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Comments for Catbox 26

Comments for Catbox 26

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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: Thursday, March 15, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here, No real news on the Dr. Psycho home front. Its funny but as long as we are "friends" and not in an argument or at odds, I don't get phone hang ups at work or at home. We are, by no means, lovers again, but we have talked on the phone and in person. However, once we have words about the past behaviors, then a day or two later, I will get these strange phone calls, where it will ring once or twice and then when I answer, they are gone. I am seeing a pattern to this now, so I think its him.

I really am not interested like I was in him to re-establish the same physical relationship we had in the past. Being his girlfriend was agony for me - the abuse from him would never change. It would be OK for a week or two, and then the whole process would start up. What's weird was that we had chemistry between us, so its hard to let go of that. My affection for him is waning though. It does take time. However, I can only remember too well my frustration level with him because he just was not a loving man. He was cruel in nearly all ways when it came to being in a day in/day out routine life with him. He acted like I like you/I don't want you here. I am your friend today/I don't like you today after being around him for more than a week. No wonder he is alone. He told me that once I find someone else, it will get him motivated to find another woman. He said he has an ad in because I do. Yet, he's the one who refuses to take responsibility for the relationship or be emotionally available for me. He is a total abusive game player, and I feel sorry for the next woman he is with. He has narcissism tendencies also. Makes it hard to feel affection for him anymore. So, I am very glad that those feelings for him are disappearing. The physical passion is usually the hardest sometimes!

Hugs, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2001

S1

Dear Tara,

Please stay strong, you are absolutely doing the right thing. I think it will be the best thing you ever do for yourself. When you think about what to say to your husband, don't be concerned about saying the right thing to help him see what he has done. Communicate what you need to - focus on what has hurt you, how you feel and what you need. If he is concerned about your feelings, then it will show.

I feel for you so much, I read your post and it reminded me of so much of what I went through. The relationship ended. I am much happier now - my life is very calm and I enjoy so much more.

Take care, Mary

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2001

S1

Your site has given me the needed strength to start taking control of my life. Thank you.

Our marriage has been fraught with abuse since the beginning about 5 years ago. The minute we married he became another person. The weekend we married, he called his brother’s home and, not getting the response he wanted from his brother, proceeded to call brother’s home and work for hours with threatening and abusive messages on the answering machine or any ear that would hear. On the following Monday, his brother pressed charges for telephone harassment in 2 counties (work and home were in 2 different counties). We moved 2 hours out of town to “get away” from his sick family.

The next 2 years were so crazy . . . it is difficult to remember it all. I lost my car. I lost all my furniture (sold it and we never got paid for it). I had pitchers of water thrown on me because I “didn’t understand.” I crept out the bedroom window and slept in the car to avoid his rage. He ran up long distance calls talking to everyone he knew for hours on end. Once he shoved me so hard one entire breast was blue. You know in the cartoons how the little guy that gets bonked on the head sees stars? Well, I now know that you DO see stars when you get bonked on the head. He also tried to strangle me; broken things around the house; threw my things away because he didn’t approve of them, etc.

When we first moved there we had an apartment. Jobs just didn’t pay well and people we lived around were sick; we moved to an RV campground and lived in a small trailer. We both worked around the campground for rent. During this time my car was left on the side of the road and days later towed away (he took it to get beer and left it on the side of the road with the motor and transmission blown). We got fired due to a drunken binge and had 48 hours to leave the property. We next moved to a small travel trailer on an acquaintance’s property so hubby could help the man build his house. This trailer had a hole in the roof over the bed . . . the mattress was mildewy and damp. We had no hot water, no refrigerator, no heat, no air conditioning, no sewage and 2 days after moving there our other car broke down. We lived this way for 3 months . . . I went for days at a time with no food; couldn’t take a shower because we had no water heater and it was winter; didn’t have a way to launder clothes very well; the owner of the property was a “sicko” also, when our car broke down he said, “well, this is great, now I have slaves.” The property we lived on was out in the middle of nowhere and the closest intersection was 5 miles away. Hubby went to work some days with the Master doing odd jobs to earn our keep. We worked in the man’s garden and when the work was done “properly,” we were given a few vegetables to eat. The man’s son would creep around looking in the windows of our trailer trying to get a glimpse of me in the bathroom or asleep. Finally, a church came to our rescue and helped us fix the car. I immediately got a job and my first paycheck went to get us in a weekly pay “no tell” motel. Hubby continued to work off and on with the Master (it was the only job he could find). Since we had only one car, I was taken to work daily . . . however, there were many days that I had to sit outside for hours before he would pick me up. He took my paycheck and gave me “some” money . . . he would be the man and take care of the bills. Months later, Master didn’t have the money to pay hubby for his work, so on a drunken binge, he went to his mother’s to get some prescription drugs (and left me). His mother lived 2 hours away (where we originally lived when we married). I was left with no transportation, no money, and the rent due the next morning. A couple of precious friends came to my rescue. I moved in with one lady and another dear one helped me move all belongings out of the apartment we couldn’t pay the rent on.

Several weeks later he came to “bring me home.” I went with him (not sure why other than I wanted to get back to a city) and we moved in with his mother. He didn’t get a job, he instead was going to help his mother get her house in repair so she could sell it. We only had one car and he needed that car to run errands for his mother; so I was pretty well grounded. After 3 months at her house, he went on another drunken binge and this time I had him picked up by the police. He had been drinking for days and taking his mother’s prescriptions. He would break things around the house if she wouldn’t give him what drugs he wanted. He broke her TV, a ceiling fan, her dressing mirror, threw a tow-bar through a large plate glass window. Anyway, the police took him to the hospital and he was released several hours later. I ran to a women’s shelter and told his mother not to let him in the house. We lied and told him that we had filed a restraining order against him and he wasn’t allowed within 300 feet of the house or either one of us. He then decided to go for the rehab offered him and spent about 2½ months in several different rehabs.

