Comments for Catbox 41
here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a
substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.
Sunday, June 17, 2001
Thank you sooo much for your post's. The advice given is great. I have been doing a lot of "thinking". I am making a list of behavior's that my husband does that I react so strongly to. I am trying to become more aware of what is triggering me. I know that I have almost set myself up to be the victim. I just thought I was powerless. Now I realize I am not. Instead of confronting him or openly discussing what is bothering me I passively aggressive "get back" at him. He has been pushing me away because he fears my rejection. We have gotten into this bad habit of playing games and not talking directly to each other. When I try to talk intimately or openly he runs away?
I have a history of abandonment and sexual abuse. I know I have not been emotionally available at times. It's like we are both off sync. We can't seem to find each other through all the FOG. Something in my recovery from depression set off his narissist personality. Then, my codependent traits came out in full force. We were so emeshed it was hard to tell who I was anymore. I thought he would be so happy to hear I was accepting responsibility for my happiness. Not what happened. He was actually threatened. He says now that he has attended anger management therapy that he realizes he can not control me. He is starting to not be so angry. He seems to want me to be happy. That's what he says. However, he is not ready to accept his responsibility yet. I guess one thing at a time, huh :)
I am really becoming aware of everything I do that is listed on the codependent pages. We were in a crisis mode but things are settling down. He did want to talk. However, he seems to just be saying one thing then doing another right now.
I am in the process of establishing my boundaries. I keep learning new stuff about myself everyday. I am trying to avoid beating myself up.
Theressa, thanks for the tip about learning from my mistakes. I realize I have to make mistakes to learn from them. I am also setting an example for my kids that it is okay to make mistakes, accept responsibility for my choices, and try to do better next time. I was one of those people pleasers that constantly said "I'm sorry" even if it wasn't my fault.
I really understand what you mean about listening to what I feel about being defensive. I am very defensive. I am so hurt by his previous behavior. I have not learned how to forgive but make it clear that if he does it again then there is a consequence. We never established boundaries. I have a difficult time trusting him. Every time I trust him and think he is going to show me he cares about me. He does something to break up that trust. He creates a very chaotic environment. I never know what to expect from him. I feel this is done to keep me off balance. He avoids staying in one spot for very long. I am trying to not take this personal any longer. I realize this has something to do with him now. I read all the narcissist information. I swear underneath there is this really loving guy. He is just scared. I want to reach out but he won't let me. I just use to assume it was all my fault.
I am ready to just settle down. I crave intimacy and to share myself. He is not emotionally available to me especially since he uses alcohol. So I think it's me wanting him to be something he is not. I even wrote a letter to my little girl (that's inside of me) saying all the things I needed to hear to heal that part of me. It has been a tremendous relief to realize that I was powerless as a little girl but now that I am a grown women I have the ability to protect myself. I am still working on accepting that some people choose to do what works for them but that it does not mean that I am not loveable or not worthy of being loved by them. They are just not emotionally available.
I seem to react with outrage when I feel like he is trying to turn the tables on me. He will get caught being deceitful. When I ask him to explain. He gives me excuses and blames me. I have listened to that "stinkin' thinkin'" for so long. I just can't stand hearing him do it anymore. I will then respond in a knee-jerk fashion with extreme frustration or rage. I feel like a reverse puppet. I am learning how to disengage and set the limits. I love the advice to just say "I will not allow you to talk that way to me." Then walk out. It really works. He is left holding the responsibility for his actions. Same thing when he chooses to drink. I am not saying a word.
Now, what would your opinion be about how to deal with his choice to "make friends" with other women outside of our marriage. I feel like this is betrayal. He says he wants to work things out. Keeping in mind he filed for divorce. I feel like he has one foot out the door?
On Friday I was calling to leave a message on his voicemail and 3 messages from a "friend". He says she listens to him. He has cheated before when I was 6 months pregnant. He says it was a "mistake". He says he is sorry for hurting me. He swears that he will never cheat on me again and has not had sexual relations. Now, I find out that he has been spending time with his "friend". I am more upset that he is putting his energy into this "friend" instead of coming to me. Now, he says that is because he tried to get me to go to counseling but I would not listen. That's because I felt he was in denial and not accepting responsibility. He says she is a "loving" person. He says that I seem full of anger towards him. That is because he refuses to accept responsibility. Which now I am not pushing any longer. He says in the next breathe that there is still a chance for us to work things out if I go into counseling with him to hear him out. I just don't know if this is a good idea? I keep wondering if he is using her to manipulate me? I can't seem to get over the feeling that he is not changing and that he is just collecting information to use against me. I don't feel like I can trust him. His therapist warned him once the trust is broken that it's going to be tough. Especially given his recent behavior. I am so torn as to whether I should go just to put my 2 cents in and just say how I feel. He seems willing to listen. He does not agree but seems willing to listen now? I was wondering what a good way would be to set a boundary with his "friends"? I would never even consider having a "friend" especially right now.
I understand with "addictive" personalities (me, included) that the "friend" is just a symptom or something to use to avoid dealing with his problems. He won't admit that he filed for divorce to gain power over me. So my plan was to just keep moving forward with the paperwork for 6 months and see if that's what he really wanted. Then, in the end of 6 months if we could see if there was a chance of not. I feel like a "friend" now is counter productive. She is just what he thinks is going to solve his problems. She offers him an ego boost. She seems to be easy going and "loving". He says he wishes I could be more like her. I told him it was my intention to work on myself. I know I can not control what he chooses to do. He has already gone through this once when he cheated. He said it felt empty. It was a rush then a real let down. It made him want me more. He really "seemed" to want intimacy. Now, I believe it was just control. He just has a different perspective in what the word intimacy means. I can only control what I am willing to allow to happen to me. I am trying to accept that. So do I let this go for now? I can simply ask him to consider focusing his energy towards working on saving our marriage?
I want to stay focused on working on myself and I will. I do have to try to communicate my feelings and boundaries to him.
Does anyone else feel completely hopeless dealing with a narcissist? I just feel overwhelmed at times. I feel obligated to work things out and hear him out. Then, I realize he refuses to accept responsibility and only seems to be worried about how this makes him look? He will say he cares and then his actions make me wonder. I keep thinking "Well, he needs more time to learn a new way of thinking?" As I make my boundaries and feelings heard he does seem to change eventually. I was trying so hard to control him before he keeps taking my boundaries as a control tactic. I explained that it was to protect me or what I felt comfortable with. I wonder what to do? After reading about narcissism I feel like I am just wasting my time? I've gotten over the shock now. I am accepting this is who he is. I hope we will be one of the lucky couples but there are times I doubt it. He makes it very difficult to ever stay focused on my needs because he is just so time consuming?! I keep reminding myself. This is just his survival mechanism kicking in here. Don't panic. Just deal with the issue. Don't take it personal. He needs to learn from his mistakes, etc. But...Ugh...It's draining.
My therapist says she wishes we could just create that space. So, we have been practicing ever yother weekend being separated. He took the kids away to an amusement park. I slept in till noon. I had lots of time to reflect. It's been wonderful.
OH, one last question. I need to clarify what is meant when it is said "WE have a problem". I may have misunderstood my husband when I read all the narcissist info. I thought he was implying we were one person. I may have been attempting to read his mind.
Hi all, Theressa you are doing so great. I am so glad.. I did email you my phone no. but didn't hear from you. I am on NTL so if you do want to ring anytime I can ring you back for as long as we want at the weekend.
AJ I will email you as fast as I feel better....
I did read every ones posts.
Mel, I have to confess that I didn't think you really existed for a fair while- I think your husband did pretend to be you. But I do think you are doing so much better now you are posting in the catbox- taking more responsibility for you. I suspect that like me you make a lot of excuses for others behaviour towards you and forget a bit in the process they did what wasn't ok... It is quite a tough lesson to learn not to be too soft and excusing of others...harder than learning where you are at fault in a way. There is a part of me that given the circumstances would open the prison doors and let every prisoner out because I think they are so hard done by locked up! (doesn't help the victims much that kind of thinking does it?!!!)
Let your husband feel the force of that protection order for his own help. It might be what he needs.- to know that there are boundaries that if you cross them get limits put on them. Let him feel a bit of pain now so he looks at the future in a less manipulative way. So tough to be hard as it affects the victim too; but I really think that is the helpful thing you could do. Tough love is tough. learning that is really hard too.
Meantime, well I am off back to bed and Jake is actually genuinely looking after me......this time I get fed while I am not ok (gigggle) - for new posters he left me in bed without checking for an entire day once when I was ill. Well, well, well... Seems the only way you get TLC in your home is by getting very, very sick...
jay is looking after jay (for once and apologies Mel if that's why I thought Mel should be looking after Mel!!!_ jay Good advice Mel...
I agree with what you said about how hard it is to reinforce the boundaries when it does affect the victim too. I want to share my thoughts on this. This is probably why I hesitate in enforcing my boundaries. Then I have to take action. If I allow things to remain the same then I don't have to change. It can be comfortable at times to just avoid changing for the better. Unfortunately this was not working with either one of us. That is why he reacted with frustration in anger himself. That is why I have been walking around holding in my anger. It wasn't working because we were fighting against the universe. I had to change and grow to become fully human. I wish my husband could see that it helps us both. If I establish a boundary that I won't allow him to treat me with disrespect, and when he chooses not to then I have to take action. I am in the process of divorce. He filed to gain over me hoping that I will back down. That is because in the past if it was too painful for me to change then I would just give up and allow him to do what he wanted. It was working for him at the time. Not really because he had to keep exploding more and more to remain in control. That's when he lost control and his power. Now, this is not working for me any longer. I am starting to realize I am where I am in my life because I allowed my husband to get away with murder. He likes it this way. The only way it is going to change is if I change myself and not allow his choice in behavior effect my life. If he wants to drink, do drugs, cheat then he can choose to do that. It does not mean I am powerless or have to stay and put up with it. I can change the rules of engagement by changing my choices. I am choosing to say "Enough, I will do what ever it takes to see that I am not living in a marriage to a man that chooses to drink, do drugs, cheat or whatever compromises MY integrity." I am also telling him that I can not allow him to behave in a way that I know is not good for him either by enabling his behavior so that he never suffers consequences. I actually love him (and myself) more than I love my comfort of never changing myself. That's Tough Love Boy.....I know that strength is in there somewhere inside of me!
Thanks for listening. Can I ramble or what? :) It's like the thoughts come out of no where. Once I get started I can't stop!
I wanted to share that I realize now why my mom kept telling me for years she was sooo tired. She was tired of staying the same. She never hit that bottom and felt enough pain to want to take the necessary steps to change. There has always seemed to be somebody available to enable her. It has been extremely difficult for her to watch me take the initiative to break that cycle. She wants me to be happy but at the same time her fear of losing me has her making comments to undermine me. I tell her I love her but I can not allow myself to just sit and do nothing about my situation. I know in my heart that I can make it. It won't be easy. I will make mistakes but like climbing up a hill. I just want to keep trying until I make it. I don't mean to hurt her by showing her up. I tell her that I need to do this for me.
She seems so hurt when I tell her that I may need to pack up my kids and move to another town that is cheaper in rent so that I can stay home with the kids. She says "Oh, you don't want to do that. Then they won't have their grandmother around the corner. They need me." I tell her that she can come and visit any time. I am only talking an hour a way. I have seen some friends move 3000 miles away. No one in our family has ever done that. I tell her my kids may need me at home with them after school more, and the only way I can do this is changing where I live. If I stay I have to go to work full time. But, my mom tells me she is hurt that I would do this to her. I told her I will do what ever I can to try to stay but if it means compromising my children's well being then I have to do what I need to do.
It's tough. I have never really left home. I am so scared but excited at the same time. If I don't actually do it his time I know someday it would be a great experience to venture out. The only reason I am hesitating now is that my children are experiencing a lot of changes. I am trying to balance my needs and their needs. If their father and I can not work things out then I will allow them to adjust to that change and then prepare them for another change gradually. I don't want them to wake up and not have anything to hold onto. They will have me but I have to establish their trust that I will do whatever it takes to protect them. After what has happened in this house in the last couple of years they don't feel so safe at times. I have to show them that I am really serious about my boundaries and can be strong enough to be self-sufficient. Meanwhile, I will teach them to believe in themselves. We're with you!
Thanks for listening again and again!
Dear all, Sharon here,
Thank you Dr. Irene, Trubble for the most delicious Chocolate Mint Cake. How did you know it was my favorite??? And thanks for the support from Tim B and Becky and allows.
I'm still in the 'deep' of things. For some reason, I feel such a great need to not resist these down feelings and really feel the 'loss' of Dr. Psycho this time. I cry when I feel like it, I'm alone most of the time -- I'm not "busying" myself with friends like I was so I wouldn't think about it, and I'm feeling less 'reactionary' towards him since I am leaning into this stuff. The depression comes in waves -- and then I realize what a complete ass he is and was. It used to be that I tried to find that place of anger - however, my anger is over. I'm in pain now. And its deep. He treated me very wrong in our relationship. And to know that he is cultivating new relationships with other women is laughable in one place - and completely 'yuk' in another. Now looking back - he was NEVER emotionally available to me either. I think you are absolutely right in saying that he wants to keep me in the bag for later on as 'back up' in case this one won't work out. I can guarantee anybody that this woman won't work out either. He was playing head games with me about it the last time he and I talked. He wouldn't commit to me that he was seeing someone else -- in fact he got mad and said that I accused him of it. But 2 minutes later he told me to expect to see another woman around his house.
So, I am doing what I should be. I'm not resisting my feelings any longer. I am leaving him alone -- I have NOT called him, gone by there, and any 'deal' about me having his old air conditioner is off as well. That way later in the summer he can't find an excuse to contact me for this 'deal'. That was another reason to keep me hooked in for contact. This relationship was unhealthy and has taken its toll on me every human way possible. I'm not eating, sleep is broken, and am very upset about this whole thing. But I refuse to give in - break down in front of him - and tell him how 'bad' I feel. These are MY feelings - not his - and I own them. I know in time I will feel better - but right now I am in pain - but then I know it will get better. Seeing this in print does help. Thank you so much for letting me writing this without judgment.
You are doing great! Know why? Because you are feeling the pain and dealing with it. When you stumble you get back up and keep going (like the Energizer Bunny)! You are allowing yourself to go through this very painful experience and learn from it. He, on the other hand, is avoiding the pain of introspection by chasing another woman, i.e. victim.
Again: you're doing great!
Hang in there. I understand that pain too. It's a pain that will eventually give away to acceptance and then healing. My prayers go out to you!
Just keep believing in yourself. You will be okay.
I am not judging you, (I to do this, so do the rest of us here at times)
We listen to what we want to hear. Nathan, (Nate) an abuser in recovery said to Becky and Me. The one skill abusers do have is to say the things you WANT TO HEAR and also to SAY just the right words, you've wanted to hear for a long time. AND FINALLY ability to push your buttons and HURT YOU BAD.
So dependent on the abusers motives, you'll always hear either "PUT DOWNS, to make you feel bad. OR PUT UPS to make you feel good." Always for the abusers benefit.
That is why Nathan says ACTIONS speak louder than words.
GOSH don't we give our abusers so much power to make us feel good or bad.
Maybe we should look at what is REALLY best for us, what is the reality. WILL THINGS BE any different after the HONEYMOON PERIOD???
Take care Theressa
Honey THERE IS IMPORTANCE IN LOOKING GOOD FOR THY SELF, PERIOD. It has nothing to do with looking good for others. THAT IS approval seeking.
JUST CONCENTRATE ON LOOKING GOOD FOR JULIE, NO ONE ELSE. TELL YOURSELF YOU LOOK GOOD, SAY WELL DONE WHEN YOU GET UP AND SPEND TIME TAKING CARE OF YOU.
It is all about you.
Take care Theressa
YES it is the delivery. Though if you can do the following it will help you. "Get hold of the book, when words hurt" it is on Dr Irene reading list.
1)Acknowledge the true part of the criticism . e.g he says "You are always moaning."
Your response: "Yes I am feeling fed up today".
Or "You are always late". Your response. "Yes I am late, sorry".
2) No people pleasing - e.g Explaining why you aren't xxxxx, that he said you are in his criticism, no asking him why etc. Or say "YES I AM ALWAYS, LATE, I SHOULDN'T DO THIS TO YOU."
etc, NEVER EVER, PUT YOURSELF DOWN TO YOUR ABUSER.
3) Don't try fixing things later with idel chat. Trying to say nice things etc, to make things right.
4) Don't try to control your partner e.g By saying "Well I do xxx, so you should do xxxxxx."
5) Don't try to fix things by being needy. Like trying to sort things out with him, talk things over, or do nice actions to make peace. Or try buttering up to him, being over polite, over nice.
6) If you are treated poorly detach. LET THE ABUSER COME ZIPPING BACK TO YOU.
Take care Theressa
YOU ARE ABUSIVE TOO. Don't take this as you are a bad person. Though you are abusive at times. MAINLY IN PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE WAYS, like you don't take care of yourself. (Anything you do that is not taking care of you, is abusive.)
This is why agreeing with the true part ONLY of criticisms helps.
(The truth is your emotional issues inside attract these experiences to help you learn the skills so there is usually a grain of truth in some things said to you. USE these to improve.)
Take care Theressa
When you feel overwhelmed, like I do at times to when things go crazy, try these steps.
1) Do nothing, Say nothing, even if he is going crazy. (THIS ISN'T being passive. Leave the room. Tell him, "I am leaving the room etc, as we said in your last post to me."
2) Go away and think about how you feel. Go inside and find out what is truthful.
THIS IS THE NEXT STEP. I also if I feel anxious and don't want to do this straight away, only agree with the true part of his criticism. THEN if it gets even more crazy I do the above boundary setting. "I am leaving the room etc."
You ask about other women. Are these friends? Did he know them before? What are his motives? Are his motives to spite you? If they are to spite you, I would ignore him like you would a spoilt child?
I would however, make sure you have protected sex with your husband if you do have sex and when things have settled down, ask he gets a test done to check for transmitted diseases before you sleep with him unprotected again.
I would probably not sleep with him myself if he insists on having extra marital affairs. I would detach and get on with my life. If you detach he'll soon come zipping back.
Though don't lecture him about his extra marital affairs, don't give him the satisfaction.
The truth is he will act crazy (passive-aggressively) to spite you. Ignore this silly behaviour, like you would ignore a kids tantrums.
Take care, you sound like your doing great.
ALSO you ask how it is "We who have the problem" That is correct, however NOT THE SAME PROBLEM. You both have your own unhelpful behaviours, that disbenefit your relationship.
YOURS are trying to fix things, and taking the blame for everything, and people pleasing. Being needy at times, like for instance going to make peace when he treats you poorly etc. AS YOU SAY THE CO-DEPENDENT BEHAVIOURS YOU RECOGNISE YOU DO.
He on the other hand has a big problem accepting others are imperfect and that is okay. Dealing with his angry displays. And trying to run your life.
There are probably more issues you both have, and poor behaviours, but here are just a few above.
Take care Theressa
You are growing, and so aware. This shows in your post to JAY. Yes you can ramble, and why not, for so long you were told to SHUT UP. You were told your thoughts, views were not okay.
WELL here my dear, they are totally okay, acceptable and you can ramble to the cows come home, its your choice.
Take care Theressa
You know all the answers of how you need to behave, and what you need to change, are all hiden in your daily interactions with others.
When you look inside you really see how to heal. WELL DONE on being wise and looking at your self. OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, YOU ARE COMING.
Take care Theressa
http://drirene.com/worth.htm REAL GOOD STUFF
I am in need of some guidance:
In Jay's post the therapist said, " Your goal is to be able to love another and take care of yourself at the same time." RON also said this to me.
This is the bit I do not understand yet. Are you saying, is RON saying? "You take care of yourself and set limits and detach from poor behaviour, whilst being respectful to others and accepting them. And enjoying them, and having fun with them. So you accept the whole of them. (That doesn't mean you don't set limits on how they effect you) AND you accept yourself and behave respectfully, Further you can discuss mistakes and work on working together better."
IS this what you mean by the above quote????
GOOD NESS I was reading something whilst posting from a colleague called Joanne. I can't even get my name right.
The last post was from THERESSA, not Joanne as signed.
OOOPPPS I need to do one thing at a time. (NOT defensive, just recognizing)
Take care Theressa
I hope you all can help me. I have been married for over 26 years. My husband has rages. He abandoned me, his mother and our 15 year old son in a 90 degree parking lot on Friday. We were 45 minutes from home and had no power steering or brakes. I wanted him to call AAA and he refused . He took off in the dangerous car and left us. I am so upset and hurt and mortified. he told me he wants to get a divorce, but will always love me. I can't leave...too many years together. there have been some happy time. I am in so much pain. Am I abused? Why would i stay with someone who hurts me so much/
Anger problem probably,
Has he always had an anger problem? Does he have a lower tolerance for things when they go wrong?
