Comments for Catbox 32
here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a
substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.
Dear Asha, Sorry to hear about you and Steve. I realised i missed that sorting my own stuff out. No more time to write just now. Jay
Well I have been working on Living my life and informing others and then doing what I want to fulfil my needs. Yippeee!
My partner offered to look after "OUR" daughter in a fortnight whilst I go to a lap dancing night, (first one in the UK where males dance and females watch LOL)
Though yesterday I did feel in conflict and angry with my partner. I would like someone to point out objectively what happened here????
My uncle died last week on Wednesday. Anyway we called up on Friday to see her but she had gone up to the coroners office. We decided to call up on Sunday late afternoon. Melissa hadn't seen her daddy all weekend since he was on a lads away weekend. He was back now though as it was Sunday afternoon. Melissa texted her daddy on my cell phone and asked him to spend some time with her. He wrote back and said "4.30pm honey". I wrote and told him I planned to go to visit my aunt since I hadn't seen her since we heard of her husband dying.
I asked my partner if he would mind Melissa therefore, he would be able to spend some time with her. He said "Yes but i am going out at 7pm." I felt angry. I wrote back to him and said so you can't go to the pub 10 minutes later?
He wrote back saying "don't start".
I was sat feeling very angry. My mom said "Theressa he did have pre-plans and you tried to guilt him into helping you by saying he must because your uncle has died. Well he has offered to help you but only for 1 hour 50 minutes so either take it or leave it."
Please give your opinions WAS I being unreasonable to ask him to go to the pub 10 minutes later since it was because my uncle had died that I wanted him to mind Melissa???
I sat some more and my sister said "NO bother, Melissa can stay at my house with my kids." SO I text my partner back on my cell phone and told him "It doesn't matter, Melissa is going to my sisters."
He wrote back "Don't start."
I sat some more and felt angry. Melissa said "Mommy I really want to see my daddy." So I said "okay I will take you to him and he can mind you for 1 hour 50 minutes."
DID I DO WRONG TO GIVE IN??
I rang my partner and said "I am bringing Melissa over to you, I will be back by 6.45pm." He said "FINE".
SO Come on guys was I co-dependent or sensible???
Dear Asha and Dear Steve,
Good luck to both of you for the future. WELL DONE for being mature enough to still keep your professional lives together.
Sometimes I think we need to cut our ties even if it temporarily, so we can learn some on our own.
You guys are very brave admitting when things aren't working, and remember you haven't failed, you've just been honest that right now you aren't both getting what you need out of this relationship.
Take care Theressa
I wrote you in my last post, but somehow it got meshed up in Blue penciling. I hope you are doing ok and getting some rest. I think that is what you (both of you) need most right now, rest and some distance. Even though you know it is the only sane thing you could have done right now, breaking up is always hard I guess, because you hoped it would work out. Who knows, it might still do, nobody can read the future. But I think now you can finally concentrate on doing what is good for you, without having to take Steve's problems into account. Doing that will be hard enough as it is anyway. I hope you will be able to work out the professional engagement you two still have. And I am sending you all the best and lots of hugs and love.
Dear Jay, I forgot to congratulate you on being sane! Doc seems to think you infected me. I forgive you, it does not feel all that bad... I do feel good about myself at the moment. It really feels as if some switch has been turned. C.'s sweetness personified and that makes me laugh. I am not worrying when will this end, just enjoying it. He came over on Friday and I said lets go out to have dinner in town and he said, well, I don't know, I want to, but I am out of money and I should see xxx tonight for work. He could not make u his might and I said, he, go if you feel you have to, but I do not like it when you cannot find money or time to go out for diner with me, but do seem able to find t to go with others. Puh! He immediately said, when will we go then? I left it at that. Then the next morning he came over for breakfast and after that we went into town for some shopping. He commented on how good-looking a girl behind us was and I said, " I don't like that." He asked why not, I said well I just feel uncomfortable when you do that. He said I do not mean anything bad. I said I knew, but did it makes me feel uncomfortable, isn't that enough. Then he said he would refrain from doing it. He'll probably lapse, but even so, I feel good about it, cause I did not act out, just mentioned it and then we had a very nice rest of the day. I think this is the best thing, just (re)act when something happens, not make a big fuss of it, state what I feel, make it clear I expect him to consider my feelings and then leave it.
Sunday morning he came to my garden where I was working and we had a nice dinner together and this morning he presented me with the proposal for a long weekend holiday in France for my birthday in May (he had ordered a hotel-voucher, and I can pick the hotel).
It still makes me laugh and happy, not because I think all is great now and will be from now on, but because I see what is happening: I was distancing, and that scares him, so he starts doing his best. I can afford to get closer too, cause now that I recognize it, I do not have to be afraid of the inevitable distancing that will follow later. I can let him go if he does that, and distance myself, until he comes around again. I think this is probably the ‘normal' thing to do, leave room for distancing when one f the partners needs it without making a big fuss of it, or being unhappy because of it.
I still feel great and the fact that the sun is finally shining makes it even better.
I totally agree with Asha and Dr. I's comments. I was going to write you, but could not get through. What's the rush in meeting with this new guy when you are not nearly finished with Dr. Psycho. How can a guy you just met be ‘interested in establishing a relation'. I understand you want to feel close to someone, you do not want to make the same mistakes you did and therefore ask him a lot. But asking will not help you if you are so desperately in need of a relationship. Give yourself some time to get to now YOU and what you want and need for yourself in or without a relationship.
You seem to feel you ‘did give in' and I get the feeling it angers you. While actually your partner wanted to spent time with Melissa, she wanted that to and you wanted to visit your aunt. Looking from the outside i would say everything was coming together quite neatly. So why bother about 10 minutes more or less. Just as you can say couldn't he go to the pub 10 minutes later, you could have said, can I get home 10 minutes earlier so we all get what we want.
I think you did the right thing, but not for the right reasons, so you probably feel resentful and that is not going to help. I tend to agree with your mother in this and I think you should look into your motives for wanting these 10 minutes from him. Do you want/need him to comply, is it a power struggle?
Love to all of you.
What reasons do you think I gave in? Why were they the wrong reasons?
I think you are right about the power struggle. I am confused because Dr Irene says that in a crisis the other part SHOULD be willing to help out. He was.
Theressa here: I have been thinking about my above posts. The point is my partner was happy to have Melissa from 4.30pm which would have given me two hours and a bit. Then he could still keep his plans with his friends. Melissa could spend time with her daddy and I could see my aunt.
However, my sister was making my nan's dinner and said She couldn't come before 5pm. This was where I was trying to people please I think? It isn't my problem if my sister isn't able to come when I can. I could tell her I need to go by 4.30pm and if she is ready she can have a lift, if she isn't that isn't my fault. My family is my priority.
So I guess my partner wasn't being unreasonable. It was me worrying about others instead of worrying about my own back yard and taking into account my own family. Me, my partner and Melissa.
Glad I realised this!
Is this what you meant AJ. That I was expecting my partner to just drop his plans to accommodate me. He offered to mind Melissa so I could go and see my aunt and he also took into account his own plans. SO HE modeled taking care of thy self whilst also helping to support others if you can!
I was probably angry because I don't always take care of myself and state what is possible for me (like my partner did).
SO my goal is to look after my own back yard. Inform others what I can do and then let them choose what they want to do. JUST like my partner did.
Yipppeee!! I think I got it!!!
Take care Theressa
My guess is you felt trapped between what you wanted (or felt you should do), what Melissa, what her dad wanted and what your sister wanted. Maybe it seemed everybody wanted something from you and where did you yourself get into the picture. I think you wanted your partner to do what you wanted, because that way you would not have to choose yourself.
Sure, I think in an emergency you may expect your partner to help out. But was this an emergency? Your uncle died some days ago (I do not know how you feel about that, did you feel sad he died?) and you apparently had not been able to go to your aunt's before now. Melissa wants to see her dad and her dad wants to see her, so maybe you thought that would give you the opportunity to go to your aunt. I wonder whether you really wanted to go to your aunt in the first place, or whether you felt obliged to do so. If you felt obliged, you were probably irritated to begin with and would be more irritated, cause you felt your partner should help you with the solution, but he was making things more difficult cause he had plans of his own. Which, I think, is his good right.
One last thing: It should not be your goal, I think, to look at your backyard and give priority to your partners wishes above, lets say, your sisters wishes, always, but to make a conscious decision what YOU want to do, taking into account the wishes and possibilities of others.
It keeps coming back to this for all of us, doesn't it: how to find the right balance between helping others and helping yourself. I think that helping others, or doing what others expect you to do, is ok when you d not feel bad about it. When feel irritated for helping them, or ‘giving in' you might want to reconsider.
Take care, love, AJ
Thanks, the reason I was going to my aunts at that specific time was on Friday when I went she had just left to go out.
(That needing to plan crops up again, it is a thread through all areas of my life at the moment, when I don't PLAN and consciously choose I ended up in A MESS!!)
On Saturday when I was going to go with my sister, her partner couldn't mind their child so she asked me to change my plans and go on Sunday.
On Sunday both my sister's who wanted to come with me wanted me again to go later and change my plans.
I guess I was angry by this time, when my partner wouldn't fit in with me.
I get what your saying AJ I shouldn't expect my partner to drop everything just to fit in with me, and I shouldn't drop everything just to fit in with my sister's.
I understand what you mean about a crisis. It wasn't an emergency otherwise I'd have gone straight away regardless of my sister's.