The week after the police picked hubby up I went to work (I now had the car). First paycheck went toward deposit on an apartment. A few days later, the apartment manager called me and asked if I was interested in a job as the assistant manager. Not knowing if I would have a vehicle or not, I took the job because I could live on property and my need for a car would be minimal. The next paycheck I moved from his mother’s. When he was released from rehab, he seemed to have changed. I let him move in with me, but I did make a change in my boundaries . . . my paycheck was my paycheck and I would not hand it over to him. He did not like that and I heard about it for a while. Someone had given me a car also. He started school and did very well, one of the best in his class. During this time he took odd jobs and brought in some money. Life was looking a little brighter.

Then, the insanity started creeping back. If his car broke down, I was the one to do without a car. If my car broke down, I was the one to do without a car. I just “didn’t understand” what he had been through. My friends were “men haters” and “turning me against him.” Constant rage, yelling, name calling about anything that didn’t go his way. He helped his mother move 3 different times (in less than 3 years). On the first move, she started giving him her prescriptions again. She gave him a couple of credit cards for necessities. I didn’t take me long to figure out that he and his mother are both pretty sick people. She wanted to keep him addicted so their relationship would continue in a manner they were both accustomed to.

About 6 months ago, I started really taking my life back. I quit my job at the apartment complex and went back into my career field (which pays extremely well). I now have a wonderful position with great benefits. Since I quit my position with the apartments, I also had to move because my apartment was part of the benefits. I had several friends help us move. Hubby was running errands the day our help was available. Hubby didn’t want anyone touching his office, so we moved everything except his office. Subsequently, it took him 10 days to move his office and complained because no one would help.

After our move, we traded in one older car and bought a new one. Hubby didn’t want me to drive the remaining old car because he was concerned for my safety . . . what if it broke down and I was left stranded? But he always took the new car. I spent every evening by myself as he was helping his mother. What’s a girl to do? He never came home from his mother’s before 10:00 p.m. About 3 months ago, I slipped on the ice and pinched a nerve in my neck. My arm started going numb and I had difficulty doing my work on the job. I had to spend several days each week at the chiropractor’s. I was expected to ride the bus (walking to the bus stop in the rain, snow and ice with a pinched nerve) because he needed the car for interviews . . . he just couldn’t drive the old car to an interview. Well, I started getting up for work several hours earlier than usual and taking the new car while he was still asleep. I also told hubby that I would no longer tolerate his unemployment, his prescription drug addiction, his rages, his mother’s constant needs, and her credit cards were to be returned (he was using her credit cards for necessities . . . a couple of pipes because he was going to quit smoking, getting a paint job on the car, doctor’s bills, prescriptions, etc.). Hubby agreed to go to the doctor with his addiction problem, get a job, stop spending so much time with his mother, return her credit cards (at this point we owe over $28,000 on those credit cards) and we were to start counseling, separately. For a couple of days we were actually communicating. He did go to his doctor. The doctor gave him other medication to help him. He got busy on the phone making appointments for interviews. He didn’t see his mother every day (even though they talked/fought just as much). Well, it only lasted about 10 days . . . he came in one night, he had been to his mother’s to get some of his prescription drug of choice because he just couldn’t handle what the doctor gave him (I didn’t find out where he had been or why for a couple days). When he came home, he had barely got in the door (the only thing I said was, “hi”) when he started stomping his feet and waving his fisted hands in the air (like a 3 year old throwing a temper tantrum) while he raged (I never understood about what) and said something about hanging himself. After about 30 minutes of this, he then closed himself in a closet and howled at the top of his lungs. At this point I called the police and told them he was suicidal and raging and had an addiction problem with prescription drugs. When they came, he agreed to go with them. He spent 7 days in rehab. During this time, I quickly found an apartment and moved. I told him I had move while he was in rehab so I wouldn’t have to deal with his rage, the doctors could take care of him when he hit the ceiling. He was welcome to stay in the apartment, the rent was paid through the end of the month. He had 2 job offers on the answering machine when I left.

He decided not to stay in the apartment, he couldn’t get a job quick enough to take care of the rent coming due. So instead, mommy paid for the moving truck, the storage unit, and a room at a boarding house. He still does not have a job. Oh, yeah, the 7 days he spent in the rehab detoxing was not for addiction, it was because he had a breakdown (his version). He is back on his prescription drug of choice, but taking it “only as prescribed.”

Anyway, I have now been in my own place 4 weeks. I have had my highs and lows, I have cried and laughed, but I know I am doing the right thing. I am reading everything I can get my hands on and am going to a counselor. I am learning that I do not have to put up with abuse. I am important and so is my life. I look forward to life now. I am excited to be able to do things I want to do, to explore areas of myself that I have always put on hold.

I know this is a long post, but it sure does feel good to get it all out. Thank you for your wonderful site!! 

Lottie

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2001

S1

TZ,

Tim B. here... I can only speak from my own experience about what it was like, what happened and what it is like now. Addiction, any addiction including verbal and emotional abuse, is a dis-ease that tells me I DON'T have it. For me, that moment, the Karios instant when it no longer worked for me, when the crack in the facade of my false self became wide enough to let just a small glimmer of the sunlight of the spirit enter, came on June 18, 1994, Father's Day. I did not HEAR anyone, not my wife, my kids, my friends. I had been in and around the Program of AA since 1987, never willing to be totally honest with myself that I was all of the things that I was. I literally threw away ALL of the things that mattered most to me. I was morally and spiritually empty. It seems to me that I had to beat myself to a pulp BEFORE I could put my hand out and ask for help. Then began the process of uncovering, discovering and discarding. It will continue until I suck in my last breath.

I have learned, sometimes painfully, that I am the only person I CAN fix. My Mom was an alcoholic and I remember doing all the crazy, untreated Al-Anon tricks of pouring the stuff down the sink, filling glasses with mostly water, dragging her to detox facilities only to learn that she had left ten minutes after taking her there. I remember my Dad crawling around on the floor, stark naked with bruises and wine sores all over his body, telling me about the bus load of Japanese tourists who had just visited him...the half-empty gallon bottle of vodka sitting on the floor next to him. I remember begging my wife to go to Al-Anon, to individual or couples therapy...I remember.

