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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

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

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

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Comments for Catbox 23

Comments for Catbox 23

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© 1998-2001. 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, February 18, 2001

S1

Hello everyone,

I don't have much to write but I just wanted to let you all know that I find your postings so incredibly amazing!! Like, you Jay.........you are constantly discovering new stuff about yourself. You've got so much learning going on. And I can really relate to the angry outbursts many people have had (you know the ones where you feel like you have absolutely no control over what is coming out of your mouth). I used to think I had to share everything with my husband. Now I realise that sometimes I need to "sit" with my feelings for a while (even if it means having a cry alone). Otherwise, I could blow up at hubby and then I am in a totally new ball game.

Didn't end up getting the Valentine's day card.....still sitting on dresser. But you know what I keep remembering. Dr. Irene's adage about look at the actions, not just the words. Well, hubby's actions have been loving, and caring lately so I can let a card slip! In the past I would've gone and on and on about it and been a right pain in the ass and then really played the victim.

Anyway, I'm still amazed at everyone's strength. Cyber hugs to you all.

Bec

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

S1

I feel like I am going crazy. I feel like I am the abuser instead of the victim. I have so much resentment, anger and guilt. I feel like all the problems in the relationship are my fault. My family says I haven't been the same since I've been in the relationship. What can I do?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

S1

Hi all.

great to see you posting Bec. Cyber hugs to you too.

Dear victim who has started to be the abuse. I used to think it was all my fault too. Actually it takes two people to make a relationship and I think if we are honest with ourselves all of us, just because we are human fail and become abusive at times.

A while ago Dr Irene said on one of my posts that victim anger is BIG. Dealing with that anger isn't easy and I think some of us do get abusive while we deal with that anger. It took me a while to lose mine. I think it was something I even wanted to hold onto for a while. The trouble is that that then sets us up to feel utterly awful and it gives power to the abuser who can then point the finger at us.

One day I hope Jake and I will laugh at the fact we both sent solicitor's letters telling each other we would take further action if the other got violent! Not nice, not good. But at least we are now both very careful....We both set boundaries and that was good for both of us. Neither of us is violent by nature. We are both really gentle: but we let other stuff go on for too long and ended up out of sorts with each other.

Now I have overcome the anger I can see the wood for the trees and keep calm. He does cross my boundaries and I do get it wrong. But less. I can also see more easily where I cross his.

Guilt is only a useful emotion if it leads to saying sorry and seeking forgiveness (which may or may not be given). If it lasts longer than that then I think it destroys the Self. It is far more useful to move on and concentrate on the positive side of life.

You sort of left off in the middle of your post so I don't know whether this is a relationship that is long standing or not. One thing I do know is that I hope if it is a shorter term thing and there were no kids involved then I would hope to get out of it as fast as I could to protect my Self and look at the issues it raised from a distance as the only person we can ever change is ourselves.

As to me. having got the idea that the housework thing was an addiction it has since occurred to me that as codependent's support the addiction for their own ends I had better get working on that.

I hope I am on the right track!

Something useful a friend came up with. She rang in a bit of a state over something she thought her ex husband might do. I did think she was a bit over the top, but she is usually so spot on I decided to believe her. Today we talked about this and she explained that the next thing she had done was to pick up a book she had forgotten she had. This book talked about "Actualization." This seems to be where we make an assumption that something awful will happen and get really worried about it before we have the evidence it will happen.

in this case her husband was taking grandkids to the zoo. She thought he wasn't up to it and something awful would happen. Her ex husband managed the zoo trip very well. She had accused him with no evidence of being unfit for something he was perfectly capable of.

hmm ..now how often do I do this to Jake.?

love, Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 19, 2001

S1

hi I'm kevin.30/m in freehold NJ, looking for a down to earth cat loving female between the ages of 25 and 38.for fun or serious romance.email me at liono22000@yahoo.com.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Hi Jay,

I Actualize allot myself, so I am guilty of Actualization ALSO.

I spoke to my therapist about this last night. You see I discovered it is fear of failure that makes me actualize. I talk to myself in a negative way, THE "you can't do it, its too hard, no I can't do it, it is too hard." My partner used to rush to do it for me. He took control of the situation. BUT he isn't allowed to anymore under the new healthy rules. He had to tell me I could do it, he even offered some tips but he couldn't do it for me, until I tried my best and then if I really was struggling I could ask for some help. BUT I had to ask for the help after I'd tried myself. NO MORE RESCUING ME. If I am gonna build my confidence I had to try myself.

I was angry with my partner, I wanted him to take control, cuz then I'd be off the hook and not have to fear failure. BUT then I'd never learn from my mistakes. I noticed I didn't like him passing me back the control of the situation. It felt scary. BUT I managed to carry out the task and not make any mistakes, I just took it slowly and did one step at a time. AND YES I MANAGED IT ALONE!

My therapist said Your partner did WELL, he laid the responsibility back in your lap. He didn't rescue you. THIS IS GOOD!!

SO I have to try and then if I am struggling I have to ask for help. BUT I have to ask. I spoke further with my therapist about things I know I will have allot of difficulty with so I might ask for help initially or I might decide the job needs a professional and decide to pay for the job to be done by someone else. THIS IS OKAY, we are all experts in our own fields!! It doesn't hurt to trade our resources. Like exchange money for honest work.

BUT at least now I see all the resources I do have. ASKING is a big one. In the past I'd have folded if I had to stand alone and do certain tasks, like putting a plug on for instance.

I THINK IT WAS NECESSARY FOR ME TO MOVE AND LIVE ALONE AND BECOME A ADOLESCENCE THE SECOND TIME AROUND. That is live alone, make my own decisions, and date guys, and have wild fun, I LEARNT ALLOT ABOUT MYSELF, I had to do this before I could perhaps see it was okay to ask for help. BUT it is not okay to expect others to do everything for me or to rescue me.

I ALSO realise COMMUNICATION or rather the lack of it causes endless problems. MAYBE One of you can help me with some insight here???? You see I have this hang up about telling my partner my plans and arrangements, cuz in the past he would expect me to tell him and to walk on egg shells so as not to displease him!!! However, in a healthy relationship COMMUNICATION is a must isn't it??

This is how I see it, LET ME KNOW IF YOU AGREE MY CAT BOX FRIENDS, old and new!!!

When I acted out of fear! I would rush home or I would Over explain and try to convince him. Sometimes I would lie so he wouldn't go mad about what I was doing. I'd not phone if I was going to be late, I would get angry and displace my anger onto others.

HEALTHY SOLUTION WOULD HAVE BEEN??? To ring partner and say I am going to be late, the little one is playing up. Then I give him a choice to decide to wait or not wait. This would be out of love and care of not wanting to hurt him by being late. Not cuz he might go mad.

HEALTHY SOLUTION??? I could see why I am so late and the added stress it has on me. The stress caused by me not setting limits on my times I spend on things.

It is the realisation that I don't have to be on time all the time, if I communicate. So if I am late then I can speak up and say so, and let partner know. Then I give him the chance to make his own choices about waiting. If he is angry I can say I think we should take a break. CUZ it is obvious he isn't looking at things from integrity but he is looking at them through his ego (anger).

SO I have nothing to feel guilty about if I am late, and he has been give the opportunity to make his own choices.

IS THIS HEALTHY THE ABOVE??

Take care Theressa

 

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Hi again, Funny how things quickly change............hubby has now done complete turn around and gone back to abusive language. Can't write much as he's hanging around but has been horrible. Comes and whispers (as brother and friend around) and has brought up things from the past (stuff he is still bitter about). Oh, I hate him when he is like this. I mean I really hate him. I want to run away. I want to be somewhere on my own. And the worst thing is he has been swinging from yucky to sickly sweet so quickly. Said a moment ago he would let me be on the computer if I gave him a kiss (I didn't). Must go.............I wish I had someone to talk to. Love Bec

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Hi It's Jay and I am so relieved someone else posted. Was that the longest catbox gap ever? Theressa I have just realised I have to be in town 5 minuses ago (bus ride) so I will reply tonight...Lots to say..... Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

I just found your site yesterday and have spent 3-4 hrs. already and am only beginning. I've known all the pieces of the puzzle were there but you put it together and showed me the complete picture. I have been a victim of abuse my entire life, know that I am flaming co-dependent. I have been through years of counseling including a 28-day inpatient co-dependency tx program but nowhere at any time has the picture including my part and the solutions been so clear. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and wish me well on my further journey into recovery.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here. Well......I have some news about Dr. Psycho! He called me Friday night and left a message on my answering machine saying "at least when you see me in the front of my house, you can at least stop by and say hi" and hung up. I got weak. I called him back. We spoke for another 3 hours again about the relationship. This guy tried everything from putting all of the problems in the relationship on me from keeping my lingerie that I left there. He's trying to hold my lingerie as emotional hostage, saying unless I tell him the "truth" about "things" I will never get my lingerie back. He called me "liar" and I told him that I didn't appreciate being called that, so he kept saying it!! I disengaged many times. The bottom line is this: he then got "serious" in the conversation (this was then Sunday's talk) he said that we have this "deep connection" between us; has not moved on yet, thinks about me constantly, has a personal ad out, but finally acknowledges that "it will never work" because of our different realities (HELLO?? - THAT was my line!) He further said that he thinks we should keep our distance due to our "cycle". I wonder if he has been reading up on this because this has been the stuff that I've been telling him. In fact, I sent him one of Patricia Evan's website about the book I read. He did say that things between us over a period of time has gotten "really better" but that our fights have been "worse." I told him its because there is a build up of more anger and resentment - plus - we have only known each other for 18 months - now he is seeing the "real me" and there is no more denial. I think we are smart keeping our distance. However, I couldn't believe the feelings that I felt for him talking this way to me. I felt the love returning for him because he was so rational and reasonable. Maybe, just maybe in time to come, this "stuff" will disappear in time and there is hope? Dumb me, eh? In the meantime, I am still booking myself for as many coffee dates!! I just hope I don't see Dr. Psycho in the same coffee house with his new potential hook up!!