So maybe I need to take a leaf out of my partner's book, if I can help I will do. However, I will not just change my plans at the drop of a hat for anyone unless it is a diar emergency. People can request I help them but I can choose YES or NO. I will try to help when I am able to help.
I expected my partner to fit in with me like a good co-dependent would. He obviously cares about himself. (maybe I need a little of his me, me, me syndrome, maybe some of the me, me, me syndrome is a good idea)
My sister's expected me to help them out regardless of what my plans were. One of them even tried to guilt me by saying "well I need to make my nan's dinner". Well maybe then she'd have to make other plans to go up and see my aunt again at another time.
I see my mistakes, firstly I did not pre-plan and ring my aunt to check if she was available.
Secondly I did not pre-plan someone to mind my daughter, i just assumed others should just modify their plans to suit me.
Thirdly I was more bothered about upsetting my sister's than I was about the inconvience to myself.
I had planned to go to my aunts and then be back to study, because we were going so late I didn't get to study.
Finally my aunt once more wasn't in. So I wasted alot of energy, all because I didn't consciously pre-plan.
Thanks AJ I see this now
I finally realised what is under a lot of my anger with my partner.
My anger is because I feel as though I have the majority of the responsibility for our child. I know whatever we choose to do with have to be responsible and accept the consequences.
However, maybe I am being small minded here, it seems me and my partner took the conscious decision to SLEEP together 7 years ago. With that choice came consequences. In this situation the consequences were "OUR CHILD" (who I love dearly and so does her daddy) and part of this parcel came the responsibility for her care.
I know DR IRENE I CAN'T FORCE MY PARTNER TO CHANGE!!!
I feel angry that my partner is FREE. I know he has agreed to mind our child whilst I go out. BUT my anger isn't about that my anger is about: He is free to go about his business whenever he wants. If he decides he wants to go to the shops, he gets up and goes. If our child wakes up in the night, (even at his home), he wakes me and tells me to sort her out. If our daughter needs to be heard to read, It is expected I will do it. If our daughter needs to go to a after school event, It is expect I will do it. If she needs feeding I am expected to make her meals.
The only time I am not expected to do these things is if he is minding her and I am not present. SO it boils down to if ME and HIM are present I should help primarily. If he is only present he should. And if only I am present I should.
It is the ME and HIM present and I should help primarily I get angry about. I should mind her primarily.
If someone asks "US" to go out and I can't get a sitter, it is ME who is primarily expected to stay home.
IS THIS THE CASE FOR ALL MOTHERS????
I was speaking about this to Ron (my therapists) at our last session. When I was a teenager it was expected I would get a part time job. HOWEVER, my sisters weren't expected to since they were seen as not as clever as me.
When I had school friends they expected me to always stay at their houses.
IT SEEMS THAT I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN EXPECTED TO TAKE RESPONSIBLE ON BOARD WHILST OTHERS GET OFF SCOTT FREE. And yet still get rewarded.
*My sister still got treats even though they never worked. *My friend still got me to stay at their houses even though they never made much effort to come and stay at mine. (well for the first time in years I told my friend at weekend that it was about time she made the effort and came to stay with me, and she said "OKAY")
*My partner still gets to enjoy our child even though he doesn't have to be expected to be her primary career even though we are both present. I AM TO MIND HER PRIMARILY.
So how on earth do all these others get off and not have to be so responsible like I am expected, but still get rewarded???
*I can't change what happened with my sister's all I can do is not let them make me responsible for them.
*I can ask my friend to make an effort like I did the other week.
*What I can't do is force my partner to want to become the primary carer of our child, instead of always dumping this on me. (THIS IS WHERE MY ANGER IS)
Yes I know he minds her now when I want to go out, I know he gives me time to study and minds her. BUT THESE ARE ALL DONE OUT OF CHOICE.
I don't seem to get this CHOICE. It is compulsory for me, it seems!!
THIS IS WHERE I FEEL ANGRY.
I feel burdened, like I have to always pay a higher price, even when ME and others make decisions. I get the brunt of the consequences and they get off lightly.
THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE MY FEELINGS. Any insight gladly welcomed.
Take care Theressa
Here's the hard part: No matter how unfair, awful, whatever it is, IT IS. That is simply the way IT IS is and you can be as angry as you want, but all you will do is get in your way. What IS won't change. There is your choice: Remain resentful about how unfair things are, or... Be delighted that you are blessed with this wonderful child and you have this moment right now to rejoice. Ooops! The moment is gone!
"So how on earth do all these others get off and not have to be so responsible like I am expected, but still get rewarded??? "
I think you know why. It is because people like us let them!!! We keep helping them, we keep giving even when they do nothing in return, we keep them of the hook as for the consequences of their behaviour, and we keep getting angry about it.
Dear all, Sharon here, Happy Monday!! Thank you for all of your supportive words. I had a very nice weekend. I treated myself for a massage and facial but my highlight of the weekend was singing in the choir at church. It was such an uplifting experience and I just can't begin to describe it.
My update is that after talking with "Russ", the new guy that wants to have a relationship, I thought about the fact that my concerns about him did not go away even after asking him tons of questions. We talked on the phone Thurs and Fri night at length and he wanted to see me this weekend but I told him that I was busy. Anyway, I thought about some of his responses to me and I also remembered how I felt when he said some very, very off the wall flippant comments pertaining to sex, and I felt very uncomfortable. Again, here's a man who I've only met twice in person that he went towards describing himself in a very seductive way. I felt very "turned off" by it. So, yesterday I emailed him and told him that I wasn't quite right for him. I mean, again, don't get me wrong, if there is chemistry between two people and you have some time together and mutually have an understanding, that's one thing. But to immediately go into a dialogue - complete with potential "phone sex" was a complete turn off for me. So, Russ was the last guy on my list who answered my personal ad, so unless I go back and put another personal ad in, I'm done meeting new men for coffee.
I did spend some time with Dr. Psycho - he was a complete gentleman - no weird crazymaking "junk" - just an absolute nice guy - we had dinner at a very offbeat place downtown - then took a long walk - he and I are competing in an examination together so we shared some of our thoughts on an intellectual level without any putdowns, etc. - it was very nice. A few weeks ago after I shared with him that I could barely tolerate his behavior anymore, he stopped acting out. So, the time we do spend together (though limited, as I think the common goal for both of us is friendship without the "tie") seems better spent. I do want another job though as I am not as intellectually stimulated as I liked to be as an analyst so that's on my list to change for me.
My mom and I went to lunch yesterday and she is going OK. Her liver surgery 6 weeks ago may have been successful however she goes in for another catscan next week to see if they got all of the cancer. I have been going over to my parents just about every day after work and I've seen her recovery in stages. She is looking very good these last 5-6 days and her spirits are up so hopefully she will recover and be cancer-free. SHE has been my roller-coaster ride, its been very hard, and I'm trying to be strong - esp. for my 2 kids who adore her.
Timothy B. here...
Spent the last 10 days up in the Owens Valley, fly-fishing the Owens River and wandering around in Eureka and Deep Springs Valleys with both of my kids. God's great church of the outdoors. Upon returning I read your posts and the good Doc's suggestion....RUN. Amen.
One of the things that I needed to do to take care of myself, was to make a commitment to CODA. I do not know if there are meetings in your area, it is possible to find out by accessing their website. It seems to me that your radar is quite possibly wired the same as mine... homing in on "empty wells". Trust the Doc's thoughts, take care of yourself by finding and being with others who have similar shared experiences...and, take a break from dating, read Charlotte Kasl's, "If The Buddha Dated". might be some quality time there for Sharon. Just read it. Excellent. Adding it to BookShelf. Thanks. Doc.
...and, no Trubble, I didn't bring any trout back. I practice catch-and-release. Feel free to catch and release into my cute, furry little paws!
Thanks for the all the good thoughts.
Just reflecting that my “controlling” was not about power I don't think. It was almost 100% about “fixing”. Yes Asha, but "fixing" is still about controlling. If you do for him or try to show him the "right way", you do this because YOU will feel better. You will succeed in keeping him around, making yourself indispensable to him (so he will never leave), or you will finally have the partner you crave so. Clearly the intentions are good, but clearly this is about control. You need him to be a certain way in order for you to feel OK. I also like the rest of your comments below.
I had good intentions, but instead of helping, I may well have been keeping Steve “broken” or dependent on me, unknowingly. I think what I’m seeing now is that I was treating this like an adult/child relationship rather than an adult/adult relationship. Even though he may have encouraged my “help”, I put myself in a position where because I constantly volunteered to “fix” him or “counsel” him, I could also then be blamed or resented because maybe he was doing what *I* wanted instead of what he wanted. I wanted him to want the things that I did, but my way to try to achieve that was too negative, and I wasn’t treating him as an equal by respecting his choices (whether I could live with them or not).
My focus was so much on him I had almost forgotten to think about me. And that doesn’t mean I’m perfect, selfless etc. I think I thought that “improving him” would make my life better, easier. We have lots in common and share a business which would be so much “easier” if we were a couple. Also, I really didn’t understand that my “help” wasn’t helpful.
I notice at times being concerned about hurting Steve’s feelings over something, or predicting how he is “reading” me. I have to consciously focus to discover how I really feel... and not be upset if I am misread.