If I have a problem that requires SOMEONE ELSE changing, then I have a problem that is UNSOLVABLE by me. I had to admit to my innermost self that I was an alcoholic, a codependent, a verbal and emotional abuser, a passive - aggressive male and whatever else I AM. No one could do this for me.

Chuck C., who was one of the great figures in local So. Cal AA circles used to say, " WE can't hear until we can hear" and " WE can't see until we can see". Another one of the locals here says, " When you hit a wall turn left", a woman I admire in Al-Anon said to me " Tim, some people go right through their bottom."

When I started working with guys as a sponsor, it USED TO break my heart to see them balk at a 4th. Step or 9th.Step and go out and start drinking or using again. I had to accept that they just were not finished yet, some of them had to die, go to jail or be committed...a few, very few, came back. This thing called recovery is not for people who need it, it is for people who want it. When I was whining about my former wife to my sponsors they would say to me. :" Tim, if it were meant to be ANY OTHER way than it is...don't you think that would have happened?"

I need to remember, most of all, WHO is in charge...it is not the guy writing this post. It's *Me*, Trubble!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here, TZ - some of your posts caught my eye regarding "RB".. wow, this person sounds just like the relationship I just got out of. My ex, Dr. Psycho, talked to me just like RB talks to you. Incredible. I had a very hard time getting used to how he talked to me - calling me names "idiot" etc. and twisting weird situations around and making me apologize for it, but he would not take any responsibility for anything. Not even calling me names or being mean, like I deserved it or something. I find it hard to unravel from it all even though he and I broke up 2 months ago or so. Living this way with verbal abuse was very hard for me.......thankfully we did not live together. My heart is out to you though for the sake of your children. It must be hard on you. Do these men have a clue as to how much they hurt when they talk this way? When you posted the scenario about verbal abuse, living in the Bronx, etc. I had a flashback of the same kind of scenario of what Dr. Psycho said to me 'shut the f''' up and go to sleep, you think you've been verbally abused, you haven't seen anything yet." Almost nightly he would say "shut up, no more questions". I tell you, where do these monsters come from? Even though I've been away from it, every now and then my anger comes out in my remembering how much I took from him. I feel very different about him these days though, my "affection" for him is waning. When I see him now, its a combination of feeling indifferent, scared, and sad that he had to end up not being a nice person. I truly think - in my case, anyway - that Dr. Psycho will abuse the next woman that comes along. Thanks for letting me vent.

Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2001

S1

This is to Lottie; I read your story....wow -what a story! I commend you on your courage to go out on your own and get it together. It sure sounds like you've done a lot of 'back and forth' with your ex. You seem real intelligent and articulate- how come you put up with all that for so long ??? He must have some hold over you, what do you think it is?? I am asking with utmost respect for you & your situation. I am in a place right now where I am living on my own now as of March 1st, after 3 yrs of marriage because I see that my husband is verbally abusive (yelling, name calling, threats, just plain irritated with me) and I am having a very difficult time with this separation. I love my husband, and people ask "why?" He can be very loving and is charming to the outside world. He has a steady job- we are both professionals- and we have a big home. I have now moved into this small -but clean little manufactured home- and have taken only one of our pets with me (our skunk) and he is now my only companionship. I just wanted to say that I acknowledge what you went through is incredible, you sound as if you've found your inner strength. I hope you stay strong and believe in yourself. I find it interesting that you said you are exploring what you like and doing things. I am just now trying to do that very thing. I am trying to get involved with community events and outdoor things- such as hiking, canoeing trips (like the Sierra Club) I feel like it will help me a lot if I "get a life!" And I need to. Ha ha, Hey- thank you for sharing your story, and know that there are those of us who are struggling too - and I'd like to hear from you as to how you're doing. You have a friend in me. Thanks, Summer.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 16, 2001

S1

Dear Lottie, What an awful story. Please don't go back and keep posting here for strength. It is time now for YOU to look after you and have some peace and happiness. You might find it useful to use the message boards as well as the catbox as people sometimes post quicker support there. Love, Jay *My* AuntieJay

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 16, 2001

S1

Hello my name is Sandra. I have been married for 15 years now and would simply like to share my story with you. About 10 years ago my husband and I almost split up. He was a very emotional abuser. He hurt me very much. I never thought that I would love him again. When I finally got the courage to leave, he swore to me he would change. I told him that I did not love him and that I didn't think he could ever be part of my life again. We had 2 children at that time and it made things so much harder. I had no self-esteem and felt so much anger towards him. I even started thinking of other potential men to replace him with. I was a total mess!!! Though he promised to change I doubted he would. He started to get help for his problems, and he tried so hard to please me, but could not. I never left him. I kept telling myself I didn't love him, but something seemed to keep me here. It wasn't even the fact that we had 2 kids. It took him a few weeks to accept that I would not let him control me, but he eventually got used to that fact. At first I wanted nothing to do with him and wanted him out so bad, but after not being yelled at and swore at for a few weeks I started to get my self-esteem back slowly. He promised that he would change and he worked hard at it. My anger towards him eventually lessened, and I finally felt like I loved him again. I could actually come home and not be scared to be yelled at. Now 10 years later he is the sweetest and most caring person that I ever met. It would have been a big mistake to end our marriage after those 5 years. I will probably never forget the abusive side of him, but he proved himself to me, and I gave him a chance to do so. We have a happy family of 6 now, and I wouldn't trade my husband for the world.