Hugs, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

I came across this site yesterday, and I find it very interesting as well as helpful. I am seeing through others experiences that I am not the only one. I am on my second marriage. I divorced my ex husband almost 7 years ago. He was an alcoholic, habitual liar and I finally left him when I found out he was cheating on me. I was scared to leave my ex but knew that I didn't trust him. I wasn't happy with who I was then, I didn't even know who I was. I started to go to a therapist and began the healing process.

I was separated 2 months and that is when I met my husband now. I didn't feel ready to dive into an exclusive relationship. I told him that in the beginning. He told me he respected that. At that time I was lonely but I was living with my brother and just found a place to live on my own. He was so eager to help me get set up in my new place. He was very attentive and always had loving things to say. He would make me feel like I was so beautiful and that he couldn't believe that my ex would have done the things he did and let me go. But he felt is was destiny for us that we met. He would send roses for no reason. Leave sweet cards for me and little I love you notes etc... I was enjoying it so much because he did all the things I wished my ex would have done. He always told me that he would never lie or cheat. He wanted to be with me all the time. Every day he would show up to take me to lunch. He would want to come over to my house every night right after work, or wanted me to go to his. After a month of this, I started to feel the need for some space. My therapist was concerned that I was rushing into a relationship and knew that I still had issues that needed to be dealt with. I asked my him for a little space so that I could be alone. I didn't want to date anyone. I didn't even want to go out really, I just wanted to be alone with my daughter and feel what it was like to actually be alone. Though I was lonely before, I never was alone by myself. He didn't like the idea, he was worried that I was looking to break up with him. I truly didn't want to. I just wanted to be alone. The first night, he kept calling my house to talk. The second night I had made plans to go out with my friends. He showed up before I left to drop off a gift. Then asked me to call him when I got home. I remembered thinking at the time that he obviously didn't know what space meant. I came home late that night I found a card on the table that he stopped by while I was gone. There several messages on my answering machine from him. The last one was an angry one that showed he was mad that I didn't call him. At that time I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I called him back and told him that he didn't need to leave so many messages and didn't need to be angry with me. He knew I was disgusted and I told him that I didn't need it and wouldn't put up with it. He apologized and begged me to forgive him and let him come over so we could talk. I didn't let him.

He was at home on the third night and my brother went to visit him because I felt bad that he was upset and alone. He was crying to my brother telling him that he loved me so much and he couldn't bear to think of life without me. My brother was touched by his feelings and told me, man that guy is really in love with you. I felt bad that he was crying, I didn't want this to hurt him. So, I gave up my need for space to spare him from being hurt.

We spent all the time outside of work together and he didn't see why we should be paying 2 rents and he suggested we move in together. My daughter was so little then she was about 4 years old. I had a hard time controlling her because she pretty much ran the show. He was forceful with her in a kind way that made her mind rules. My mistake was that I didn't enforce the rules early on. I felt secure with him and grateful to him for helping me with her and I was glad to have someone with a stable job that had a future. Well we got engaged 6 months after we met and married 3 months after that. I knew he was obsessive when we were dating. If I talked to another guy and he didn't like it, I found myself watching my every move to avoid him getting mad. If things didn't go his way, he would pout. I would give in just to see him happy. He didn't like me discussing our personal life with anyone. He felt it wasn't any one else's business. He liked to keep our problems private. We discussed our problems and he was real good at listening. Sometimes we would discuss them for hours. I would feel exhausted afterwards. I would give in sometimes and try to leave the room because I couldn't take it anymore. He is the type that had to be right. If I disagreed, that was okay but I had to actually have proof as to why I was right. If I couldn't prove to him my side of things than I was wrong.

Most of my problems with him was how he talked to my daughter. He always treated her like she was his daughter, not abusive but very strict with no toleration for mistakes. He would yell at her for just about everything but mostly for being forgetful. Years of this have lead me to this point. She loves him but is afraid of him. She wants to go live with her dad sometimes. I try really hard to be there for her and sometimes she deserves some of the discipline, I just don't agree with how it is handled or sometimes I don't see what she did wrong. He doesn't want me to correct him in front of her so I do it in private. Sometimes, he sees that he is hard on her and he does try harder not to. I used to get really mad because a lot of the rules that my daughter had to follow didn't apply with his daughter when she would visit. He wouldn't yell at his daughter for the things he did mine. I have to admit the first 5 years were worse. This past summer I saw that he made an effort to treat them the same. But he still won't accept mistakes, it is shear carelessness to him. My daughter tries to express herself and he accuses her sometimes of lying. She is not the best at 10 years old at figuring the exact word needed for the moment, but he has this thing that you don't use expressions and takes words literally. I get annoyed when he does it to me. So I am real careful how I say things because he takes things literally.

He is a moody person. I make excuses all the time when he is in a bad mood when we have company. Over the years my family would visit or we would visit them and I see the funny look on my mothers face like what is the matter with him now? My younger brother has been living with us for about 10 months now. I has been an inconvenience but he needed our help. He is finally able to make it on his own, I am grateful that my husband has allowed him to stay with us, but I will be glad when he is out. I have walked on pins and needles those 10 months. He gets along great with my brother, but everything he has a problem with he yells at me for it. Everything was bothering him. He doesn't like anyone to sit in his chair, use his things without his permission...if he is out of town, do not park in his spot, he would get mad at me for sitting in the kitchen and talking to my brother about his day, because he didn't feel like listening to it. I understood most of the things he was upset about as far as not letting my brother use the air hose if he didn't put it back where it belongs. I even understood his anger when my brother burnt a hole in the sofa, but he would yell at me saying how irresponsible it was and there was no excuse for it. It wasn't an accident in his eyes. He would be buddies with my brother, but when he wasn't around he would complain to me over everything.

My husband and I had a huge fight the other night, He was drunk and playing a little to rough with my daughter. Two of my brothers were there playing too. I was in bed and heard her laughing at first then I heard her yell stop it hurts. They were smacking her playfully on her butt. But she came in crying to me that they hurt her and they wouldn't stop. I went out there calmly, to tell them all to please calm down and to not be so rough with her. I realized they were playing, they didn't mean to hurt her, but my husband got on immediate defense mode. He screamed at me that I had no right to come in there and tell him how to treat her. I had better NEVER NEVER approach him if front of other people again. Oh, man, I knew at that moment it was going to be one of those nights again, so I told him we would talk about it the next day when he was sober. He started calling me names. I just went to bed. A little while later, he came in laid down next to me and I was scrunched all the way over to the edge of the bed. I didn't want to kiss him or touch him. I was angry. He then just started calling me names. Nasty names. I ignored the remarks and didn't say anything. He then starting yelling at me. I got up to go to another room to sleep, my brothers were on the couch shocked at what was happening. He busted the door down to my daughters room and I was trying to get out of there so she wouldn't see it. He followed right behind me. Putting his fingers in my face and was pushing me. I kept telling him to stop. I knew he would regret this in the morning but he was still yelling. I was trying to grab a few pieces of clothes to get out of the house, but he had me pinned in the corner of my closet and wouldn't let me move. He was mad and wanted to talk about it now. I somehow managed to get up as I was grabbing a few items, he told me to stay and that he would leave. He ran out to his truck, bare feet no shirt in the cold and peeled out of the driveway. I was so embarrassed that this was going on. I was afraid he would get into a wreck or get a dui. My brothers were upset and told me they better not see him treat me like that again or they were going to get involved. I didn't want to see a fight and begged them to not get in the middle. He came home to get a shirt and some shoes, I begged him not to drive. I told him to call a cab if he must. I couldn't stop him. He was still mad punching things. He left, but I realized he was just sitting in the driveway in his truck. I left him alone. Just glad to be rid of him but glad he wasn't driving. This whole time he was insisting that he wasn't drunk, (had about 4 large vodka drinks and Lord knows how many beers) that my daughter was lying that he didn't do anything and he was insistent that I needed to know my place and never say anything again in front of other people. The funny thing is, the next day I got a call from him begging me to think about not being so mad at him all day. I usually don't talk to him I keep quiet. He will usually apologize and expect everything to be alright. He got upset when I told him that we needed marriage counseling. I have suggested it in the past and he said he wouldn't go. But this time I told him that I wasn't going to live like this anymore. I was willing to work on it but through marriage counseling. He said the whole episode was because I should never have approached him in front of the boys. That though he got out of control, it was my fault that it got that bad. He said the marriage counselor would see it that way too. I didn't care, I told him that if it is my fault like all the other outbursts that maybe they could help me change to avoid all this. Then he seemed concerned on what kind of things I was going to tell them. I remembered when I quit going to therapy years ago. He felt she was going to convince me to leave him. I had forgotten. He has always been a private person. I am scared that he will get angry at the counselor and probably make them prove to him what ever they are saying. I sometimes wish that I had just slown down and not jumped into this marriage. I have been happy for the most part. He doesn't get like this all the time but occasionally when he has had too much to drink and I instigate him. He never lets a day go by with out telling me how much he loves me. He tells me he is so in love with me. I have no doubts about his love. Just his temperament. His need to control sometimes is what I am bothered with. I am sorry for the length but feels good to get this off my chest. Does anyone think I will be wasting our time with marriage counseling?

Thanks for listening, Scared and confused

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Oi Gatinhas e Gatinhos,

I just got Evans' book here in Brazil - Amazon ships overseas, thank goodness. I have only read about 3 pages of the introduction and I am SOOOO ANGRY!!! Forget feeling sorry for my ex. I got thru Valentine's Day; yesterday he was supposed to have arrived here for a visit before he got weird (I think he wanted to cause a problem so I would pay for his ticket "for the sake of the relationship"); and tomorrow is his birthday. Not a word will be emanating from my area in his honor.

