationship he does not respect and acts like he wants out of, when given many opportunities to end it amicably? Yet I agree with you Sharon, my BF also was acting like he wanted me "gone." Weird!

But you'll be slick and svelte soon, and then you can laugh outrageously in his face as you say "No, I don't want to have coffee!"

Kathleen

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa, It worked out for Lynn and Dan and Steve and Asha as their partners took some responsibility for their actions. Is your ex doing this at all?

Would he agree to go to therapy now or to post here. I think that is the acid test.

dear Astrid,

That sure is one mean co worker but I think you are great at handling the situation.

Dear Sharon,

That psychologist is well gone out of your life, hair, brain. Sounds like you are taking your power now and it just goes to show that whatever job you have, you can be abusive. In fact (Dr Irene is of course excepted,) I would imagine that there is a lot of scope for an abuser in making a study of the mind. Playing games with other people's minds......There should be some kind of fit person test for therapist? psychologists.

dear everyone else, hugs. Nothing much to say from here and I better get writing that article! By midnight I kind of got o.k again and wrote yet another poem which I am going to carry round with me to remind me not to get tied up in the control issue again. The light bulb in my brain went on (as happened to Moominpappa's grandpa if you know the story) and I knew what was happening and what it was all about. Just letting a familiar pattern repeat itself. handled it really badly yesterday but today I am acting as if it doesn't bother me and this is working. The poem is on the creative board if anyone wants to look.

I just wondered, until the pain I didn't write so much and not poetry. My very artistic recovered co dependent couldn't paint for years and then as her life sorted she started painting and writing. She insists that creativity is only born out of pain. Are a lot of us in the catbox getting a sort of rush of creativity as we heal?

And what do you know, having been told that I would be grateful for the money to pay the phone bill but will not accept it as a 'generous gift" as it isn't, Jake brought me toast this morning (sorry Jake I am not fooled that toast was was part of the control (as you don't normally make me breakfast,) pattern. But that I would accept it as a contribution to a joint phone bill, there is a cheque on the piano.

I refused to ask for the money or let him know that I was worried he wouldn't pay up. Hey...............I think I am getting this.

In fact, I am starting to realise I need to be very careful not to play my own control games ........Everything usually overbalances once you decide to make changes and then balances up I guess....but the hole inside me seems to be filling up if that makes any sense to anyone....er did I say I didn't have much to say???

Hopefully my daughter and I will go and see the codependent parrots again today. Pity about the price as I think I may be preferring them to pussy cats and dogs as they can talk....except for Trubble of course!

Jay. (I think I know where Human Katkid gets his Tigger like qualities from some day.. I presume you have Winnie the Pooh even if you don't have Postman Pat in America.!)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Jay,

I haven't written any poetry, but I can tell you that my writing and working and thinking have been much more creative, like old times, since I had the gumption to insist on my space, and limit my contact with my fiancée! He has no idea that his silent treatment is the best possible thing for my work and my peace of mind!

Send us a poem!

Perdida

 B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Asha,

I think you are right about the way people can tackle things in a different way. I know this, but still, emotionally it hurts, because somehow I seem to want us to be the same. Not doing things the same way, or feeling the same way, leaves room for conflict and maybe, God forbid, not liking things about each other... :-) And that still scares me. But it's really good to try and get these things in the open. My therapists says: you have to unpack the parcel to know whether you will like the present. Not unpacking it seems safer, but you will not be able to use it then. Still, having a hard time doing it. Sometimes I feel i am getting more dependent instead of less. I am trying to practice the things I learned though, but still need to go back to the books ever so often, to remind me. Knowing how the make a good relationship is so easy when you are not trying to do it. Doing it is soooo much harder.

Today I have been talking with my therapist about how I feel when he gets closer: it scares me and I just want to run. But I also feel I want to deal with this, to try not expecting him to get bad again, or myself to fall to far back without being able to get to my feet again. I think that is about the same as for you with regard to Steve's behaviour. I can't do it without thinking. I still have to think everything through all the time..... Therapist says: just be happy you got your cake today and loosen up about whether it will be thee tomorrow. Hard thing for me. I need to know it will be there, or be sure it won't. So in order to CONTROL, I pull back, so I can be pretty sure there will be no cake.

How difficult can you make your own life....??? :-)

Then there is this thing about making semi-sexual remarks, like are there condoms in the survival medical kit for Africa. It makes me mad. I feel either he should say loud and clear that he wants to have other sexual contact, in which case I can get out, or he should (I know, no Shoulds allowed ) stop making these remarks. I do want to talk about this, but have no clue as to how to start. Any idea's???

Take care all of you. And Theressa, I wish lots of insight and wise thinking in making your decision. Jay, take care and Asha, thanks for responding.

Love to all

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

AJ

I am new here, some of the things you have said are remarkable in that they are exactly what my wife said to me, the touching (closeness), the concern if I will lapse into the same behaviors and be abusive. It causes her to withdraw. Whenever we have a disagreement I feel like she falls away a little, it's really tough because I can't be Mr. wonderful all the time. I no longer talk to her personally about things, because the issues are so emotionally charged. Sometimes I feel frustrated, because we are separated and I can't imagine that things will ever work out. I am in classes to try and learn to detect-control my behavior. And it is very true that different people react to the same words in different ways. My wife thinks everything I say is a criticism, partly because in the past they often were. But I love her, and want to change for her myself and my son. Maybe if I show her a consistently upbeat, happy person she will feel at ease with me, what do you think?