My point to writing all this and sharing my story is that I see that many women are told or advised to leave right away like I was. I just want to point out that I gave my husband a chance, even when I thought I didn't love him anymore and it worked out. Sometimes leaving is for the better, I agree, but if he is trying to change, and if he is seeking professional help sometimes it may be wise to stick around and see what the outcome is. Once these men realize what they are doing and are seeking help, they need to deal with a big change themselves, and perhaps more men would succeed if they were given a chance. I am not saying that it will always be the right thing to do, but it was for me. It took me a few months to get over my anger for what he had done, and a few years to heal from the pain he gave me, but in the end leaving him would have been a big mistake. Everyone can change if their mind is set on it. Ladies be certain before you leave him that he won't change. Trust me if he changes chances are your love for him will come back. I love you Jake. This is my story and I just wanted to give some of you out there hope. Sometimes leaving is not the answer. Bye

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 17, 2001

S1

Hi all, jay here. I wanted to ask the question; Does exhaustion follow the angry stage? It does for you AuntieJay. Seems like nothing has changed and all the emotion is left with me again. How do I get to actually being through all this junk.

Also in desperation at the therapist's I said NO MORE unless I see changes in the week and that (therapist agreed) I wasn't prepared to waste any more emotional energy and husband. had to agree we did something together or the whole therapy stopped and that was the END. Told her also about the "formidable opponent" stuff. She spends an entire session on why I feel unsupported and somehow seems to be suggesting that if I get angry in distress I am talking about grief among other things here -  he should get angry back!!!! I point out that people in extreme distress don't have their usual control and end up with husband actually telling me last night it was all about me. I will never trust him with anything serious again anyway so I suppose it doesn't matter. Dr Irene HE IS NOT TRYING. All he s doing is using every situation to get back at me. Ask for us to agree on ground rules for son and he refuses. Then does it when I say ok no washing machine working until we set them. THEN he listens. This is EMOTIONALLY draining. :( Do I have to set something ridiculous in place to move anything forward? Son this morning after some pretty serious mis behaviour is saying .."it was only." His dad minimizes everything and OOPS I am as mad as a coot. The end of the session ended with husband suddenly agreeing to go to an art museum and look at the pictures and have coffee and this happened after I said I am not coming back and she had said no not for a few weeks anyway - the therapy itself is getting used (MY POINT) Husband won't do anything except in that one hour! So I guess she was agreeing and then I say OK can we use our next week then and she agrees and this is all in the last two minutes as we are actually walking out the door. Therapist looked EXHAUSTED by us ands this time I don't blame her and then in the evening son plays up and husband backtracks on all that has been said and actually seems to be promoting the son's misbehaviour! Almost as if he gave something and is taking it back. All I know is I want al LIFE back and I am going to get it and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! From now on NOBODY is going to touch me. ........OK OK I know this is venting ...I will calm down and sort things out but to get rational just now I am posting here. Was I controlling by what I said at the therapists???????? Of course not. Is it OK to be controlling sometimes to break a cycle?????? You are controlling Jay. You are saying what YOU will do; not telling him what to do. That is GOOD. jay (Who will now take three deep breaths and calm down and drink herbal tea and put on soothing music. Pity the aromatherapy bathe didn't work and then put on the make up and perfume I never wear just for a distraction and walk into town to the gallery and try to calm down enough to make it a positive experience.........................Sucking the homeopathic stuff............with calming music on and plans to do a relaxation tape in the next two minutes. If all that doesn't work then you may dunk me in the river!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We'll go swimming together AuntieJay.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 17, 2001

S1

OK OK I needed to read Sandra's story FIRST? Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 17, 2001

S1

this is a story of a women who was abuse by her first boyfriend ,, before she met this man she was the nicest kindest most naive person you would probably ever meet. she is 30 now and since she was 2o she was beaten and verbally abused almost ever day till she was 29 now she is doing the same to the people around her.. she found the courage to leave after 9 agonizing years this a is sad but true story and it just goes to show that we learn what we see. :(  And we have the choice to perpetuate it - or not...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001

S1

Is there a psychological term for a kind of anxiety that makes people repeat their problems verbatim, over and over, to as many people who will listen. This problem has been an ongoing problem with my friend for over twenty years. I know she is suffering because of it. "Boringitis?" She may also be clinically depressed. These people go on and on, wearing their loved ones down...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001

S1

To Tim, TZ here, Thank you for your reply. Your situation is very different from RB's except that his father was an alcoholic and his mom was an enabler. He did have a horrifying childhood. I can say that in some ways he has seen some light. He is very far from the bottom; it's just that it seems like a long journey and I don't know how far he will go and if it will be far enough for me...

Sharon, Thank you so very much for your post. It sounds like Dr. Psycho used some of the same things that RB does. Some days I have been sure that we would not stay together. Now things have been great for a few days, and only mildly bad in the past few weeks at worst, so I feel like 'everything is ok'...We had an appointment w/the counselor Fri. eve. and I feel that there was some progress. He has been considerate and pleasant the past few days. It's hard to understand how I could feel so differently today...and so despondent on days (years) past...One thing, RB I feel really deep down is a great person. I think that he had a miserable childhood where he was horribly neglected and abused. I will not use this as a reason to accept his bad treatment of me, but it is a partial explanation to me as to why he acts like this. Also, our son has ADHD, goes into his own world, has a very short fuse and is very demanding, unsympathetic, etc. and I am convinced that these are genetic traits and that RB is undiagnosed ADHD. He does take xanax and self medicates (melatonin, etc.). Our daughter is autistic (high functioning) and has developed into a sensitive, generous and compassionate little person. I see these as genetic traits - I don't see how else they could have developed like this…Both RB and our son seem to be oblivious to people around and their feelings unless prompted- unable to see things from someone else's point of view. The difference is that our son is growing up with a LOT of help, love and support. It's really funny, you would think that the person who is diagnosed autistic would have those traits, but her zoning out is different - when she is attending, she is an incredibly caring and affectionate person.... Had you ever tried to use a tape recorder with Dr. Psycho? When someone is convinced and is trying to convince you that he did or did not say something it seems that it could help. The past few 'arguments' with RB, I planned on getting one, but I always put it off as soon as things are 'ok'. Things seem so normal today. Next time I will have the support of this site when things turn around. Don't mean to be pessimistic...

Lottie, I'd just like to voice my support for you - your situation has been incredibly challenging. As Summer said, you seem to be very smart and articulate - please keep the faith in yourself...

