Home

The CatBox Forum

Ask The Doc Board

 

8/14 Interactive Board: Accepting Reality - Or Not

2/9 Interactive Board: What Do I Do?

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

 6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com


 

Comments for Cat Box 3

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

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

back to Cat Box 2   

Back Up Next

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Dear Trubble, Dr Irene and Cat Box Family, First off I would like to apologize to you Trubble for leaving you out on my post to AK. Meow...

I have been reading the posts and also taking in what Dr Irene and Trubble had to say, a lot of what she said to AK I can identify with.

She said something about remarks being taken internally and inducing feelings of insecurity. For instance, a remark such as my mother once made after my brother and I and our families spent three weeks putting a new roof on her house and garage, My roof is still leaking as though we didn't do it right". She then got a professional down who explained that the flashing against the chimney had worked loose, and that is where the water was getting in, and whoever did the roofing rebuild did a good job. She then told us what he said, but no apology about the remark and no Thank You for doing this for me. This raised feelings of doubt about my abilities and then of course guilt because I didn't do it right. If you are OK with yourself, even if you had messed it up, you would not feel guilty for messing it up. You would simply chalk it up to inexperience or whatever and let it go. 

We had put in a skylight here in our home, which would leak, Lynn became irate over the drip, this was before the leak that she posted about, I then got angry and went out in the rain to try to repair it. She didn't appreciate my actions, (and I don't blame her) I acted out from past experiences and feelings that I couldn't do anything right. Good Monday morning quarterbacking!

I agree Dr Irene, no one is a jerk, but they do act it.

I have sat down and wrote my mother a letter without mailing it, I felt better after writing it, but some of the anger which I have toward her is still there. It will be with you for a while. You are just at the beginning. Your job is to notice it and not act out on it. I maybe ahead of myself but I now think that some of the anger that I focus on Lynn is really anger at myself and anger at my mother. YES! That's why you're looking at your relationship with mom - so you don't lug it everywhere you to! Myself because I don't say anything, and anger at my mother for things such as I wrote about above.

I think that this is going to be a long post, so please bear with me.

I really don't know why I responded to Lynn's friend's death the way I did. I know that a lot of Nam Vets have ghosts which they have a hard time facing, I'm one. That is another saga in my life story, though. A coupe of years prior, our nephew committed suicide, and perhaps it was ribbons from that, I really don't know. He was only 18 at the time, also he was only 5 days older than my daughter. Ouchhh! Good thing you are looking at this stuff now.

I know that when people act like they don't like me, I have feelings of what's wrong with me and at times go out of my way to impress on them that I am a good guy. Reading your post Dr, Irene, I know that that is their problem, and I shouldn't take it in, but I do. Another of the codependency traits which I have to work on. Right. You take their problem and make it yours. You haven't yet figured out that what other people think doesn't matter.

I always wondered why Lynn felt that I didn't listen to her, because I have always been the sounding board for everyone in my family and come up with the remedy. This I guess I took on as the oldest of my father's children. I have two older half sisters, and two older half brothers. One of the older half sisters was given up for adoption, "why" is a question which will never be answered. The truth be known, though, everyone in the family believes that she was my fathers daughter, as she resembles me almost to a T. Lynn even says this, as did my first wife, and her sister. The oldest half sister was the one person, whom I respected for most of my life. She always seemed to be there when I needed her when I was younger, but as she has gotten older, she is getting to be more like our mother, while still complaining about her. (Mother) Ouchhh again.

I know now that there is a difference in hearing what Lynn said and what the family said. In my mind, I was interpreting that Lynn wanted me to FIX it Ps: Your interpretation is a real typical "guy thing." , as did my siblings, which isn't what she was saying. Lately though, there have been things which for Lynn, I need to fix. This isn't saying that I can, but I do have to if not fix, at least make them better for both of us.

My attitude about my mother is one of them, I have told Lynn, she is my mother I'm used to it, insinuating, if not saying, that she should get used to it too. Lynn, for this I am very sorry. I tried to force you to accept that which for you should be, is unacceptable. I grew up with this and never realized that my thinking was clouded. It was opposite of what I told Angry Girl, that is what difference does it make what people think or say about you, it's what you think of yourself that counts. I don't know if this is coming out as I am trying to put it, but if not I hope you get my drift. I was trying to make you take on what my mother was saying and/or doing. I could then be comfortable because you felt as I did. Oh Dan... Good, good stuff! Now you're getting it! Hope you know it's OK to have made all those boo boos.

I think that I'm going to close for now, I appreciate you all (listening) to me.

Trubble, I wonder, do you want fresh salmon, or would frozen do? Fresh please.

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Dr Irene

Thanks for your comments.

I have a question about the "I don't like you" stuff.

I agree that it's my own thinking that allows this statement to hurt. The problem I have is when he says this, I want to be more distant from him and I feel less loving towards him. OK. Pull back. No problem. I start to lose hope for the relationship. Now you are putting words in his mouth.  I know that it's not even true that he doesn't like me. Is it possible to still love and support someone at a safe distance when he says he doesn't like or respect me (knowing that this isn't even true)? Is it possible for me to feel no hurt when someone says, "I don't like/respect you" unless I don't like or respect that person either? You have to realize you are independent of other people. You stand alone. You don't have to bounce off their feelings about you.

Dr. Irene I think you are getting at something important, but I haven't quite pinpointed it for myself yet.

Can you suggest some appropriate things I could say to him when he says this? I am working on removing the buttons he can push, by not making my state of emotional health dependent on the things he says to me, but as long as he keeps saying these hurtful things I need to stay a safe distance. Perhaps I am confused about what the word "abuse" really means. My intention is not to blame him for anything, but to make him aware that I won't hang around people who say non constructive things with the intention to hurt. Yes. Nothing gained by putting yourself in a negative space.

This is where the Patricia Evans books seem to miss something. It's easy for me to say "I won't tolerate that behavior from you" when I hear what I interpret as abuse. But how do I respond to "I don't like you"? Let them feel the way they feel; don't try to change their opinion. 

I can't help but feel when he does this that I don't like *him* very much either. And then the whole relationship just feels so yukky overall.

I think you are right that he probably feels hopeless and that nothing can help him. I have tried suggesting all sorts of things - books, videotapes etc. but I have a feeling that the "answers" for him are not going to come from me. I don't know how or if I can get through.

thanks AK

I like these books AK: When Words Hurt: How to Keep Criticism from Undermining Your Self-Esteem and Choose to be Happy: Your Step-by-Step Guide. from the cognitive perspective. I think these two books would compliment each other.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, Trubble, Dan, Angry Girl, AK, Becky, David and a couple in Working It Out, too.

I just got up and haven't read any posts yet. I went through yesterday with Dr. Irene and one key to this was where I ripped David's head off in Buddha. Dr. Irene asked "Where are you going with this, dear." I read, reread and I was going back about twenty some years to a story of two other people. I got so upset about this that I emailed Dr. Irene. These people had nothing to do with life now, nothing to do with David and his wife. I am so sorry David. This was something I wish I was able to have said to them way back when.

It had nothing to do with the here and now, but seriously affected my thinking on the here and now. Excellent! This is why awareness is so verrrryy important!

I mentioned about 200 posts ago that when we were in therapy, I had completed the Pia Melody "workbook" about codependence. Dan and I were both doing this. Remember, I'm in a snit because he's only on page 9? I probably had this done overnight. (I'm in a hurry :) Not at all. Working this stuff out is a process. One run through, or two, won't do it for most. 

Here is what I think is one of the keys. When I was 3 I was given a cute little black cocker spaniel. My parents took her to the vet to get her spayed. She died having this done. They immediately had the vet find me another one, brought her home. My first words were, "This is NOT my dog." The excuses started flying. Oh, yes it is, she grew, the operation might have changed her, etc. Moral of the story. IT WAS NOT MY DOG. They told me this later. They told me how upset they were and could not deal with telling me about the dogs death and so the switch. See how we train our children to lie or believe in lies?

Is this it Dr. Irene? Or at least part of? The answers are all in MY past. All of the answers for you are in your past. All of Dan's answers are in his past...

Now for Dan. I haven't read his posts yet. I am not sure I am ready. I am not sure we are ready without guidance. This might be a safe space to stay away from for the moment. Once we get over that hump though, then it might be time for Harville Hendrix. You do that book only when the power in  your relationship is in balance. Listening to you two here, I think it may be.

Thank you all. Will take to you soon, but meanwhile tell, talk and vent. Then reread. Then read Dr. Irene's comments. It helps. :)

Say Good Morning Trubble, Thanks and Love, Lynn  Salmon, Lynn. S A L M O N.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

*hugs to people and a nice scratch behind the ears for Trubble*

Sounds like we're all doing a lot of work on learning where our "stuff" is coming from, and how it still affects us. And sometimes it is in the most surprising of places.

One of mine is realizing that there were seriously dysfunctional things about my own family and childhood, despite that I had it *much* better than just about everyone else in my circle of friends. My parents aren't divorced, they didn't even separate until I was 17 and halfway through college. There were no serious substance abuse problems, no physical abuse, no infidelities, no major financial problems. Both of my parents came from bad family situations (Mom's was a mentally ill father who beat her mother, Dad's was an overtly alcoholic father and a "closet" alcoholic mother) where they were blatantly the "favorite" child. Neither one had any desire to repeat the patterns they grew up with, and both had me convinced that I had it really good because I wasn't afraid of being beaten, my parents weren't drunks, etc. (This was mostly Mom's input.) Ouchhh!

But there was still bad stuff aplenty. My father is a perfectionist, a workaholic, and prone to sudden outbursts of some pretty ugly verbal abuse. My mother tried to turn me into a confidante and best friend from about the time I was five years old (no, I'm not kidding, and some things are Too Much Information for a five year old!) and also tried (and STILL tries *sigh*) to live some of her dreams and/or her older sister's dreams through me. Good for you that you are aware of this stuff.

She also, as I've mentioned before, has this obsessive thing about drugs -- and sex. I was sexually assaulted at my high school by a senior when I was a freshman. This senior was someone I used to think of as a "big brother" sort of person. I felt guilty and confused and wrote a lot about it in my journal. My mother read my journal and called ME a slut for "letting" him touch me. (Yeah, an 18-year-old senior football player versus a 13-year-old freshman who probably weighed about half what he did, and was stunned and scared about the whole thing. Real clear consent there -- NOT!) Ugh.

The school counselor, when a friend of mine in 7th grade went to complain about a similar incident involving the same person said "Oh, he's just flirting, if you can't handle it that's your problem." My attacker also threatened to kill me if I ever told anyone. I foolishly went to the same school counselor after my mother read my diary, counselor didn't believe me, told my attacker what I'd said about him, and the attacker followed me around for weeks threatening me. (This, and my experience at college during the suicide aftermath, left me with a very deep distrust of mental health personnel -- BIG thanks to Dr. Irene for starting to undo that! And thanks to Trubble, too ... having kitties around always makes me feel better since I'm a total cat-person.)

To go with my "codependent pop culture" post earlier, I think that "dysfunctional high school" sums things up rather well in my case. The principal was well-known for making inappropriate off-color remarks to female students. The administration did a lovely job of ignoring several girls' complaints about the student sexual predator -- this guy seriously thought the junior high girls were his personal harem, and NOTHING was ever done about it. Yikes! I had several teachers who couldn't control the classroom much less teach their subjects. And this wasn't some urban jungle -- we lived in a small middle-class suburban town that was perfectly certain that "things like that don't happen here." Yes they do! :P

I was lucky enough to be able to get out of there and go to college early. But that has its downfalls too. Too many people saw me as the Great Brain, not as a person -- or alternatively expected the emotional maturity of someone several years older, since I was ahead of myself intellectually and looked older than my age. I've had waiters try to serve me wine when I was 11! I'd like to think that I have my stuff together a little more than many people my age, but now that I *am* in my 20s, the expectations on me to act like I was when I was 16 or so seem to have been a bit much.

Well, THIS post has meandered a bit... :) Welcome to Sunday afternoon stream-of-consciousness. Oh, such nice meandering...

-AngryGirl  

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Dear Everyone.

Phew, I'm outta shape. Dan and I have been out stacking wood. Had to take a shrink break.

Read the posts. Dr. Irene, how about key word for when I see Dan with the axe.....ANNE BOELYN.... That is when I started with the sleeping pills. Couldn't sleep, wake up, take just one, sleep a few, get up take one more. Says it all, Hands tied behind my back and Dan about to chop off my head. And you felt like you couldn't deal; powerless; doomed... (Little did you know, huh?)

Dear AK, Gee, your rambling posts make perfect sense to me. I went and found David's before you posted about error and they all fell together.

Dear Angry Girl. Whew, I hear ya about the effects of suicide. This knocked me for a loop. Still has it's moments. So strange. First let me explain a little about this guy. He was the best friend I ever had. This was without the sexual involvement. That never worked, although we tried and tried, we couldn't get that part of our relationship straight. Wonderfully we came to the conclusion that it didn't matter. We were never meant to be. (If you believe in reincarnation, I think we will get back together to get it right).

He was always a part of my life. When my late husband died, the first phone call I got was when I arrived back home and it was him. All he said was, "Do you need me there?" Nope. He was there. He came into town shortly and spent a lot of time with me.

Before his death he called a friend and said get hold of Lynn, I need her. I was there at ten the next morning. He wanted to go to an alcoholic institution and had a lot of medical problems. Every time he tried to dry out he would have seizures.

I was happy to be there for him (I was with Dan at this time). I picked him up and brought him home. (His, not ours). About a month later he came to the house to return my suitcase (baggage all over the place) and had it full of stuff he wanted to make sure went to my kids, and my oldest grandson (warning sign I missed). He also talked to Dan about Viet Nam.

About a year later I was feeling suicidal. Can't/couldn't explain why, just not me. I tried to call him and left a message. Never heard back, as he shot himself. Ohhhh... Denial, shock, Oh, boy. And guilt. Go figure. Dan was quite a poop. As for ghosts, he was there all the time. I explained this to our therapist and she gave me a soft, "well, I don't believe, but from some of my other clients I cannot refute that they believe." Not for me. I'm too black and white, and I always felt that in the afterlife we would surely have something better to do than come back here. What I finally decided was it was me. I was keeping him around. I wasn't ready to let him go. 

What works best for me is dead people's coats. When someone I care for dies, I always ask for an old coat. In times of my need for them, I wear their old coat. I had one of his old jackets and that helped. Dan this week has helped, too. I did walk on eggs about this as I didn't want to hurt Dan. I forgot about me. Such is life. I was so worried that Dan would feel threatened by my grief, that I didn't pursue it. I held on for 5 years and it was a major issue. 

Maybe now I can let it go. I've got beautiful memories of what this lovely person meant to me, not to mention a ton of material things. More stuff than I've collected from my previous incarnations. Feels nice. Good. But, I have to wonder what issue your friend's death kicked open. I think this one started before him...

As for writing the letters to the parents. I do that, only I read mine, edit carefully and then mail them. This is only about current issues, tho. Makes me feel better.

Becky, I think I know the feeling of hopes and dreams and then the feeling of failure. I am a fixer (bleeder), too. I take this so far that when I was a senior in high school we were required to watch Mein Kampf. About the Holocaust. This affected me so much that a few years ago my kids wanted to take me to the Anne Frank exhibit and I couldn't go. Emphatic NO. I can feel all the hurt, bewilderment and pain of those people and can't let it go. I KNOW it isn't about me. I know the shame isn't mine. It doesn't make it any better. (I'm better off with wounded cats). Different strokes for different folks...

My wonderful mother (another of life's innocents, but she never saw much bad) always thought I should turn my emotions into creative writing. Might be a good way to deal with life stories. But I would have to do this for me, not so Dan understood me, right Trubble? SALMON!

I have spent 3 or 4 years trying to deal with Dan's painful past. If he only read this or if he only did that. I took on all his hurt. Oh, boy. I wanted him to read John Bradshaw when Pia Melody didn't work. I got so crazy that I had his Horoscope done for him one year for his birthday. Then I decided since I moved the bed to the other wall we started having problems. When the old position didn't work, I decided we needed a new bed. I still got nuttier. Mom was write - you certainly are creative! If you ever write anything, Trubble is sure he wants to read it! I got a metal Pyramid and have it on the headboard of the new bed going the right direction. Oh My, I Sound like a candidate for a Mel Brooks movie. I was just trying every way I knew how and some I didn't. Enough said. You get the picture. 8 X 10 glossy and it almost made me certifiably nuts. Until I wrote here and said SEE....... Here's where I am at........and then started working on me. He seems to be coming along with me this way, doesn't he Trubble (and LOCO). This is what they mean for One for the Gipper :)

Phew, again. Missed a bunch to you kitties, but I did read and I know where you are coming from. Love and prayers to you all, and try a kipper Trubble. Dan dear, I'm here. I didn't forget you, just some stuff that I want some help with before I go getting my palm read or something.......

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Whoops, Didn't read all..... Sunday-stream-of consciousness.. Ain't that the truth. Spew, vent, hurt, cry then laugh. See, I said before, Love, Laughter and Tears. Take Care All. I love you a bunch..........Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Lynn here..... I just left the keyboard and headed for the kitchen ......SINGING.....!!!!!! La La La Salmon La...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Dear Ones,

A little (quick I hope) story from my past. The only warning my mother gave me about men (when I was about 12 or 13).

"Never take an Orange and eat it if a boy gives it to you. It might have vodka in it and they will take advantage of you." 

I'm in my mid 50's now and NO ONE male or female has ever offered me a orange. Spiked or not!

I've waited all my life, because I knew that when I got the orange I was in big TRUBBLE. Meow!

Mama never told me that oranges were sometimes called something else.

Back to singing, "Inky Dinky Spider." That's what my magic wand is so good for....... It can make us all sing, get dirt out of play clothes (Dan's granddaughter had an asthma attack over this), and now it's going to go out to the kitchen and help me with the dishes.

Trubble, have a kipper, but don't take an orange....... Lynn Where's my salmon?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

To-The-Sunday-Stream-of Consciousness-Group, High Ho! This is to Dan, Trubble and Loco,

Dr. Irene, I'm treading on thin ice here, but I'm jumping in with Dan and his m-o-t-h-e-r. Blue pencil please. I'm ready. OK!

When the skylight leaked, I did all I could to get this fixed. Dan's brother and Dan finally fixed it. Then above the wood stove leaked. Obviously I am not good at manipulation or I would have had it fixed before 3 1/2 years.

What I finally did was squat down lower than him, flutter my eyelashes, suggest he had quite a busy schedule and maybe he should get ________ to help him fix it. It was done by noon the next day! (Flutter, flutter, damsel in distress). Giggle!

Where I went wrong! In my birth family, things like this were fixed before they broke. Biggie with me. When I thought his mother snapped her fingers, I felt he jumped to spend 3 weeks doing hers "wrong." I even got so ridiculous as to get a towel and wash my hair under the leak (rain water is suppose to be good for the hair, eh Trubble? Thanx. I'll pass. ) Needless to say he was not amused.

Reality. Did it hurt me to flutter flutter to get this fixed? No. All I wanted was the leak fixed, it didn't matter how I accomplished this. Once it was fixed I was fine. Dan even is, with what I call my manipulation. He said, "Well you got your roof fixed, does it matter how you did it?" This wasn't even about his mother, I just drug her into it. His past and my past complicated the issue and we rolled. Yep.

How dumb in retrospect. Yeah! We both made mistakes. We both "blew it!" Now that it is over, I can't believe we went around with this for so long. See how it got fixed - once each of you stopped pointing fingers and looked inside?

Enough for me. This (his mother) is still a touchy subject with me and I'm going to tread lightly (See, I learned something from David). :)

This has been more than Dan has ever shared about his mother. Good for him, good for us. Are we heading in the right direction? Oh YES! This was never about me, right? His stuff was always about him; your stuff was always about you. 

Lunch time. Salami on French with Horseradish mustard. Coming to lunch Trubble? Finally! 

