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Comments for Catbox 35

Comments for Catbox 35

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

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 1998-2001. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

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Friday, May 18, 2001

Hello Cats!

(LittleSister cat is trying to climb in my lap as I type on my laptop. Very cute, but IN MY WAY! *giggle* Methinks she wants to say hi to Trubble.) Meow!

Quite a bit has happened since I was last here on a regular basis. I actually am still at the same job, still looking into alternatives but realizing that a place willing to be flexible about scheduling has certain advantages for a student. And I have found some friends there, which is a BIG help.

I just finished my semester (40 pages worth of term papers were a big part of the reason I haven't been keeping in touch with much of anyone, unfortunately). Also had some sad things to deal with - mainly the death of my mother's best friend from lung cancer over Easter weekend. Very sad and a major loss to the community, though I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of her Girl Scouts come back to pay tribute to her memory. I'm dealing with it better than I expected - something I had learned about myself is that I tend not to deal well with death, but I am managing.....:/

At this point, I'm barely speaking to L (my ex). I was trying to be nice and trying to be friends, and he was trying to get me back in bed, and one night about a month ago when he decided "no" meant "ask again in five minutes", I decided that I did not need to subject myself to this nonsense. Friends respect one another's boundaries. It is just that simple. And this time I actually told some of my friends that this situation was occurring. They took it more seriously than I did (I was sort of doing the "mumble he's being a jerk" bit, and some of them said "He did WHAT?!" and started making jokes about hiring hitmen) which long-term might be good for me. My reaction went from "well, that's annoying but I'm used to it" to "Why SHOULD I be used to this?!"

Family is doing well, other than that Mom's a bit shaky for obvious reasons stated earlier. We knew it was coming but it's still horribly sad. You don't think of mid-20s as middle-aged. *sigh*

There is something I've noticed that I figured I'd bounce off of people in here though. I feel like I'm watching a train wreck and I can't quite take my eyes away. There seems to be a pattern of a certain type of relationship amongst people in my circle of friends that goes something like this:

They meet, get very close very fast, form an instantaneous psychic bond. Might not actually become a couple right away due to logistics like not living in the same state, but once they decide they are together, they are living together, might as well be living together, and/or engaged within a month. Six weeks at most. Generally speaking, one of the two (usually the male if it's a straight couple) has had a few relationships in the past, but hasn't been in one for a while and is (at least seemingly) quiet and shy andnot looking and figures no one would be interested anyway. The other has had many relationships but usually none lasting longer than, say, a year. This person can get but can't keep (here's where my "I'm the practice girlfriend" tirade comes in).

So finally, these two people both Have Someone. And of course this is wonderful and they are perfectly happy and madly in love. Except they don't have as much in common as they thought. One wants space to pursue independent interests, the other sulks at the very IDEA of time away, and either makes disparaging comments about the outside interest and/or becomes interested in it, thereby not giving the other person any space and time away. The person who wants space gets frustrated and starts arguments. The person who doesn't want space gets afraid of being left alone and starts trying to show that s/he does have a say in (read: control over) the other's life. Most conversation with other friends is either "We're SO happy!" or "grr, s/he is getting on my NERVES!" with a bit of "You and so-and-so should get together because everyone should be as happy as we are!" thrown in for good measure.

This is the stage that two of my very dear friends are in with each other right now. C and I are watching this saying "Oh no, we know where THIS goes, and it's not pretty."

Here's the rest of the pattern: the fights get louder and more frequent, the making-up more intense and wonderful. Eventually, the person who did NOT want space in the beginning wants space, and the person who DID want space has become so conditioned into having all available space taken by the significant other that when the other person demands space it seems completely unreasonable. The free time this gives seems an odd sort of luxury and there's a sense of guilt about doing things that your partner doesn't like.

The pair gets a lot better about being on their best behavior in front of others. But when alone, they hunt for the common ground they thought they had, realize they have less now than they did when they started, and (despite many times swearing not to do this) use the physical part of the relationship to cover up the problems.

Eventually, Something Happens that makes the whole thing snap. L bringing the drugs to camp. My chosen brother's ex-fiancee realizing "oops, I really AM a lesbian." Another friend of mine realizing he didn't want to eat vegetarian meals for the rest of his life. A fairly rapid and messy disintegration ensues at this stage and they split. In this group of people, generally speaking, it takes somewhere between 18 months and two years for this little melodrama to play itself out.

I just wish I wasn't watching it. I can think of things they could do now that would either give their relationship a better chance to work or let them know sooner that it WON'T work. I want to scream "Please! Learn from my mistakes!" but...that won't happen. It really isn't my place to interfere. I will offer advice only if asked. :)

Sad part is, in some ways this reminds me of how far I've come. There was a time when "But he HAS space - I spent six hours away from him today!" would have sounded just fine to me. No more.  :)

-Astrid

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Friday, May 18, 2001

Dear Anne,

Been there on that merry go round and realised lately that all the joint therapy in the world couldn't stop it. in fact, all that talking about it has I think, made it worse. Not worse. It just made you aware of what is and has been. Less denial. And like you, I can't get leaving into my head as a definite idea.

I am now going to be controversial. I went to this great seminar all day Wednesday on counseling strategies and some of the stuff that was said was pretty new.

One thing was about how a lot of talking about what has happened is sometimes unhelpful as it keeps you where you were and doesn't actually produce a solution in the here and now. Yep.

I spent 15 weeks in family therapy. and although I can see why Dr Irene thinks the therapist was good and also that there was progress, I also see how unhelpful aspects of it were. I think the therapist was good and it worked for you. She really punched your buttons. I think the problem may be with some of the techniques (and assumptions), which are too roundabout - which is why I dropped it and why I explained to you what was going on with the "paradox" technique. 

I got to get on that merry go round weekly and then of course I came away mad and upset for the rest of the week. Could therapy have been faster? Probably. But, you know what? This stuff worked. This therapy is what opened your eyes.

Jake came away annoyed and upset. In fact I think it made him MORE abusive as he was acting out in a passive aggressive way.

The key seems to be that the more you KEEP going on about it the worse it will seem. The other key is to think how you will act in the here and now to solve the problem.

So with Jake I have decided NOT to keep telling him what he got wrong and simply act normal when he is off the wall. Almost to humour him. You learned your old ways simply didn't work.

Currently, this means accepting that he has a problem with trust . GIGGLE he wants me to sign something saying if he won't get locked out if he gets the back door key cut! I have lost mine and he has been saying that he won't give me his to get a new one cut as the police told him not to! (The police say this is a civil matter and they wouldn't give advice like this.) I think he's depressed. 

I always thought Jake was trustworthy, but now I know he is not and this has been hard to digest. Yesterday he told me (oh so conveniently, given the context, the police had apologized to him for asking him to leave the house.....like, oh yeah.... ah well it is his fantasy! He distorts reality to feel better.

Anyway I could make a fuss. The person who comes off worse out of this is me. Why waste a day feeling upset and give him even more opportunity to abuse. Exactly. You have disengaged.

I wrote this ridiculous statement I was supposed to sign and put that I understood the agreement was 2 ways...He told me this was "playing games!!!!!!!" DUHH?????

Yes, I was, playing his game.

I took the paper away and said I would write what he wanted.

It wouldn't stand up in a court of law! 

It is just humouring a very difficult and stressed man. Who having got this agreement still refused to give me the key to get is cut saying he will do this at his convenience.

What a great way to disempower your wife... especially if all along you have the mortice key and so technically you are the only one who even if she has the key in question can lock her out!

Except I am not disempowered. Legally if I want to ( I don't have the money to do so just now) I can change the whole lock if I want to. And I have told Jake if I don't have the key, I will do this.

I did what he wanted not to propagate abuse but because I want the key. It is his problem not mine if he is acting strangely.

Actually, given he is acting strangely, I think this could go two ways. If he is mentally ill he will eventually crack and do something so strange I can get help for him or he will come out of a crisis state.

If he is sane and just a bully. Once I have the key, I will feel safer and better anyway and it is HIS problem.

So my solution is to humour him as I really think having the key in itself will be less disempowering. And also he made a small move forward as we have gone from "you can't have a key at all.' to "you can have the key if/"

Sooooo tempting to shout at him, giggle! I did tell him the whole act was "passive aggressive.' He said "I am not having this passive aggressive stuff and proceeded to say he was ok as he hasn't been violent for several years....(actually he twisted my arm within the last 6 months....)

So by engaging and discussing I enabled Jake into more denial......

So all the 'discussing' in the world is NOT going to work. No. Not when his own thinking makes the world a very threatening place. He would have to clear some of that up first, as well as a few other things, for talking to work.

I can work fro me and on me though. I can work on NOT engaging. Jake does not wish to engage. I want to tell him what he has done, but that does not profit ME. Right. Smart, sane thinking. In control, empowered, purposeful. Making the best out of what is. Get the drift?

Why should I go on repeating a pattern that leaves me worse off? Indeed.

So I am going to take what Jake does that is good and humour his bizarre stuff. he did fix my computer. That is good and kind so I praised him loads for that....

I think this is probably the key only I was too angry to think like this before. I will ham up the good stuff.

HEY I JUST REALISED I HAVE GOOD SELF ESTEEM. I am confident in ME. I don't need to worry about what Jake does not do. 

Actually I suspect he is too sick at present to see what he is doing.

Anne, I started off writing to you and got sidetracked by me in trying to say what I wanted to you. but I do think this is the key.

Oh help! I have keys on the brain.

Anyway the point is about not getting ON the merry go round. YOU are the only one who can break the cycle because you see it.

This is NOT about denying that the past is awful and it hurts. It is not about not recognosing the past impacts on the present or even about denying childhood learnt patterns, It is about doing what for US in the present makes a better life for US.

I suspect if the husband's lose their victim they will either give up and go elsewhere or change..?

Dear Theressa.

You are right about the criticism. DO NOT accept it. Accept only the criticism your CONSCIENCE tells you is justified. For me for example, Jake says I speak too loudly. That I know to be true so I will accept that ... he says "I never tell the truth." I know this to be rubbish ..in fact it is my openness and honesty that sometimes gets me into difficulty. The first is justified and the second is HIS issue.

Just now I am thinking Jake is stressed over the nephew and leaving a lot be. I guess we are all really worried, but the op didn't happen yesterday and is scheduled for today.

Jake has said some stupid things. "keep away from MY family" being one. I will simply send the cards and letter anyway. By marriage they are my family too and related to MY and Jake's children. None of his family have rejected me! This is again Jake very stressed and saying stupid things, And the result of Jay being smart enough to know what's not about her...  

I feel so sane! As if I have gone from thinking 'maybe it is about me and I am kidding myself it is not," to "this is not about me and I know it ." I TRUST MY OWN THOUGHTS.

Sharon, You sound good. Keep on keeping away from Dr Psycho.

Hi to everyone else. jay

 

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Friday, May 18, 2001

Well Good morning to you all, (whatever time of day your reading LOL)

Hello Trubble, Sorry your upset about coolboard going, though you trust Doc to find a solution, she is good at this! SHE messed stuff up. Not me!

Hello Doc, waking up alot now, and the more I wake up the tougher the fears I have to face Yikes!! Oh well I guess as Ron says it is all part of the process. Only now you're no longer a little girl, you are a big girl, and you have more control now. When you were seven years old and younger you didn't have any protection only to people please. NOW YOU DO HAVE OTHER OPTIONS. You now know you can cope without people who make you feel YUK!! The more you face what frightens you, the more you find there was nothing to fear...

Doc is it lecturing, yelling about mistakes and making others fear you will abandon them that gives bullies and parents who are abusive their POWER? Yes. They play on your dependency issues.

Hi Cats,

I did it!! I didn't ring my partner at all yesterday or the night after he ACTED OUT. (okay yesterday during the day I couldn't ring him anyway since his phone is playing up, but during the night shift I could have rang to say good night. I DIDN'T!!)

I didn't call around to see him after work. (I DISTANCED!!!)

Doc is distancing the best thing to do when an abuser acts out??

I got home Melissa was going to badgers (St John's ambulance club), as we opened the front door, there on the mat was a brown envelope. With SORRY in big letter on it. I was having a bad day. KEY inside. Love Mexxxx

WELL This is a turn up for the books, he usually finds it hard to say SORRY!! (PROGRESS????)

I got Melissa ready for badgers. I couldn't help smiling. Melissa said "I guess dad was having a bad day, he loves us doesn't he." I said "YES, I think he does, though it was naughty to behave like that."

I decide it wasn't worth nagging him about the other night. In fact I learnt what not to do. I also engaged I think it was a lesson in not acting out but using personal responsibility.

I went around to see him after dropping Melissa at badgers. When I got their his nephew had nipped around. I let myself in, and I discreetly place his set of keys to my house on top of his tv. I didn't say anything about them.

He talked about work a bit, and I spoke about Melissa, we joked with his nephew and then My partner had to leave for work. We hugged. (No the nephew wasn't included in the hug LOL)

I noticed that my partner seems to feel smothered. When he is hugged. He is receptive and does join in but it is as if he must get it over with.

A bit like when you like cold ice cubes in summer on your back, but then they get uncomfortable. DOC is this how it is for people who haven't had good attachments in their childhoods??

Also can any of you tell me what it feels like when you need a hug? When is a hug appropriate?

I know with Melissa I hug her when I get home from work, a big hug, I call it the welcome hug. I sit with her when I get home and put my arm around her. Then I give her a big kissy hug at bedtime. I hug her when she falls over. However, I don't seem to get that maternal urge sometimes if I am feeling tired or sidetracked.

Is this normal? Or do other mom's instinctively jump up as soon as there child needs them?

Of course I hold Melissa when she is upset about her daddy.

Though with my partner. I wouldn't hug him if fell over, since he doesn't do this now LOL. If he hurts himself, and you fuss he says, "I'm not a wet lettuce stop it, just leave me alone" When he is hurt he usually gets mad and hits the object that he hurt himself on.

I rub my leg or arm or wherever I am hurt. Since it is the hurt part of me that is important not the object that I hurt myself on.

Though yesterday Melissa came rushing at me and nearly knocked me over. She did this twice. The first time I asked her to stop. (I was speaking to her badger's organiser)

The second time she did it I was filled with annoyance. I reached over to grab hold of her arm, (not in a violent manner) just so I could get her to come to me, so I could tell her this is not okay.

Melissa moved from my grasp. I said "You are going to bed when you get in. My arm was hurting where she knocked it."

This was a forced choice.

I am not sure what else I could have done, since Melissa never actually ended up going to bed when we got in, because she need to get bathed.

Any ideas of how to handle this without resulting to forced choices of punishment, which isn't always followed through anyway??? Yes: Assertive Discipline for Children and/or Kid Cooperation : How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate

(Jay???)

SO I guess I to have a problem still with my anger skills.

Thanks for listening Theressa

PS Jay you are acting very Self controlled. Well done. Did you read the personal responsibility post of mine though? Eventually you might have to discuss this behaviour with him???

 

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Friday, May 18, 2001

Jay,

I posted to you about the thing with Jake acting strange on the yak board. (the other one, not ezboard), I think it is called coolboard.  CoolBoard or EZBoard? Check out the home page for how Trubble messed up,  

Not only did Trubble, who  is in charge of boards, think that we were still active on CoolBoard (we in fact left Coolboard for EZboard some time ago), but Trubble didn't realize he never shut down our old CoolBoard! Yikes!

This is all Trubble's fault, of course.  Giggle.  Doc.