Jay, that kind of situation just sucks the energy right out of you. Do you feel that sometimes you deal with it better than other times? If so, maybe you could try to figure out what is different in your outlook and try to focus on developing it further. In my experience, being exhausted and having headaches go with the whole picture… It's terrible that your children are being involved in that way.

Thanks to all... TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001

S1

TZ

Tim B. here...

Hmmmm...RB"s Dad was an alcoholic and Mom was an enabler. More IS being revealed. Suggest reading 1. Claudia Black: "It Will Never Happen To ME", 2. Wayne Kintsburg: The Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome and 3. Janet Woititz: Adult Children of Alcoholics. That's about RB. Now, what about you?.

None of this just falls out of  trees...complimentary issue maybe???

Anyway, becoming aware is one great leap. My best and heart to BOTH you and RB.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001

S1

Jay again and I feel bad for not replying to anyone else's posts but I am going to be rightly involved with my own situation for just a while.

I am literally reeling with the events of the last 24 hrs. And in the middle of it suddenly flipped about the state of the house and moved ALL the muddle into my daughter's room to try and make our attic into a living space I wanted to be in....Of course sorting CHAOS creates chaos!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jake and I have FINALLY moved forward just a bit and I am not even so sure why this feels so ok as in many ways it is probably the strangest resolution an abuser and his wife ever made!

He has signed agreements (obviously mutual) on no abuse and we have agreed with our son's request for this age (well he did say 50!) Not to mention divorce until he is 18 and also that instead of arguing all week we will limit our time to discuss disagreement. signed a no to an evening a week. he also signed a no abuse clause. Finally as the stuff about the washing machine???(You will have to read back in the catbox about how doing the washing can be used as a form of control!) Giggle... was the very thing right at the start of the marriage that started us off, Jake agreed to buy it from me. This means we both put all the hurts away and draw a line and move on. Albeit with therapy.

We then went out and bought the printer ALL the family needs as ours broke....

Then after getting really upset about my daughter tonight she started to talk and if we haven't resolved stuff as yet at least I am "allowed" to ring her tomorrow. She sounded very low but was at the boyfriend's.

I feel like I had to walk the thousandth not the third mile to get where the family has got to.

Father in law is an angel.

Of course one must beware of false hope. But for our family to get this far is a miracle in itself.

Even got the trouble with son sorted so parents finally agree.

Please anyone who believes in a God pray for us! CAN there be a success story. Jake and I did manage an hour in a museum and a meal without falling out even if we did just after.

Tonight I believe I may be able to sleep! Zzzzzzzz......   

Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001

S1

Today I woke up and it was the same earth. My prayers for transportation to a happier place were unanswered. But I noticed the Sun and it seemed to notice me. I found we were smiling at each other. Then the wind came. No gentle breeze. But this time I did not get blown over. I stood. The rain tried to fall and bring me sympathy. But I found I didn't need it. I was smiling through the wind and the rain at the sun and we both had a center and we both still existed despite the wind and rain. So in the calmness of the storm I rearranged my prayer and accepted the presence of a rainbow. jay Copywrite, Jay, 2001. Poetry...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001

S1

Jay, I hope your family continues to take those small steps...

Tim, I know I should read about adult children of alcoholics...my mother-in -law has been telling me that too, for years. The other day I called her to say hi and a little stuff came out about her son and me. About ten years ago we lived with her briefly, so she was exposed to some first hand yukky stuff. Anyway, I get the feeling she does not want to hear about it at all anymore...It gets very tricky because in the course of discussing her son, her role in this comes up and it must be really hard for her to face. Back then, she felt that she HAD to stay with an abusive, drunk, cheating, lying lunatic, even if he was terrorizing their kids. So she just worked as much as possible and the kids were left to fend for themselves. Anyway, my story is that I had a wonderful childhood with great communication, well-balanced, loving and analytical parents. I am not saying that I haven't played my part in my relationship troubles. I've worked through depression, suicidal feelings and very occasional fleeting homicidal ones (!)...In the beginning, RB's behavior was just shocking - that's why we broke up hundreds of times - but I got used to it, tried to change him, tried to fight back, get even, etc. It's just in the past few years that I'm seeing things and approaching them differently - probably out of necessity - the need to survive!! The really good stuff (emotional) is gone from our marriage but so is the worst bad stuff. We're working on it...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001

S1

TZ,

Tim B. here...

Good awareness....and correctomundo about RB's mom " NOT wanting to go there." For those of us who grew up in " distressed families", we learned, (I learned) many ways of relating to fellow human beings in unhealthy ways. No one wants or needs to tolerate verbal, emotional or physical abuse. Protecting ourselves and our children IS the FIRST priority. Unfortunately, in these same families, the river that courses through Egypt is flowing through the family system. In the one I grew up in, it is best described, as delusion - sincere denial. Nobody knows that nobody knows that nobody knows. When I looked at my family, parents...their parents, extended family and siblings....a very different mosaic emerged than what I had held to be true. By talking and listening to my twin brother, I have learned a lot of the family secrets that I otherwise would not have learned. Going further, to other relatives, people who knew my parents, people who know and knew my wife's family...well, I have became astounded! Much of what has transpired makes much more sense in the context of examining our family (ies) as a system. I once believed - " well, it wasn't all that bad, I mean, I got a good education."

Why was it that I experienced those same feelings that were expressed by you...vacillating between homicide and suicide? When I walked into those rooms, the ones I continue to walk into...I look for the SIMILARITIES, not the differences. I then go up to the person or persons that shared the information that the big guy put me there to hear and ask for that information to be explained in greater detail. No one, to date, has turned me down. By looking at my family, my former wife's family, in the context of systems, I have come to a place of understanding, tolerance, compassion and empathy. A great many half-filled glasses hooked-up through at least six generations! A great benefit of this acquisition and processing of seemingly random bits of information, events and circumstances allows me to see a very fluid and evolving dynamic at work, almost as if I'm viewing an organism that has existed for 150 years.