Maybe for you it is comfortable and maybe it familiar. Though we need more information than a one off incident.
Is it a one off incident? Does your partner constantly blame you for things when they go wrong? Do you rely on him to sort out your problems?
Answer these first!!!
Dear all, Sharon here,
Well, I'm a little out of the 'deep' today and surfacing up a bit. After a highly emotional charged weekend for me - no, I did not see or talk to him - I did alot of crying and talking to myself. I also walked at least 5 miles in our neighborhood. Now I wished I didn't live a minute away from him. I can see everything that goes on at his house. And the weird thing is - NO BODY ELSE is there. Dr. Psycho is home every night and there is no sign of others being there. Whatever!
I am doing alot better today. It was also a very hot weekend here in Sacramento, so I think I'd better start thinking about buying an air conditioner now that I am not going to settle for Dr. Psycho's old one that I was going to get such a deal on. I'd rather take care of that on my own then deal with him on any level for right now. I think that is why I am such pain -- I realize that I can't ever trust him - I feel betrayed -- and have been living in the denial of this whole crazymaking relationship. I can go on and on...but I won't for now.
I want to thank LisaMM, Becky and Theresa for your kind encouragement. Being down for as long as I am and was is no fun. However, for some reason, it feels OK. Its where I should be.
Seven years ago, today, it stopped working for me. IT - was an addiction to alcohol and drugs, an addiction to a beautiful Chinese-American woman who was my wife , work addiction, being verbally and emotionally abusive and other addictions that robbed me of my soul.
My heart goes out to all of the posters who are in relationships with people who were like me, male or female.
Sharon, I will ask you a question that Robert Burney posits on his site: " How old do you FEEL, right now?" Where and when were these feelings of abandonment, betrayal and wrenching emptiness - first played out?
Go there, feel it...write about it. As Robert so aptly puts it: " We bring these actors and actresses into OUR LIVES to teach us what needs to be healed IN US."
If I don't get the lesson, the job of the UNIVERSE is to put it in front of me again.
It is my belief that as long as I was ACTIVELY using a substance or process to medicate/inhibit my feelings, I was unable to be present for an emotional, spiritual or physical relationship with ANYONE, including myself.
Here are my gifts in recovery:
Nadia Barker(my oldest) wrote:" Thanks for all the good advice. I think you are starting to get the hang of this Dad thing!"
Michael Barker (my son ) wrote: " Thank you for all of the knowledge you have given me. I know there is so much more where that came from, too."
- AA, CoDA, Al-Anon, Theressa, Jay, AJ, Becky, Sharon, Gordon, Trubble-trapped in Prince's bedroom, Asha, Dr. Irene,( my sponsors) Billie and Sal, Bill and Dr. Bob and most of all my higher power - GOD.
Dear all, Sharon here,
Thank you for the last post. Very, very powerful message. Was that from you, Tim? It really got me thinking about all of the other actors and actresses that I've been close to that played a part of where I'm at today.
Of late, I feel old. I feel old and weary. My eyes look bad. Though my body is looking better since I've been walking 2-3 miles daily, my face looks weathered and aged. I look like my spirit has taken a beating -- though for some reason -- I'm willing to write and spew my guts out about my feelings. Usually they are tucked over there somewhere. I am crying here at work in my office when I feel like it. I'm letting it all out. Cleansing? Yes, I think so, and that's why I said in my last post "I'm where I should be."
Ironically, yesterday was the last weekend that our church uses a choir. Singing in my church's choir was my highlight for the week. So, I'm thinking of singing elsewhere -- maybe for the city. I will still attend church -- that's my highlight too -- but I thouroughly enjoyed singing in the choir. We start up again the last week in September.
Also ironically that's when it will come time to maybe have some contact from Dr. Psycho. We planned a 120-day no contact. We shall see. I have a feeling I will be healed by then -- however, that can only happen from the inside out. That is my plan for the summer -- I've given myself an 'emotional divorce decree' -- even if Dr. Psycho bashes our boundaries -- I have to remind myself 'no pain, no gain'. I am healing ever so slowly -- crying when I feel the need to really is helping. Weird but I've never done this before. I usually fight my feelings. Stay strong they say. Look tough. Act like you are happy. Sorry, but I can't do and pretend things don't bother me that these days. They do! I let another human being abuse me!
Hi all, jay in a rather better state than when she last posted. So many posts....Sharon, you need to treat Dr Psycho like the plague...keep well away and possibly wear garlic. I think he is crazy. joking aside I think he has damaged your life enough and there just has to be a better life than that. I think the pain bit is to keep us from going back there - in anger you hit out and may engage but pain helps you withdraw - if that makes sense? Maybe if it is wrong thinking Dr Irene's blue pencil will help out.
lisa you are doing great and as for Theressa WOW>.......
Mel- don't stop posting if you feel challenged will you..?
As for me....well....I have had to take some serious down time and face things I didn't want to....I have been posting in GHU as I really needed a spiritual/Christian input for a bit and to be honest getting what was going on out was really hard.
Dr Irene would call it one of life's lessons...I think I should say this is not so much a lesson as a consequence...I let things get on top of me and overdosed. I didn't want to die and it was all about wanting to stop painful thoughts.
Then yesterday - I realised how many pills I have been taking....kind of on the basis of easing the pain...mostly sleeping pills but just one or two too many.....that kind of thing and I was in complete denial.....I would never in a million years have thought I could be addicted to anything........So I have had to do some facing up to that this is not anyone's fault. If I deal with things wrongly then that is my responsibility alone and had to admit there was an addiction to pills creeping up and taking a bigger hold than I wanted to admit.
Yeah so easy to say so much pain.. not so easy to say "how silly to add to your problems." The hospital just said 'you are basically okl but too much on your plate and you got help quickly.....he realisation came from me as I reached yesterday for a packet of pills.....How stupid and action was that. I rang a helpline and talked about whether it was an addiction and didn't like getting an offer to come in and talk about it...eg "yes you have a problem you need to sort out.
YUK I can't blame anyone for this one! It all seemed to the psychologist to stem from codependent behaviour. He told me that I had not said what I needed ...told him all about what I was doing /worried about everyone else ....I even left the hospital bed and left the hospital because I felt a nuisance.....I thought if I left it they would have it as they were so busy. I met the psychologist on the way out and explained,,, He just said 'and what about YOU>>>" Yet again the message "you are strong but stressed because life stressed you." The basic 'you are ok really message." - No further treatment required......
Well I may not like seeing it, but i did see what I needed to anyway.
Oh YUK I thought I was further on the road than this...Still not looking after me so much it shows!
YUK I hate having to say I am needy....just now saying anything else is a lie and as you say Dr Irene I do tell it straight.
i don't even know how this ties in with being in a catbox. I guess the lesson is that you have to always say to yourself 'what is in my best interests. and how do I get it positively?"
I just hope this time i did get to learn the lesson!
Theressa my dad also was ill and lost his job when I was 11. It was awful and I acted more like your sisters......I got so angry as I came from a relatively wealthy time to my mum buying stuff from jumble sales......I think I had the opposite reaction and still do. Don't think I am saying anything much profound here; just saying it struck me...jay - who will regret posting this as she will feel a fool but is going to anyway.
Dear all, Sharon here,
Yes, in some strange way the pain is propelling me to stay away. I don't want to give him the opportunity to bite me again. That is why I am feeling some things that are deep. I'm not fighting him anymore, by trying to explain away. He was the abuser - and I was the victim. However, I was the one who is being blamed for the demise of the relationship. And its not true!! Its just that he will never take responsibility for his provoking and crazymaking behavior. EVER! That's why I ended things almost a month ago. Even though we were not back together - we were - and I sealed the fate by ending the physical relationship because it just was not right. Everything finally ended -- including the passion between us -- because of too much 'unreal' behaviors -- nothing was meaningful coming from him. He was so very cold. So, I am hoping that the 120 day no contact will give ME the time to heal. I could give a hoot about whether or not he heals. He will be with his new victim in a matter of time walking in the neighborhood. He's 53 and his new chic will be in her mid-20's. That's what he's looking for!! A young naive sweet woman that he can control and destroy!
Go here tonight...it's the whole cake Sharon deserves!
Tim and Everyone,
I read through Robert Burney's site. That has been my saving grace lately. That is exactly how I have been coping lately. My inner children are various ages. When I feel powerless or scared I am 5 years old. When I feel silly or even stoic I am 8 years old. Now, I kept thinking that perhaps that because I have children that age that was what was triggering my responses until one day my husband was reading some downloads about narcissism out loud accusing me of being a narcissist. I have noticed this parroting thing he has been doing. If I say he is abusive then he says I am abusive, etc. He was laughing and humiliating me. I felt like he just stepped on my boundary line and violated me. He knew how important this was to me. I literally had a temper tantrum like I was 5 years old screaming "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!!!" Then it shocked me. I covered my mouth and ran around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to hide from myself. It hit me that I had bottled up so many feelings. Repressed my emotions for 25 years. When he did something that triggered them. I reacted like a scared powerless child. It even caused him to back down because it made him realize he just crossed a line that may have just sent me over the edge. I told him that he was responsible for his behavior but my reaction to it was my responsibility. I said, I just need to get away from you right now to sort out my feelings. He kept wanting to come over and hug me. I just said, "No, you stay away from me. I don't trust you. Go away." I was hysterical and my knees were trembling. I felt immediate remorse and guilt. I called my therapist and my priest. I was convinced I may have gone nuts or that evil just jumped in my body from my husband's body. (I overreacted) Both assured me I would be okay. I had never felt so much intense pain in my whole life. So, Robert Burney's website has really helped me. I highly recommend it. I am saving up to purchase his book. It has helped me get to that safe place inside.
Previously this year I went through some E.M.D.R. therapy I really had to watch myself. I came out of the FOG and denial. I had operated out of fear, guilt, and shame. I was frozen from a traumatic event in my childhood. I felt these intense emotions for the first time in 25 years. They came out in full force. I had no impulse control. I am like a child right now learning how to deal with these feelings. I can actually relate to how a 2 year old feels sometimes when they loose control. You really feel like you are going nuts or it scares you. But, as I learn to process the feelings. I am parenting my inner child. The codependent coping behaviors were not working any longer for me to cope with my abusive husband. I have to learn a new way to cope. I have taken my child by the hand on several occasions and said, "I believe in you. I am right here when you feel scared. If you need help I will call Linda (my therapist). I think we can do this together." Then I just sit in that pain. It's an incredible cleansing experience.
I have even had to apologize to my son because he was use to me being so passive (la la land basically) that when I try to assert my request they come out rather strong. He is so use to me backing down. He was really shocked at first. Now he understands that mom means business. As I learn to separate the behavior from the child I in both of us. I feel more calm inside and more confident in my parenting.
I am still growing up. I have always loved that phrase "It's never too late to have a happy childhood". Now I know why :)
My husband's "friend" was just recently made. I guess she is on his route (he delivers to her office). He had poured his heart out to her. She is giving him a shoulder to cry on. He says because I won't listen to him. I told him I would listen but that I did not have to agree. He just started this "friendship". I feel like he has one foot out the door. He had come to me the last couple of weeks professing his love for me and wanting to work to save our marriage. I explained I was working on me right now, and I advised him to work on himself. I just asked him "How can you say that you are working on your marriage when you have been putting your energy into this new "friend". All I hear from you is excuses and blame? I do not hear you accepting responsibility for your actions? He started refusing to talk to me unless I attend therapy with him. I told him I was not ready at this point. I really felt no need to go into his therapist office while he was in denial to convince he and his therapist that I was right. I knew I was right. Greg had to realize that what he did was abusive but he is in so much denial. I was still working on my issues. I requested he work on his. He has not backed his words up with actions. I told him that if he could give me a couple of more weeks then we could meet in counseling in the future. He felt like time was running out. He was demanding I go. When I chose not to attend after his demands. Up popped this "friend". He has said to me "If you do not love me then she will." I said, "Okay, I am sorry you have chosen to do this but I guess I will have to let you go." He gets mad and tells me all kinds of reasons that he feels justified in finding relations outside our marriage. I tell him "If you choose to put your energy into this "friend" that is your choice. I will not allow you to blame me for your choice. You will have to suffer the consequences of your choice." Well, that pretty much sends him back on to himself and scrambling for more rationalizations to hurl my way. He is getting frustrated because I won't accept his "stuff". He has said that now that I am angry (more like frustrated and assertive at times) is why he does not feel our marriage will work. Now, he claims there is too much water under the bridge. I told him "I am sorry you feel this way. Given my recent behavior which I felt was reacting from how you treated me so poorly this last year and then attempted to deny it happened. (victim-rage. I am over feeling victimized and now feel I am taking my power back) I believe people can change. I am willing to work on my "stuff". I hope you will forgive me someday. You know it was not all my fault our marriage failed. You have done some pretty hurtful things to me. I feel like you are getting exactly what you want. You are trying to make me angry so I will push you away. I am doing the best I can. I was attempting to establish boundaries but you flipped out. I have to protect myself at this time." I know in forgiving myself, in turn I will be forgiving him, and letting him go. I hope he will do what it takes to get help but I am accepting that this is his choice. If he chooses to go with this "friend" instead that is his problem. I explained this all to him. He just seems very determined to push me away then blame me for his actions. I keep just telling him to do what he needs to do. He says He knows that I love him but that I am protecting myself, and he just does not understand from what? I told him that I developed this 6th sense. I just "know in my heart" that I need some time and space. I told him if he could respect my need for time and space I could heal myself. I keep explaining that I can only do this. He can not push me to do this. The fact he keeps pushing me and denying he has a problem leads me to believe that he attended therapy and he has a band aid on his wounds. He has not done the work to do what it takes to step outside of himself to empathize with my feelings, and to trust me enough to heal myself, and find my way back to him. He needs to show me that I can trust him, and I learn to trust myself. I understand this girl "friend" is just a diversion to avoid dealing with his "stuff". He is still blaming me. That I am detaching from. I am still working on my stuff.
You know all this came to him recently when he realized he was going to court and going to suffer consequences for his actions. He turned up the heat to go to therapy (with him) I felt to turn it around and get me to admit that I was the problem not him. I tell him that we have separate problems that need to be worked on. He just doesn't want to hear it. Then, when he his old tactics did not work he went to passive aggressive. Now, he is crying and saying he has to "let me go" but then trying to still get me to say "It's my fault you had to leave". He does it in this manipulating fashion. He knows I can't stand to see someone cry. He is almost using reverse psychology on me. He knows from previous experience that cheating is a big sore spot (because he did it before and convinced me it was my fault.). As if I would go running back just to "win" him back. Now, I am saying "Well, if you choose to do that there's nothing I can do." I have to see if he zips or zags?
Oh, he did promise not to have sexual relations until after we divorce. He admitted is is an affair of the heart. He made a comment that it was not anything now but could be in the future. He said "If you won't love me then I will find someone that will." I told him "I wish you could love yourself enough so that you did not have to go outside our marriage."
He slipped that he told her he couldn't have sexual relations because he promised me. Again, a big question in my mind was how did it get to the point that he had to even have this conversation with his "friend"?
I know from previous experience not to trust him. He had to undergo testing every 6 months for a couple of years after he cheated (the first time, and only time I hope). I would love to believe he wouldn't do that again but he is also an alcoholic. Once you add alcohol forget it.
All I can do is hope he makes the right choices. I can't worry about what he chooses to do. I know it has nothing to do with me. He can choose to work on his marriage, problems, wounds, etc or he can choose to run from them. That's his choice. I wish him the best.
You know after what I have been through in the last couple of years. I just need time for myself if my marriage fails. I really can not see myself running out and jumping into another relationship. I don't have much to offer at this time. I am so beaten down and pretty needy. I am learning to just take care of myself. In fact, I am thinking I may just enjoy hanging out with myself alone. Now that I have tried it a couple of times. I am really starting to like myself.
I keep thinking of that song by Stevie Nicks "Landslide". Does anyone else know this song? It has a phrase "I was afraid of changing because I built my life around you...." I love that song. It brings me to tears everytime I hear it.
Hey, I am going to try going out to a movie all by myself. I have a good friend that recommend that I try this. She says it's really strange at first. I have never done that?
I did have the house to myself this weekend that was fun! My husband took the kids to amusement parks, and all this stuff to keep them busy. (his nickname is Disneyland Dad, *hee hee*) I cleaned my house until I could clean no more. Lit candles, and gave myself a pedicure. It's really kind of fun just hanging out all by myself. Now, I have never done that before.
Letting go is not easy....I am really hanging onto my faith that I will be able to strengthen my wings if I put my mind to it. I am really just hoping the big guy upstairs is there when I fall from grace.
Haven't posted as much as in the early days of the Cat Box, but I do read. There is something different happening to me: I think I am finally, really letting go.
I think being so depressed and tired has a lot to with it: I can no longer be responsible for his stuff--it's killing me! So I have figuratively packed it all up--all the cynicism, hatefulness, anger, condemnation, insecurities--and handed it to him. He can throw it out or he can hold onto it; it's his choice.
I have told him , and meant it, that if he doesn't want to buckle down and work with me to renegotiate our marriage, he can get a divorce. I truly believe that he doesn't want that responsibility, but I'm willing to risk it. I am SO TIRED of being lured into feeling safe, then having the rug ripped out from under me. He MUST be combative, he knows nothing else! Trying to come to an understanding with him is an exercise in insanity--he just will not go there most of the time.
I can tell that the wheels in his head are turning. I hope he decides that he values his marriage more than he does his anger, but it is his choice. I am powerless over that. (BTW he tries awfully hard to make ME responsible for the choice he makes. I throw it right back at him).
I do backslide, still, and get into over explaining, and allowing him to bait me, but I am better at recognizing when I do that and stopping myself. When I look to the future things still appear fuzzy, but I'm making plans. I will continue working on my "junk," and looking into furthering my education. I WILL start exercising again (I need a PUSH in that department) and continue seeking out new friends.
I think I've made progress since coming to this site last summer, and for that I am so thankful!
Have a nice evening, everyone! Becky
what a little bit of recreational fun will do for you.
actually, today was the first day in probably more than 2 weeks where i have done what I have wanted to do. *yay! small victory for me!* its always been going over to shauns house at some point during the day -- and yes a part of me wanted to (a part of me still wants to) but i always had the niggling feeling that..."hey, im neglecting my family. my cousin. my gramma. my friends..." i felt my entire social circle diminishing, and it was scaring me but i felt powerless to stop it.
why? i didn't want to admit it to myself then, but i feel safer now : because, he let me know, in usually indirect or covert ways, that he'd be more than a little pissed if i decided to do 'whatever i wanted to do' just because i wanted to. no, the attention had to be showered on him. grrrr. and a resentful girl i became because of that. codependency works in strange ways. i wanted to be with him, yet i wanted to have the full freedom of doing my 'own thing' yet felt guilty for even wanting my 'own thing' apart from 'his thing' and so denied my thing to do his thing. thinking, hey, what a nice self-sacrificial martyr i am. and then resented him for it. as if he 'made' me decide to go with him. then i'd turn all passive-aggressive...which just screws things up.
passive-aggressiveness is a scary thing as well. no, strange. the anger you feel (and yes i have a hell of a lot of newly realized anger....bordering on rage....'victim' or 'codependent' rage they call it) is stuffed down because you've been taught (by whatever fucks you had as parents) <---see! lots of anger!! that anger is not ok at all. so it comes out "sideways" (i love that term.. it gives me a funny mental image), in sarcasm usually. or shutting down or withdrawing or leaving emotionally and/or physically. its not getting angry, its getting even without having to directly show your anger, which is perceived as a 'bad' emotion.
tell me, exactly, what is a 'bad' feeling? aren't feelings just feelings? are we supposed to not have them at all? repress, suppress, fester. that's where the rage comes from. but mine surfaced through depression, sarcasm, the aforementioned passive-aggressiveness. addictions. but im slowly coming to terms with my emotions. im actually realizing them, and as dr. Irene says to do ... "sit" with the feeling. don't react. don't do a thing. just realize that its there. that its ok to be there. why its there. what to do about it. but don't just react, which solves nothing and typically produces results worse than what was there before. (i know i do this quite a lot).
but im learning, and healing, slowly. its all a process. it took me a long time to even say 'verbal abuse' and 'father' in the same sentence. i didn't want to know it. it still makes me feel uneasy. but i can name the truth now. i can say 'yes, i was abused.' i'm not quite at the point of total forgiveness (i still have tons of resentment and anger). but i'm going to get there eventually. i have realized that it is possible. wow and what a process....i started to realize/understand verbal abuse when i was 15. im now 18. it took me a year to work up the courage to ask for a therapist. and i still dont go regularly.
and ive got a while to go yet, im sure many years before my entire system of reactionary ways of handling things, my skewed perceptions of self / others, my addictions (cigarettes, work, shaun...and sugar. yea its an addiction and a horrible one at that since im also hypoglycemic), and the like can be detoxified. but at least i can say im not crazy. i never went delusional. ive had mental breakdowns, and i still have anxiety attacks (not as bad as before and less frequently) but i never went over the edge. and i can't now, that im recognizing things. a mind that is sane knows it has a problem and takes problems to correct it. so i can rest assure im not insane.
an amazing thing: im beginning to realize my needs. they are many, since a bulk of them were unmet as a child. emotional mainly, but those are the hardest, in my opinion, to overcome. 'overcome'. no that's the wrong word. that is a pattern i have to get out of, thinking i can overcome my neediness for love/people. (had written things...but realized i needed to be specific). i tried, i ran a long, long time pretending i was independent and didn't need anything from anyone. im still uncomfortable receiving anything, especially money. then i swung the opposite direction and clung onto people (mainly significant others) for what i needed. shaun is a prime example, and ive fucked things over in that relationship.
i read that i can never, ever get these needs met. i was a child once, and never will be again. i will never get the emotional needs, the boundaries, etc from my parents. the window has passed. i have to grieve that loss. ive already started. it is not selfishness or self-pity, it is "sorrow for the self." a literal sorrow, i have to grieve what i will never have.
but before you think there is no hope...which is what i thought as i was reading this....i went on to read that you can look for mothering/fathering influences in your life. but to remember that people have boundaries too, and to not suck off of them what they are not able or willing to give. friends/other family members cannot be expected to parent you all over again the right way. that is asking too much of their time and energy and it is unfair to them. of course, the child in me kicks and screams and says "why not??!!??" but we have to learn to take what we can get and accept it and be ok with it. this is a hard thing to learn. especially when i just want to run, like a little child, up to those i look to most for guidance/support and just cling and never let go.
and i FEEL like a child. like im tasting life all over again. its very awe-inducing. i want to go play in the rain, and shop at toys 'r us and pick out my whatever i feel lilke picking out. i want to play. i want to play. i want to play. i did not get to play. i was forced out of my childhood. and im trying, albeit desperately, to relive it again before i have to really grow up. heh. :) i just want to enjoy life. that's all.
thought maybe those at the catbox may be encouraged or helped by what ive been realizing. HA and no i did not just come up with this...i was reading books on codependency by pia mellody and melody ???.... and things on verbal/emotional/intellectual/spiritual abuse. i didn't even know those existed, and ive gone through every one to varying degrees.
and of course, ive been reading the posts daily. ive been sitting and thinking. and im out of the relationship with shaun and i. its a daily struggle ... to not just go to his house, to not just call, or IM or e-mail. he is an addiction....grrrrr. and i may fall yet so.... thanks all for the encouragement, for the reality checks i didn't want to hear (at the time). thanks for caring & understanding. blessings and love, heather
YES WOW. Quarterbacks daily, learning lots. Learning all about my unhelpful co-dependent behaviours and working out how I got them, and why they don't help me anymore.