I have angry moments, but I think overall, I’m treating him with far more respect by not “reminding”, “repeating” or lecturing about why something needs to be done a certain way. Again, for *me* certain things do need to be a priority in my life, but rather than try to make Steve feel the way I do so he can remain my partner, I think I need to find out what he really wants for himself. And whatever that is will be okay.
Still, I feel fairly unmotivated to “act” in any particular way, or pursue major projects, plans etc. (and I feel a bit less guilty about it because Dr I. gave me "permission" to feel this way :) ) I realize that part of this is my perceived pressure from the outside world to show that I’m achieving things, and also a fear of lapsing behind, particularly in my career. Most of this is unfounded I think.
Also none of my feelings negate the progress that Steve has made for himself. I just know that my focus needs to be on nurturing me right now. I need to remind myself of my talents, my interests and the things I love in life. I just need to breathe, really and not to have to think too much about all of life's complications.
A way to go girl! You are a model for all of us here!
Take care, remember it is when we feel low and feel like we have no motivation which a place where we can eventually feel I don't want to be here in this horrible place any more, BREAKDOWN,
Then and only then do we BREAKUP and challenge our thoughts, start to take care of ourselves, question our patterns, and start to implement new plans etc.
Then finally when we feel we are ready come BREAKTHROUGH, we've got it, we are healthy enough to take care thy self, and to care about others, instead of caring for them.
These are the stages of growing. So Asha you are exactly where you need to be. And we go through these stages many times as we uncover new areas that need fixing within us.
This doesn't mean every time you uncover something you need to leave, NO! Though like now you might feel you need to have the quite a bit of distance to work on yourself. Though other times you might just need to distance a little even when you are still in the relationship.
It sounds like you and Steve are at the stage where you both need this quite a bit of distance to focus on yourselves. The amount of distance depends on whether you feel you can deal with this stuff whilst still being close, or whether you, both feel you can't really grow unless you have quite a bit of distance.
I think it depends on how big the growth step you need to take. As in my case I needed to totally distance because I had a big leap to take. That leap was the need to be independent. To face my fears and prove to myself I can make it on my own, however, broken I am.
Take care and Good luck to you and Steve. You can make it and grow because you are both worth it.
May your higher self be your priority Theressa
I feel I have just gone through an awareness spurt with the help of Dr Irene and my therapist (Ron) asking me to advise myself here on Catbox, and In trying to understand the different concepts. With the understanding I have now grasped I am finding it easier to weed out the negative poor behaviour patterns in my life.
I am rooting out my people pleasing traits slowly. I am enjoying giving when I can. I am working hard to deal with my yukky feelings, and face the fears of asking for my needs to be met. And dealing with my feelings when others cannot meet my feelings. I am working hard to remind myself not to demand from my partner, but to ask assertively and accept what I get.
I am speaking up about my expectations and what I will and won't accept. I am starting to make conscious decisions and allow others to react in a way they feel they need to.
Yesterday during my therapy session I realised that those in my life that seem to have everything made and given to them on a plate are VERY DEPENDENT and this isn't something to admire or be jealous of it is a yukky place to be and I see when I look back I was in that place and am slowly climbing out of it so it isn't a place to envy. (I also understand some people in my life aren't ready to climb out so I have to let them decide when they are ready)
I thought my sister's were ever so lucky. I see now they are not. I thought since my dad always bails them out, and has always supported them whenever they've fell. THOUGH if one always is dependent one never gets the opportunity to experience and grow, to get ones self out of the mess helps you grow, if someone picks you up all the time, you never learn to get up yourself. SO the price they pay for being so dependent is the loss of self esteem. The loss of feeling I did this myself and have been rewarded because I deserve this since I made an effort myself.
So when I look at it if you take responsibility, like I feel I did when i was a teenager and got a part time job and I saw my sister's get hand outs off our folks, who was lucky. I thought it was them. But now I see it was me. I learnt to be motivated to provide for myself. I learn how to financially take care of myself. THEY between them haven't worked a day in their lives. They rely on their partners and my father to bail them out.
This allows their partners such a hold on them, they also hear my dad complaining that he gives and gives to them. (my dad is co-dependent!!!)
So I have nothing to be envious of them for. They both look very depressed. How can anyone feel good if they always have to rely on others to provide them happiness.
I also realise my friend who used to bully me when I was a young child of 7 years old. (Melissa's age), She did this because she had a low self esteem. She found school hard. Though she had a pretty face, and nice clothes and would beat others up if they crossed her. Underneath all of this she is very depressed.
Back then I didn't realise that I didn't deserve her threats, and I didn't realise I didn't need her, I could easily have found someone else who could treat me right. IT IS WHAT YOU ACCEPT YOU GET. I know now I didn't have the skills to know how to stand up to her and not accept this poor behaviour. I also had a poor self esteem and didn't realise I didn't deserve this.
Now she works part time in the same factory she always did and complains that her husband never spends any time with her. She has a pretty home, and a well dressed child. THOUGH she tells me she is unhappy. HER LIFE IS FULL OF MATERIAL THINGS. (I know how empty life is when all you have is material things!!!) Now though I realise that I am valuable without all these material things. I am not saying I am better than her. I am saying I feel sorry for her, because I remember how awful I felt. (THOUGH I ALSO KNOW SHE HAS TO FIND OUT FOR HERSELF, I CANNOT FIX HER)
Last night after therapy. I went to my partner's home. I was quite annoyed because he always tells me if I don't use my key he isn't going to open the door, so I should have it with me at all times. Well I'd left it in my car, so I went back to the car and got it. And then let myself in.
I felt angry about this, all his damn rules. He has them so he doesn't have to feel annoyed when he is inconvenced by having to open the door. WHEN he comes to my house and forgets his keys I don't make a big deal out of it, I just accept him made a mistake and left his keys in the car, and I let him, in.
NOT SURE WHAT I COULD DO TO CHANGE THIS????
(Since I can't force him to open the door, I either go get my keys or not go into his house)
Anyway I had told my partner I'd be making some food after my therapy session so if he wanted to wait to eat I could make him some also. (HE usually has his evening meal before 7pm, though he decide to wait for me)
REMEMBER he decided. NO one forced him.
Anyway as I was preparing the food, Melissa came into the kitchen. She said "I am hungry mommy." I said "Oh right". She said "I haven't had any thing to eat yet" I said "didn't your daddy give you something to eat?" She said "NO"
[MY partner had picked Melissa up after school, my mom usually gives her, an evening meal. What annoys me if anyone else gives Melissa her evening meal late he complains. If my mom hasn't had time to give her, a meal he complains, If I have been out shopping and hadn't given her a meal HE complain. AND it only takes 5 minutes to cook something in the microwave]
I said to my partner "How come Melissa didn't eat." He said "we went shopping until 6.30pm." I thought well it was gone 7pm when I got to his house. How come he didn't put some food in the microwave which takes 5 minutes and give it to Melissa?
I said "I thought you didn't like her eating late." He became defensive and said "I never said she can't eat late, anyway I am on my holidays so I shouldn't have to be cooking for everyone."
OH RIGHT so does it matter whether he is doing anything or not shouldn't Melissa be a priority, just like he tells me, she should be too others who look after her.
DOUBLE STANDARDS AGAIN, it is okay for him to leave her without food. BUT if I, my mom, or anyone else dares they will get it big style from him.
He can't stand anyone who isn't perfect. But if he isn't perfect that is okay.
Anyway then he said "How long will this food be Theressa." I said "A while". He said "I thought you could give Melissa some of it." I said "she doesn't like it, I expected that she'd have had her meal by now."
He said "Don't start".
So I made Melissa something in the microwave which took 5 minutes to cook. She complained "Oh mom I don't want this." I said "look at this time of the night just before bed it is all I can offer you. It is not my fault you weren't fed sooner."
My partner said "It is too late for anyone to eat at this time."
My partner complained that the food was taking along time. He kept saying "When is this gonna be ready, I can' t be doing with waiting." I kept replying "I asked you if you wanted to eat with me, you knew what time I was eating, and you chose to wait. No one forced you to wait for me."
He then said "I'll go home if it is too much trouble." I replied "No it isn't too much trouble, it is your complaining that is the problem. You choice to wait and that was your choice."
And he kept on for another 20 minutes about "I'll go home if its too much trouble," SO I continued with the broken record "It was your choice to wait to eat with me."
It got to 9.30pm. There was a programme on the tv about a woman who married 9 times. She would get married and say she'd never been married before. Then she'd stay out late, and come home and start complaining. (THESE men were working long hours), Then she'd leave, taking the furniture when they were at work and cleaning out their bank accounts. She'd tell friends "he beat me up many times."
She kept this up. It wasn't until a friend found a case full of wedding albums that she twigged and realised these men were innocent.
WELL my partner said "Typical women". I said "That is generalising, when I have I took all of your money?" He didn't reply. I said "That is as stupid as saying that all men sleep around and are unfaithful".
He said "they probably are if given the chance." I said "so your saying it is okay to sleep around behind your partner's back?" He said "Men do it. We aren't in the 60 and 70's now you know. Most of us are together for s*x"
I said "well I don't want to be with someone who just thinks I am a cheap tart and am only good enough for s*x. that is like having values and principles which belong in a pig sty. If you want that sort of relationship then you better go and be a bachelor because I don't want someone like that"
I felt very angry. I said "I don't want to be with someone who uses me."
He got up to leave. He leaned over to kiss me goodbye. I was crying when he went. Who does he think I am!!
Then this morning I got up and he'd sent me a text on my cellphone at 1.12am when I was in bed.