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear.....

Welcome, to this site, and I hope you will find the help and support here, we are all looking for. I do not think your wife will feel better when you ‘show' her a constantly happy person. At least I would not. I do want C. to be honest, to tell me what he feels, I need to tell him what I feel, even though I might fear his criticism. I think what you need to do, and tell her you are trying to do, is be honest and open, but without trying to hurt her. I feel at this stage, that sincerity is the most important thing, but very difficult. I always thought that I need to show C. only my bets behaviour, but, as you say, that is impossible, and you cannot expect that from anyone.

What we all must learn is to be oke either our own and others drawback, mistakes, moods without letting them make us insecure. It is oke to do something stupid sometimes, or to get mad or whatever. You have to learn to process the feeling and let her know what happens and so should she. I get very scared to, when C, is talking about how he feels, it is very easy to feel criticized or rejected. But I am learning to ask him, do you mean  that... or say, it feels like ... is hat what you want to say. And amazingly, most of the time he did not want to hurt, and did not mean what I read in his words. So we are learning that we each have our own responsibility in this: to speak up and to ask to clarify.

It is not easy to do, and to be honest, it scares the hell out of me, cause I do not trust him, yet. But I do want to learn this, and I think that is important. You have to be as unabusive as possible, constantly asking yourself what you say and do, but she has to ask you for clarification if she feels hurt, and tell you she does so. Cause in the long run, it really won't help either of you, if you show her a happy person, while you are not. You will be deceiving her as well as yourself. I know, I played the game.

Take care and good luck. Try to get you wife to log in and post. It helps. Thanks AJ.

Love, AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Hi All,

Well we spent 7 hours speaking. At first I was defensive and YES I put all the blame on his side of the street YIKEESS!!!! Then I sat for a few minutes alone. I realised I had put up a brick wall of protection. BUT then as if God sent me the confidence I spoke up like I never did ever, ever before. I told him how I felt when he humiliated me. He told me that he just wanted to help but I SAID "I only want you to help when I ask, OKAY!!" He said "Okay, but what if I see you doing something like putting the oil in the wrong part of the car etc." I said "Emergencies ARE one thing, Constant helping that isn't wanted is not helping!!

YIPPEEE AJ, you taught me this!!!! 

At first he said "SO you think I am a control freak?" I said "Strong words but yes you try to control everything and well it is not your job to be my father, i need to be able to make mistakes so I can learn." He said "Okay, tell me if I am interfering".

I said "I am guilty of this to, but am trying to stop." He said "Theressa will you hold your hands up and say I don't need no help, to help me." I said "YES I will".

Then I went for the went deeper and told him some of the things which drive me mad, and told him that I realise I people pleased even when he didn't want me to.

THEN I went for the jugular!!! YES the ANGER he had displayed in our relationship. THIS was the test, to see if he would deny or admit and remain calm and not be defensive but open to hearing me.

HE PASSED!!! I saw the hurt on his face when I told him that I am being honest for 8 years I was scared of you, but I am not anymore, cuz now I know I don't need to stay and put up with this, now I HAVE A CHOICE!!! He said "I feel like a convicted guy who beats up his wife everyday am I really in this league?" I said "I am being honest, I was scared, you didn't need to hit me you told me that I should never make you angry cuz an angry type can't be responsible for their actions. I SAID this alone kept me toeing the line, people pleasing and being scared.

He said "I am feeling hurt, shocked, did I really scare this much, why didn't you ever tell me before." I said "I was always to fearful of the consequences, NOW though what do I have to lose? Only the denial.

Then we spoke about taking things slowly. He told me he thought I was gone for ever, he'd messed up. We spoke about how we got into such a rut and how things escalated. AND how it all started off because I left home so unsure of what to do, and he tried to be a surrogate father to me but now I needed a partner.

He said "I realised this some time ago but didn't know how to switch gears, it was only when you left and showed us all you could depend on yourself, that I realised, You didn't need me in that way anymore."

I told him about the two guys I'd been out with. He told me about the girl he'd tried to date, who keeps ringing him, but he said IN the end he loved me and was so sorry that things had gotten so bad. He said "It took you to leave and for me to lose everything for me to be honest. I just didn't think you'd go and so the rut continued. We just got deeper.

Well we are now together again, but no one Knows. I am afraid what everyone will say!! I painted a black picture of him these past six months. Everyone saw how hurt I was.

THEN there is my THERAPIST he told me "YOU can't, you mustn't go back, you will get SICK again". Yikeess!!! What is he going to say!!!

Thanks for your support Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

I just looked at the message yak board and my server is forbidden to access it. I have no idea why. Does anyone as I am extremely upset about this as you can imagine. Jay Probably just a server error. Try again later.

 B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Actually, I have just found that access is forbidden to all servers so maybe it isn't just me!!!!!jay. (tried form a friends house).   hehehe

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Catbox,

Thanks to B. for the reply. This is Stuck. Let's see. I have been in counseling for 6 months. He refuses to go since this is MY problem. I have read two of Patricia Evans' books and many more books on anger, co-dependency, manipulation, assertiveness, etc. I read this web-site constantly. I guess I have enough information, but what it brings me to makes me sad. So I have a choice. I can live as we are and either pretend nothing is wrong as he does or I can carefully point out every time he oversteps one of my boundaries, knowing full well he will claim absolutely no responsibility for our problems. This does not sound like a good place for anyone to be. Oh Yeah, I am already on anti-depressants. Yet the only alternative I see is for me to be the initiator of a messy divorce which he will say is all my fault since we have not had any problems. As he has told me," I am not the kind of guy you divorce." Then I know that our 4 children will suffer. They will have less resources and he will tell them that it was all mom's idea. It seems like some of you here were able to choose a path and make peace with yourselves. How can I do this?? I know I must sound pathetic and spineless but this is a huge agonizing decision that will affect many lives. Any advice would be appreciated.