The wonderful part of all this is: that it can change now...my 3 beautiful kids don't have to pass this stuff on....unless they want to. It CAN begin to cease and end -. right here, right now. I wish that healing for your family.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

Dear Trubble, B. here! My RealMommy!

I can't marry George, your real daddy! We don't belong to the same "church"! I'm so sorry to disappoint you... NO NO NO NO!!!! It took this long for me to search the World and find the two people who never, ever disappoint me. 

Theressa - to your question,

What can I say? I have the same problem! TZ, you too. I thought I married a guy who believed in sharing, equality (liberte, egalite, fraternite, is that it?) and all that modern stuff, but the minute we had a child - out came the chauvinist pig! He really does things, and he really "help out" some, but that's just it - he "helps". He does not get it at all that *I* enable *his* work & play by taking care of *our* daughter! He is also "oblivious", as you say TZ, to all the things I do. I work, work, work, he watches TV. RealMommy's mad... FakeMommy says you should play more too; watch TV more... Really! Theressa, with my H I see his big problem, that he does not really see "other people". But my therapist says, that he will get better with therapy (he goes to his therapist, every week, after I left the house and made going to treatment my condition for returning home). She says he lives in a bubble, and that his passiveness is part of it. However, there does not go a week by when I don't think: is it worth it? Will it become better? I want to live my life NOW, how many years will I have to wait before he becomes a real partner? Wow, RealMommy, I've never seen you so fed up...

So, Theressa, ask yourself: Do I want to live with that? You know why you chose him in the past. You used to be a sacrificing person. But now you are changing. You do not want to be used anymore - and you are now. That's why you are angry. He is behaving inappropriately. You cannot change him. You can say: I feel used in this relationship. I want a partnership where we both raise our daughter, as equally as possible. I don't want a father who remembers the fact only when I remind him. If I need to take care of me, and you do not want to be my equal partner, then I WILL take care of me, but I do not need or want YOU. This is not the relationship I want. I accept it that you will not change, so we have to part again.

Theressa, I only give words to your feelings. The decision is yours. You have to weigh the pros and cons: do I want to live with him again, with his world view and egotistic chauvinism? is he in any kind of therapy, where he may change, or is there any hope that soon he will be able to hear what you are saying ("I do not like our relationship because I want equal parenthood")? If he is not working on himself, and is not likely to either change or understand your feelings - do you want to stay with him? After all, it tells me something, that he is not even willing to acknowledge your feelings. This is abusive. A non-abusive, loving partner would have tried to understand how you feel, what makes you upset in the relationship, and would sit with you to discuss solutions: what he is willing or not willing to do.

I wish Dr. Irene would help with the phrasing, because I really am a novice in this: when the man simply goes and lives his life, while we are left taking responsibility, like in : he just gets up and goes to work. Hi. Irene here. You are no novice B; quite articulate in fact. But, you are not "left" taking responsibility; you choose to pick it up... If *I* want to go to work, *I* need to arrange a babysitter, or work at 5:30 in the morning when they sleep (so he baby-sits his own daughter during his normal sleep). So, what is my (and Theressa's) feeling here? If I wanted to phrase it in an "I" sentence, would it be correct to say: "I am going to stop taking care of all the pieces. I am not going to worry about how he will take care of what needs to be done, because if I do, he won't have to. I will trust that even though I will probably not like the way he does things, I will curb my tendency to "fix" what he does and begin to give up those "things" which I have been controlling at my expense. I will give up worrying that he do things the way I would like to see them done. If I don't trust that he can be responsible with his daughter, I won't let him take responsibility, but on other things, I will. I know this will be hard for me. Very hard."

"When I see that you go about your business without first checking with me if I can baby-sit our daughter, whereas *I* have to arrange a replacement and take care of it every time *I* need to do things that cannot involve her, I feel USED (??? Dr. Irene, help, is this the right feeling? I am not so sure). It's your feeling. If you feel used, you feel used. Your job is to stop putting yourself in a position where you feel that way because you give up controlling how many "things" get done. Your job is to become more tolerant this way and less obsessive compulsive. I want an equal relationship, and I am upset to discover you transfer your 50% to me without asking me". He may attempt to transfer. You don't need to accept the transfer. Don't worry about "it" not getting done. Let him worry, if he will.

Dr. Irene, is not sharing parenthood a form of abuse? Or only if you have expressed your feelings correctly and only then the H refuses to take equal share? Problem is you can't put yourself in charge of deciding what is "equal." Which has to be what you've been doing with a passive hubby...

Sorry for the long and muddled post... Don't be. As usual, you bring up many excellent points. No wonder Trubble loves you. In fact, he's off to Washington to propose "Worldwide Religious Equalization" he will bring to the United Nations. He's determined you marry "RealDaddy." (God help you both!)

B.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

B- I am not sure, but I think Dr Irene can't blue pencil if she wants to just now due to problems with her server. I couldn't publish; kept losing the formatting, etc. It's OK now, but I'm switching servers again in a few days... As to your question about abuse; I think that the answer depends on the degree of not sharing and how you tackle it. I had to make the decision to agree with husband for the sake of child on discipline when the kids were younger. Then the same problem happens in the teen years.

In the pre teen years husband was so much of a workaholic that finishing a thesis on time was more important than the fact that because his term was ended the whole family would be on the streets. I literally awaked round estate agents and banks with no personal income trying to find a mortgage and house on the basis of husband's income with a 2 year old and push chair. The when we moved he refused to let us unpack until he had finished the thesis! Ever tried to look after a 2 year old in a house of packing boxes.......

He took no involvement in schools/pre schools or Nursery and just for good measure refused to let the child be at any church meeting.

Finally of course I flipped and took the child to church, unpacked, and made life ok for me and child.

We then had no sleep as husband worked through every entire night getting about 2 hours sleep and then went out to teach his college students. 2 doctors tried to get through with no success,

He did however, change nappies and play with the child at times and so I had to say ok at least he does something. He loves the child, but himself more. This is narcissism...