I was told last night by RON my therapist to count my blessings, and to see on balance what I had.
He explained Karma to me. When your actions predict your future. And how you can't have everything perfect, it is on balance you see your really okay.
e.g you can't be rich and poor at the same time. You can't be secure and insecure at the same time. You can't buy a lettuce for £1 aswell as an apple with the same £1. You can't live with freedom and peace of mind, at the same time as being a criminal.
Everyone has responsibilities even those who are homeless, or those who have loads of money.
The overall picture of oneself is more important in building self esteem than just looking at your faults.
AND FINALLY self esteem comes from within, Do I think I am doing my best that I can at this specific time? If not can I make any adjustments or change any behaviours that are not serving me any longer? IF I can say I am doing my best whilst at the same time working on any improvements that benefit me. THEN I have every reason to feel GOOD ABOUT ME.
So I can safely say to criticisers "WHO the hell are you to treat me like that" Lol
Who is worthy to judge me, and who am I worthy to judge??? The truth is I am not, and neither is anyone else. I just have to accept their choices, and it is up to each individual to look at their own behaviours/ways and decide if they want to improve in any way that benefits them.
I have had some terrific moments in the last two weeks. I've been able to hear criticisms and at times "Do nothing and just listen and then go away and see which buttons it pushed and question those buttons." THIS help me grow rapidly. And learn what not to do, and what to do.
Other times I've used the technique of only agreeing with the true part of a criticism.
I've seen first hand also what happens when I engage in a conflict, or try to defend myself. I've also seen the truth of my partner, his deep insecurities. THE way he blames others instead of admitting when he makes mistakes, the way he is defensive. I've seen how he uses fear and manipulation. And how he ups the stakes and control when I am resisting.
I've learnt how to detach, and have caught myself when I am about to be needy and fix things, be nice.
I've saw how I behave when I am nervous "Chatter on about others, and judge them. Or give praise and put myself down in one sentence. Also how I will praise me and at the same time put others down."
I have seen how I have behaved when I have felt inferior to my superiors at work, and I've seen the same behaviours when others seem to feel inferior to me. E.g when I talk about college my partner tries to put me down.
I feel now like I am watching a film, and seeing things I never saw before, and understanding how they helped me to survive but at the same time hurt me.
I have realised the assets GOD has given me. He really did give me all I need. SO I can't do DIY but GOD gave me the skills to use in paid work to earn money to pay someone to do the DIY.
To others he gave the skills to sell to others. ON BALANCE God really has done a good job of getting everything done one way or another.
It really isn't what your given that counts it is how you use what your given. STRATEGY, is better than strength.
One day there was a young man and an old man who had a job to do, which was to move a 100 logs from the middle of the road. The young man worked and sweated to get his 50 logs moved.
The old man sat down on a stump and looked up at the sunshine. Each time a person passed by the old man would say "Please will you pick up one log for me and move it out of the middle of the road". The people were pleased to help.
At the end of the day, the young man was sweating and tired and drained. The old man was smiling and not fatigued in the slightest. The young boy said to the old man. YOU ARE LAZY and cheated to get your logs moved.
The old man said a wise man uses the talents he has to get the job done. He uses the resources he has available. It isn't cheating it is using what you have to the best of your ability.
So some of us have academia skills, and some practical skills so we have all the resources we need to live a successful life, and earn a living.
It is not what you have, it is how you use it.
GOD made no mistakes, he gave everyone talents to run the earth and live happy lives. To earn a living and to contribute in one way or another.
OUR job is to see what we have and use it to live a fulfilling life.
A young girl went to school and felt so sad, she came home and said she had nothing to offer to the group of other children so she had no friends. She took sweets, balls, toys to school and still had no friends. THEN SHE WENT and sat on her wise old grandfathers lap.
She complained I have nothing to offer. HE said "Sure you do, look at me and give me a smile." the little girl gave the biggest beaming smile she could and he said "SO you have nothing to offer to make others see you contribute hey. Well what about that terrific smile?"
SO the next day that little girl went to school and when the children looked at her they saw her beaming smile. She continued this for the next day, and the children saw how this smile cheered them up. SO they came over and talked to the little girl and asked her to play.
She never again was without friends. She went home to her grandfather, the wisest man she knew and said "It worked" He said "Sure it worked you used your blessings/talents in the best way you could."
Take care Theressa
pearly28. I ASKED HIM TO LEAVE, HE DID, I TOLD HIM IT WAS A LITTLE MINI VACATION. 24 HOURS HAVE GONE BY PEACE......LONLINESS....... HAVE I CAUSED THE ABANDONMENT I ALWAYS FEARED THE MOST. NIGHTMARES HAVE HAUNTED ME FOR 26 YEARS ABOUT THIS MOMENT.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME, TO US? IS WANTING THE BROKEN MARRIAGE FIXED A SYMPTOM OF ABUSE? I LOVE HIM AND WANT HIM NEXT TO ME.....LOVING ME........RESPECTING ME. IS THAT ASKING TO MUCH? CAN I TAKE LESS? WILL I TAKE LESS?
What part of Alcoholic/Sex Addict is so difficult to understand? Your post triggered a lot of emotions for me. I have been on both sides of this addict/co-addict, co-addict/addict equation.
Patrick Carnes is perhaps the best source for information on the subject of sex addiction. Yes. Excellent. Two selections: Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict and Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction..
Dealing with a sex addict IS the most crazy-making experience one can go through. I know, I was one and I married them too, twice.
It is much easier to detach from someone who is addicted to a substance rather than a process ( which IS sex addiction). Carnes discusses the distorted belief systems of both the addict and co-addict. In any case, until BOTH of these addictions are addressed by GREG, he is NOT AVAILABLE for you, his children or most importantly,. for his therapist. The addict is focused on ONE thing and one thing ONLY - protecting the supply. i.e., alcohol, drugs, work, the OBJECT of sexual gratification, gambling, etc. Hello, the lights are on, NOBODY is home.
I had each of those conversations with my wife, Jean Marie. I heard, " You made me do it!", " You're smothering me!", "You accuse me!", "I just need my space", " I didn't go to therapy because YOU were an alcoholic!" - (we make great targets), " He's part of my support group!" , "He means nothing to me!", " I'm not going to give up my right to be with other men!", " You will NEVER find out if I'm having an affair." - Hmmmm, what's the prize and pay-off here, for Tim?
I painfully and laboriously, came to understand that when I speak, the disease can't (won't) hear me and that when I listen, I hear the disease. What was I reenacting? Where did I have this experience of betrayal, abandonment, verbal and emotional abuse all the things that are described in Patricia Evans books - as little Tim?
WHY WOULD I KILL FOR SECOND BEST?
When I finally read "Secret Survivors" by E. Sue Blume all of it started to come together. Both Jean and I are survivors, of emotional and sexual incest. That is why we picked each other. The deal is : each of us must heal from within...that road less traveled.
I have this picture in my head of when I served with the 10th. Special Forces Group and made a night jump in the dead of winter at Fort Drum , NY - my A-Team trudged over 25 Km. in knee-deep snow, at -30 degrees with 90lb. rucks, full medical pack, weapons and ammo to meet some guy who was sitting in a tree...I was not alone. Nor, am I now.
Listen to Theressa.
eek it is Gremlins or Trubble.. just looking at the catbox when this email thing from my email I never knew it could do appeared telling me to check the site out! Giggle now I am totally confused cos I was on it anyway,, ,maybe Trubble is up to trix - or I have a ghost cat in my computer!!!!!!!!!! Trubble proclaims innocence! Meanwhile jay has been looking after Jay maybe a little too well today as all i got done was to play on the internet and now I have no supper ready.....had stuff to do and did not do it....but feel a lot better and Theressa rang so now I know what she sounds like! AJ still doesn't seem to have got back to the catbox so I emailed her today to say it could not be the Hoover.... now will this go through or is Dr Irene feeding Trubble fish head? jay Well, I sure don't feed him posts. I've dispatched Trubble and KittyKat to find out who is eating the posts. Top Secret Mission!
Dear all, Sharon here, Thanks Tim B. for the post and much insight. I'm still in a deep way, however, when I get home tonight I'll look up that Bible scripture. Saw Dr. Psycho on the way to work this morning on his bike looking smug. He saw me in my car. We didn't' wave or anything.
I am staying completely away and it is very, very, very hard. This 120-day no contact is a hard way to go, and I go in and out of how I deal with it. One minute its' OK - the next minute - its not OK. My emotions go up and down. Still not sleeping good- and my appetite is still weird, though a little better. I'm getting exhausted from the walks and the heat. But I look wonderful. Go figure. Been crying periodically. What kills me is thinking that he has someone else. That's what kills me. Though I have no proof that someone else is there at his house spending the night, it just makes me upset that there is. I feel so used by this man. And he has no personal ad in the newspaper any more. I find that very interesting.....so, does that mean that he did meet someone? Or, could it be that since our break up he is regrouping and grieving like myself, and he didn't renew his ad because he's not ready for someone now that our break up is final? Whatever he is doing, I realize that its none of my business any more. I will myself spinning in circles trying to figure all of this out. But calling and asking is out of the question. Been there in the past -- and will not go there again. Its not worth being bitten by him. The bottom line is that he's not worth my time, and yet I've spent so much emotion on this relationship. More energy has been used in the break up than the actual relationship. That's another story! Hugs, Sharon
Ok this is God, trubble or a gremlin.. I checked into the CatBox a while ago and my email thingy - actually an email thingy came up on the screen with an email telling me to check out the site! I can't even see how it can do that and finding myself relatively sane - Theressa I didn't sound off my head earlier did I am now totally intrigued to know how what and why...!!!!!!.
Not that I actually believe this post will go through......Trubble you eating them again? Yuk. Posts are too dry. I prefer Trout.
i tried all over the site and can't find anything that i hadn't already seen or that I thought was for me, in any particular way.......
One of life's hopefully solvable mysteries or maybe to be relegated to how when I was allowed to do the washing no matter how many pairs of socks I put together odd ones always came out......
Yeah feeling a lot better and Theressa I will get round to those parables and look out the spiritweb site...I do hope my last mention of my weird message board wasn't too off-putting - giggle I thought as i put the phone down what a weird thing to say!
Meanwhile I seem to have and entire rock band in HKK's room making some very strange sounds-never seen half the guys before but I assume they are from school! Better think about feeding it/them! Trubble thinks you should charge admission and feed them out of the proceeds.
Dr Irene given my mood to day I am thinking about the mood swing thing _ I think I have to get a little more insistent that my doc stops messing around with Yam creams and actually makes sure the hormonal stuff gets proper investigation.... You know, yam cream is a potent hormone. That can swing you all around...
Weird - since Sunday Jake has seemed more bearable and been distant; but seemed very polite and nice...mind you I haven't spoken to him much.. just seems on his best behaviour . Maybe it is because I can only focus on me for a bit? I don't even know if he knows what happened...I haven't told him but guess I will need to at some point......It is weird how when you notice something the temptation can get bigger as you fight.. guess what happens is that you learn to fight something bigger than it is so when it is allowed to go to size you have the strength (Is that total nonsense?)
I think you are right.. things do seem to come to us for the lessons we need to learn.....
Theressa - parenting button? do you know the more I think about that I am less sure what you mean.. do you mean look at why I didn't write the research; get over what I am frightened others think - or feel better about me? o-Or other????
Sharon. wear garlic to keep him away!!!!!!
Perdida - I will have to write back later to you I know there was stuff i wanted to say; but better feed the gang! jay
Oops! The first post did go through and then I sound mad as a hatter in the second! Mainly this is due I think and hope to typing error! Was typing fast and now they have all disappeared so I can't feed them anyway - leaving me with a mysterious smelling joy stick and a bizarre treat of a completely off the wall sounding reggae band (huh- why did they do that and then all just go out?) Giggle it would be nice to be that carefree I guess... Maybe they've been eating the posts?
Meantime something hit me. it was how judgmental of me I am of having anything other than a completely calm mood of me... Giggle! oops now HKK is here and I will have to post back again! jay
Now to try again-
OUCH! Now I am getting my brother in law lecturing me and being right......long story and boring but he just said something that made me react and then think 'that is sensible...about a saying he has' let it be waves in the sea." about putting what has happened in he past behind me,,, guess I had better listen; this BILL is the nice one I do respect and he is a pretty good guy...he is a bit younger than me but at one stage my mother in law actually told me I needed someone like him and not Jake! (Giggle - no way he is too young and I love his wife to bits - one of the nicest people I know). On the particular subject we were on he does have the expertise...actually never heard him tell me to DO anything before - only actually he was saying not to!
Back to what I was trying to say - about feelings and emotions. i just realised some really big buttons:
They are all to do with not feeling it is ok to get being/feeling right wrong at times. Like if someone else gets angry, I think that is just in the moment for them; but with me I get really cross with me for getting angry/depressed/over the top/too high/low/anxious etc., etc. - and if someone mentions it I start to feel such a failure. So I guess at root it is an emotional failure button and I do know where it all comes from-yukky parenting. Sounds like an irrational thought to me. The kind you pay attention to and clean up each and every time you notice yourself going there...
And so I marry a man who appears to be totally calm all the time and wonder why I feel constantly criticsed - not all Jake- but he can't even take someone raising their voice... actually thinks it didn't happen in HIS family - It did but I think he is so quietly spoken he thinks ordinary talking is shouting! He hasn't realised quite how loud compared to normal he is yet.
And he was constantly telling me I was shouting. I was speaking loudly I guess because if you spend a great part of your time with people who can't speak good English you have to be clear and you have to get your voice to carry if you run any kind of group: instead of thinking about that I go into the failure button about how awful to be so loud......
of course if it was someone else I would be thinking don't be so silly....but because it is me......... I am really hard on me...
I wish I knew how to be a little more forgiving of me. Ask yourself how you would think and feel if you were another person... I let things go with others easily- why not me.....Well I guess the anti Jake and then the daughter anger lasted a while- but the thing is, I felt guilty to be angry even if it was right. Ashamed even of justified anger and so I had to work on getting rid of it so I could look good in my own eyes...
On the other hand I don't always come off well in arguments, yet I know I have a certain ability to be calm and negotiate ..but if I lose it in a justified way I beat myself up........
With my brother in law I could say 'we disagree and you are right and accept straight talk with out a fight...I can from dr Irene - why don't they push my buttons in the same way?
something of the same skill...neither lose what they are feeling they want to say in fear of the other person. they both have boundaries and you can sense when you are near to crossing them. I just wish I had that skill. Jake has big boundaries in a way but they end up as brick walls. You could say to my brother in law "I disagree" and he disagrees back, but he is not going to hold it against you. i feel....you are still a person and if you don't get it, then he backs off...same with Dr Irene..... With Jake I feel in the wrong if I can't agree with him on everything. It pervades all issues and not one.
I don't know what my boundaries are. I do in certain situations. Shop keepers may not be rude to me.. I can effectively send something back in a shop and usually get my money back unless I decide it isn't worth it. Students knew always there were things I didn't tolerate-like templates in creches and they did get to know I would fail the ones I liked for bad practice.....that I would say in the end there was a limit on the time I would wait for work and eventually I learnt that I could say no to students who were disruptive.....
But around myself...those are all situations that have discussable and definable boundaries you can learn on a course...I can't do it. I think....HKK does stuff and I try to say "no" and he just does it anyway ,,,not a terrible kid and just a couple of things like he always tries Grrr to catch me posting here and read the post! I just spent five minutes in a stranglehold - all very friendly but I didn't want him reading ---it is a bit of a game at the moment I guess but I can't seem to do stuff like say no to helping out or if a friend says something rudely, I end up taking it. You take stuff from people you care about personally. The good news is the more you pay attention to this and notice it, you can stop it.
Good grief I am probably saying I am like the rest of the human race.....!!!!!!!! which proves the point - I am a failure because I can't set boundaries...... (giggle- this is so stupid...everyone can't get it right somewhere and I am not dying of it! plenty of people can't return food in restaurants and they could feel a failure for that..... ) See, another irrational thought! Silly stuff we believe for no good reason, other than it's what we were taught early on, and it's now a bad automatic, auto-pilot habit.
Giggle ....my first ever teaching practice in adult ed, I landed teaching consumer skills to a group of lads from the gas board... that was a lesson in boundaries and lunacy....They locked me in the classroom one week.... replies about what would you do if you bought a radio and it didn't work would be met with "we would take it apart, miss" and a detailed explanation of a million apparently taken apart newly bought radios - and then I found out the magic key: It was a boundary! You can laugh and joke but just don't treat the lesson right and I mention this to your employer and grr I was going to carry it through -- they turned, well, into humans if not angels...... Hehehehe....
That kind of key isn't the same with family so I guess i NEED TO FIND WHAT MY BOUNDARIES ARE.....So worried I will cross other people's boundaries I forget my own -or that I can decide on them.....
Ah well rambling again...sometimes this is a thought box rather than a cat box.....cats should have somewhere useful and good to sit and thing about thing!
I meant think about things! jay No you didn't. You meant "thing about thing."
It warms my heart to hear acceptance of one's own human-ness and imperfection.
The "Spirituality Of Imperfection", Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham
What separates ALL of us is Edging God Out...
Tim B. Bingo! Thanks Tim B.
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
This is my first time to enter this webpage. My mother has been mailing me this address for a long time.
My situation is I have been married for seven years. My relation ship with my husband is so awful. He can get my emotions so crazy, I end up in the corner hysterical in the fetal position. Brief run through of my weekend. He left with his paycheck and ran off for three days. Comes home broke and wanting to move out. Rent was late, so I had to take the bill money to pay the landlord. Today he lost his job and still has not packed his bags. He threatens to blow his head off in front of my five year old, which sends him to tears. I found out he has been cheating. I am a wreck. Please talk to me...... Pack his bags for him Lori. Glad you're here. Lori
You need support! Can you stay with your mom for awhile, or with some other relative? Have you considered therapy? There is no way you should be trying to deal with this alone! If you are hysterical and in a fetal position, your health (emotional and physical) is being affected. Making threats to kill himself in front of your little child is sick and sadistic--it's child abuse! He needs to be held accountable for this!