Really Stuck

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Kathleen, Jay, Perdida and everyone "hugs", I know what you mean about seeing your name on a post from someone else. Its a very nice feeling knowing that we can write out our feelings and its safe, and others are reading your thoughts and they too can relate. This is wonderful stuff!!!!

Yes, losing 20 lbs. by May is my goal. I will look terrific! I will walk into our local grocery store, bank or video store, and "strut my new bod." I have a feeling he will call me by then after his next new woman becomes abused and he starts playing the mind games and "tug-a-war" asking me to go to coffee. I'll say, "mmmm, let me look at my calendar. Let's see.......we can go for coffee maybe the weekend after next. Nope, it'll have to be next month. I'm completely booked. Sorry!" You see, his abuse towards me began within the first month we were together. He told me I was too fat, and then he used his finger and outlined a wrinkle that was on my face. Then he made mention of my gray hairs. This was our first month together. Then his ex girlfriend kept calling (he's 52, she's 26) and he was comparing the two of us (I'm 45). Anyway, the next day, I broke up with him. The red flags were there, only after 1 month! However, he started crying, blah blah blah, so I took him back. My weight continued to be a problem throughout the entire relationship, though I'm not that much overweight AT ALL!! In fact, everything about me was being picked on by him. So......guess what, I know I'm worth it. Other men want me. My goals will be achieved as long as I stay "happily single" by which I mean, I may date around, but not sleep around. AND STAY IN THERAPY. Most important. As therapy will be essential for my success.

Have not heard from him in over 2 weeks. Got a phone hang up at work on Monday. Was it him?? I kinda think so.

I'm trying to stay in recovery and not backslide and call him. I went to a woman's group meeting on Monday, and I'm gonna try and plan to go to more after work. I'm taking this on like I'm in "AA".

Thanks for all of your feedback!!

Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Kathleen, Jay, Perdida and all "hugs" Sharon here. Yes, its gonna be that day at the supermarket I'm gonna be 20 lbs. lighter "struttin' my stuff" and Dr. Psycho will be in the grocery line or something. He'll do a "double take" and my, oh my. Oh well! His loss! He is a confirmed abuser and I know, hopefully, I will be centered again and won't get hooked back in! Coffee? he'll say? And I'll say - "I'll have to get back to you on that - I don't have my calendar with me." Hopefully, I'll be in a relationship with a man who is healthy too.

Yes, Kathleen, you asked me about him wanting me "gone". His approaches were the "I need my space" to "I love you in my own way" to "my feelings have changed" to "I want all sorts of women" to "maybe you'll meet someone else who will marry you" to "if you are waiting for me to give you a commitment, you are with the wrong man." I can go on and on about this. Then, towards the end, he broke up with me 1 week before Christmas because he's never done a holiday with the same woman, 2 holidays in a row. No reason. Just didn't want to spend Christmas with me again because it will send me the wrong message. So....I took the hint.....I think there is someone else he'd rather be with because "she is new." He was a sex guzzler; got bored easily, and picked fights with me to create "passion".

I'll be OK. No contact for almost 3 weeks. I know what he thinks.....he thinks I will be contacting him shortly with "pleadings". Jokes on him. I'm no longer the "predictable one". I'm no longer running to him. I'm through. I'm on a diet! A food diet and a man diet! In therapy 2-3 nights a week like going to "AA" or something. Co-dependent groups, abused support groups for women and constant reading and digesting. Having fun with girlfriends and getting to know me again. This will all be essential for my success. Thanks for cheering me on!

Luv, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

I could really use someone who is on my level here, suffering as a parent,( abused physically, emotionally and mentally as a child by parents) and abused later in life the same way by men including sexual abuse, and rape. I am married now and am 30 years old, also with two beautiful daughters. The problems I have are great and lengthy. I feel these are rooted deep into my soul and cannot escape it's wrath. To make a long story short, The brunt of the problem is within myself and towards my oldest daughter from a previous abusive relationship, I cannot love her the way that I feel I should, and I don't know why (she is 6). I also constantly have problems feeling like I am needed, and problems feeling loved. I do not feel loved, I feel as if I will always be unimportant, and at 30 years old it is very disturbing to me. Even though I married a wonderful man, full of life, and of upstanding character (no abuse whatsoever), it is as if nothing is enough, I feel like I will never be happy, and absolutely nothing will ever be enough, and that my husband and my children deserve someone so much better. Could someone enlighten me as to why I feel the way I do? Even after having everything a woman could ever want...what is wrong with me?  The happiness is inside you. You are moving in the right direction.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Hmm well that was a lesson in not jumping to conclusions and taking the blame as you can't get into the Yak boards even if you are not me.....It dawned on me I should go to a friend's house and try.

typical codependent behaviour. AAARGH. I think I need to go and live with the parrots. Will need to live with the parrots if my daughter doesn't do a good job trimming my hair. (She is training to be a hairdresser/beauty therapist now.)