I will keep reading - but I'm sure Trubble will understand if I say "RRREEEEEEOOOOOARRRRgrrrrrrrr!!!!!"

Hugs, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Dear Perdida: Stay strong girl!! Don't give up the fight!! And don't call him on his birthday!!

Hugs, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Dear All including the new people, Hi!

Dear Bec, I'm sorry your husband has gone iffy again. Maybe the best thing is to take a walk when he gets like that? A bit iffy here too tonight, but I seem to have got this really centred feeling that has lasted for days. I can put it all back on him and don't need to get angry any more if he is the one with the problem.

Dear Theressa, Sounds very healthy and you are gaining confidence. I didn't know how to put a plug together for years and as for configuring a computer. Then Jake started to refuse to help and I ca n with lots of mistakes, do it. I think hr got irritated at my inability to understand. But I decorated out living room. Not perfect, all alone as HE couldn't do that. swings and roundabouts. I can change a plug now though and things like that make you feel really empowered.

I just wondered if it was particularly difficult as I think you said your boyfriend was Turkish. He would possibly have different cultural expectations of women???? Not that I don't in some ways think Jake would like me to do exactly what he wants.

I have noticed with my friends who married young and had kids there is a sort of return to adolescence eventually. They seem to find themselves free of ties and still young and make up for what they missed and it has always seemed a very positive step. I kind of really enjoy joining in, but my need isn't so pressing as I had a long time and traveled before kids: albeit with Jake.

I think you might be on the right track and you do sound healthy.

dear Sharon. Keep away from Dr Psycho: or he could have a good go at sending you nuts. Enjoy those coffee dates!

Dear Perdida, I had to order the Evans book too as I couldn't find it in the town I live in in the UK. I haven't got past the first chapter and just found what it said clarify things. But stay strong and roar away!

Dear "flaming codependent" I wish you well. Work at it and you will recover.

Dear Scared and Confused.

I am worried for you as what happens when your brother isn't there. Also I think you need to look at your child's needs. She does not need anyone around her thinking it is fun to smack her and hurting her.

While it is better for parents to present a united front, I think more than that she needs to have one parent she can feel safe with. You.

He hurt you so shouldn't you get a restraining order? If therapy works then you can get back together. He is trying to convince you the therapist would tell you are all wrong? He is just scared that the truth will come out. He has a difficulty looking inside himself and acknowledging that there are things to change.

If as he says he loves you and is sorry about these episodes then he will be prepared to live away for a bit and work with a therapist. If he doesn't want to do that, then I think there is your answer.

You are strong. You practiced setting boundaries and although you couldn't set it up, the ability is there.

With support and therapy then you have some added strength.

Hugs, prayers and love, Jay/

Oh yes...me. WOW! Still centred. I think I am getting better at being so. Stayed so in some yucky stuff both inside and outside the family. Loved the teaching. Enjoyed the voluntary work and came home today feeling happy, normal, returned to sanity, balanced, o.k. and all the positive words I can think of. Got hit by tiredness but realised I just needed to sleep and that was the only reason to feel emotional...Trubble, hear me ROAR too! jay

 

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Dear Jay: You sound really grounded and definitely well! Good going! Hugs, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

S1

Bec,

I understand how you feel when you say you want to run. I feel that way too, at times--like I want to run as far and as fast as I can. I just want to get away from the pain and upheaval. My husband switches gears awfully fast too. In the last 24hours he's gone from nice to nasty to nice again without missing a beat. And when I say "nasty," I don't mean irritated in a normal way, I mean NASTY! He can be unbelievable mean, then blames me for it. When I tell him to knock it off, he acts like he's the injured one!

It takes time and dedication, but you can learn to disengage and detach, and focus on making yourself healthier. What kinds of support do you have? Therapy? Support group? Friends and family? Gather people around you who care for you and in whom you can trust. Believe in yourself and develop your self respect (again, takes awhile!). If he's like my husband, the more assertive you get the more he'll try to make you feel guilty for "abusing" him. Mine threatens abandonment in his effort to get me to back down. Pathetic, huh? Just stay strong as much as you can.

Keep posting and reading Dr. Irene's site. There is a lot of great support here.

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

S1

Hi All,

Thanks JAY!!

I am here today looking for some insight into something that is A BIG ISSUE FOR ME!! Hope some one can give me some insight?

Last night something YUKKY came up for me!

 

(Firstly me and my partner now live in separate houses and have done so since I separated from him last summer, before then we always lived together)

I have some cupboards that my brother in law fixed together for me. My Partner is a much better DIY man than my brother in law. My partner looked at the work done on the cupboards and said "he did a poor job". The backs still need to be put on the cupboards. The cupboards were originally fixed together when I was still separated from my Partner. Anyway my partner said "I will reset the cupboards and put the backs on when I have time.

So last night I said to him, "will you fixed my cupboards together on Saturday when you are off work?" He said "I will see how busy I am." I said "But I want to use the cupboards". He said "Don't nag me I will do them if I have time, I don't know how I will feel on Saturday, I don't make promises."

This made me feel very angry and inadequate inside. I wish I could do them myself but I have tried and found them difficult to fix together, I am just not very good at DIY but I am good at lots of other things. AND what makes me very mad is I do help my partner with things he finds difficult. He needed me to check some forms last week and I said "Okay but not until tomorrow cuz I am tired right now." He said "Fine". THE POINT is I was specific about when I could help him. AND he doesn't seem to feel so angry at me like I am at him!!

 

So if he doesn't feel like doing them this weekend, then he might not feel like doing them the next week, or the next week. THEN I will have to wait. BUT I won't, if he doesn't do them soon I will ask my brother in law to do them even if he isn't as good as my partner.

ISN'T this controlling my partner???

I don't like feeling someone else has control over my life. BUT my partner said "Theressa you are trying to control me!"

DO you ever feel this frustrated Asha? How do you handle it?

Thank you for listening to me. Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

S1

Dear Jay, Thanks for your input. Well noted. Perhaps I vented in way that made him sound like a monster. Which, I need to clarify. He is a very caring and loving person. I have spent a big portion of my life running away. I have learned that that isn't always the answer. I would leave in a heart beat if he ever physically hurt me or my daughter. He knows that and wouldn't blame me if I did. The pushing part was keeping me from walking away, which I tend to do allot when I don't want to talk. I am not making excuses for him by any means. But he didn't hit me and he backed off after he realized that I wasn't going to give in. The part with my daughter, well, she has a manner that is sometimes that of a tomboy. She likes to play rough house with my brothers as well as my husband. She will instigate it by jumping on them and trying to wrestle. I used to be like that when I was little (I have 8 brothers) so she enjoys that type of play as long as it isn't hurting. The smacking on the butt was by my brother who realized that it hurt after the fact and he felt bad. She kept saying to him you hit like a girl and it didn't hurt etc.... wrong on both parts and they all know it.

She feels safe with me. I would never let anyone hurt her. I think my biggest problem with my husband is that he sometimes tries to control me when others are around. I can talk to him in private about anything and for the most part, he will agree if he is wrong and does try to make it better. I don't like the attitude that he portrays in front of others that he is the MAN of the House and how dare I correct or citizen him in front of anyone. I have a hard time understanding his definition of cruising. Yes, he got way out of hand that night, he knows it. He feels that I was cruising him. I wasn't. I think he understands that now. We can and do communicate very well, just sometimes don't hear what the other is trying to say. That is why I am willing to go to marriage counseling. Yes, I agree he is afraid of what might come out. I think it will help for him to hear it from someone else. He just never was the type to want to discuss problems in front of other people. He thinks that we do just fine on our own. But he is going to do it anyway. I have hope that some people who have good intentions will try harder to do better if they realize what they can do to make it better and want to.

Thanks again for your advise.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

S1

Hi last poster,

Can I say one thing, I get from reading your post. YOU don't stand united with your husband. What I mean is it is hurtful and disrespectful of you to pull your husband up about things in front of others. THIS IS why he is defensive. He doesn't want others thinking he is soft touch.

So maybe you can discuss things you don't like him doing etc out of others ears. If you are like me and others hear the main problem maybe communicating, in a way the other understands. ALWAYS check out assumptions.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

S1

Hi Poster,

It is not up to your partner to stop you walking away, in fact this is good anger management walking away to cool down and reflect. SO he is being ABUSIVE.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

S1

Theresa,

When you said "will you fix the cupboards on Saturday", you were giving him a time when you wanted him to do it not when he wanted to do it. Because you set up the time and date for him instead of asking him when he would be able to do it might have set his back up. It might be better if you let him know that you are very happy he offered to help but you need the cupboards done by ____ date. If he can't commit to doing them then you will have someone else do it.

H Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

S1

To those of you who responded, Again, thank you. I appreciate all input. I agree that I should not citizen my husband in front of others. I did that sometime ago, and he got very angry then and I have not forgotten. As a rule I do talk privately on issues. This particular time I felt they were all having fun and didn't realize that she was really hurt. They all three had a little too much to drink and she wanted them to stop because it hurt. They in turn laughed at her as she was walking away crying because they felt she was over reacting. I went out there to let them all know that she was not just saying that, she said that my husband said that it didn't hurt. I spoke to all three of them and all I said was please take it easier on her, her butt was red. Yes I could have taken my husband privately, but I wasn't trying to scold him. I didn't single him out. I simply asked them to a little gentler with her. He had way too much to drink, he overreacted because he thought I was telling him that it was his fault she was hurt. Lord knows I didn't even suggest that. My husband as good as he may be is defensive on issues that make him look "less than a man" in others eyes. He is short tempered and does have a problem biting his tongue whenever anyone disagrees with him not just me. He has told me many times that he likes a good argument. He will generally admit when he is wrong to me but after hours of discussion of me proving my side and it has to be acceptable proof in his eyes other wise I am considered wrong.(sometimes I feel it is much easier to give in and be done with it.) He sometimes will say something and then turn around and say that he didn't say that. I love him. I understand how frustrating it is to be critized in front of others because he has done it to me on occasions but will then say I am sorry I didn't mean it that way but he will expect me to drop it, because he already apologized I better not ever raise my voice to him like he did with me. When if it is the other way, I get yelled and screamed at and I am suppose to according to him take 10% responsibility for his actions the other night because I said something that he misunderstood. I simply won't. It is my duty to take care of my daughter. He needs to understand that because he would do that for his daughter. I have seen him yell at his own mother in front of the children because she said no to something they asked her to do. He called her inconsiderate and said she was selfish and he couldn't believe she was his mother. He was out of line I thought, for yelling at her in front of me and the kids, but his mother was being mean. Not meaning to ramble, I see my husband as a do as I say not as I do person. This has been more apparent over the last few years. We have worked on it many times. Sometimes he will agree that he does things that he expects me not to do. So, bottom line is, when he makes a mistake, I let him know privately, and he will apologize. I let it go. But the reaction the other night was a scary one. I was embarrassed that my daughter and two brothers had to witness him yelling and talking down to me. As well as breaking down the door and punching walls and then squealing his tires as he drove erratically through our neighborhood while he was drunk. Only then to pass out outside in a sleeping bag under our bedroom window.

These are just some things I feel need to be worked out in counseling. I am all ears to hear my errors and to do my part in making this work. I don't have a problem listening to others views and suggestions. I think it is helpful. He on the other hand feels that the counselor will only be interested in making us have to keep coming back. He thinks that when we talk things out that is enough, that the counselor will not be able to tell us anything that we don't already know. I don't want to give up and leave him without at least trying to work on it. I spent much of my life unhappy in abusive situations and I feel I deserve better. I will do what it takes to achieve that and try to be a better role model to my daughter then mine was to me. Oh, I failed to mention, I do feel that my husband is threatened by my relationship with my daughter. He feels that he should come first. His biggest complaint was that he felt that I put her first. Now, she is 10 years old. We met when she was only 4. When we met, she had behavior problems and was very distraught over the divorce. I don't see why a husband should feel completion with a child. I think the love was there and is for both of them. One is not more than the other, just expressed in a motherly way and in a loving wife way. I don't mean to take up so much space on this board, but I do appreciate letting me speak out. Thank you all very much. Scared and confused.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 22, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa, I think your partner was saying : "yes if I do have time and I am up to it I will do the cupboards." But he was also wanting not to get into the situation where he had made a promise he couldn't keep.

Maybe the thing to do is to see what happens Saturday. You could waste a lot of energy arguing or thinking about it if you don't. He may well do the cupboards.

If he didn't do them then you could ask your brother to finish the job.

Nobody ever did anything they haven't been taught to do. There is no shame in you not knowing how to fix cupboards. I and Jake can't either. We have to get someone else in: (which is why we had a broken cupboard for ages!).

It is your house/flat so if you get your brother in as the cupboards need fixing that is your call. What would be controlling is if you let the cupboards thing go on and on hoping that your partner will do them and keep nagging. (Not implying you are).

Almost he is doing the same thing as you. His boundary was "Saturday as long as I am ok and have time." Yours was "Tomorrow when I am not tired." I think.

And here is the test. SO much yucky stuff today going on. Actually more connected with my daughter than Jake. This time round she is ill and not wanting me. The reason is obvious. Her boyfriend is there. So she has someone else to use and I get the abuse and Jake just pretends that everything is o.k. or I am somehow at fault.

Other yucky stuff not connected with family but still connected with daughter and huge decisions to make about whether or not to sell the house...

Can I keep centred?

Actually I have just discovered something. I want to protect this feeling of centredness. Of course I am wobbly. I am merely human. But no way am I going to get thrown off course.

I just talked to someone who said that it is often the person who uncovers the truth who gets shot in the foot and some of the yucky stuff is around that. Well this particular foot of mine can cope.

In fact, although I don't know this. I think it is pretty hard to die from a shot to the foot. Bullets can be removed and bandages applied and if all else fails you can get around in a wheelchair and still smile. (I know this as my dad is in one and he can still smile).

There is a God. He will make everything right in time and all truth will be revealed.

I CAN stand up for myself and I can be strong and I have just realised that I don't need to think I need Jake to help me do this anymore.

I can stand up for myself and make my own choices and set my own boundaries and even although others may think that they have affected me the truth is that in my own Self I am free.

If any of that makes sense.

I guess for now it is a kind of determined protection of the self and centredness, but I think I know where this is going. Practice and it will be a calmer version of the same thing.

So THAT is positive anger!

No time now to go back and read any more posts. Hope everyone is o.k. Love, Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 22, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa, I think your partner was saying : "yes if I do have time and I am up to it I will do the cupboards." But he was also wanting not to get into the situation where he had made a promise he couldn't keep.

Maybe the thing to do is to see what happens Saturday. You could waste a lot of energy arguing or thinking about it if you don't. He may well do the cupboards.

If he didn't do them then you could ask your brother to finish the job.

Nobody ever did anything they haven't been taught to do. There is no shame in you not knowing how to fix cupboards. I and Jake can't either. We have to get someone else in: (which is why we had a broken cupboard for ages!).

It is your house/flat so if you get your brother in as the cupboards need fixing that is your call. What would be controlling is if you let the cupboards thing go on and on hoping that your partner will do them and keep nagging. (Not implying you are).

Almost he is doing the same thing as you. His boundary was "Saturday as long as I am ok and have time." Yours was "Tomorrow when I am not tired." I think.

And here is the test. SO much yucky stuff today going on. Actually more connected with my daughter than Jake. This time round she is ill and not wanting me. The reason is obvious. Her boyfriend is there. So she has someone else to use and I get the abuse and Jake just pretends that everything is o.k. or I am somehow at fault.

Other yucky stuff not connected with family but still connected with daughter and huge decisions to make about whether or not to sell the house...

Can I keep centred?

Actually I have just discovered something. I want to protect this feeling of centredness. Of course I am wobbly. I am merely human. But no way am I going to get thrown off course.

I just talked to someone who said that it is often the person who uncovers the truth who gets shot in the foot and some of the yucky stuff is around that. Well this particular foot of mine can cope.

In fact, although I don't know this. I think it is pretty hard to die from a shot to the foot. Bullets can be removed and bandages applied and if all else fails you can get around in a wheelchair and still smile. (I know this as my dad is in one and he can still smile).

There is a God. He will make everything right in time and all truth will be revealed.

I CAN stand up for myself and I can be strong and I have just realised that I don't need to think I need Jake to help me do this anymore.

I can stand up for myself and make my own choices and set my own boundaries and even although others may think that they have affected me the truth is that in my own Self I am free.

If any of that makes sense.

I guess for now it is a kind of determined protection of the self and centredness, but I think I know where this is going. Practice and it will be a calmer version of the same thing.

So THAT is positive anger!

No time now to go back and read any more posts. Hope everyone is o.k. Love, Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 22, 2001

S1

How are ya'll. I came across this site several weeks ago and I'm just now getting the courage to try and get answers. I am seeing a counselor who tells me that I'm (co-dependent) and from what I've read at this site I (guess) I am. I have been married to a wonderful man for 30 yrs. and have 4 children. In the past year there have been some yukky changes and some things are still the same that I am realising are yukky. I have decided that he is verbally and emotionally abusive. I have told him so, but he refuses to believe such. I guess my main objective is support in realising if I'm crazy or not, which is what I get told most of the time.) The most recent happenings are that he took a vacation for a week, to do some stuff around here, and because he had too. We and He didn't accomplish much, but we had a mild relationship where we actually talked and didn't fight over everything that was said or brought up. Before the vacation we had virtually been non-communicative since Oct. 2000. Just living in the same house. [ I have been to 3 pastors, a counselor, some friends, mother, sisters, and son. No help! I don't think anybody believes me and the things I say. Even my mother, she just keeps saying he must be going thru male menopause, I can't believe he acts that way; she thinks there's something wrong with me, and maybe there is (but I'm trying to change). I feel like I'm rambling and making no sense.] Now he's returned to work and it's just like it was a week ago. I asked him this morning what had happened to make him so aloof, < He's not.> I also told him I didn't want to spend the next 30 years of my life having to ask him every day if he cares about me and our life together. Shouldn't I ,after having been married to him for 30 years, know the difference between love and habit. Here are a couple of questions that I need answers too. :: 1> If you love someone and they are unsure of your love, do you show them with your actions (gifts or hugs or interest in their lives) Or do you just use words ( I Love You).????

2> Does he love me ? by ignoring me on Valentine's day and then buying me something for the house 2 days later when he also buys something for himself that costs 3x what he spent on me.??

3> Do you show someone love by never being interested in what they are doing, feeling, or saying? All that matters is what is up with you, and what happens to you. Even your children are expected to listen to your tales, but he doesn't have to listen to them.

4> Does a man who really cares about his family, allow his bills to go unpaid, let the roof and ceilings fall in from disrepair, refuse to communicate, and yet take his responsibilities at his job and church as legal and binding.??