Call the nearest domestic abuse shelter or the domestic abuse hotline (in your phone book). I know you are frightened and demoralized but for your and your child's sake, you should get away from this man. Take the time apart to educate yourself about abuse, to get an education, whatever you need to do to make yourself stronger. It's a long road, but you'll make it; just take a step at a time. Start by gathering some support.
Please read through this site and post as often as you feel the need to. Be sure to check out the message boards.
Please take care of yourself and your son. You are not alone, Lori. There are many of us in similar situations and we DO care, and want to offer you our support.
Tim and Everyone,
I believe the hardest thing for me to understand is my own codependency. I have this extreme desire to "save" him. I keep thinking if I understand what drives the addiction then I can make it better. That's not true. Bingo! All I have been doing is getting in the way of the natural consequences and process. I really have been reading Robert Burney's site Good stuff. to find out that I had this desire to work out my unresolved issues. I am trying to go back into history and heal my abuser. It's not possible. I can only heal myself. Your codependent thinking is irrational. Read The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life .
I have been trying to surrender and let god take over. I have faith in Greg. I truly believe that under all the armor there is this truly magnificent human being. I have seen him. He is just detached from himSelf. I know because he does go every week to his therapy sessions even though he says "It's to understand why my wife is so scared of me. I think she is crazy." If I hold up a mirror to him he might hear himself and how he feels. He can not hear me (believe me I tried). He has to hear himself. He is responsible for his recovery. His defense mechanism's are just sooo much tougher than mine to break through. He endured much more physical abuse and emotional abuse for a longer period of time. In fact, His parents live around the corner. They are still the same. Mom is brain dead from putting up with his abuse for years. His adoptive father (healthy as a horse, has not worked since they married 25 years ago), was in prison for several years. He was busted for taking photos of young girls in his photo studio. He stopped physically abusing their mother (after the boys turned 18 and Greg popped him one day). He still emotionally abuses and control his mother. Greg just got in contact with his real father after 30 years and found out a lot of what was told to him as a child was all lies. He became a perfectionist and swore he would never be like his parents. We both said this. My husband tried to conceal what his adoptive father did but his behaviors are so odd and my body was picking up all kinds of intuitive warnings. So, here we are acting it all out again. My husband has been under a lot of stress and had a breakdown in January. We both triggered each other. I know he is just coping the best he can. He is lost in that dark hole. He needs to hit bottom and climb out. It's extremely difficult to watch him fall. I have a lot of survivor's guilt right now.
It all really started getting out of control when I entered therapy for my depression and to heal my wounds. I was raised by alcoholics and was sexually abused. I am making this journey across and I want to run back and save my family and him. I just can't. I am accepting that powerless feeling. It's my own process I guess fighting against reality, the universe, and god. I have good days and bad days.
I know in my heart that letting him go is the best thing for him. I love him. I am learning to separate the disease or illness from the person (Self/Ego). I can really tell when I am talking to his Ego and to his Self. It's really bizarre. I am very aware of my own. I am learning how to communicate better, be assertive, and not to personalize his behaviors. It's really helped me talk in a non-defensive way. He really appreciates it. I blamed him for my misery at times too. I was in my own pain and acted out at him. I felt powerless and worthless. He was not emotionally available to me either. I was reaching out and looking for mutual respect and forgiveness. All the time he pushed me away. The addictions had taken over. When he feels threatened by me, I have to be careful. I am aware he can harm me. He has not been physical and at this time he is aware I will take the necessary steps to protect myself. I just have to remember though that he is an adult not a child making choices. His disease is just taking over his rational thinking. He will eventually get healthier if he keeps attending therapy. I have a lot of faith in his therapist and in him. We were so enmeshed. I became healthier, let go, separated us, and he panicked. I know I will be okay now. He will do the same if and when he is ready. He is just not there yet.
I am really trying to get him to understand that we are separate people with separate problems. He can not help me or control me. I can not help him or control him. I let him know we are both broken pieces but if we each work on our "stuff" then we could heal as individuals. Then we can make it as a married couple. We just are working backwards right now. It's okay though. We have an obligation to do the best we can for our children. If we find out that it's not going to work as a married couple, then we can at least be two healthy single parents. I have presented it as a "win-win" situation.
I would be lying if I did not confess that I have my own addictions. I over-eat and I am codependent. I spun out of control after I could not keep the "Perfect" Wife, Mother, and Daughter, etc image up. My addictions, compulsive, and obsessive behaviors emerged. We had a family tragedy last year when my Uncle was arrested for Molesting children at an elementary school. It was a family secret for 25 years. I always had this guilt that someone else was getting hurt because our family did not do anything about it. I called the detectives and had him arrested when I found out he was hiding at my grandmother's. I knew it was our duty as citizen's to protect innocent children. Yes... My grandmother was not who I thought she was. My fantasy world came crashing down. I swear I just gave up one day because I felt like I was "waking up" and all the people I had always thought would protect me were not who I thought they were. I swear I kept feeling like it was a bad dream and I would wake up. My health deteriorated. I am on anti-depressants, cholesterol lowering pills, and Phentermine to curb the binges. I am attempting to just go with the flow, surrender, accept, and learn from it. I am trying to accept my imperfections and forgive all those who have hurt me. It's allowing me to forgive myself. And, you are accepting reality. Excellent!
My therapist says that it has been a lot to take in one year. I have had 3 family members in and out of the hospital or dying slowly. My Uncle arrested and the trial. Losing a relationship with my grandmother. I had my husband's shoulder injury (he was off work and on pain relievers) and his breakdown. Then now accepting he is an addict and abusive. He filed for divorce. My children are in therapy and have been acting out. I found out who my real friends were real quick. I am healing my wounds and accepting responsibility for myself. Blah.....We were both coping the best we could. It was just not working any longer.
Now that I have hit my bottom and working my way back up. Taking my power back little by little. My addiction to food has totally gone away. I am making healthier choices.
I don't know if it matters what the addiction is, by the way. It doesn't. It's all the same. Right. We are acting out our pain. We are detached from Self. We are using something or anything to medicate the pain. Even if that's another person, etc. I use to drink when I was a teenager and in my 20's. I stopped after I had children. We use to hold each other's head over the toilet when I was younger. We would drag each other in and take care of each other. Much like "Sid and Nancy". I can see how it would be easy to be in both position addict/co-addict. My husband is actually a codependent himself. I outgrew this need to drink and knew it was time to grow up when I became pregnant 9 years ago. I stayed home with the kids. Became the designated driver. I immediately started looking inside for strength. When I quit working I had to drop the "image" and material possessions. I kept thinking he would eventually outgrow this too? Then I kept waiting, and waiting...He grew up but never changed. I was making it too easy. Yep. I put his needs before mine. His Ego is just so much larger than life right now....in his head.
I am now taking control of my responsibility to mySelf. Big overhaul! I have started exercising, dolling myself up, creating more time for fun, and balancing work, home, kids. I am setting little goals. I am not telling anyone around me either. Just taking action. I know they will see the changes over time. It's starting to feel better already.
I am reading through all the previous Cat Box Boards for guidance and validation. In understanding myself, I can understand any addictions and human behavior. I think when we all know better we do better. It's great to see there are so many survivors!!!
:) Lisa You are in a wonderful space Lisa. I know it hurts, but, it's OK, it's real. Continue to feel what comes your way, without getting hung up and obsessing on it or acting out. When you do this, your ability to cope with life's junk gets better and better. In time, nothing can throw you...
You sounded perfectly sane to me on the telephone yesterday. You also sounded like you were accepting the things you need to fix in yourself (Co-dependency bed!! You know what I mean!!)
We seemed to agree on lots of things, I really felt I got to know you.
As for the sites you have, I have only one thing to say to you: I think it is great that you have the message boards BUT and yes there is always a but.
I agree with the psychologist what are you doing for Jay??? Well one thing you are doing for Jay methinks, is you visit the catbox and use it to work on Jay. Though I know what the psychologist means as Ron said similar things to me.
When Jay is loving everyone else, providing message boards, answering posts, helping in her parenting groups, who is loving Jay?
Well I also think Jay is beginning to think about Jay maybe for the first time in her life (although there is a tinge of guilt when she says she is doing things for herself).
You do your writing class for Jay.
I guess what the psychologist means is self discipline. It is no harm Jay helping others BUT she has to first take care of her own life, (thy Self) and then if she has energy time left she can help others, or if there is a crisis she can help others.
Jay I think you hold a lot of guilt inside of you. You felt guilt when you couldn't answer posts when you were ill.
The message for Jay is "you do your best, you help when you can, no need to feel guilty when your ill, or have to do some things in your own life, as I said to you, you attract the lessons you need to learn. One of those lessons is that you can only do so much. And by improving your own life you improve those around you. You improve others lives by showing them a healthy example of which they can choose to follow or not. REMEMBER, "Actions shown speak a thousand words spoken."
Now on to your parenting button:
I sensed from you that a whole stack of disapproval is residing inside of you right now. It is like what happened to me at Christmas with that guy.
In the community, in my partners mind, in my families mind, I was always on a pedestal. They saw me as the GOOD LITTLE GIRL who never let them down. Who had strong values and wasn't like her friends that got used by men. I was in their eyes pure, I spoke of my sorrow when girls got used. I spoke of my annoyance at any sort of using, or bullying. I never strayed, I was always loyal, even when my partner was abusive to me. I stuck up for him.
Then what happened. I LET THEM all down. You see I wasn't so perfect, I let my self down they think. I ignored my values, I allowed myself to be used, and to use, I wasn't pure anymore, the sorrow was now for me. My loyalty was flawed in their eyes.
I felt cheap, angry and betrayed, and so did they.
SO how does this have anything to do with your parenting button???
Well Jay in her community was seen as trustworthy (she is still, despite all this), she was seen as someone with the right parenting skills, she was admired by parents through out her home town, she had it sorted out parenting. She was the envy of other parents who didn't have the parenting skills. SHE WAS A PILLAR FOR THE COMMUNITY on parenting.
Jay felt good about this, who wouldn't, her esteem was high, though it was all external. What do I mean by this??
Well for Jay she felt she looked the part, she showed the outward skills, but it was fragile, she feared failing, she feared being imperfect, she couldn't let the community down. she couldn't accept that Jay may or her family have anything in their lives that would reflect a BRIGHT shining torch on her family, that it would ever be under scrutiny.
Jay was like a bridge with water running underneath. The bridge (outside of her) felt strong, though inside (the water) had imperfection (all perfectly okay), though Jay dreaded anyone ever knowing she had water under her bridge, that she might not be perfect, that she made mistakes, like all other parents.
NO Jay wasn't high and mighty and didn't think she knew it all. She also realised she made mistakes, she knew she had blessings and flaws. BUT was so afraid to let anyone else see these flaws, mistakes.
Jay inside hadn't accept her whole self. She felt like an egg outside she had a shell (externals self esteem), inside she felt vulnerable and insecure. Theressa, whatever you do, you're in the wrong business. You should do this.
JAY needed to learn to love all that is inside her, the flaws, mistakes and the blessings (the talents etc).
Then chaos hit her home, (the biggest lesson she might ever have to learn to be whole) This lesson cracked the egg shell (the outer self esteem) It had to so that Jay could ever heal the inside.
Cruel as it seems as I told Jay yesterday the lesson I learned at Christmas seemed cruel. And at first I felt so bad, and angry at Ron my therapist, at the guy I dated, at myself, and my family for looking down on me and my friends.
THOUGH now I know that this lesson had all the stages I needed to grow. It showed up my imperfections, how insecure I felt. How my perfect little family were also flawed.
In a way it was a relief for at last I didn't need to hide the inside of me away any longer. I could show the whole of me off to the world.
As Ron said and Dr Irene, and many other therapists. IT is through the truth we get set free.
Though as with truth comes pain. THE Feeling of all eyes watching me. The feeling of criticism. The feeling of feeling let down by my family. Feeling flawed and on show. Like a torch is over me now, people are gossiping.
So maybe Jay is feeling like she has a gapping hole inside of her, like I did. WELL Jay my dear, the hole needs filling.
But what does it need filling with??? LOVE, self acceptance, allowing all this to be okay, acceptable. To look yourself in the eye and your family and SAY YES WE ARE FLAWED and imperfect, BUT most of all we are imperfectly OKAY, and learn to be okay with imperfection heals.
The criticisms of you not being perfect you can handle. You know deep down there are good reasons for your daughters behaviour. You know it was a cry of pain. You know she did this to relief some of the pain she denied for so long.
Jay you need to allow yourself to cry for all the pain your family has been through. You need to sit and know it is fine to crave in and cry until you can cry no more. Feel it; hear it's message, and don't react.
It is only through releasing this pain and hurt you feel for what you've been through that you can accept this was a hell of a thing to go through.
Then you can question why you feel the way you do? That is what I was saying above. Why does it matter that you are seen flawed, imperfect or that your family does??? (approval perhaps??)
You let no one down, why do you think you did??
Is it Jay's job to be perfect, is this possible??
Doesn't it show how strong Jay really is when the universe chose you for your daughter to use as a safe tools for releasing some of her pain that she'd denied for so long??
What an excellent parent the universe must think Jay is if it could give her such a responsible job to do??
A parents job is to sensitize with their child and help them deal with their pain. THIS IS THE PRIMARY JOB emotionally a parent can do to help their child heal.
The universe chose you JAY to help your daughter heal. It also has helped you to reveal the whole of Jay. (the flaws and the blessings in her family)
The truth always sets us free. Yes. It has freed some of that pain inside of your daughter. It has freed your need to hide parts of you that you think are imperfect.
Jay you are a wonderful person. You have gone through the stage of showing the whole of you BUT now you need to accept the whole of you. Yeah. All of us see all of you - and we still love you! (Even Trubble.)
You need to question why you feel that you can't accept the parts that are flawed, to accept your family is imperfect and flawed. JUST like everyone else's.
We are all imperfect beings and that is okay. Very OK.
Then Jay when you can finally accept that you are okay and imperfect, then you will be able to get up and go back to teaching parenting programmes many times more wiser than you ever were before.
This is part of your career development. As well as the biggest development of your life.
Take care, speak to you soon.
Love Theressa Oh Theressa... This is wonderful...
Theressa- parenting button? do you know the more I think about that I am less sure what you mean.. do you mean look at why I didn't write the research; get over what I am frightened others think - or feel better about me? o-Or other????
I am posting this on a friends computer since mine, both at home and at the office do not allow me to get into Catbox. maybe my HP decided it is time for me to get more un-dependend :) So, for now, just a quick word. At least I know now the catbox is still on air, and I can try fix my computer problems en regain access. Yeah! We miss you! (Trubble doesn't even mind the spelling errors... He just wants you back!) Now, what's this about a Hoover keeping you off-line???
I am doing ok, I feel. My therapist seems to feel the same. c. being pleasant and i feel it does make a lot of difference both for him and me, that I am learning to be more clear about what i want and need. Like theressa, i am finding out it is better to ask and sometimes get a no than never to ask and which means you always get a no! I also feel C. is learning to cope with his frustration and anger on things that happen, seeing his own part too, instead of just constantly blaming someone or -thing outside himself. it feels like progress. Still the trusting goes slowly and the fear of bein hurt keeps me at a distance. But he does not pressure me and he seems to let me slowly into his live more. This weekend we were together on a birthday party of one of his friends, and though it felt like a test, it was a 'both way test' -> how would he and his friends feel, as well as how would I feel about his friends. And it was ok, i felt I could be me, most of the time, without constantly walking on eggs to please him with the way I interacted with his friends.
So, who knows, we might get through this in the end. I think for me the major thing was actually accepting there is never an end...
Love and hugs to all of you. I'll get back when I can.
I have just worked on another of my buttons. My weight!!! A very popular button in this society...
I want to share this growth with others so they can see you truly can heal:
I have always had low self esteem and there have been many fans of this low self esteem of mine. It helped them to feel better since if they showed physically or practically that I wasn't okay. Then they could cope with me being academically okay.
My best friend, who I am glad to say is no longer my best friend. Though back in my school days this girl who is writing now didn't realise that my dear best friend of that time had lower self esteem than me. It was all upfront external and bought her many friends who later abandoned her,to this day she is never truly happy.
I feel sorry for her, but I know it is her issue and I am best away from this EMOTIONALLY SICK GIRL.
She shook my world, she bullied me, and I ended up so down I fear buying clothes - since she insisted I didn't copy her (she was dressed like everyone else), so it left me stuck and in limbo.
Many people called me names and criticized my appearance as a child. From my skinny legs to not looking as glamorous as my best friend who spend all her time in front of a mirror, and a father and mother who spent every last cent on her wardrobe of clothes.
Appearance was everything in their home. From the furnishing to the clothes they wore. It wasn't always like that though, her father saved hard in the early days, and they had the most basic necessities for 10 years.
My family always had decent stuff ever since I was a small child; and it was only when I was eleven and my father had to give up work from ill health things changed, financially.
I was never a fat child, then I entered adolescence and the pounds slowly came on. My stomach got a little fatter, at first I was glad, at last I wouldn't be skinny. (BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!) Then I had my daughter and for the first time in my life, I didn't watch what I ate. I ate everything pizzas, chips you name it, cakes, biscuits.
I put on a lot of weight. After the birth of my daughter I trained and dieted and lost all the excess weight.
Though it soon came back on; I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
On the one hand my partner went on about me not being boring and having fun, eating out, etc, going to MacDonald's, and yet he'd say I was being greedy. "You'll get fat eating that cake. that burger will put on the pounds you know".
The truth is the approval of others was more important than my feelings. His mother is very, very large. A size 20 in dress size, sometimes a 22. I think he is embarrassed and has been for a long time of her size, though he'd never admit this.
So I was stuck between "don't be so boring," and "don't you dare get fat."
I began to feel depressed. Deprived, fed up. Fat, angry, in a turmoil. Not enjoying life any more.
I dieted again, though the same problems/issues came up, how to balance enjoying life with maintaining a healthy weight.
The biggest turning point came when I separated last year in August. I started to be passive-aggressive. I ate and ate everything and anything, I told myself "He can't stop me now, I can eat and eat."
Then after Christmas I felt terrible, and so disappointed with myself.
Then, as you are all aware I got back with my partner. He cheered on my emotional beating-myself-up. I again heard the familiar, "You'll get fatter; you should lose some weight and take care of your self." And on the other hand, "You should enjoy life, not be so boring."
Then I decided to join slimmers world. They all understood this familiar "don't be boring, don't get fat statement."
I learned how to take care of thy self and still enjoy life, but it was a upward struggle. I would still beat myself up and have my fans to help me beat myself up. My partner was my main beating myself up fan.
Though through all the mistakes I made, I got back up and got back on track and learned how to plan for next time. It fit in well with the emotional growth taking place in cat box and with Ron, my therapist.
WELL NOW I can say I truly am a "Work In Progress," and improving week by week. Yes, Theressa. It's obvious.
The primary thread in all this is Learning to "Take care of thy Self because I deserve to be the best I can be." That includes enjoying life and making choices BALANCE. Enjoyment with maintaining my weight and eating healthy.
So what have I learnt in all of this:
*There is no need to feel guilty since I have extras which I call "sins" to spend on enjoying life in moderation. (TREATS)
*No need to worry about progress - I have evidence of feeling better
* I can see the blessings and have stuck to the plan. I have shown endurance and staying power. I have seen I get what I put in. I have exercised my CHOICE POWER.
* My karma - my actions are determining my future.
I have learnt some great lessons and changed my actions to benefit ME. The principles of: Self Acceptance, Personal Responsibility, Self Control, Not Beating MySelf up, Choicepower and Moderation.
I have grown from these lessons.
*I have used the blessings I have been given and made many achievements, I've used my resources GOD gave me to succeed.
*I am learning to love me. "Work In Progress".
*I am beginning to see the light others see in me. "My Blessings".
I have begun the journey of taking care of thy self.
That includes enjoying life.
Take care, change is possible. It is addictive and it tastes much better than chocolate. It truly takes care of thySelf. When you stop doing what isn't improving your life.
YOU start living.
Take care, Theressa
*Thank you God for giving me the lessons I needed to learn; I truly am OKAY.
Dr Irene, I was speaking to my partner this morning about self control. He said "I knew I had little self control as a child so I joined Marshall arts, and then the armed forces. I learned to tolerate a lot of insults, anger, and pain, and self control.
One of the biggest things I learned was: it is better to avoid confrontations and walk away. I forgot that in the recent past when we were abusive to one another.
SO DR IRENE this is probably why he walks off now when there is any sort of confrontation.
Do you agree?? Yes. You were probably also impossible to talk with once upon a time.
I usually feel angry that he has rained on my parade. Though I guess he doesn't know how else to cope, what do you think? I think that controlling pain, anger and all that is excellent. But, it's only the first step. If you don't deal with these feelings once you've chilled, you are "stuffing them." You will harbor them, nurture them internally... And they will GROW! Ouchhh!
This means at times when I truly needed to have conflict to sort things out in the recent times in the last few months, it has really shook him.