I sat for 1/2 hour thinking about how I have let others treat me all my life. I also realised that having self respect for myself is what self discipline is really about. Asserting my self to clean my home so it is clean for me because I don't deserve to be in an untidy, unorderly environment.
It is about wanting to do things for myself, and not just because of how others might judge me.
The key question is: Do I deserve to be in this environment. If I don't then I better Assert myself to clean it up out of self respect for me.
SO No I don't deserve any sort of disrespect whether it is from myself because I allow myself to be in an untidy environment or from others because they don't respect my boundaries and my values.
I DON'T need to put up with anymore poor treatment. I need to weed my garden and pull out the poor patterns. I don't have to accept anymore negative behaviour from others.
I am not 7 years old anymore, I do have the skills now to handle telling them this is not okay to treat me poorly. I can have the faith that I can cope without them. I can ask for support which isn't being dependent. I don't have to fear being alone because I can nurture myself. IT isn't nurturing allowing others to mistreat me.
And I know it will take me some time to recognise and pull out the weeds of poor patterns in my life, but its a task I must do.
GOSH I know now why I have been so angry. I have allowed these people to treat me poorly, to manipulate and guilt me to meet their needs. WHEN all the time my needs weren't being met.
SO IT IS up to me to make sure I am treated well, to call people when they aren't treating me well. To not buy into guilt because their issues are theirs, they have choices. AND my responsibility is to do what works for me, what I am capable of doing without being over-responsible for pleasing them.
WHEN ALL THE TIME WHEN I WAS PLEASING THEM, or trying to, I was letting me down and not pleasing me, and it always ended up that I could never please all of the people all of the time and ended up with negative reactions from one side or the other.
IF I inform them of what is right for me, and my plans then it is their choice how they want to respond but I don't have to have their permission to do what I choose. I don't need to buy their guilt anymore.
I am suppose to take care of me. Well for a long, long time I haven't because I have been programmed to believe lies. That I must please them and be nice. NO I DON'T I need to be respectful in my dealings with others and inform them of my plans but being respectful isn't being a doormat.
THIS feels empowering. NOW I need to practice and take care of me.
For the first time in my life I want to take care of me, I understand what I need to do, I understand that I am important enough to face the fears of others negatively responding when I don't comply to their wishes. BUT I AM WORTH EVERY BIT OF EFFORT.
Take care Theressa
A must read for us all:
Abuser and victim alike:
What should one do, If someone shares an opinion. I.e. We are in the 21st century no one is so trustworthy or trusting anymore. If the opportunity comes no one can be naive enough to say they'd never ever have an affair.
(this is their opinion)
but you don't agree with them.
You want to be respected, you don't want to be thought of as just a sex partner.
DO YOU a) Challenge this person and tell them this isn't okay b) Ignore them c) Tell them you don't agree (but then I don't want them thinking this is okay, to treat me like this)
Dear All, Sharon here. Thanks Timothy B. for the reference to that book. It sounds like a really good one. I'll have to check to see if Barnes & Noble carries it as I don't have access to the internet except at work. Sacramento does have many CODA meetings, in fact, I've been active on and off in the arena, even sponsored, but we sponsors have issues as well. I really need to start using my program again. WEAVE is also a place that I've gone to for counseling, even for volunteer work (Women Escaping a Violent Environment).
Very strange night for me last night. In my posting in the recent past I indicated how "behaved" Dr. Psycho seemed. Well, last night we ate at our neighborhood vegie place outside. We sat outside for hours talking about the upcoming exam he's taking, and I was giving him some questions and a mock oral to help. He was fine. He was behaving. He acted appropriate. This exam is today (Tuesday). We get back home after 3 hours of studying and then I saw his anxiety level rose because the exam was closing in on him and he got weird by saying that he can't function well and won't pull this off unless he has "a gun to his head." Its like a matter of just a few minutes he started getting anxious and almost on the verge of having to lash out at me - I FELT IT and immediately left his house and walked home. Anyway, I had a dream that I stayed and his tension built up and up and then he became toxic and abusive to me again. That was my "cue" that when I am around him my feelings are that I am waiting for the shoe to drop - that I am anticipating that he's gonna turn on me. So, I woke up this morning in an un-emotional mood about him. I know I will hear from him tonight giving me feedback about the exam and wanting to meet for dinner again, but my instincts last night were strong. Run was the only thing I could feel. Even though he didn't lash out at me (I DID NOTHING WRONG!!) I felt the tension building inside of him - and was a sitting duck in front of him to lash out at. I realize taking exams provoke anxiety but he DOES NOT have the maturity to study a few weeks before - everything is at the last minute and always and forever "a crisis". I'm the calming effect between us, and always have been. He's like the one always having "these crisis" and "OMG what am I gonna do?" and he's the well-educated between the two of us?? This exam, by the way, I have taken within the last year and did very well on, so I didn't mind helping him study for it, though I didn't "volunteer" he came to me and asked me to help him study and then thanked me for it. But I can see that it was "an intimate experience" for him having me help him - and his comfort level DECREASED quite a bit after we were having a good time studying. Almost like "can't get too close" - and its because of our past intimacy problems - I truly don't think he can be "FRIENDS" with a woman unless there is sex attached. I can feel that its out of his comfort zone because of power issues. Anyway, my dream last night was insightful because this morning all I want to do now is stay away and limit contact with him. I have my own boundaries on myself contacting him - I don't "ring" him unless he calls me first. And that's OK - but I really feel this deep feeling in myself to disconnect totally because of what I saw last night. That tension building I saw in him and how he almost released it on me was very strange. It gives me the chills to even think about it today.
I realize I rambled, but I did see something last night about him that I only read about in people that have anger issues that go beyond themselves. It was weird.
Hi all. Steve here. Haven't been here for awhile but I see lots of good progress being made. Thanks to all for the kind words for Asha and I.
I just wanted to share with you something I found at a site Asha relayed to me while she was looking for info on dealing with step-family situations. I found this information to be very en-lightening and much in keeping with the Doc's thoughts.
This is from the site:
"A Grown Wounded Child, then, is an adult who's personality is "significantly" split, according to someone. We GWCs live some, much, or all the time from our false self. Usually, we're unaware of this - though we're pretty quick to spot splitting in other people!"
I feel I am a GWC...but I will heal with my awareness of this.
As usual, thanks Irene. And thanks Asha. Thanks Steve.
It sounds like the whole interaction between you and your partner was probably his "tit for tat".
When he said "I'll go home if it's too much trouble" you could have said: "it's not too much trouble, but you can go home if that's what you wish".
I think he was using the "threat" of his going home to keep you on your guard and you bought it. Saying: "It was your choice to wait to eat with me." *once* seems fair, but when he continued the "I'll go home if it's too much trouble", you probably would have been better off to just say "okay". I think you engaged with him unknowingly.
As for the part about "sleeping around" being okay:
I think you have the option of choosing whether or not someone who feels this way (or if he doesn't, but is willing to say these things to hurt you, which is probably the case) is someone you truly want as a partner. Personally Theressa, I think you deserve much better. Since you can't "make" him do or be what you want, you'll have to decide whether you want a partner with this value system and behaviors, or not.
Be clear with him if it's not acceptable to you. Then it's his choice and you don't put yourself in a position of "manipulator". You accept what is.
And I agree with you - that keeping your house clean can be a sign of respect for *yourself* when it's done for those purposes and not the people-pleasing kind.
I also agree that your parents blessed you by not giving you the "hand outs" your sisters got.
You sound like you are reaching a higher level of expectations for yourself, and as you do that, I doubt you will bullied the way you were when you were 7 and didn't know better.
Also, thank you for your kind and insightful notes to me.
What do you do with someone (spouse) who just cannot see your point of view no matter what? I've written to Dr. Irene twice.. she gave me some excellent advice. I am standing up for myself more than ever, and oh.. my husband hates it. He thinks that I am now selfish- I don't care how he feels. After years of verbal abuse (which I've only recognized in the past year)- after years of putting me down, crushing my self-esteem, treating me as if I am a Barbie doll there to please him... after losing my identity and becoming sooo depressed... (I had an affair last year, and only then, through my interaction with the other man did it really come to light how unhappy I was)- Now, I have that thrown in my face constantly. If I let him know that I'm uncomfortable or unhappy about his behavior, he shuts down like a little puppy and refuses to interact with me anymore. He won't let anything go. He turns everything back on me. (he says I do that to him) It's a constant vicious cycle. I'll try to talk to him- he'll say "I don't want to talk about it" or give me a short answer.. then, we'll go to bed- he'll say "Ready to go to sleep?" Then, ten minutes later, he's up, with the lights on asking me "How can you just go to sleep? You don't care about us.." UGH! He says I don't know how to communicate. I don't. I forgot years ago. I wonder why. What hope is there???? I love him so much, but this wall...
Dear all, Sharon here. After my last post, somebody posted a link about self vs. ego. Was that you, Dr. Irene? Nope. Thank you whoever it was because it did hit home!