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and Cat Box Family,

I am not going to post as long a letter as previously, but I was sitting here thinking and thought that maybe if I put it down, I could see what was going on inside. Good thinking.

After I posted this morning, I went out and started to stack wood, I have always used physical activity of some kind to soothe the inner me. As opposed to sitting with it so you could figure it out I imagine...

I wrote a lot more about what I was feeling than I had originally planned. I have to say that after posting, I wasn't sure exactly what I was feeling, some relief , some anger, some indecisiveness. Sounds about right.

The relief was that I was able to start to face some of the controlling feelings of my mother, anger that I had to write it down to see what she has done, whether she meant to or not, and some indecisiveness as to did I want to get into that again as I have had a lot bottled up for many years. If you don't get into it and get through it, it will only get bigger in your bottle.

I am claustrophobic, although not as bad as I used to be, and I could never figure out why. Lynn and I were talking one day about my bother who is developmentally disabled, due to an accident not birth, and as we were discussing this I mentioned that I had been held responsible and punished for his accident. I was put into a closet, luckily a great aunt saw the accident, and very matter of factly told my mother what happened. I had completely hidden this until we were talking, funny what people will hide from themselves to excuse their parents actions and to feel safe. Wow... This is absolutely horrible. Mom had to find somebody to blame; what a mindset...

My mother is not a very safe subject between Lynn and I, because there have been times that I haven't wanted to believe that she would say or do things that evil about and to Lynn. Even when told of her actions or her stories. I now admit that I was wrong, misplaced loyalties, I don't know. Hey, she's your mom. You're allowed to say anything about her, but nobody else better... I know that consciously , Lynn is number one with me, subconsciously though I'm not sure. I want her to be. That is the 64,000 dollar question. You haven't really separated emotionally from your mom; you have poor boundaries from mom and from Lynn. 

Lynn says that I have been sleeping like a normal person, and I know that I am usually in a different position when I wake than when I went to sleep. I am even starting to remember some of my dreams. Keep a pad by the bed and start writing them down. This is excellent stuff! Your psyche is opening up. Dreams just tell you more about where you are.

When I returned from Nam I started to drink, pretty heavy, I would get off duty and head downtown or the EM Club and get drunk, stagger into bed, wake up drunk, report for duty, start to sober up by lunch, go up to my locker in the barracks, and drink a fifth that I kept there, get off duty and start all over again. I now wonder if it was Nam that I was running from or some personal matters which accumulated while I was there. (My mother didn't care for the girl, whom I got engaged to and would put her or her family down every chance that she got. Taking the money which I had sent home, and saying that she never received it.) I continued to drink very heavily for many years until I decided that enough was enough. I would black out during these drinking bouts, and I know that I have a problem with alcohol, but my problem there is controllable. My deeper problems which involve Lynn and I aren't. That is one of the reasons that I need to overcome these, for myself and for the two of us. For yourSelf. Everything else flows from that. You certainly had enough problems going into Nam. Top this with the horrors of war... You were probably suffering from PTSD hence the tremendous need to blot feelings out.

Here I go with a short post. What do you think Trubble?? Salmon. If this is a a short post? What's going to be in a long one? Trout.

I am feeling that this is helping me, mainly because I am able to see what is going on inside, I feel torn up and very low after posting about myself, and/or Lynn and my problems. I know that the wrung out feeling will eventually lessen, as I get more self awareness, and work on issues that I have brought into the relationship.

Lynn, Dr Irene & Trubble, I would like you to know that I am not as comfortable as I once was.

Dear Angry Girl,

I hope that you have found that not all counselors, teachers, etc. aren't as callous as those whom you had to deal with in high school and when your friend died. I know that there are some in the educational world. I feel like apologizing for the whole educational system, but I can't because then I would have to take responsibility for them and I have enough already, just dealing with myself. I'm sorry that you were hurt.

Extra hug and a big purrrr from LOCO

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Greetings to the Sunday Cat Box Crew!

Dan, thanks for your kind words. I certainly don't blame all teachers, just the ones who are clearly in it to control and/or feel superior to the kids rather than teach them. (This is why I will probably not end up teaching on the elementary or secondary level: I've got tons of patience for kids, but very little patience for nasty adults, be they complaining parents or bad administrators. At least at the college level, the complaining-parents factor seems less.)

Mental health professionals are a bit of a stickier issue for me. I would've gladly gone to a Dr. Freid (anyone else ever read I Never Promised You a Rose Garden?), but the ones I've had the misfortune of interacting with have been callous or unprofessional or both -- present company excepted, of course, Dr. Irene. :)

I think it's the difference between feeling like someone wants to fix me, and feeling like someone wants to strengthen me. Here, I feel like I'm being strengthened rather than that I'm defective and need to be fixed.

Another defining-childhood-moment story, the one that my mother gives as a big part of why she decided to homeschool me for four years (which was mostly a good thing): My second-grade teacher didn't know how to deal with me. I behaved for her and all, but we clashed. My first-grade teacher understood that I was way ahead of my classmates in everything but phys ed and handwriting (I learned to read when I was two, and I was doing math at the 4th grade level), and tried to strike a balance between letting me do my own (more advanced) work and letting me participate in activities with my peers. I received no such concessions from the second-grade teacher. What she said to my mother was "Don't you want your child to be NORMAL?" And my mom got this one right: "No, I don't. Normal is six hours of television a night."

I am not, and will never be, normal in THAT sense of the word. I firmly believe that this is something that doesn't need fixing. The counselors I have past experience with believed that this DID need fixing. For obvious reasons this made me want to run away screaming. Good quote from Rose Garden: "My difference is not my sickness."

And taking on other people's hurt to the point where it interferes with your own functioning is not good, Lynn. Sounds like you're realizing this and getting stronger. You can share, and sympathize (as my friends have been doing for me), but it can't take over your entire consciousness. Strange thing that happened to me: when things between me and my ex got completely smashed beyond repair, and he found someone else, one of my friends sent me an e-mail. Apparently, the purple unicorn (something of significance to us because of a fan-fiction project we were collaborating on) candle I gave him a year before had fallen off its shelf and the head broke off. Dave wrote "I don't think a headless unicorn is a good omen, what's going on?" That was kind of neat in a weird way. Like I said, we take care of our own.

No oranges? Darn. I like oranges. Guess I'll have to get my own, then. :)

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Lynn, Dan, AK, AngryGirl, Trubble, Dr. I and whoever else may be lurking around--

Thought I should add my two cents before Sunday is over! In my head, I realize what this is all about, but in my heart, I'm confused, angry and hurt. I'm very angry at myself for not seeing or minimizing the red flags that were waving right under my nose. We did, and do, have enough in common that I enjoyed his company and felt a connection. But I'm feeling now that the "nice, intelligent" guy was just an act. That in reality, he's a rigid, old fashioned chauvinistic (sp?) misogynist.

Looking back, I see evidence of his disrespect for women; his own sister mentioned it to me, the night before we were married. He had become extremely angry at me because I was disappointed that we weren't leaving on our honeymoon next day as planned.(I told her about that). He "had work to do." Okay, but I was upset that he'd waited until the evening before the wedding to tell me that, and I was very hurt that he couldn't understand my disappointment. According to him, I let him down, and from that moment on (he says) he KNEW he could never count on me! That was 10 years ago, and I still feel like crying when I think about it. He looked so enraged, I was crying, confused and hurt. What a sad picture of a couple about to be married! I remember a very clear and distinct thought coming to mind as he was chastising me for being disappointed: Becky, if you marry this man, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

But of course we smoothed things over, and I told myself that nothing like that would happen again. And of course it did. I believe I mentioned his anger at me the first night of our trip, his accusations of not supporting him.

For all the hurt he's caused me, I don't want to hurt him, and I find that remarkable (but typical of victims, I've learned). I know that I've said some hurtful things when frustration and anger overwhelm me. But I always feel remorse, and I always think about why I said them and what I need to do better next time. Still, in terms of viciousness, I haven't come close to the things he's said to me. And I've never told him about that "little" voice I heard the night before our wedding, although I've wanted to hit him with it many times! (He, on the other hand, has often said that marrying me was a mistake, and the worst thing he's done).

I want to hold on to my integrity, and it's very hard sometimes! Dr. Irene mentioned that he compromises his, and you are so right! But this seems to run in his family--his sister and family recently got a free motel room by saying that an elderly relative they were here to see was in a nursing home. She wasn't of course. Similar things have happened. Interestingly enough, my H told me that he didn't approve of their doing that.

He is the type to expect that everyone else should go by the book, follow the rules, and if they have a tough go of it, so much the better--they are just paying their dues. He is awfully critical. I used to hate sitting next to him during my younger son's ballgames, and older son's band concerts, because he'd pick them apart. While we were dating, I almost broke up with him because his complaining started spoiling our dates: the food was bad, the waiter was lousy, the theatre was cold (or hot), the place was too crowded, the lettuce wasn't cut right. He once found fault with the waitress because she kept our water glasses full (She just wants a good tip). Isn't it sad to be so cynical and suspicious?

Well, I'm not asking for an analysis of my husband. (If I were, I'd get into the stockpiling of medical supplies, cleaning supplies, medicines, dried foods, etc. much of which is now 10-15 years old! Since we married, he doesn't do that so much, but he still, in my opinion, sometimes goes overboard in his "buying ahead").

I guess it's a relief to find an outlet. Other than my therapist, no one else knows a lot about what life's been like. I've shared some with my parents and sisters, and have found out that other close family members know some of what's been going on. I'm a little embarrassed, but relieved, too, because I need the support and understanding!

I keep having to get this all out on the table and look at it. I'm discovering that things I thought I'd made peace with, I haven't--apparently I just put them away because I didn't know what to do with them. For some reason I'm at a place now where I have to get them out, and decide what to do with them, once and for all! It's kinda like the junk drawer in the kitchen. You can throw bits and pieces of stuff in it for only so long, before it's such a mess you have to clean it out!

Early day tomorrow, my "Marion the Librarian" day! I have 5th graders coming in! Then on Tuesday, I deal with the college crowd! Its becoming quite interesting to have students ranging in age from 9 to 50-ish! And it's quite interesting to work two jobs, and still not make enough to support yourself! UGH!

G'night!

Becky

PS Trubble, your cousin next door was yowling half the night. What's his problem? Dan stole his Tuna - cuz he wanted it for himself!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

To the Sunday-School-of- Consciousness-Cats-Who-Don't-Take -Oranges-From-Strangers-On-Top-of -the-Volcano.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Monday. Lynn here. I loved what you said Angry, about different. It is like my night owl tendencies. There is nothing wrong with me. In fact Dan says I start to wake up when the neon lights come on. This doesn't make me bad. I can't believe the people who have tried to change me on this. Like they are so ticked off that they have to get up and face the day at 6 AM they think I should, too. In fact this has been a helpful quality to a number of friends who can't sleep, need to go to the emergency room, or need someone to sit up with a sick friend. Then I get..... Gee, would you mind. No, never as long as its past noon. Another unusual... I seldom wear a winter coat. I just don't feel cold. Sooooooo.... When people ask why I don't have on a coat, it's cold out, I tend to say, gee, I'm over 50. Don't you think if I thought I was cold I would put on a heavier coat? Any how, no biggie....Now a comment from Dan: Running joke, when you can see your breath in the house, then I can turn the heat up from 50 to 55 or start a fire.

That's his story, tee, hee. Actually, a few years back with the heat shortages and we were all asked to turn our heat down to 65 degrees, the joke in this house was, "Yea, Mom would have to turn ours up 10 degrees to get it at 65 :)."

Anyhow I learned years ago that different isn't bad. Sounds like our kind of house!

As for David. That was so strange, because I drug up a story not even related to me and took it out on him. Oh well. I'm not going to beat myself up for the rest of my life just because I took something from the Twilight Zone out on him. This may have been his test, too. This wasn't about him at all and he shouldn't (if he did) have let it bother him.

Ah ha, way up in Posts 2 about H reading posts on the sly and maybe answering some. This was here to promote Dr. Irene's books! ^_^ See if you can steer him this "Cat Box" direction. (This is how I got Dan's attention). I can't remember if this was AK or Becky. Could even have been Angry, but who cares? It's something that he is "sneaking" in here. Maybe he's being open minded, but hasn't decided yet.

I love oranges, too. Just remember to buy your own. These men, they think of anything and everything, don't they? I never thought of spiking oranges, How about you Trubble? Did anybody ever spike your Mixed Grill and take advantage of you? Of course not! You are too smart for that.

Say Goodnight Trubble OK. Say Goodnight Trubble.

Goodnight Guys, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Dear Becky.

Doo, doo, doo, doo. (Theme form the Twilight Zone). Here we go again, I just went to see if my post took (AK, if not then I can hit "back" and repost, as letter is still here). I didn't mean to leave you out of this so we will go back and read what's going on with you tonight.

Love, Dan & Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Dear Becky aka Marion the Librarian,

One of my all time favs. Lida Rose and Shirley Jones all wrapped into one. 76 Trombones, too.... Oh, I even read Rose Garden years ago,

We have a junk drawer, too. Tooooo funny. One thing that worked for me/us with Dan....He's a collector, too. If it sits around longer than 9 months it has to GO! I figure if I can concieve and give birth in the time it takes him to get something running, it's bye-bye. Not good, maybe, but it works for us.

As for H and illegal gimmees. Dan and I were sitting here reading and looked each other square in the eye and laughed. His mother. No threat (thanks, Trubble), just fact. Not so funny, but alas true. Dan has an acid test to tell if his mother is lying......He looks to see if her lips are moving......Oh Boy, Dr. Irene, this without a fight?

I dislike his "You let me down" answers. They leave a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not sure what this is suppose to mean even? This even feels yukky to me.

It does help getting it all out, doesn't it? The only (Well almost) secret I don't have posted here is my Social Security Number. I finally decided that whomever knows it's me must be having at least as many problems as I as or they wouldn't be here either. ^_^

Becky Darling, Kitty was yeowlling "Becky, let me in please." That's cat talk for I've found a new home, now open the door! Becky: she's covering up for Dan...

Take care. Dan is in the shower now, but he read your post. Keep on it. It helps (I Think) even if we are the only ones listening to you. And count the collective CATS here. Trubble, LOCO, my 6 and the rest. Quite a batch of kitties that care for all of us. This has to include our dog named Kittie.

Join us on the volcano, and remember not to take oranges from strangers.

Love, Prayers and Goodnight, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

I just love you guys!

These posts are so rich. So full of truth, emotion, and great humor. I learn then I laugh. It's wonderful. Lynn, I loved the part about the metal pyramid :)Reminds me of a friend who was drinking out of only clear red drinking glasses because of something she had read in an astrology book - maybe it was supposed to be enhanced energy? I forget. But I know that feeling when you're ready to try just about anything.

I used to be very intrigued by psychics (and still am) but I think if you take them too seriously, there is a danger that you are putting your life into someone else's hands if you allow what they say to influence your decisions. I've since decided that I'm the person that can best predict my own future. I occasionally play with tarot cards and what I find is that what rings true for me in my tarot layout are those things which I know to be true inside me already. Certifiably nuts, you say? Yes I'll join you in your 8x10 glossy picture. Nutty people are certainly interesting, at least. (And Lynn, I love your singing voice, and I'll be careful from now on about the orange thing)

Dan and Lynn - I am so impressed with your continued deep introspective. It's quite a puzzle seeing how all the past elements fit together to form the present situations isn't it?

And the suicide stuff; very distressing. I can't offer much in the way of personal experience there, but I recently finished reading a book called "Signals" which was really interesting. It's about a gay man who's friend committed suicide and the string of signals and premonitions that came to him after the death. It's a very short book, a very sad book as well, as almost all of this man's friends died of AIDS, but very hopeful about life after death. Life after death is a topic I find extremely interesting. I do believe that it's possible for loved ones to contact us after their passing. "We Don't Die" and "Saved by the Light" are another 2 very interesting books on this topic.

Dan - I understand your low feelings after posting. Each time I reveal something deeply personal about myself or my situation I feel a bit vulnerable, although it's getting better as I continue to post. It must be the same stuff Dr. Irene was posting about where somehow we make what the world thinks of us more important than what we ourselves think. It would be hard for me right now to publicly face a group (in an appropriate therapeutic situation) and talk as openly as I have here. I think it's because I know that people will judge me and I guess I make their judgments of me too important. There's also a self-protective element of not wanting to subject myself to non-constructive criticism because I know that I *do* sometimes let others' judgments affect me adversely, and I am still learning how to keep myself feeling safe inside. Having said that, I still think it's fair to be selective about when and where it is appropriate to reveal these vulnerable parts of ourselves. Talking about this stuff - and having other people hear also helps. Support groups like CODA, AA, EA and the like are wonderful for de-shaming those yukky feelings.

One thing I have changed in my behavior is that when people are cold and hostile to me, I stop trying to be excessively nice and accommodating which was my old pattern. When I reflect back their "coolness", these types of people almost always start to warm up a bit. Yes. This is something I noticed with various people in my field of work. I haven't really examined why, I'll have to think about this.

Also, don't know if you read my post to David, but on this site I sift out the advice that "feels right" to me, and what doesn't feel right, I mentally put aside. But I have found that overall most posts are helpful and that the many viewpoints represented here with the diversity of age groups, personality types, and life experiences are quite insightful. And that everybody doesn't have to agree with me for my opinions to be valid (not *right*, but valid - I don't even think there is such a thing as *right* anymore).

AngryGirl - I haven't addressed you personally much, but I find you to be very thoughtful and insightful. I think that a lot of us "tortured souls" are those who do think about a lot about our lives. Not everyone finds the tools they need to make positive changes. It seems like you are heading in a good direction.

I think that unfortunately, many people's fears about counseling (including my partner's) are somewhat justified by bad experiences like the ones you have run into. I agree with the strengthen vs fix philosophy that you spoke of.

***

So, it was a nice day for me. My partner (I think for the first time ever) took his kids and me to participate in an activity for the kids that *I* suggested. He didn't sulk about it at all and was very pleasant the whole day. He was definitely Dr. Jeckyl today. And the kids had great fun too.

I still feel residue (inside) from the earlier hurtful stuff that was said, tempered with the fact that I know he didn't mean most of it, along with his apology and explanation. I realize these big life changes can happen in small steps, but I don't want to get too close to him again too fast. I wish there were more things I could do to speed up or just help his healing process in some way (without taking on his pain). Any suggestions? Disengage emotionally; be cool, just like the strategy you noticed working with others.. (its about disengagement rather than strategy)

I really wish he was at a point where he was comfortable participating in a forum like this one. However, I know he would find a lot of what I've expressed here very hurtful so it's a tricky balance. If things progress between us it will most likely happen in stages.

My thoughts are just to continue the friendship as it exists right now and remain very clear about what I want and expect from a permanent relationship. I don't think he really knows yet what he wants, as he said in his email, things are pretty blurry for him and he feels disoriented.

I think I will continue with my email correspondence to him, maybe thanking him for his compromises this weekend, and maybe telling him that things are not hopeless between us but that they need an immense amount of work and that the work will not happen overnight. I need to think about my own level of dedication and time limits to working on this relationship as well. I don't want to put undue pressure on him, but for my own sake, there will be a time limit if there's little progress. I'm just thinking aloud here - it helps.

thanks gang - good thoughts to everyone.. catnip to Trubble (the cats all come to my garden and ravage it - there's nothing left of it now except root. But I do have my own homemade catnip mice which I make with fake fur and long shoelaces for tails - Trubble I'm sure you'd love one, every cat I've met does) Trout with a side of catnip...

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

I have a problem with jealousy. Sometimes when my new husband and I go to the bar, these women that are supposed to be our friends come up and can't talk to him without touching him. I have a problem watching women have their hands on my husband. It usually creates a problem between us afterwards. We have both been married before, and I was never jealous then. Its just with my new husband that I have a real problem. My husband says they are only friends, and they are harmless, and that I have no sense of humor if I can't understand this. What should I do or try? Not enough info.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Person who posted about Jealousy:

Here is something I saved from an internet site somewhere (sorry I can't remember where, so I can't give credit where it's due).