But on the day I fed my child an egg cupful of pumpkin (mashed pumpkin is the best baby food) he went mad. At 6 months plus with my milk failing I was apparently only supposed to be breast feeding! I ignored him. Actually I breast fed for a year with supplements to the diet!

So was husband abusive? Yes to ME. I counteracted any abuse to the child and will give him being right on the smacking debate, I probably would have smacked had it not been for husband.

On the other hand, safety always seemed my responsibility as does awareness still of my children's needs and development. His parents have an enormous swimming pool completely unblocked and loads of small grandchildren. Over the years, pleas from all the daughters in law for a fence have been left unanswered and they even have people to stay in a cottage with kids on their land! One day a child will be drowned and there is nothing we can say or do to make them see sense. We have had to fight my mother in law to use trephine to call a doctor for a baby with a temperature of 105.

Husband once when daughter was about 14 days old went out to a lecture he was giving leaving the baby alone in the house as I got delayed. NEVER occurred him to ask the next door neighbor and I think he genuinely forgot he existed. My breaking a window as I then returned and had no key was taken as my doing something wrong.

So it went on.......Calling the police for daughter as she wasn't home by 1.30pm at 15 was |stirring things"

Finally I have some progress; but it will NEVER be by expecting common sense from husband. I think this own family of origin who are lovely in many, many ways and so very kind have seen to that very effectively. Fifty percent biology too... Even harder when hubby is too bright. All those smarts get kind of twisted, energizing the wrong endeavors...

However they do change, At least, even if it is only what HUSBAND wants to do he does spend time with children.

The tough call is to realise the support you are looking for won't happen. They don't and won't see our needs. Kids do grow up though and the only way at present is to build up your support system outside the home. Exchange caring with another person in a similar situation...Don't let it become child abuse by mitigating the adult abuse of the victim YOU).

You and Theressa too are USED. But my doubt is it won't change. So you will need to think creatively so you get some space. Take the little they give and enjoy your kids. Especially any financial input which lets you use crèches or whatever! (It is fine to leave your kid in a crèche or play scheme as long as they are happy.)

The difficulty is the problem for these guys was set a long time ago in the family of origin. Parents in law once left their kids sleeping while they called the fire brigade for a kitchen fire so if they had that little sense I can't blame husband. Husband once stayed working in study while I took baby into street for help when our own kitchen was full of steam-(I left the pressure cooker on too long!)

Use all the support groups/ parent groups available to make contacts and anything whatever that helps make your life easier.

I've been there and husband had to improve over the years. Some men just don't know how to nurture little kids...OK so as not to get accused of being sexist, some women. They come from a place of deprivation; of can't get enough...for me.

All I can do is thank GOD I did train in childcare so I had ways of overcoming my own family of origin which went crazy on the safety angle and really apart from that life the kids to themselves.....

You have my sympathies as apart from abuse it is also VERY hard week living with and overcoming it! Time does change it though and some men who are hopeless at one age come into their own with their children at another. Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to Jay, B and the others who replied to my post about childcare.

After speaking to many mothers I have come to the conclusion that it is a cultural thing. EVEN though we have new rights and women now are accepted in lots of careers previously thought of as male only. ONE thing hasn't caught up in this society. That is childcare, modes of thought come in to being however, it takes years for people concepts to change.

Therefore, I think men naturally still think it is a woman's job to look after the kids, it is natural, they are better equipped, more patient etc. Of course there are exceptions, but most men are not "trained" and "prepped" to be parental, as are most women.

In some terms I guess women are more emotional, and are equipped physically at a certain age to take care of kids, when males aren't. And maybe males find the bonding part harder since women are able to breast feed etc.

However, I think our models of men and women are the problem. AND it is parents who give us this concept of what is MAN, and what is WOMAN, so it is up to us PARENTS to change this image.

My partner said "I try to help where I can." TRUTH is he is much better this time around than he ever was, so PROGRESS has happened. :)

Thanks all of you, this debate I am told is common amongst all couples and not just abusive relationships, FOOD FOR THOUGHT EH!!

Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

Dear all,

I am at a loss what to think, what to belief. When I first started writing here, it was cause I was going to see C. Again after some two months and a lot of problems before. He was the one who actually left, cause he couldn't handle his dependency anymore and he said he needed to find. It was, as some may remember, the second time in three years. After he left, it was an emotionally very hard time for me, especially since he kept coming back and told me he really loved me. This went for about 4 months, until I finally could take it no more and told him I did not want to see him for a moth. Within a day he first came to see me and after two weeks he was sure we could work it al out. 6 weeks later he told me he could not handle it, he felt so bad, and we split up again. He found a house and I refused to talk to him for two months. He called once or twice and I did not want to see him. After these two month he called again, said he really wanted to see me and finally get some kind of closure, that he thought he wanted to be alone, but found he did not really. I agreed and we agreed to try to work things out and see if whether we might eventually get back together again.

This is 6 months ago, in which time we did have a sort of LAT relationship and things were more or less ok. Hard work to try and find a kind of harmony between distance and closeness, for both of us, not to sell out (we are both codependents) and know what we want to do, to take care of ourselves. It was nice being together again though. Now, he has decided he want to go to live in maybe Portugal, cause he feels he needs the warmth there (not a new idea btw, and I thing he his right there, but he is going over next week to see if there are any possibilities.) What has me all upset is that he does not want to talk about me coming with him, cause he feels he needs to make that decision first by himself, and he is not ready yet for living together here, so how could he be ready for living together in Portugal? Right. I wanted to talk to him about how he felt that would influence our relation, and as always these questions have him all upset. He feels so pressured. I really tried to ask calmly, non-judgmental, but he still feels I am asking for something he is not ready to give, while I mostly want things to be more clear. He gets angry at me for asking, makes me feel I am controlling, pressuring, and I am wondering whether I am. But at the same time I think it is my right to ask him what he wants with this relationship and to tell him I really felt left out when he was making plans like that without even involving me. In the end he agreed he would have felt bad also had I done a thing like that. But he steel feels he has to make this decision alone, and of course I should think about wither I would maybe want to come along. But he thought the time to talk would be after he had decided. I told him, it would have been ok if he told me that straight away and he answered: ok, but I can't think that you might be upset and even I I could, I would have had to think up a whole strategy how to tell you, and I simply can't do that.