He told me that it was over many times since he didn't want conflict. I think he's like people who find it difficult to cope / deal with stuff. Though I realise this conflict was necessary for us to grow and for my needs to be taken seriously.
I now realise discussion are better than rows and arguments. Yes.
It seems we can discuss things, however, I have to watch I don't try to be controlling, or try to fix him. Yes. Trying to fix or control another is abusive.
I see he is defensive and blames others. He behaves how I used to behave (and sometimes still do) when feeling insecure and put down. Or inferior.
Are these typical characteristics of the insecure?? Defensive, and blame others??? Can't put that one in a box. Many insecure people blame just themselves.
Hmmmm....God and Theressa and a little input from Fakemommy and Tim B, and I wonder when did they all write this stuff... Did God write me that email!??? The Net sure gives the Big Guy lots more options for miracles, don't ya think?
Theressa you put into words the stuff I didn't dare think! You see, I got trained to make those little self disclosures about not so perfect parenting, but I did feel I had to be good at my job and seem like I was coping. ,Just one colleague knew some of the true extent, and she was so well respected and her daughter was putting her through hell., as was another's... I could tell thosee people. But yes, it was like I had to prove it all worked, and then fell a million miles.... I can't think of anything worse than happened to me to happen when you work in childcare....The really stupid thing is I didn't keep things as a big secret because that would have been worse and then I didn't lose a single friend and my students are coming up to me and asking about courses a year later.....The fear of what people think is inside me....
The fear of not looking perfect button! Oh AuntieJay, don't even bother. Only *I* am purrrfect!
Some of the stuff I want to say might be more easily understood in God Help Us....Those guys have been there for me too and pretty real with me over the last week or so - but yes, the message I got there was the same as Theressa is giving me, and Dr Irene....
I know a couple of GHU people read and use this board so I guess they are the ones most likely to see what I am saying - maybe Tim B>>>>
Also I have a "be a perfect Christian button." Kind of a nice thing to have someone in a church who actually will use spiritual gifts and no holds barred isn't it? (OH BOY WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT - ON CUE A PASTOR RINGS TELLING ME TO MEET HIM TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!! AND WE MUST REINFORCE WHAT GOD IS DOING - I forgot angels in the post - are they switching the internet off so the phone rings? Maybe. (Giggle it is ok I haven't got religious mania.) Whatever it takes...
I have always had to be the one who "can." Not bad in itself, except I forgot the refiner's fire.....
Like helping parents is my ministry, and I forgot that everything goes through that fire, and that fire really does burn all the stuff that is you away......
Like if you are going to help others as a Christian, you can be sure you will be effective and it will all start well, but God's way is then to strip you of all your own strength, and then you are just left with HIM....
That, if jay in her own strength is strong, then that strength will get chipped away until she can't rely on it.......
And what would be the most humbling for Jay? Leave her most reliant on GOD??????
Like jay knows she is a great tutor, but to get there she had to have a student who was worse then wpb at HIS worst and in person. Giggle!
Like Jay, who has counseled others, has to get so low, she needs the stuff herself - and to learn that for a lot of the time she may have been talking rubbish and not helping at all.
Like Jay had to have a marriage that worked. Only it couldn't because God's terms for her marriage aren't hers. (That isn't a pro-submission statement; I just mean that everything gets smashed.) That's why it's important to learn how to cope with the junk life just brings our way...
And what Jay has forgotten in her wandering around and being daft is that there is always a death of the Self and then a RESURRECTION. That it is just so tough while you go through it (I have been here so many times before; but then you gain a true strength that lasts out of it..... )
The thing is that we Christians forget that the good stuff gets refined.. so easy to identify a specific sin like say, greed or adultery - and know that the Big Guy disapproves of that and will get you back to where you should be (if you actually want him to). But the price of being a Christian - the narrow way bit is that you accept the way it is for all areas. Even the stuff like Jay learning God wants her to do stuff just for herself. She had to learn it WASN'T selfish. It kind of cuts both ways as God also wants you to know who you are, so he also works on the weaknesses. So if you have low self esteem, you can be sure that God will do everything to bring you to a place where your self esteem is really high - it might be painful on the way but that is because God uses whatever is going to keep you there. If you are shy, God plunks you into just where that shyness has to be to be cured..... He did do that with me.
Somewhere along the line, I think I forgot the spiritual principles and wrote my own agenda for recovery...that is why it has been so hard. Yes. And because I don't want non-Christians or non-religious folk getting turned off by this discussion. Think "Nature" or "The Universe" instead of God, and think about the orderliness of the Universe as evolving and "pushing" towards improvement, perfection.
However the thing is there IS the resurrection.... God never leaves you without that once you get the lesson He is teaching. THEN he gives you your heart's desire. Translation: Once you learn to live inside yourSelf, you are rich - no matter how much or how little you have in the world.
I think I just forgot who was in charge of Jay! (Don't get me wrong, this isn't like you have no free will to choose... But I did choose that I would choose that way, and I did say I would pay the price, and that is what happens - because God (Nature) doesn't treat us in a controlling way. I am free to walk away at any moment.......) Always.
Oh dear a sermon in the catbox and I should have put it onto GHU! Let the list members come here to read it!
I hope I haven't made God sound scary, as it isn't like that at all. I think we create a monster out of God as we project our fears into it all.... We make a monster out of Life when we project our fears and expect the worse... God (The Orderly Universe) is incredibly patient and gentle, but he doesn't force the 'message on us; just chips away until we finally get it, and uses anything that will help. Like *Me*, the Purrrfect Trubble.
Yeah I finally got it - "Broken to be a Blessing." Maybe and blessed should be added. (This is the name of a CD made by a wonderful woman called "Ramy" who posts on GHU. GHU is the email support list, "God Help Us.") Actually I think she has been in the catbox briefly recently.
Now who would imagine that GOD could use a catbox! Giggle!
Seems like a lot of us are connecting with our Creator in some way here.... And for the non-religious, connecting with our Selves...
So, Ok, Jay CAN fail and be ok. I can be human and learn a bit more self acceptance and just know that in the end it has to work out - even the stuff with my daughter. Theressa, that has been said to me before and not in the catbox! (Or on this site). But Theressa had to say it again. She said it soooo well...
So I think Jay will go one better than looking after Jay by letting God have a look in as well.... Boy has the Big Guy been patient! You talking about *Me* AuntieJay?
Dear All co-dependents (YES you to JAY!!!!)
Detachment (releases you so the universe can do it work!!!)
What you need to do?
If you did not have the person (abuser/victim) in your life, what would you be doing with your life that is different from what you are doing now? (Takong a college course, going to the gym, reading?)
How would you be feeling and behaving? (going out with friends, laughing, watching comedy programmes, learning an art, sewing, writing stories)
Spend a few minutes visualising yourself living your life, feeling and behaving that way - in spite of your unresolved problems. Visualise your hands placing in God's hands the person or problem you are concerned about." Visualise HIS hands gently and lovingly holding that person or willingly accepting that problem. Now, visualise HIS hands holding you. All is well for the moment. All is as it should and as it needs to be. All will be well - better than you think.
Start to live your life, and set yourself free!!!!
"I can't discuss this problem in all this chaos we can discuss it when we've had time to think."
WE CAN NOW BEGIN LIVING OUR LIVES. THAT IS WHAT OUR ENERGY IS FOR.
Take care Theressa
This is for you:
We take things to heart that we have no business taking to heart.
For instance, saying "If you loved me you wouldn't drink" to an alcoholic makes as much sense as saying "If you loved me, you wouldn't cough" to someone who has pneumonia. Pneumonia victims will cough until they get appropriate treatment for their illness and. Alcoholics will drink until they get the same help for their illness.
When people with a compulsive disorder do whatever it is they are compelled to do, they are not saying I do not love you - they are saying they don't love themselves.
When I repress my emotions, my stomach keeps score.
When you are doing what is right for you, it is okay to say it once, simply, and then refuse to discuss it any further.
We're so careful to see no one gets hurt, everyone but ourselves.
When you let every wind blow you about like a paper bag in the wind, you are reactive. "STOP and do nothing" Then go away and think about the information you've just heard. What issue did it sensitize? When someone else is sensitised to something you do, think about what issue they must be facing? It could be very well nothing to do with you.
In fact nothing another does is really to do with you. IT is always about them, the same is true with the things you do, it is always about you. THE ISSUES you, need to sort out. AND the issues they need to sort out.
EVERY INTERACTIONS calls for some sort of action. Deal with the things that make you angry and you are sensitive to. What do they say about you???
I have been reading some of your comments to the Judge. I am ashamed to say that even though I am a trained therapist, I married one of this emotionally charged and verbally abusive fellow.. I would like to defend the therapist's positions and say that if someone is well trained, they will not condone this type of behavior.. but it is very hard to see and identify.. when my husband and I were going to therapy, he always won a point. .he was more articulate, eloquent and detached.. he detracted my points and defended his positions.. it was very difficult to bring up a point that would not be dismissed with very a skillful manipulation.
Finally, I started going to a therapist that helped me see what I was going through and was able to relate to the marital therapist the core of my concern.. to the point that my husband lost his temper in her office and she was able to see what I had tried to tell her for 4 months.
thanks for your help,
June 20, 2001
I have just one question. Why does someone as intelligent as I think myself to be keep allowing this man to emotionally abuse me? In my mind, I know it is abusive behavior, and yet I keep allowing it. I feel as though I am trapped. I cannot understand why I still love this person after all the pain and suffering. Judy
Wow... Today, the message seems to be - PUT THE HAMMER DOWN!
LisaMM... Love that name Greg, it's happens to be my twins name. He, like your Greg , is one of GOD'S kids too and THE BIG GUY has a plan for Greg just as he has one for me, Lisa, Jay, Theressa, AJ, Sharon, Gordon, Becky, Dr. Irene, Jean Marie, Ally, Michael, Nadia and yes - Trubble too! (and everyone else)
IT JUST IS NOT MY PLAN!
Refiner's fire...my heart's one desire...is to be, I think you know the rest. That song has really meant so much to me. It tells me to get out of the way and let the BIG GUY do his work and for me to do mine.
Yup, he's here in this catbox too, speaking through all of you guys... That's why I KCB, that's why I found a place called the Vineyard six years ago, he's there too... and in the rooms, big time!
Last night, at my CoDA meeting, he put just the person I needed to extend my hand to in my life.
Yup, he hears me and knows what I need...always has.
Hugs and love, Hugs and love to you too...
Yes Tim I do know the song though I haven't heard it in a long while. Do you mean the Vineyard church? it is around here - a branch of it but I never went there? Gerald Coates lot? - sorry this is a bit like talking shop, cats...actually Tim I only registered you came from the same place a few days ago - just too wrapped up in me. I do think CODA firs well with Christianity - I mean the 12 steps. Do you mean you are going to marry someone??? Jay
The person that he BIG GUY put in my life is a man who is experiencing the break up of a relationship with a woman who NEEDS ( wants) other men in her life - one is too many, a thousand isn't enough - stuff.
Married, marry - my picker is still broken!
Yes, the Vineyard Church and I also go to the Church of Religious Science...for me, it's the message...BIG GUY speaks through many mediums... I need to be open enough to hear him and see what he wants me to see. Did I just say risk and vulnerability? EGADS!!!
Well, gang, I am fixing to deal with the devil. All the months of reading and counseling and helping myself (I have even gone on medication to deal with the depression) has finally led me to a place of no turning back. Starting tonight the abuse has got to be confronted. I am past feeling sorry for him, past feeling angry, past the depression. Simply put, the abuse ends here. I am a bit scared that I will back step (and it's okay if I do... I am only human) but he will either listen this time, or I am going to ask him to leave... Make him leave if he won't voluntarily. I have a code word worked out with the children (for them to dial the authorities) should I have need of it, I have my emergency gear in place. I love this man with all my heart and soul but apparently that is not enough and it certainly doesn't give him license to manipulate, pick, and be cruel to me and our children. I am working hard on fixing myself and my reality.
Wish me luck!!
Jeanne Wow! Good stuff! Hope it went well...
I will admit it: this is a blatant appeal for support and encouragement! I really need to vent!!
We have been redoing the kitchen since last summer. As is the case with most older homes, nothing is level, nothing is straight, so it's been quite a job. The cabinets are all in, however. What is yet to be done are the counter tops, floor, trim and wallpapering.
I was supposed to have a meeting here in July, but arranged with my group to change it to September to give us more time to get the kitchen squared away. It doesn't bother me if it's not completely done; I just didn't want to have to put off doing the floor.
This morning I good naturedly said to H, "I bought us some time last night." He replies, "Oh. Did someone trade with you?" I explained the change, then added something like "This way we have more time to get the floor done. We don't have to wait until after July." He responded in an irritated tone, "Well give me some time! You've got me having to get this done by July!"
He went on like that. I asked him to stop and back up, to LISTEN to me so he could understand. I thought I was being helpful! He just kept on, finally telling me that I'm f-ed up, that I'm being "SO NICE " (sarcastically) in moving the meeting, that he has no money, etc. etc. He quit making his breakfast then blamed me for his not having any. When he left, I felt so weak all over. I guess he didn't want to redo the kitchen...
I tutored my literacy student from 10:00-11:00, then came home. I've done a little housework, but I feel so tired and weak. He had asked me to pay some bills today, including property taxes, and had said he'd give them to me. He didn't do that, and I know he'll throw that at me like it's my fault.
Yesterday my therapist told me that as of August she will be doing EAP full time and not taking out patient clients. I have just started seeing her, as my former therapist went into private practice. Now I'll have to get used to yet another person. This will be the third time I've had to change. She wants me to think about the direction in which I want to go: stay with the marriage as it is and cope with it, or make a time frame for change. She says I'm progressing well, and my GFA (?) score is good, meaning I'm functioning well. (Sometimes I fake it)!
My system can't take many more of these shocks! I think all is well; I behave as a normal person would, and BAM! I'm hit with a 2x4! I don't want this garbage in my life!
Will post this before gremlins strike. Thanks for listening. Ouchhhh!
Dear Sofia, You should not be ashamed to have made a wrong choice! Like the rest of us you are human and it may have made you a better therapist! I know of a child psychiatrist who had a lot of experience working with parents and children and then she had a child....and realised just about everything she was saying was nonsense! She gets asked to speak all the time!.......
I actually think the worst therapists are those who haven't got it wrong or had a hard time somewhere along the line- not enough empathy...
Because of what I have been through over the last year I now wouldn't speak to depressed parents the way I did.....NOW I understand that I spoke and awful lot of garbage. That is because now I have been depressed and know what the effect of the medication can be...
Giggle AJ a Hoover in a computer- maybe it is gobbling up the internet!
Theressa - I went to this Christian counseling from the pastor who rang...It was very good. On the way home however (not connected, just it reminded me I thought about buying some chocolate and then I thought actually I love me enough not to! (Giggle...of course given the American stereotype.....we have here .....we may be talking to people who thing us sylph thin - I know AJ is, but she is Dutch... Actually it is ok I don't think of you all like that but that is the stenotype - all Americans are enormous from eating junk food and speak loudly wearing Bermuda shorts...... And, don't forget, sneakers.
I just realised something....today I have caught myself laughing.
That is PROGRESS.
Becky, you sound worn out and who wouldn't be? I don't know if this will encourage you, but if God can do this for me...I can't afford therapy and you can't get it easily on our NHS - giggle I am off the wall enough!" - Not without a years wait. Out of the blue this pastor rang - I only ever went to his church once and told me God had told him to ring and offer me counseling! I gave no clue I needed it and only asked for literature on the welcome form....The first session was tonight and I was pretty amazed as he started with what he wanted to do - which tied in exactly with what I would have asked for ......The thing is God knew - and I kind of went through a few therapists......they cost a lot here and so it is hard to use one.
It will work out - maybe the next one is going to be just the right one for the point in your life you are at.
I think you have to see that he is the one with a problem and not take it as about you. if you weren't there he would be on at the cat if you have one!
Something I am learning is you can support people in their recovery from lunacy but there is no way you have to become a part of it...
Jake is on a not letting Jay do the housework again- ho hum! I wasn't allowed to make dinner tonight when i got back as he had put a pan of potatoes on and then he wanted me out of the kitchen-deliberately ignored anything I say and then told me I wouldn't have a bike unless I mended my own puncture....I have no idea how to mend a puncture so I guess learning will be the next step but of course in a useful relationship I could have cooked dinner and he could have done the puncture (for HKK as well as me since we share the bike) Oh well too simple, I guess....
Theressa? i ma lost on the post about your partner not engaging. I would have thought an abusive man (previously) walking away was his way of preventing himself from getting abusive - though Jake walks away to refuse to discuss anything at all. Which way round is it?
Tim :) now I am totally confused . What is a church of science? I am not getting what you are saying about the man either (dense here I am!)
jean. I hope it works out
And to the person who asked why they were intelligent and abused...the answer is again we are all human and all let bad stuff happen to us at times....I used to ask the same question of myself and Jake and Jake's intelligence is way off the scale (the abuse cut by the way with us at times),
Becky/ Dr Irene GFA scale????? Global Functioning Assessment, Axis V in mental health diagnoses.
trubble tomorrow take some down time and do not have a crazy, yucky day. look after you! jay
Dear all, Sharon here,
Well, up and down, down and up. That's how I've been. One day I'm tearful, the next day I'm better. However.......there is something brewing. There are indications that Dr. Psycho does have a new victim. Though I have NOT seen any car - his gate was open very early this morning as I was walking by at work. It could be 'pay-back' since he saw me last night on our neighbor's front porch having a coca-cola. He drove by around 8:45 and saw me sitting on the front porch with a lady that's a neighbor of ours. She is very controversial in his eyes because she is a friend of his ex-wife (who also lives in the neighborhood). Anyway, he is pissed off about seeing me over there. Oh well! We are neighbors. And my neighborhood is my turf that I grew up in. I have friends and family spread out within a one mile radius. So, too bad.
The gates open that early in the morning is rare. So, his new victim is already sleeping overnight. Probably a rebound thing or just for sex. Knowing him he will not want a relationship and will tell her up front that he is unlikely to stay in it other than for sex. He's up front - no matter who you are. Then he charms you when he feels you pulling away. Then once he has you - he is no longer available emotionally. Its all for the sport. He is a fraud. Anger coming out today? Love, Sharon
Hi everyone. Kathy here.
Jay...I'm glad to see you're back! How great that the pastor called you to come to counseling. God really does a great job of giving us just what we need. Sometimes we just have to be open to his influences.
I used to be very involved in my church but got lost along the way. Since I've moved, I know I need to find another church in my new community and get involved. I really did enjoy leading a Sunday school class and singing in the choir at my old church. I will have to add that to my list of goals for 30 or 60 days.
Theressa...I read your post and thought that you must have been reading my mind. I'm now doing my best to eat healthy foods as part of my "self-care". When I left my boyfriend in December, I ate too much - passive-aggressive, getting back at him kind of junk. Then I tried to diet in March but kept cheating so I'd lose a few pounds, then gain them back. Finally, after reading through this book about self care, I got the picture! To lose weight, I have to want to be a better person MYSELF - not for anyone else, not because someone will say something if I'm heavier, but because I CARE FOR MYSELF! Geez, took me long enough to get this.
Since I have changed my attitude to one of self-care, I realize my relationship with my boyfriend has sort of faded into the background. I do still love him BUT taking care of myself has to come first. I used to get stuck on the lack of romance, lack of affection, lack of any kind of partnership between us. That doesn't matter to me as much as it did. And as my sense of "self" comes back and he realizes that I'm not the doormat that I used to be, his attitude towards me has changed. He is not as hurtful, is more affectionate and I would even dare say, more respectful (because I respect myself).
Sharon....I hate to see you driving yourself crazy over this Dr. Psycho. Detach from the situation. Don't worry about whether he has a new victim or not. Worry about you! Take care of YOU because your SELF is important. Put the care of YOU first and foremost and let him and his craziness exist in your life only in the background - sort of like out of focus.
You know, last year on August 1st, I was diagnosed with depression and started counseling and anti-depressants. I was suicidal at times - I remember driving to and from work and praying that I could just die - that God would let me die. I was living with my boyfriend (who was verbally abusive and hated my daughter), my daughter was a BIG problem - I believe she is bi-polar and she has been involved in many different 90-day wonder counseling programs (none of which helped her), my 15 year old had just gone through open heart surgery (which really stressed me out!), and I had a baby that I was nursing and trying to take care of! Somehow I ended up last on the list! No wonder...
After a counseling session during which I cried my eyes out over how much I loved my BF and how I didn't understand him, he had the nerve to call my cell phone (in front of my counselor) and ask me "what the f--k are you doing?" I saw myself through her eyes and thought what the heck am I doing with a man that would talk to me that way?
That's when a I took a big step back and just observed for a few weeks. Amazing what you see when you simply pay attention... Then I made my plans to leave. I bought my own house and my brother helped me move.
Once he knew I was leaving, he made some threats about custody of the baby and a "long legal battle". I detached then and refused to argue about visitation and custody of the baby. (Told him if he thought it was in the best interest of the baby....).