And HumanKatkid has been invited by four girls to a cocktail party at 13 and says he must have an entire outfit by Saturday: but he is only going to give one box of chocolates to all four girls and stay with his best friend as his parents are (marginally) less embarrassing. (Actually I think he said that to wind me up.)

Cocktails????????????!!!!

Four girls..........New clothes??????

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Actually Theressa, I have always felt uneasy about your Therapist. Will post more later..jay

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

S1

Dear Stuck and Really Stuck,

Could we be seeing the same guy??!! (just kidding - but MAN!)

Stuck, my BF didn't think there was anything wrong with the relationship. He made me think it was my craziness. I bought it all, hook line and sinker - at least for awhile. I also went on antidepressants. My BF told me at one point when things were really bad to "get help." It was abusive, but I went more or less to spite him and to find out why I put up with it. I didn't find the right therapist, unfortunately, and the antidepressants didn't help too much - made me fat and they also made me not care about anything at all including the abuse, my work and how fat I was getting, so for me they weren't all that successful.

The thing that made me UN-depressed was to break up with the guy! Weight gone off chest! I got off antidepressants! Changed therapists, went to group! found this site!

That is really icky how you are being blackmailed with your kids. This is a complication that I haven't had. My feeling, though, is that your kids will suffer if you don't take care of YOU first. They have to be suffering already. Everyone in the house must know there is something not right (except of course, your husband, who likes things the way they are). Your husband will have to admit there is something wrong if you leave him, and that is why he is laying this trip on you of your being the one to "wreck" the family if you leave. Well, HE is wrecking it by not changing his behavior! And he is not going to change, ever, so you have to do what is right for you and your Self.

But the blackmail with the kids is way below the belt and just one more way to hurt and control you. Let it make you make you MAD! For your sake and also for the sake of your kids!

Do you want your kids to turn out to be abusers just like their dad, learning from what he has taught them by treating you the way he does?

Good luck, keep writing,

Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

jay here and I still have long hair. Kitt did a good job and then wanted to stay to improve it in the morning....Hey some stuff does heal. I found out after we had started just how much hair she hadn't cut so I just had to pray it would be o.k! Seems like we get closer every day again. and like each other again.

Theressa what I wanted to say about your therapist is sometimes when you have posted about him I have felt like he was pushing his own values on you. Not leaving you room to make your own mind up.

I think that your ex is really trying hard and if it was me I would be delighted he can accept responsibility for his actions at least to some degree. I stil think though he should agre to therapy or if he can't do that to post here....even just to email Dr Irene...anything to show he really is willing to look at the issues and change.

however black you painted him I think people do realise this happens when someone gets hurt and probably they don't think as much about this as you. In the end, the only person you have to answer to is you.

But if it was me I would take it slowly and want to be very sure.

But I really hope it is going to work out and I think if it was me, personally I would give him a chance. jay

jay

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa,

This sounds great!!! I know, no one KNOWS, but even so,  he seems sincere, he seems to be taking responsibility, he seems to be genuinely wanting to be a better partner. It will not change overnight, as you will know from reading all the post, but if he wants, and you can stay strong, who knows. I feel happy for you and wish you the best happy ending you can think of.

You say you spoke up, cause you have nothing to loose anymore expect denial. That's true, and you are right to speak up. One word of caution, from my own experience, when things are improving, you might feel you got something to loose again, and it will be much harder to speak up and not strat people pleasing again. So, keep with us for a little longer, keep going to therapy (maybe find another therapist, cause I think Jay has a point there) and try not to forget what you really want from a relation. Take care not to sell out again, out of fear of having to go through it all again. For me that was and is the hardest part of it all........

Be happy and wary and take care of YOU.

Lost of love, AJ

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

Dear AJ

<<<I feel either he should say loud and clear that he wants to have other sexual contact.... I do want to talk about this, but have no clue as to how to start. Any idea's???>>>

AJ, I think you answered your own question when you responded to ....

You said:

<<<I am learning to ask him, do you mean  that... or say, it feels like ... is hat what you want to say. And amazingly, most of the time he did not want to hurt, and did not mean what I read in his words. So we are learning that we each have our own responsibility in this: to speak up and to ask to clarify.>>>

Funny how we seem to know the answers, but we still have to ask the questions. (me too) :)

 

Dear Theressa

One thing that concerned me in your post was when you said "Well we are now together again". Initially I think it's easier if you don't have any expectations about "together" or "not together" and just see how things transpire.

I think your X is where he's at now because you detached, and I think you will have to continue to detach in many many ways as different circumstances arise. You proved to your X that you weren't dependent on him, but it's very easy to go back to the old "dance". You will still have to have very strong boundaries and be willing to distance when things feel yukky. You will also have to decide what feels right for you in your gut and not be swayed or bothered by what others think. Please don't think things will be perfect now - you'll likely be put through many many more tests and will have to stand strong. Also, if you are anything like me, you will have to deal with your own anger at the past, and not let that affect how you view the present. First *I* had to accept my anger, then Steve had to accept it for things to progress between us (and funny but once he accepted it I stopped feeling angry!). Good luck!!

love Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

Dear Asha,

Thank you so much for replying to me, it means a lot since you are and have been going through this process. I hear you when you say No expectations. I told my partner that we can only take things slowly. Old habits die hard!!

Asha I feel scared and very strange. I feel on unfamiliar territory. Not sure what to do and how far to get involved. I don't want a co-dependent relationship but want to form a interdependent relationship eventually. What I find hard is how is my partner going to change, how did STEVE change?