In some ways, I could be seen as being in Greg's role. However, when our relationship was forming in our early days, I could have been in Gina's as well. I spent alot of time licking my wounds because of my recent divorce - which had nothing to do with Dr. Psycho - but we met after exactly 1 year of my divorce. And I had major trust issues, NO self-esteem and alot of questions about my ex husband's infidelity in our 15 year marriage. So, when I met Dr. Psycho and we began dating, I had alot of things rolling around on my brain. Now, nearly 2 years later, I'm better grounded and definitely more confident WITH MYSELF and could careless about my ex husband. He married the woman he cheated on me with almost 2 years ago - and NOW is totally miserable, and on the verge of losing everything because they are in the process of being fired from their jobs. Talk about self-destruction!! And all because they had an affair at work and created a hostile work environment between the staff of 30 people they demoralized together with their egos getting in the way. These 30 people banned together and realized that they weren't being treated fairly and respectful so they filed a formal complaint. Their due process (administrative hearing) is in a few weeks. Oh well I say! Karma! I have let go of my anger even though I am somewhat amazed of myself when people approach me of the topic of my ex-husband's demise and I am no longer reactive in an emotional way. This whole thing effected his subordinates more than it effected me, as I lived with my ex-husband's rages for 15 years and was to the point of being "immuned" or "in a denial state" - His subordinates were raged at - yelled at -- had things thrown at them at staff meetings -- were threatened by him -- all of this toxic, sick and very scary behavior at THE WORK PLACE!! So, it does NOT surprise me that he is demoted at work and lost his rights to manage staff. And since SHE (his new wife) was HIS BOSS, SHE IS GETTING FIRED!!
Wow, all of this posting came out about my ex-husband and here I was actually focused in about the web link on ego vs. self and how it related between Dr. Psycho and myself. What I see here after reading it is that my track record with men has not been good. Both my ex-husband and Dr. Psycho have striking similarities. Both are ragers and have childhood issues. My ex had a drinking problem, though Dr. Psycho does not. But my behavior remained as the nurturer, the woman who saved the day, the "mom", the super mom in fact. And yet my "self" was not being nurtured. Last night I do think I heard those "whispers" to my self - Run, Sharon, Run - it didn't feel ego oriented - more like a feeling of needing to survive, and to know that if I stayed long enough to allow Dr. Psycho to "spew" his toxics at me because he was feeling fatigue, restless and frustrated due to his stress over his exam would have created another big control drama. I feel today that I survived something last night!
Jay may be sane; but she is also kinda dumb! I have been wondering why nobody posted since Sunday and forgot the "next" button. Giggle! Oh well, I guess we can't have everything...
Well, actually, Dr Irene I wasn't doing very well the last day or so. It is the wrong time of the month I think. BUT I did get back on track and feel ok now. I got confirmation of that job and that has made me feel loads better. Even if it is only a few hours who knows what it will lead to.
It is funny; but there was a man who was like one of the students I will have; clearly not of high intelligence in the supermarket and he was doing well; not a lot; and people were saying such mean things and I looked the girl in the till in the eye and said "I am going to be working with people like him." Calmly. That shut her up! Ha I am getting BRAVE. Hehehe!
I also went to the first advocacy training and my friend has given me loads of the Human Givens stuff she had to read. I really feel like an intelligent human being again. I don't know why I need the intellectual stuff but I do. Although I have given up, I think, on the MA. I can just take the lower qualification.. Quite simply, life has moved on.
But there is a life. I set up some new message boards as well. I don't know if they will get used; parentinghurts just rund without my input! The only thing I can't help wondering is why everyone who posts is American. Are you all born with computers instead of silver spoons? Please send the urls!
OK so I went backwards. That isn't the point. I can go forwards now. Fast forward again. The breathing thing works for anger too, I have found. So simple.
It is no more about finding a life. I have one.
Oh yes, and I have asked for the therapist to be changed if we go any more. I realised that I have every right to have one I feel I can trust however good that one may be. If it doesn't make me feel ok and it is not about my own growth then it is just now ok.
I used to think thinking like I am thinking was harsh. It isn't. I think that is where the codependent goes wrong. Yep.
It will take me all night to catch up on the posts! Hope everyone is OK. I will visit soon AJ so we can reinfect each other with sanity! jay.
Dr Irene, I hope you will approve of this! (Who cares if I approve or not!) It is not meant for abused people; at least I will refer them to here. I set it up because I have interviewed so many people who have said they can't get therapy on our NHS and can't afford it. It is for people to help each other hopefully either before they are so stressed they need a therapist and those who have got signed off by the doc etc but still want some support.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nottherapybuthelp/members Excellent! Thank you Jay; I think I'll join, if you'll have me.
...Tim B., hear
Then there is an awareness of the Steps...the 2nd. one is where " I came to believe (part one of step 2) that a power greater than myself, could restore me to sanity." ( part two of step 2). Sharon, if I were working "MY" program, I'd be dead. MY program does not work. The Program does. My daily reprieve from my insanity is based on a "conscious contact". That means that I have to DO some things: Like pray ( speak to the Big Guy, preferably on my knees - that's about my EGO) and listen ( meditate ). I don't, get the benefit of the Step that I am on unless I take the action of the following Step. .and I believe that is something we have to consciously do when we hit the wall. "Made a decision to turn OUR WILL and OUR LIVES over to the CARE (most important part) of God as we understood him.
Do I detect some unrestrained glee at the events that have befallen your X and his wife? There, but for the GRACE of the Big Guy, go I...and yes, they have "If The Buddha Dated" at Barnes&Noble...they also have Emmett Fox's, "Sermon On The Mount"...check that one out! Chains and rocks...Where do ya wanna' be?
Hi Timothy B, Sharon here. Thanks for the book information! I have heard of the other one. Not sure about the other bookstore you mentioned, but they do have it at Barnes & Noble.
Making reference to my program means getting back to "it". It worked for me when I became depressed or even when things were going well. When my kids were growing up, there was alot of adversity because of my childhood -- my mother was very dominent and my father drank. I wanted my kids to have the best -- however, my husband was not devoted to raising the family. So, I did everything to keep the peace. That's when the little cracks in the pavement started to show up for me. That's when I realized that I was truly not the super mom I thought I was. That's when I began "the search". "The search" ultimately broke up my marriage because we grew apart. Thus, "my program" became a daily fixture in my life. It was not the program, but mine and only mine, structured for just me, for my own path. I started walking after work -- long walks -- sometimes alone -- and started taking care of my body -- and ate better. My husband did not like how I became. I no longer spent money on frivolous things, but started planning for our retirement, and it threatened him. My changes threatened him, because my values were not the same as his. I also started going back to the church that I grew up in, and wow! did that set him off. I secretly started buying books about self-help ACA and living with people with drinking problems, etc. and he would find these books and feel threatened. It was all part of "my program", which in part, was "the program" built around CODA principles. It truly polarized my marriage partner when I started looking at my life and how I wanted to conduct business, and he continued to drink and be the life of the party, and then be abusive after the party to his loved ones. It was no way to live, and all I wanted to do is run and hide. So, my program was my way to escape. The long walks, church, secret CODA meetings, self help books and healthy eating, and though I made new friends, I couldn't bring them home because I was too ashamed about who I really was and what I had become. More importantly, my ex husband would have been rude to whoever I was with either walking long walks with or on the telephone with. It was a horrible life with him. Hence, my program was my solace. This scenario was many years ago, however I felt compelled to share because its been buried in my conscience. Thanks for letting me get it out.
Tim B., redux...
Did you take, work, do The Steps?
Are they being utilized NOW?
Hi Tim, Sharon here. The steps - yes - off and on. However, the steps that I mentioned in my last post fit for me. I get out of focus and then I attend a meeting and get back on track. I am in contact with both sponsors here in Sac and San Diego when things have been rough. My new thing now is being alone and learning to love it and not being fearful of it. Being my own friend and handing over to my higher power everything that bugs me is not new for me, however, lately I realize that I have that option. Going to church on Sunday and singing in the choir -- was very cleansing for me as well. I walked over 2 miles on Sunday to/from church remembering how it was as a child walking to that same school and church. (I went to a neighborhood catholic school growing up) Talk about going back to roots. Again, that's part of what I create for myself in order to become one with my higher power. And it feels safe. I crave that right now. And I am embracing this time spent esp. with my mom who is terminally ill. Having something helps.
Hi Tim, Sharon here, I re-read your post....I know what you mean by hitting the wall so to speak. That's usually for me when I crave my meetings either at WEAVE or at CODA. At one point, I was going several nights a week, just to get back on center. The holidays are usually the hardest for me since my divorce, and I find myself taking a nose dive until I start going again. For some reason, the family stress gets higher, and even though I am very, very glad of being out of that marriage, just the dynamics of the split makes everything else go haywire. I find that to be cyclic for me and I usually end up going to the meetings continually, almost daily, and daily prayer (which has been every day for me anyway), at that, just to feel good and at peace again. Like I said in my earlier posts, my ex husband thought I was a nut case when I began my own healing. My involvement with God really threw him for a loop.
I have learned that I am unable to give away something I do not have. Corinthians 1-13 told me what I did not have. By working ALL the Steps, in order, the way they are suggested to be done in the Big Book of AA has brought me to a place where I am NOW able to give some (not all) of those things to others. I lost most of what my sponsors now have, and I don't want it back. I tell my guys that when they are into their 9th. Step I want them, sometimes demand of them, that they sponsor other men...thus, the giving begins. I am not their relationship, financial or employment advisor. I teach them what was taught to me... the answers to ALL my problems are in the Steps. I love this guy named Mickey B., a real tough Englishman that goes to meetings down here. "Pass the tissues, I've got issues." He's really a creampuff who has helped an enormous amount of men in his 18 years of sobriety. Hmmmm....maybe there are some women up in your neck of the Valley who could benefit from Sharon's experience, strength and hope? Tim: Have you seen this? It's excellent. Powerfully Recovered! A Confirmed 12-Stepper Challenges the Movement
I want to send the following email to a woman I love very much. However, while in the EARLY stages of coming to grips with my SELF and my illness of codependence, I'm reluctant.