5> Does a man who cherishes his wife, ignore her intimately and never desire to be with her physically? ( I am overweight but lots of people think I'm attractive) I'm also thinking affairs his behavior is irrational lately. I have a million more questions that need answers, but I guess that's enough. One more is > Am I running from the truth or am I just in denial? I would sure appreciate any thoughts that any of you have. Sincerely, CONFUSED WIFE

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 22, 2001

S1

Hello, Catbox,

Thanks for all your support. I made it fine thru the ex's birthday although it was a pensive day. It helped that I was elsewhere with lots of friends, and stayed over, so I wasn't even home the whole day and night.

I finished The Verbally Abusive Relationship. I hope I don't have the opportunity to try the responses she gave to use on problem behaviors, but to me it sounded like I have to talk to an abuser like I might talk to a misbehaving child. Did anyone else get that from the book? Is that because these guys are stuck in some thwarted childhood stage?

If I heard from the ex, and actually talked to him, I would send him that book. I would also tell him I don't love him anymore. He killed my love for him. It's frustrating that this can be traced to the patriarchy I would have thought we had eradicated already, since the feminist movement has been going on for 40 years. What has it accomplished?? I guess we at least have more awareness...

I am rambling.

Dear Scared and Confused, If your daughter's butt was red, that type of play is REALLY WRONG!!! RED FLAG, RED FLAG!!!!! No adult should be giving a child a red butt in play or otherwise (unless you believe in spanking - I don't but then I don't have kids...). It's good you have witnesses to your husband's behavior: you will need them. It sounds like you are in denial yourself. It sounded like you were making light of what must have been a nightmare experience, excusing him and taking responsibility. I didn't get from your first post that you had singled him out for criticism - I could tell you had told this group of adult men that spanking a little girl after she said "stop" was not okay. Your husband must have been really disturbed, and rightly so, by his own behavior to act out like that. Blaming a little girl for egging them on! Eeeeeuwwww, yuck!!!!! You busted him on his bad behavior, but you didn't single him out.

I hope you get the therapy and that he goes too, and separately as well as together. I'm afraid things may have to get worse before you stop excusing him. I say this because that's how it was for me, with the "great guy" I was engaged to, to whom I could talk about everything, with whom I shared all kinds of fun activities. He just had a little bitty bad habit of losing his temper and going crazy, exactly as you described your husband. He made things up to be mad at me about, like once he said I made a stuck-up face at one of his female friends. Boy, I examined what I could possibly have been thinking to have made a face that could have been construed as stuck-up, because I sure didn't have anything on my mind about this woman. A year and a half later, he said he had asked her and she hadn't thought anything of this incident that HE WAS SURE she was very upset about. And he never apologized. Okay, I am digressing because I am angry at him and the time I wasted right now. Scared and Confused, you were attracted to your husband partly because he filled this need of taking care of your daughter. So you are grateful. But you have to let all that go if his behavior deteriorates, because as you say your primary responsibility is to raise that baby girl to be healthy, and he is not showing her a very good example! That night, he was first abusive to her, and then he was even worse to you, and I hope you remember AND ACCEPT that he is capable of this. If you allow the behavior, he WILL do it again. My lovely fiancé did too.

*snarl, snarl*. My parents are coming next month and I will have them bring "Angry all the time", "Verbal Abu. surv speak out", and" You can't say that" etc. They'll wonder what the heck is going on, but then they raised me and guess where all this codependent behavior comes from...

Carnival started today, and the whole country, especially my city, will shut down totally. So I will take my frustration out by dancing in the streets!

Hugs, and everyone do something luxurious and pampering and nice for themselves today (i.e., "selfish" but don't buy into that!).

Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001

S1

Dear All,

THIS may help us here!! You all know I have been struggling with BALANCE in my life and how I want my life to be. WELL my supervisor has spoken to me about my time keeping. I know now I have to start taking Personal responsibility for my life.

I have been searching for along time on how to get healthy! Really I wanted someone to tell me how to live, what I would be doing if my life was balanced. I know now I'd not be spending too much time on anyone task. I would be choosing what is important to me and doing it. Further we my CONSCIOUS CHOICES I would be choosing the CONSEQUENCES in my life.

What really threw me was I thought if I had a structured life It would be boring and I'd be like a solider in the army. WITH LISTS saying at 6.00pm I must polish my boots, at 7.00pm I must do the laundry. THIS is what I didn't want!! Nor do I want to be so laid back that nothing gets done! SO the SOLUTION is to look at what NEEDS to be done and decide when for me the LIMIT is for this TASK. SO say the washing is piling up then I must decided is this SOMETHING I need to do NOW? Cuz if not I will have no clothes in the morning.

Or The house is getting too dirty, I will get ill if I don't clean it. TAKING CARE OF MYSELF FOR MY BENEFIT.

I got confused, I thought that I shouldn't have to have any sort of routine, when I realise that maybe fine, but I DO HAVE SOME THINGS WHICH I MUST DO if I don't want to suffer the consequences of NEVER GETTING ANYTHING DONE.

I realise the problem always has been I have looked to others to tell me whether XXX is okay or not. WHEN in fact in an adult world I should be able to say THIS IS WHAT I CHOOSE TO DO, and this is the limit I am prepared to accept. So keeping a clean enough house is for my benefit so I don't get sick.

SO IN an adult world I know I have things which are my responsibility and I need to do them to survive. LIKE GETTING TO WORK ON TIME!

You see I wanted self discipline but I don't want to feel controlled. SO I FIGURE AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT I CAN CHOOSE DO I DO XXX OR DO I WANT TO DO XXXXX. This is where my personal power comes in I can decided for myself. WHICH IS DIFFERENT THAN MY ABUSER TELLING ME TO DO xxx now, or xxx then.

This is the difference between me acting like a KID Or an ADULT, KIDS ARE DIRECTED, YOU DO XXX NOW, AND XXX THEN. With Adults you yourself decide I WILL DO XXXX NOW, AND XXX THEN.

I am so glad I finally figured this out. I GOT CONFUSED AND THOUGH HAVING STRUCTURE MEAN I WAS CONTROLLED AND LIMITED. BUT NOW I REALISE HAVING STRUCTURE MEANS MAKING MY OWN MINUTE TO MINUTE CHOICES OF WHAT I WANT TO DO.

This URL will help anyone who wants to take control and care of their own life. GOD IT CLICKED I KNOW WHAT I NEED TO DO NOW.

GOD IS ONE GREAT GUY, he sent the resources for me to figure this out.

THE URL IS:http://www.drirene.com/abuservs.htm (IT WILL HELP VICTIMS, ABUSERS, EVERYONE, EVEN TRUBBLE)

DR Irene have I got a handle now on my life do you think? when you look at what I've said above?

Thanks all of you,

JAY AND ASHA YOU'VE BEEN TERRIFIC WITH YOUR SUPPORT.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001

S1

Hi Perdida, I agree with allot of the things you have pointed out. I do need to correct something though, is wasn't my husband that hit my daughter, it was my brother. My husband was tickling her and picked her up when my brother smacked her butt. I directed my comment to all of them because they were all in the room. So, with that said, I won't make this post as long as my other two.

I did go to my therapist yesterday. I have one more visit alone and then will bring my husband. The therapist said that my husband is bit controlling. And that in her experience most husbands will come to therapy 1 or 2 times and that is it. I will see how it goes but I will not give up going this time. I told my husband that I went and he looked surprised that I actually followed through with it. I think he was hoping that since we are getting along right now and we got over the episode that I would forget. I didn't though. I told him a little about the appointment and he just made a few remarks that suggested to me that he still doesn't believe she can help and that it is an insurance scam. What ever, I still am going through with it and I am preparing for the worst. If he doesn't go and we have any more outbursts, I will leave or make him. I know he will try harder to work things out because he doesn't want that. So I will take it one day at a time.

Good luck to all of you, and thank you, "Not so" scared and confused anymore

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001

S1

HI ALL,

This site is a must.

passiveaggressive.homestead.com/PATraits.html

If you want to recover.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001

S1

Hello all,

Dear No Longer So Scared and Confused, Please just keep an (open) eye out, develop an emergency contingency plan, don't excuse him. Keep up your therapy and get strong, healthy and happy!

Dear Jay and Sharon, Thanks for your support. The silence in my former relationship is deafening but tranquil, the opposite of the crazymaking... Sharon, how about those coffee dates? I never have put a personal ad; how is it working? Fun? Do you feel safe? Meeting cool guys or duds?

Jay, the teaching sounds really great. you sounded really good in your last paragraph where you came home tired and stimulated.

Dear Theressa, You sound great like you are moving right along. Do you have a community college where you can learn to make furniture and fix cars? I always thought those classes would be fun. I know what you mean about men trying to do everything for you like you're incompetent. I feel like I am pretty competent with most things but men still try to tell me what to do. It's even worse in Brazil where they are even surprised that I know how to drive a car. From my experience of men in the UK, I never thought they were particularly enlightened in this respect, either, although it's been awhile since I've been there. It's that issue of patriarchy that Evans talks about that is STILL WITH US after 40 years of feminism... Anyway, I thought H Lynn's advice of being specific about when you needed the cupboards was really good - clear, pragmatic. Just, if he gets weird because he wants to be the one to do them for you... don't engage! You just need some dang cupboards after all!

Dear Bec, I'm sorry your husband is being Jekyll and Hyde. I wish they wouldn't do that.