Take care Theressa

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Friday, May 18, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here. Thanks Jay for the kudos. I'm trying to stay far, far, far away from Dr. Psycho. The ties have been cut for 1 week. I wanted my things back at his house but he's not cooperating. So, I gave it up. What's he going to do with my stuff? He can keep it. There's really no monetary value anyway in what's over there. I just hate living so close to him. Our last big fight really hurt me, so I'm leaning into my pain and not fighting it. Sitting on my feelings is more like it. The anger is gone, but when I really examine it closely its very much there - almost too much too bear actually - but I am NOT in a depressed state. I keep watching signs for that. I was hoping for a rationale side of his to kick in - and we could be friends in a nice, rational way. It could not happen and was not going to work. He just 'went nuts' on me last week for no reason whatsoever. So, I nailed him on it (very much so) after months and months of crazy, sick junk. I kept asking him over and over again, "but why did you turn on me?" and he couldn't come up with anything. After our 'verbage' over the fight - I was in the control seat - because I finally had some clarity. The pattern is that we would get close, then tension would build, then he'd lash out crazymaking statements that made no sense, then I'd get hurt and angry, send him mean emails, then pursue to resolve and he would withdraw, seek passive revenge and hold a grudge. That was our cycle and it's been going on for almost 2 years. You would think since he was a psychologist he would see the patterns here - but he was clueless to it - I'm the one that was the relationship specialist (per Dr. Psycho). Anyway, bottom line was that he couldn't be friends in an honest way with me without trying to establish all of the control and power. It made him nuts to see that I had a life outside of him. Friends don't just explode on you for no reason. The other component worth mentioning here is that Dr. Psycho is helping himself to pills at the pharmacy at work *freely* and self-medicating at home. His favorite is anti-anxiety meds like Xanax, valium, etc. He has offered me some in the past. (I say no). I think he is flipping his wigs again - he did the same weird stuff last year at this time - though I won't take his inventory here - I will say that his very strange behavior could be due to drug abuse here. Anyway.........I have pulled back very far from this situation - and it has been like this for me for a week where I *feel* different about him. I just can't go another cycle with him like I mentioned here. He is insane I think. My supportive friends and therapist can also hear the difference in me. So, I think I'm finally coming around to a clean bill of health *eventually*.

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Friday, May 18, 2001

Dear Astrid, I am sorry about your mum's best friend and I know that these things hurt sometimes as much as losing a family member: or more as sometimes non family members are closer. I find lighting a candle for the person very healing. Not in church as I don't go to that sort of church, but in the house. I think it is about doing a positive act.

About the train. I think that maybe you need to stop watching that train. It is going to crash whatever you do and there is nothing, without being controlling or giving advice not asked for you could do. IT is not your responsibility. You can only live your life with out climbing on board and hope others follow.

dear Theressa, I can't find your message board post to me. Did you post it today?

As for the situation with Melissa. Melissa did not like your attention was not on Melissa. Kids do like to be the centre of attention! I bet you don't have easy phone calls either. Even Humankatkid will if I let him but in on a phone call sometimes...They just HAVE to let you know they are there! Grin!

And if you do not respond, then it escalates to the punch on the arm,.

Try making it clear you need some time to talk. Maybe try a reward. if you can give me peace to talk them we will be able to have an extra story tonight or get a bun on the way home. (YOU do not just give the reward anyway. Rewards are for good behaviour that happens.)

Or if the bad behaviour occurs.. I think because of the punch and the fact Melissa hurt someone I would opt for a short time out then and there. If you can't face that then as soon as you do get home.

during the conversation, the odd remark to Melissa to show her you were aware of her still may have helped avoid the problem, Even a smile.

KEEP SPONTANEOUSLY HUGGING who cares about your partners problem. Maybe make the hug brief to accommodate him. Maybe like Jake he just isn't huggy. Well it its Jake's problem he married a huggy person. If he didn't want one he shouldn't have done so! Did you know that non-huggy types though loath to admit it, are often glad you are huggy, even though they "hate" it?

Actually Jake has been refusing all physical contact for a while. I will wait until he cracks. jay Good idea in your case.

 

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Friday, May 18, 2001

Hi all, Asha here

Just a quick post to let you know that court turned out just *fine* - the case was dismissed! Though it was 10 days of stress getting all Steve's financial documentation together, and dealing with the fear of having my integrity questioned publicly - I did okay! Steve too. The judge said he had no reason to disbelieve either Steve or I. Yipppeee!

I did a lot of praying for the "highest outcome" and prayed that the judge would make the decision that would bring about the most healing for all.

I felt very nervous, but also strong, and full of integrity.

Thanks *so* much for the good thoughts, and advice!

Tim B - your post to me was ever so helpful and I *did* face my fear. Also AJ had asked me if my desire to call the x, was motivated by once again wanting to "fix" things, and she was absolutely right. It was better just to let this transpire without interference. Look at where all my "fixing" has got me so far!

Anyways, I feel like having a glass of wine and passing out for the night!!! Gosh that was something to go through. But I got through it and it turned out okay.

I haven't read the latest posts, I'm just going to give myself a big break now. :)

Thanks again for the support.

I really wish Steve's x would let go of her anger, and I do have compassion for her. I just don't think she was very adult in this choice she made - so angry! I wish her healing too. 

bye for now

Asha

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Saturday, May 19, 2001

Hi Marji, I'm glad you found that helpful! I hope the city does get him to pay for your new cell phone, though as you said, that doesn't really undo what was done. It must be a relief to have his stuff out of your house. I'm sure the police were genuinely grateful that you didn't start a shouting match with him, because so many people do, and they have to put up with that all the time. But it's so much better to know that you handled the situation with dignity. Good luck for the future! :)

- Gordon

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Saturday, May 19, 2001

Hi Theressa,

About comforting a child, I think the answer so often is to take our cue from what the child seems to need. Exactly. The goal is to be an attentive mom, sensitive to your kid's feelings rather than reacting only to your own. So much of it is just a matter of taking care of feelings. If a child hurts herself, or feels hurt, I see no harm in sympathizing with her feelings, giving her a hug, or whatever. I dare say that there's rarely a "wrong" time for a hug. Once we've gotten past the feelings, we can then go on to other things like picking yourself up, wiping the blood off, or cleaning up whatever mess has to be cleaned up, if any.

I think this is very different from doing things that the child ought to be doing herself. That's what leaves children unable to care for themselves, when they don't get any practice at doing their own part. If a child is upset because there's homework to do and she doesn't like it, well, that might be manipulative, or it might be genuine. Either way, it seems sensible to me to ask about and acknowledge the feelings around it; then we can go on to say "It has to be done anyway, so let's see how we can help get that done together." As opposed to doing it *for* the child--or buying what might be manipulation (if it doesn't start off that way, manipulation can be learned spontaneously) and saying "if you're so upset, you don't have to do it; I'll make an excuse for you.")

Naturally there are times when it doesn't do much good to empathize with the child's feelings, because they don't stop. If we're dealing with a screaming two-year-old in a tantrum, as parents we can't afford to get sucked into that. If the kid doesn't want to go home, we have to scoop her up anyway and take her. But at least we may be able to do it *calmly*--some of the time anyway! :) It's a large part of a parent's job to reassure a child that everything is all right--or that we are, even if they're not!

So when we comfort a hurt child, all we're doing is reassuring her that her feelings of hurt are natural. If we comfort her, I think what she's likely to do is not so much to go running for comfort at the slightest little thing all her life, but to internalize the image of the parent and learn to comfort herself when necessary--which everybody needs.

What some parents do wrong is to impose their own feelings and fears on the child instead. On one occasion when my daughter was just crawling around, she fell down the stairs. It was only half a flight of stairs, with thick carpet, and she only fell down two or three of them anyway. When we're that small, we can't hurt ourselves much by falling down. Boomp-ti-boomp! she went. She lay there for a moment, but she never cried. Instead, she just looked *surprised*. "Gee, where am I? The whole world just turned circles around me!" So I just went over, looked surprised myself, and said "Oh, what a big bump!" She got up by herself, and took it in stride. But some parents will go rushing over with stark horror on their faces--their own fears--and start fussing round the child as if some dreadful catastrophe has happened, before they even know what it is. Then the child ends up taking her cue from the parents instead. "Wow, Mom looks so frightened! I must have done something to be really frightened of--even if I haven't a clue what it is!" Then she'll internalize an image of a frightened parent instead of a reassuring one: someone who's going to make her doubt herself when she tries anything she's unsure of or wants to do something on her own. Anything she does is likely to scare the living daylights out of the parent inside her.

But a hug and a smile are always reassuring. My two cents' worth. Take care! :) Thanks Gordon.

- Gordon

 

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Saturday, May 19, 2001

Jay here,

Asha, I am wondering how yesterday went?

Jake's nephew's operation was successful . I don't know any more than that.

jay Yippeeee!

 

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Saturday, May 19, 2001

Dear Dr Irene,

i can see why you say the family therapy worked. But I really think it was also a very negative experience. I do think that I did not trust the therapist You did not. and I also think she did not understand abuse. Probably not; hers is a different approach.

I felt that her setting sessions against by wishes was not ok. And the final straw was when I told her I did not want her to write to me and she just did anyway. She violated your boundaries. And, boy, you got it! (Yippeeee!)

Had she made some effort at appearing human, had she responded at the time I asked to questions about her approach and had she acknowledged things that obviously were as abuse, I would have felt safer. The purpose wasn't to help you feel safer; the purpose was to help you stop doing same ol' same ol' destructive patterns. It worked.

The therapy might have clarified things, but it did not work towards resolution or solution and I am actually quite annoyed that Jake and I spent considerable time on agenda setting that was ignored.

Nor to my mind, did the needs of the children get discussed. In the end I felt dictated to and that it was abusive of the therapist to allow things to drag on for 15 sessions with the same old things.

I do think she should have shut me up. I do think that she allowed the anger to be over vented. And I will never say that the state I ended up in after each session with no back up at all was ok. I feel angry at this. She could not manage the session so it had a proper conclusion.

I have every confidence had you taken the session you would never have let them go the way they did and would have achieved the same results! Different strokes for different folks Jay. I understand the goals of the approach used, and it worked. Was it comfortable for you? No. Did it make sense? No. I have biases similar to yours, and that is why I am not a systemic therapist - though I would repeat my training and practice in it in a minute - valuable stuff! Anyway, there are compatibility issues. Cognitive behaviorism is a "better fit" for me and probably for you since we are both attracted to straightforward. (By the way, there are more straightforward systemic therapists than the lady you had.)  My point is that while I recognize you had issues with that approach/that therapist, the outcome was good for you nevertheless. 

I still think it was the catbox and not the therapy that helped! The therapy effectively brought out all the thoughts and feelings you'd been denying, stuffing. The Catbox helped you make sense of what was going on inside the room and inside you. 

Sorry, just had to vent this. Don't be. Also very taken with the Human Given's approach which says that long term therapy is not always helpful Correct. (http://www.mindfields.org.uk/HumanGivens/) I am familiar with Solutions approaches, though I know little about them other than they use lots of cognitive behavioral stuff. I'll check out your link. Thanks.

Guess it is a shame you aren't in the UK - or maybe it is better you are not????????????????? (my two heads are a sight to behold!) (You'd be competing with my 3!) Giggle!

Trubble, it is time to demand Quadruple salmon, I think. I was going to email FakeMommy today to ask her about that CoolBoard stuff. I think you could try for a whole salmon and cream! Yeah! Even better, what if I can net her and ship her to the UK? (Get her out of my hair!) Hehehehe!

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Saturday, May 19, 2001

Trubble,

I suppose that it might be " upsetting" to invest INNER happiness on OUTSIDE happenings?

Tell the good Doc that the blue pencil "he (she) distorts reality to feel better", in Jay's post...leapt off the page at me!

Thanks guys!!!

Tim B. Thanks Tim B.!

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Saturday, May 19, 2001

Catboxcrew, OK...time to put myself out there...

I need some help. My daughter Ally has begun a pattern of saying that she " will call" me and then does not follow through. My oldest daughter, Nadia, who is her half-sister keeps reminding me that Ally is a pre-teen and describes for me, what it was like for her at that age. Nadia is 28 and very sensitive and insightful. So how do I approach this, keeping in mind my youngest needs, wants and feelings? Need more info...

Tim B.

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Saturday, May 19, 2001

Ok this is another Jay post. I would like some ideas. I feel fine, but a part of each day I start to obsess with thoughts around the stuff that happened with my daughter and to feel not just angry, but to relive events.

I think it may be post traumatic stress of sorts Yep. and I literally find myself reliving the horrific stuff that went on. I do have a counselor arranged for next month and outside of my home town, but I am tired of the thoughts I cannot lose.

This isn't I know really abuse stuff of the sort here, but without going into details, I did and do feel I have been abused myself by what happened. You were. The details are immaterial.

Can anyone suggest any strategies? Awareness and acceptance of what happened. Face it.

The therapy I have booked will probably use guided imagery. Excellent!

I am probably posting as today and last night have been particularly bad. I just want to lose the obsessive thoughts and the flashbacks. More than anything I would like to forget. Wrong strategy. You need to cope with it; develop mastery skills. Best done in treatment.

The forgiving I can do.

I can't rearrange reality. What happened was simply awful by anyone's standards. Yes. You've got to be mad at your kid, even though she's a kid...

Ii write a lot of 'complaint letters' in my head and the thing is I do not think that they would ever achieve what I wanted and it doesn't seem healthy to keep doing this. Complaining won't work. Awareness, mindfulness is about coping - not about "complaining," which shifts responsibility. That's why you need guidance to do this stuff. 

I can ACT healthy. I don't even trigger at other's situations: but the thoughts stay in my mind and continually intrude. Yes. Probably some unacceptable thoughts and feeling tucked away in there. Maybe even some of your own childhood abuse issues. And anger...

Given things happened a year ago now and that my daughter is currently loads better than she has been and yesterday made comments indicating she wanted to put the past behind her then I should be able to move on.

The motivation to move on is there but HOW do you remove your brain from the patterning? my guess is this post will be of interest to others who feel abuse by husbands has left them traumatized. 

I do not know why the thought patterns have become so strong. Maybe the brain forms a habit?

I feel like if I could sort this out I would really be home and dry. You will.

I still don't get a night without waking up with the thoughts.

Bizarrely, Jake feels secondary in all this. 

I guess it would be easy to make this into a big thing. I am not prepared to allow it to be, but I need to know how to get to a point where the thoughts don't dominate my life. 

So ok cats, how do you overcome the traumatic/flashback stuff. There must be a 'self help' option. Anybody with PTSD-type issues should visit the Gift From Within  site.

Tim, that makes sense to me about rearranging reality to feel better. I don't think Jake can face reality. I don't think he ever has.

Dr Irene, I do think Jake is depressed. Challenging this is where he got violent before. I think it would be strange with all that has happened if he wasn't. It gives me hope he has some feelings though. You cannot challenge his stuff. I mention his depression to raise your awareness of his pain - because he is in pain and he hurts you out of his pain. You're in a wonderful place where you no longer let him hurt you, despite your empathy for his pain. Nor do you run away by hating him out of your anger. (Coping with all these conflicting thoughts and feelings simultaneously is why the cat thinks you're sane.) I'm just upping the ante...

I told Jake I would get dinner tonight and he started to flip out and so I just said ok make dinner if it is important to you. The more I see, the more I think he is putting things into an obsessive compulsive way of acting. Possibly he is also paranoid. You don't usually accuse your spouse of stalking for asking a question. For what it's worth, obsessive compulsive stuff, depression and paranoia go hand in hand.

I am not going to treat him with the lack of compassion he treated me with when I was depressed. I just don't want to be that mean to anyone. Nor however do I feel I have to accept the junk, like you say. Excellent!

Sadly, unless he becomes certifiable, I doubt if he will see the problem and go to the doctor.

He is fortunate to have a wife who understands depression! I also know where and how to get support for me. The more I think about it, he does act as if he is depressed. 