It outlines some different reasons for jealousy.

Self-Esteem

1.People with low self-esteem are more likely to perceive an existing relationship as vulnerable to outside threat.

2.Relationship Specific Self-Esteem refers to how confident you are about your relationship.

Dependency

1.People who depend on a relationship to make them happy are more susceptible to jealousy.

2.People who are dependent on the relationship are more likely to be possessive. This possessiveness may, in turn, lead to jealousy.

I must run. Hope this offers a little insight.

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Dear Ak,

Lynn here, I just read your thoughtful post. I'm so glad you had a good day yesterday. Maybe he's subconsciously noticing changes in you? I know what you mean about therapy. I use to drink a lot, too, and went to a few AA meetings. Lordy, This turned out to be a place where recovering guy drunks hustled the girls. I didn't like the take advantage going on, "if you have any problems at any time, day or night, I'd be happy to come over for coffee and we can talk about this." So I drove to a nearby town and really liked the guys, I was the only woman, but we got together twice a week to play Pinochle. Pretty funny, as we did talk while we played and it was preferable. I just quit on my own and now don't often overindulge. (I wouldn't go to any meetings here too small of a town).

I think I said some hurtful things here about Dan, too. Once I plunged in I wanted him to know what hurt me. Not that I hadn't told him. I did. He can read what I'm saying and it's once removed from my tone of voice. I think that helps. Yes. You're less likely to appear angry on paper.

Thanks about the book recomends. I got the one about the Light. I truly think I kept bringing him back in my memory so strong it felt like he was here. I had a stepson who died of AIDS (late husbands son). He was the greatest man. He and I were close. He was great for me when his dad died. He didn't come in and get crazy as the rest of us were. He was on a retreat and called me a couple of times a day. He was there for me. I have lovely memories of him. (He's the one who gave me his theories on reincarnation).

About the people that are cold toward you. My mom (of the oranges :) taught us and this is so true in public, that there is something to like in everyone. It has to be sincere, though. If you see someone in that cool mood find something about them you truly like. Even "I love your earrings." (Only if you really do!). Watch the change. Yes!

I think I told you I use to be a bartender. I could never figure why the guys would come and tell us their tales of woe and not the wife. One guy had been dating an older woman and was really in love with her. He's sitting in the bar getting gooned telling ME all that he loved about her. I walked over to my tip jar and got him a dime. So funny, like he didn't believe he could call her and tell HER! He did, they married about 25 years ago and I'd like to add lived happily ever after, but that I don't know. Lost touch.

What is it about our personal relationships that gets us so messed up? I do know that my upbringing didn't help me with Dan's mother. My mother raise us to respect these people only because they were our mates parents and NEVER to air our dirty linen in pubic. Dan's mom attached to me like a leech at a funeral. Dan came in to the luncheon and there I am sitting laughing and smiling and having lunch with his mother. He got mad at me! There is nothing in me that could have or would have been able to tell her to get lost in front of 100 people. As soon as I could I excused myself and went out for a cigarette. That is one of my big one's with her. I've never had the opportunity to tell her anything alone. Funny tho.....Dan moved here first and looked for a place and left me. She and I became "girl friendish" shared a few confidences. As I've said, when I back off (translation: detach), I can pity her. Our serious problems with/about her started when "I MADE Danny move away." Now that I'm chillin' (see Trubble :) ) I can see that this is her stuff and not mine. Dan even bought into this and couldn't remember when he promised his mother he'd never leave her. Probably never. She has us confused with her life. And he has her confused with his life and with you. There are lots of indications of this.

I'm like Dan, I just wanted to tell you Good Morning and this is flowing from my keyboard, so I think I'll let it flow........

Nothing in my upbringing prepared me for her. Lying, cheating, hurtful things. As you can see.... I can yak. I have never before in my life been as speechless as this woman can render me. I can feel my breath suck in, my jaw drop and my eyes open wide, and I can't say a word. Amazing. There is a reason, right Doc? Yep.

About the kids. My late husband and I got that right. He raised my 3 teenagers. I should say we raised them. It was we first. He grounded "our" 18 year old daughter over high school graduation time. I never interfered. I personally thought he was a "little harsh" and she came to me. I told her that is was between her and him. She went and talked to him and got ungrounded. He used to say to me that she would be grounded until she turned 21 or got married. Then when he died she was crying, "He was the only person who loved me enough to ground me." They were so funny at the family dinner after his death. The son who later died of aids (the eldest) and my daughter (the youngest) were arguing over who got the urn after they scattered dad. I was his favorite vs. I am the eldest. They had the rest of us laughing till we cried. The united parents does work. Dan's daughter doesn't like this and use to call Dan and say, "Mom said." Dan would buy into this and say, "tell your mother." I jumped in and said enough, if you have anything to tell your ex, tell her yourself. He would and come to find out this/these weren't so.

That's all the therapy I can take for today. Take care all. Love to the bunch and lots of prayers. We need them, and keep spewing. I think it helps. (Oh, PS. way up there I said I could get CDS over Dr. Irene's site. That was suppose to be OCD) Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Dear Jealousy,

Welcome. Just a little from Lynn here. I am a kissy huggy person and always have been. I've never met a stranger in my life, and at the second meeting am comfortable with hugs and a kiss on the cheek. I do this with both men and women I my life.

Dan "was" aloof and almost never hugged or touched anyone. He has become comfortable with touch and hugs. (I don't know how), but I love it when he walks into a bar and one of our female acquaintances gives him a hug hello. I think it's good for him, and I think the good is in what it does for her.

We don't have a lot of jealousy problems, tho, but I do know when he's hugging another woman, it's not about his feelings for me. He's just become more touchy in his life, and that I like. 

Take care, and I'm sure Trubble has some words of wisdom for you. Glad you jumped in. Work on this before you go on for years like we all did here.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

This is Lynn. Something about your in-law-family rang a bell here. Dan's mother (we think) has been into insurance fraud lately. We are appalled and know there is nothing we can do about it. She has been told this is risky by other family members (she denies it). She has been buying things, saving the box and claiming it was stolen or reporting something stolen that she gave to someone. It is interesting that your H doesn't like this, as we are all appalled and the younger ones find it hard to believe. They try and teach values to their children and then mom does this. They just tell their kids that it is not right and yet how do kids learn? Crazy. The 2 instances where she tried something similar on us (yes, US), we wrote her a letter telling her we'd blow the whistle if she continued using our name. One of these was when she cornered me at the funeral and blamed Dan's ex wife for the wrong doing. Too funny as they were divorced about 12 years when this came up and unless ex used my magic there was no way she was using our address and names here and now. Anyhow Dan got a letter mailed to him at his mothers address which she foolishly sent here unopened. Dan had never lived at that address. Ah, well. Taken care of from our point of view. This could be a whole new chapter, but if I get asked by anyone in authority, I will not lie for her. I'm also not going to report her, either. (Who'd believe me?) Giggle.

As for stockpiling. My late husband was like that. He was a youngster during the depression and always felt bad times were acomin' again. Dan's mother does this, too. I think this is a fear of going without again.....Maybe H has a fear of that? Trubble, how many cans of cat food do you have in your pantry? Oh, catnip! My two large shrubs are just a couple of leaves these days.

Take care and have a good Monday, With Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Lynn

I loved what you said about being a united front with step kids.

I also tell the kids that when they have a problem with something their dad does, that they need to talk to him about it.

But I have also found that it's important to be able to discuss with him how I feel about it, and make occasional decisions, without him getting defensive. He was excellent about this on the weekend.   I was able to offer my input and suggestions and we did compromise several times. It wasn't a power struggle. It was healthy discussion; at least that's how I felt about it. I know that when there is *no discussion* on these kind of things, I feel strongly that I would just rather not be part of that kind of family structure. I don't have children of my own, so this could be part of the dynamic.  I like the Stephen Covey tapes about the habits of highly effective families.

  

I agree about saying something nice to someone in a cool mood. This is different than trying to accommodate them. Expressing interest in someone, complimenting them, thanking them etc does seem to help, when it's sincere. When people are being miserable though, I have learned to steer clear rather than try to please them.

Lynn - what does CDS and OCD stand for?

talk to you soon.

AK 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

OK, *this* is amusing.

My ex just called. This is good, nice to know he genuinely is interested in friendship. That, and we still have stuff to get back from each other.

He's still with the other woman, and he asked if I'd found someone new yet. I said no. He said that he was sorry. I said that there are some nice things about being single. I don't think he understands that. *chuckles*

I've had a couple offers, but they know that I don't really feel ready to be in a relationship with anyone just yet. There's one that may be the first to know when I *do* feel ready (if he is still single at that point -- ironically it's the guy who introduced me to my ex), but for now he's content with going out and doing stuff as friends or in a group of our friends, and chatting with me on the phone or online, and giving me hugs and being a shoulder to cry on in the moments when I'm NOT dealing so well.

We talked about this a lot, and acknowledged that we've always been somewhat attracted to each other (we dated briefly in college), but were too involved with other people and/or not grown up enough for something serious, depending on just when you're talking about. And if we do end up getting together, we want to do it RIGHT. And I *know* I can't give that right now. I told him not to wait for me, but who knows? It's a possibility, one that I find rather interesting, but like I said if I'm going to be with this person I want to do it right, and now is not the time.

I also want to make sure it would be for the right reasons. There is the residual "this would really annoy my ex" in the back of my mind (that's another story, suffice it to say there was a big old jealousy issue there), and there's the ordinary rebounding stuff, and neither one belongs in a good stable relationship.

But there's the whole "WOW! I can COMMUNICATE! And my wishes are respected, and I don't have to shout to be heard!" thing that's making me smile. A lot. If nothing else, I have another true friend. Yay!

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Hi guys, Lynn here,

OCD is obsessive compulsive disorder. CDS ????? typo as opposed to those little disks we have to replace our old 45 RPM records. One thing I can guarantee you. Dan has never been bored with me :) Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Good Monday!

I seriously doubt that my husband has been to this site. He doesn't have internet at his office, and the few times I've seen him using it here at home was when he was looking up business related stuff. Of course, he's home when I'm not, but again, I'd be shocked if he ever came here. As for the books remark, I think he mistook Dr. Irene for Patricia Evans. 

The stocking up--. We live in his childhood home. When we married, and I moved in, I had to clean out a lot of his mom's stuff. She was still alive but in a nursing home. The stuff that woman saved! Both parents came from deprived backgrounds, and although his dad did very well in the business, I get the feeling they couldn't shake off the "old days." And not only was every little bit saved, it was all neatly packaged and labeled, too! A paradox: my husband's "areas" around the house, and his office/business building are a mess! Stuff piled all over, falling on the floor. He can barely squeeze into his work truck for all the junk. Yet if I or my boys "misplace" anything, look out! If something's missing, it must be because I lost it! Uh-huh! I think these folks are more into controlling others than controlling themselves!

I think the something for nothing comes from the I'm-going-to-screw-you-before-you-screw-me school of thought. It also fits in with the sense of entitlement controllers seem to have, and their aversion to boundaries. If I am firm about something, he really gets his hackles up! I learned early in my marriage that the quickest way to NOT get something done was to ask him to do it, and then EXPECT it to be done! He would refuse, just on principle. But he doesn't have a problem.

Someone mentioned psychics. he was into that before we met, has lots of books. When I pair that with certain ways that he sees the world, I feel that the interest wasn't necessarily healthy. It was just another way to try to assure that he'd be in control, one-up on others because he had "inside information." Also, it hurts that he'll trust some self-proclaimed psychic in a booth at a psychic fair, yet blow off a therapist or relationship counselor as "thinking they have all the answers." (Translation: I don't have to pay attention to what they say, because they think they're better than I am. And Becky, since you listen to them, YOU think you're better than I am, too!).

Want to end with a happy moment in my day. I worked in the library today; quiet day, just 5th graders checking out books, and being "shushed" by me for 45 min. But I had some cute visitors. The 4 year olds from the preschool visited the "big building" today in search of the gingerbread man. They went to several rooms, in each they found a note directing them to another room. They ended up in the library. They were so darling, with their big eyes looking up at me, asking "Have you seen the gingerbread man?" I made a production of it, telling them that as I was coming down the hall, I thought I'd seen someone running out the door. Why, look here! There's a note on my desk! I read it to them--the gingerbread man had run back to the preschool so he could finish baking! Oh, they were so excited! The teacher had clued me in--she had made a large cookie (the gingerbread man) then smaller ones for them to eat after they'd found him. I was glad of that! One little guy declared loud and clear that they WOULD NOT eat the gingerbread man! Talk about a traumatic experience: they chase him all over the school, then EAT him! None of them would be able to sleep!

They were so sweet and innocent, and I've been quite nostalgic for the days when my own boys were that age. I remember my youngest, only a couple years older, sitting by a tulip and stroking it, then looking at me and saying, "What a sweet flower." Oh, for that innocence again!

Well, I will go wallow in my empty nest! (One has flown, the other will within a year or two).

By the way, if this conversation keeps up, we will have to plan a reunion in a year! How about Vegas, on Dr. Irene? Gee thanx...

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Dear Jealousy

I don't know if this will help or not, but I'll try to give you an insight.

I used to be a very jealous person and then I started to think, this beautiful woman is with me, and she does like to talk, she has never met a stranger, and believe me there have been a lot better looking guys than I who have approached her, but she chose to be with me so I always consider myself lucky. Our better halves do seem to know what is going on, and if your husband has never seriously ignored you to talk with your friends, then he knows/feels that you are the best looking one in the place. You have to keep telling yourself this, and I know that it's hard, but believe me it works. Eventually you will no longer have to say this, because it becomes an ingrained fact.

The reasons for jealously that AK gave you are probably true psychologically, but it will only take yourself telling yourself this fact for you to believe it. It won't happen overnight, the same with any therapy.

Dear Dr Irene, and Trubble I have probably filled three or four steno pads with my two earlier posts, but I have felt better afterwards, though a bit tired and wrung out. The true test of your remarks to our posts has been, Lynn and I can actually say something about my mother, among other things without me getting defensive. Yippeee! And Trubble, your input has been very helpful also. The cats now seem to think that beef is the meal of no choice, they want the seafood flavors. This includes Loco, who would eat anything and everything at one time. Well, that's before I educated them.

Dear AK

Congrats on a nice day with you H, and the kids. I'm glad that so far things seem to be going your way. From what you have posted, I feel that he still has a long way to go, and as far as the kids, I think that if you don't get into the Dad said no so we'll ask AK and talk it over with him, letting the kids know that this is what you intend to do, will help you instill some values into their way of thinking. Lynn and I tried to instill this into my granddaughters when they were with us for a summer. Letting them know that things that we disliked was taboo, but still allowing them to have fun. My daughter did not like the girls to get dirty, we did. Lynn even had one of them doing angels in the mud she started to have an asthma attack because she thought that she was in trouble, but Lynn showed her the amazing capabilities of a washer with mud. Once again, congrats, and I wish you all the best.

Dear Angry Girl, you are so right about rebound, and if your ex is so engrossed that he is sorry for you, I think that you were smart leaving and if the new guy and you get serious, Hurray. Many waters make the ocean so test as many as you feel comfortable with before jumping in.

Dear Becky

Hope this Monday went according to your plans. Try to keep a outlook, that one day at a time is the ultimate opportunity for your Self.

Hope I didn't miss anyone, if so I apologize.

Hugs to all

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Dear Dan.

Trubble, have Dan define "good looking guy" for us please. I once told him the only threat to our relationship would be Willie Nelson singing Crazy to me......and look what happened when Willie sang Crazy to me! Willie went on the Road Again and I'm still here :) PS...Dan, It wasn't the magic of the washer. It was the magic of the wand. Oh, and if I haven't told you... Willie wrote Crazy!

Love, Lynn  Dan, please define "good looking guy" for us.   (gray and black-brown stripes no doubt.)

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Hi Becky, hello to the rest of the group, Trubble and LOCO, too,

I loved the reunion bit. Only how about Tahoe at Christmas. We went through a few years of not so nice Christmas' and I loved the Kenny and Dolly tape about A Christmas to Remember. I have to have snow with my Christmas. After a few years of hearing that, we've had nice Christmases. A big one (past tense) was Dan's inability to say Thank-You. Boy did we have a few go rounds on that one. I sat back and analyzed that one though and we worked it out nicely. He seemed to always slam or criticize anything I gave him and then say, "Oh, thanks" Then he'd get a few up-your-noses from me and we were off and running. He almost didn't get it. He'd say well, I really like it. Did you ever hear of thank you? Once he started hearing himself he greatly improved This even gave him the ability to go out and get me a present on his own.. I use to get so mad. He'd have someone else get me a gift from him. I asked why and he'd say he was afraid I wouldn't like it. Last Christmas he got me a beautiful cocktail dress with a matching coat. Beautiful. I love it. (My size, too). Same with a bunch of stuff now. See. He ain't so bad :)

We had to really work on the his space, my space. I like my books in order by category and in alphabetical order. Dan's filing system is wherever he used it last. When he reads a book of mine he puts it back. When I read a book of his I leave it where I used it last (just Kidding :) We are poles apart personality wise, so we have had to do a lot of adjusting (still are). That's why I like my car and he can do what he pleases with his truck. I refuse to ride with him, tho if he doesn't wash the doggie nose art off of the windows. Here's Dan, Love, Lynn

Lynn didn't say that because she can't see out her side, I can't see out of mine.... (Lynns' laughing) This is especially true at night, she's night blind. So I am, too? Seriously, there have been times when her eyes have been beneficial when I'm driving. Dan  It's so cool to "watch" you guys have fun together. That sense of humor you have is worth a million, easy...

Love your gingerbread man hunt. Wasn't that cute? We've got a great one with the oldest grandson. He had a Spanish babysitter and I asked him if he could say bye-bye in Spanish? He looked me square in the eye and replied, "Bye-Bye in Spanish." He was about 2 at the time. We still laugh at that. He and I are going on vacation next month to a pro football game (oh yes, and to visit my daughter and my favorite (only) son-in-law. He's 14 now (grandson). I like older kids, and prefer teenagers.

Well guys, time to say bye-bye in Spanish and we'll talk to you all tomorrow.

What if Trubble gets us all better? Then we will post on the Post Mortems" ^_^

See ya in Nevada anyway, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

The packrat/stockpile thing -- oh dear. This is a big part of why Mom and I both refuse to live with Dad.

I mean, is it worth fighting over the wrong brand of orange juice? I used to say Consumer Reports was that man's Bible. Just like Mom used to say the other woman was his computer. And he buys on sale, so we have three-year supplies of Coca-Cola (no Pepsi, no store brands, just Coke thank you!) and four-year supplies of Tide (his detergent of choice). Insane. I don't have room to stock up like that. :)

At least he didn't have to worry about Y2K. *chuckles* Giggle!

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

This is my last post tonight guys,

Lynn here, Dan's in bed and we do read the Buddha site, too. I wrote to Dr. Irene and she posted there what I wrote to her and her answer to me.

I naturally am a happy person. Lately things were non solvable and gloomy and it showed. One big thing was a lot of yukky stuff I couldn't let go of (I think that is one of the symptoms of abusive relationships). I started posting here and by some magical transformation I managed to let go. I think Dan reading and posting has really helped. The stockpiling of things is what brought this up. I was stockpiling wrongs "done to me." Sounds so silly and I know that keeping all this stuff isn't healthy, but I couldn't let go and forget it and get on with life. :)

Anyhow, the more I vented, spewed and just plain witched, the less it became. That's why I added my biggest let down. My friends death. I honestly can't think of another big or small one where I feel Dan let me down.

Then I wrote to Dr. Irene. I was still thinking in the back of my mind that if I let down my guard he was going to get to me again. She suggested I enjoy. I am and I haven't been this happy in years. I somehow knew I had to let go of past garbage and give it another chance. I didn't want to get into the you gave me 5 years of kitty poop, so now I'm going to give it back to you and see how you like it! I frequently gave as good as I got, if not better.