I wish mine hadn't done that, I wish I hadn't finally felt I had to end it. Sad, angry, sad, angry, sad, angry. Interspersed with forgetting and moving on, in small but increasing doses. Still too much hope that he will get it together. *snif* #grrrrrrr# *snif* Bleah. NEXT!

hugs, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001

S1

This is a great website. About 4 years ago I was told by a counselor that I should read Patricia Evans book about verbal abuse. Well, I read the book several times since then, however, I still put up with his abuse and was in denial. It has finally taken me to explore the net and find your website to realize that this cannot continue. Of course, the verbal abuse has escalated in that I can't relax around him, and have bought of anxiety and stomach problems anticipating his moods, or next blow up etc. Well, for the past 3 days he has been giving me the silent treatment, not looking at me, hugging me etc. I still found myself doing things for him, cooking, laundry or other small stuff but not trying to engage him in conversation. I finally have reached the point were I am tired of feeling anxious and sad. I constantly find myself trying to analyze why he is a certain way and try to please him until I realized by your articles that I need to please myself and not try to waste my energy on trying to make him happy. I used to pride myself on my self-esteem and courageousness and I have been feeling like a coward. I am so MAD at myself for loosing my integrity just to make things better so he can get over being angry. I will continue to read these articles. Thank you.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001

S1

Hello all,

Welcome to all the newer folks, and it's nice to see some familiar faces...Jay, Becky, Theressa (hope I didn't leave anyone out!).

I haven't posted, or really kept up with the catbox, for quite some time. Although I take sporadic part in some of the other lists, I felt I needed to step away for a while and see things as honestly as I could. I now have no doubts as to the nature of my relationship, but I needed a bit of objectivity. That objectivity, coupled with what I have learned here and from countless other websites, books, friends, etc. has made it all crystal clear. I am living with an angry, controlling man who does not feel remorse for his rages, insults, silent treatments, accusations, offensive "jokes"... I could probably keep going with this but I think, sadly, most of you don't need me to. I believed all the lies that were told to me about myself, even though they didn't jibe with what I knew I was. I even said bad things about myself, hoping to "beat him to the punch" and thereby lessen the pain. What it has come down to is that I can't take anymore of this.

Dr. Irene, I am very close to giving him an ultimatum: either we get help, or I leave. I have asked him several times in the past to see a marriage counselor with me, and he has refused, saying it was MY problem. I suppose what I am getting at is this: How do I know when I have tried all I can try? The ultimatum is the final request. It will not be negotiable. Therefore, I need to be ready to face the fact that he will say, as he has done before when I have expressed unhappiness, "Then get the f*** out". Of course, the one time I actually began to pack my bags, he broke down in tears and begged me not to go. I stayed. He will not believe I mean what I say, and he will become abusive. He will blame me for his behavior, only the blame will fall on deaf ears. I am not claiming that I know him better than he knows himself, just making an educated guess based on past experience. To be quite honest, I am more miserable now than I have ever been. But there is also a feeling of liberation, that one way or another I am going to be just fine. I think of living in my own house, not having to worry about whether or not someone is angry, or whether I did the dishes right, or a million other things. I think I may have just answered my own question.

I want peace in my life.

I don't know your name, but to the person who posted about getting the silent treatment for the past three days... I am right there with you! I have actually been getting it since last Saturday (I had my cell phone turned off when he tried to call me, and then I forgot to start the dishwasher--two mistakes in one day equal at least a week of silent contempt in my house). I have not found a word or words yet that capture this particular breed of pain, but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I'm glad you are here, and I hope you find it as helpful as I have.

Best wishes,

Anne

 

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001

S1

P.S.

It really has been a while, and I seem to remember seeing another Anne in the catbox, so I went back and found one of my old posts. I had mentioned the "Stepford Wives" while talking to Becky, and then posted again that my friend had bought me the book as a Christmas present.

Also, I forgot to say hello to Trubble... Hello Trubble!

Love,

Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2001

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Dear Anne,

I'm not Dr. Irene, but I think I was just where you are right now. I think you might be at the saddest part, where you KNOW something is wrong, and you even know what it is. And you can't get him to see it much less see the need for him to go to therapy. For me, this was the lowest point, even lower than the time he invented something to scream about, the silent periods, the insane tantrums, and even the teeth marks on my face. Dr. Irene told me in a post I think in Catbox 21 that I needed to distance and maybe even go away. I ended up going away but not before I tried one more time, in a state of awareness, to call his attention to the problems, only to get screamed at and to hang up on him.

Leaving gave me a huge sense of relief but I'm also really sad. I've just been over all our emails from the last couple of months, and I see how much I supported him and built him up, and also how sweet he could be (plus a few crazymaking comments...). I see where I tried so hard to get him to go to therapy, gently, nicely, explaining clearly, telling him where he had abused my boundaries and the boundaries of our relationship.

Ooops!!! I just noticed I am deep in the pity pot!!! *snif, snif*!!

Well, anyway, the email exercise was, believe it or not, to reassure myself that I HADN'T BEEN MEAN!!! Omigod. I think I will go to a party now.

Anyway, Anne, I feel really sad for you because we love them, we want to stay with them, they have great sides to their personalities, maybe they are otherwise great companions. Ouch, ouch, ouch. But stay strong because your health and happiness is the most important thing.

Try to get him to go to therapy by himself, because in my and others' experience, couples counseling just gives him another person to fool in public, i.e. the therapist.

Good luck and keep posting!

hugs, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2001

S1

Anne and Perdida

a word of encouragement...

Several months ago I was in an unhappy relationship, with an uneven power base (we both put his needs first most of the time). The biggest mistake I ever made was to try to "fix" it and especially to try to fix *him*. This is "control", however well-intentioned. My partner often misinterpreted my intentions and was unable to take my desires/needs seriously. Because I knew that he didn't understand me, I kept thinking that it just required more explaining. But that didn't work. (Probably because he had sort of predetermined "mindset" that didn't allow him to take my explanations seriously, but that's another story, and something I'm still learning about...)

I kept waiting for my partner to "come to his senses". He finally left, but there were no "revelations" from him. What I realized was that no amount of "fixing", or "helping" was going to make any difference unless I directed it at me. If I was "healthy", then why was I tolerating a situation that disempowered me so much? It was when I absolutely stopped "helping" that my partner began to change. The only "help" I offered was help that was requested, and even then there were limits to what I could give because I couldn't "fix" him. Also, I have my own negative mindset that I have to reprogram. Doctor heal thyself, right?

First my partner reacted angrily and there were many heated moments. I felt that he pushed every button in order to get me back to the old dance. I had the support of Dr Irene and this site and whenever I felt "off balance", questioning my own judgment I was re-affirmed. I was very lucky for that (if you believe in luck :) ).

However, when my partner realized that it wasn't going back to the old way, he did start looking at other options. He found this site, was skeptical at first, but came to respect Dr. Irene and her advice.

Though everything is not all roses and wonderful (those old engrained negative thought patterns don't go away overnight!), both my partner and I continue to work towards positive change. I am strong enough to know that I won't put myself last anymore, and even when my partner slips up, he has proven so far that he will get back on his feet and move forward again. I slip too. I am also seeing how my own mindset reverts easily to "doom" think and that doesn't put me in a position of empowerment, so it's something I'm working on.

If my partner did not attempt change, that would have been okay too and I would have carried on with my own life (in fact I went thru just that with my previous partner).

The only power any of us *really* have is internal power. Yes you can manipulate people and influence them and that's not *always* bad. However, you are just wasting energy by repeating the same complaints endlessly. If you treat your partner as if he is capable of doing the "right" thing, then you empower him too. And if he doesn't make the choice you hope for, it's no reflection on you. It's his stuff - he has free will just as you do.

The whole initial process of change has probably taken around a year for us, and we're still both growing (and will be for a lifetime). It's not something that can be forced to happen quickly.

Hope that doesn't sound preachy, but I know that early in my relationship it would have helped me immensely to hear this from someone else.

take care

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2001

S1

Thanks Asha, Perdida,

Asha, you sound really good. No, you didn't sound preachy, and it does help to hear things like that. Kind of brings me back to earth. I think, though, that at this point I am wanting to give him the option of therapy vs. divorce just so I'll leave with a somewhat clear conscience. I know that sounds selfish, but there is also a slim chance that he will agree to therapy. If so, great. But I have to be prepared for the alternative, and that's what's giving me the most grief. I was in a state last night, and did not feel like saying anything good about him, but I have seen him at his best. That's the part that is hardest to let go of. I've seen him do wonderful, generous things for people! But it's too bad that I also saw his worst, and his worst is more than I can stand the thought of growing old with.

Perdida, you are so right about this being the lowest point! There is also a tremendous amount of guilt involved in this, at least for me. I keep falling back into the old thought patterns..."If I'd done this or that differently, maybe he would have liked me and accepted me", that kind of stuff. That's one habit I will be glad to see the end of!

Love,

Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2001

S1

Dear Asha and Anne,

Asha, I don't think you sounded preachy either. My relationship was already 3 years old, though; it wasn't new. Finding this site helped me leave the relationship, but I also gave the address for the site to him. I would be so great if he was still reading it but I am sure he read one or two pages and quit, because he thinks everyone is in really bad shape and that our problems were "normal." I wish I had found this site and that it helped the relationship. I wish I was still working things out with my partner. But as yet, he never met me even close to halfway on any negotiations about the relationship, and he never, ever listened to my feelings.

Anne, I wasn't married, but I gave the same ultimatum: therapy as a condition of staying together. It took a month of him saying he didn't find it necessary, and still screaming at me, and finally mistaking my voice for another woman, before I decided that he had had enough time to make a move in the direction of therapy, and I called it quits. I felt really relieved. (along with all the other feelings I have been having since...) There wasn't any physical home to separate out or leave, though, so that part was easier. Do NOT feel guilty! You have done the very best you could. I'm sure that if you had recordings of your conversations, like my emails, you would be able to go back and see how hard you tried. I can tell from your posts that you've given this a lot of thought for a long time, and there is nothing to feel guilty about.

I wish you the best and I hope your husband has the insight to go to therapy. And Asha, I hope things keep going well for you. I wish you the best because I wish I could have worked things out with my ex too.

Hugs, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2001

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Hi Asha,

I read your post again. It's a keeper - I found a lot of stuff in it I want to remember! I was wondering - did your partner (Steve?) leave you and then come back? It wasn't clear.