I wonder where he goes all day Saturday! I know my daughter is working and she told me yesterday that Jake has nearly got her into trouble by going in so often.

I guess what is needed is a catalyst to bring things into the open. You mean like that family therapist? Giggle!

I am, not seeing the above as a bad day. It isn't. It is just the day I was ready to act with the next rung on the ladder. You are whole and you are coping with what is. Not bad.

Jay

 

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Saturday, May 19, 2001

I have been married for three years to a man who abuses alcohol every night, then begins the verbal abuse. Not that he doesn't ridicule and "tease" me most anytime of day, but the evenings can be especially difficult.

I will begin therapy next week. I am afraid this is a relationship I will eventually have to leave. I have been divorced twice but not due to any abuse. Right now I am depressed, feeling isolated and just plan overwhelmed as well as worried about my financial security. Does anyone have any advise for me.

His son and his long time friend are going to try and get him into betty ford for rehabilitation. I wonder though.......is this how I want to spend my life. I am 50, a cancer survivor, and sometimes think I need the financial security he provides. I work full time as a teacher.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. Pamela in Arizona

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Sunday, May 20, 2001

Hi, Thanks dr Irene for the help with the PTSD stuff. I understand you put something about counseling and PTSD on the site though I haven't found it yet. 5/11 Article: Understanding the Victims of Spousal Abuse by Dr. FM Ochberg

Just to clarify, The human Given's stuff is not solutions based as such but incorporates the approach and also builds on cognitive therapy. The main difference is that they see how the brain processes emotions differently. I think it is pretty new and grew out of concerns some English therapists had that what we now know about the brain is not tied in with psychotherapy and about the number of instances they saw that made people in long term counseling worse.

They are not specializing in abuse and to me, seem at their most effective with PTSD , depression, anxiety and panic disorders.

I was so grateful you wrote what you did about that therapist. I guess you can have a good therapist barking up the wrong tree and that will still produce a positive result!

Jake still behaving oddly. Last night I sat on the sofa as HumanKatKid sat at the end so Jake was in the middle. Jake did just about everything to get HumanKatKid to change places.

Was I engaging to point out that his behaviour was like a kid at school? OOPS yes I guess I was. Never mind at least I didn't go on about it like I would have done in the past! Giggle!

And this I don't get. He doesn't want a relationship with me but then stated he didn't want me to have a second helping of pizza as he didn't want me having a thrombosis! He has always hated for me to be overweight (I am!). he must care a bit!!!!!!!!! I didn't see this as controlling as I have some investigations under way as my feet keep swelling up.

HKK homed in on the worry. I hope he doesn't start to be a worrier as he has always been so balanced!

Oh well, not eating too much pizza is self caring of me!!!!!!! jay

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Sunday, May 20, 2001

Nightmare thoughts. 

Memories of what was 

Living still.

The web of anger weaves to deceive, and holds me bound

Time again to scream the pain 

Of a betrayal too large to name

Time again 

To lose the fight

To scream 

It is not right

It is not right 

The changes never come

The weakness of my mind 

Spider like enthralls me, repetition fills me

Yet

If I will accept, 

If I can accept, 

If I do accept, maybe the enemy loses it's grip and frees me?

 

Not sure about this one. It is about PTSD. Hopefully it has a counterpart! 

 

The hope of peace and wound me, bound me, into the web of frozen lies 

And when I spoke, they did not believe 

And ignored my grief.

jay   What else needs rearranging?

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Sunday, May 20, 2001

Giggle. Dr Irene just how much time are you spending on the site? Lots this weekend. One of my trademarks is inconsistency! I keep dropping back cos I am having a day off with Jake and HKK out. Anyway thanks. The last bit was what I forgot to erase! I quite like your rearrangement so I will stick at that. Thanks.

(jay co dependently starts to worry Dr Irene is working on a Sunday and then works out that Dr Irene can take care of herself!:) : )  : )

You know what the memories are not as bad today! Just shows that sometimes the power of something gets diminished by the sharing! Because by sharing you face it.

I have never looked at the contents before...another reason why I can't get off line; I thought all the old stuff had gone to cyberspace and there is loads I have never seen. (Including the stuff on choosing a therapist! )

Ok I will give the family therapist credit for there having been a 'shift." It just wasn't what I wanted. ie for Jake to see he was abusive. I feel she confirmed in his mind he wasn't. but that may have happened whoever we saw.

jay

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Sunday, May 20, 2001

Actually it needed some commas, but I can live without them, jay

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Sunday, May 20, 2001

Dear Everyone,

I am still around.......

After a fairly successful time of disengaging, I've really blown it this weekend. I won't go into the gory details, but I feel totally beaten up, as always. He turns on me in a split second, reminding me that deep down, he STILL has no respect for me, and it's My fault!

So, it's back to Disengaging 101. Would you all give me some things to help me remember to get out of the line of fire? I still, sometimes, feel compelled to "make him understand." I think I get roped into his promises to change; I believe that he means it, so I take a chance and try to talk about how I feel and what I need and BOOM!

Today I kept reminding myself to not cower, to hold my head up, to speak softly and firmly, etc. etc. He didn't respond any better, though; he was so cold and combative. I asked him what kinds of compliments I could give him that would mean the most to him, and he accused me of trying to get out of complimenting him! He was very cruel about it. So, I lost again, and my heart really hurts.

So, how can I get myself out of the room, when I feel rooted to the spot? Once out, how do I stay away? Once back in, how do I keep from trying again?

HELP!

Becky   Well Becky, sometimes you have to stay stuck until it gets sooo bad, it's big enough to overcome your fears and dependencies...

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Hi All,

This is why I like this site (denial and dishonesty not allowed, straight talk!!!) I like it.

Thanks AJ, I figured some of this out myself this weekend. SO this morning when I was able to check catbox, I read the posts I smiled. I was at a workshop on Saturday for my child development options on my degree, I learnt lots about what children cognitively and otherwise can understand.

The most significant point in all these posts is "Seeing Melissa's reaction, her feelings, her responses" ALSO, it really is a two-way street.

I actually told Melissa if she feels like a hug, she should ask for one. Now I have sorted out my fears about hugging, I feel I can relax and just enjoy it. Melissa hugs me and I feel good, and I hug her, its a two-way street.

THIS is a great help. And the bit about the hugs, we covered this in attachment theory at the workshop this weekend. SO THE point is: Hugs acknowledge feelings! and then support in clearing up our mistakes help us to cope in the future. I knew you'd get it!

SO acknowledgement (hugs) helps me know that I as a child really am okay, I am imperfectly okay. AND the support in clearing up helps me know I can clean up and get on with my day.

WELL we had some REAL LIFE lessons in this, this weekend. Melissa was opening a tin. It had one of those rings on. She opened it quickly. (YES, it spills when you open it quickly) she realised this.

I hugged her said "What do we say?" She said "No point worrying about spilt milk" I said "Yes". (I taught her this).

Then Melissa said "lets clean up." So we set about doing it. She said "Oh no, my cardigan is ruined." I smiled, and said "No sweetie, lets soak it in cold water." We did and the stains came out. Melissa said "we sort and clean Melissa first then the rest." I said "Yes because you're more important".

I saw her struggling mopping up the soup off the side. I said "You do us a favour, you pour slowly the soup into the bowl." (it was cold soup, I'd not let her pour hot soup LOL)

"And I will clean up this spilt soup, then we are a team working together." We smiled. We were cleaned up in no time and we then cooked Melissa's soup.

THIS was handled the opportune way.

THEN this morning I had some insight into how not to behave, but I learnt some great lessons from it, so I will move on. NO more analysis I know where I went wrong.

The main point was I realised that when someone is all in a flap and angry. "I try to fix it, by saying something nice and calm about another topic". THIS IS SELF DEFEATING, better to detach and leave the person alone.

What do you think DOC?  :)

I worked on gaining insight into why I felt fearful of rejection from my partner: I remember when we were together in the beginning. And I used to be affectionate quite a lot.

I'd massage his bad back. I'd stroke his hair as he lay on my knee. I'd hold his hand. I would give and give and give. WHERE DID IT GET ME??? co-dependent, feelings empty and resentful.

You see this affection was not returned. My partner, never stroked my head, nor massaged my back. (even when I was injured and needed him to, he was too busy) he says he was afraid of hurting me. Maybe? but he never offered.

SO when it isn't returned ever. YOU no longer want to go there again to feeling used.

DO YOU ALL UNDERSTAND???

Yes I know that I need to give consciously because I want to. AND YES maybe I will get something out of giving affection. BUT I want affection back.

NOW i can hear some of you saying, well you can't force others to give. NO I CAN'T so I choose not to give and feel empty and resentful for what I am giving.

I wish I could just feel like giving and would receive. BUT since I don't, what other options do I have????

With Melissa I realise she hugs me and I hug her, we both get something out of the interactions.

HOW can I get to this point with my partner??? 

Thanks Theressa

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Monday, May 21, 2001

"Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." - Buddha

"Anyone can become angry -- that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way -- this is not easy." - Aristotle

 

Take care Theressa

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Monday, May 21, 2001

NEWCOMERS, LOOK HERE:

http://drirene.com/contents.htm

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Mindset of The Codependent   My good feelings about who I am stem from being liked by you.

My good feelings about who I am stem from receiving approval from you.

Your struggles affect my serenity My mental attention focuses on solving your problems or relieving your pain.

My mental attention is focused on pleasing you. My mental attention is focused on manipulating you to "do it my way."

My self-esteem is bolstered by solving your problems.

My self-esteem is bolstered by relieving your pain.

My own hobbies and interests are put aside.

My time is spent sharing your interests and hobbies.

Your clothing and personal appearance is dictated by my desires as I feel you are a reflection of me.

I am not aware of how I feel; I am aware of how you feel.

I am not aware of what I want; I ask what you want.

If I am not aware, I assume.

The dreams I have for my future are linked to you.

My fear of rejection determines what I say or do.

I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship.

My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you.

The quality of my life is in relation to the quality of yours.

courtesy of: Children Youth and Family Consortium Electronic Clearinghouse. Permission is granted to create and distribute copies of this document for noncommercial purposes provided that the author and CYFCEC receive acknowledgment and this notice is included. Phone (612) 626-1212 EMAIL: cyfcec@maroon.tc.umn.edu  Thank you Theressa.

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Looking for some feedback. My husband and I separated after I realized I was in an abusive relationship. What followed then came as a complete shock to me. My in-laws, whom we went on family vacations with, told me they loved me like a daughter and whom I thought had a very close relationship with, took a 180 degree turn. My mother-in-law wrote a letter to my husband instructing him on how to protect his money and to keep his heart out of any future dealings with me. They basically told me to get lost and my kids informed me that on visits to my in-laws home they would try to convince my kids that I was the evil one. It was clear at that point that abusive behavior was learned. My husband decided to seek professional health and we since have been working on a very rocky marriage. My husband admitted his abuse to my in-laws but they made it clear to my husband they didn't support his decision to work on the marriage. His own mother practically disowned him. How blind was I to believe these people ever cared about me??? My sister-in-law's husband secretively brought me a vibrator for my birthday with an invitation to show me how to use it. His family was made aware of this and they continue to live in denial. The realization of their dysfunction helped me to decide that their intervention in my family's life would be a great detriment. Before my husband moved back into my life I made it clear that I did not want his family in our lives unless they at least apologized to me and my children for what I believe was abusive behavior. If he couldn't live with that choice then please don't come back. I was not about to open my home again to any kind of abuse and certainly not from my in-laws. He returned but I sensed that my husband has a great need to reconnect with his family even though I believe they have abused him as well. He wants everything to be better. A perfect case of an enabler if you ask me. During the past years, he has met with them secretively as well as with my knowledge, sends them birthday cards and holiday cards. This hasn't helped the marriage because I feel betrayed. My husband's attitude now is that I'm being too unyeilding, and unforgiving. He admits that they will never change so let's let go of the past. What do you think???

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Hi all,

Jay, merry go rounds have always sort of given me the creeps, so this is an analogy that really fits! You're right, I'm the only one who sees it for what it is at this point. One thing I have just realized is that so much of our day to day lives are spent on the merry go round, there's not much else going on. Even speaking of mundane, everyday things seems tiring. Maybe I DO need to see it in skywriting!:) Trubble, got a license to fly a small plane? Don't forget your goggles & motion sickness pills!

Love,

Anne Hey Anne, who needs a small plane. I've got Lynn's old broom!

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here,

Well, I had an incredibly powerful weekend on a spiritual level. One of these days when I feel up to it I'll write about it - however, today I am soo emotionally exhausted - just to be here at work is all I can handle. Let's just say that I had an opportunity to use resources available to me to work through any leftover issues concerning Dr. Psycho. Ending relationships is draining, this one took a year to end. I know he never did think I had the courage to end things - especially since the sex was so great - but the fact of the matter was that it was an *addiction*. I broke that addiction with God's help - I have been walking around in anger from being so abused by him - and that anger AND prayer helped me turn that corner with it. I finally got to meet my demons here and say *no more.* And mean it. Its a daily struggle when you know you love someone and they just can't love you back for whatever reason. And living with Dr. Psycho was never going to work. He only was interested in a sexual relationship, but could have cared less about human feelings, and being in an honest relationship. But, it gave me some satisfaction to finally be able to say *no more* and really feel *no more.* I've been waiting for this for a long time.

Thanks for letting me share....even though I was a little vague. Like I said, I'm drained, though relieved.

Sharon

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Hi everyone,

I am new here. I have been lurking around for some time just absorbing all this valuable information. I joined an Ouchhh group. It has been extremely helpful to exchange stories with others that can validate my feelings and intuition. We are absolutely amazed at how similar our stories sound.

The FOG has lifted. I have been in therapy for over a year. My husband has been verbally and emotionally abusive. I have a problem with his drinking and rages. He does not think he has a problem. He believes he has a "wife problem". Due to my recent behavior and anger he has had ample opportunity to divert the attention off of himself.

He enrolled into anger management / batterer intervention. The straw that broke the camels back was when he was on disability and snapped one morning. He beat the family dog and was going to drag my son out of bed at 4 am to blame him for the dog chewing some carpet. He completely flipped out. He was soooo sorry and ready to do anything. He has used the last 5 months to try to turn it around to make it look like I am making a big deal out of nothing (denial, minimizing, and devaluation). He is the classic narcissist. He was abused terribly as a child by a manipulating stepfather and a co-dependent mother. Carries the anger and pain. You would think he was the "nicest guy". I know the real guy now. He is not ready to accept responsibility for his behaviors. He truly believes that if I would just.....then he would be fine. He has been trying to convince me to join him in his sessions to work on "OUR Problems". This is where I am torn. The co-dependent and parent part of me feels responsible to at leat attend his therapy as a last ditch effort for him to "get it". I say "for the kids" but I do not trust him. He filed for divorce. He has done some pretty outrageous things saying I am "crazy" and following me around with a tape player during my coming out of denial where I was absolutely outraged at what I was seeing. I have since learned some disengaging and self-control skills. But, my buttons were exposed. I am feeling a little more confident.

I am attending individual therapy for myself. I am co-dependent. I am learning how to accept responsibility for my own "stuff", communication skills, and assertion skills. I really assumed he was looking out for my best interest. It never occurred to me that we were living in two separate realities until it became so obvious. I could not deny it any longer.

I am getting over being angry. I am learning to accept reality. I am deeply saddened by the feeling he is not strong enough to make that journey over the bridge with me. I am coming to terms with the helpless and powerless feelings I have. I keep feeling like I am leaving him behind. We grew up together. I truly could relate to the little boy in him. We were content until it was not working for me any more. I wanted to grow up and start accepting responsibility. I needed to change for me. I started losing myself and not living with integrity. I became what I feared the most. Like my mother, and my family members that enabled abusive behavior.