This wasn't how I want/wanted to live though. I don't want to get even. I want to get on with the life I think we can have. 60/40 sometimes and 40/60 others.

What has happened here as we both read the posts together is we find ourselves laughing and feeling sad at ALL the posts. We see ourselves in some and have sat back and thought how silly some of this stuff is. We could make such issues out of such petty things. Can you imagine anyone but us here fighting for 3 1/2 years over a leaky roof? 

What I've noticed especially is, that as I've mellowed, so has Dan. We were just in bed singing goodnight to the dog Kittie and realized something. I don't now quite what, but we held hands, kissed goodnight and there was a tenderness I don't remember in years. :) 

I am enjoying the moment Dr. Irene. What have I got to lose? I know I still have stuff and Dan still has stuff, but until that stuff comes up and we have deal with it, why ruin the moment? No reason to.

I truly had forgotten how to feel happy from the inside and yet these last few days it keeps seeping out and it feels GREAT. Dan sees it, too, and his actions/reactions are flowing along with mine. Amazing. And all because each of you stopped taking the other's inventory and instead looked inside...

False honeymoon? Who cares? When we fall back (and I'm sure we will) well have to start over and keep at it until we get it right.

Am I far from wrong? Only when you care deeply about someone can you get so upset about the little and some not so little things? Yep. I can't imagine getting this worked up over my neighbor. Some of our stockpiling stories here at the site are hilarious, yet when Dan starts in with the yard full of junk I could choke him.

I do think a lot of MY letting go has to do with the sharing with ALL OF YOU and Dan, too. OK TRUBBLE & LOCO......^_^ It really seems to be therapeutic. OK Doc, I won't question, I'll just go along with it........If I sound tooooooooo happy, it's because I am. You are choosing to be happy Lynn. This is a choice. Both of you are choosing not to be defensive and combative...

Thanks a Million and Love to all, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Hi everybody!

Wow Lynn, it's so great to hear you so happy, and Dan too. And yes, your "stuff" will come up again at some point, but you'll both have wisdom and insight that you didn't before.

I wrote my H a big email last night. Tried to put some of the energy I've put into my posts here into my email to him. I summed up the core of what I've learned here (but didn't tell him how I learned it--this site is helping me tremendously, but I know he would be very uncomfortable with my "public" exposure of our problems) I thanked him for the weekend, and talked about some of the reasons why he would say "I don't like you, or respect you" when he doesn't really mean it. That it's probably because subconsciously if he feels I'm insecure, then I won't be as likely to leave the relationship. But that the reality is that when I hear those words I lose hope in the relationship and want to flee. I summed up much of what Dr Irene has said here in the catbox and what I've learned from David's section. I told him that I also need time to heal.

When I spoke to him today, I asked if he had read it. He said yes and that it had been very deep and he could see I had put a lot of thought into it. He said he felt most of what I said was true and it got him thinking that many other people live out these scripts learned through their upbringing, and have no inkling that life can be any different. I agreed and I told him that I felt that we were just spinning our wheels unless we look at the real core of why we are doing what we are doing and what we both really want out of life. I said that I think it's important that we look very closely and honestly at ourselves, because otherwise we may be wasting each other's time.

I think we are getting somewhere. I noticed with him today that he really seems to be concerned about what others think (and I thought *I* was more that way). Worried about what people hear us saying, or thinking I might be making an inappropriate expression in a restaurant (the owners might think I don't like the food). If I say something that comes out awkwardly, he is immediately embarrassed and corrects me. I told him not to worry about it, that I know how to handle myself in public. It's strange because he always acts as if he doesn't care what the world thinks, but I realized today that he cares too much! He has a set of internal rules that are very constrictive in day to day life. Maybe that's why he feels like he can't be "himself".

Anyway, there's progress. I feel tired, but I feel like we are starting to get somewhere. I wonder where we would be right now if I didn't have some of the insight I've gained here. Probably both running in opposite directions by now.

warm thoughts and hugs to everyone.  Sounds good...

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Oh and Becky - I like the reunion idea, and I really like the "on Dr Irene" part. But on the other hand, maybe Trubble with all his stockpiling of cat food could better afford it. Hey, AK, not fair. It's hard to stockpile fresh fish!

:)

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Dear Ak,

Lynn here, Isn't it funny how the emailing each other once removes the "something" ? Great way of communication.

I thought we got to go somewhere with Dr. Irene for our reunion! Yeah? Where are we going?

and I stockpile, too! :) It's my stuff so it's different, huh? I personally think the world is full of keepers and thrower awayers. I just don't want all the kept outside in the yard.

Have a great day, Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Oh, Dear AK,

This is Lynn again, The public me vs. the real me I told you about my mother. I think she was raised like that and she raised us that way. I remember, "this is a family secret, what would the neighbor's think? Let's not tell_______, and some of these are just between us." Maybe I outgrew some of this when I started working in public as a waitress and a bartender. (This was a career of choice, I hated office work, etc and always went back). I can remember the polite manipulations for me to get a "better" job. Sad but true, bartending pays well. Better than nursing back when.......What must have helped me....How about a bunch of drinkers for a peer group? They didn't care what I thought or said in public. Or how I acted or dressed. I tend to have a let it all hang out this is me attitude and if you like me fine, if not that's fine, too. That I know I didn't get from my mother. In fact she could be rather a snob. In later life she bought a business, and basically got in with the charity group and country club set. I think she was in her element here. Yet when I was included I managed to mind my manners. (From my bar days I could have told some tales on some of the club sets anyway). After rereading your post I might have made the more uncomfortable than they made me. :)

For all my yakking here, I am rather shy in public and do watch what I say. I don't have a lot of close friends, but I do have a lot of acquaintances. And I don't publicly tell my life history. Isn't the net great? Like a new form of peer support or group therapy or something...

Dear Angry,

I currently have abut 10-12 packs of Pepsi (Dan's drink). W have one grocery store here in town so when we get a sale here or Up North we buy. Ask Dad to send me some coke. Y2K is over. Have a good day:)

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Did anyone else read the Harville Hendrix Book on Couples? I did and then hid it. I felt there was too much Dan could/would (past) have used against me. Interesting concept about how we subconsciously pick our mates as they have the ability to heal our past hurts. See how defensive you were? That's how he felt about you. Promise.

Long story so I won't ........but, at one time I wanted to join the Peace Corps. Left a sore spot for years. Then when my late H and I joined the empty nest group he said, "Ok, now let's join the Peace Corps." We didn't, but I could have!

Just thinking aloud, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Lynn here again,

I seem to be doing a lot of reflecting today. Remember way back, when Dan called our "old" therapist? This is a group of.... and he left a message and requested another therapist and would they call please to set up an appointment. No one from there has called. I find this interesting. Lynn

Call again. My name is Fate and I'm intervening.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn

Yes of course Dr Irene would come to the reunion. She'd have to, to make sure we weren't all "mis-behaving". I just think that Trubble is in a better financial position to pay for all of our travel expenses. And even if he isn't, it's time he paid dues for his impertinent ways.

:)  Hey! Just wait one catnip pickin' minute there. You can't say that to me!

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Hi, everyone!

I don't want to "start something" with the stockpiling topic! To his credit, he didn't insist that we barricade ourselves in with all our supplies for Y2K. But he has said other things that lead me to believe that he thinks it's wise to be prepared for some future "event." He's very interested in prophesy, psychic predictions, and the only part of the Bible I've ever seen him read is Revelations. None of this in and of itself is cause for worry, but when I put it together with his general mindset, that the world is untrustworthy, people, in general, are rotten, and in a disaster it's every man for himself, I worry a bit. He doesn't spend long hours pursuing this, so I don't worry too much. I just hate the cynical, "the heck with everyone else attitude"! And I have to wonder, if it's everyone for himself, and I REALLY needed him........ .

He is leaving on a business trip tomorrow, will be gone until Monday. I have conflicting feelings about that. I will miss him, yet I always have a certain sense of freedom when he's gone. I think it's because when I look at him, I see rejection, and when he's gone, I'm not reminded of it. He told me the other day that I am good for him, he considers himself a better person because of me. I don't know what to make of that! He's often told me that I've ruined his life! I reminded him of that; he had no explanation for the contradiction. What's the truth?????? And what part of him is better? I don't see in him what I consider a gentle, giving, emotionally balanced nature--at least not often! Again: what's the truth?  He loves you Becky.

I have a home extension meeting here tonight, and I need to get ready, so I'll say bye bye in Spanish! maybe I'll check in later tonight!

Adios!

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

This is Lynn and If I knew how to say hello in Spanish I would. So simply Hello.

I read your answer to H about what he said to you and your reply about "You use to say" I use to do that with Dan, especially about the $18.75 table. I would see something I wanted and he'd ask if I was going to get it and and I'd remind him of the fight over the $18.75 table.

Somewhere in the recesses of my brain I knew this wasn't worth fighting about. And Dan, if you are reading this, please skip this paragraph as I don't need you to know ALL of my secrets. HEY DAN: LOOK HERE!

Anyhow I started by asking him, "Honey, do you mind if I get this?" He never did and I always got it. What seemed so silly to me was having to ask. Then I decided it made him feel so much better and it didn't matter to me, so I may as well ask. Selling out? Nope. I don't feel like it. See? Dr. Irene replied to me over in "B's" post to pick our fights. (I'll save the tantrum for when he tries to tell me how I'm suppose to feel again). This still seems silly to me, but apparently not to Dan sooooo What did I lose? Nada.

Long story about maybe he really meant what he said (Your H). I can be such an optimist, but maybe?

Have a great week. I really like Dan to go for a few days as I'm always glad to see him. Day after day after day he can drive me crazy. About 3 days and I'm elated.

From your son, Stop and smell the tulips?

Hi the rest of you. Crazy weather here. Was 95 over the weekend and now it's about 40. I love it.

Adios and Love, Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Dear AK

Lynn here, Dan and I just wrote a 20 page post and he accidentally hit reset. Been there, done that, haven't you. Dan says it was one of his better ones so I'll let him go first this time, Lynn

Dear AK, and Trubble, I may need you help with this.

I glad that you told your H about the phone call, because if you never he might feel that you were siding with her against him, and at present that is the last thing that you need.

I understand how your H feels about the child support. When my first wife and I divorced, I wasn't making much money but paid what I could and she turned me in to child welfare services for non-payment. I then had to go and get it straightened out. I only have one daughter so I didn't have to pay as much as those fathers with more than one child. After Lynn and I got together I was able to catch up with what I was in arrears, my ex then told my daughter to tell me not to pay so much as she got a fixed amount no matter what I paid. One minute not enough, the next too much, go figure.

As for his father, I think that he is looking for something that his father can't/won't give, no matter how much he tries or does. I base this thought on personal experience and what I have been able to delve out between my mother and myself. I think by siding with your Hs' ex the father is telling him, see you're just not good enough. He will not get it from your mother-in-law either, for reasons only known herself. The losers are all.

My mother is similar to his father, only it's the daughter-in-laws who she treats like dirt or worse, nothing. When she talks about us, she omits the wives names, example when Danny (I dislike this, always have, except from my grandmother) ...... never Danny and Lynn. Try adding the "and Lynn." What happens? (Do it only if you can do it good-naturedly.)

The three brothers not talking is too bad, but there will come a time when they will have to set aside their differences and jointly make a decision that will affect them all. Perhaps they will even compare notes and be surprised. I say this because my younger brother and I were talking about our father one day and he said ....... well, I explained about...... We then came to an understanding that there were things that I could tell him about dad before he was born, and there were things that he could tell me after I left. He was still a young boy when dad died but he and dad did a lot of things together. Also there were things which my mother told him to uphold the dad was an angel bit. Lynn calls this the JFK syndorme. They (whomever) could do no wrong, or had a wrong done to them.

As for the kids, they could be the real losers, but I feel that, if you and your H show them a united understanding, they will form their own opinions about dad and step mom no matter what they are told elsewhere.

My sincerest wishes that your H can come to an understanding about his family and that things continue along the route that you are working for.

If he is sincere then there will be no stopping his changes.

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene & Trubble,

While at work today, I was doing some thinking, and I came up with a light bulb, I think.

I posted that my father was physically abusive and that I decided that I was not going to be like that. Perhaps this could be the start of my verbal abusive behavior, verbally rather than physically. A question or an answer. Your insight please. Kids so often "vow" never to behave like the parent whose behavior hurt them so much. These same kids when they grow up and have not worked through their issues simply find a different way of expressing the same ol, same ol...  This past week's example: A lady whose parents were real tight bent over backwards so her daughter would never feel shut out. Well, guess what? The kid feels choked and shuts mom and dad out...

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Lynn Here, Good Morning,

4:30 AM and I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep so I was doing some thinking.

Dan and I were talking last night about our former therapy and what and why a lot happened since then.

We went to Dr. Irene's site on Therapists not familiar with abuse. Then we rehashed some things we got out of therapy.

I ended up with a really bad taste in my mouth. Anger, Trubble? What started our major insurmountable problem was the turkey episode. So silly in retrospect, yet until Dr. Irene, this was still a sore spot with me. I'm angry because, yes Dan had a rotten childhood, but what did that have to do with Dan and I concerning the Turkey? It felt like she tried to convince me that it was no big deal so to drop it. Our fights escalated from the turkey episode on. They got downright ugly, dirty, etc. Even though technically she was "right," her siding disrupted the already precarious balance of power. Dan got more power he didn't need. 

I bought into the Dan and his codependence soooo much, too much. What about Dan and I in the here and now??? Nothing. Pretty soon I'm raging and screaming at both of them, "can't you see what I'm saying???" NO! I'd get, and once Dan works on this I would notice things getting better, (they got worse). Progress is slow, but once Dan etc.

Here's the gist of my rambling. I think I fell into the trap of once Dan got over his yukky childhood, we could/would work things out and they would all fall into place. Meanwhile WE got worse. I started reading everything I could get my hands on trying to fix Dan so it could get better. Pia Melody didn't work so I suggested he reread John Bradshaw. Of course I'm reading everything first and going, "see, here's why this." All I wanted to do was get his past behind us and get on with life. But, you turned into his shrink, so he resented you more...

To the group, I even wrote Dr. Irene about a 15 page letter telling her what was wrong with Dan and his childhood and wanted her to fix him. She not only passed it back to me, she passed it back to Dan. This isn't my stuff. I know this stuff, but I can't make it better. We can't make it better. He can make it better. Period. Period. End of story.

Don't fall into my trap. I was playing Dan's therapist. To give me my due, too, he gave it to me. I didn't have to take it and try to fix it. I wanted to. I wanted this better. I was using the only thing I knew that I thought we hadn't tried before. Working too hard to change the things that are not under your control...

Here's what I did get here. I'm/we're rereading the posts and I'm inserting my stuff in here. Yep, compared to Dan's stuff mine is pretty feeble isn't it? Yet I've been so into Dan's and here's why he is, I had forgotten Lynn's and here's why she is. That's what codependency is...

So I'm reading all of us girls and going here's our guys, but who are we? When I get out of some of my old tricks, I notice Dan doesn't use his. Yep. No need to. That comes from the asking him if I can have something. Still sounds silly to me, yet way back when....my father was an Irish Catholic Democrat who TOLD my mother and I how to vote. I got up in arms. Mom said to me, "Honey, it makes daddy feel good so simply listen to him and then vote for whom you want to." Mommy's smart here...

I don't think my folks were happily married (my dad was :) and I've often told Dan I didn't want to end up like them. The nicest thing I can remember my mother saying about my dad was, "Honey, daddy's been so good to me since I've been sick." That after 56 years. Whoopee! My dad had an affair way back when. He gave up the woman and one of the stipulations on is return was he had to convert to Catholicism. I don't think he ever had another affair, yet 30 or so years later my mother came out of surgery for cancer and was shouting at a nurse, "Chippie, you chippie, get out of my room!" How sad that she kept it in all those years. My dad's response, "Don't listen to her, she doesn't know what she's talking about."

My dad was always a bully that I can remember, yet it seemed to never have been directed at me so strongly as when after my mother died. I rebelled. I won't take it. I've told him so, I've written him letters telling him I don't like to be talked to like that. I've gotten in his face and told him to get off my back. Now I pick and choose my times. He's great on the phone, but 15 minutes of him in person can/could have me screaming. I have to bite my tongue and be on my way. Dan and my daughter cooked up the feelings that I was going to feel bad when grandpa died and I shouldn't shut him out of my life. I didn't take the criticism kindly, yet listened and then kept on my merry way. I'm not saying it's right or good, it just works for me. I told Dan I didn't like his siding with my daughter, I would have rather he said I'll tell your mother how you feel, or you tell her yourself, but I have to respect her decision. This escalated to a raging fight one night ad he called me a rotten mother, a lousy daughter and he also thought I was a sl**. Really ticked him off because I agreed with him and told him I never claimed anything else. He apologized the next day.

That's enough babbling. I'm just trying to get down some WHO AM I's. And why? This has to directly connect with Dan and his past, too. Yes. Your daddy taught you everything you needed to know about bully buttons. When Dan behaves like a bully, your feathers really fly - and you turn into his mom from his perspective... (Could start with either one of you: what came first, the chicken or the egg...)

I'm open for suggestions, criticism, opinions and your who am I's, too.

Thanks, Lynn Feels better!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Dear Group,

Lynn here, finally fell asleep around 6 and it's now 11 so guess I did ok. I feel good.

The Turkey fight, I'd almost like to get into the therapist and start there. I think I need to find out why this was my problem and not Dan's? Right, Trubble? Right.

Thanks & Love, and now I feel washed out, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Hi all.

About the reset button problem you are having - I don't know if you can do this with your system, but I highlight the text after I've typed it and copy it so if something weird happens then the text is not lost. With a PC computer you can hit ctrl a (which highlights the text), then ctrl c (which copies it) and then if reset gets hit accidentally you can paste it back by hitting ctrl v - just a little tip.

Dan - thank you for your thoughtful note.

The child support/custody issues are extremely heart-wrenching for my H. I think the traditional model of the man as "provider" and the woman as "nurturer" make it extremely tough for men who can't provide (financially) and want to nurture their children.   

It's a very tangled web.

Dan - the verbal abuse instead of physical makes sense. Anger wants to express itself and will look for an outlet. It's really too bad that we don't learn healthier tools for expressing anger earlier in life, but maybe we can make up for that by passing on the tools we learn to others...

Lynn - I can relate to wanting to do the work for your mate. I do know that the things I do and say to my mate make an impact, but you can't take their pain away. This is something they must deal with on their own.

The issue of whether or not to stay in contact with parents that are really dysfunctional is a tough one.  

 It seems that he can only talk about these personal issues for short periods at a time. It must be very painful for him. I'm sure he beats himself up big time.

We also spoke about a friend of his who committed suicide. He said that the guy had been abusing his wife and kids and must have had no hope. He talked a bit on the emphasis of healing "the victim" and not the abuser. I agreed that our society often sees the abusers as the "bad guys", kind of a worthless throw-away group. A lot of abusers probably feel there is no hope. That gets me very upset! It's simply not true that there is no hope...

So things seem to be slowly progressing for him and I. I talked to him directly about the "I don't like you and I don't respect you" and told him it's irrational thinking. He knows now that I know what's behind it, and that there is little power in these words for me now. Yippeee! But, watch out if he comes up with new, more covert techniques. He's likely to unless he begins to resolve some of his own anger. I know that inside he is ashamed of it, but as I said he can only talk a bit about this and then needs to get away from it. We all learn at our own pace. But, like Lynn, I want to read the books and do the work for him! I can't tho, so I will accept where he's at. Emotional disengagement.

I am amazed at how much impact my actions have made on him - I know now that the most loving thing of all to do for someone like this is indeed to call "a spade a spade" and not to protect the person from his/her own painful ways. :)

Have a happy day.