Don't get me wrong, I believe my motives are good.....to help her see, out of love. I just don't KNOW this to be the case.
Anyway, some background so the reader may understand the players: Amber is a woman I love and live with. She was adopted at the age of 3 days.....when I first saw her. She was adopted by my Aunt. She was born addicted to heroin. I didn't see her again until she was 25....she's 30 now. She didn't know she was adopted until she was 12, then she found out from a phone call from her birth mom. She didn't try to establish any relationship with her until she was 24.
I was severely neglected by an alcoholic mother as a child. Rooming blocks away by the age of 3, without supervision, care, nurturing or love. My father drove a truck 6-7 days a week, 10-14 hours a day. At least he would pick me up out of school 3-4 times a year and take me with him. He's the brother of Ambers' second mom.
The first mom I refer to is her birth mom, the second, my aunt. Joseph is a 13 yr old boy my aunt is raising, her 214th foster child and 12th adopted. Amber is driving back from 2 weeks vacation in Calif with her birth mom tomorrow, and at least I don't want to upset her until she arrives. I may never send the email, but I will share it with all of you in hopes you'll get a glimpse of the throes of the disease and the intense, baffling struggle to see reality as you claw your way out. Here goes, comments on any of the above welcome with the exception of moral judgments on our familial ties....
"Think about this, I could be wrong and I could be right:
Today when you mom asked you guys when you were leaving, then turned and walked into her room locking the door..........
Were the emotions you felt equal to the slight? Maybe it's just that her boundaries had been crossed (how long she was willing to have guests in her house) and didn't know how to communicate that.
And maybe, just maybe, YOU were feeling the emotions of the ORIGINAL abandonment, helpless, baffled, extremely hurt and angry. Overwhelmed with grief, anger, pain and shame. "Why wasn't I good enough for her? Am I unlovable? I must be.......she kept DeeDee. I can't allow myself to be hurt that way again"
To go from there to the most codependent, controlling second mom..........one who probably never held you close and never held you to her breast. Never nurtured and touched you. One who thought nobody, including you, could do anything right if left to their own devices. One who undermined your self esteem (which was already very weak due to your non-verbal emotional memories) by not ALLOWING you to fail, get back up, and then succeed one step at a time, on your own. That would send the message "you are not competent, you are not trustworthy, you are not able"....the same message I've seen her unwittingly send to Joseph.
I remember the first two times I saw you, laying in the bassinette crying.......on the kitchen table. People were talking about you but nobody was holding you. I felt like crying WITH you because I knew that was ME. Your skin was bright red, you were in obvious pain. I'm crying right now remembering it, remembering (now) why it affected my so intensely. Feeling the guilt of obeying the unspoken, dysfunctional "family rules" about touching, holding, crying and comfort. I'm so sorry.
IF this is the case, it's time to deal with the emotions of your dysfunctional childhood. Every day, week, month and year that passes will lessen your chances for true happiness if it hasn't been dealt with.
It passes down from generation to generation. That's why I ask your mom so many family origin questions, half of my family of origin is the same as hers.
Remember: You are loveable, you are loved. God loves you for who you are, now find out who that is. Let that broken child emerge, REPARENT it and then begin to grow. Find your true self, not the defensive wall of ego that you may think is you which had to emerge to survive the terror, shame and overwhelming pain.
Let me testify. Don't make the mistake I made and suppress.....
I said it because I LOVE you Steve
Well folks, that's the story in a nut shell. firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a good idea why all this tit for tat started. It was my anger I was feeling about having to go back to my car to fetch my keys. Since my partner says "YOU have keys, use them, I am not opening the door to you, if you have keys."
I was feeling angry because I felt like he was treating me like a child and also angry because of this STUPID RULE.
SO guys I acted out. By saying "SHUT UP" many times when he went on about women wanting only money. (SELECTIVE MEMORY I ONLY REMEMBERED YESTERDAY HIS MISBEHAVIOUR.
I need to get a handle on this ACTING OUT. If I am really angry I find it hard to know if its a big deal or not. The keys weren't probably a big deal. SO WHAT TO DO WITH ANGER??? DR IRENE MAYBE YOU KNOW.
When he said "I'll go home if it's too much trouble" you could have said: "it's not too much trouble, but you can go home if that's what you wish".
Theressa writes: YES I AGREE and realised this later.
Asha said: As for the part about "sleeping around" being okay:
I think you have the option of choosing whether or not someone who feels this way (or if he doesn't, but is willing to say these things to hurt you, which is probably the case) is someone you truly want as a partner.
I was very sensitive and defensive to this topic. Since I met that guy just after Christmas you might remember. My friends, my therapist told me there was no harm sleeping with him if its what I wanted, everyone does this these days. I mistakenly thought they were saying "I MUST DO THIS". I now know they were just not judging me. AND that I was responsible for ME, and I should have chosen what was right for me.
Instead I ignored my values which were shouting loudly at me in many ways. I talked myself into sleeping with him, so I could fit in. Although this event was a big mistake on my part, since I didn't feel very good afterwards.
It taught me a very, very clear lesson. When I was a child and up to recently I wanted to please others, I so badly wanted to fit in and be liked. I wanted to do what I thought was expected of me by others in society.
NEVER once did I ask what is right for me. All that matter was my EGO. I wanted to be approved of and accepted.
Recently I realised some things. Firstly that each time I people please I feel Yukky. I also end up losing out big time. I never please all of the people so criticism comes from one place or another.
SO now I am starting to realise. I am responsible for ME! I decide what is best for ME! I have to suffer any consequences of my CHOICES! They are all my choices and I cannot blame others even if I am following a therapists plan. I have to question what others say and challenge my own thoughts and then decide for myself.
I know now where all the RED FLAGS were, the biggest one of all was I was being too accommodating and making way far too much effort. I planned my time around what fit in with this guy. I listened to his poor excuses. I accepted him never spending time with me unless it was a brief hour. He'd cut our dates short. He'd let me down at the last minute. THOUGH he listened to me, and told me how special I was.
So I did all of this for ATTENTION, that is RIGHT!! I would have done better giving myself attention.
I felt very used after this guy, lower than I ever felt with my partner. THIS GUY HELPED ME HIT ROCK BOTTOM. He gave me the awareness that I don't deserve to be used.
Personally Theressa, I think you deserve much better. Since you can't "make" him do or be what you want, you'll have to decide whether you want a partner with this value system and behaviors, or not.
My partner sent me a text on my cellphone after he left the other night. It read: I need time to think, I don't think your ready for us yet, after your counseling has ended, and you've had time to think. Don't think I don't love cuz I do, but you have things you need to sort out.
I think he means my anger. He is correct I do need to sort out my anger when I have minor annoyances.
I am confused about what to do when it is something like the keys incident where he is trying to control me.
HOW do you think I could handle this??
Asha said: Be clear with him if it's not acceptable to you. Then it's his choice and you don't put yourself in a position of "manipulator". You accept what is.
I was clear with him. I stick by my values. If he wants to be a bachelor I don't want to be part of it. However, much it hurts me. I don't think he does. I think this was him trying to protect himself, by pushing me away.
Asha said: And I agree with you - that keeping your house clean can be a sign of respect for *yourself* when it's done for those purposes and not the people-pleasing kind.
Theressa writes: I know I need to sort out my house and clean it, it causes me so much stress when I don't have it in order. I don't mean clean obsessively, but hygienically I need to for my health.
You sound like you are reaching a higher level of expectations for yourself, and as you do that, I doubt you will bullied the way you were when you were 7 and didn't know better.
Last week I wouldn't have agreed with you. Last week I was still a seven year old. I did alot of soul searching with the help of Dr Irene to face up to my responsibilities and check my values.
When my partner wrote that text. I felt so anxious and scared, so lost. I sat with my feelings. I thought whatever will be will be. It is funny but sometimes I want to say "well I want xxx to happen, and what is gonna happen about Mel, and maybe we should discuss how we will be for now." Though I stop because of my fears.
Asha I really need to get self disciplined and grow up and take responsibility for my life. I think I also have to face my fears and say what I want, that includes me speaking up and discussing how we are now, as friends for the time being.
Lots has improved. Though my partner seems to think conflict is bad. I also know the way I have been acting out is not effective.
I just get so frustrated sometimes and don't know what to do, as with the key incident.
Take care Theressa
This me posting back to me. (advising thy self) please comment on my advise.
Hi Theressa here, (Hello Theressa)
>I have a problem with my partners "RULE", that since I have a door >key I should not expect him to open the door for me. If I leave it >in my car I should go out and get it, since I shouldn't leave keys >in the car anyway, because people can break into cars if they see >keys on show.
Theressa's response to Theressa:
It is your responsibility to look after your keys, if your partner was not in and you had not got your keys what would you do? Would you stand there all day? Would you go back to the car and get the keys? Do you think it is a good idea to leave your keys in the car? If you left them by mistake, the only way to sort out the mistake is action.
>SO the other day I left my keys in the car. I realised I had as I >reached the front door. I about turned and went back to my car. I >felt really angry. WHAT is the big deal, someone makes a mistake >and forget their keys is it really such a big deal.