Did he change cuz you wouldn't put up with his poor behaviour cuz you set boundaries? If our partners behaved abusively because it is about themselves how they feel inside, how do they change this?

Will you ask STEVE did he ever criticize or try to help you too much because he thought it was helpful and was the way he was taught?

Or Was it because he felt unsafe if things weren't done his way?

Asha, how did you get back and be yourself, and not try just to please Steve? I am scared that I will start to act the way he would expect so for instance not relaxing and just being me.

Asha how did you learn to be confident and not worry about Steve Approving or not?

I am so scared!! How can I just be myself, without feeling he is disapproving?

Thanks I hope you will support me all of you here!! And Yes I will be here for quite some time. Asha this might be yours and Steve's chance to teach someone what you know. This cements your learning.

My partner won't be able to join us since we don't have a Computer at home, (Mines at work).

I will keep you all posted.

Take care Theressa

 

 

I think your X is where he's at now because you detached, and I think you will have to continue to detach in many many ways as different circumstances arise. You proved to your X that you weren't dependent on him, but it's very easy to go back to the old "dance". You will still have to have very strong boundaries and be willing to distance when things feel yukky. You will also have to decide what feels right for you in your gut and not be swayed or bothered by what others think. Please don't think things will be perfect now - you'll likely be put through many many more tests and will have to stand strong. Also, if you are anything like me, you will have to deal with your own anger at the past, and not let that affect how you view the present. First *I* had to accept my anger, then Steve had to accept it for things to progress between us (and funny but once he accepted it I stopped feeling angry!). Good luck!!

love Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

Dear Asha,

Thank you so much for replying to me, it means a lot since you are and have been going through this process. I hear you when you say No expectations. I told my partner that we can only take things slowly. Old habits die hard!!

Asha I feel scared and very strange. I feel on unfamiliar territory. Not sure what to do and how far to get involved. I don't want a co-dependent relationship but want to form a interdependent relationship eventually. What I find hard is how is my partner going to change, how did STEVE change?

Did he change cuz you wouldn't put up with his poor behaviour cuz you set boundaries? If our partners behaved abusively because it is about themselves how they feel inside, how do they change this?

Will you ask STEVE did he ever criticize or try to help you too much because he thought it was helpful and was the way he was taught?

Or Was it because he felt unsafe if things weren't done his way?

Asha, how did you get back and be yourself, and not try just to please Steve? I am scared that I will start to act the way he would expect so for instance not relaxing and just being me.

Asha how did you learn to be confident and not worry about Steve Approving or not?

I am so scared!! How can I just be myself, without feeling he is disapproving?

Thanks I hope you will support me all of you here!! And Yes I will be here for quite some time. Asha this might be yours and Steve's chance to teach someone what you know. This cements your learning.

My partner won't be able to join us since we don't have a Computer at home, (Mines at work).

I will keep you all posted.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

Good morning!

I have been reading all the posts and always get a lot from them.

I wanted to share some insights I got into my own behavior in my EMDR therapy last night.

It had been 4 months since my last EMDR session. It was so interesting and so helpful. I know I couldn't get through to this stuff in regular therapy. It really helps me hear that inner understanding and sift through all the layers quickly.

A couple months ago I had snapped at my new bf and I knew there was some unresolved garbage I needed to work through. I get snappy when I feel my boundaries are being invaded, I'm not being heard or I feel at risk for being hurt. When I get snappy I get tense in my jaw and then get a rush of tension throughout my body that blurts out of my mouth.

Last summer in therapy, I visited some very painful situations in my past. I would cry and worked through the emotions and negative messages I had about myself because of those events. This time it was different. I would go back to those same events, but I didn't feel all emotional. Instead I got the tension in my jaw and the rush of tension exploding through my body. I would visualize myself defending myself in those past abusive situations.

I realized that it wasn't really anger that was causing me to be snappy now, but I am kicking into a fighting pattern that I feel allows me to protect myself and stay safe from being abused. I also discovered, much to my disappointment, that I felt deep inside that men will hurt me. It's understandable based on my experiences, but not a thought I want to have because it keeps me on edge even in this new relationship.

I am scheduled to go again next week. It feels so good to be working through this stuff and healing. I am very grateful!

SK

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

EDMR someone suggested it to me a while ago but I am not too sure what it is. Is this the eye movements therapy? I think I get your drift SK and I am glad you are healing.

Dear person with two beautiful daughters. I think I understand about how you feel about your daughter. We have this idea we are supposed to like our kids all the time and sometimes we don't and at least you are honest enough to admit it. That is different from love. If you didn't have love for her you wouldn't be worried there is a problem. I think you have an image of how a mum should be and you are constantly putting yourself down as you can't live up to the image,

Sticking my neck out I wonder what between you and your daughter made you post. Possibly you feel you haven't treated her right and you could do with some help. Attending a parenting programme, if you can would help as you would realise you are not the only person in the same boat and learn skills for helping you and your daughter interact better.

 

You don't like you.

The message you got as a child was you weren't likeable and there is a recorder playing in your head that same message over and over again.

I don't know if it will help. Sometimes I make 'faith confessions' I am a good mother. I am likeable...etc out loud when nobody else can hear. They get made when that tape recorder plays in my own head. I am liked .. I am loved. If there is nothing likeable about you why do you think your family stay? Could it be they see qualities in you you don't see in yourself? Liking you is probably the best rout e to getting to like your daughter so it is time to start.