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Oh - a funny thing I have to mention. I had a dream last night that I overheard a client of ours talking to my H about an "uninvited guest" that was going to be visiting us. That this guest was a real handful and no-one else wanted to look after him. The guest was supposed to be staying for a week. I kept wondering who this guest was going to be. Then I heard the door shut and my H came upstairs and in his arms was a certain brownish orange *cat*! Sound like anyone we know? (someone that's nothing but "TRUBBLE"...)

hehe - try analyzing that one!   Yeah... And you're the one who thought I, Me should PAY for our vacation marathon! I think you hate cute, cuddly little kitties like me! I'll never bring you any mice I catch! And I won't share my catnip...

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

This is Lynn. I told you we wrote a 20 page letter and Dan hit reset. My half was about Dan's ex.

When I first met Dan all I heard was, "I'll never love anyone else, if you want to date for a while fine. She's the most wonderful perfect woman I ever met and there will ever be anyone else." OK fine, I didn't think I was going to fall in love with him either. Giggle!

Anyhow his daughter had a baby and we were invited to the Christening and luncheon at his former in-laws house. Ex was there. In later years we can laugh, but at the time I thought she was a mindless twit. (Not much over the years has changed my mind). I nastily said to Dan, "THAT is what you cant live without! Well, buddy if that's your idea of perfection, you don't need me!" Giggle!

I could have gotten the same results without the nasty comment. She was posturing, strutting and showing off (for Dan?) and generally acting like a teenager.

What worked for me is Dan saw her in action and she was pretty ridiculous. That's the mental image I've carried for about 12 years. OK, here's how it works for me. I know this lady is b-i-m-b-o, right? No threat to me. Calls over the daughter and grandchildren plus a few other family events and we are together periodically. I can handle it, because in my mind I sill see her acting nutty. Removes the threat of Dan wants her back. Never had a jealous minute after I met her.

OK, now the phone calls, and Trubble I've been on the phone with her for three hours, too. Some things do not pertain to her and I. We can have mother-in-law chuckles, we can make plans, major at one time because we both thought we'd be raising these grandchildren, ex's mother, Dan's daughter. House's, institutions, suicide attempts and just a general overwhelming mess. All of these she and I can talk calmly about and make plans about for the good of the (kids & grand). Good for you two!

Dan and.. NO! Daughter said..NO! Her father.... NO! So when we get to one of these I say, "I'll have to talk to Dan about that," or, "I'll have Dan call you after work." I even once couldn't TALK, as I thought she said something so redundant as to be stupid, so I didn't say a word to her. When Dan got home he got an earful. What she was trying to justify to me was DUMB. Dan agreed, but I let it go. It had nothing to do with me or the kids or grandkids. But I did share it with Dan and tell him my opinion. (Her dad was sexually abusive and she was trying to justify this to me!) Oh boy... Her thinking was/is skewered to my way of thinking, but her dad is dead now, so why do I care how she chooses to live with it? I don't, I didn't like her trying to justify his behavior to me, but I kept my mouth shut. To her that is. Dan got an earful, but not me telling him she was nuts so he must have been, too. I just told him why I think her logic is nutty and that I can't and never will agree with her. End of story. He doesn't defend her, I don't push my case, Yet we share all dealings with and about. This way he is always in the know, this was she/they always know we are a team and don't have secrets. Excellent. You are emotionally disengaged and Dan is doing his partner job too. This could have been fertile ground for withholding and making you feel left out through seemingly petty sins of omission. Bravo Dan for never having resorted to these tactics. I've had great support from him with this. Our main concern is the daughter and grandkids. PERIOD. What ever happened before I met them is none of my business (I had a past, too). Dan's mother tried to get me to play ex game. I simply don't care. Dan's mother can be a malicious gossip and overdoes this. If half of what she tried to tell me about Dan's ex were true, ....welllllll. Couldn't be! Dan's dad really liked her and I find it hard to believe the only thing he liked about her was the short shorts and going braless. She had to have a few good qualities. I literally got defensive of his ex to his mom.

What I've gotten too wordy about is basically, pick the team, you and H. Determine the rules. Choose the players and go for the win for the sake of the children. You yourself can give these kids your set of values. They will learn by what they see. Mom will come out looking the fool if she persists and anyhow that stuff is ancient history. Kids are not stupid. Talk to them straight, listen to what they say (you might not be able to do anything, but they will feel better if you listen to them).

Lecture enough, Be true to yourself and the kids will like and respect you for whom you are, not for who mom says you are.

I think you are smart enough to know all this. Just be the good person you are and be there for the kids if/when they need you.

Take Care and my prayers to all, Lynn :)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

You and I were posting together.

Two quick things as I have an appointment at 1. My dad. I will feel bad when he dies, but because he couldn't be less bullyish I know it has nothing to do with me. Right. Yet it hurts and so What are you implicitly telling yourself still that you remain so hurt? Look in the back of your mind; bet ya it's irrational thinking stuffed in there. I have to protect myself first. I will feel bad because he is a good man with bad habits, but I will not feel guilty, because I don't have to take that kind of treatment from him or anyone. Right.

About your dream. I just had your cat. He's a stray and he got under the trailer just 5 minutes ago and mine were trying to get in under there, too. Same color. I turned him loose just before I read your posts. As Becky would say, "doo, doo, doo, doo." Twilight Zone.  Double doo doo doo doo. That was me silly, trying to find that fresh Salmon Dan promised.

Take care again, I'm thinking of all of you, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

Thanks for tip about saving messages. I am not well enough to figure out ctrl and cut and paste, yet. I'm trying to fix my life and when I try to fix the web TV I short circuit somewhere. Our generation..... phonographs and transistor radio's. Those I can figure. Come for a visit and show me how!!! Snow on the slopes!!! Hi Trubble, do you ski? I prefer sleeping to be perfectly honest. Me neither. We tried it once a few years ago and Dan said he should have started with Tobogganing as then he'd start and stop in the same position ^_^ Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Lynn

I wonder if my H thinks I'm trying to justify other's behavior when I try to understand the source of it. I'm not, I'm just trying to get him to see their point of view, irrational though it may be. He may get defensive because he thinks you agree with other or are otherwise against him. Likely in fact. Maybe it's scary for him to try to look at it that way because he feels he might be swayed to thinking that they are "right" in what they are doing. Could be that if he is sympathetic to them he won't feel strong in making a stand to them. Hmm, just pondering.

Well maybe I'm over-analyzing, but I think it's something like that anyway.  

Anyway, though it's hard on the kids, I do think they know what is sincere and what isn't. My H and I don't say anything bad about their mom. Neither of us want them feeling like they have to choose. For a long time I think she was really afraid that I might somehow replace her, which is maybe why my H didn't have me around the kids much for the first 3 years. He was perhaps trying to accommodate her (what I consider) unhealthy wishes.  

 AK

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

Very sad, yes. Bingo! maybe about H's thinking. I've had times of telling Dan, "Don't you see what your mother is doing?" Apparently not. Then he gets defensive. One we have worked on is, "Mom said." I can't recall a particular one right now, but he'd tell me some goofy story about somebody and I'd ask where did he hear that? He'd say, "Well, mom said." I'd ask him to tell me again and he'd hear how screwy the story sounded. It was like whatever mom said was gospel and he didn't think about what was said. Now he hears what was said and then considers the source.

Almost sounds like H's ex still wants to "engage." Keeps her feeling alive or something. She needs a life of her own, doesn't she??

Somewhere we have to accept/learn ? something that at one time these other people were very important in their lives. I guess it's not easy to just turn off the switch. I said something really dumb to Dan once. It was about his ex, and he told me, "Well, I'm jealous of your late husband, too." I replied that he couldn't be because he was dead. Now does that sound like rational thinking? Noooooo. (I don't think jealous was the word, but same meaning. I get to have feelings about his ex, but he couldn't about my late?

Well, Dan could see his breath in here today so I better go haul in some wood and get the fire going. Good pondering, tho.....I enjoy everyone's input here. I wish we could get all of our guys on a site with Dan and let them post about us. Wouldn't that be great? Let me know if I can help.

Told you, I'm a dreamer and an optimist. Must have been too many Doris Day movies in my teens.

Love to ALL, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Hello Kitties,

Bingo myself! Someone called Dan's mother a dirty word once and he went out to defend her and got stabbed. He was the HERO! She's told me this many, many times. Oh, this will take some pondering.

Interesting, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Hi group, Lynn here with a brief thought. What is it with the holidays?? I adore Christmas. He can mess with the rest, miss my birthday, but Christmas is MY Biggie. Long ago he tried to get testy about Christmas and I just told him to go somewhere else and celebrate it! or if he preferred I'd go spend mine in Tahoe.

He understands. We have fun Christmas' now. Just the two of us. We try to meet with my kids and have a celebration between Thanksgiving and Christmas to celebrate with the family. We do the tree, trimmings, turkey and the whole bit. Then we come home and spend the holidays with the critters.

A few years ago I even gave him a Christmas train for under our tree. Love it, love it, love it. :)

Merry Christmas to all, and if they are all poops this year, we'll schedule our reunion in Tahoe Dec 25th ^_^ I even collect Christmas ornaments. My favs. Homemade dough or crafty or school kid ones. Especially those with someone's name on them. I can't believe people get rid of these!

Love, Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Hi again.

Was just talking to a friend about some of my the relationship "stuff" I've been going through. Was feeling enlightened when I started talking to her, then realized that I allowed her responses to deflate me. I know that my friends want what's best for me and they don't like to see me going through any of these relationship problems, and some of them don't understand why I try to stick it out. This is why I usually keep this stuff to myself. I have been feeling like my choices have impacted my partner positively, and though I know change doesn't happen overnight, I do see signs of movement forward. Ultimately I know it's my life and my choices, but I allowed her subtle skepticism to impact my feelings. Must be that "negative devaluation type thinking" I have. I will have to take a look at those suggested books soon! Excellent that you noticed what happened! Now you have more power to stop it.

Interesting though that the most people I talk to seem to feel that change and growth are unlikely. Seems to me like our belief in this as a society inhibits the possibility of growth for angry people. Most women are very quick to support other women's anger towards their mates who have "done them wrong", but a lot of women think other women who stand by someone who has "mis-behaved" are weak. Still, I don't have to let it affect me. Guess I'm letting my insecurity get the best of me, must quickly change these unconstructive thoughts!

I do have some bad patterns of my own...

okay, I'll quit yakking now.

AK  YAK YAK YAK YAK all you want. I still won't give you a mouse.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Good evening, all. This is mostly a response to Becky because it touched on something I haven't discussed here much yet that was a major reason 1) that my ex and I ever got together in the first place and 2) that things fell apart in the fashion they did.

Way-back-when, by the standards of our circle of friends, there was a big group of us interested in psychic phenomenon. (There still is. The headless unicorn incident is a particularly striking example of this kind of stuff, and over the course of the past five or six years those who have been part of most of my major circles of friends have been involved in it somewhere or other and accepted that strange things happen in this group of people.) My ex, when I very first met him, was a HARD-CORE skeptic.

Perhaps a week or two before we got together, something changed his mind. And unfortunately, on the fringes of this group were some extraordinarily unstable people that seem to have life confused with live-action D&D. *rolls eyes* I'm a gamer and I really get annoyed when looneybirds like that give my hobby of choice a bad name. Oops, getting off the subject a bit. But anyway, there were some people around that made me want to say "OK, if you're so psychically powerful why can't you hold down a steady job like a normal adult?" :P  Yuk.

Anyway, some of these folks started up all this prophecy stuff, and for some reason one possible scenario was that my ex was going to be this great war leader. Well, you can see where THIS is going. Or maybe not. It's a rather long story. Well, in a way they were right. He did lead a war: in his own home.

Suffice it to say, I tried to keep him from taking some of the more insane people involved in this mess seriously (those who were too screwed up for me to ever consider friends). Unfortunately, he wanted to, and he (I recently found out through the mutual friend) stretched the truth about some of it in several instances, and tried to pass off some of his own delusions of grandeur as being from said friend's visions of what the future might be like. This, of course, did *considerable* damage to that friendship because I almost wrote this friend off as one of the "too messed in the head to bother with" folks. Blah. That would, I now realize, have been a serious error.

Once he realized that he wouldn't be insanely powerful and able to throw lightning bolts around with a thought (which I'd been trying to tell him from the beginning), he kind of lost interest in this whole thing. Except under the influence of drugs, or occasionally when we were fighting and he really wanted a fast way to make up with me. It was NOT a good situation. He's back to mostly-skeptic mode, which under the circumstances is probably a good thing. There is obviously much more to the whole story than this, but that's the bare-bones outline. I wish I hadn't bought into the screwed up parts of this even to the extent that I did, but when someone is there saying "all of my reality has turned upside down and you are the only good to come out of it" (yes I now know how unhealthy this was/is).... *sigh* That's over and done with at any rate.

If something does go horribly wrong in the future, I have taken a sensible (from my perspective) degree of precautions. But I won't spend my life obsessing over it. It's just unnecessary. And I now know to stay far away from anyone who even thinks he might be a reincarnation of Merlin. *chuckles* Silliness.

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Oh Poo,

Lynn here, I did it tonight, went down to submit and hit reset. ctrl doesn't work as I tried it earlier.

Anyhow, I'll try and get it back in my mind and down on the page tomorrow. (Very profound and my best :) Meanwhile, I read you and I heard you and I care very much for you all. Take care and see ya tomorrow.

Lots of love, friends, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and Cat Box Family

I haven't read any posts which may have appeared after I went to bed, and I didn't post last night after work, so I thought that I would get one in before I went to work.

I just want to say thank you because all the insight which you, Dr Irene and Trubble, and the rest have given me has made me step back, figuratively speaking, and start to look at myself. Good!

I did read the posts after I got home yesterday, but really didn't feel like posting. Not a problem..

Dear AK,

I think that you are really beginning to understand your Self, and just what you have to do to help both yourself and your H to better grasp what needs to be done for your relationship. I understand how he doesn't want to dwell on his family's history very much, there will come a time that he will start to look at it and then he will better be able to look and take care of self. Lynn has helped me do this quite a bit with my family, by just being there.

I don't remember much of my childhood, I've blocked it out, but Lynn has been able to bring out some of the incidents because my mother told her about them and she asked me, Bingo, they came back just like they were yesterday. Don't let the non-verbal attitude of your H about his family get to you. Sometimes I think that it would have been better if I would have left my family of origin, at an earlier age, because it seems that by not, I (my mother's thinking) have become responsible for what my younger siblings do or don't do. She to this day tries to draw me in, but I haven't spoke to her in awhile and I am more comfortable with that. You are beginning the separation; this is healthy stuff...

Well, time to go so I will get back to you all after work. Take care and have a great day.

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Good Morning guys,

Lynn here, Crazy weather. In 4 days the temperature has dropped 65-70 degrees. Howls that for chillin', Trubble? I prefer the cold. Us too. We're jealous!

AngryGirl,

I understand what you are saying. Is it possible your ex realizes there is a problem and is just going about it differently? I wonder if his psychic aids are any crazier than my moving the bed to a more favorable position, getting Dan's Astrology done or the pyramid on our headboard. Sometimes we know there is a problem and go about every means we know to fix it and when they don't work we try anything. I think that is one of the most telling things about John Gray's books and tapes. Whether they work for everyone or not, there is something telling in that these were on the best seller lists for years and years. That is a whole bunch of people trying to be/get better. And, of course, the whole human race is different, so we all need a different approach to get well. Brief interruption: Heavy snow storm just blew in :) WOW!! Yummy!

Oh, by the way, what's D&D? I understand your group, too. I have had moments, yet I "ALWAYS" find an earthly reason for them. That works better for me! My fiend who committed suicide, we always there for each other in times of need. It's just that we didn't use conventional means to communicate ie phone, letter, etc. Somehow one of us always managed to pop up. I explained that: We were so close that we knew instinctively when the other was needed. I'm factual and like logical explanations for what goes on in my life.

I understand the theatrics of the eyeball rolling and formerly Merlin. It makes it sound like a "B" Hollywood script. Compound that with drugs and I think it would be easy to distort reality.

And this from the Good Gypsy Witch with a magic wand. Don't I wish? I wish I could zap us all better. I'm afraid that is going to take a lot of perseverance and hard work. OUR OWN, see Trubble, I hear ya'. Meow!

Dear AK, The one I zapped had a bunch to do with my sisters-in-law. We jokingly say we could throw any of our guys into the same pot, and they'd all come out alike. It's just that we are the only ones who go out and try therapy, web, reading, etc. It's like if we get better, they will be by some form of osmosis. Actually, they will! When you change, your partner changes.  I've suggested books to one and she is so afraid of the change. She doesn't like where she's at at times, yet she's afraid of making it worse. She and I have a lot in common, yet when we chat, I really think she's more comfortable in the misery loves company. I think she can be afraid that if we get better she will be forced to do so, too. She has all sorts of excuses why books and therapy won't work, and when it gets down to it, she isn't ready to take the plunge and make the change. Your friends could be like that. Fear...

I do understand what your aims and goals are. Your H sounds like a good man, too. Just misguided and aren't we all frightened of change? It's Just that some of us know there is change for the better. It can happen. See, the optimist is showing trough. I believe that both of us have to do some changing to make it work, tho. If I change and Dan gets stuck, then maybe it's time to move on. (I don't think he will). (Especially if you don't.)

And, too, how long have your friends been hearing the downs? I'm sure they don't want to see you hurt again, yet I'm not sure they realize that you may be more hurt without giving this relationship everything you've got. In the long run you might get a good working relationship with H and end up developing new friends.

Dear Becky, Hola,

Thanks for the card and the Spanish lessons. I really tried to learn Spanish working in a restaurant with lots of migrant workers. They found it was easier for them to learn English to communicate with me! I hope you have a fun week. Take care and I'm thinking of all of you, Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Now was that or was that not a Freudian typo? "My fiend" ? I can edit and re read and on posting always find an error. I'm glad this is only about getting my life well and not a 6th grade English class. I'd flunk ^_^ To error is human....... Lynn And to be Purrrfect is to be CAT!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Good afternoon!

A couple of comments for AK and AngryGirl.

First, AK, I hear you when you say that many women think that a woman who stays with an abusive man is weak (I'm paraphrasing you). If I understand you correctly, you don't necessarily see that as weakness, but as hopefulness, and/or commitment. I have, at times, felt almost ashamed because I didn't leave this marriage years ago, and the reason I don't share much about my situation is because of the shame: I got into this, I'm not (at least for now) leaving it, so I have no right to complain.

I know that if I'd been the person then that I am now, at the very least, I'd have postponed the wedding until we had some issues settled. The postponement may have become permanent. But there were so many factors that went into my reasoning that everything was going to be okay. Nothing was that simple!

But that's not my main point. I do think it's unfair to label anyone who elects to try to stay and work on a marriage as "weak." That's very simplistic! Certainly, the partner of an abusive person has his/her own issues to work on. I have found, for example, that as my self-respect increases, my tolerance for abuse decreases. And over the last couple of years especially, my thoughts are centered less on the "whys and wherefores" of him, and more on understanding myself. I could say that if I had a bigger income, I'd be outta here, but that's not the only thing I need to consider. I still have some love left, and I'm still not wanting to let go of the dream. I don't think that makes me weak. I am resolved not to be the target of abuse anymore; how that will ultimately be accomplished is up in the air at the moment.

AngryGirl: I share my H's interest in psychic phenomena to a degree. He told me that he was once very skeptical, and began investigating in order to prove that much if not all was fake. But he then had some experiences that convinced him otherwise. I don't doubt that there are psychics who are legit; what bothers me is if they have power, where does it come from? He agrees, but seems to believe that anyone he's ever read has the "good" kinds of power. I'm not convinced.

You'd have to know my H, I guess, to understand my concerns. I just feel that his interest isn't so much intellectual as it is a reflection of his desire to protect himself from real and perceived danger. So, if he reads what a certain psychic has to say about the future, he can be prepared for what's to come. I also believe (and I could be wrong) that all this "inside knowledge" makes him feel a bit superior to the rest of us--like he knows something we don't know, or he has the brain power to understand these things and the rest of us don't. Again, I base my conclusions on my experiences with him.