Theressa's response to Theressa:
Leaving your keys in the car isn't a crime. SO you turned around and went back to your car. YOU TOOK responsibility for your mistake and sorted it out.
Who did you feel angry at? Why did you feel so angry?
Did you feel angry at your partner because you cold see him stood their in your mind judging you for making a mistake. WHY NOT TELL him in your mind to shut up we all make mistakes. Then think my keys, my mistake for leaving them in the car, my responsibility to go and get them.
If your keys were left at home, I would knock on the door and if he wouldn't open it, I would say: "I left my keys at xxxx, can you open the door." If he said "NO". Then I'd say "Okay, is Melissa come home now or will you drop her off?"
You can't change how he thinks or control him into opening the door, it isn't worth such a big deal, I'd just go and get my keys. Not worth conflicting over.
It wouldn't bother me. Although I must say when Melissa messes up I >get angry at times. My therapist said I need to "STOP and pause >deep breathe until I feel calm, then ask my self questions, think!! >Why this might have happened? Was it an accident? and talk myself >out of my anger if it isn't valid. As with a child making a >mistake. SHE HASN'T done it on purpose.
Theressa's response to Theressa:
Everyone has different tolerance levels and beliefs so what isn't a big deal to you, maybe to another. If it isn't a big deal, why bother worrying what they think or what rules they have. IT is more of you made a mistake and instead of getting worked up about their rule, I'd go and sort out how I was going to get my keys.
As you can see we all get anxious about something. In your partner's head will be one of his old minders from the children's home, saying "It isn't okay to lack self discipline." Sometimes his voice comes over to you, when he starts to criticise. MAYBE it is because he fears being imperfect and sees anything you do as reflecting on him.
HIS MOTTO: Please do not work me up because I can't don't have the control skills to handle this. When you cry it makes things worse. SO "DON'T START".
>What do you suggest.
I suggest you see how big a deal an issue is, as in the keys incident it isn't such a big deal. It may feel like control, however, if you STOP and decide to control yourself by sorting out your mistake, then you regain control. If you started an argument about it then you would be allowing him to control you, by engaging you.
If there was a definite reason why you couldn't get the keys, I would do the above, I'd ask him to let me in, if he refused I'd say: Does he want me to pick up our child now, or will he drop her off. (Leaving it up to him.)
Take care Theressa
Well gals and guys how did I do??
I think this key incident and the time a while back when I didn't take my coat, and my partner expected me to get out of the car and take Melissa into my mom's house are the same.
I think the message is "My partner is not meant to be caring for me like a child. He can care about me. BUT it is my responsibility to look after me. If I decide not to take a coat that is my problem. If I forget my keys and they are close by that is my problem.
So my partner can choose not to get out of the car. If I have no coat on and I knew it would be cold, that is my responsibility, I could have chosen to wear a coat.
My partner can choose not to open the door. If I forgot my keys I can take responsbility for making sure I check I have my keys when I get out of the car.
I can also choose to leave if I have no keys and my partner won't let me in.
Today I can choose one thing to work on, and all I need to do is make a little progress.
I remember someone I respect once telling me that the difference between he and his wife, a lovely lady who had years of recovery in Al-Anon and who guided me there. " the difference between me and my wife is that SHE thinks before acting and I act, then spend too much time thinking about my action(s). "Theressa, what growth!!!
It seems like there are 2 parts to your problem - his control over you and your control over yourself. I'll bet as you work on your own self control, you'll be more aware when his "control" is unacceptable to you.
I think it's good that you are owning up to your behavior and realizing it needs to change. I hope your partner does the same (but you can't do anything about that - just make conscious choices.)
I wish there was an online 'class' and support group for control skills and changing distorted thinking. Wouldn't it be great to work through something like the "Feeling Good Handbook" with some online assistance and support? Maybe somebody with the skills out there will latch onto this someday. However, I think it really comes down to motivation. Those who are motivated will learn, with whatever resources they have. Those who aren't won't.
good luck Theressa
Dear all, Hi, especially to Ramy. This is a good place to post. I just want to say, to AJ, Theressa and Sharon I will email you asap! I have rather a lot to catch up on and if I am really truthful, today I am fighting anger...not really even at Jake; just at some injustice. Also it is the writer's meeting and I suddenly feel a bit nervous of the woman I wrote about. I wasn't going to go...but why should I not..I was enjoying it before she began this rather odd power trip and the histrionics...I can't give away MY power to a woman with obvious problems...
But I have to admit today all the old self esteem issues hit me in the face..event though I know I have handled some stuff really well and dealt with something that needing sorted with the person concerned so they don't get into trouble but do do what is needed for my daughter's sake,,,
But this inner anger I thought had gone away......Why is it there and what is it warning me of? If anger is a sign....I couldn't sleep for it. I wonder if my body got so used to being angry that it can't automatically calm itself. I keep doing the breathing and I don't even think anyone else is going to know I am angry!
Can you be centred and angry at the szame time? I can't go into details but it is all about injustice...something I probably can't change...
This is a nonsense post in a way...but thhis is after all, the catbox! Jay
About three months ago, after five years of marriage, my husband received an extremely large financial settlement from a lawsuit. At the same time that he received this settlement, I was being treated for cancer. When we found out about the settlement, together we picked out a new house that was perfect for my son, my husband and I, and our pets. We ordered furniture and started to make our new house our "dream home". I went into the hospital for radiation therapy, and when I came out (after only have lived in our new home for about 10 days), my husband asked me to move out. He said that he needed "time alone". I was mortified. Here I am just out of the hospital with cancer, feeling like crap, expecting love and support and encouragement, and instead I am asked to move out. We had a big argument and he left the house. He came back about 36 hours later, claiming to have needed time "alone". I found a piece of hotel stationary with a woman's name and number in his handwriting, so called the woman. She called back and explained that she was an "escort" and that my husband had hired her to perform sexual acts. I ordered the records from my husband's hotel stay and sure enough, he had called about 8 different escort agencies and had indeed talked to this specific woman for about 45 minutes, and immediately after that he'd gone to the cash machine across the street and withdrew $400. In my mind, there was no doubt that he had hired an escort. I confronted him, but he denied everything, refused to discuss the evidence (he burned the hotel records in the fireplace) and just got angry at ME and called me selfish and crazy and all of that. I filed for divorce. He filed a counter motion for divorce. Now he wants to date, but still wants a divorce. He still denies that he hired a prostitute, and won't even address the fact that this woman called me and that I have hotel and bank records that support what she claims. Whenever I want to talk about anything that is confrontational, controversial, or possibly upsetting (which is essentially everything in his mind) my husband gets angry with me and calls me inconsiderate and selfish and a bitch for wanting to talk about things, because I am disregarding his feelings and his need NOT to talk about things. I feel like my need to talk about things is just as important as his need to deny and avoid everything. He thinks that if we just ignore everything and never deal with anything it will all go away and we will be fine. I try to explain to him that we can't just sweep everything under the rug, because it doesn't go away and just builds up, and that it is normal to discuss feelings and concerns and confront important issues. I feel like I'm going crazy. I love him but can't live like this. Right now I am living in a crappy apartment driving a borrowed piece of %*&$* car with no money, and he is living in our "dream house" with a brand new Range Rover, and hiring maids and gardners and all of this stuff, sleeping in the sleigh bed we picked out together, and I am just so angry and frustrated. Our entire marriage I always earned more money then him (probably twice as much), but always believe that what was "mine" was ours. Suddenly he has money and he just throws me out like so much garbage, hires a prostitute/escort, lies about it, and then holds the money over my head trying to control me. It isn't about money, although I do believe that if he is going to throw me out on the street (considering I am battling cancer right now and not working) that he could share a little with me so that I could get back on my feet. The part that drives me crazy is his denial that all of this has happened, like he really believes that it didn't happen, and he tries to make me think that I am imagining all of this or something. He acts like he's some innocent victim and I'm some hysterical person who imagines all of this. And his absolute refusal to talk about anything or even recognize my feelings also drives me crazy. He thinks that I should just be thrilled to be "demoted" from wife to girlfriend, that I should kiss his butt and forget everything that's happened, and that I should never talk about my feelings or my needs because when I do that it imposes on HIS feelings and needs. I am going crazy.
To the lady in the above posts; If you can cut your losses with this man of 5 years of marriage, do it! You would be better off!! He sounds like a bad man!!
Dear all, Sharon here, How come there are no new posts? As you all now know, the site went down for a while thanks to Doc's misguided attempts at programming. Giggle!
My husband has been attempting to reconcile with me. He seemed so sincere and we were getting along so well I felt like maybe I "broke through" or something, like maybe he had feelings after all, and that maybe he really did love me. I left my purse at his house last night when I left around 10pm.
testing to see if there is any trout (and not expecting this to go through.) Surprise!
Ooops..just writing rubbish to see....
Well if a post will go through it will and if it won't it won't. more cautious testing.
Jay here, testing out the catbox...I think it may work and even though it is 1.12 am as I can't sleep, why not write? Ramy I think it must be so hard not to see your children or have to share the care. I think that is not altogether why I stay; but it would be so difficult.
Theressa, now I have read the key posts (and you have heard this week about my keys! Or rather, my lack of them I do wonder.. and a bit differently, I think. I think your key issue is out of proportion. It might be better to go get the keys and forget that issue. We don't need to win every battle. As for untidy houses; er well here is not exactly anything other than 'lived in.'