I am ready to change. I want to change. I wish I could go in just to let him know I am accepting responsibility for myself. I am afraid that he will turn it around to be ALL My fault and say he does not have a problem.

My therapist says I am like a baby fawn learning how to walk on my own and I am not ready to use my new skills yet until I become more comfortable. He comes along and just kicks me out from underneath. I regress back. I seriously believe I need to have some space to grow.

I was wondering what anyone else though about attending couples therapy? Should I just stick to my guns that I know he has a problem. If he is not ready to admit he has a problem then no use of me going in to his therapy sessions with him? My therapist asked me why I thought he wanted me to go into therapy with him (one day I was obsessing about this). I said, "To divert attention off himself, and try to place the problem back on me" She said, "Bingo!" The longer I sit and try to "fix" him and give him a reason to avoid looking at himself then the longer it will take him to "get it". The longer it will take me to "fix" me. She says let him worry about him. You worry about you. He does not agree with this. He has been dying to attend my therapy to discredit her. Do you guys agree with this?

What has been your experience with an abuser in denial. When was the moment they woke up? Mine refuses to leave the house even though he filed for divorce? I am just mentally separating myself from his problems and trying to work on myself. He is like a classroom bully though that I am learning how to ignore. When we have our day in court for the divorce he will probably be asked to leave the house. Then, I hope it sinks in.

I swear he is following some abuser handbook out there. He has tried every tactic to try to guilt me, shame me, and turn it around. He quit drinking for 16 weeks which made it worse. He started drinking again, it actually has made him much more easy to deal with. I am very aware of the effects of what this is doing to my children. They are attending therapy also. I am attending AL-ALON.

My problem is that he filed for divorce. He says he did not want to. I told him I did not want to stay in our marriage as it is. Our divorce is set to be final in September. I am wondering if it is too soon for me to consider attending therapy together? When is the right time? Would I just be getting in the way. My therapist says "He is where he should be." and "You are where you should be." I am worried about the children but is this not a valid reason to go?

I will hang in there for now. One day at a time. Any advice would be grateful. I am sure in time I will probably "just know". I am anxious. Like peeking at the back of a novel for the ending. :)

This is a wonderful site. I am telling all my friends at my support groups about it. I can not thank Dr. Irene enough for all the articles, etc. Wow!

I am sorry to ramble. I have all this bottled up. It sure feels good to just get it out !! Thanks for listening!

LisaMM

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Hi all, I'm Nikki and right now I'm an emotional mess. I just realized yesterday with the help of my x-girlfriend that I am an emotional abuser and it's not easy for me to accept because I've always thought of myself as being kind, loving, giving, accepting person who does not want to hurt an ant much less another human being.

Last year I met an older, wonderful, kind soul who I fell in love with. Over the course of the year I would get angry and my anger involves ignoring the issue at hand, silencing, denying there is a problem and yelling. Rather than communicating what I am angry about I use anger to get my way. It's always worked for me, that's all I've known. When she pointed out that it is manipulation I could not agree at first, I thought it was an anger management problem only, but it's much deeper than that. After reading the link (Dr. Irene) she provided me and spending hours reading this site I had to admit she is right and that I've always been an emotional abuser and just did not place myself in this category. Good for you! Owning the problem puts you half-way home!

Last week I started a workbook "Dr Weisingers Work Out Anger" book and have learned so much about my anger and how to start monitoring and controlling it. And now I've find a few meetings for Emotions Anonymous in my area that I will be attending. I'm also going to start working out at the gym to help relieve stress. I'm also going to look into finding some low-cost therapy (I'm currently unemployed due to a layoff) until I can get medical coverage and see a specialist.

I am so sorry I've caused her the pain I have and wish there were some way to take it away. I totally understand she has to respect herself first and that is why she drew the line. I never realized just how much my anger affected and hurt her.

As much as it hurts and pains me I am very grateful that she has pointed this out to me.

I just spent a few days with my mom and dad and told my mom that my g/f had left me again (the second and last time) because I had again taken my anger out on her unjustly. Her response was "yeah you've got to learn to control it". My response was "yes, I'm reading this book and I'm starting an anger management support group this Wednesday night because I can't be the only lesbian in town with this same problem" I also told my mom that anger runs in our family, meaning I learned it from her and my grandmother who is very manipulative (I lived with grama during my high school years until I could not take it anymore). I see the way they both use their anger to manipulate others, if you don't see things their way they can be very hurtful and guilting. Until yesterday I did not believe I had those same traits.

This is a list of what I've committed myself to doing to break this pattern. 1 Stop drinking (I'm not a big drinker 2 beers a week and nobody in the family is) so I can be clear every moment. 2 Stop watching tv for the next three months so I can concentrate on reading my self help books about relationships and anger. 3 Work out at the gym 4 Journal daily 5 Facilitate this "anger management support group (which is new for me because I'm such a shy and quiet person) 6 Attend Emotions Anonymous meetings 7 Reach out to others (acquaintances) to talk about my issues. 8. Cognitive therapy (when i get medical coverage). Excellent.

I grew up being told "not to speak unless spoken to", "don't air your dirty laundry nobody cares, only family cares", "blood is thicker than water", "family will always be here but friends and lovers come and go".

This last time I got angry we were in Mexico having a nice time, everything felt really good between us. Then my family was meeting us there for a couple of days and the day they were suppose to arrive I could feel the poop stirring inside. I felt trapped. I wanted to continue my time with my girlfriend but I was worried that my family would think I was being disloyal to them by spending my time with my girlfriend. And I thought my girlfriend would be disappointed in me and that I did not want to be with her when my family arrived. So, I picked fight so that it would be easier for me to go to the family and leave her behind. Now with hind sight I know that had I discussed this with her she would've been understanding of my situation because she's always shown me such compassion. Now, I have lost the only person who has treated me with such love, respect and dignity and that overwhelmingly pains me.

I've read a lot of posts from emotional abuse victims and I feel for us and I wish this world wasn't so cruel. I guess I'm both an abuser and victim. Yes...

I've always been the type of person to take care of my problems and now I've got to tackle the biggest problem I've been given.

I'm sorry if this post is scattered and if you have anymore suggestions I'd appreciate hearing from any of you, victims and or abusers.

Nikki

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here.

How does it feel when we "sit on our feelings?" I think that's what I'm doing today. It feels like a constant state of just 'being' but in a numb way. I'm not being reactive, I don't feel angry, I feel emotionally drained over the weekend of my spiritual experience with regard to Dr. Psycho. I feel as though I'm in a different space and place, as if I have let go. I don't feel the anger towards him that I felt in the past. I do feel sad and sorrowful about really saying goodbye to a 2 year relationship that absolutely destroyed me. Does that make any sense? I think I'm definitely in the mourning stage - but I don't feel the roller coaster stuff that usually goes on in dealing with him. I feel almost like a resolve - like a resignation to it - and leaning into my feelings. Is this what 'sitting on your feelings' mean? I mean, I feel kinda frozen I guess and I kinda like it. I'm quiet here at work and have not had alot of interaction with anybody. After 5 months of our break up we kept trying to stay connected and it wasn't doing us any good as individuals because it just wasn't going to work. And I told him that this weekend. I wasn't mean to him; like I said, I've been heavily into prayer these days and my message from my higher power came loud and clear. It said "run" and I did. But now I'm in a frozen state. And I'm not contemplating retracting or anything. Its just feeling like I took one huge step somewhere that doesn't feel familiar quite yet. Like a leap into never-neverland. And it may just feel comfortable after awhile.

Hugs, Sharon

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Monday, May 21, 2001

Dear LisaMM. Sharon here. As I read this over and over, I gotta say I can TOTALLY relate to this feeling, as this is where I'm at too. It is a very sad place to be; however beneficial for the process of growth. This paragraph says it all. I made a copy of this for myself. Very articulate stuff here. Thank you!

"I am getting over being angry. I am learning to accept reality. I am deeply saddened by the feeling he is not strong enough to make that journey over the bridge with me. I am coming to terms with the helpless and powerless feelings I have. I keep feeling like I am leaving him behind. We grew up together. I truly could relate to the little boy in him. We were content until it was not working for me any more. I wanted to grow up and start accepting responsibility. I needed to change for me. I started losing myself and not living with integrity. I became what I feared the most."

LisaMM - I wish you the best through this. Keep posting!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Theressa

I think it's great that you are choosing *not* to give when you feel empty and resentful for what you are giving.

You can't force your partner to react the way you would like him to react. Trying in any way is "fixing", which is both manipulating and controlling.

You have no other "adult" choice but to accept him the way he is, and decide if that's truly okay for you in a partner.

He may push you away because he fears intimacy - whatever his reasons are, they just are, and there is nothing you can do or say to make him different. The best thing you can probably do for him is to do for yourself; perhaps by expressing that what you need from a relationship is 'give and take', and that that includes expressions of affection.

Decide for yourself if that *is* what you expect in a long term partnership or if it's okay for you to give affection, but not receive it in return.

Over time I have begun to make these types of decisions for myself, rather than try to change someone to be what I want him to be. I feel much calmer, and much more peaceful. Whether I end up alone, or with a partner, I know that I need to be true to my desires and expectations. I know that I am capable of being flexible; that I am capable of giving, but that I do expect reciprocation (though it need not be measured).

The more I define my own boundaries and take my own desires seriously, the less I need to enforce anything on anyone else. :)

An added benefit of this, is that I am far more respectful of others, offering choices, rather than 'requests' which can loaded with resentment, or frustration. I feel balanced and I don't feel the need to balance anyone else.

During the court episode I sat down during a break, next to Steve's x who began explaining why she felt Steve should compile a debt to her. I said that it had nothing to do with me, that it was between her and Steve. She started to talk about it more, and I repeated myself.

I decided I did not and do not want to become 'fixer' between them, though I have my opinions about what I think would be most healing for all. I don't agree with what she did and told her so, but I don't need to agree, nor to I need to explain why. My being in the middle would put me in the role of mediator/counselor which would probably just result in both parties being mad at me.

The fact still remains that she questioned both Steve and my integrity about supposed 'hidden income' and presented me as some kind of 'sugarmomma', and this is not a friendly kind of 'feel good' gesture. Still, I prefer to disengage.

I told her also that I was not angry at *her*, but I was not happy with what she had *done*. I felt very strong and assertive, but not aggressive, or angry.

I cannot change others, but the choices I make in my life may (or may not) influence others. If I 'practice' instead of 'preach' then I think my life can be of a higher good.

This 'exercise' I just went thru, demonstrated that I could deal with something I really feared, that my body could be filled with jitters, but that my honesty and integrity could still show through. This isn't to say that this always does happen - sometimes truth goes unrecognized - but in this case it was.

Hi Astrid!

Hi Becky - acceptance, acceptance, acceptance! Your h just is what he is - you can't change him. You won't change him. Just work on you.

take care all.

Asha Hi AuntieAsha!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Anne

Get a life outside of the merry go round and it does get better. I have been doing this for quite while now and it is surprising what fun you can have.

Theressa, one of the basic human needs is to give and receive affection. Like me if your partner can't give it then you have to look at what he does and if he has any ways at all of expressing it.

Pity a massage costs so much here in the UK.

Hehehehe jake tried a power struggle over a kettle. Who should buy it. Oh well if he would prefer not to go halves and but it all by himself ,I just think "how stupid." life is to short to worry about a broken kettle.

I have an appointment booked with a counsellor who is a mariage guidance counsellor today. I am not totally sure whether to go. I arranged this ages ago.

Love, Jay

 

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Dear Asha, Hi all, hello dear cute trubble. She thinks *I'm* cute!

 

I know I am making progress and my perspective is changing.

 

I went to therapy last night with my concerns and it appears it is another notch on my scorecard. That I needed to work through. My therapist helped me see things from a different overall perspective.

This has help immensely in all areas of my relationship. When I left my partner last August it was because I was getting very little. Can I say the same now?

NO! Infact now I have much more. I did ask for the help and support. Though at first it wasn't forth coming. Then I changed the way I asked. I gave him choices. Though I also discussed my expectations. If he says NO! Then I go and look at my sane options. AND what I am getting overall from this relationship. And overall support I am getting on balance.

At first he resisted. Then I discussed with him that I was unhappy and didn't want things to stay the same. Again he resisted. I gave it one last shot.

I wrote him a text message on my cell phone. Saying: I expected him to mind "our" daughter out of principle, I thought he would want to.

At first he didn't respond. He argued with me and told me that I was unreasonable. He even told me he thought we weren't ready to be back together again. I didn't argue back. I left it with him.

I continued on as normal. He didn't seem to go anywhere. I learned to be centered. To work on my own life and improvements instead of wasting my energy going over and over the what if's I said etc. (As in the past)

I quickly looked at things objectively and saw I engaged etc. I know what I should have done but that was that, No dwelling.

He has started to help more with our daughter. I was realistic with my expectations since he works long hours.

Then my conflict was with him going out so much. Though when I changed my perspective. He would mind our daughter so I could study, and go to college. (IN the past he'd not done this so much) He has started to pick her up from school. AND finally this year only a mere six weeks ago he acted like a father. (this isn't being judgemental just explain what happened!!!)

He was on holiday and our daughter was poorly sick. He cared for her. (He never done this before).

SO THIS perspective I had to grasp was he was GIVING in one form or another NOW. As my therapist said "he might show love and support, financially, or by minding your daughter whilst you study." THOUGH he is still giving!!!

If Theressa choose to study in her free time when he minds their child, then that is Theressa's choice, she can't then be angry at her partner for choosing to spend his free time in the pub.

Though they do have time together as a couple. It is just Theressa had to realise that it was okay for her partner to spend time apart from her, it wasn't about her. It was about him having his personal needs met. Laughing with the guys etc. Theressa also could do this with her girl friends.

Theressa chooses her interest, her course. Her partner may choose his interest to go to the pub.

If Theressa wants to go to the pub maybe she can split her free time up so she can go to the pub. Or maybe she can get some other childminding support.

The point is Theressa is now gaining for once in her relationship. BIG progress!!!

I think the key is, Is on balance are you getting any support? Financial perhaps? I discussed how I felt with my partner. NO bl aming, just shared my expectations and feelings.

NO I can't force my partner to change. BUT I can share my expectations. I am glad I did!! After 8 years of feeling so stuck, I am now feeling less stuck and more in control of my life.

NEXT I want to concentrate on handling his criticisms by agreeing with only the true part of his statements. IF he continues as I sort out my life and know lots of things are no longer true. I intend to discuss with him to stop trying to direct my life.

As for the affection, My therapist said over time as my partner may become more comfortable he may start to return affection. For now though I can just enjoy what I get from being affectionate.

I could also share my expectations here and slowly be affectionate when we are out in public etc and this may help my partner out of his comfort zone. AND MINE!!

I do realise I used to get enjoyment out of being affectionate, it was just that I started to see things from a score perspective. THIS wasn't solely my fault. It was to do with my partner never valuing this as a contribution equal to financially giving.

I see now it doesn't matter what he thinks. It is what I think matters. NO need to convience him.

If I am gaining enjoyment and also receiving in one form or another then the love bank is balancing, so no need to feel neglected.

Thanks Theressa

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

We are the only beings on the planet who lead such rich internal lives that it's not the events that matter most to us, but rather, it's how we interpret those events that will determine how we think about ourselves and how we will act in the future.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Hey cats,

What IS it about birthdays? I am constructing a "chosen family" and one of the things that's a priority is to be with people who like to celebrate occasions, including MY birthday. It was such a struggle with my ex! He was so grudging about it and expected me to be so grateful - Well, I already complained about my brother forgetting my birthday for two years in a row. This year, he forgot our mother's - she was here in Brazil with me and it was sad. No call, no email from him nor my sister in law nor my 4 nieces and nephews - no email - six (6) email accounts in that family and nothing from them. I think that was rock bottom, because this year I got emails from my brother, my sister in law and my eldest niece!! 3 out of 6! I'll take it!!!