I told him I wanted some kind of commitment some making plans together and he says he cannot do that right now. With no one. After a while he came over to hug me and he stayed for the night. In the morning we both hugged a lot (fear?) and We said I love you and he said he really has a hard time with conversations like we had the night before cause he felt so pressured and when feeling pressured he did only want to get out from under the pressure. That he really cared and could I please not ask so many questions, cause it left him feeling helpless and disoriented. He did not know what to do. Am I fooling myself to think this was nice to say, that there is progress in this . Some months ago he would have left angry and refused to talk at all. He still is trying to make me feel bad for him feeling helpless. And it is hard to stay my ground, especially since I am not sure whether I might be too controlling and do not want that. But also I do want to say what I feel, what I need. I think it helped I said time and time again I knew he had to make the decision himself, That I could not change that, that I did not even want that. But God, it takes a lot of energy. I think I did the right thing, but I am both afraid of having been controlling in pressuring him by asking questions and at the same time of not having been assertive enough by still telling him I love him and wanting him to stay.

This has been a long post. I am still upset and don't know how to handle it. He is leaving on Thursday night and I don't have an evening off before that. I said this morning, so, see you in 10 days. He answered, we'll see, maybe Wednesday. No, I have an appointment then. O. I think that is OK, I am doing my own things, even if it is hard to do, and I am accepting that I might not see him because of that. But it is up to him also to try and make time for me in advance and make some plans (which he has always had a hard time doing). Also I told him that three days after him coming back, I was leaving for Oxford. More O. And you know what, I don't feel bad about it. He makes these decisions without consulting me, so I make them without consulting him.

Sorry for this long post, but as we al know, it helps to write. I would appreciate your comments. Am I wasting my time, or am I right in seeing some progress in that at least we seem to have started talking about things that are happening right now and not in the past (though he keeps saying I dreg up old cows if I relate to something from the past). I am not angry about the past anymore, at least not right now. But I do want more out of a relationship then living our own lives side by side. Two have to be more then one + one. Well, at least I am learning form these confrontations. He mentioned he felt upset because we had quite some disagreement during our last couple of meetings and in the old days I would have felt very guilty and would have tried to appease him. Not any more. Good!

Sorry again for rambling. Lots of love,

AJ

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

Dizzy- March 19, 2001

I fell in love 13 years ago with another man. We were both married. He pursued me and I fell head over heels. Kids grew up and I kept bringing it up that we should be together, after all, we loved each other so much and were together every day. We never broke up and when it did happen, it did not last. So I thought it made sense to leave our spouses. They had known about us on two occasions. He was reluctant, but finally agreed it was the best choice. We looked and found an apartment and furnished it (I bought almost all of the furniture, etc.) I spent thousands of dollars fixing it up nice. We moved in and he was very affectionate and seemed happy with his decision. He told his entire family. I told mine. Then he went home on the third day we were together to talk to his son who his wife had flown up from Florida. He came back very upset that night. I tried to support and calm him and give him love. The next day he went to work and never came back. He would not talk to me or accept my calls. He left threatening calls on my answering machine not to call him or contact him. His brother actually called the night he did not return and said that he needed "Space" and was confused. He said you know how sensitive my brother is. He said he hoped I had a lot of support because I was going to need it. I felt devastated. I had left my home and husband for this? I waited a few weeks then waited for him outside his work place to see if we could talk about what had happened. His wife stormed into the parking lot (he apparently called her and told her I was waiting outside). It got nasty and he said he did not love me, but loved his wife in a very cold, emotionless voice. Months passed and I had a relapse day and was not feeling well, so I called him at work and he hung up on me. He called my home that night (I moved back with my husband) and again he threatened me---just for one call! I had done nothing to bother him, just the one call in months to see if he was doing okay. He demanded to speak to my husband and I said he was not there. He ended up phoning my husband at work a few days later and threatened him as well! I have tried therapy and nothing works. I am still angry, still hurt and confused by this behavior. I know he must be a Narcissist, but I did not know how I had been abused and controlled by him all those years. Now I just discovered that my husband has been taking out hundreds of thousands of dollars from one of our accounts---money we gained from a sale of a business 5 years ago. He did not tell me he was doing this. I have e money in my name and the house is joint. Again, I feel bewildered by this behavior. I just can't win. Is this abusive behavior? Yes. Did he do this to upset me? Probably not. Probably self protective behavior.  He says it is "nothing personal" he was desperate for the money to keep his new business going! I feel that I am always having the wool pulled over my eyes. Why can't I see these things coming. I am feeling that I can hardly live a normal existence anymore. I try, but there is so much I carry around and I don't know what to do about this situation with my husband. Help me, please. You are living your life around a man instead of around yourSelf...

Dizy

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

AJ Do you mean Oxford UK or is there one in America??????If you mean UK then get my email address from Dr Irene and email me. Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

How can you make the woman you love happy and yourself be happy when she says she does not love you anymore nor does she not seem to want your love anymore? I am having big problems understanding that. How do I not be sad anymore?? Yes I made big mistakes and I realize that, but how do I go home and not look at her, not want to kiss her, and not want to hug her?? How do I ignore her when she is upset about things and does not want to talk about things with me?? Why is it society today seems to immediately point to separation and divorce as answers?? I have so many memories of the love we shared, but she only remembers the bad memories. Why doesn't she want to see a changing me? She needs time to get through her anger first. Give it to her.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

Tim, Thanks for your well wishes and comments. TZ

B. I think that other aspects of your relationship come into the child care question. When RB and I were pulling in similar salaries I felt justified in requesting equality in domestic responsibility. We made choices (together) that made the most sense for the house/family which put me in the house/child caretaker role... I agree that it is our society that puts the woman in this role, even if she is contributing way more than her share... TZ

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