For all of you who are out there suffering, please know you CAN change your life. YOU are worth it! YOU are important! (You know, a year ago, I would've read that and dismissed it, since I thought I really wasn't important). A year ago, you would likely not have been as determined and single-minded. Amazing things happen when you don't give in to other people's excuses...
Remember, you have choices - even if those choices are difficult choices!
Kathy Thanks Kathy.
To put it simply:
A. This guy's GF, who says she wants to marry said guy, has been cheating on him for the last six years. She has pointedly told him ( he won't hear it) that she intends to continue doing so. Can you say co-addict to this woman's sex addiction? This was my scenario. exactly. That why BIG GUY put him in front of me - he does have a sense of humor. Giggle...
B. The Church of Religious Science adopts and practices truths from ALL religions and philosophies - much closer to the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts of World Service. Bet ya didn't know there are 36 steps!
I'm planning on sending you a book of rent receipts for that BOZO who's living in your head - rent free! Do you know the one about the person who walks down the street and falls into an uncovered manhole? What did they do? A. They next, walked around the manhole. B. They took a different street.
What is Sharon doing?
Tim B. Thanks Tim B. More very good stuff.
So I am back in the US for a couple of months. Now it's coming to D-Day: On Friday I go to my ex's house to get my stuff, dun da dun dun. We had some laconic email exchanges - he kept telling me when he would be out of town, and I finally said he didn't have to be there when I came! Not reminding him that I have a key, but that was my point. Yesterday I got a message that he "would very much like to see me." Eeeeeeee. So I am going there and I am going to get my stuff immediately before I do any talking or visiting, and put it all in my car, and then see whether I feel like talking to him. This is seriously stressful. I hope that if I just stay cool and not engage with anything, it will go okay. I don't think there is any hope for him in terms of working things out with me, and I don't think I love him anymore, which is the big difference between now and the other times. I don't think there is anything he could say that would change my mind. You sound ready... A pretty good plan. Good luck.
Sharon, 120 days is a good thing. I wish you didn't live so close to that guy; that must be really awkward and it makes it harder to have your privacy to disengage. Stay strong!!! Take your power back!
Trubble, I live next to a big lake that is stuffed with fish. You would only have to jump in and catch one. Can you swim? Swim! When's the last time you went for a swim wearing your fur coat? No Way! Cats HATE water! Yuk Yuk Yuk! Love, *Me.*
I think she said GFA, or maybe GAF? I mix them up too. Giggle! It's "GAF" (I think). Amazing, I fill these out all the time... Anyway, it's a way of measuring how much your life is being impacted by your "problem." My score indicates minimal impact. I can tell you, tho, that on many days I feel a HUGE impact that leaves a smoking crater! But I just keep going, seldom do I grind to a halt, tho I'd love to.
Regarding the cost of therapy, since my H has always refused to allow his income to be considered, I have had to pay very little (the fees are based on income). Right now I am on 95% assistance. I was paying 16.00/session (with a PhD yet!) then was told that I'd been accumulating a credit: I should be paying only 4.00! I have been using that credit since last summer. That's the up side of going to a clinic. The downside is that the therapists tend to move around, either going to another of the clinic's locations, which my very first therapist did, to leaving to start a private practice--as my PhD did. I really liked her, but can't pay 100.00/hr. and insurance won't cover it.
I have been thinking about setting a time limit for change, a year, maybe. During that time I can hopefully get more financially stable, and emotionally ready to leave if I have to. I wonder, tho, should I tell him I'm giving this a year, then no more, or not?
What do you all think? My gut says no. Well, you have your answer.
I was watching a programme on co-dependency last night, would you believe it, with my partner.
It was based on those chemically dependent, it rang bells in my ears when it talked about co-dependency.
What I want to share here is what the Therapist said to the co-dependents:
"The difference between a healthy person who cares about others, and a co-dependent person who is over-responsible for the care of others is simple: The key word is the level of involvement. OVER involvement in another's life is co-dependency.
When you forget your needs and wants, and stop living your life. Then it is no wonder why when you stop running your spouses/sons/daughter/friends or whoever else's life, you find you have no real life to call your own.
The difference between a healthy person and a co-dependent is: A healthy person will help when they can help, however, it is never at the expense of their own lives. For a co-dependent it is always at the expense of their lives. They put their lives on hold. They don't have hobbies or interests of their own. They don't socialize or go to work anymore. This last sentence is just not true.
They work as detectives, they are like the surveillance camera in the abusers life.
One day the abuser seeks help and learns to cope with their problems, their issues without needing their poor survival skills of abuse.
WHAT happens? The co-dependent feels useless, empty, worthless, purposeless. And wonders why they have no life.
THE key is to get a life. To detach."
You really do not have the energy to live everyone else's lives for them. For when you do this you waste not only one life, but two. If you would just stop interfering in another's business you would leave room for them to learn to take care of themselves, to suffer the consequences of their behaviours.
So when you interfere, you stagnate their growth, you protect but you inflict more pain on you and them in the end. As you know with struggle and avoidance of just letting what happens happen. You can't live in truth.
AND it is only truth that ever sets us free. You live in truth by letting others take care of themselves. (HOWEVER, A bad job you think they do this!!! It is their business not yours)
And by living your own life. And stopping all your survival behaviours that you think soften the blow but actually all your people pleasing, walking on egg shells, putting up with abuse, not setting limits and knowing your own boundaries of what you will put up with. And not detaching with love. ENDS up causing more pain and constant need for new lessons until you GET IT that it is not your business in someone else's life.
When you learn to let go of controlling, you stop being controlled. When you live your life, you learn to enjoy it. You learn new ways of coping that are healthy.
Take care Theressa
Your gut is ANXIETY AND FEAR you feel. I would tell him I am giving it a year. Though please make the necessary arrangements such as where you will live, fund your life etc. It takes the fear out of leaving, since you take small steps.
Also remember what happened to me. I left and it had a good effect; things actually changed for the better.
When you feel anxious let it be. Breathe and continue to plan the life you want. Each step you take the less anxious you feel.
Small steps help anxiety. Have you read Codependent No More ? It is excellent.
Take care Theressa
"Theressa? I am lost on the post about your partner not engaging. I would have thought an abusive man (previously) walking away was his way of preventing himself from getting abusive - though Jake walks away to refuse to discuss anything at all. Which way round is it?"
Jay, it isn't the detaching that is the problem/issue with my partner pulling away. It is the manner in which he pulls away that is the issue. He doesn't feel he can just pull away, he needs to create a fuss to pull away. Like he won't say "I am getting bored, so I am going to look at the stereo shops, see you in a while." NO instead he'd storm off not telling you where he is going.
So yes detaching is good, it is the way you do it though. In anger - or in love?
In love would be "Informing others you need a break, and then taking it."
In anger would be "To say nothing, storm off since someone didn't agree with your opinion. And then leave them wondering what happened."
Take care Theressa
Further when someone pulls away in anger the issue never gets solved. Since no future discussion happens.
With my partner he would say the following if you brought the issue up again: "Why Theressa do you insist in causing an argument when it is past and gone?"
Well dearest, the reason is the issue isn't resolved. For instance when we were discussing our daughter and the childminding arrangements and i wanted to share my expectations, he wouldn't discuss it. HE just knew what he wanted, and that is all that mattered. SELF CENTERED. "ME, me, me ONLY matters"
Yes he does have a right to say, "No I won't mind xxxxx." Though he could also in a respectful way hear my request for help, and think about why I might need the help.
BUT, as I said on the phone to you the other day, when we went to relate on one occasion only. She asked him would he check out his thoughts and views, and listen to other's thoughts and views?
He responded back then: "NO, if I think I am right, then it don't matter what others say. I won't budge on my values, my principles of what I think is right."
The therapist said "but what if you hadn't considered some things; what if it would help if you heard what the other person was saying."
He responded "NO, I won't budge if I think I am right."
The shame is, it is through hearing others knowledge and ideas that we can change. We can challenge and question our ideas, values, views by taking into account things we'd not considered before, to our benefit.
Though that is his issue. Slowly I see his ideas changing. He remarked last night. "Anyone can change, maybe not 100%, but they can change."
Well that is a turn up for the books, he never used to think anyone could change. He used to think they were fixed for life.
Just shows sometimes reconsidering your views helps.
Take care Theressa
Hi All, Theressa here,
My partner said to me last night "Theressa, you're always thinking of yourself and put your self first."
This was all because of a cup of coffee he made me. He is similar to my mom in many ways. HE does things for people and then resents doing the things. He does them based on a scorecard. THANK GOD I threw mine out.
He makes the coffee most of the time, but it isn't because I am lazy, the truth is I just don't drink a lot of coffee, For instance I never have it in the morning much, THOUGH if he makes it I will drink it. Simply because I actually enjoy it when it is made for me.
I just don't think about making it for myself. I don't drink it all day. Though my partner might make one in the evening. I wouldn't drink it then either, but I do enjoy it, I again just don't think about making it for myself.
Just like yesterday evening, I saw the pots in his sink, I thought, "Oh I'll wash them." I didn't think,
"RIGHT I'VE washed these so he must do xxxx for me."
Anyway I didn't react when he said this, I just listened. AND then checked with myself if this was true. I decided it wasn't true I do lots for others when I can. The issue wasn't mine, the issue is my partners so I handed it back to him.
He as my mom and me a few weeks ago, DON'T think before we do things, about how we feel, and why we do the things we do...
If I feel ill, tired or want to relax, then I won't think about making a cuppa. WHAT is happening with my partner is he wants a drink. Therefore, he makes a drink and also makes me a drink. HIS CHOICE. He however, tries to blame me when he feels used.
The truth is I never asked him to make the brew. Just like he never asked me to wash the dishes. IT WAS MY CHOICE. Therefore, I have no business blaming others for my decisions.
However, i think by not responding or answering eventually he will get the jist that it is better to think about why you do something, and want to do it, rather than resenting others later.
Take care Theressa
LOL! Tim B - It took me until just now to figure out why you kept asking "What is Sharon doing?" in previous post's. When I was starting to read through the Catbox, I noticed this. I just caught on today. Silly me, has been thinking? You know I think I just read a post from Sharon above? Why does he keep asking her what she's doing? HELLOOOOO Lisa, Is anyone HOME!!! Giggle * Snorkle * Heh *
I just went to my first Support Group for Battered Women tonight. I have not been physically abused but it was recommended that I go for validation and group support. I am still pinching my cheek on occasion to stay present in the moment. There are days I want to slip back into denial, but no going back. It will give me an opportunity to meet other women in my situation and hear how emotional or verbal abuse can escalate to physical abuse. Especially adding our family histories, alcohol, and marijuana use. Both of us working out our unresolved issues during crisis. It really helped ME. I enjoyed MY time. I had a chance to stand before people in my community face to face. I felt like I came out of hiding. It's a small group just starting out in our area. I met with a counselor one on one. She provided me with a wealth of information. One of their questions was "We have heard about your husband, your children, and the guinea pig....How are you feeling?" I looked absolutely stunned. I said, "Sometimes like I am having an out of body experience. I am being pulled along like there are 2 people inside of me. The little girl and the parent pulling me to take care of myself." I sat there squirming in my chair. I became aware that I didn't really know myself enough to put it in words. I am so used to when I am face to face presenting my "image" of "I am Okay" (When I am not).
I am actually pretty angry inside and hurt. I am grieving over my loss of self and husband. She then asked me to describe myself using adjectives. Stumped me again. I said, "Um... determined... caring..." I went blank. "Don't know yet." I penciled note to self: "Go home, and try this again after you have some time to think." So, we set a goal to absorb everything that has been said today. Not to help my husband and kids but to help me. They offered advice on how to put yourself on the top of the list. It's just getting over that uncomfortable feeling that I am breaking some family rule somewhere. Oddly enough I even felt guilty for going to the meeting. I kept feeling like "I should be doing this or that...." I initially went saying I need help communicating with my son that my husband's behavior is not acceptable. I would like some information for how to stay strong for my kids even if my husband turns up the heat. I was forgetting to mention that I needed this for validation. For ME. I want to learn how to Protect ME. I don't feel so sure at times in the middle of the chaos. I was worried about everyone else again..... When I was taking care of the most important person. Like I needed an excuse. It just sounds odd to me to say that. This self-caring thing is really new to me. I obviously want to do it. I have been rebelling for such a long time. Acting out in so many unhealthy ways. I am now giving myself permission and taking proactive steps to make that transition. I even thought of purchasing a lovely daytimer to pencil in different things for me to do. Then see how to balance out time for my kids. It's really made me look at how I can prepare meals at a time to freeze one for next time. Then sneak that pedicure in. I think instead of worrying about my husband's recovery. My time would be better spent creating time management skills. I can even pencil in "Worry about Greg for 15 Minutes". Or else, like Tim says, I will start charging him rent! If only I had put a dollar in a jar every time I think of him during the day! Giggle!
BTW, I know I am getting better. I used to apologize for even having to explain myself or taking my turn to talk in meetings. Even expressing my opinion. It's been so long since I have been allowed to have my own opinions. I have certainly vented and vented on this site! I promise I will learn to keep my letters to the point and concise. Like Theressa mentioned I have been told to SHUT UP for so long. I just have a mouth full to share! I am even finding myself openly talking to people at the grocery store, etc. This is new for me.
Thanks very much for listening! You guys are great!
Oh and Trubble I have never formally said "Hi" to you. "HI" to you too! I was a little intimidated at first. I kept picturing the Cheshire cat in the corner as I typed.....But you are much cuter! Of course *I* am!
Theressa and Tim,
Thank you both for clarifying that my husband's behavior has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with him. I guess this concept is so
foreign to me. I am so worried about others. I have always assumed he was worried about me too. When I hear him blame mem it's hard sometimes. I actually started to think I was making him drink or misbehave. Then I think....If I had that much power, wouldn't I make him clean the house, rich, and
Seriously, I began to assume that I was such a worthless person, that look: .my husband has to drink to even stay married to me, I am so horrible! Okay, that's really putting an irrational twist on things. Yes, but, that's what we do!
You know his friends were tired of his complaining after a while. They would say, "I would love to have a wife like yours!" and "Greg, you don't know what you have until it's gone. Someone's going to treat her good someday if you don't." I would get "the look" and silently munch on the crumbs tossed my way.
Even worse, sometimes people tell me things. I go home and have to write it out. Repeat it over and over before it sinks in. Good! Then I am absolutely amazed that "Hey, I can be powerful too!"
OH, what really shocked me is that I am going to probably be awarded the house. I could not for a minute think that I actually owned half of it. My husband made more money. I was only a housewife that watched kids during the day. I work 65 hours a week. He is gone from 5:30am to 8:30pm everyday. He never treated me like a mutual partner. After being told for years "Whether you like it or not, it's my money, and I can do what ever I want." I actually started believing it. Glad you no longer do...
My husband was not particularly happy with me finding out that above bit of information. In fact, he has really turned up the heat - so that he can turn around and blame me for his past behavior. He really does not want to face the judge in court. He is bargaining with the devil at this point because I found out, and no way in heck I am going to let him off easy. Good! I am not taking anything more than what I am allowed to. It just kills him.
He offered to come and do the yards once a week. I just said, "No time like the present to learn how to start a lawn mower myself." I just don't bite that bait any longer.
Okay, well.....It's just such a relief. I swear I felt so powerless at times. I was a little too comfortable in that "Victim" mode too. It is just not working for me any longer. It's time to take action. I have no one to blame at this point with all the information that I have found out. If I am angry any longer it should be because I know I have the power to change and I have all I need to change but I am not putting it to good use!
Thanks! Thanks to you!
I would have loved to see that show about codependency! That's exactly how I am. My Grandmother, My mother, and My husband's mother are all co-dependent!
If you asked my mother what she did for fun. She would say "Oh, I don't have time. I am so worried about my kids and grandkids all the time."
I have told her that when she was younger, I remember that she usek to do photography and make homemade jewelry. I wish she would make that time for herself now.
In fact, I have talked with my therapist about how I talk with my mom several times during the day. When I don't call her, she calls me and leaves several messages asking what I am doing. I have to tell her I have kids myself, and I am just out doing "stuff" with them or for them. But, she gets really hurt if I don't check in. So, my therapist and I went over my irrational guilt and feeling responsible for her happiness. Yippeee! She recommended that I cut back slowly my time on the phone with her. I just tell her, "I need some time for myself." My mom will automatically ask me "Doing What?" like I should report to her. I just started slowly telling her gently that if I did not get off the phone then I would not be accepting responsibility for myself. I did have a couple of "Oh, gotta go," quickly offering no explanation. I didn't want to have the excuse that I didn't have enough time. I stopped automatically calling her to report my activities and get the updates on the other kids. It's really helped push her back onto herself. She has no choice but to get her things done. When she is tired of doing her chores, then I tell her just to find something fun to do. I even told her she has earned it! Excellent!
I can see now where I have the potential to pass those traits down to my children. I am doing my best to tell my kids not to worry about mom that mom is strong enough to take care of herself. I just tell my son "You just go take care of Skyler, and be a kid!" I also let him know his day will come to be a parent. It's my turn.
Oh, and my husband keeps asking me "How I know this certain information about something." He likes quotes and evidence backing anything up. Mainly so he can discredit it. But, now I have told him "Greg, trust me as a codependent. I know everything about you and not me!" Giggle! I have spent so much time focusing on him and how to treat his addictions and behaviors. I forgot to take care of myself. Oh, and I wasn't too thrilled about having to turn around and look at my "stuff". I ask that he just "Allow me the time" to figure out what is best for me. I don't need him telling me. I need to figure this out on my own." I knew I needed to break this codependency.
My husband does the same thing. He walks out on every conversation. He is big on having to be right or have the last word. He says he is tired of arguing with me. Now, what gets me is that we should not be arguing about how I feel and what I am experiencing! That's right. Your thoughts and feelings are a given. Your given. He wants to re-write history, tell me what I feel and think too! We never did resolve our issues. That's our problem. He just said, "This is how it's going to be whether you like it or not." He did not realize that perhaps I had a different perspective that should be considered. So, when he says our marriage is over because he is tired of arguing, that baffles me the most. I was simply stating my opinion. He was the one who would get mad if I disagreed with his opinion or perspective.
We never got to the point where he admitted he even got angry or needed to control. He just got mad when I even spoke up. It was an automatic no-no I don't want to argue. It's my way or the highway. He even stopped asking me anything at all. He would just do what he wanted. We could have probably learned how to listen to each other and compromise if he wasn't so darn set on blaming me for his anger and inability to have mutual respect. That's when I started realizing all this time that I was trying to convince him, that it was never his goal to understand. Oh, that is so true. I spent so many days just standing there completely baffled? It's made my life so much easier now that I realize "he does not care" what I feel or think. It was always "What's in if for me and only me." Yuk yuk yuk! Intolerable! Nobody, (except *Me*) should always get their way...
Ugh.....Live and Learn :)
The co-dependents pattern:
1. They take responsibility for others lives/problems/issue e.g. drinking, gambling, lack of responsibility, extra duties, give them more money. PEOPLE PLEASE in any way, stops them having to deal with the consequences.
(TRUTH HEALS, and makes others accept consequences and stops the rescuing your doing.)
2. Then the co-dependent gets mad at the person they are over helping for what they've had to do. (The responsibilities they've taken on that are not their responsibility.)
3. Then the co-dependent feels used and sorry for themselves.
WHEN YOU help in this way it is destructive.
You do this when you take responsibility for others: Thoughts, feelings (by people pleasing perhaps) decisions, behaviours (taking the blame), growth (trying to convince them it is not good for them, trying to teach them to be better, YOUR job isn't their teacher), Their wellbeing (Putting your life on hold to follow them stop them drinking, treating them like a child), sorting their problems (WITHOUT them asking for your help!!!), Worrying about their destiny (where they will end up)
Whenever you make someone else's business your business, YOU ARE CONTROLLED by them. And you are trying to control them. Since their behaviours, moods etc are allowed to throw you off center. YOUR CENTER IS concentrating on your life, not theirs. Improving your life.
Do you do the following: (STOP)
*Doing something we really don't want to do. (scorecard!!! fear if you don't help they won't help you in the future - GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES THE HELP WE NEED.
*Saying yes when we mean no
*Doing something for someone although that person is capable of and should be doing it for him - or herself (JAKE DOES THIS WITH THE CLEANING FOR JAY!!!!)
*Meeting people's needs without being asked and before we've agreed to do so. (ADVICE GIVING, doing things and expecting praise, what is your motive??? To be nice, to look nice, to get people to like you??)
*Doing more than my fair share of work after our help is requested.
*Consistently giving more than we receive in a particular situation. (How much is this relationship costing you???? can you afford it to stay the way it is?? or will you set limits???)