But my NEW friends, whom I thought would be a good chosen family and with whom I practically live, all accepted an invitation to go out for dinner, and all of them bailed at the last minute. They are not my only friends, but they left me in a position of it being too late to organize something else. I got really sad (yes, I cried) and so three friends went out with me. But will I ever find friends who agree that these occasions are important without my having to get all sad? I don't feel like crying anymore.

But hey! My family came through! That meant more in the long run. Maybe I will throw a party on the weekend.

Love, Perdida

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

--------------------------------------------------- *** ASK RIGHT and YOU MAY RECEIVE – written by Rinatta Paries *** ------------------------------------------------------------

Whether in an intimate or another kind of a relationship, how easily do you get what you ask for? And, how easily do you ask for what you want or need?

Many people are frustrated in all sorts of relationships, seemingly unable to get what they need or want. Sometimes not getting what you want happens because you do not make a request. Sometimes many requests later, you may still find yourself not having what you want.

This happens in all types of relationships, including intimate and dating relationships, family, friendships and work relationships. Because this newsletter is about intimate relationships, that is where the article will focus. However, if you are having a problem getting what you want in any other relationship, the information below will be useful as well.

There are tricks to getting what you ask for in any relationship. And wonderfully, these tricks are the opposite of manipulation. Here they are, the ten actions to take to get what you want, whenever possible.

1. It's ok to ask

This is the first and most important trick. Understand that you have the right to ask for anything you need or want. Whether it be an evening of help with childcare, help with the chores, an investment in your personal growth, or a gift you want, etc. Always, always ask for what you want from anyone you want it from.

2. Be prepared to hear a "yes" or a "no"

One effective way to ask is to be prepared to hear either a "yes" or a "no". This gives the person you are asking a true choice. People like the freedom and power of being able to truly choose. Ask this way and you are more likely to hear a "yes".

3. Never make a "no" wrong

If you get a "no" to your request, be gracious. Anything but a gracious reaction will mean you were making a demand instead of a request. Demands are never well responded to and are always resisted. Make a "no" wrong and you are asking for more "no's". Be gracious, and you will get a "yes" in the future.

4. Have an alternative strategy

You have the right to make a request and the person you are making a request of has the right the say "no". This means, like it or not, you need an alternative strategy. If someone says "no", you can't somehow make him or her do or give you what you want. But you can still make sure to get what you want.

5. Assume that it would be a "yes" if...

Assume the person or people who you are asking for something have your best interests in mind. If you get a "no", assume the reasons for your request are not clear. Assume that if your reasons were known, your request would be granted. Make your reasons known, gently.

6. Make the impact known

How would a "yes" or a "no" impact you? Does the person you are asking know the impact of a "yes" or a "no"? Small things can and do have a profound impact on us. So, get clear on the impact a "yes" or a "no" will have on you. Share this information with the person you are asking.

7. Honor his or her requests

If you want to hear "yes" and get what you want you know the other person does as well. If you give what she or he wants, consistently, you will get what you want more often too. The key is to give and do what you are being asked for and not what you think the other person wants.

8. Don't ever nag

Nagging is a way of making the same request over and over, in order to wear the person down and force what you want. Nagging may sometimes get you want you want in short term. But it always backfires, because it crates intense anger in both the nagged and the nagger. If you need to repeat a request more than once, do so in the spirit of the ideas above.

9. Appreciate, appreciate, appreciate

When you get a "yes", make a big deal out of it. Make the other person feel good. He or she just made you feel good, so return the favor. The more you appreciate the more the other person will want to give to you and do for you. In fact, even if you do not feel appreciative, act appreciative. After a while, you will begin to feel appreciative.

10. Cure the "I shouldn't have to ask you to do this"

Ok, how much do you resent asking someone to do something they should have known to do in the first place? Don't you get angry having to ask for that sort of action at all? In such cases, remember he or she is not intentionally offending you or taking advantage of you. He or she is not you, but a different person, with different standards and priories. You do have to ask to get what you want. Just do it right.

About the Submitter: Rinatta Paries is a Relationship Coach and a Master Certified Coach. With nine years of relationship coaching experience, she works with singles to help them attract their ideal relationship, and helps couples create more love and fulfillment in their existing relationships. Rinatta is the author of the popular "Relationship Coach eNewsletter," designed to inspire, educate and coach both singles and couples in how to attract and sustain a healthy, loving, fulfilling relationship. Visit her web site at www.WhatItTakes.com or e-mail her at coach@WhatItTakes.com

 

 

- http://www.selfgrowth.com (please view more articles)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

This is courtesy of RON my therapist. I thought it might help some more of us here.

 

Emotional Awareness

 

When I was in the army, I was too afraid to feel how frightened I was. I knew that I was frightened to jump out of airplanes, and to fight with real bullets. That is why I considered my self to be so brave- because I was afraid of these things, but I did them anyway. What I did not know at the time was how afraid of everything I was.

If someone had said to me, “You are afraid of everything,” I would have become very angry. I saw myself as a brave person, not a frightened one. I did not know how frightened I was to meet new people, to try and fail, to be rejected, and to be incapable of what was expected of me.

I got into arguments. I criticized everyone and everything. I hid my feelings. I could not stop being frightened until I discovered how frightened I was. I thought I knew what I was feeling, but I didn’t.

 

Becoming aware of your emotions means more than feeling frightened of some things, and feeling angry with others. It means becoming aware of everything that you are feeling. Until you do, there will always be parts of yourself that you don’t know about. Some of them are angry. If you don’t know about them you will get angry sometimes, whether you want to or not. Some parts of you are frightened. If you don’t know about those parts, you will get frightened sometimes, whether you want to or not.

 

The parts of yourself that you don’t know about are the parts that surprise you. Have you ever decided to make up after an argument, but when you see your friend you start to argue again? You thought you were going to make up, but a part of you was still angry. That part had another idea. It surprised you because you didn’t know about it.

 

Have you ever met someone that you instantly liked, or instantly disliked? That is also what it feels like to have parts of yourself that you don’t know about. All of the parts of you have their own likes and dislikes. If you don’t know about them, you will suddenly find yourself liking or disliking what they do.

 

Almost everyone has parts of themselves that they don’t know about. The strongest parts of yourself that you don’t know about are your obsessions, compulsions, and addictions. They are so strong that if you don’t know about them, they do whatever they like, no matter what you want. You feel as if you don’t have any choice. People, who can’t stop drinking, using drugs, caring for others, avoiding situations, are like that. They are completely in the power of parts of themselves that they don’t even know about.

 

The only way to get to know about the parts of yourself that you don’t know about is through your feelings. You have to get to know what you are feeling…everything that you are feeling. Each of the different parts of yourself has its own feelings. When you are aware of everything that you are feeling, you can recognize those parts right away.

 

Until you know the angry and frightened parts of yourself, they make the decisions for you. Once you get to know about apart of yourself, it doesn’t stop having its feelings and wanting to do the things that it wants to do, but it doesn’t surprise you any more. You find yourself getting angry without noticing it, or being angry all the time, sometimes without knowing why. You can decide if you want to act as angry as the angry part of yourself, or as frightened as the frightened part of yourself. You get to choose.

 

The Buddhists say there are eight winds. They are gain and loss, praise and ridicule, credit and blame, and suffering and joy. If you aren’t aware of them, they will blow you away like dry leaves in the autumn breeze. E.g. when someone praises you it tastes sweet, like candy in your mouth, you are being blown away by the wind of praise.

 

One day in ancient china a young man thought he had become enlightened. He wrote a poem to his master about how he was not blown by the eight winds. Then he sent it to his master who lived three hundred miles up the Yangtze River.

When his master read the poem, he wrote “fart, fart,” on the bottom and sent it back.

 

The more the young man read those words, the more upset he got. At last he decided to visit his master. In those days, a three hundred-mile trip up the Yangtze River was a very difficult journey.

As soon as he arrived, he went straight to his master’s temple. “Why did you write this?” he asked, bowing. “Doesn’t this poem show that I am now longer blown about by the eight winds?”

“You say that you are no longer blown by the eight winds,” replied the master, “but two little farts blew you all the way up here.”

 

What winds are blowing you?

 

I could not stop trying to prove how brave I was until I discovered how frightened I was. A lot of winds were blowing me around.

This is what happens when you are not aware of what you are feeling. When you know what you are feeling, that changes.       

 

 

Taken from Soul Stories Thank you...

 

 

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

It is not his responsibility to take care of me! It's not. He is justified in doing only what pleases him and living almost like a bachelor! "Justification" concept does not apply here. He is free to choose  whether or not he does only what pleases him, almost living like a bachelor. His choice. 

YOU on the other hand are free to choose whether or not you choose to accept his choices. If you don't like how he lives/treats you, and if he does not respond to a couple requests that he modify his behavior, the only sane choice left to you is to decide whether you will put up with it - or cut your losses. You already know your insane choices: nagging, cajoling, bribing, hoping, etc.  

Cutting your losses may be what hubby needs to "wake up," though you should never ever back away as a strategy to wake him up. You back away when you simply can't take any more...

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

IF YOU THINK YOUR NOT GOOD ENOUGH IN THIS WORLD OR SOMEONE TELLS YOU THIS!

REMEMBER YOU DON'T DESERVE ABUSE.

IF SOMEONE TREATS YOU BADLY OR ABUSIVELY IT IS THEM WHO ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU!!!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Hi Perdida,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR PERDIDA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.

HIP, HIP HOORAY.

From all your friends in the Catbox, TRUBBLE included, maybe he will let you have some Salmon (maybe not!!), and the DOC.

 Fresh Salmon cake with Trout cream for Perdida!

Always remember you have one person you can always rely on to give you a good birthday. THAT someone is the special person "Perdida".

So we suggest you set aside some special time, all for PERDIDA, to pamper her and work out how she is next gonna make her life better.

Then Perdida will have learnt the power of relying on thy self. So no other birthday is ever spoilt because a special time is set aside that is all about Perdida.

In fact all Perdida's life should be based on Perdida so a birthday is a good start.

Have a fab birthday cuz you deserve it. And those who aren't present its their choice. BUT you are always present to take care of Perdida, so rely on the one who can. "YOU".

Please also look at it from this perspective, People all have their own priorities and people they need to suck up to at one time or another. It has nothing to do with "YOU" as a person. It is only to do with where their attention is focused at anyone time.

Sometimes we have to face it that others are in charge of their choices. Maybe they are affraid to let someone else down?

OR maybe you never speak up and tell your friends that you will not put up with being treated this way anymore. If they don't want to spend time with you and make you a priority (the majority of the time) THEN you won't make them a priority anymore.

I think the BIGGEST FEAR WE ALL HAVE as Co-dependents is of being left all alone. We never dare to find out that if one person or set of persons leaves our lives. THEN it is to make room for new people when the time is right.

GOD does bring into our lives everything we need at the right time, though I think we also play an active part in what comes into our lives by our choices.

SO why not join some clubs and meet some new people. Then you won't feel you need to be such a low priority on others lists. You will simply move on to people who do treat you properly.

You will probably find that when you speak up to friends they realise that you won't put up with being treated this way anymore and will either value your friendship enough to make you a priority.

Or you will make them less of a priority and go and find some new friends.

PEOPLE TREAT YOU HOW YOU LET THEM TREAT YOU, HOW YOU'VE ALWAYS LET OTHERS TREAT YOU!! MAYBE IT IS TIME TO PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN AND EXPECT AND SHARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF BEING MORE OF A PRIORITY, OTHERWISE YOU'LL BECOME LESS OF A FRIEND.

 

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

A BIRTHDAY GIFT FOR PERDIDA,

Today's thought is: Take time to celebrate. Celebrate your successes, your growth, your accomplishments. Celebrate you and who you are. For too long you have been too hard on yourself. Others have spilled their negative energy--their attitudes, beliefs, pain--on you. It had nothing to do with you! All along, you have been a gift to yourself and to the Universe. You are a child of God. Beautiful, a delight, a joy. You do not have to try harder, be better, be perfect, or be anything you are not. Your beauty is in you, just as you are each moment. Celebrate that. When you have success, when you accomplish something, enjoy it. Pause, reflect, rejoice. Too long  you have listened to admonitions not to feel good about what you have done, lest you travel the downward road to arrogance. Celebration is a high form of praise, of gratitude to the Creator for the beauty of God's creation. To enjoy and celebrate the good does not mean that it will be taken from you. To celebrate is to delight in the gift, to show gratitude. Celebrate your relationships! Celebrate the lessons from the past and the love and warmth that is there today. Enjoy the beauty of others and their connection to you. Celebrate all that is in your life. Celebrate all that is good. Celebrate you! Today, I will indulge in the joy of celebrating.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here, Just a quick check in to say that I am still 'sitting on my feelings' however, I'm not feeling quite as numb. I'm actually feeling pretty good. I feel balanced. I read the J and Yolanda update yesterday and that got to me. Been there. Done that! I hope J finds the strength to let go. I hope I can too. I feel some changes going on, very subtle though. I have therapy tonight so that always gets me going!

Hugs, Sharon

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Hi all! Computer Nerd here. Haven't been on here for a bit, busy as can be I guess.

I made what my therapist calls "a significant discovery" the other day. We have of course realized that my fear of losing my wife and trying to control her stems from the loss of my mother to breast cancer when I was 18. While "exercising my mind" I realized that another part of my fear is lack of self esteem. This of course influences me to think she will leave me for someone better. Now, why do I have low self esteem? Because I compare myself to others and not myself. When I do this, I compare myself to others using my method of measuring self worth and happiness (eg success) which is money. Growing up in a poor inner-city community I came to learn that success was money, which it is not. So, I compare the money I have to the money I want and that which other people have and come up with a negative outlook on myself. So, I now see two large reasons which I try to control my wife (which has gotten significantly better over the last few weeks.)

Its a battle, a battle to find myself. I am working on finding myself and actually have found the causes of what makes me "me". It's incredible. I am keeping a detailed journal and someday hope to write a book about all of this. It is very enlightening, exciting, and most of all, helpful... More later. Thanks all.

Computer Nerd

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Happy Birthday Perdida!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy, Sharon

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Dear Dr. Irene,

Having read Frank Ochberg's article entitled "Understanding the Victims of Spousal Abuse," I saw no provision for comments there, so I may as well put mine here instead.

I see there's much useful information in the article, while a quick glance through the "Gift from Within" web site shows this to be full of valuable, detailed, and compassionate material as well. However, I would propose to Dr. Ochberg that the next revision of his article could be improved drastically with some very quick and simple editing. This falls into two parts.

First, I would change the word "spouse" throughout to "husband" or "wife" as appropriate, and insert the word "Female" before "Victims" in the title.

I disagreed at least partially with some of the propositions in the introductory section, but this paled into insignificance when I screeched to a halt at the enormous red flag of the word "misogyny," with the thoroughly objectionable feeling that I'd been lied to for at least three paragraphs. Sure enough, this suspicion turned out to be true. Starting with the title, and continuing with carefully chosen, gender-free language (especially the word "spouse"), Ochberg deludes his readers into thinking he's discussing "victims of spousal abuse." In fact he's doing nothing of the kind. He's discussing only *women* victims of spousal abuse. For that matter he's not even touching on emotional and similar forms of abuse, so it wouldn't hurt either to change "abuse" to "battering" in the title.