Sounds like you are both liked and loved from what you share. "No abuse whatsoever" Stepping out of line ..just ignore me if I am wrong...and you are here...Is that because you feel you are the abusive one, in which case this is a good place to be

To help everyone, work on loving you.

Meanwhile here I am having a definitely bad day but I don't want to give power to it by sharing it as I am feeling on top despite an inner emotional roller coaster.

The new doctor is great as well as being a homeopath she doesn't dismiss things and she is sending for hormonal blood tests.

I really recommend Sepia. You can just suck the tablet and she says it doesn't matter how many and it does help. (It would matter to take over 200g strength like that). The main thing is just don't drink coffee. (It negates the effect and you can combine it with St John's Wort. I have just finished the first box. I am not sure if it is making a difference or not.

Jay 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

Dr Irene,

I understand now why I felt so yukky with the new guy I met, It was because I knew deep down inside me that he was unavailable, but I ignored it. I knew if a guy really wanted to be attached he'd have made more of an effort.

You may know now that I have begun a slow process of seeing my X again, I had a 7 hour heart to heart with him on Tuesday nite, I was truly honest with him, I told him how he scared me. He looked shocked!! But he wasn't defensive, I told him he wanted me to be honest so I was being. I told him about him humiliating me over the years, he was shocked. But he wasn't defensive. I spoke about him being controlling.

He said "He has never been so devastated as when I moved out, he never thought I would, and was so shocked I coped without him, and met another guy. He said he never realised how hostile things had gotten"

I need to work on myself, I would like to ask you, (OR anyone else Asha, AJ, B, etc) I am not very punctual, and I have also became very laid back, I just don't clean much, only when I really need to, cuz no more cups. I just don't have a lot of time, in the past I used to clean lots and felt resentful.

I spoke to my X about this, I told him it was very hurtful when he would tell me I didn't contribute, he said "It was more ammunition, we had been out to kill each other hadn't we".

Though he said "Theressa we all need to have self respect and that includes the environment we live in. Further when you are always late for everything it is disrespectful to yourself and others".

Is it self respect to clean up the environment you live in? Is it respectful to thy self and others to be punctual?

Asha how often do you see Steve?

I am keeping my own home though, and it will be a very long time before i'd ever move in a house again with my X.

Well it is strange for me I just don't know how to behave, I just don't want to be too keen, but still I guess I can't be too distant.

Anyway Still know one knows only you lot here, that I am seeing my X again. God only knows how everyone will react.

I am confused cuz before I was told it was dependency and not love. (I feel numb right now) Well I suppose love is when you want to be with another cuz you get something good out of it AM I RIGHT?

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

What is meant by lack of center?

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

I meant also to say HI to everyone, AJ , Asha and Steve, Perdita and everyone else. Perdita I will post a poem for you when I next get inspired. Sharon I think you have the right approach to that psychologist guy....

The visualization seems a good idea.

Talking of supermarkets I better get some tea for us!

Except...here you are Perdita except I was thinking more of Sharon in the supermarket healed....Don't know if it works.....

In the inner

part of me

I saw

A new creation

Of an old situation

From a new foundation

In the well within

Had filled the hole

Deep inside

And whoever you are

Whatever you did

And whatever you do

There is power in me

To take control

Of emotional holds

And be free.

Jay

  Jay, 2001   ;)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

Dear Jay,

Great Poem!!!!! I made a copy of it. Very visual. Thanks!

Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001

S1

Hi Jay and everyone,

That is a cool poem, Jay! Thanks!

I still haven't heard from my ex since I said continuing the relationship was contingent on his getting therapy on his own. He just dropped out of sight. No "I found a therapist" nor "Forget it, I don't need therapy" nor "I looked but there's no therapist within 50 miles." Nothing. I guess I give him until Monday and then I decide that it's over for lack of a partner, and send something written to that effect. This guy holds the world's record for withholding.

In the meantime, I have been busy flirting!

Love, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa

It's really a process - Steve and I are both still changing. The main difference is that first of all, I know I can trust myself to have boundaries, and secondly I now let his yukky stuff be his stuff not mine. Right now we're going thru a big case of the yukkies with a lot of financial stresses and talk of more court action by his ex. However I don't take his reactions personally - I know my own negative reactions relate directly to the stresses I'm going thru and I'm pretty sure that's what's happening with him too. Also sometimes we just see too much of each other I think and get on each other's nerves. :)

People never stop having occasional bad days, bad moods and even bad phases, but I no longer walk on eggshells. I know that even though Steve acts out on occasion (as do I) my world won't go crashing down.

I also (as suggested by Dr I) began taking "risks" i.e. doing things that I felt strongly about that might "make" him mad, and just let him have his reactions. The reactions have changed over time.

As well, I spent some time defining what I really wanted in a relationship, shared those things with him and just let him decide if that was what he wanted too.

I still sometimes react to the Steve of the "past" which is hard not to do (especially if we're both feeling grumpy) but in reality when I do that I'm just making it harder for him to move forward.

It's very easy to confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness and it's a fine line between self-protection and acting out angrily. I'm not the Buddha yet, but I'm working on it (or at minimum aware when I'm not dealing with things very well).  Excellent; all of it.

You said: <<<Did he change cuz you wouldn't put up with his poor behaviour cuz you set boundaries?>>>

Probably, but only he can say because in the end it was his choice.