Steve, GWC? I suppose most people are in some measure! But maybe we should also look for the happier parts of the inner child?,
I don't understand, Sharon. You say you are through with Dr Psycho and then start coaching him for an exam? The thing is won't he get double messages? I thought you were going to RUN! She says one thing and does another, have you noticed Jay?
Hi, everyone else, like Asha, (post is on Bravenet) I don't think the catbox break has been a bad thing. It was a chance to make sure life continued if the catbox fell apart! It does and I am surprised as this week has been fairly strange and I apologize Why? in advance Dr Irene, but this will be yet another therapist post..
In fact, I do not understand the dynamics about this; but I have heard that some family therapist did some research into it. Who? Where? Don't know. Sorry. On Friday Jake and I went to the therapist. I felt fairly ok when we got there, but I just don't know why, every time we have seen her the anger levels at Jake AND the therapist have gone sky high. Buttons! I wanted her to see me alone, and Jake had agreed to go. She got me into the room with him saying we would discuss it. Fair enough. But an hour later we were still there with me screaming yet again at Jake about all the awful things he had done and him not getting a word in edgeways.. Very nice kiddo. Catbox 101. Giggle! Pay attention: What happened that set you off; got you off track? What emotional button got pushed?
Finally he did. He has always refused to say that he wants our marriage to end. This time he said 'from a purely selfish point of view, I would prefer not to be married." That was all he got out because I then apparently 'rescued him'. By becoming absolutely angry beyond reason..with him - and her.
I do know what she meant. He didn't have to say what he felt because he couldn't get to it! Yes, despite how much you complained that he was emotionally dead, you actively enabled his deadness - since you did not want to hear what you knew he had to say...
Anyhow, I said I wouldn't ever go to the therapist again and this time she and her team agreed and I left asking Jake not to come home...telling the therapist she had "wrecked my marriage." Talk about anger making me look a fool. I certainly can't blame her! Giggle!
But why the sudden turn. He finally has got to the point of leaving (although this isn't what has happened. I have been screaming I want it to be over and then, when I get what I say I want, I am angry about that. In fact at that point my thinking started to change even if I wouldn't admit it! YES. Let it come out; let it be. Let it happen... You can't fix anything if you deny where things are. Allow what is for yourself and for Jake to come out, accept it, and go from there. Watch things change...
This was morning. By the end of the afternoon I wanted to see if we could do anything further ..and asked if he would let me see the marriage guidance person he has been seeing. NO! Can I give her a letter. Yes, but he can't guarantee she would read it. (Well that is illogical how could he? Oh, you know by now that he's just mad and dishing it out; let him.) It wasn't him who was doing the shouting and he just said we will live here together, but have separate lives.
Well, that makes NO sense as in other words he was saying nothing would change as this is what we have been doing anyway...Not exactly. You lived separate lives, but pretended you didn't - and it was his fault because he was emotionally dead.. But the thing is I didn't want him to leave (I find) anyway. Once he said it will end, I wanted it to continue... Let it be. Accept it, want it or not.
Except this WASN'T devastation. it wasn't excusing abusiveness,. But i started to think about my contribution to the breakdown...areas where I couldn't say I didn't need to change....and why despite my best efforts I couldn't. Good.
I think that therapist either knew something I didn't Yes. OR she was too weak to shut me up No; she knows exactly what she's doing.. I think I would not want to ever see her again as I think by letting me vent my anger it made things worse. STOP! Take responsibility for your anger Jay; don't dump it on her. If you vent your anger then you can get more angry. Exactly. So, why would anybody choose to vent so much anger? Silly isn't it? Especially when you don't have to vent it; you can get a handle on that button.
It seemed to me like seeing her made me so angry I couldn't stand Jake and it stopped any progress. She pushed a button.
Either that or she wanted me to keep screaming until he said 'enough"? It would be wise for him to do so. He also claimed to be frightened of me. I'm sure when you are carrying on like that, you are a horror to behold! Giggle!
Actually I am frightened of him. And he of you.
Then snap. The marriage can live or die. It suddenly didn't seem the end of things which way it went. BUT I realised I do still love him. You have all along you know...
The therapist guy I mentioned earlier seems to have said, and I don't have a clue where that women will literally wait until the guy snaps and says "no more" before the marriage has a chance to mend, as it is only at that point the woman respects him. But if the man has been abusive? Is abusive? Is narcissistic? Is Jake to understand and say "sorry" for times of causing his wife fear? You've both been abusive to each other. It's your job not to let him violate your boundaries, all while maintaining control over yourself and not losing it. It's his job not to let you violate his boundaries, without having to shut down. Don't worry about anything else, and just worry about your part. If each of you were to take care of the Self in this way, you would be fine, and probably your marriage too. He's not stupid; he just doesn't know how to handle your anger except by shutting down. Let it be and do your best to control Jay. I'm delighted that Jake got the courage to tell you he wanted the marriage ended. That's fixing Jake. I promise you his feelings about ending the marriage are as jumbled up as yours, but I doubt that ending the marriage is what he really wants. Let him be; respect him enough to allow him to express himself while you do nothing but pay attention to what is going on inside of you - and deal with the discomfort you experience..
Yet in this case his wife does know that he would not be violent again Good. and that he says he regrets the action Good. and she can't claim to be free from blame herself in this area ..? Responsibility, not blame.
On Saturday and from then on there has been no engaging at all on my part. He behaved like a two year old all day Sunday, culminating leaving me having lunch alone with a friend's husband in a pub. THAT was nice. but weird. We were there legitimately, and it was so nice to talk to a man with some conversation.. but I wasn't happy about it until his wife, who is a good friend rang, and he told her. I rarely go to pubs, but this one was where my son was playing his guitar in his first band gig at an all day party upstairs.
But, no anger?????? I just let things ride and now it is Wednesday and Jake has actually forgotten himself so completely as to engage in a little conversation himself...To act fairly nicely all week and unbelievably there was something our son did that wasn't ok and we could just agree on the course of action.
Are we just growing up? What do you think?
I keep having flashbacks to the good times? Notice you have them and let them go.
I have been quite content to work on myself for me and yet think that we may actually work this out. Except I really don't want to see her again, was the therapist actually hopeless, or was she wiser than I thought? As I've said before, she knows exactly what she's doing. You still have a button with her. Clean it up! I think it would be a great mistake to return as things are better now Jake can't say 'we will only talk on Friday at the therapist's.' This does not make sense. I would like to make sense of it. But I suppose it doesn't have to. No, you don't have to. But stop holding onto the moment. Feel what is; let it go. You should read If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him too...
At the same time, here we are still married and living apart! there was a shift; but we haven't materially changed our circumstances?
Sorry this is so long. I am just baffled. Actually. I did just remember it was the therapist guy who worked with John Cleese on one of the books.....sure I have a book of his somewhere here.'
Crumbs this has to be the longest ever post ever. No wonder Jake couldn't get a word in! Giggle!
I walked in and found him talking to the woman he had had an affair with less than one year ago. He was concentrating so hard (or so drunk) that he didn't even notice me, and kept on talking. When I realized who he was talking too I was pretty upset, but when he said, "I still dream about you all the time" I freaked out and screamed. My husband was so shocked he screamed too. Then he threw down the telephone and started screaming at me. I was asking, "How could you? If you love me, how could you do this?" and he was screaming about how dare I "spy" on him and "who did I think I was to think I had a right to control his life". I didn't think that expecting your husband to be faithful and respectful was controlling. He ended up slapping me across the face so hard it knocked me down and made fluid come out of my ear. As I was trying to gather my things, he grabbed me by my hair and dragged me across the floor. I was crying and asking why and he was practically throwing me out the door. I didn't know what to do. I thought about calling the police but remembered that last time I did that things just got worse. The police were insensitive and nosy, as well as accusatory, and my husband did everything in his power to punish me for calling them. In addition, I was ashamed by what had happened and the fact that it had happened before. My husband didn't have this problem - before I had a chance to decide, he called the police and told them that I assaulted HIM!!! So when I filed my report an hour or two after this all took place, they seemed to believe his story and acted very insensitively. My husband is 6 foot 5 and over 300 pounds and there is no way I could assault him even if I wanted to. I was completely humiliated and discouraged. To top it off my husband called me all night making lewd comments and threats, telling me that he had "reported me" to various authorities and how my life was over and how horrible I was. By morning, with no sleep and horribly upset, I was in a pretty foul mood. My husband has done so many terrible things - not that I'm perfect by any means - but why am I so devastated to lose him? I feel like I'm going insane. Everyone says that I should know better or I deserve it somehow for putting up with it or staying with him and that makes me feel worse. People make me feel so weak and stupid and guilty that I want to go running back to him. What's wrong with me and will I ever get better? Lori
B1: Submit B1: Submit
SORRY, one other thing I don't get is, for 20 years Jake refused to see a therapist at all. Then he starts seeing TWO at the same time? And he wanted to continue after saying it was over? As neither of our children would attend I don't think you can call it family therapy exactly? This is family therapy. So why does a man who says he doesn't want to be married go to two counselors at the same time to save his marriage?
Giggle . I have to after all this serious stuff, Maybe he has undiagnosed "marriage dyslexia".
And why get the flowers at all? And why has he started to make me breakfast again? Why have I asked him to and started to like it??? Maybe we were both just born on the wrong planet, and different planets from each other! Oh boy... Time to tape her mouth shut! Giggle!