He's quite right that *some* encrust their ignorance in a shell of arrogant misogyny. He totally ignores the fact that just as many encrust their own ignorance in a shell of arrogant misandry--or else gallantry, which might be Ochberg's problem. And it is arrogant to presume to redefine language this way, as though "spousal abuse" could only possibly refer to men abusing women, never the other way round. In flagrant disregard of reality, the reader is automatically expected to agree. I do not, and I'll call this game out whenever I see it. It's the same trick that Patricia Evans used in the title (at least) of the book she called "*The* Verbally Abusive *Relationship*," while Beverly Engels, to her great credit, did not. Her title, "The Emotionally Abused Woman," was honest. It accurately described the scope of her book: women who are abused by people of both sexes, in all fields of life: parents, friends, colleagues, intimate partners. While the dynamics Evans described might apply to any verbally abusive relationship, she implicitly presumed to define her title to mean "men abusing women." Editing terms like "spouse" in Ochberg's article to reflect the limitations of its own scope would at least keep it honest.

Needless to say, I wouldn't waste my time complaining so loudly about mere trivia. There has been a campaign to define terms such as "domestic violence" so that what they bring to the minds of many dupes is only a picture of Andy Capp punching Florrie in the eye. The clear intent is to erase the other side of the picture that Reg Smythe first drew more than a generation ago--of Florrie lying in wait for Andy behind the front door and clouting him over the head with a rolling pin. And half of Smythe's drawings showed them both scrapping together. Based only on folk wisdom, which is so often true, Smythe's cartoons predated by more than a decade the findings of *objective* research that not only do women strike men as often as the other way round, but when they do so, they're more likely to do it with a weapon. And half the time, they're both into it together.

In spite of this complaint about the perversion of language to serve an agenda of public falsehood, I wasn't nearly as offended by Evans's sexism as by Ochberg's. And that's not me being "gallant." It's a matter of content. To effect the second drastic improvement in Ochberg's article, I would simply take the mouse, swipe it down the entire section headed "Why Does Spouse Abuse Happen?", hit Delete, and throw it away.

Its only educational value to me was to show how many irrelevancies and gross distortions can be packed into a few short paragraphs; and most of all, the glaring omissions that contribute more than anything to its wanton bias. Not to mention zero insight into the physical environment that made our history so inevitable: conditions that men more than anyone, with their special abilities in the physical universe, have labored through the ages to alleviate and to make our modern society a great deal "kinder and gentler" than our remote ancestors could ever have imagined. Apart from that, I'd label this section "toxic waste," of the kind that we--men collectively are guilty of this much at least--have been permitting to pollute our culture for an entire generation.

Ochberg's greatest value is as an expert in the treatment of PTSD. Why doesn't he stick to writing about what he's taken the trouble to investigate thoroughly? When it comes to theorizing about causes of spousal abuse, he seems to have been keeping bad company up there at the University of Michigan. I wouldn't exactly call Lenore Walker "good" company either when it comes to gender objectivity. It's obvious that others were guilty of misleading him, because some of the phrases in this section aren't "psychology" at all. They're stock feminist duckspeak, right off the shelf. And they were already rotten when they were first put on the shelf.

With this addlebrained input so shot full of holes, Ochberg has permitted others to seduce him to the conclusion that "Any attempt to explain why spouse abuse happens must begin with the fact that the male of our species, for many reasons, has aggressive behaviors and these often find expression in the family." This is a shining example of "garbage in, garbage out." I'd never begin in such a place. Just for one example, Ochberg has nothing to say about how the broader life needs of men in particular have been cavalierly dismissed in recent decades, in poorer communities where most of this battering happens--especially those willfully destroyed by what we laughingly called a "welfare" system. Instead, I'd probably begin with the *fact* that all humans, women and men alike, have needs of many kinds, and when these needs aren't met, or they haven't learned to meet them in legitimate ways, humans often resort to aggressive or destructive ways of trying to do so. Other suggestions are welcome, but I wouldn't dream of beginning where he would.

In case anyone suspects that I might be concealing a slight irritation about all this, I must explain that no reader can be expected to look charitably on a passage that begins right at the outset with a gross insult. And the statement that "spouse abuse happens because men batter and get away with it" is as absurd as it's insulting. Not that I haven't heard this nonsense before, but repetition doesn't make it any more endearing; rather the opposite. There's not even a feeble attempt here to explain the real reason why some men batter while the vast majority don't. It certainly doesn't explain why many more women than men perpetrate child abuse, a reality that Ochberg at least acknowledges, hidden of course in an embarrassed footnote at the bottom. No doubt it's escaped his attention that this could be part of the reason why some damaged men grow up to hate women. What makes the statement I just quoted so offensive is its implication that men *as a sex* beat women because they naturally want to--unless somebody else controls them. If the only reason that Ochberg doesn't beat his wife is that he doesn't think he can "get away with it," he's welcome to speak for himself.

All this is not just insulting, to the intelligence as well as to the entire male sex. It's gratuitously insulting, because the title and presumed scope of the article is "Understanding the *Victims* of Spousal Abuse." So this whole section about abusers is outside the scope of the article. Why is it there at all? It wouldn't be as bad if it were harmless speculation around the subject. But some of us are sick and tired of seeing a topic like abuse exploited this way by using it as a naked excuse to inject a dose of anti-male poison along with it. And from Ochberg's viewpoint, where's the sense in alienating half his readers before he even starts discussing the topic that he is an expert on? Why ruin an otherwise good article?

I'm sure you're right, Dr. Irene, when you've said many times that people accept abuse because abuse is "normal" in their experience. Only the fact that this mass verbal abuse of men has become virtually "normal" in recent times can explain why so many men sit there and take it, instead of standing up in large numbers and loudly and publicly telling the perpetrators to shove it where the sun don't shine, to go away and think again, and to open their eyes wider this time. Too many men don't even recognize when they're being abused. As for Ochberg and others like him, expert that he may be on treating PTSD, the poor guy is woefully codependent in this area of life. He's bought this rubbish about abuse being all the fault of his own sex, and his superfluous guilt seeps out in his very first paragraph. But he's not going to dump it on me. Please do us all a favor, Dr. Irene. I know he's such a nice guy at heart, with so much to offer as well. Anyone can see that. Give him some treatment for his codependency, would you? He could be so much stronger.

Finally, considering his reference to the "family tyrant" he assumes to be male, I'd love to see Ochberg having a discussion with Erin Pizzey on her own article about the "family terrorist." There are several copies of this on the Web; there's one at http://www.psychstat.smsu.edu/mens/violentwomen.htm. I don't know if you're familiar with Pizzey's work, which is another example of how no good deed goes unpunished. After overcoming an abusive family background and pioneering the first shelter for battered women in Chiswick, England, this fine woman was savagely attacked and seriously threatened by the same vicious gang of people who--in theory at least--should have been heartily supporting the very real help she gave to hundreds of women. Her only crime was that her reality experience proved to her that abuse was a human problem, and she refused to bow down to their anti-male agenda. She infuriated her enemies by citing facts. And she defied them all without the advantage of much testosterone. What a pity that Dr. Ochberg, who does have that supposed advantage, doesn't do the same.

- Gordon  Ooops! Your buttons are showing! Glad to know you have some.    Welcome home..

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Hey Cats,

Thanks for the great birthday wishes and exhortations!!! I loved them! I think everyone should read them and take heed and celebrate, celebrate celebrate themselves! I'm gonna get me a big old cold bottle of Dom Perignon (well, maybe a slightly more economical brand) champagne and drink it ALL MYSELF with salmon and caviar - that's fish eggs, Trubble - want to come to MY house?

Love, Perdida

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Perdida, Sharon - Happy B-day!

Gordon - I agree with a lot of what you said about that article.

I think there is still a bias in North American culture that men are the main abusers. I don't think this bias looks at the complete problem and at the fact that *all* abusers (emotional, verbal, male or female) were also victims. The existing bias IMO seeks to blame rather than find healing for all. It also doesn't look at the very different cultural issues men face, and the roles men served in history which may contribute to specific types of problems. (including not speaking up about abuse, because that's not "manly" - this happened to an x-boyfriend of mine who was sexually abused by his mother.)

What I went through in court recently is a perfect example of a "reverse sexism" mentality. (Imagine if a man was going after his impoverished x-wife for money!)

Steve's x told me indignantly awhile back that her boyfriend at the time had physical custody of the kids and "he still paid his ex wife!"

But, hmm I thought, wouldn't that mean *you* should be paying *him*? She didn't feel it applied to *her* because she is a woman, and that's er, just different, even though she is currently making almost 10 times more than him. (And I do realize that every situation is unique, depending on circumstances, incomes, agreements etc, but still.... I see a bias.)

Women of today have some power that most men don't - especially when it comes to issues of child custody. And *anyone* who has more power than another can misuse that power. Especially when they're not aware of the forces "inside."

Historically, yes men have had more power in some areas, and today that is still the case in some countries, regions, corporations etc etc etc, but the male/female question is much less relevant to me than how do we promote healing for *all*.

I don't believe that "blame" heals.

 

Computer Nerd - You are still here - that's great! Congrats! So glad to see you are committed to working out your issues. I hope you stick with us and continue to report on what you are learning.

take care all

Asha

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PERDIDA and if I had been there I would have TREATED you to dinner.

Hmmmmmmm Gordon. I live in a place that falls over itself to be politically correct and gender correct. The result of this is that nobody dare believe the woman! Not openly anyway. In practice my guess is that things are still not gender-equal.

In fact I think that class is more of an issue than gender. I used to work for an organization that could never see that it had gender and class bias as it was so concerned to say it wasn't: yet every trustee (it was a charity) seemed to be on intimate terms if not with royalty, nearly so. Nobody ever thought of getting the unemployed to comment despite 'evaluations.' Nor was there ever a real attempt to employ a man. In fact one man would have been willing to become involved and he was not considered ok. Yet this man branched out on his own and has helped many.

GOSH it did me good to say that and yet I guess I also need to say (having joined in and done the same) I am unsure if this is a proper use of the catbox???????? Oh well, it won't matter in the grand scheme of things. I did find the website useful though.

Actually I refer partner to spouse as somehow spouse is really old fashioned. I think women can be as abusive as men but also they tend to accept more abuse. Something in there about historical stuff- the male in Western society having traditionally been dominant. Also religion and laws until fairly recently supported abuse. It is still legal in some places to beat the wife. Worse, some women even think this is ok and consent to it!!!!!!!

One of the things I have been thinking about recently is do you need to have a dominant partner in a relationship. By that I mean someone who leads? is it better if one leads and the partner follows and is it a male/female thing. Does true equality happen?

Also what if jake and I remain together? How do you get from being controlled to a position of equality? How do you avoid a pattern of one person leading the other - or is it true that that will always happen? Some people in the Christian church would see that as right. They would argue it should be the husband as the leader and that the woman should follow. Yet I have never seen a marriage like this where the husband 'got it right' and looked after his wife's needs and I have seen a lot of disempowered women who submitted to male authority.

I know a Christian community that has this kind of doctrine and took it to extremes. The really weird thing is that many of the women I know there are depressed and have seemed 'stuck for years. As things have changed slightly (gosh they wear JEANS sometimes now!!!!!!) there has been a change for the better and yet they still seem to not see how the 'submission' so often disempowers them. In fact, I have seen some of them claim to be fulfilled and yet when you look at it they are still complaining about the leadership of the men!

Gosh I have changed. I used to think like this. the thing is it would be easy if I let Jake lead. But I wouldn't be using my own brain. For several years I let him tell me I couldn't learn to drive! Everything centred around Jake's wants and needs. I even organised my career to fit round him. I have been feeling this is so stupid and angry at Jake

I am going to break off here. Finally I see the light , Nothing to do with what I am writing . just a situation here where I see how terribly abusive he is and how he is using the kids. ...will post back later when calmer. jay

 

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

I do agree, Perdida, there's far too much emphasis on blame, too little on healing. This is just a quickie on another point though. Oops! I have to take that back about Erin Pizzey having an abusive family background. I realize now that I'd been reading something in the wrong context. So she probably didn't. It doesn't make any difference to the value of her work though; she did great work for women anyway.

- Gordon

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Sorry, that was Asha, not Perdida! My apologies for being in a hurry. More haste, less speed! :)

- Gordon

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Hi All,

I am feeling out of sorts today, not sure why, just feel down.

Just my two cents:

I think that abuse is possible in any situation where another has the power to effect your life in a significant way. Manipulation, lying, fear and anger are present in the majority of households. I am not sure how we measure whether they are simply normal. (I don't like the word 'normal', I prefer comfortable)

What I can tell you the more I look around me at the people I know even those not related to me. It seems all of them are co-dependent in one way or another. And abuse of power is in force in one way or another.

I said to Ron my therapist is anyone not abusive? His response we are all broken in one way or another unless we are able to rely on ourself. If we can rely on ourselves then we have no need to suck up to others.

We spoke about where I work, my friends, family, acquaintances, even people I only superficially know. ALL seem to use manipulation, power of status, lie, use fear and anger.

Fear is used to get us to work. The fear is in if you don't go to work you will lose your job. The power of status is used by our boss, they know we must comply or else we are out the door.

Lying is evident in us all, how many times do we hid our chocolate wrappers LOL, Or bend the truth to prevent another fight?

Even popsongs and tv promote co-dependency. It is our society that keeps people dependent on it, on state benefits.

The benefit of having a co-dependent, power abusive society is that it keeps balance in the social world. SO is it bad co-dependency?

I would say you can't please all the people all of the time. Okay we could have communist societies but even they don't work.

So the simple fact is you really can only ever look after number one, when you start feeling guilty about the guy across the street you are co-dependent.

Co-dependency benefits us all in some way. I think it is the degree of dependency that is the the problem. It benefits charities thro' us feeling guilty for having enough, It benefits governments since if people weren't dependent on cigarettes imagine the sporting world? Who would sponsor all the sport stars.

If our society was self reliant it would be basic. The sad fact is if we want a complex social world with infrastructure and control. We have abuse of power ALWAYS.

But will any of us giving up new technology? Or cars? Or fancy tv's? OR being wage slaves? Will any of us buy our own land and fuel it from natural resources that can be recycled?

Or do we want to be co-dependent? I think it is all about degrees of dependency. We are all guilty of hurting others to survive. We kill animals to feed ourselves. We send pollution to other countries.

I don't think we could live any other way.

It is all in the degree.

(As you can see I am in a deep thought mood)

Time to put this deep thought into my work. Speak to you all later.

Take care Theressa

 

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Jay back again: but I don't know about calmer. Just some not too good stuff happened and I got really badly upset. Turns out the tumour was cancerous and Jake had arranged to go and visit with the kids and without me and was determined I wasn't going with him...He also hadn't told me that H was in a nearer hospital to the one I understood. I got the information from his father, Withholding...

Actually, practically, I think too many people visiting at a time is not a good idea, Then I got upset at HumanKatKid and he said something upsetting and for the first time in a long time I spent the morning feeling devastated, I am going to try and do normal things fro the rest of the day and talk to HKK tonight. I have my daughter coming home for the evening as well and to be honest I am not sure just now I can cope although this is real progress, I guess physically I am not i n brilliant shape either as my legs have swelled up and feel they are on fire with pins and needles in my feet (I have an emergency appt with the doc for tomorrow).

I guess I should tell myself that my brain is on overload and go easy on me. guess I am so tired of my kids thinking it is all me and that Jake is [perfect. How on earth have i ended up such a scapegoat.. It seems as if the more I try not to be, the more my family react.

I have got to get me together and I am so tired of being that strong! Yet I really fear that if I don't be strong, I will fall apart today. I know it will all pass. HKK told me he loved me so it is not like there is a real disaster. Just so much to sort with my daughter and it feels like no way of sorting it just now.

Oh heavens this is a muddled and nonsensical post. Yes, and you're allowed. Just when you thought you'd licked it, you let his passive-aggressive stuff get to you again. Nobody wants to be in a position where choice is taken away and  you are made to look bad. I think you were just reminded of your prior powerlessness Jay. Just another layer of same ol' same ol' to deal with. And, you will.