What I'm feeling right now and how I felt last year when I broke this same relationship off, is that I am so joyful and jovial and I feel so secure WITHOUT him - why can't I feel this way WITH him? I know I am responsible for myself, my feelings, actions and reactions, and when I don't have this person around I feel just great, powerful, energized, etc. Shouldn't I be able to keep this reality of myself even though he has his own problems? Why did I look in the mirror when I was with him and see an ugly person when by myself I feel pretty? Why can't I hold onto MY reality while I am in a relationship with him - I mean, should I be able to do this in general, is it something I need to work on, and should I have been able to do this with him despite his negativity and raging? One's loved one is supposed to empower one and make one feel beautiful and great, isn't that so or am I chasing a chimera? If it isn't true, then I want to be alone and not get involved anymore, because I like MY reality better.

Existential debate, please!!

Big hugs, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2001

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Asha, Thanks for your latest post. It makes a lot of sense. I'm in a bad place today and reading what you have to say reaffirmed my desire and dedication to being a healthier woman, in spite of who he wants to be. My husband doesn't like the emerging, more centered Becky and is very very angry. He too, pushes every button in an effort to throw me off track. I am the bad guy here, because I'm causing all the trouble. Why can't he just love me? Why the competitive, hostility?

Anne, I could have written your post! I identify 100 percent! It makes me feel better that I'm not alone, yet sad, too. I hate to think of anyone else suffering like this and having to deal with this garbage.

Not much energy today so this will be short. Hello to everyone else. I don't post a lot, but do read--I'm still around! Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2001

S1

Well this is my first time to the Catbox. I found this site while trying to get info on verbal abuse. My relationship of 19 mos. just ended about 4 days ago. I am having a hard time today dealing w/ the breakup. My boyfriend who thought of himself as a self taught psychologist is a verbally abusive man. It then became physical abuse in Oct'2000. He calls me stupid, fat, and allot of other names that I choose not to reveal. When our relationship first began, he seemed like a very gentle person. He would always ask me about my past lovers. I was always reluctant to give him any info but eventually I did. He claimed that he was asking out of curiosity and that he would never use it against me. Well, he did. He would always bring this stuff up when we would argue. If I chose not to be intimate with him he would say "well, you gave it up to this one and that one and they never gone anything for you, I come and see you, spend money on you and you won't even give it up to me...you treated them like the KING"....well, it gets worse....He eventually started spitting in my face and calling me names and pushing me around. He found an old number of a man I was intimate with and began paging him. He would page him around 20 times and put my number in. The "old flame" would call me and ask if I'd been paging him and of course it wasn't me. This relationship finally ended with my boyfriend telling me that I could have this old flame and that I was a low maintenance girl anyway and I deserved a man that didn't do anything for me. He said "I don't want you anymore and hung up". This is what I'm dealing with now. I know its the best thing. I loved him but didn't love the things he said to me. Is this normal to feel this way? Is it normal to feel "well, I'm the bad person, I should have been more giving, more of a listener, a better partner?". Please give me some advise. I really need it. Thanks

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

Hi Perdida

Asha here

My partner and I are still living separately, though we have talked about moving back together. We've postponed it (and financially that hasn't been easy!) because we both want to be ready and I'd like us to both be clear on what we both expect from the other - our "household" roles etc. - before we do that. My house is small, so it would mean buying a new house. We originally chose to live together in part for financial reasons. Maybe that's okay, but this time I don't us to make that choice primarily as a financial decision. I would like it to be clearly a choice and not one made out of pressure.

I do understand what you mean about feeling pretty good about yourself while alone and feeling crappy when with someone... I think my problem came from the notion that my love could conquer all. I didn't know when to let go. I wanted to be forgiving and overlook faults, but didn't realize that my behavior was 'over-responsible' and enabling, and I was treating Steve like someone who needed 'help' when really he was fully capable of making that decision himself.

I think the key is knowing when to pull back, as well as allowing/expecting 'give and take'. Giving has it's rewards - making the giver the 'hero' maybe, but you can grow to resent this if it's a one way deal.

 

Becky

Nice to hear from you.

You said:

"I am the bad guy here, because I'm causing all the trouble. Why can't he just love me? Why the competitive, hostility?"

IMO, it's nothing to do with whether or how he loves you. In fact, it's probably the only way he knows to 'keep' you - so that you won't think you're 'good enough' for somebody else or for a life on your own. You are capable of making mature, healthy decisions and so is he, and you can choose to treat him for his potential, even when he doesn't make those higher choices. Try not to bounce off him (very hard, I know, but it can be done.) I think he is running a 'program' that he doesn't realize he has control over, but as you change your own programming he will either have to adapt his own, or you will most likely end up living separate lives.

Good luck and take care.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

Hi All,

WELL Asha I can see the growth spilling out of you, LOTS OF POSITIVE STUFF. JUST want to give you a pat on the back LOL.

Hi Everyone, lots of awareness here which is very good, isn't it!!

Well I have some things to share maybe you can all give me some insights, lots of new buttons or rather old ones becoming more obvious to me. LONG process YES I hear Asha, so I will keep plodding along.

Friday evening, I had to work late at work, so I got home later, myself and my partner had planned to go to the cinema and then on to the pub. He only gets a full Friday and Saturday off once a month, the other 3 weeks he only gets one full day off. SO this Friday was a big deal for him. Here is what happened: I got home and washed and blew dried my hair and had a bath, ironed my clothes, then we dropped off our child at the sitters. I didn't have my coat cuz we were going to pick it up from partners house on the way to the cinema. My partner had a BIG thick coat on. As we pulled up at the sitters, I said "Will you take the little one in cuz I've got no coat on." HE SAID "NO," I said "Please you have a coat on." He laughed and said "NO!" THIS WOUND ME UP. He said "We will wait until you take her in." THIS MADE ME EVEN MORE MAD. I started to think who does he think he is! If I'd have said anything he'd have said "Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill. So it would make me look bad" HE DOES THIS OFTEN. It is as if he is trying to give me a wind up dig, and I can't react, cuz then I'd be making a big deal out of it.

INSIGHT PLEASE???

It was gone 8 0'clock. We got to the cinema and there was a very long queue for the tickets. My partner said "YOU see what you made happen, now we have to stand in this queue and waste time." I said "Oh well I guess we will just have to queue up, nothing we can do about it now, MAYBE next time we can pre-book the seats." He said "Yeah right, but now the night is gonna be ruined". I said "No it isn't lets make the best of it, I am sorry I had to work late but it couldn't be helped, lets not waste the time we do have left complaining." Anyway we got the tickets but they were right up front and my partner hates these seats. Then we go and buy a beer from a nearby bar. The performance doesn't start until 9.pm so we have 30 minutes. My partner queues at the bar and I go to find a seat. Then he comes to sit down. "Why did you get seats near the middle, I hate sitting near the middle." I said "They were the only ones free," He sits down and again he says "My nights ruined by the time that film finishes I will have missed the pub, my only night off, you have two full days off every week, but you can't make the effort so I can have two full days having fun once a month can you!" I said "I can't change what as happened so lets not waste the time we do have together complaining." He said "Yeah you would say that since you are the one who is too laid back." I said "I tried my best and anyway I had to blow my hair and bath and iron, I did ask you to help me by doing the ironing, but you said NO, its my day off, so I couldn't force you, I won't have you yelling at me, when I tried my best." He said "Yelling, you do annoy me with your lack of care for me, cuz you know I only have a short time off, the job I do isn't like yours so flexible and having so much time spare." THIS HIT A NERVE. I said "I didn't choose your job, you did, and so its not my fault if you have to do long hours." He didn't reply. We sat in silence for about 10 minutes it was 8.50pm only ten minutes until the previews start and then not long after the film. I drank up my drink as quickly as I could. I made some small talk about the building decor being nice. He said "Marvelous, that is really interesting". (In his oh shut up Mode)

I said "Come-on drink up the film is starting soon" He ignored me and sat with a quarter of his pint. A few minutes later I said "aren't you drinking up, we will miss the film." He said "don't mither me, I will take as long as I like." THIS ANNOYED ME. I said "You said you didn't want to waste anymore of the night so I hurried and yet your taking your time." He said "Yes that is right, don't rush me, I will take as long as I like and the more you mither the long I will take." I said "That is just damn awkward, you make a fuss about being on time and yet you dwardle with your beer." He said "That is your opinion, now quit nagging me." It got to 9.05pm. I was getting rather fed up by now. I said "Look the film will have started and yet your still drinking your beer." He said "YES AND if you don't like we can go home, you've already ruined the night". (THIS MADE ME FEEL ANGRY, I didn't want to miss the film and he knew this so he threatened to take me home as if I am some bit of a kid, and he is my dad!! HOW DO YOU SORT THESE FEELINGS OUT, whereby they try to threatened to take something from you, like for instance they'd get up and go home to be stubborn. Since we were in his car and I am not insured, and had little money I'd have not got home ???? I WAS TEMPTED TO SAY YES LETS GO HOME BUT I Didn't want to cut off my nose to spite my face.

INSIGHT PLEASE???

I sat silently and day dreamed. Just then he drank in one gulp the rest of the beers, come-on then he said.

After the film which finished far too late anyway to go to the pub. When we got home he said "You've got no beers, but I have some in the fridge so what are you going to drink now? You see the night has been a total fuck up from start to finish, what a waste of my weekend."

I said "I am not mithered about the beers, and the weekend isn't a total fuck up, you enjoyed the film so that is something to be thankful for."

He didn't respond.

Then yesterday I said "You did allot of moaning on Saturday why?" He said "I have felt ill all weekend." I said "I know, you have moaned the socks off me." He said "Sorry". I said "You need to lighten up, and make the best of what you have at any given moment." He just looked at me. and then said "Yes and you need to be more reliable." I said "You know I tried my best so don't throw that in my face cuz I won't buy it."