<<< If our partners behaved abusively because it is about themselves how they feel inside, how do they change this? >>>

Theressa *please* don't worry about this - it's up to him to decide to work on this stuff. This is one thing I really learned about "helping" your spouse in this way - it doesn't help at all!!

You can't be his counselor and he wouldn't want you to be even if you could. You can offer him resources - things to read, places like Dr. I's site, but *ONLY* if he is open to it. *DON'T* push it on him, and don't be disappointed if he chooses to do nothing. It's his life - let him make his choices. Like quitting smoking or any other bad habit, it has to come from within. And remember, it's also *your* choice whether to be with him if he *doesn't* choose to look too deeply at himself.

Just keep working on *you* as you have been doing. Take risks, don't over "help", deal with your anger at him (because it's bound to come up), and think about the things in your own life you want to accomplish - like reaching out to a new circle of friends maybe and learning some of the "fix it" stuff. Live the life now that you would want to live with the ideal partner. Don't restrict yourself unnecessarily to "accommodate" him.

<<<Will you ask STEVE did he ever criticize or try to help you too much because he thought it was helpful and was the way he was taught?>>>

I think he really thought he was helping. Just as you and I have done when we give advice to others or share information. It's just when we aren't sensitive to whether the other person wants/doesn't want the help, that the problem occurs.

<<<Or Was it because he felt unsafe if things weren't done his way?>>>

I don't know, but think about how you feel when you have offered help or information to someone and they reacted negatively. What did you feel? I think that I over help in the areas where I feel most out of control, or not listened to. Sometimes it also can just be a bad habit or a pattern that needs to be changed.

<<<Asha, how did you get back and be yourself, and not try just to please Steve? I am scared that I will start to act the way he would expect so for instance not relaxing and just being me. >>>

I try to act out of love and not out of fear. You have to learn to stop fearing his reactions and back off when you don't like how things are going - a little distance helps if you feel out of balance. Take things slowly. Accept his choices either to change or not change.

Theressa as long as you don't get your hopes all out of whack, you have nothing to lose - just don't expect anything and see how it goes. You've already been alone and like he said to you - you coped, you did fine! Be willing to walk away, temporarily, (or permanently) if things don't feel right.

<<<Asha how did you learn to be confident and not worry about Steve Approving or not?>>>

hahaha I don't think I'm *that* confident - lately I've had all sorts of fears about how security really is such a facade - financial security can be taken away, people close to me will die someday, at any moment I could be robbed, beaten up, home set on fire - even the earthquake in India got me going about my physical safety! I'm not there yet - I still need to change my thinking patterns which often revert to fear-based negative thinking. However, I think I've stopped taking part in the frenzy of bouncing off Steve's every mood. I don't go spiraling downward if he has a bad day.

Also it helps that he doesn't "freeze" or treat me like a monster when I'm in a (temporary) bad mood (but you can't control your partner's reactions so don't expect him to "change" in any particular way - he'll do it his way on his own time, if he does it at all).

Having said this we can both still be awful to each other sometimes. I think we just take out a lot of our stresses on each other. Sometimes when we're both feeling stressed it's good to have some physical space.

<<How can I just be myself, without feeling he is disapproving?>>>

How can you *not* be yourself, just because someone else doesn't like it? Let him disapprove and when he does - take your space, detach.. distance. No-one can approve of you *all* the time anyway.

<<<Asha how often do you see Steve?>>>

Every day pretty much because we work together. I've realized that we both need our space though - time alone and time with others.

I'm taking note on where I'm over responsible for Steve - filling in for his "weak areas". Not only do I end up resenting doing it, but I think he ends up depending on me and resenting me for it too! I'm working on being less and less "responsible" (by working on not feeling guilty about not reminding him of things, for example) but I do still get angry with him when he doesn't do something that I know he would have if I'd made it a priority to remind him. I have to realize that it's not "my fault" and it's his life to structure it as he chooses. I think this process will take some time. It's also tougher if the things he doesn't carry out (that I feel "responsible" for) affect me in some way. I don't want him to be dependent on me but if the outcome affects me, I'm not quite sure where to draw the line. In this way, maybe I relate to your H, Theressa, about the lateness or neatness - if it actually does affect his schedule or living space.

I think the next step for me besides the above issue, is defining roles within the relationship - i.e. specific tasks and who is responsible for what, and how to deal with issues that we just don't agree on. For example Steve doesn't like me having pets in my office. He doesn't like the possibility of pet hair in the equipment (and he looks after equipment maintenance). I spend most of my time in my office and I kind of like it when the cat sits on the pillow next to me or when the dog comes in to say hello, and I personally don't think the risk of equipment damage is that high. Even without a "power struggle" we see this really differently. Moving the equipment isn't an option because I don't have a big space to work in. I suppose I could find ways of covering the equipment or something like that. All I know is that if I "kept the pets out" it would be completely for Steve because I don't view it the same way. I hesitate to come to any quick conclusion about just what to do because I need to feel okay about my decision. I suppose I could be "in charge" of the equipment maintenance in my office, but some of the maintenance (which has to happen, pets or no pets) is beyond my capability. I'm going off on a tangent now but those are the types of things I'm currently dealing with.

Oh Theressa - also stay tapped into how *you* feel deep within - Confused? That's okay, you don't have to be sure about anything right now. Pressured? Look at your reactions and whether you are reacting to pressure or doing what feels right. I would take short selective steps and warn your H that you'll need space from time to time.

take care and hi everyone else.