Theressa I have had similar thoughts re codependency. I think what happens is we are so engrossed finding our way out of the maze, we see it any where. I would never have thought once that ignoring someone was abuse and now I feel abused if people ignore me. There you go. This is what I mean when I talk about recognizing more and more subtle levels of same ol'. You think you're back where you started, until you realize that in the past you had blind spots. All part of overbalancing as one does with something new and then it calms down and you reach the status quo. 

And stupid me for being stupid and just arranging to meet someone this afternoon when what maybe I should do is just go for a walk or something. 

Oh heavens this is a stupid post and ok Dr Irene I will stop calling me stupid now. Good. I need a cat.. Can I borrow Trubble to blame...? Here I am AuntieJay! The Devil made me do it! Oh yuk this is such a self centred post but I am going to send it anyway as writing it all down helped. It is the catbox after all! jay Yeah. All you have to do is let yourself feel as upset as you feel, and DO nothing about it. Ask yourSelf what specifically is bugging you, besides *Me*.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Hi All,

Re: Please help I need some advice:

I have to work on my FEAR, it keeps me stuck.

I get so overwhelmed by my FEAR, I procrastinate  a lot. And goodness this is another escape route. Sometimes my fear is so crippling that I find any escape I can. From people pleasing to procrastinating. Glad you see it; I'm getting tired of getting blamed!

I fear not being good enough so I avoid doing anything. Or rather I go off to help someone else so I don't have to concentrate on ME. Me is to scary. Meow!

I fear detaching also even though I know it works, just in case the next time my partner doesn't come back. I fear getting to close and getting hurt. I fear rejection. Promise never, ever to leave yourSelf, and never, ever to reject yourSelf, OK?

My procrastinating also involves me not being punctual. Why? well I get behind and then I start to feel overwhelmed. I am now four weeks nearly five weeks behind in my studies. All I can feel is how on earth am I ever going to catch up. So I sit up at night trying to catch up and then I end up so tired. SO I stay in bed later, and again I am late.

This cycle of fear is consuming me. I never knew my fear could be so overwhelming. DOES anyone have any ideas how I might catch up??? Overcoming Procrastination; Or How to Think and Act Rationally in Spite of Life's Inevitable Hassles, so there won't be a next time.

Take care, and thank you Theressa

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

I've been reading all the postings and I can see I'm not alone. I've been in a relationship with an alcoholic for 9 years. I didn't want to see the problem early on, but it doesn't go away unless the person wants it to. As time went on he has become more and more verbally abusive-going into rages. He's had dui's its just been getting worse. This last weekend he got physical, shoving me around. I finally told him he had to leave (its my house) and even though I've said it many times before this time maybe he also wanted to go. I'm afraid of him and afraid he'll come back drunk and do something to destroy my house. I don't understand my own weakness though. Why have I let this happen to me for so long? I did come from a background that was verbally and physically abusive so maybe I have a high tolerance for that sort of thing. I just feel so lost now New sensation- no foot on my head! I recently lost my job and its like my whole life is up for grabs. I have a hard time not getting depressed. I feel depressed all the time. Well thanks for letting me vent. Nicole.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Thank you Sharon! I am glad that my post was helpful.

To Catbox Crew,

I ended up not attending therapy. I really have to fight this urge to "do anything" to help my husband. He was not happy with this at all. He was pretty hostile when he returned home from his therapy session. I am wondering how long he will be able to keep the facade up with his therapist. He puts on this stoic macho guy that has not problems at all. He just drinks with his buddies. He just wishes his wife would make him happy. In fact, he thinks this therapy stuff is more for his wife than him. He knows what makes him happy. Meanwhile he blames everyone else for his problems, passively aggressively gets back at his parents for their abuse, ditto with his real father who abandoned him and drinks, and smokes pot. His wife just "changed" after she started going to therapy and turned into the "Morals Police". My gut is telling me that he just wants to get me in there to divert attention off of him and show his therapist that I am broken so he can blame me for all his irresponsible behaviors. I would like to go in and let him know my perspective, but I refuse to get into a cross-complaining battle. My husband is very good at verbal combat. I don't wish to participate in his manipulations. However, I do think it may help the therapist see how he operates. I am much stronger and more confident. I have learned from the past that if I am the reason that he quits drinking, then I will be the reason he starts again. I would like him to finally get the help he needs when he is ready. Meanwhile, I will continue to practice the 3 C's: Can not Create it, Can not Control it, and Can not Cure it. I will silently pray for him. He will have to do the rest. I thought my time would be better spent working on myself.  

I am really working on acceptance right now. It has really calmed me down. I am actually starting to face the fact that I have a lot to do to get myself ready to venture out on my own, and support my children. I am taking inventory on all areas that I need to work on for taking responsibility for myself like creating a routine in the morning, exercise, diet, putting make-up on daily, and journaling to figure out my bottom line. I am working on setting boundaries with my children. I have started creating a routine for them including having them clean their own rooms, sort their own laundry, and natural consequences for their choices. So, I know I must be feeling better.

I have no footprints to follow. I have to create my own set. Very good. Your eyes are open and you've put the spotlight on You!

I am starting to believe in myself. I am starting forgive and let go. I am teaching my children to believe in themselves.

It's been a good day today :) That's all I can ask for.

Thanks for listening.

LisaMM

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Oh yuk. just spent the evening in hospital. legs, chest pains and migraine all conspired....They thought I might have had a heart attack and then decided I hadn't. Seems to have been a combination of the mystery of the swollen feet (pins and needles the whole time and my left half being weaker than my right but no idea why, a severe migraine and I didn't dare say how stressful today has been......

Released at about 1 am home.....Jake left money for a taxi under the piano. Dinner in the oven and the key in the back garden. No light on so I could see. Was that abusive, as the hospital is 10 minutes by car and he doesn't drive pr is that ok. I know it sounds stupid but I just do not know.

But it wasn't me who insisted on the ambulance it was the nurse and I really felt very ill. Still do. just better than when the migraine raged.

HKK seems  to have had some first aid training and misunderstood it.

Daughter more interested in boyfriend's family than her own and got out of car announcing she didn't feel safe as I pointed out I had been looking forward to seeing her and now she was going to boyfriends family. Ooops! Let her be mom; don't rely on her to feel better...

I have left Jake a not saying I needed looking after. You're hurting and the little girl inside is demanding she be cared for... Watch it. You will hurt yourself again if you insist he give you what is not forthcoming...  Let the big girl outside care for the little one within...  Just once I would like to be. Now of course I can't sleep....jay  You're mad you were not/ are not cared for...

 

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Thursday, May 24, 2001

 

Hi All,

My co-dependency issues therapy is now on the next level. Now I've sorted out the physical stuff somewhat taking control of my life, now I am told I have to sort out the emotional side.

Which runs alot of the programs in my mind that are actually linked the other bits of my behaviour I've found difficult to change.

Here I will share with you some of this process in the hope it might help others here:

You will have seen the poem Ron my therapist gave me, I posted it on catbox the other day.

Robert Burney helped me to put the poem into perspective and as a thank you to him and Ron I want to share it with others.

********* Co-dependency is linked to attachment in early childhood that either didn't happen properly or was disrupted in some way. The disruption could be because your parents didn't have the skills due to generational behaviours, make up passed down. OR because of a crisis.

My fears, compulsions and obsessions run my life currently. Which is the result of the attachment problems above.

Here is my take on things:

My fear of spontaneity stems from not feeling a base of TRUST. In both myself and others such as my partner and other significant people in my life.

I need to feel secure enough to detach and know I am okay (THIS is the goal to aim for)

For information: During attachment a child learns that through crying and attracting attention of caregivers their needs are met. The child is then able to discover the social world know that at times of distress someone will be their to help them deal with their emotional distress. THE Sensitivity of their caregiver is able to know when the child needs help handling the distress.

The child thus, feels secure and able to move away to discover and feel okay that when the need arises they can attract their caregiver to help them.

If this is not possible or the caregiver cannot give this sensitivity because they are not in touch with their emotional part of themselves. The child loses out. The distress the child feels is not soothed by the mother. She goes into a panic and is unable to help the child deal with the distress.

This happens in postnatal depression. Thus, the child is left in chaos. Though the child learns to manage. (dysfunctionally) though to survive this is necessary.

The child who doesn't get any help handling the stress thus become dependent on themselves. Unable to bond with others for lack of trust. The child learnt to cope by trying to avoid disappointment, (hence negatively empowered), the person will revert back to this panic stage each time there is something that disappointments them trying to control their environment.

The child who has to work hard to get a response and help with distress since it has to cry for long periods before anyone tends to it. Learns to attract attention by increased crying, and later people pleasing. (hence a negatively dis-empowered person) The person will revert back to this stage of needing to fix things, to attract others back to them to feel okay.

***********

My fear of spontaneity stems from not feeling a base of trust. In both myself or my partner or others important to me.

I need to feel secure enough to detach and know I am okay. (Even if I feel uncomfortable!!) I need to understand I've no need to revert back to needing to fix things and attract others back to me to feel okay.

I can realise I have support available and am cared about by others, I can survive whatever the outcome. (THIS comes with time and facing our fears pushing ourselves into detaching and sitting with our feelings which helps us to realise we are safe after all, we can survive)

Coldness and pushing and pulling away are defense mechanisms to avoid the hurt and so is trying to control our external environment.

As I learn to own me (value me) and accept me. And release pent up anger about feeling unloved and unattached, and learning about the shame we feel. (Knowing it wasn't because you weren't/aren't good enough) and release the pain by facing your fears and actually attaching and being okay when others pull away, you HEAL!! You learn to allow yourself to be vulnerable and know you can take care of your self. If you are rejected. (KNOWING IT ISN'T ABOUT YOU, BUT SOMEONE ELSE'S ISSUE)

As you become emotionally honest (about your fears, feelings, etc) STOP trying to people please or control others, and learn to detach and sit with the fear that they might not come back when you detach.

YOU learn to healthy parent yourself: You sit with your feelings (even though they are uncomfortable), understand your hurt, and fears, instead of trying to control your environment or attract others with people pleasing, or reaching for chocolate alcohol, or another addictive substance. OR co-dependency trying to fix others problems.

You discover where the tightness, and tension is and know you need to fix a button. SOLUTION notice and BREATHE, this will keep you calm.

Do a discovery of your obsessions (what you turn to, to feel okay, chocolate, alcohol, people pleasing, helping others, controlling your environment.

Your compulsions: The need to check for approval, avoiding conflict. Control external things and others.

Your fears: Being alone (Insecure) hurt. OR disappointed.

THE co-dependency uses compulsions, obsessions and fear to keep you stuck. The judgmental voice keeps you stuck. IT doesn't allow humanness and thus, keeps you feeling not good enough, so you reach for another obsession or compulsion to stop the FEAR.

As others push your buttons those place that are so sensitive you find out how to heal these areas by releasing them. To do this you need to be aware of them FIRST. Then you'll realise you've little to fear.

Once you are aware you can set 'Internal boundaries' to stop yourself from behaving in self defeating, self sabotaging, unhealthy ways.

PLEASE see the following links to help you start this process.

http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/codependency_recovery http://joy2meu.com/Innerchildhealing.html

Take care Theressa

 

(DOC please remove this if it is not okay with you!!!) Thanks for the permission! Giggle!

 

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Thursday, May 24, 2001

Hi Jay,

All illnesses in my opinion that cannot easily be explained in a physical way such as an accident or operation are emotional. I think this is so with you.

Sorry to hear you are unwell, rest, please JUST rest. Stop worrying.

Jay says: released at about 1 am home.....Jake left money for a taxi under the piano.

Theressa thinks: Maybe Jake wanted to help but he wasn't sure what he should do? Maybe he did all he was emotional capable of doing? Yep...

Jay writes: Dinner in the oven and the key in the back garden.

Theressa thinks:

Jay I think reacts this way because it is the way he was treated. It is probably how he was looked after. (what he knows). Functional. Instead of being sensitive to your feelings.

 

Jay writes: No light on so I could see.

Theressa thinks: i maybe off the mark here but this all strikes me as functional caring. Which maybe due to Jake doing what is familiar way for him to show comfort. OR him doing this to keep his distance and at the same time show some kindness.

OR both.

Jay writes: Was that abusive as the hospital is 10 minutes by car and he doesn't drive pr is that ok.

Theressa thinks:

It is all he can do at the moment. When and if he learns to listen to his own hurting then he'll be able to sense someone else's hurting. I think? I think too.

I think this is the same with me and feeling desires. I first have to get past the fear to uncover the wound, and then when I am healed enough, I can be sensitive to others and feel vulnerable without panicking.

Jay writes: I know it sounds stupid but I just do not know.

Theressa thinks:

Jay it isn't stupid, it is another area that your aware of that isn't healthy in your marriage.

It goes back to wanting support nurturing in times of distress. In a healthy relationship we are able to ask and get support when we most need it.

Like hugging and emotional support, someone to listen to us. Someone to hold us when we cry from weariness.

THOUGH Jake may not be emotionally available enough to give you this type of support???

Jay sometimes you just need to cry as Robert Burney told me. Just let it all out, the frustration. Also going to some of your close friends and letting them hold you. This helps heaps. I did this at Christmas when I felt low. Let your body tell you exactly what hurts...

It is about letting yourself be seen as weak. It really is okay. You see we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and reach out for support from others who can give it us.

This isn't being co-dependent it is having support. And then working out what part of your recovery you need to work on next.

Take care Theressa

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Thursday, May 24, 2001

Jay,

I missed your post prior to the one I just responded to.

Dear, dear Jay, please, please listen to me, (If you read the post just before this one you will understand)

IT IS OKAY TO not hold the world on your shoulders. It is okay to feel weak. JAY this is a big lesson in your co-dependency YOU CANNOT AND DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY TO HOLD EVERYONE UP.

Jay there are times for sit and waiting (this is one for you), this is when the fertilizer for your next growth spurt is being laid. There a times for planting, times for growing and healing etc.

Jay you won't fall apart. Though you will get over stressed unnecessarily if you keep worrying, JUST SIT WITH YOUR FEELINGS.

Don't try to rush yourself out of these feelings, and try fixing things. STOP detach, sit with your feelings. THIS is what you are meant to do.

THIS time shall pass.

When you see no light at the end of the tunnel, it is time to sit tight. Everything will come together in the end.

HKK, he is one great kid.

ALSO don't take things at the moment with Jake too personal. He is probably feeling frustrated about his nephew. Which would explain his unavailability in the present.

It isn't about you JAY. Just right now Jake is overwhelmed elsewhere.

So Jay as I said in my last post needs to lean on others, her close friends perhaps?

It is through allowing our weaknesses and humanness that we keep our power JAY.

Take care, I am sending a bucket full of hugs to you. YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS, and don't apologise for feeling low.

It is my birthday today, Melissa has been wonderful, she brought me a bowl of strawberries this morning. (She makes me smile)

Take care Theressa Thank you Theressa. As always, excellent advice. And a birthday wish for you from Trubble. This one is his favorite, "Sushi Cake." Giggle!!

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Thursday, May 24, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here. LisaMM - you asked about 'couples therapy'. My personal experience with it was only with Dr. Psycho. It did not work. In fact, it made the relationship go sideways because he would throw back at me everything that was ever discussed. The abuse escalated from him. Now that I am going to a women's domestic violence therapy once a week, the entire staff's philosophy is that couples therapy is not recommended in an abusive relationship at all. The only way the abuse and domestic violence MAY be helped is individual therapy for each person. So, that's why I am going. But I was in an abusive situation, which may have become physical in time.