 

ANYONE WHO CAN OFFER ME SOME INSIGHT I'D BE EVER SO GRATEFUL.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

A daughter complained to her father about her life and how she didn't know >how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of >fighting >and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her >father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and > >placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed >carrots, in the second he placed eggs, and the last he placed ground coffee > >beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word. The daughter sucked > >her teeth and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about >twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He fished the carrots out and >placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then >he >ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her he asked. >"Darling, what do you see." "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. He >brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that > >they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling > >off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to >sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. She humbly >asked, > "What does it mean Father?" He explained that each of them had faced the >same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently. The carrot went > >in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling >water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin >outer >shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the >boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were >unique however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the >water. "Which are you," he asked his daughter. "When adversity knocks on >your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? >" > >How about you? Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and >adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Are you the >egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? Were you a fluid spirit, but >after a death, a breakup, a divorce, or a layoff have you become hardened >and >stiff? Your shell looks the same, but are you bitter and tough with a stiff > >spirit and heart? Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot > >water, the thing that is bringing the pain, to its peak flavor reaches 212 >degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better. > >How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? >by Eric Mansfield >

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

> The following is something that means a lot to me. > I read it every morning and have come to realize that > (for me) it says everything I feel like I need to know. > I feel it alone could replace my shelves of self-help books. > > > > > Go placidly amid the noise and haste, > and remember what peace there may be in silence. > As far as possible, without surrender, > be on good terms with all persons. > > Speak your truth quietly and clearly; > and listen to others, > even to the dull and ignorant; > they too have their story. > > Avoid loud and aggressive persons; > they are vexations to the spirit. > > If you compare yourself with others, > you may become vain or bitter, > for always there will be greater > and lesser persons than yourself. > > Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. > Keep interested in your own career, however humble, > it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. > > Exercise caution in your business affairs, > for the world is full of trickery. > But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; > many persons strive for high ideals, > and everywhere life is full of heroism. > > Be yourself. > Especially do not feign affection. > Neither be cynical about love; > for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, > it is as perennial as the grass. > > Take kindly the counsel of the years, > gracefully surrendering the things of youth. > > Nuture strength of spirit > to shield you in sudden misfortune. > But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. > Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. > > Beyond a wholesome discipline, > be gentle with yourself. > > You are a child of the universe > no less than the tress and the stars; > you have a right to be here. > And whether or not it is clear to you, > no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. > > Therefore be at peace with God, > whatever you conceive him to be. > And whatever your labors and aspirations, > in the noisy confusion of life, > keep peace in your soul. > > With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, > it is still a beautiful world. > Be cheerful. > Strive to be happy.

See full message here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/I_Am_Responsible/message/4009

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

"Take action, any action. Just try to do something no matter how small it seems. Action of any kind can help get our energies flowing more positively." I have practiced this and there are some days when just getting showered and dressed and fed, are all the action I can muster. But that's better than just laying in bed all day moping. Other days, action means reflecting and writing about my feelings, taking walks, balancing my check book, doing housework. Sometimes action means calling a friend and initiating an activity, trying to learn something new, and doing something unfamiliar. In all cases, whatever I chose usually pays off. Have any of you seen the moving "What's the trouble with Bob?" with Bill Murray? He plays a totally angst ridden person who drives his therapists crazy. But he believes that with "baby steps" he can do anything, and he does. So just try baby steps and celebrate every success

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/I_Am_Responsible/message/4014

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

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B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

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Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

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B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

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Theresa, It is very obvious that your partner was very mad about you being late. He wanted to punish you for it in every way that counted and it worked. You kept trying to be reasonable with him. He had absolutely no desire to be reasonable. He just wanted revenge. You also were trying to tell him how he should behave and that got him more vengeful. Next time say something like. I don't want to miss the film so I'll see you in there. Don't try to make it better. Don't say a thing. Let him be the first one to say something nice. Let him be the one to call you and make the first overture at reconciliation.

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

Dear "Well, this is my first time in the Catbox..." you did not leave your name but you posted on Sunday, Feb. 25. You ended a relationship after 19 months.

You came to the right place.

Sharon here.

Hi Jay, Perdida and all. Welcome to this newcomer as well.

I'm doing OK for the most part. There has been contact with Dr. Psycho, however its been limited. We are not back together. I am in a place with myself of seeing and feeling the difference without him. He feels me distancing myself from him and asked me many questions. Now HE'S insecure. The crazymaking "re-runs" come and go, however, the frequency is diminishing. I needed to be away from him to get back to "calm". We have talked about the relationship in detail and have an "understanding" that it will never work because of differences between us. He will not take responsibility for his actions - never will - but that's OK. He knows what he did and said. He is missing me BIG TIME but I'm standing firm. He knows what his work is - I want love, trust and respect from him. He is incapable of doing this because he knows if he does this, he will lose his power. His dragons are winning!!

I have met somebody who seems pretty decent through my personal ad. We met Saturday afternoon at a local coffee house. His name is Tony. He and I are going to the movies next Saturday. He SEEMS nice. So, we shall see!! I will keep you posted.

Putting an ad in is pretty safe as long as you don't give your home address - make sure you meet at a public place - and don't give allot of stuff "up" so it's been OK for me. Kinda fun, too. But you do meet some of both - good and bad - its definitely a numbers game. The more you meet, the better your chances are of meeting someone you like.

Dear newcomer: Read as many books as you can on "verbal abuse". Patricia Evans has 2 books out - excellent reading - The "verbally abusive relationship" and "Verbal Abuse Survivors speak out". This will open your eyes!! You will find some of the stuff disturbing to read because it fits, however, the insightfulness will give you personal freedom and you will feel a difference about things, yourself and him. Also, there are many many excellent articles and information on this website. Keep on posting when you need to!! It really is therapeutic.

Hugs to all, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

To the person who is wondering if they "should have been a better listener or partner". I don't think that is possible given what you have said about his behavior. He was spitting at you and calling you names! 1) Truth - his behavior is his responsibility - you have nothing to do with it nor do you have control over it. Please do not think there is something you did wrong, though that is the natural thing to do. This man is not emotionally healthy or he wouldn't treat you this way no matter what you said or did. It appears that he used his anger as a weapon to hurt you or make you feel bad or make you feel worthless. If it was legitimate anger at something you were really doing bad that is one thing, but it seems more like it was a getting back at you anger for not giving him what he wanted. Your feelings never seemed to count. Believe me, you are much better off without him. Don't believe his lies about you. I'm sure there is someone out there interested in making you happy who thinks you are the cats meow.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

Dear Theresa: I read your post. Your partner punished you for being late. You also engaged by saying things back. It is soooo hard not to engage when they say these things - its like rubbing salt to a wound. But, if you can disengage yourself when he says these things - you will take the "sting" out of the toxic conversation and you will find yourself out of the "web" - which is what you want. Disengage, retain power, stay calm, get centered, and focus.

Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

Hi, catbox cats all.

Feel like I haven't been here for ages but really it is only a few days.

The therapy on Friday was emotional exhausting and I kind of ended up blowing an anger gasket and the therapist said I couldn't hear when my husband was trying. And you know what I couldn't and then the anger just kept resurfacing: but I guess I have said all I needed to say now and maybe I will go back. The therapist is always told by me I will never come back!!!!!! I just wish I could stop doing that but I feel so emotional by the end of the sessions that I just can't hold myself together.

Now I am fine and centred again and feeling better. I was going to answer some posts but I will have to post this now and try again later or the dinner is going to burn!

love, jay

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

Hi, catbox cats all.

Feel like I haven't been here for ages but really it is only a few days.

The therapy on Friday was emotional exhausting and I kind of ended up blowing an anger gasket and the therapist said I couldn't hear when my husband was trying. And you know what I couldn't and then the anger just kept resurfacing: but I guess I have said all I needed to say now and maybe I will go back. The therapist is always told by me I will never come back!!!!!! I just wish I could stop doing that but I feel so emotional by the end of the sessions that I just can't hold myself together.

Now I am fine and centred again and feeling better. I was going to answer some posts but I will have to post this now and try again later or the dinner is going to burn!

love, jay

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here. Well, I haven't really posted much about Dr. Psycho because some of my feelings that been confusing to me. On one hand, I don't miss the crazymaking stuff, however, on the other hand, I do miss his humor and "our moments." I am sad about our break up and the unwillingness on his part to own up to his behavior, be the warm and caring man I met in our beginning days. I sit in my office and sometimes get close to tears about what life was like those days nearly 2 years ago. We had some cherished times, and we were in love. That's what I miss. I hate the thought of what I allowed happen between us - the verbal, emotional and mental abuse - I also allowed my self esteem to suffer. I was guilty of not stopping him say these mean and cruel things. I wasn't stung enough. I am strong now. So, now I am interested in going back in the ring with my newfound self and start again with him. This time, I wouldn't let myself suffer. But am I foolish to think this way? I do have new opportunities with other men who appear healthy, however, I am drawn to Dr. Psycho. I will not make the first move towards him, however, I have to surrender to these feelings every now and then and realize they are normal......... Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 26, 2001

S1

Dear Theresa, Sharon here. Hi Theresa. I re-read your post of Feb. 5 which seemed so positive with your ex. What happened? I really thought things were going to level off for you. What happened the last 2 weeks? Is it too late to get back on that balance beam? For yourself at least?

I can see that it will always take work. Allot of it. Is it worth it? These are the questions I often ask myself as well.

Are things really better? Could it be denial? Have you communicated yet?

It's a cycle. At least it was for me with Dr. Psycho. It seemed like the honeymoon phase got smaller as time marched on. Is that what happened to you?

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