But as I said, he hasn't been into this much, except for watching occasional TV shows, since we married. He did buy a bunch of videos made by a TV minister that deals with end times things, but they are still in the box--he bought them years ago. I guess it hurts me that he's concerned about Armageddon, but not our marriage. Does that make me out of line? I don't know! No Becky. But as long as you care, he won't have to. When you begin to disengage, you help him wake up... 

Hi to everyone else!

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Hola Becky, Hi Angry, AK and Trubble and Dr. Irene, and Dan,

This is Lynn. Is this over simplistic? Marriage: Men seem to be content with the marriage period. Do men actually think "there is something wrong here and if we work at it I feel we could have a better relationship?" "Sort of an "Ok honey, I'm feeling we need to talk and I feel like, etc." I've never heard it.

I do think they want to stay in the relationships, but don't seem to get it that WE both have to work on this thing. I can hear Dan telling me that (past tense) when I made waves, i.e. wanted him to talk to me, that, "I was jeopardizing our good relationship." Fear of change or what? I use to respond, "What good relationship? Are you having an affair that I don't know about?"

And I'm with all of you. I can tell you exactly why Dan is the way he is. What I need is for Dan to know why he is and me to know why I am, who I am and then we get it together and define US.

That might be why men try different forms of fix it. Fix the world, fix the universe, but have a tough time getting down to the basics of fix US. Then the world and universe will fall into place. Just that they are trying to fix something says something, I think. I do know Dan never had/saw an example of a good relationship. Compared to some in his family we are the Nelsons. Yet in it, I feel there is so much more we could be.

Isn't that true Becky, about changing ourselves and they change? It is a shame to give up our hopes and dreams just because we don't communicate. (Not all cases. My kids dad quit beating me after he nearly killed me. That was all. He changed nothing else, and I hear that 35 years later he hasn't changed at all). Some there is no hope for. But in our cases there is still hope. There must be some love there or we would have moved on.

If we could just get all the guys to keep an open mind and jump in maybe we could work it out easier. I don't understand the reluctance to do so. (Not you anymore, Dan).

I still think it would be great for all our men to communicate with each other here at this site.

I do know Dan can hear AngryGirl, Becky and AK and get great insight on where they are coming from. Me, too, written. Yet when I say here's what I think about us, the defenses come up.

Adios gang, Better late than never... Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn, Dan, Angrygirl, Becky, Trubble, Dr I, and fellow lurkers

Lynn - yes I noticed your Freudian error. I noticed another one on Dan's post of Sept. 16 when he said "I have even been thinking of putting my mother down". At first I thought he meant euthanasia! :) Don't mean to touch on any sort spots here...I'm sure I've done a few Freudians here myself. Oh, these are great! I missed Dan's altogether and hope I didn't correct Lynn's...

Becky, I think there is a delicate balance between support and enabling and I guess this is what my friend of the other day tries to juggle with - she doesn't want to promote my staying in an unhealthy relationship (nor do I want to stay in one) and when my partner shows signs of positive changes she doesn't want me to get my hopes up, for fear of disappointment for me.  It's not that she thinks of my partner as a horrible person, but she says that she herself finds it hard to get motivated to make great changes in her life and doesn't put great faith in others to make those kind of changes.

My aunt was in a verbally abusive relationship and my mother had a hard time hearing about it because my aunt didn't seem to want to change anything or take a stand. This relationship went on for years, then finally she found the courage and the resources she needed to leave. After several months she returned to a far healthier relationship. I myself used to find it hard to hear her complain and justify not doing anything about it, but she probably didn't have the strength or resources to *know* what to do (and obviously we were of no help). The obvious solution to anyone outside the relationship is just leave. Yet, the leaving worked.

Every situation is unique, so it's hard to generalize, but I know that it would be far easier for me to find support for ending the relationship, than to stick it out (even when positive change is beginning). Maybe it's the instant fix mentality in our society, or just the belief that people don't change. I've always believed that everyone has the potential to grow and I know that some people look at me as rather naive for this. It's true that in my situation there are no guarantees, but I am making a conscious decision. I take full responsibility.

With the help of this website, I now understand so much more about what's going on inside my partner and more about what my own responses are about. I have learned that the communication problem that I used to try so hard to understand was irrational talk, which I could *never* understand, and now I know more about what it means and where it comes from. I've learned that I have my own buttons which I've allowed to be pushed and I am learning how to remove those buttons. So it's hard to explain to a friend who probably saw me as an enabler, that my choices to work on the relationship aren't still choices based on enabling. I don't need to justify to anyone why I make the choices I do, but obviously her feedback pushes a another button in me; the fear of what others think. Sounds like you've done a lot of good work. Keep it up! When one partner changes, the other will too. But, you still may have to take a stand at some point. This is not a bad thing, by the way.

I had a friendship end because I didn't take her relationship advice (which simply didn't "feel" right to me). She had had enough of listening to me this particular time, because she was sick of hearing (understandably) about the same old things. After cutting me off several times when I tried to respond to her, she said "you have no boundaries, none. If you had any boundaries you would have hung up on me a long time ago." After this registered (and it took a minute or 2), I hung up. I felt as if I had no way of expressing my hurt and no solutions to my problem. It was a very low point for me. It might sound like I gab about this constantly to everyone; I don't. There have been very few select friends who I have shared with and mostly I regret having done that.

I asked my H yesterday if he felt that we would ever get to a point where he was able to control his angry responses. He said you mean "behave all the time? no I probably won't always be perfect". I appreciate this honesty from him. I told him that what I meant was having boundaries around how he expresses his anger. He said he thinks so and that he knows for sure that he is working towards a positive end. Excellent!

I almost considered leading him to this site today !!! , but I don't know if he is quite ready. In some ways I think it would be comforting for him to know that there are others who deal with the same pain, but I don't think he will be comfortable with the "public exposure" about the relationship, and some of my anger towards him here (even though we do remain anonymous). There is a lot to read and process here, and it may be more than he is ready for. We're patient. We'll wait for him.

Lynn - I'm with you about the optimism and I didn't even watch Doris Day movies. Because without it, what would be the point? Have you read Victor Frankl's (sp?) "Man's Search for Meaning"? Excellent book about his holocaust experience and how most survivors were those who found a reason to live.

I also think that as a society we have to start to encourage men to express their emotional selves, rather than bury them.

love to all

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Hi Dr Irene, Trubble and Cat Box family

Got home from work, chilled to the bone, at 5 PM our time it was 30 above. Snowing like the dickens and sticking but wet. Lynn had a fire going and the heater turned on, which felt good to me as I never expected this.

I didn't know if my post had got through from this morning, but I see that it did. Sorry it took me so long to get back to commenting...

Dear AngryGirl

I don't discount psychics, but then I don't have any experience with them so I can't count them either. I do believe that there are ghosts who visit this world, but whether they are lost souls or those who have unfinished business, I don't know. As far as I know for a fact, there has only been one person to actually foretell the future, but then a person could make their own conclusions if they could read his coded writing, and that was Nostradamus. Read about Edgar Casey, another astounding psychic.

To All

I guess that I could tell you all about a childhood experience that was brought to conscious mind after Lynn had talked to my mother and was told about it, and then asked me about it. When I was around 3 or 4 some bigger kids grabbed my new cowboy boots and threw them over a mine fence. This fence was ten foot high, chainlink. My mother came along and accused me of throwing them over the fence, I told her the truth, crying as I did so, but she spanked me with a spatula, until I told her that I had done it. Ugh... (No lifesaving Aunt, this day) Lynn has said that she doesn't want to hear what I think that she wants to hear, which I have been guilty of, and I feel that this is probably where that habit began. Wow. I bet. There have been many instances when I have told my mother what she wanted to hear, rather than the truth. Both as a child and as an adult. The spatula must still lurk in my subconscious, although I don't say what I think a person wants to hear anymore. I know that there have been times that I have misinterpreted what Lynn has said, heard what she said and turned it around until it was what I wanted to hear. Spatula time? Yep. Only in reverse. Yep. Same difference. I'm going to use the spatula on myself if I don't acknowledge that I really heard me instead of Lynn. Too deep for me, but still a point that has crossed my mind since reading the posts, Dr Irene's' and Trubble's comments, and posting myself. You are doing some amazing work Dan. Excellent, wonderful...

Lynn said that the last few nights, I have slept normally, not the usual for me, but normally. I know that when I wake up, something from my dreams is residing and I have to think about them.  Great! I would like to say, though, that since I have told Lynn a little of myself, what I went through as a child, I am more able to face it. This has been hard, because, I know that she has gone through the taking of my pain, and somehow, rather than helping, it had become a major problem. Telling Lynn has helped de-shame the events. Did you read G's article and the space shame took in his life?

I didn't want to face the feelings that these brought about now as an adult let alone the feelings which they brought about as a child. Yes. 

The other night, a neighbor come over and we started talking, and he brought up Nam, he does this as he was never in the service as he had diabetes. This is hard for me and I have told him so, but he still tells me of guys whom he knew that went over there, and then proceeds to tell me what happened to them, or how they were like when they came back. I haven't told Lynn all of Nam, that is another area which I have to face, so I'm sure not going to tell him. I used to have flashbacks I suspected so... , but haven't had them in about 9 or 10 years, this I owe to Lynn. I have a friend who was also over there, and we went to see Platoon together, and he told me to remember that it was only a movie.

We have a copy of the movie Letters from Viet Nam, which I think we have watched maybe twice, because it brings back those days for me, and I usually end up silently crying. Talk about it Dan. Write about it. Write a diary of your life in Nam...

Hugs to All

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Dear AK, Hi All,

We missed that one! Loved it! We are still laughing :) Sick, sick joke around here, but when she went to see a Dr. we thought maybe she should go to Dr. Kevorkian for a second opinion. Sometimes we have to laugh or we would cry. (Trubble, don't let the doc read this please ^_^). We know. It's OK; she's hysterical laughing...

Doris Day, was the virgin of the screen, caught her man, married and lived happily ever after. Wonderful fantasy.

Snow plows out and Dan is heading out to turn off the outside water. Predicted to get down to 21 here tonight.

The frost is on the punkins'.

I like to watch the psychic's and ghost stories on TV. I have to relate a fun one though. She was talking to an interviewer on how she got her messages and she said it's like there is a little voice "Hoovering" (sic) there. When I'm "hoovering" I'm vacuuming cat hairs off the rug! That's a privilege.

As for our typos. Have you noticed that the more upset or traumatic the message, the more mistakes? The doc sure has.... Giggle!

Take care guys, Din din time, Morris, And love and hugs and prayers, too, Lynn Morris is my Hero. 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

AK, (and a comment for Lynn)

I, too, have wondered whether my staying has enabled my H to continue "misbehaving." I hate to think that he's acting the way he does simply because he can get away with it, i.e. still have an intact marriage, a house to come home to, food cooked, etc. He's probably not aware of how abominably he's acting.

It's worth thinking about: am I just hanging around because I don't know what else to do, or am I sincerely working toward a better life and relationship? Of course, to work on the relationship, I need help from him--small detail! :-) To work on the relationship, you need first to fix you so you don't tolerate junk. The rest will fall into place as it may, including him.

I believe that I can remain in the marriage as it stands and still continue to grow, and learn to like and trust myself. But to do that requires an awful lot of detaching, and an awful lot of what I call damage control: working overtime to prevent his negativity and hostility from seeping into me. Is marriage supposed to be about SURVIVING life with your spouse? No dear. Not at all. Because that's what it often ends up being in these situations. I want to enjoy life, I want to enjoy my H, not protect myself from him! Well, you can't change him. But you can change you. Or, you can choose to work overtime instead. 

I agree--people can change. But they have to be ready, and some never are, or when they are, those who have put up with them for years are so burned out, they don't care anymore. At this point, if my H decided to REALLY do his work, get therapy, and consistently work WITH me on our marriage, I'd be there all the way. But I get afraid sometimes, that the day will come when I don't have it in me to wait anymore. Maybe that's a good thing? Maybe that's the "kick" he needs? I don't know! You know. You just don't like it.

Lynn, I think most men aren't programmed to say, "Let's sit down and talk about our relationship." It's just not in the genes! I recently said to my H, "I wish you would initiate a conversation about this [our marriage]." His response was something along the lines of "What would you want me to say?" I give up!! Good. Now that's a step in the right direction!

He can't --or won't--know what to say to me about this awful marriage we have, but he'll talk the leg off a customer or tenant. He once kept my dad "imprisoned" for three hours talking at him about Medicare! I asked my dad, "Why didn't you tell him you had to go?" (Someone was waiting for him; he was supposed to get right back). He tells me I yak yak yak about the marriage, yet he'll talk endlessly about computers, or business, or give people advice for hours! He doesn't hear himself. Exactly. He does not hear himself. He is unaware of himself.

Maybe he (and other guys like him) don't want to talk "relationship" because they feel powerless and scared there. They can't take a hammer out and fix "relationship," they can't take it into the shop and put new parts in. Yep. So, you literally have to become the car that stops running to get his attention. At least not in a literal sense. Figuratively speaking, they can "fix" the relationship and themselves. But maybe they find the "tools" (talking, introspection, honesty with self and others, vulnerability) too terrifying. At first - until he realizes there is nothing to fear...

I think that's sad! I've told my H that I don't want him to beat himself up, or feel horrible about himself. I just want him to be honest with himself! Once he does that, he'll begin making real changes that will benefit him as well as our relationship. But he has to WANT to do this. That's why I don't give him stuff to read anymore, and why I'm not going to show him this site. He knows I visit it; if he wants to look, he can ask me for the address, or better yet, type "abuse" into a search engine, and start educating himself. Yep. That's what I did! By the way, I notice that he took P. Evan's book with him on his trip. We'll see.......... Ohhhh....she's real, real hard on the guys. If he lives through that, coming here will be like a breath of fresh air!

In closing--I got an e-mail from my oldest boy. His lizard Jub-Jub died. Moment of silence please? Oh...

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Shhhhhhhhhhhh

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

I don't watch or read anything about the Holocaust. It depresses and distresses me too much.

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Hello all,

Lynn just told me that the reason dinner was late was, she took the ribs out of the freezer this morning and they weren't thawed by dinner time. She also asked if what I wasn't expecting was the weather or her having the heat on and a fire going. Giggle!

Dear AK,

Put my mother down, your answer was totally hilarious, but I have to tell you, the only way that I've heard that in that context is in Westerns. A lot of "that's" in the proceeding sentence. I still love your way of putting it though.

To Lynn and Becky,

I'm not sure that I can speak for all men, but we aren't (I wasn't) raised to the emotional side, i.e. there's something wrong with our relationship, why can't we talk about it, to fully understand just how to talk o to recognize the signs. True. Men are not raised to feel emotion. Sad...

Being told that there is something wrong, I need a life, is hard to understand because it goes back to the men can fix anything syndrome. Yep. And we don't know how to fix it. What' wrong with this life? Also the fear of not knowing. Absolutely! After all, if you can't fix it all, of what good are you?

I have to agree with DR Irene, I got too comfortable with myself, not Self. The idea, for me, of a deep, serious discussion got lost because feelings of uncertainty got in the way. Also the guilt that I laid on myself for not being there when Lynn needed me. You had taken on the impossible task of expecting to make it OK for Lynn - made even worse since you were supposed to do this no matter what shape you were in...  I didn't trust myself to understand, so consequently, I didn't. 

Happy holidays from the weatherman. Forecast: clear and mild.

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

Dear All,

Oh, how funny. Dan was posting and talking about me wanting a life and I asked what it was about the 1st 4 1/2 years that he didn't hear me saying that I wanted to talk and decided I better go take a bath. Actually, I hope I said this lovingly as I just wanted him to get the whole story straight. Anyhow I haven't read his posts yet. I just had to get down the conclusions I came to. This was from you AK about the Freudian slip and my "fiend." I had to laugh. He really was quite fiendish. Giggle! He truly was my friend in low places and maybe this was what I needed to fully get over this. It reminded me of a sad time in my life. I remarried quite soon after 1st divorce. Got PG and he left me. Got an annulment and whole other story except the baby died after 6 hours. Ohhhh... Devastated me for years. I couldn't get over it. Then one day we had gone to a funeral and we were at the cemetery and my daughter and her friend were in the back of the car and my daughter (about 7 or 8) in words exactly like only an uppity daughter can get told her friend, "We have a guardian Angel out here. Actually he's up in heaven, but he's taking care of ME! His name is Seymour MacMillan." Well, the initials were right, but the name was way off. I started laughing, crying, laughing some more and to this day I still have fond memories of MY Guardian Angel "Seymour MacMillan."

Well, I think I have another Guardian Angel only this one was my "fiend." I am really laughing and thanks. Now I think I'll go and see if Dan explained why he can fix the plumbing, and couldn't see that our relationship was leaking. :) I truly don't think men actually notice, or if they do notice...... think that if they ignore the problem it will go away! Yes. Many men and some women too.

Take Care Guys and Thanks, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene and kitty boxers,

We are getting better! I told you we just got a new car. It's snowing here and Dan kissed me goodnight and then asked me if I remembered where I put the snow scrapers? He handed them to me from the old car and I put them in the new. Huh, I asked, why? are you taking the car to work tomorrow. No, he answered. I don't know if I can find mine. This from the guy who was out of town last FEB and called and I asked him where the snow shovel was. He couldn't remember! ^_^

Yes it's snowing. Just a little indication of how much snow we get each year. Snow mobiles are legal means of transportation here in town! Love it.

Along with being a night owl, gypsy witch and a person who doesn't wear winter coats, I love winter. Ours are glorious. It might snow all one day and the next it's 40 below and yet the sun is shining. I feel sick when the temperature goes over 70. Us too. Maybe we should move...

Have a good TGIF all, Merry Christmas and Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

In response to "I don't like you." How about, "Oh? I like me." Best I can come up with, Lynn Nice!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear Doctor Irene,

Hi group, this is Lynn. Again I am reading "B's Board, but I will leave my questions here. Dan and I talked about this last night, so It's no longer in the argumentative stage....... Good.

This happens often and I call it going out of his way to do things around the house wrong.

The case in point. We bought an older 3 bedroom trailer. Literally tore out the walls and made it our own. Middle room leading to my bathroom is just an extension of my bathroom now and we put a closet in there along one wall. The floor heater vent ended up in my closet and we bought an extender which led to the door. Plan was to put a vent in the door to direct the heat out into the room. This plan was agreed upon as Dan had me get into the closet with a flashlight and draw a template exactly where the vent hit the door.

Later, while I was elsewhere, he put the vent in the door. I come in and he tells me he vented the middle room. He leads me in there to see what he has done and there is the vent centered perfectly in the middle of the closet door! I was speechless! I tactfully (these things happen often around here) suggested the vent "was" going to go at the bottom where the extension was. Fight was on by Dan, I want everything centered, He can never do anything to please me, etc., etc. Favorite guy-think. I thinks it's just part of the culture... I didn't engage Good cat lady! (previous experience, I can't ever win these). I thought, "How could anyone be so stupid?" The last thing I wanted was a heated closet and a cold bathroom. Giggle! He understood what was the meaning of the vent on the floor or why else did he have ME mark where it was suppose to go for HIM?

Anyhow we talked about this last night and not arguing (had our heat on yesterday), but now I have to open my closet door in the winter to heat the bathroom and not my clothes, and heat in the closet gets the clothes dirty. ??????????????????????????????? The question here. Dan frequently does this around here. Works twice as hard and puts a lot of effort into failing. I don't understand. I have learned not to engage, yet this goes on and on. This is a no winner as if I go behind him and fix it, He says he can never please me. If I ignore it he gets mad as I never notice that he does anything. A "good" reply of his is I can't do anything right, so I may as well do nothing. If I stand over him or try to help him, I'm always telling him what to do. He also doesn't like it when I simply say thank you. Then he tries to engage me (I call it bait me) well, don't you like it? Oh, yes can get me, No you don't, I can tell by the tone of your voice. I think Dan spends lots of energy shooting himself in the foot without realizing it. Probably childhood stuff around doing stuff for mom when he was mad at her or that he simply didn't want to do. Anyway, this description smells of passive-aggressive ANGER! So Dan, please check it out. You know, you really don't have to do it.  