By the way, I'm doing good. No contact with Dr. Psycho whatsoever. And I don't miss him at all. I'm not even melancholy about the good memories - the bad ones are now out weighted.

Hugs, Sharon

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Thursday, May 24, 2001

OH RATS!!! I just lost the post. I am exhausted so I am just going to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY THERESSA! (and bucket loads of hugs) and sign off, love, Jay

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Friday, May 25, 2001

Dear Dr. Irene,

I wrote to you earlier this week with questions about my new relationships of 6 months. As always, you were able to help me see through my denial and get refocused on my Self and my recovery. I am now able to see how my denial of his "misbehavior" caused me to focus on, and be irritated by little things. I wasn't being honest with myself. Thank you so much!!

On my Hazeldon message yesterday, it said "I have the right to be loved however I want to be loved. It's my life. Today I will take back my life." That fit right into what I needed to focus on and it gave me renewed strength. I have started seeing my counselor again. I'm not sure how to suggest he do the same. I thought I would share with him the clip from an article - see below. I thought this was very good!

1. Love - Development of self first priority.

Toxic love - Obsession with relationship.

2. Love - Room to grow, expand; desire for other to grow.

Toxic love - Security, comfort in sameness; intensity of need seen as proof of love (may really be fear, insecurity, loneliness)

3. Love - Separate interests; other friends; maintain other meaningful relationships.

Toxic love - Total involvement; limited social life; neglect old friends, interests.

4. Love - Encouragement of each other’s expanding; secure in own worth.

Toxic love - Preoccupation with other’s behavior; fear of other changing.

5. Love - Appropriate Trust (i.e. trusting partner to behave according to fundamental nature.)

Toxic love - Jealousy; possessiveness; fear of competition; protects “supply.”

6. Love - Compromise, negotiation or taking turns at leading. Problem solving together.

Toxic love - Power plays for control; blaming; passive or aggressive manipulation.

7. Love - Embracing of each other’s individuality.

Toxic love - Trying to change other to own image.

8. Love - Relationship deals with all aspects of reality.

Toxic love - Relationship is based on delusion and avoidance of the unpleasant.

9. Love - Self-care by both partners; emotional state not dependent on other’s mood.

Toxic love - Expectation that one partner will fix and rescue the other.

10. Love - Loving detachment (healthy concern about partner, while letting go.)

Toxic love - Fusion (being obsessed with each other’s problems and feelings.)

11. Love - Sex is free choice growing out of caring & friendship.

Toxic love - Pressure around sex due to insecurity, fear & need for immediate gratification.

12. Love - Ability to enjoy being alone.

Toxic love - Unable to endure separation; clinging.

13. Love - Cycle of comfort and contentment.

Toxic love - Cycle of pain and despair. (List compiled with the help of the work of Melody Beattie & Terence Gorski.) Bless everyone on the board and thank you! SK  Thank you!

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Friday, May 25, 2001

Dear Theressa,

Hi Jay,

All illnesses in my opinion that cannot easily be explained in a physical way such as an accident or operation are emotional. I think this is so with you.

Asked the doc this today and she says the feet and legs have to have a physical explanation. She thinks it may have all been an allergy to the hops and valerian in the sleeping tablets I just started taking. I also forgot I had some dark chocolate and this is just really not self caring of me as I can't not get a migraine from it. Obviously there were other symptoms. They also found I was pretty anemic again and again have to think how silly of Jay as I knew I was anemic and haven't been taking the tablets. 

Sorry to hear you are unwell, rest, please JUST rest. Stop worrying.

OK, OK I did rest and then I realised if I didn't attend the course for my voluntary work it will be ages before I can do the really interesting stuff as an advocate. Glad I did go as it was really brilliant and I forgot how rough I feel..

Jay says: released at about 1 am home.....Jake left money for a taxi under the piano.

Theressa thinks: Maybe Jake wanted to help but he wasn't sure what he should do? Maybe he did all he was emotional capable of doing?

Yep I think you are right. It is functionality (if that is a word - if it isn't I don't care as it says what I want it to!)

Jay writes: Dinner in the oven and the key in the back garden.

Theressa thinks:

Jay I think reacts this way because it is the way he was treated. It is probably how he was looked after. (what he knows). Functional. Instead of being sensitive to your feelings.

YES you brought back to me how Jake's parents react to illness. They seem to ignore it completely. You HAVE to be healthy. trouble is that we all get migraines in their house (both Jake's sister in laws are worse than me and one gets a severe dust allergy.

 

Jay writes: No light on so I could see.

Theressa thinks: i maybe off the mark here but this all strikes me as functional caring. Which maybe due to Jake doing what is familiar way for him to show comfort. OR him doing this to keep his distance and at the same time show some kindness.

OR both.

Jake probably didn't even think about the light,. Or maybe he thought it would cost him money...he has a mean streak.

Jay writes: Was that abusive as the hospital is 10 minutes by car and he doesn't drive pr is that ok.

Theressa thinks:

It is all he can do at the moment. When he learns to listen to his own hurting then he'll be able to sense someone else's hurting. I think?

Yes. I think so. Actually given the extent of his narcissism, he may never do so. I may have to live with this. I do think he is depressed and I told my doctor some of the odd behaaviours. She said she thinks he has a personality disorder. 

I think this is the same with me and feeling desires. I first have to get past the fear to uncover the wound, and then when I am healed enough, I can be sensitive to others and feel vulnerable without panicking.

Theressa you are NOTHING like Jake! rest assured. Also you don't eat banana custard as a ritual do you?

Jay writes: I know it sounds stupid but I just do not know.

Theressa thinks:

Jay it isn't stupid, it is another area that your aware of that isn't healthy in your marriage.

OOOOOPS forgot Trubble doesn't like me to say I am stupid!!! Yeah! Especially if you get to blame me, I won't put up with "stupid!" 

It goes back to wanting support nurturing in times of distress. In a healthy relationship we are able to ask and get support when we most need it.

Yes. If only...the reality is I am looking for what he cannot give, he has never learnt how.

Like hugging and emotional support, someone to listen to us. Someone to hold us when we cry from weariness.

THOUGH Jake may not be emotionally available enough to give you this type of support???

Yes.. He is totally emotionally unavailable. However, a ray of light he actually JOKED this morning when we realised HumanKatkid is a whole half head taller than me all of a sudden. This is SO unusual.

Jay sometimes you just need to cry as Robert Burney told me. Just let it all out, the frustration. Also going to some of your close friends and letting them hold you. This helps heaps. I did this at Christmas when I felt low.

Theressa I do do this. I have two very close friends and we have held each other through some terrible times and a lot of good ones. I do cry. Some days I feel like it would be nice not to for a change,

It is about letting yourself be seen as weak. It really is okay. You see we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and reach out for support from others who can give it us.

AAAAAAARGH you hit the nail on the head. Actually I don't know why but showing weakness seems to make things go wrong for me. Like admitting to stress and depression as it seemed the honest thing to do and then finding out how prejudiced people are towards mental health issues.... It is going to take a lot for me to admit to being weak. But yeah...here in the catbox just now I have been pretty low. Although today I am pretty ok as I got a lot of validation in my voluntary work and from my doctor. I guess that is not self validation. But I do think I handled being low well so I guess that is. Don't mix apples and oranges. When you admitted to being depressed, you were physically ill. You needed  help! (Which sadly is about the last thing you get at home outside of HKK.)  The Universe gave you another opportunity to look at the very real emotional deprivation, current and historical, in your life by greeting your pleas with prejudice, the rough analogy of what you historically and currently get at home.

When Jake is too self involved or passive aggressive to support you, the answer is not to pretend you don't need support or to keep trying to get blood out of a stone, and feeling angry with him and sorry for yourself when it is not forthcoming.  The answer is closer to accepting that you hurt; accepting you feel vulnerable and loving yourself by taking the down time you need, and by turning to those who willingly offer what they offer.

You exposed another layer of your lifelong neglect issue with the chocolate and anemia pill stuff. You've neglected yourSelf, hoping somebody would notice. Well guess what? Trubble did!

Tuna with Ox Blood frosting for AuntieJay. Just goes to show you don't need chocolate and cake is good for anemia. Love, *Me*.

This isn't being co-dependent it is having support. And then working out what part of your recovery you need to work on next.

Actually your email to me pushed a few things in a direction I didn't want to face so I guess it is time to look within and work on me!

Take care Theressa Take care Jay Giggle! I'm not sure which of you wrote what - but it's all good stuff!

 

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Friday, May 25, 2001

I missed your post prior to the one I just responded to.

Dear, dear Jay, please, please listen to me, (If you read the post just before this one you will understand)

IT IS OKAY TO not hold the world on your shoulders. It is okay to feel weak. JAY this is a big lesson in your co-dependency YOU CANNOT AND DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY TO HOLD EVERYONE UP.

OOOH boy. I have been fighting the urge to be codependently there for a friend who seems to have got herself arrested, nearly sectioned and then released and will not do anything much about her problems. Wanted to rush right over and help out and I must be improving as I haven't . She has the CPN coming to support her today and I am going to invite her out. But I am not going to be over empathic. 

There is a reason for this. She will not help herself and I just do not need her weirdness while she is in crisis. Other times I may be the right person but not now. Oh boy! This is GROWTH out of codependency!  Gee, ox blood sure works fast!

Jay there are times for sit and waiting (this is one for you), this is when the fertilizer for your next growth spurt is being laid. There a times for planting, times for growing and healing etc.

Grin. I feel like a plant!!!!!! 

Jay you won't fall apart. Though you will get over stressed unnecessarily if you keep worrying, JUST SIT WITH YOUR FEELINGS.

Don't try to rush yourself out of these feelings, and try fixing things. STOP detach, sit with your feelings. THIS is what you are meant to do.

Hmmmm maybe I am in denial. But just today I feel fairly good so I will sit with that!

THIS time shall pass.

When you see no light at the end of the tunnel, it is time to sit tight. Everything will come together in the end.

HKK, he is one great kid.

YEAH!!!!!!!!!! HKK IS FANTASTIC (even if he is masquerading on this site as the evil duck! Ignore him folks and he will go away! Actually I think he is only in one place and on one post!

ALSO don't take things at the moment with Jake too personal. He is probably feeling frustrated about his nephew. Which would explain his unavailability in the present.

Maybe. If Jake FEELS something it will be a good thing for him. Giggle!

It isn't about you JAY. Just right now Jake is overwhelmed elsewhere.

HMMMM Maybe but possibly he doesn't actually feel that much.

So Jay as I said in my last post needs to lean on others, her close friends perhaps?

Yep! I am arranging a get together and also inviting a couple of people I really want to get more friendly with. Relaxing with my friends seems a good way to lean.

It is through allowing our weaknesses and humanness that we keep our power JAY.

OK OK I am having problems admitting to being weak . Partly this is because I keep getting told how strong I am and I do find it better to believe that. I do admit my weaknesses and faults though. I am just too hard on myself. Maybe this is why I get thought of as strong?  

Take care, I am sending a bucket full of hugs to you. YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS, and don't apologize for feeling low.

I am feeling ok today. I just have to learn to accept the feelings I think and sit with them without being scared.

Giggle. Now I need to go answer Theressa's email to me! Hey kiddo you really care, don't you? Thanks. jay  You both care...

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Friday, May 25, 2001

Dear Becky. I meant to post to you. You are allowed to fail and to blow it and it is a learning experience. just pick yourself up. Talk to the BIG GUY and carry on with the healthy stuff. I am worried for you though. Has he hurt you again? You really do not have to put up with that. love Jay

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Friday, May 25, 2001

I don't know if this is ok Dr Irene but I was thinking maybe some of the new posters might like to use jay's story as I feel sometimes people don't get an answer here as it has got too big???? jay Of course, they could. But, stop trying to take care of everyone! There are enough people floating around that if newcomers stick around, they will be greeted, hopefully by other newcomers or those slightly senior.  Each of you can't possibly respond to everyone else, and that's OK. You'd be hogging the field if you did! Giggle! 

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Friday, May 25, 2001

Hi all. Having a tough time here over the last few days. My wife went to California to see an old friend to whom she had spoken in nearly 5 years. I am having a really tough time with this one. I feel like my wife is out evaluating our marriage to see if I can be independent, and to see if she likes the life that she never got to experience (we got pregnant at 19 (her) and 2 1(me)). So, here we are, living life's lessons and I feel as if she is out there as a test to me. Since I was such a verbal abuser and so controlling, she was never able to "get away" and this is the first time, 5 days in California, going to Frat parties and getting back at 7:00 am instead of the normal (that we are used to) 11:00 or 12:00. She seems to be having fun and I am trying my best not to ruin that for her by calling too much or nagging and making her feel guilty when I talk to her, but it is extremely hard. I have my therapist and a close friend of ours to lean on for support. Just haven't ever been away from her for more than a single day, ever. I just have to keep reassuring myself that she won't jeopardize our marriage by doing anything with anyone and that when she gets home she will be relaxed and happy knowing that she had a good weekend. I am going to make, it will just be a huge struggle. Thanks all- Computer Nerd  If it's any consolation, you really have no other (sane) choice but to let her do as she does without the nagging and guilting - since she's going to do as she does anyway. In recognizing this reality and in controlling your tendency to call, you are developing the ability to cope / deal with life. It's extremely hard at first, but well worth it.  Keep up the good work and keep in mind that early on, it feels like a tremendous amount of work for virtually no gain. Keep at it. 

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Friday, May 25, 2001

Dear Irene,

Years ago as friends, I had seen the physical abuse by my partner, but only taken out on his ex's. Although I knew about his past, I still got involved with him and married him. I never felt threatened. Not once has he hit me, but all he needs to do is be verbal and the fear is the same. My mental and emotional strength diminishes and by the time it's time to say something, I can never get a word out. It doesn't matter what I say or do at the time to make things spoken in a civil manner once I think we've cooled down, he will attempt to disregard the whole situation all together with a blaring, "FORGET IT!!" Only coming to settle things when HE is ready, without an apology of his recent outbursts of insults and comes to bed thinking that him initiating sex will make it all OKAY. Sometimes I start asking myself if I really am to blame, reflecting on my reaction at the time, and only figure that I am probably trying to cover up his actions. I get criticism, the humiliation among family as much as public, I get the twist of blame, I get the put downs which only leave me with ill feelings of obtaining revenge, which I know is not the way to go. I have talked to his Mom, who backs up his behavior that has stemmed from his father, who both have been married for 30 years now. Her advice was to back off during arguments and come back at another ideal time. But how do I bring up the solution to our every little outburst without bottom-lining the conversation as "What I don't like about YOU is..."? I would love to make the marriage work, but I imagine walking out the door everyday. I don't even know what questions to ask of you. Help.

Thanks, Me.

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Friday, May 25, 2001

Dear Cats,

Wow, now I feel like I had a real birthday!!! Thank you for all the birthday wishes! Happy birthday, Theressa and Sharon! Jay, I am so sorry you weren't feeling well. It's awful to come home from the hospital by yourself. I've done that, last year. Of course you should have someone taking care of you. Did Jake come through in a more hands on way?

I communicated with my ex today. I am traveling to the States for a language course and I decided to treat him like a normal person and advise him in advance that I would be wanting to pick up my stuff from his house sometime during a two week window in June. He answered very politely, telling me he would be out of town the second week, to come any time, and even if I wanted to come while he was gone he thought his roommates would be able to help me. Isn't that all very nice? Why couldn't it always be so nice? Have I been talking to the surface of the lake under which Godzilla is sleeping? Well, anyway, I have been ethical and I feel better now. I will just let The Creature of the Black Lagoon sleep and figure out the next step when the time comes. I was surprised at how little I felt, only the bitter sense of the surface niceness and the memory of the fear and danger lurking underneath. Eeek, I am being dramatic and literary again. Eeek!

Love, Perdida

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