*Fixing people's feelings. (Modifying your behaviours, or bending the truth to soften the blow.) THIS IS A BIGGY FOR THERESSA
*Doing people's thinking for them. (I do this for my sister sometimes, and my mom - Theressa)
*Speaking for another person (I used to do this at work, now I know it is not okay.)
*Suffering people's consequences for them. (Ringing in work for an alcoholic, lying, ANY ACT that helps the person continue their poor behaviour)
*Putting more interest and activity into a joint effort than the other person does.
*Not asking for what we want, need and desire. (JAY hasn't set a limit on JAKE being in her business, him doing all the housework if it bothers her!!!!)
Take care Theressa
PS Dr Irene Melody Beattie said in her introduction that it was okay to pass on this advice to others as long as it was stated it came from her book.
(These things are from Melody Beatties book: Codependent No More: .)
AN excellent book for recovery.
Dear Dr Irene,
How does one know whether it is better to set a limit on other's behaviour? Or, do nothing and work out what issue it brought up that needs dealing with, OR, whether it is really their issue.
PS: Codependent No More is excellent. And it is the key I need to truly give back others their lives and start living mine. Thank you for the recommendation DOC.
I realise now what Jay was talking about when she said "Why do others not read Theressa's posts on bravenet and the EZboard?"
Well, what were Theressa's motives for putting this advice there?
If it was true giving, then it has better chance of being received since GOD intended it to be received. HOWEVER, if it is given when it is not time out of the needs of a co-dependent, then it will not be received.
As it is said, "God sends all that is needed, at the right time. " If a co-dependent to gain approval and praise to feel needed and helpful sends information before GOD intended.
The key here is this co-dependent felt used, and resentful when her sacrifices weren't appreciated. Giggle!
The information is not received.
Now this co-dependent understands this, she can give out what she feels good about and share her life with others and not expect anything in return.
FOR this co-dependent now has another purpose. SHE KNOWS you can receive more if you give. GIVING in the true sense. NOT IN people pleasing.
Take care Theressa
Trubble ate my post too! Somebody FEED that critter! You know, I'm tired of getting blamed all the time. I HATE posts! So, for the last time, *I'm* not eating dumb posts! Will the real post gobbler please stand up!
I am back in the USA and now it's time to go to my ex's and get my stuff, like tomorrow. We have communicated and he says he "would like very much to see me." Yikes. I just want my stuff. I will put my stuff in the car before I have any type of conversation with him.
Now I can't remember what I said in the eaten post - I had greetings for everyone! :( Maybe Trubble will burp and my post will come back. Grrrrr..... Anyway, greetings to everyone! Hi Jay! Hi Theressa! Hi Trubble... Sharon, I'm so sorry you live so close to that dude - it's hard on your privacy and harder to disengage. Stay strong! Think about how nuts he is and remember the painful stuff he did, and let yourself feel angry - it will kick start your self-esteem and make it more fun to do new stuff on your own or with new people. I agree, there do seem to be a lot of men in the dating pool who are a little off-balance (for the men out there, I'm sure the genders could be switched!). Everyone's dealing with loneliness in their own imperfect way. I just want to be calm and loving, regardless of the stimulus, but loving first of all to myself.
Ooooh, Trubble, you are playing cat and mouse with my posts... my first post came back! *burp* Perdida Grrrrrrrrrrr.........................
Dear all, Sharon here,
Thank you ALL for all of your comments. I'm sitting here typing away with a smile on my face. Almost like Trubble eating a canary. GROWL! Enough! I am walking almost 2 hours a day -- and have been every day for almost 3 weeks. OMG. My clothes are getting loose -- only 4 lbs. down - and 16 more to go - but what a difference it has made me feel. I am feeling toned all over. Its amazing to me how being in a constant emotional situation can either bring you down or - make you hyperactive. I am sleeping and eating better. And last night I tried to make myself cry and I COULDN'T. So, I laughed at myself for trying. I couldn't bring the tears out! So, of course, I get my walking shoes on and walk. Remember the movie "GUMP" where Tom Hanks just put on his shoes one day and ran all over U.S.A.?? Well, that's what Sharon is doing. Grrrr... Well, stay away from gray cats in dark alleys...
Dr. Psycho sees me in the neighborhood looking good and his face looks all tight. Like his buttons are internally being pushed and he wants to explode from the inside out. Maybe Dr. Psycho-Head has been eating the posts! I say NOTHING to him. Try burping him (giggle)! And knowing him, he is waiting for me to say something or email him something with some quip or quote or thought about something or another. And I'm not saying or doing anything to him. He just sees me in our neighborhood walking - and I don't wave or react. The only thing I've done since our 120 day no contact vow is let him know that I am not going to buy his stupid air conditioner. I was nice about it -- but his demeanor was sarcastic. I did nail him on that. There is no reason to be sarcastic to me. I'm not doing anything to provoke -- its merely my existence on this planet that provokes him, I think. He hates my guts -- and I no longer wonder why or get bothered about it. I now know why and have more insight. He simply can't be in a relationship with a woman where emotions are concerned. In fact, there is a rumor in the neighborhood about him -- that he is *bi-sexual*. I had heard that once before but discounted it due to the source -- however, it recently surfaced again from someone else. The older people in the neighborhood have now come forward to me asking me 'what did you ever see in him?' and nearly everyone have had run-ins with Dr. Psycho.
Not sure about the new victim yet. Still no real proof, other than him flaunting the idea to me during our break up. Again, it could have been to hurt me and distance himself. When I told him to go get a new sexual partner - I think that bugged him enough to start throwing around the 'other women' that he was so accustom to doing during our relationship. That in itself was emotional abuse.
My ad is back out there and will start meeting new ones for
I'm just walking, walking, walking and oh yes, swimming at the YMCA as well. So, hopefully, I will make my goal by Christmas. I'm still in weekly therapy -- and I found a new book referred by a friend, "In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want ". Just started reading it. I'll let you know what I think.
"Giving Away versus Lending"
That's how I thought of what I'm going to talk about. I trust nobody will mind if post bits of a conversation I just enjoyed on Bravenet and my own remarks about it, which I hope people here will get something out of. As pointed out below, you need people's permission to repost what they said. Otherwise, you are violating their boundaries. I'm deleted the names.
There's a phrase I heard at Patricia [Evans's] conference that I fell in love with. I haven't actually used it yet, but it would fit with your criteria for a healthy response, and be appropriate in any setting, business or otherwise.
"There are things you can say that make me feel drawn to you, and there are things you say that make me feel remote from you. What is your intent?" And if they persist, you simply repeat "What is your intent?"
This TOTALLY has no accusation component to it at all. If they can't answer the question, you know they have no intent to meet you in mutuality. [...]
[My comment: "So insist on an answer to the question!"]
[...] I'd like to comment on Patricia's statement. I think I understand the point she's getting at (please correct me if I'm wrong). It's that the other person has the choice between saying something that will promote harmony and goodwill, and saying something that will be destructive and hurtful. It's their choice, and by saying "what is your intent" it is making it clear that the choice they make is all about them, and has nothing to do with me. Yes, that does feel good.
What I'm having trouble with is the phrasing used in her statement. The words "make me feel." To me, that implies that the other person has enough control over me to "make" me feel at all. That by simply saying a few words, they can control and manipulate what is going on inside of me, and they don't even have to lift a finger to do it.
In the world of control and one-upmanship (one-uppersonship?) that I am familiar with, I would have already admitted defeat. I am the weaker person for allowing myself to "feel" as a result of their words. (And it doesn't matter if they are good or bad feelings.)
I guess what I find disturbing about this, is that I consider Patricia Evans to be one of the top gurus when it comes to the dynamics of verbal abuse, and I wonder why she does not see this.
[My comment: I see Nellie's point, though I don't see any problem with Patricia Evans on these grounds.]
[...] I think this sounds like a great thing to say, at first. I just know for certain that it would never have gotten us anywhere. In fact, I often did ask him what was his intent when he said stuff to me. Usually, if he answered he would say his intent was to tell the truth (I really am a psycho evil b(&ch, and this truth evidently must be spoken...) or some other answer, and that my feelings were not something he was responsible for. [...]
[My comment: Yeah, that's what happens."
[...] By the by, Patricia didn't say this personally, a guest speaker did (Loretta). Loretta teaches a class on communication in Fresno. So, I'm reading my notes and basically I quoted it correctly, however, it looks like someone else brought up the same objection, because there is another question that might work better in the situation you describe.
"What I'm hearing from you is distance. Is that what you want?" [...]
As far as Patricia's guru status, well, I felt that way too. But, I'll just say her halo slipped a tad when I was with her at the conference. Nothing major, but I don't think she has a formal psychology background. I especially don't think she is the person to go to with these real extreme cases, or, the mentally ill. She doesn't have the background to really know the consequences of her recommendations. I think I would trust Dr. Irene a bit more on that one.
So, back to your statement, about rewording, I think you actually do have a good response there. To promote harmony and good will, or destruction and hurt, THAT is the question! [...]
[My comment: Nobody is the ultimate guru. I'm not clear if the problem here is a disagreement Evans has with Loretta, or with someone else. Anyway they're different issues.]
My own response:
This topic seems to me the right place to commemorate a piece of popular wisdom out of left field. Not from religion or philosophy, nor from any psychology textbook ("pop" or otherwise), but from a fictional character who always *talked* a great deal about "psychology." On its 75th anniversary, from Agatha Christie's classic *The Murder of Roger Ackroyd*:
"I next examined the *motive* for the call. That was difficult. I could only get at it by judging its *result*."
I liked the suggestion from that conference very much, just as you did. What's more, I don't see anything wrong with the way she worded it, and I suspect Dr. Irene wouldn't either.
It's a good general rule--and I know the Doc would insist on it--not to talk about people "making us feel" things. Often that looks like blaming them for something they did, rather than taking responsibility for our own reactions, and as Nellie said here, that can be like giving away our power to someone else to control us with.
Just the same, it does oversimplify matters to pretend that others have no power of their own. If they can never ultimately "control" us, they can always *influence* us--and influence the way we feel--just as we can influence them. Its acknowledgment of that refinement is one reason I like this proposal you mentioned.
Different rules apply in different cases. If it's a good general rule not to talk about what people "make us feel," this case is different. It isn't talking about blaming anyone for how they "made us feel" in the past. It's speaking in the present tense, and about possibilities for the future, about what *can* be. And it isn't talking about giving *away* our power to someone else to control us with. It's talking about offering to *lend* our power to someone else--the power to "make us feel" better (or worse)--and that's an entirely legitimate choice for us to make, just as it's entirely legitimate to *lend* someone anything we have that's robust enough--like a wrench, say--knowing they can't destroy it. We offer them the choice of using it for right or wrong. If they use it wrongly, we always have the choice of taking it back.
We give them due respect by admitting they can influence us. We never concede that they can destroy us, because they never can. And we challenge them to use power wisely.
It's not always true that we can judge the motive for people's actions by their results. Far from it. Often our actions have a result we didn't intend, or could never have anticipated. Between two people, these are communication errors. But we get round those by making our communication clear. Hercule Poirot was speaking of an act deliberately calculated to have precisely the result that it did. When we point out that we both know the consequences of an act, that it's time for "The Whole Truth" (as that chapter was called), neither of us is kidding the other any more. We're saying "If you don't want to be judged guilty, you shouldn't make *that* particular call." That much was always "your choice."
While I was all set to give the credit for this suggestion to Patricia Evans, it didn't surprise me to see later that it actually belongs to a lady named Loretta who's an expert on communication. One of many ways I relate to this myself, a professional way, is because I work in computer communication.
Loretta's suggestion offers people an opportunity to explain themselves, in a way that's important to us. That I like too. This whole business of "explaining ourselves" can so easily get bogged down in futile arguments about buzzwords like "defensiveness." If we say something that offends someone, or seems to, it's entirely natural for any of us to try to *explain* why we did what we did. Usually it's in the hope of communicating more clearly, a sound motive. With some people it's the opposite: a rationalization for continuing to behave badly. But always, always, I'd say, we want to *look good* in the eyes of another person, to "defend ourselves." What on earth is wrong with that? Nothing at all. That's about us, not about them--though we always hope they will understand.
What's important to the offended person is how it affects them. If we now place ourselves in the offended person's position, by saying what Loretta suggested, we offer an offender what anyone legitimately needs: an opportunity to explain themselves. At the same time, we do it in a way entirely relevant to our own needs. "What is your intent"? Nothing could be clearer, or more open minded. We haven't judged what they've done. We've only asked them a question, and given them an opportunity to express themselves. We haven't given away our power. Nothing of the kind. We've done the very opposite. We've *taken* our power. We've *taken control* of the interaction by focusing the discussion on the central question that affects both of us. We've cut the Gordian knot. We've nailed the issue down. After that, we've said "It's up to you. Do you want a relationship with me or not? If you do, what can we say to one another that has an agreed meaning to both of us?"
Computers do the same when attempting to communicate. They try to negotiate a "protocol"--a set of communication rules with a common meaning--that they can both speak. If one exists, they can exchange all kinds of valuable information; they can "have a relationship." If there is none, they can only break off communication because it's a waste of time. So do people. A few weeks ago I met a guy named Fabio, who's (obviously) Italian. "I am sorry," he began in English, "I do not speak much Danish." "Neither do I," I said to the accompaniment of great laughter, "but my English is a lot better too." Now we could communicate! If we couldn't, if we had no reasonably common language, we'd both be reduced to *mime*--which between people often takes the form of "acting out."
Of course, nobody can guarantee that we'll get anything constructive or even sensible out of an abuser. We can only try to negotiate, see if we succeed or fail, and respond accordingly. Maggie's husband says "his intent was to 'tell the truth' [as he sees it]--that she really is a 'psycho evil b&^ch.'" Notice first of all that this *evades* the question Loretta asks: "How would you prefer to 'make me feel'?" How would anybody feel if they were called an "evil b*&ch?" [Come to that, if they don't like it, what the heck are they supposed to *do* about it?] It also evades the question Hercule Poirot implicitly asked: "What *result* did he hope to get?" Granted that "telling the truth" (as we see it) is a matter of principle, what can anyone hope to achieve by it? Clear communication? If the other person won't acknowledge our "truth" and act on it, that's not going to happen. It changes nothing to our advantage. Then we're only acting insane by saying the same insulting thing a hundred times and expecting a different result.
So what result, what reward did the offender hope to get that kept him so hooked on saying this? If we have one ounce of intelligence, when we see that what we're doing isn't working, we do something different. Remorseless logic like Poirot's leads me to the conclusion that if somebody keeps on doing whatever they're doing regardless, they must be getting something they want out of it anyway. Since Maggie's husband must have learned eventually that she wasn't acting on his criticism, the result he wanted could only have been to keep venting his own anger and dumping it on M. That was the most *truthful* answer to the question "What is your intent?" So what does he know about "truth"? :) This was all about "his stuff." It had no relevance at all to the question Maggie was really asking about her own vital needs. When we see that from someone, we know we're not communicating.
Finally, I liked Loretta's suggestion because I do think many people get mired in the notion that abusers have "too much power" while the victim has "too little." This has the corollary that the only possible remedy is to *take power away* from the abuser. Yet the abuser's very problem is the subjective perception of having *too little* power already, which is why abusers claw so desperately for "control" to compensate for that. Abusers use their power *against* their own interests, to destroy what they love. It's so tragic. We tell "victims" to "take their power," and so we should. Why should we not tell abusers to do the same? Indeed. They should. What result do *we* want? And who on earth wants to be *less* powerful than they are now? What better motivation could anyone have--to get a better *result*, a result they would surely want, if only they can believe in it? "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?"
I don't pretend this is bound to work on an abuser. I only say some things have a better chance of working than others. And if they don't work, we always leave ourselves the choice of giving up and looking after ourSelves.
The question I won't ask, because it's so irrelevant, is why I myself feel a secret affection for an unknown woman called Loretta, which sounds like a name out of a country-and-western song. ;) I'll only say there's often a lot of human sense in country music. And she isn't entirely "unknown." She's spoken sense to me. She sure as hell ain't no redneck. I'm betting she's world class.
I hope nobody will mind if I cross post this into the Catbox. I hope some people will get as much out of it as I did. Any objections? Going, going... gone! "Too late!" (he said mischievously). If anybody does object, ask me what my *intent* was! :)
And if you "fell in love with" what Loretta had to say, I don't blame you. So did I! However we rephrase it, this is an idea to use.
- Gordon Thank you Gordon. Next time, just leave people's name's / identifying info out, or get their OK...
Hmmmm there is this rather the worse for wear moggy that looks like Trubble and definite evidence of a crashed broomstick......he did threaten Fakemommy he was off to visit me? Actually, he was thrown out of the house - and sent to visit you. "Dispatched," if you will, to find out who is eating the posts. We suspect the problem originates in Europe.
i think I better find a catbasket quick or the catbox would be one short. Jake won't allow cats in the house and I don't know if I could keep him a secret.. So he will have to go back... Also even more worrisome is I think he wouldn't love me anymore if he thought he found the right place and I have absolutely no trout in the house and the only food available in the local shop is in tins. Keep an eye on those goldfish!
Oh dear do you think he will feel rejected? i don't think he has realised he will be classed as an illegal immigrant as he has no pass port and he is worrying about FakeMommy so much....I will purchase a newer broomstick forthwith and he had better give it to Lynn in replacement. he isn't hurt, just very smelly and soggy from the journey I think...... Feel free to bathe him, if you dare! Giggle!
I hope I can get him onto a BA flight - or I could send him through the post recorded delivery??? (in which case he would have a flight anyway.) He could be such a nuisance on a cruise....he has his fishing line with him and might try to catch whales.
Of course the other thing is, i am not sure if it IS Trubble....Could be an imposter....when he came in just now he tried to put his paws on the keyboard - but he was confused by the mac as he only knows how to use fakemommy's PC.... But FakeDaddy has a Mac. Maybe he's just delusional from the accident.
Meantime he says he wants Fakemommy to know he loves her really and won't do it again????? (He won't tell me what!) He's trying to apologize for his recent absolutely FOUL mood. Ask Perdida.
But what most worries me is he is in a troutless zone and chasing the local dogs..... May God help them!
Meanwhile I looked back at the last long lot of blue pencil from Dr Irene to me telling me it was BIG. Do you know I just looked at it at the time and it didn't really register I was supposed to take note and that it was big. Yep.
So I had a think about it today.- "Oh boy...'irrational rebellion!' I have always been the sort of person to walk on the grass if a sign said "don't " just because.......to do it if someone said 'you shouldn't..." recipe for pushing me into the action.....and good heavens i can't keep the secret on a message board? Giggle! I can't even work out how Dr. Irene saw it, .as I thought I had that part of my personality hidden so well. Trubble ratted you out. Of course Jake would press that button - he doesn't break "laws." I am happy driving just a little too fast and he is the one or was to tell me to cool it - and I hated it so much. The thing is this isn't ever mean spirited in me it is more like the Joxter in the Moomintroll books... Kind of "I will do what I want as life is too short...." The word I don't like at all is irrational....but yes it is. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I have to be the good guy/ perfect but also hate that role so I can see how passive aggressive this is all of a sudden - Yuk - I wish the Big Guy would give me a break! I hate the words self discipline and I guess the message is to grow up! Giggle!
And now I get it and I am aware finally I try to fix Jake....and everyone else (even Trubble gets a bath here cos smelly cats are not acceptable to me!) Now I see it I think I have always been trying to fix and rescue him. And no, it doesn't work and so to carry on was an insane action. That's the thing with automatic, irrational thoughts. They are nutty. We're usually not even aware of them. Yet, we buy into them big time. We Humans are amazing creatures!
Oh well, I guess all I can do is be sure to let him fix himself now. it is out of my hands because he has blanked me anyway. But it does cut the other way as he wanted to fix me too and so no wonder we ended up in a mess because he is an out and out rebel too - except he does what I do by walking on the grass stuff through his appearance and hippy stuff... and refusing to have normal furniture and posters rather than pictures on the wall - this looked fine at 15 but somehow now it looks eccentric. Giggle!
I really am not sure if I make sense with the above. Purrrfect sense. I thought I was into helping people be empowered and now I find I have still tried to fix them,,,,, The difference is: have you taken care of yourSelf - first?
Oh well they will do better if I don't fix them.
but I still feel like i want to walk on the grass......but then some things are good to rebel about. Uh oh, I get the difference: it is not irrational to rebel about injustice. it is to rebel if it wouldn't affect you if you did or didn't.
My inner child hates all this and would like to go and play as irrationally as possible now! (giggle).
I don't think I am making a lot of sense - didn't sleep last night.
Theressa I just realised I can't ring you as I am in London tomorrow all day at a conference and it is too late now.
Sharon - (but is this fixing?) Have you noticed how much you notice Dr Psycho....if he is not in your life you don't need to be concerned about what he thinks about what he sees! giggle maybe a bit more garlic?
i hope you find somewhere to sing. I can't so I am envious of anyone who can. I really genuinely am unable to sing in tune, so how I got musical kids is a mystery!