I stay out of these anymore. Yet I'd like some help here. The only thought that comes to my mind is how can anyone be so stupid? and I shake my head and walk away. I'd like to be able to let go of that thought, too. It's not about stupidity Lynn. It's about anger and feeling controlled. Dan feels controlled by you even though he's not. He creates it himself...

All selfish and all about me, guys, Sorry Trubble, just had to get it out. Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Lynn,

Just read your post about the heated closet. I can relate! My H is pretty handy with a lot of things, yet I've shaken my head more than once at how he does things. He's great at starting a job, then leaving it half done and moving onto something else. For example, we are putting new cabinets in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room. I thought we'd agreed to do the bathrooms and laundry room, then the kitchen. As of today, the downstairs bathroom is done except for a piece of trim. The upstairs bathroom needs all the trim put in, yet. The laundry room has half the wallpaper scraped (I started that, but haven't gotten to it since school started. But he said he'd scrape paper, then repair the walls). Last week he decided to put some of the kitchen cabinets in, so we have one side of the kitchen with new cabinets but a bare, paperless wall behind, and the old countertop on.

He has also decided to do things at the worst possible time, after putting them off. Example: he painted the back porch deck and steps one day, despite the rain clouds rolling in. It rained, and spotted the paint. One night, at 11:00pm he decided to tear the hallway ceiling down--I put the kabosh on that one, but he was mad! And of course, he usually expects me to help him at these inopportune times. When he started on the kitchen cabinets at 7:00 pm, I told him flat out that I was too tired to tackle a project like that. He was okay with it, and I did sweep up the years of accumulated crud that was under the old ones, but that was it.

This wouldn't be such a big deal except for the fact that he is so critical of others, quick to point out the ways he thinks they goof up. Can you imagine how he talks internally to himself? I'm sure he makes himself dead meat. To hear him talk, no one knows what they heck they're doing. And if I dare comment on how he's doing things, or that I'd like it different to make it easier on me, he gets defensive. So, I'm learning to pick my battles. I learned long ago anyway, that my comfort or convenience isn't real important to him. One of the best ways to deal with this is to let him know he doesn't have to do all this work. It is overwhelming, even though he "wants" to be your hero. Why not hire somebody? The money you spend will be well worth it in terms of your emotional well-being. It's one way to disengage and get the message across.

I guess if he was respectful toward me in general, I'd be able to chalk this up to "typical male" syndrome, and laugh it off. But in the context of abusiveness, it's more difficult to handle. Of course. It's an expression on anger when creates very avoidable disruption.

Well, I have papers to grade.

Catch you all later,

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

I hear ya', except the trim is still undone. I really don't think he notices. I have had moments with smaller things (OH, I thought of a big one) where he's going to do something and it doesn't get done and then after 9 months I put them/it in his lunch bucket. The large one was funny. We were going to send my "large" coffee table to my daughter. (months later I put it in his shower stall :) It was gone the next day........And they accuse us of PMS ^_^ Funny when you write it down, isn't it?

Give them all A's, (: Lynn :)  Funny, but not funny if you're the guy and you feel controlled...

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear ones,

Male thinking? We have a gas stove and it quit lighting. The guy at the shop told Dan how to check the air flow with the thermostat. He had to get an air compressor (we don't have one) and connect it to the air intake and then get a propane torch (we have one) and heat the temperature thingy. We bought a new one because we had no way of testing the old one. It was sitting on the coffee table and I had stared at it for a few weeks. One day I picked it up and held my cigarette lighter on the thermostat and after I thought it should be hot I blew into the opening. Whooooooooosh Apparently we didn't need a new one At least he had the good grace to laugh at this.......... Ah, life is full of these little vicissitudes, ain't it fun :) You bet!

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Lynn you are so sneaky. ;)

You do have a way of letting your desires be known - I'm thinking of you washing your hair with the leaky drip from the skylight, and the lunch bucket and coffee table in the shower idea. Well at least you get your point across. As long as it's done in good humour. You could write a book of short stories. :) Yeah!!!

Don't be too hard on Dan about the vent (by the way I hope he'll comment on what he was thinking about when he installed the vent - I'm pretty sure he either thought it made more sense somehow to put it there, or there was some technical reason why he did it the way he did it, or that it was just a mistake - which we all make). My mom and dad get into these little conflicts all the time and my dad is really trying his best, as I'm sure Dan is too. I had planted a garden one year with flowers all along the edge and my dad was over "helping" and he dug them all up, thinking they were weeds. We all make mistakes - but, you've got to look at the pattern. Are there lots and lots? I think Dan's got some anger stuff in there.

My H is very uninterested in any "cosmetic" improvement to the house. His interpretation and mine of what cosmetic is is very different. We aren't living together now so it's not an issue at this point. I think we would have to live on separate floors.

I realized last night that the negative comments from my friend about working on the relationship tap into my fears about forever being single, childless, and alone. These kind of fears just put negative pressure on my partner so it's something I have to resolve in my own mind. If I stay in my relationship with my partner "too long" and it doesn't work out there's a good chance I will never have kids. Staying with my partner means I probably won't have kids of my own, but there would be some involvement with his kids. I also feel like this is a disappointment to my mom and dad, which I know isn't a good reason to make any decision, but impacts my feelings. I know that it's up to me and no-one else to decide how long is "too" long for me. These feelings of mine put negative pressure on my H, since growth has to happen in stages. Question: If it wasn't for the single, alone, kid, and mom and dad stuff, would you be with him?

Also, my partner is extremely talented and I realize how quick I am to focus on his talents and not on my own. I am in some sort of a limbo right now about where I'm going in life and I have to start giving myself some more concrete objectives, rather than putting my energy mostly towards his healing and his progression.

Thinking out loud again.

take care

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear AK ad Hi rest,

I hope I don't sound like I'm trying to defend myself. Not so, I don't think. Dan and I were talking calmly last night about these things. Trying some self analysis. Excellent. The idea is for you to learn these skills so you can work this stuff out yourself.

He never did anything right! Literally, as far as his mother was concerned. He has never heard a "thank you", an "I'm proud of you" or "you did a good job." He is the only child of hers that graduated from college (let alone High School) and she never made graduation. Ugh. Dan was/is very by this and asked her why at the time. She HAD to go to a ceramic show.

The first time I met her she drug out Danny's photo album. It was full of pictures of car wrecks he'd been in. And a couple of his ex. That was it!

That was why I mentioned the episode about the knife fight. One of the few times she was proud of him. She's this way with all the brothers, too. If (when, past) they are arrested, she goes to the jail and bails them out without being asked and then reminds every one how much $$$ they owe her.

Conclusion we came to. Dan could never please her by doing anything good, but he certainly got her attention if he screwed up..... moral of the story, He learned that he gets rewarded for "bad" behavior, not for good. Bad attention is better than none, hence..... 

So that is the result of last nights pondering and posting. No fight, just awareness, maybe? Yep. But watch out because sometimes the line from partner to shrink is a thin one. And we all know a partner-shrink is resented. Let Dan communicate this stuff... And let it be if he chooses not to.

As for sense of humor. I have to find something to laugh about a lot or else I'd be screeching ALL the time (also past tense). Some of this stuff is so bizarre from my way of thinking and upbringing. I have tried the thank yous and I'm proud of yous. He knows this. I think he thinks he still needs to hear it from his mom. I don't think this will ever happen. I've asked Dan and he can't remember either, but I have NEVER seen this woman smile, let alone laugh. Dan can't recall even a glimmer of a grin. So sad, really.

Anyhow, we came to the conclusion that why should he do anything right?? He never learned. We're working on that, too, Trubble. He can and does and has. He had to do this stuff (control) yet he wouldn't please her (anger)...

Ok, enough of my whys. It has to be tough on you not knowing what to expect and I like "Immediate" results! I say because of my age, but more so you because of yours. This in between is like a limbo of lost souls. How can we plan for the future when we aren't sure that we will still be with our mates tomorrow? That's why I am so glad Dan is here with me. Sure helps, and I am noticing a difference. He even is cracking witticisms. So much with the former abuse has to be forgotten and forgiven and yet it can still be right there ready to go in an instant. Yep. And you have to be ready to respond appropriately in an instant. After taking it for so long and learning (inappropriate) methods to deal with it, it's hard to stop all of the negative methods we used to deal with it and work to fix. I don't know sometimes, yet am optimistic. That helps.

Well, time to go. My picnic table umbrella is on the ground so I guess it's time to go bring it in. We have at least 12" of snow and it's been coming down all day. I'll bet half the town is digging out their skis. Not me, I'm here in front of a cozy fire. Now that's the way to have a good winter. 

Just pondering here, too. Hearing myself think. Thanks, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear all,

Lynn back and just hearing myself think, so pass over this if you want.

One mistake I made way back when, (Dan and I had only know each other a couple of months) was not set any boundaries with his mother Or Dan. That's why you do so much talking for him. Dan's families were coming in from out of town and we decided to have a barbecue out at my house. About 20 or so. I had hamburgers patties, hot dogs for the kids, buns and all the condiments cut, chopped, plattered and ready and Dan had the grill going. His mother arrives with 2 huge packages of T-bone steaks. I've forgotten now, but at some astronomical price like $157 still on the packages. "Here, I brought dinner!" Well, inconvenient for me to say the least and Dan had to go borrow another grill to fit them all on. There went the paper plates. Who can eat a T-bone on them? Put out? No, I was inconvenienced but chose to roll with it. Then she told me she did it because she "will not" eat hamburger. Then I got testy. Why not tell me in advance? Ah, well, ancient history, and I don't know what else I would have done. Maybe I should have told her thanks for the thought and I'd freeze them and we'd use them the next time...... Too late now, but I should have. Maybe I'll keep that thought in mind for the future........  Or, a cheery you'll broil her one and the rest of you will eat burgers.

Isn't it amazing how we can make one error like this (I really thought nice thoughts at first) and then it is hard to gain the ground we lost.

I guess I have to keep trying. Always.

Again, just hearing myself think, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Lynn, you don't sound defensive to me.

I was saying to my H the other day that I wondered if H's dad was critical of the kids because they are all so bright and talented, and maybe that was threatening to him. My H wasn't sure, but thought it was possible. (Could be just that H's dad was so self absorbed he never thought about their feelings much at all) Very likely. But this would explain why my H, though very talented, for a long time wasn't "getting anywhere" career-wise and why his financial situation is so bleak at this time. It's easier to be be non threatening. It reminds me of a friend of mine who was quite overweight. She said that the weight she put on made her feel "safe" and that she didn't have to compete with her mother if she stayed "fat". We human beings really are an odd group aren't we?

I wonder what Dan's Mom's background was like? She must not have had her own needs growing up. I'm sure there's a story there. You bet!

Beautiful blue sunny sky here. No sign of anything like snow.

love and hugs

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Thanks AK,

Yep we are a strange bunch. Keeps life interesting, doesn't it.

Dan's grandfather died when Dan's mother was 5. Dan's mom use to stay at home with him (black lung from mining tuberculosis?) while grandma worked. Things were really tough. She was the only girl and baby. One of her older brothers never married and took care of grandma until she died ca 1972 or 3. She has told me this much. She remembers her dad being waked at the house. Use to be fashionable in 1925.

She didn't have a good life at all.

About yours. Isn't it funny how kids can be held back through no fault of their own? Would he even consider Pia Melody's book and workbook about facing codependence? Dan has tried, but finds it hard. He's actually spoken more about his past here at the cat box. This has been helping him, I think, as he gets real down, washed out and then reads the posts and feels better.

Isn't it funny how one train of thought leads to another? I hadn't thought about that T-bone incident until I went out to get the umbrella? And I'm the one to blame there! Flunked on my first test.

Sound like you think your H is an OK guy, too. Just confusing to live with, aren't they? 

Take care and thanks, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Oh, Lynn here. This I think is a man thing and I say this with a smile. Do yours go buy a $170.00 piece of equipment to do a ten dollar project? I have never known a man who didn't! With love to the guys, Lynn 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Yes Lynn

My H is a good guy. I just want him to be healed, so that I can safely commit to him as my permanent partner, and live happily ever after. Also, it would be great if he and I both came into loads of money so we could relax about life's day to day pressures and have fun for a change. And hey while I'm at it, his ex and him would become great friends (and me too), and his family would come to terms with their dysfunctions and work together to heal. And he, my family and his family would all get along wonderfully. He would also have co-operative shared physical custody of his kids. And a cottage on the lake would be nice, as well as traveling by sailboat around the world.

Am I asking for too much?

:)  AK

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

Wonderful, Your wish has been granted! I just waved my magic wand in your direction and all is on the way.....

No, I don't think you are asking too much, Just be careful. You may get what you wish for...

Now that is what I call optimistic ^_^ :) Loves and Hugs, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

P.S. Have you by any chance been watching Doris Day movies today? L

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and all of the cat box family,

To AK,

I don't remember what I was thinking when I put the vent in the closet door. Lynn told of me doing this a lot, she calls it my F-----stein days. It's like I try so hard to get it (whatever job) right that I goof it up and it takes me forever to get it done. I sometimes have to stop and go back to it. I have had a really hard time accepting a compliment, I have no idea why, unless it's because I'm waiting for one from my mother, which I know I'll never get, but it's a nice dream. Don't bother with the Why, just consciously start accepting them now. My boss gave me one a couple of years ago, I shrugged it off and said "It's just part of the job." He told me that it wasn't, and I deserved the pat on the back and to accept it.

Your dad helped you garden one day, well, don't be to hard on him, I have to ask Lynn what's a weed, and what's a flower, A dear friend of ours was doing his gardening one year and neighbor lady asked how he could tell the weeds from the flowers, he replied," If I pull them and they don't come back next year, they're flowers."

Lynn said that my mother showed her an photo album of my car wrecks, well that may be her story, but I've only been in three wrecks in my life, and she hasn't got pictures of them. She doesn't even have pictures of the cars before I wrecked them. My mother is good at telling things to satisfy herself, about whatever.

Lynn also told you about how she tells everyone about the money that, her sons owe her, the crazy thing is, it's not just money, it's everything. What's hers is hers and what's ours is hers. An example, I bought a big box floor fan while I was in VN and of course when I shipped stuff home, I sent it also. One year it was very hot, not like this year, and I went down to get it, and she asked me what I was doing with her fan. Giggle...

She is always saying if only --- would pay me back, but there is never any word about her paying back what she owes us.

Lynn told of my being the only college graduate of her children, and I was very hurt that she never made it to my commencement. She had already paid for the ceramic show and couldn't miss one day just to come down for my getting my degree. That is another of the many things which is an issue, I have brought it up and she just brushes it aside as though it didn't happen. Of course, if I had robbed a bank she would have been right there, just to show "See how much I love my kids."

Lynn may have told about "How rude she was," I don't remember, but she did tell you of the steak incident, well, she (my mother) did more or less the same thing, one day, she showed up at our house, unexpectedly and brought about 10 or 12 people with her, which Lynn had to cook for. A few days later, I was on the phone with her and she accused Lynn and our sister-in-law of being rude to her. I just laughed it off, because I know that Lynn would not be rude to anyone. This had been an issue between Lynn and I because I didn't tell my mother that she was full of s--t. I now realize that I should have, and told her that doing what she had done was rude. Again, the I'm used to it. Yep.

To All,

I know that I enjoy doing some remodeling, and I'll admit, that there are a few things, which I haven't finished, although, only one has been taking longer than 9 months. The funny (not ha ah) thing is it would probably take me a day, two at the most to finish it. I don't start projects in the middle of the night though.

Lynn has told you how we brought a 3 bedroom mobile home, with a bowling alley long hallway, and how we have reduced it to one bedroom. We were working together doing that, bouncing ideas off one another until we came up with one that works, and I wasn't into my F-----stein attitude then, I didn't feel the need for a compliment. It was something that we both were striving for. After that though it seems like we were at odds about everything until last month when she showed me this site and I got some very insightful advice from Dr Irene and Trubble, and also some very eye-opening comments from the rest of the cat box family.

I'm going to end this novel with my sincerest thanks and huge hugs for everyone and an ear scratch for Trubble. Meow!

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Hi everyone,

I'm back with a couple of add-ons. When I said that my mother doesn't say how much she owes us, I was talking of $$ but, looking back, the $$ is secondary, if it counts at all.

I also said that one day she showed up unexpectedly ......., this was after we had moved to another town, but these two incidents are in a long list of things which she has expected from us, and then blames Lynn, or one of the sister-in-laws, because her sons wouldn't treat her this or that way, if it doesn't come out the way that she wants, or she isn't the center of attention. Lynn and I have said and agreed about, that she (mother) would be happiest if all her sons moved back under her roof and took care of her as my uncle (her oldest brother) did with my grandmother.

One other what's mine is mine, sort of, I bought my grandmother a Black Forest Coo Coo Clock when I was in Germany. When she died, I told my Uncle that when he died that is the only thing that I really wanted. He gave it to me before he died, and mother acted very put out about it, as if he had taken the food right out of her mouth. How dare I get the clock, by rights it should have went to her.

He also gave me a ring which means a lot to me, because he gave it to me before he died, and personally not through his will. She didn't know that he was going to give it to me, otherwise she would have seen that I got it herself after he died. The big thing is that he cared enough to make sure that I got it before he died. :)

One year Lynn and I got him a Rosary from Ireland, he was Irish, made from Irish Jade. When he died I requested that it be buried with him, I don't know why, other than he really appreciated it, and told us so. My mother, who said that she would really like one also, said that she didn't know where it was, when I said that it had better be there when I got back for the funeral or there would be such hell raised that Unc would sit up in his coffin and tell us all off, she said that she would see what she could do. It was in the coffin with him. I can not figure this out, but when I get really angry or upset with her, and she knows when I am, she will toe the straight and narrow until she feels that it's safe to revert back to her own ways. No putting Lynn down, not saying or doing anything which she feels will get me more upset. Lynn says that it's because I remind her of my dad when I do become angry or upset. The funny, crazy funny, thing is, that when I was a young lad and teenager she would purposely get me angry and then leave, and I would clean her house for her. I'd take out my anger on the furniture, dirt, anything and everything.

Hugs and best wishes

Ear scratch for Trubble  Dan    Cat nuzzle for Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dan - Here's a tip about taking compliments that I learned many years ago. Say "thank you".

I used to do what you say you do - shrug off compliments because I wasn't comfortable with them. Then one day I watched someone compliment I girl I knew and she smiled warmly, and said thank you. For some reason that little incident taught me something. The giver of the compliment appreciated the thank-you just as much as the receiver did the compliment. So simple, isn't it? At first it feels strange when you've been in a pattern of rejecting compliments, but it's relatively easy to do.

I still wonder about your mom and her story. If she was looking after your dad alone when she was less than 5 yrs old (if I understood Lynn's post correctly) it sounds like she wasn't getting her basic needs met at a really young age. Maybe she didn't get the nurturing she needed to develop certain qualities. It's as is she isn't capable of meeting anyone else's needs because she doesn't know how to meet her own.

Thanks for the magic Lynn. Now I can relax knowing that all will be well... (and no I wasn't watching Doris Day, but I did listen to a little Tony Robbins stuff last night. That could explain it.)

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dan - I meant "her dad" not your dad in the second to last paragraph. Forgot to proofread :)

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

First off, thanks for the advice on accepting compliments, I am getting better, but I'll follow your tidbit and hopefully, it will as you say get easier. It will; it's excellent advice.

About my mother, I don't know much about her childhood except that besides losing her father, at the age of five, she also lost an older brother who was 19 at the time of his death. My grandmother also lost two babies but they would have been the oldest children of the family, they died even before my mother was born.