Asha

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

S1

Hi Asha, Hi Everyone,

 

Asha, thanks your post to me is really helpful.

Last night we spoke again for 8 hours. My partner said he couldn't believe he treated me so badly, he said BUT you never argued or told me to shut my mouth. I told him I was scared of him so that is why. HE said "I can't believe things got so bad, I love you so much but I treated you worse than an enemy, how can you forgive me."

I shared lots of things from my therapy sessions, my partner was relieved to find out some of my insecurities started in my childhood.

He shared with me the fact that he felt unsure of me in the affection area. TRUBBLE is I never really had any affection at home in my family home. I never saw mum or dad kiss or cuddle. In fact neither of us have ever seen our parents behave like intimate couples. He said You never made me feel invited to approach you outside of the bedroom. I said "I know I have a problem with affection, I am never sure when its appropriate to show it. I feel unease, going to smother someone when they've just come in from work. HE SAID You think way too much, take your feelings and using actions show them to me.

We sat together and he held me like he never held me before. I felt unease but I shared these feelings with him. He said "I know, I know you are afraid, but so am I, I know I never treated you right, I hate myself for this, and it is sad it took such a big WAKE UP CALL TO WAKE ME UP!! Do you know it dug deep when my own family were telling me I deserved it when you left. They were honest.

I said "HUH, I thought they always helped you stay in denial, your mum especially".

He said "NO, she took me a side and told me many times your gonna lose her if you don't start treating her right." He said But I was in a rut and didn't know how to stop behaving in these bad habits. He said "I was so angry at you, because you seemed to be so distant, from me, as if I wasn't loveable. The anger was eating away at me, so I'd pick on little things and make them appear big so I could nit pick and release the anger I felt."

I said "I was distant cuz firstly I didn't know how else to be, and secondly the more you tried to help me and then be harsh and criticise me the more I hated you, the more I showed my resentment and distanced.

We spoke about us both feeling like we were in a war and needed to survive whatever, this is similar to what Robert Burney from Dances with the wound souls said "That we bring with us from our childhoods destructive coping tools. which are about survival but not development."

My partner said "Theressa do you really want us to try, cuz you seem so detached". I said "I need time to trust again, but it feels okay doing this, I am just cautious."

He said "Okay I am glad you shared this with me."

SO I am going to take it one step at a time.

Thanks a million Asha Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa,

"What is meant by lack of centre"

I think it is what people say when they think you are not grounded. When there is a hole where self esteem and the ability to be sure of yourself exists and a lack of calmness about your interaction with the outside world as you are insecure and unsure. It think. At least that is how I took the phrase and applied it.

All I can explain it by is there seems to be a growing awareness of a calmer more sure place within me. Sureness of what my boundaries are and should be. I protect my centre with my boundaries.

If I am wrong perhaps Dr Irene could help out. Jay No need.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

S1

Dear Jay, Perdida, Kathleen, Theresa and everyone: Sharon here. HELP! I am back sliding here! I want to call him - though I haven't for 18 days! The weekend is here, and I'm already starting to have that "miss him" feelings. We did everything together on the weekends.

He is bad for me. I know that. He is and was so abusive. I can't possibly still love him! Well? I guess there is something here or I wouldn't be feeling like this. He was definitely a bad man. Today, every time I had those warm memory thoughts about him, I'd replace those warm thoughts with TONS of bad ones. Its the only way I'm coping right now is to remember all of the bad.

He has not made any contact with me other than chase me in the neighborhood with his car last Saturday night. I filed a police report Monday morning. We live in the same neighborhood; he lives on a busy street and I live on an adjacent street about 1/4 mile from him. I went down his street to go to the store and he was in his car and he chased me in his to see if it was me. It was wierd. Very agressive. Monday morning I also got a phone hang up at work. I think it was him. He knew I'd take it to the police.

I'm meeting somebody new for coffee tonight as he answered my personal ad. I know I'm not ready for a new relationship; but if he's healthy enough, who knows? My New Year's goal was to date around (not sleep around). So, you never know. Maybe this new coffee date guy is healthy.

Wish me strength for this weekend cuz I think I'm gonna need it! I realize calling him with the "let's talk" is not healthy. He'll end up "chewing me up and spitting me out!" I know his routine! He's not nice!

Hugs, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

S1

dear Sharon, If you know he will chew you up and spit you out why are you even thinking of going there..? AFTER he chased you in a car so aggressively that you called the police? Let's have some perspective here. You need to ring him like you need a hole in the head. Please, please don't. Post away here, meet that other guy (in a safe place just in case) Go out with friends, eat chocolate, disconnect the phone and give it to a friend....Anything but anything but go backwards. Please, for you.

Love yourself enough not to even think of going back to his abuse.

Hugs, Jay

Do you want to end up married to the guy and posting here forever!

Psychologist or not, he is NUTS.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

S1

Dear Jay:

A big big very big thank you for coming to my rescue. I was hoping that someone would read between my lines here and see how stupid and desperate I sounded.

I was just leaving work because its 5pm and I was hoping for some help. Thank you for bringing me back to reality!!!!!!!!

Because you are absolutely positively right. I get weak though. But I do know what is right for me.

Hopefully, this new guy that I'm meeting for coffee at 7 tonight turns out half way decent. I'll post on Monday!

Hugs and thanks!!! Sharon

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