I know that my grandmother went to work, as a laundress when my grandfather became to ill to work. My Uncle, moms' oldest brother also was working. Another of her older brothers worked in the CCC, but I think that he finished school before then, until the outbreak of WWII. They then enlisted and served until wars end.

I'm sure that she never got the attention, that she should have gotten, especially after grandpa died. I also know that she was real close to her dad, and perhaps that his death affected her in a stranger than strange way. She looks forward to Memorial Day, almost like other people look toward Christmas. You can't see the ground for all the plastic flowers, in remembrance of, Styrofoam crosses, ceramic icons, etc. that she puts on the graves.

My uncle said that she was always running with the wrong crowd, and in our home town, that usually meant those of not Irish descent. I know that she quit high school, against everyone's' wishes, left home and lived in her 1st husbands car for two weeks before they got married. We do genealogy so we know that she wasn't pregnant when they got married (at 17). He wasn't liked by any of her family, as a matter of fact, he picked a fight with all three of my uncles on a Christmas day, which he lost, and they never set foot in grandmas' house again. This is not first hand knowledge, of course, but stuff that my uncle told me and Lynn before he got ill.

They had one daughter, two boys, she filed for a divorce, they got back together, she had another son, divorced. Then she had another daughter, whom I wrote about in an earlier post.

Meanwhile she met my father who was a widower whose wife and daughter died. They got married and while she was pregnant with me the daughter whom was born between marriages was taken from her and put up for adoption. My grandmother and uncle took my oldest half sister in and the three older boys were put in a home.

Then my dad went to Oklahoma and married another woman, got her pregnant, stole her father's car, got arrested and was put in prison. The other woman had twins six weeks after I was born and she divorced him. One of the twins died and then when he was released from prison (early for good behavior :) he came home to my mother and they had five other boys and a daughter. My sister died when she was six years old. Meanwhile my dad drank and gambled and started working out of town when I was nine. Wow...

Needless to say, It sounds like she had a tough life, and we probably only know part of the story.

So yes, it is probably safe to say that she never got the nurturing that she needed, so she doesn't know how to give it to her children. I understand this, through some of my psychology courses. My problems, which affect both myself and Lynn, are perhaps not the un-nurturing, but the "I gave you life so you owe me" attitude which she has. There are some things which I feel would be discussed in a non-dysfunctional family, especially when it concerns the whole family, not decided upon by one individual even if she is the mother. She makes a decision, then tells people not to tell so and so, because they might get mad at her. This is one of her ideas, which we have to deal with, (I should say that Lynn and I don't as she isn't including us in her life at this time).

I have a Developmentally Disabled brother, whom I wrote about earlier, who got picked for the International Special Olympics and all she could say about it is I have to spend this amount or that amount on him. He gets an income every month, from my dads' VA benefits, SSI and he works, (I think he brings more into the house than she receives) so I had to say, he has received an honor that none of the rest of us will ever get, so quit complaining and spend some of his money on the things that he needs. She knew about this 6 months before he was scheduled to go but waited until the last month before buying him the supplies and clothes that he needed. Once again, money, money, money, more important than the opportunity for her son.

I will admit, that things were tight while I was growing up, due in part to my dads' gambling, but when he quit, there was money that there wasn't before, she still makes Scrooge McDuck look like a spendthrift, unless it's something that one of us has, then she has to have two or three of the same item, because she'll buy something, put it away, and buy it again. Lynn and I had a travel trailer when we were first together, so my mom decided that she needed one also. We brought it over to another brothers house, parked it in his backyard, and it hasn't moved since, and that was 11 years ago.

I was 13 when I started working for a wage, and every penny that I made, I had to turn over for board and room. At that time I think that I made a whole $1 an hour. Later when I got a job making $1.25 an hour, I got a whole $10 every two weeks just for myself. I know at the time I was clearing about $25 a week, because I used three checks to buy my first car and the s--- hit the fan, because I wasn't going to be able to pay my room and board. I have to stick in here, that I also had to baby-sit my younger siblings whenever she and/or my dad decided that they needed to go out. Every Friday! You were treated like an object Dan; a possession...

Now I know that I have many issues with my mother, and these are some of them, because I don't care how much money or lack of, that a family has, until they are old enough to stand up and be counted, they at least deserve your respect, which I don't feel that I got from either parent, but as I said before I understand about my dad, but I know that I'll never get it from my mother. Lynn has asked me if I respect my mother and the answer is no, you don't deserve respect you earn it and in my eyes she hasn't. I know she had a hard childhood, but there are people who lost their fathers at a young age, whose mothers had to support the family, but they still were able to overcome these tragedies and treat others with some dignity and respect. She never has and she never will. Yes, mom hurt you because she was hurt and knew no better. But that doesn't excuse her nor does it take away your pain. Same goes for you if you hurt your kids.

This has gotten to be a short story, and if you sense a feeling of anger, disrespectfulness you are sensing right. My anger and disrespectfulness is toward my mother and I have taken it out on Lynn.

And now AK, I thank you for the advice on compliments and also asking about my mothers childhood, and I guess that I went a little further than I had intended, thank you for that also.

Dear Dr Irene and Trubble, here's another steno pad full. Tuna and Scrambled Eggs are also a favorite of our cats. Yuk.

Dan 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000

S1

Dan - it's as if your mom is indifferent to the feelings of her children and very focused on her own desires.

I watched a show about mothers who weren't bonding with their infant children and in the cases shown, these moms were totally out of touch with their own feelings. The interesting thing was that they portrayed how own mother was taught to "leave space" between action and reaction, and to tap into what felt right as well as the signals her children were giving her. She had been trying to do everything "right", but wasn't listening to her own internal signals. The behavior of her children improved tremendously as she was able to start to "feel" and listen to her children's signals. Yes. Have you noticed that this is exactly what I ask angry people on this site to do? Feel!

You can see how the pattern perpetuates itself. Her kids were heading in the same direction she was in, because no-one was acknowledging or hearing "feelings".

I know that this doesn't make somebody easier to deal with, but it does show that people can change when they are motivated and if they have the appropriate tools. I think that your best investment is to work on yourself, as you are doing. And probably not to expect anything from your mom or you'll likely be disappointed.

Just some thoughts

AK 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000

S1

Good Morning Guys. Lynn here and the biggest problem today is that we can't get the umbrella in. It's frozen! We're jealous!

We were just over a G's site. WOW! Very powerful. And AngryGirl, I don't disagree with your theories. They just don't work for me. I even use to read cards. Standard deck though, from 7 or 8 up and not Tarot. My mother (sneaky Catholic that she was) had me doing the Ouija Board with her when I was younger. I still have my neighbors old one ca 1940's. Still no insight..... Guess I'll have to stick with Trubble. Too black and white to have an open mind, I think.

AK, Thank you. Does this hit home with your upbringing, too? Sure helped Dan unload, and then he kicked into his sense of humor, too. We were talking Christmas' once and I told him about the year My sister and I got a 16mm projector and some Little Rascal movies. He kicked into Geeeee, and got rather silly about my being spoiled and I politely informed him that I was not spoiled. We didn't get a screen and had to watch these on the bedroom wall! Well, last night after he told you about his upbringing, he suggested I come here and tell about the abusive Christmas when I didn't get a screen to go with my movie projector. Poor Baby, huh?

Truthfully I was quite a tomboy and wanted to grow up to be a "cowboy" (not girl, thank you). Well, I got 6 guns, bows and arrows and all that sort. I always said I wanted to grow up and become "Calamity Jane." Now how many success stories like this do you hear??

Hello Becky and thank you, too. You know what for.

Awake yet Trubble? Who wants to wake up on days like these? But we love your little pix. Dr. Irene and Dan, You know, too. Thanks....

Take care all and much and many good thoughts, love and prayers,

Lynn aka Calamity ^_^

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000

S1

To the cat box family,

I would like to interject a little note here, I have written some of what my family of origin was like, probably could get a book published if I submitted it to the right person, like Mommy Dearest, but I would like to say, that your abusers may have different stories or reasons, so Please, don't think that the beginnings of my abusive tendencies could also be the reasons for their behavior. It may be from different sources, or the same. But, it's the same type of stuff... It's about childhood abuse...

To AK,

I agree, not getting nurtured as young children can direct mothers/fathers, to be unable to nurture their own. Knowing even some of my mothers life story, doesn't help when I sit back and look at how she treats her family and their mates and grandchildren. I know that this is also an issue with me, and I projected my wanted feelings on Lynn expecting her to fix what I feel that I lost as a child.

I would like to tell you about an episode with my niece and my sister that my mother stuck her nose into, which resulted in the two (mother and niece) of them not talking for about 15 years now. My niece and sister and mother went to a ceramic show, my niece arrived in town and went shopping, without letting the other two know. My mother screamed at her that she had no right to do that without reporting in. My niece at the time was in her late 20's.

There is no changing her as she is in her 80's. She also feels , I have seen this, that if a mother changes her plans to enjoy something which her family has going, then she is coddling the family. A mother comes first, no matter what! She has popped in when we have had plans, expecting us to change them just because she has arrived. She knew of these plans in advance.

I know that expecting her to give me some recognition is like blowing hot air in a steam room, but I think that in the back of everyone's mind, for whatever reason, there is a dream that the parent will try to enable (wrong word?) the child to understand. You're chasing after her love and approval... A universal tendency in the abused. Good thing you found Lynn: she'll give it to you. Enough of the time that is.

Both Lynn and I at times can look back and actually pity her, but that sill for me doesn't help resolve those issues between us. I know that I will have to forgive her before I can really get well, and that will take time. I feel that this site is helping in that direction. And to forgive yourself...that is how you will best forgive her...

To All,

I know that none of us had a purrfect childhood and that there are some things which we would like to change. For me, I think that I would like my childhood back, starting at the age of nine. This cannot happen of course. At that age my father took a job which kept him on the road, every two weekends he would come home, and then the discipline would start, for whatever was done while he was gone. I also started to take charge of my younger siblings at that age. Many stories that my mother tells of those days are figments of her imagination as I know just what went on. I don't understand why, I can remember some of these times, and only bits and pieces of my younger years, and only if something is brought up to trigger the memory.

Dear Dr Irene and Trubble, I have been putting a lot of these issues which you said to write about to my mother and not mail, on this site, somehow, this is a better way for me, as I can express myself in print the way that I have a hard time doing with spoken words. I hope that you don't mind if I do it this way. I'm looking at what I wrote and actually feeling the reality of my being, flowing out and making me wrung out and tired. Not at all if it's OK with you.

I have joked with Lynn about her abused childhood, getting a movie projector for example, but I know that her family cares for her.

I know how they feel about me also, as an aunt and uncle of hers, now deceased but lived in Nevada at the time, called to make sure that I was safe after a wildfire hit here a couple of years ago. Her whole family called, but not one word from my mother, and she knew that I was involved with this because a brother called her and told her.

She has told me of her relationship with her grandmother, and I can really appreciate this as I had a very loving relationship with mine also.

Dan  Grandma may have saved you emotionally; taught you about really loving...

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000

S1

Dear Group,

Lynn here re reading. I better explain before Trubble thinks we are using dirty words. Dan's references to F______stein started as a joke when his younger brother got busted for dealing cocaine (twice). We went cheesh! So us girls decided to change our last name (so the name wasn't always in the paper for bad stuff) and one of the sister in law HAD to have an F word as her maiden name started with an F and she inherited the family monogrammed silver. So we came up with F____stein and if I spelled it out everyone would know it was us!!! (As if they wouldn't?)

Well, this went along with the guys "screwing up" and us gals, whom don't have much of a sense of humor anyhow (too sensitive) got laughing at some of the Jeff Foxworthy jokes about you might be a redneck if... Well, we have our own. You might be a F____stein if........

So here is the deep dark secret. When all seems lost, when there is no place to turn and the chips are down we (Dan, too) get into "We're just being F^&*&^steins." There Trubble, the cat's out of the bag! Nope. I got back in.

Now, being a F%^%%stein is honorary and only for a special few. I think I shall have to give this moniker to any here who need to slip into something more comfortable and to help you endure the tough times. This Practically always brings a smile. ^_^

Hence, you may be a F^&*&^stein when..............

From the F$%$%%steins in the Cat Box, Dan and Lynn Hey look guys, I'm real glad you're comfortable and de-shamed and are OK with all this, but I'm pulling rank here since I didn't even want you using your first names!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000

S1

Hello, all,

Dan, I think it's great that you are looking so intently at family of origin stuff. It takes a great deal of bravery to do that, because few want to admit that they come from imperfect families. I know that I've been pretty successful at understanding and correcting my codependent tendencies because I'm willing to look at where I come from. Looking at both sides of my family (paternal and maternal) I see lots of people who, for one reason or another, had a rough hand dealt to them. That affected how they looked at the world. Some chose to be loving and giving, despite the hardships (but along with that was an element of codependency), others chose to be bitter and hostile, like my maternal grandfather who, I understand, was angry his whole life because his mother was killed when he was 6mos. old. By all accounts, the aunt who raised him was like a mother, but for him, that wasn't good enough. He drank, abused my grandma, and together they "taught" their daughters to be codependent and fearful, a trait that's been passed down, of course. Some of us, thank goodness, are trying to break that cycle.

On my dad's side there is alcoholism, passive-aggressiveness, and emotional instability. Sheesh! I never stood a chance! Sheesh! No kidding!

My H bristles at the very notion that his family could be anything less than perfect. Not unusual at all. Common even. See for example how Dan went from apparent denial to realization and understanding?   Common sense tells me that they couldn't have been--I see it in his and his siblings' behavior. His brother is abusive and lost his marriage because of it. His parents' childhoods were very hard. I won't share details because I don't feel right doing that without his permission, but believe me, they had it rough in some ways!

My point is this: we are a product of our upbringing, and that upbringing is a reflection of the generations that came before--it's a long, long chain. We are also a product of the choices we make, and as adults, we can choose to reject the negative influences of our families and become our own persons. (I sound awfully pop-psych, don't I)? But it's true. You see it over and over and over again... I can understand why I am afraid of being abandoned, why I feel powerless around men, and why I have next to no self-confidence, but I don't have to say, "Well, this is me, so be it!"

As for your mom--she wins the gold medal for passive-aggressive behavior! I loved the T-bone steak story! Priceless! What would have happened if you'd said, "Oh, dear! We have the meal all planned! Let's put the steaks in the freezer and grill them next week." ? Which would have been bigger: her reaction, or the Mt. St. Helens eruption? Look at it this way: how dangerous is her anger? I often think that I gave my H too much power early on in our marriage: I thought his anger and disapproval meant something horrible--I felt so threatened by it (again, a lesson learned at the knees of my female relatives). Yep. It took years for me to understand that he could get angry, express his disappointment and disapproval of me because I didn't ask him how he wanted the bath towels folded, and it wasn't the end of the world. Yes, when I sense that he's "disapproving" again, I do get a flutter in my heart. But then I ask myself: how reasonable and rational is this? Would a person who felt goodwill toward me react like this to this particular situation? Most of the time the answer is "no." Double Yep.

I'm rambling, so I'll stop. Are you digging out from under the white stuff today? We had severe weather last night in the form of thunderstorms--missed the golf ball sized hail, though!

Becky

Please excuse the run-on words in some sentences. I tried to make some corrections, and the cursor became pac-man and started eating words! To avoids having everything eaten up, I had to eliminate some spaces. Yikes!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

I thank you for your words of encouragement.

I think MT Vesuvius would have been a mild annoyance compared to my mothers' anger. And it wouldn't have been the putting the steaks away until next week, it would have been about how much she spent. Lynn has told me that I cringe when my mother comes running toward me or says something in a shrill voice. This is an unconscious response because I don't notice it You'll certainly notice it now! , and it must be from when I was younger. I guess that kind of tells you how I react to her anger. Seriously, though I never even thought about that. And I have known for a long time that my family was far from perfect, I noted that I went for years not believing that my dad was my dad because she didn't want to let the skeleton out of the closet about him being in prison. Another example of how destructive and malicious my mother can be. I have an Aunt who has scoliosis (sp?) and my mother told Lynn that the reason that her back is crooked was because her mother, my grandmother, was drunk and caught her in the door of the car and drug her for six blocks. She also told Lynn and I that grandmother had been married to a certain gentleman, divorced him twice and married his brother. Not so. What really gets me is, why ruin the woman's reputation when she had died before mom married my dad. This is just an example of her vindictiveness and story telling. Also no matter who, if they are a member of her family, they can do no wrong as far as her public appearance goes.

I think that until your H recognizes that there are problems in his family, he will not be ready to start working on his anger or codependency. I think that these go hand in hand with an abuser. Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil. The monkeys are a good example of a family which keeps secrets.

The snow right now in our yard is about 2 foot deep, and it has thawed some today. I don't mind the snow I just wish that it would come in smaller increments. I don't have any of my outside work done, rolling hoses, and just getting ready for winter.

I don't mind the words running together it gives your letter a certain flair, just remember to inform your students that it's not a good practice to get into especially when doing term papers.

Dan Yeah! Do as I say, not as I do. Giggle...

And now heeeeeere's Lynn

Dear Becky,

I just wish we would have picked up the lawn furniture and rolled the hoses before this hit. Hope it thaws one more time before winter sets in!

In retrospect, about Dan's mom and the steaks, I think I know what would have happened. She would have gone into a snit and then went on a campaign about how much she did for me and how ungrateful I am/was. I've seen this later. She had a great one when the brother got picked up for the cocaine dealing. We got the local paper from our home town and that's where we heard. Then it became a campaign to tell us "brainwash us?" about what a great guy he was. Like he hadn't had a drink in 6 years and he never sold "that stuff" to anyone who was too young. Dan's sister jumped into this one, too. Couldn't sell us! so it became a campaign to call Dan's brothers and sisters in law to convince Dan and I how "wonderful" he was.

Before I go any further, Dan has the greatest brothers in the world and I love the wives. Even the "dealer" got remarried and has a wife just like us. He's settled down (I think) and SHE has alienated ma.

Isn't it funny how our past carries through? That's what I like about John Bradshaw. He says "Pass it back, or Pass it on." Touché!

In spite of not getting the movie screen I had a pretty mild childhood until about 6th grade or when I was 12. The two don't coincide! Anyhow, my grandmother moved in with us, my Dad had an affair, grandma moved out and my mother made dad become a Catholic. (Honest, she didn't think Catholic's sinned) and after that my dad .....something ?? I noticed the difference. He then started drinking. Before that, and I've tried to come up with something, life was pretty ordinary.

PS I've seen Dan's mother in rages and maybe it's just as well I went along. I'm like a great big Cheshire Cat. When there's trouble I grin and disappear! Just for the record, I wasn't raised that way. My mother would have reincarnated herself if she heard me confront Dan's mother. Of course, later she would have taken me aside and whispered that she wasn't very desirable to be around. Or maybe, just maybe warned me that "she wasn't OUR kind of people." My mother could be a wee bit snobbish, but ALWAYS proper :)

Love to All of you. Have a great night and I don't know about progress, but there's hope on the horizon, Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 24, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene,

Think I got it! This is Lynn. My Grandmother died on the day of my high school graduation (I've never been to a reunion, I'll bet Trubble could figure this one out napping). My dad got angry with me for making a scene at the funeral home. I was crying and snorting.

My dad's mother died having a hysterectomy when he was 14.

This was also my first suicide of anyone close to me.

Sound like we are getting somewhere? S A L M O N We'll get it fresh from Alaska !!! Just for you. 

Thank you and Love, Lynn

To cat box 4

Back Up Next

  Back Up Next

Website Design, Content, & Trubble ©1998-2006 Dr. Irene and the The Medical Communications Resource.  All Rights Reserved. The contents of this site may be reproduced expressly and exclusively for not-for-profit publication in printed format as long as the source URL, the website, and the author(s) are specifically mentioned. Sites interested in publishing specific pages online should link unless granted specific permission to reproduce.  For permission or commercial distribution, please contact Dr. Irene at Doc@drirene.comThe pages and posts in our forum, The CatBox, may not be reproduced. All material is intended for educational purposes and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.