Becky, I don't think you should tell him very much. I think you should think about you. One thing I wondered why fake those tests? it doesn't make sense to go to Therapy and then mess around. But I think I could easily do the same.....(is it the perfectionist button?)
Don't lose sight of what he has done to you not if he isn't prepared to change. Have a bag packed......
Lisa you have been through a lot too....made me think.....
Tim B Now I want to know about the other 22 steps -What on earth are they?
Perdida, special hugs and make sure what happens is what you want....
meantime...I am sooo tired ....and going to bed...sorry this has to sound confused? I will not feel guilty if Jake does have to get the dinner.....as i don't' think I could tonight.. and yes i know last night this didn't suit me....
I wonder how Lynn and Dan are? Yeah...
Hello Dr. Irene How are your goldfish doing? Do you allow retired mental patients in your catbox? I don't like psychologists but since I found out that you were an illustrator, I have decided that maybe you are a nice person. Hmmm. I'm not sure I've decided you're a nice person. I was wondering where you were getting all those cats. Now I know you have been drawing them. I kidnapped your cat but came back and there it was. So I wrongly accused you of cloning them. Since I have years of experience with mental patients, I have proclaimed myself to be a self taught psychiatrist. So if you wish me to analyze anything, please let me know. Dr? Mousie You can look at your provocative style.
This is my first time posting to the Cat Box. I have been reading the posts on this site for some time now - and it has been a source of great help and comfort to me. Sharon, I can totally relate to your experiences with Dr. Psycho. My abuser was also at one point my neighbor (next door). Now luckily I have moved, but he still unfortunately lives next door to my parents - so I do still occasionally run the risk of crossing paths with him. My relationship is a cyclical one - it has been on again - off again for about six years now. I decided to post today because I sure could use some advice and guidance. I have been emotionally abused by this man off and on for six years now. In the past, I would get to a point where I would get fed up and end the relationship - but would end up contacting him after a period of time and the relationship would resume. In the past he was always all too willing to resume the relationship. The abuse ranged from verbal put-downs, mind-games, trying to control my time (making me wait for him, breaking plans at the last minute, not showing up), getting close and pulling away, making derogatory comments towards women, walking ahead of me (so I would go scurrying after him to keep up), and the ultimate in pushing away - having affairs with other women.
The relationship just ended recently for the third time, and I have made a promise to myself that I will not go back this time for more abuse. I have started going to counseling and am attending a support group for emotionally abused women - so I can make myself strong enough not to go back this time.
The dynamic that is different this time is that I wasn't the one who initiated the break-up. This time he told me that he had started seeing someone else (he is 42, I believe that she is 18-20 according to my mother who saw her across the lawn), and that at first it was no big deal and that he still wanted to see me. And then after a few more mind games he suggested that we not see each other for a while, and that after a while if circumstances were different we could try it again. He also promised to call me. Well that was a month ago, and I have not heard from him. In a way, this is good. It gets me away from the abuse - and I now through counseling have time to heal and make myself strong. The only problem is - I feel like I have given all of my control: I have no way of knowing if he will come knocking on my door again once "Jail-Bait Barbie" gets tired of the abuse from "Balding, Dysfunctional, Middle-Aged Ken." You see, I made the mistake of telling him (in a moment of weakness) that I would take him back when and if he was ever ready. I have this fear that if he does call eventually I will go crawling back.
I am basically looking for some support while I am in my "getting strong" phase. Also, any advice would be helpful.
Sharon, I completely understand the fears you have about seeing the "new victim" over at his house. I will not go to visit my parents right now for that very reason. He will try to flaunt her in front of me just to hurt me - and I will not give him the opportunity.
Thanks for listening All!!
oh wow! You have a balding, dysfunctional middle aged man on your hands as well? Throw a little (??) bit of psycho crazymaking behavior and we have ourselves winners, don't we? Dr. Psycho likes the younger women as well. He is 53 and he is looking for 20-somethings. And he's not at all 'hot' but he thinks he is 'all that and a bag of chips!'
Sounds like the same dynamics. Everybody here on the website tells me to wear garlic. So, I tell you the same. Wear garlic. Get a new life. Get a new boyfriend. He's not going to change. You will have to do the changing. I'm in a women's group as well. Same as you. The verbal abuse - all of it - is taking me time to heal from. I think its worse than physical abuse. Those can heal. Verbal abuse can't. Glad you are getting some help. Remember -- he will treat his new victim the same as he treated you. That's what I do know. I know EXACTLY what you mean by keeping the window of opportunity open for these creeps to creep back in our life. Mine put out a 120 day no contact vow for me. Doesn't want to see me or hear from me until October. I say 'fine'. If I do hear from him before the 120 days I plan on nailing him to the cross and extending it another 30 days, so it will be not until November. The longer we wait to have contact - the more distance will be put between us so that I can HEAL. I'm hurting just like you. Stay strong! Keep posting and check out all of the wonderful books. There are tons of them!
By the way, Dr. Psycho had an ex girlfriend named Jody who lives in Santa Rosa, California. Could that be you?
A big wooden stake and 2 ft. cross wouldn't be a bad idea either!
Jay, Just to clarify.....
By "faking it" I meant that I sometimes act like I'm doing great when I'm not. I haven't had any kind of tests; I think they assign a score based on their observation and assessment of the client's progress. I would never fake on a psychological test; in fact I think most of them are designed to catch you if you try! Becky
While I was talking with my therapist the other day, I was suddenly hit hard with the realization that I am SO TIRED of talking about my husband, the abuse, and how it affects me. She says that I am "hitting a ceiling," meaning while I want things to work out, I've gone as far as i can alone. Now I'm in this frustrating position of "What next?"
I am at a fork in the road, and she would like me to tell her which way i am going when i see her next month. When I woke up this morning, I was filled with dread: oh no--another day! Another day just like the others.
I did tell my H how I feel: depressed, frustrated, ill at times and that I cannot see myself in this situation in the future. He didn't get angry or defensive, but was pretty quiet. He hasn't initiated a conversation about it. I still feel all alone in this.
We are going to my sister's this weekend (along with my parents and other sisters) to paint her house. Since she is almost 3 hours away, we're spending the night in a motel. Saturday is our 11th anniversary. I wish I could feel happier about it, and think of this little trip as a celebration.
My H is having medical problems, and I am concerned for him, but also thinking, "What a life! Married to an abuser with chronic health problems that can lead to serious disabilities!" Sounds awful of me, I know, but---
Regarding Gordon's post about "What is your intent?" My husband would also answer "To tell the truth." That used to drive me nuts until I began reminding myself that his "truth" serves one purpose only: to make what he does and how he thinks "okay." He is not motivated by a desire to come to an understanding; he wants to win, and feel free of responsibility (ie "blame"). As long as he doesn't have to change, all's right with his world.
This doesn't stop me from asking him what his intent is, however. If nothing else, it lets him know that I'm on to him, am not buying into his con, and am holding him responsible for his actions. If he wants to weasel out of that, fine. he and I both know what he's doing.
Now: what does this kind of interaction do to the love and respect I had for him when I married him? It slowly erodes it!
Very tired, so will say goodnight. Thanks for bearing with me! becky
If you can't afford to talk to Dr Irene, how much does the cat charge? That cat looks like it has fire coming out of it's back end. It must be eating at Taco Bell. But I think even though I can't paint as good as Dr Irene, I think I can paint better than that cat. Dr Irene should not put her name under the cat or everyone will think it is her reincarnated as a cat because she was a curtain climber in a previous life. Well is that cat a boy cat or a girl cat? I don't wish to be rude and look while it is using the litterbox. If you can't clean up your communication style real fast, you're going to be history in the CatBox...
I am going through a similar situation now with my husband. I was hanging onto hope that once I stood up for myself or took my power back that he would see he should do what ever it takes to save our marriage. Well, he had written me a letter admitting he was an emotional coward and to avoid the pain of rejection he cuts and runs. He makes the first move so that he does not have to feel rejection because it's too painful. I have noticed that the only way these guys get help is when they hit bottom. There are too many people that are available to "enable" or want the fantasy that he presents. So, it's very typical when they figure out your not going to supply them with all the adoration and attention they believe they are entitled to they move on to find a new source. My husband was telling me he wanted to work things out, and he was trying to convince me to go to therapy but it back fired on him when he started yelling at me one night "You go to counseling with me on Tuesday or you can consider our marriage over." I thought well that sounds like your still trying to control me. Hmmm...In fact, you have not considered that perhaps I have a different perspective or may not be ready to attend therapy with you. I may not feel safe. In fact, he didn't seem concerned about me at all. Then, when I said "You know I might just go but don't expect me to sit there and listen to me blame me for all your actions and behaviors." After that I found out he was seeing someone else. He had one foot out the door for weeks. He was just trying to get me to go in there after he had passive aggressively spent all week trying to control me. His comment was "If you don't love me, then someone will." So, I guess he feels that he is just fine. I am not going to waste my energy explaining or trying to convince him.
So, it's very difficult because part of you is grieving over the loss of who you thought he was. I love when Oprah says this, "When someone shows you who they really are...BELIEVE THEM." As ugly as it is this is where he is right now. He is not doing this to hurt you. He can not empathize with you. He is going to just keep running and running to avoid dealing with his pain. He will just dump on her or she will dump him.
I am really starting to see that his behaviors has a lot more to do with him than me. I have been trying to love his pain away. Trying to make it all better. I just can't. I wish it were that easy.
You could look at is as an opportunity to learn and grow. Just get in touch with yourself. Use this as a lesson. Try to separate the behavior from the person. Forgive him. Move on. Forgive yourself meanwhile. You really can only do the best your are capable of. He wants you to give him something you can not. He will find that out in the end. I really believe GOD will teach him that he had it inside of himself all this time. You were there willing to share it with him but you both just did not have the skills at the time. That is not your fault. You were willing to do what it takes but he had to be willing to do his share. That's okay. He is not ready. You can not make him be ready. I am sure learning this the hard way.
Take it from me. I have run into that brick wall enough. I mean you can go try it yourself if you need. I was told over and over. I still had to go run and crash into it. I realize "It is not working for ME" any longer. That was why I was depressed. Heck, my husband was healthy as a horse too. It was working for him.
It's finally sinking in...."YOU CAN NOT CHANGE SOMEONE ELSE, YOU CAN ONLY CHANGE YOU". Now, I have joined this e-mail group Ouchhh. It's great. You can join and receive validation. You will see you are not alone in staying, going, and not knowing what to do. There are some gals over there that have told me that they have changed and become stronger. Some of their abuser's did not. The few that do take a very long time. Some are getting educated. Some struggled at first but then came out on top. Both partners have to be working on their own "stuff". This one gal explained that "Once you get healthy and stronger, you get to a point that you no longer need someone like him in your life." Why would you want to condemn yourself to a life of abuse?
Hey, Jody do you have children?
See my struggle has been with trying to do what's best for me and balancing what's best for my children. At first, I was even making a deal to sell out for a couple of years so they could stay at home longer. I kept thinking "You know he does work all day. He does make a lot of time out with his friends." I could just leave when he drinks and try to do the best I can. Well, then that fantasy ended when he walked in and said, "I can do what ever I want and there is nothing you can do about it. I could screw somebody on the front porch, and you can't do anything." I thought "No, I don't have to sit and watch. I can leave!" Then, it really sunk in. What a creep! What is this teaching our children? Now, he said this sober as could be! I could see he just wanted to maintain control over me and he was using the kids. If I tried to sell out. He would make it next to impossible because his goal has been to "cut and run" and destroy this from the beginning. He fears intimacy. I am his worse nightmare!
So hang in there. Consider it as "He did you a favor by setting you free!" Just keep working on YOU! Don't worry about him. Yeah, easier said than done. But, do the best you can. It does get easier.
You took the words right out of my mouth to Gordon. I do the same thing with my husband I ask him what his intentions are. It completely throws him off when I toss the "explaining" back to him. I can see he is just trying to make it seem okay in his world. He starts lying and rationalizing. Unfortunately, the only person he is lying is to himself. That in itself has to be eating at his integrity.
Gordon I did find your post very interesting. I do agree with a lot of what you said.
With my husband though I feel like he can sugar coat it until the cows come home. He is just lying to "save" himself from accepting the responsibility for his actions. He has been dumping and dumping on me for so long. Now, I really believe I was conditioned as a young child to not think for myself or not believe in myself because I was abused by my caretakers. My family was never emotionally available to validate my feelings. When I cried I was told "It did not hurt." When I told them what happened. I was told "It didn't happen that way." So, I stopped thinking anyone would listen or care. I never established my internal boundaries. My family prepped me to be a victim. They certainly did not have any boundaries. They still tell me "You made me..." and "It's your fault that I am not happy..." Not always directly but indirectly in passive aggressive. I internalized all that "blame" myself. I have the worse "critical parent" voice known to man. I actually am surprised I turned out as well as I did. I know one thing though "I AM A SURVIVOR". I did what I needed to do at the time to protect me, and I am doing what I need to do to protect myself now. Now that the cat's out of the bag.....(no punt intended Trubble ;) I am going to learn what it takes to be a healthy person and have a relationship with healthy people. I will teach my children the same.
I am just so glad that there are incredible people like Dr. Irene and Patricia Evans to provide a caveat to several people feeling the same pain from abuse to ask those tough questions "Is this how I want to be treated for the rest of my life." and to provide some sort or validation!
I was raised by toxic, controlling, crazymaking addicts. I really thought the world is not safe. I felt powerless as a child. I was convinced that this is how all people think. My husband seemed normal to me. Then, one day I met a healthy person! Now, I am meeting all kinds of healthy people. I am learning a whole new way of thinking and behaving. The world is a much safer place now. I do feel very powerful. I don't have to abuse anyone to feel that either. Last but not least I am never alone. God is with me every step of the way just in case I need some reassurance.
Very insightful, glad you brought it across from Bravenet.
I have only one comment and that is something I recently found out:
We have a feeling/emotion issue inside of us AND this feeling/emotion/issue is energy as you maybe away with energy it can attract another energy force similar to itself.
This is what our emotions/feelings/issues energy does, it attracts experiences to help it deal with the issues inside of us. SO we know what needs fixing.
We may have to do this at many different levels which is why the lessons/experiences keep getting attracted to our energy force until the issue is resolved.
There fore, no one else can really be blamed for our feelings, issues. We were meant to have these issues when we were born so we could heal them.
The great thing is that we are the "Chosen ones" the ones who can heal years/centuries of co-dependency. THE DISEASE that is irreditary.
The disease that is simply "Over involvement in others business" Both Abusers and victims do this. Then they get mad since their help/over involvement isn't accepted. THEN finally they feel used, unappreciated AND ABUSED.
We must give information freely and be willing to have it rejected otherwise we are controlling.
If I think others can make me feel good I will never feel good about myself. THE truth is that my motive/intent if it isn't sincere will cause me pain.
Either by my frustrations so I might up the stakes as in an abusers stake. OR in my continued over involvement in others business as both the abuser and victim do.
Take care, Gordon you gave me my first steps, Michele gave me some steps, Dr Irene gave me some steps and Ron my therapist gave me some steps, all the authors of books recommended and read gave me some steps. AND I TOOK THEM ALL IN TRUST. the result I now know that it was because I trusted myself little by little as I took these steps that I have now walked this far. And finally my faith in God gave me a safety net to make all of these steps you all supported me whilst I made them. BUT God was always their to catch me if I fell. To wipe my tears and running nose and encourage me to go on up the hill another step.
It all starts with the courage to take the first step to being responsible for all that you are.
It is wonderful that Trubble is using that litterbox. It shows that cats are not stupid enough to get on the toilet with Elvis.
For the same reasons you mention "secret affection for Loretta", I find myself with secret affection for an unknown person named Gordon....
I think we respect and like those who present the qualities we ourselves would like. THE TRUTH is we do also have these qualities inside of us. We just need to organise them.
We can be confident it just takes a desire to push through our fears and do it anyway.
We can be secure.
Well informed. Be able to able to realise we can handle any situation we are faced with If we recognise we can recognise our boundaries (what we will tolerate) and set limits on things which aren't acceptable. AND we can detach and get centered. (Let go and let others have some space, and concentrate on our own lives)
NOW that is a secure person.
We can show how knowledgeable we are if we believe we have something interesting to say that will help others.
(We have lots of knowledge, especially about what behaviours don't work for us, about how we lower our self esteem. AND we know if we didn't do these things which we do out of our fears. That we'd feel much better)
SO we are in fact all confident people, secure and knowledgeable if only we'd relax and stop defeating ourselves.
WHEN we learn to see the light shining in us that others can see, we realise we don't have to try so hard. We don't have to entertain others and make them like us.
The beauty that radiate like a bright torch is all that is need to attract others. IT is because of who we are, that shining beauty (blessings talents, in us), and not our people pleasing, bending the truth out of fear, or GIVING until we are hurting that makes others attracted to us.
So please work on stopping the people pleasing that may soften the blow but the end result is further pain. A pain which controls your every moment.
You don't need to live in pain. If you told the truth what is the worse that could happen?
Maybe you would be alone but you'd not be hurting. I understand to that financial security is a major reason we stay so long. PLEASE make steps to gain education, skills whatever to financially secure yourself.
Though it is not to leave all of this, I am telling you, it is so you can at last have the cake you so deserve, INSTEAD OF the crumbs your getting.
WHEN you have the courage to say NO more to poor treatment (ABUSE), then you may never have to leave. YOU SET LIMITS and detach and enjoy your life. YOU begin to recognise you can handle any situation, and you don't have to tolerate abuse.
IS this journey hard? From co-dependency to healthiness? Yes it is scary and yes you feel fear and cry and feel helpless. BUT through truth you set yourself and those around you, your children, your abuser FREE.
You set limits by saying "Please calm down." If they do not calm down, you say: "I am going to discuss this later." Then you leave the room. Or the house if you have to. ANYWHERE TO GET PEACE. If your abuser prevents you from leaving you seek help.
THE MAIN things to do are to gain security:
Find out where you could live if you left? Work on your education and gaining skills so you can seek work so you can have financial security. Look at what benefits you can get from grants, the state etc? Seek out a good counselor to support you? Rely on other family members and friends for the jobs you can't do and trade with them by helping them?
When you become self reliant you discover security in thy self.
This gives you confidence to stop harmful treatment, since you now have the courage to leave you might not have to. FOR this courage gives you the strength to set limits and detach and not put up with ABUSE.
I did it, (Gordon told me about the steps above).
I also will tell you if anyone physically stops you leaving the room when you go to detach. YOU are better off out of there. GO and stay with family and friends.
Anyone who is physically preventing you from being free needs to be told "I will not tolerate being held against my will." THEN you must when you get away go and stay with friends/family and if you are hit report it to the police.
THE TRUTH IS you don't deserve to live like this. ON balance financial security isn't worth your well being. ISN'T WORTH YOU!! Even if you left unskilled in the work force. There are benefits to help you out until you get educated.
NO AMOUNT of money or material wealth, is WORTH MORE THAN YOU!! Okay so you might end up with less material wealth but AS I found out you end up with HELP and support from many forms.
GOD sends all you ever need.
Though for the majority of us here we just need the courage to know inside that we don't deserve this treatment and to SAY NO to it. Set limits, and detach.
GET HOLD OF THE BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD in my opinion on Co-dependency: Co-dependent No more by Melody Beattie.
Take care, Theressa
PS YOU can all survive with co-dependency but IT ISN'T living. You deserve to LIVE. I am on my journey of getting rid of this disease that has plagued my family for generations.
THOUGH I can safely say if I keep on with my journey of recovery my little daughter won't have to have this disease.
DO your children deserve this disease or will you take your courage and stop it????
Sometimes I get so much insight from little words or phrases in the catbox, and your comment about "hitting the ceiling" has become my theme for the day, as I get ready emotionally to face my ex and get my stuff! I don't know what he has in mind about "wanting to see me" but I'm at that ceiling too. My idea of a good life doesn't include fighting with someone all the time, or being with someone who doesn't listen, or being with someone who is passive aggressive, or all of that. And up to now, he hasn't shown me that he is capable of changing these habits (which I believe is all they are and that he could change if he wanted to). Okay, so one side of the possibilities for this meeting are clarified!
On the other hand, he may be wanting to introduce me to a new girlfriend or something mean like that! In which case, I will be able to get out of there more quickly!
Oh I hope I can keep this win win mentality going... I just want my stuff, I just want my stuff...
"we are not rich, but we have so much to be grateful for. I like this one alot too."
Take care, all have a good weekend, LOVING YOU, cuz you deserve it.
Dear Tim B.
Now you got it!! I liked your idea. Maybe bring matches as well and see him go up in flames. Now, I'd pay anything to see that!!
Hello to everyone, I have read everyone post, and they are all inspiring. I have a husband who has had a drinking problem for nine years. We have two children. We have just purchased a house, and since he drinks up his paycheck, I'm struggling keeping the bills paid. Right now I am so depressed, I barely have enough energy to go to work, come back home and try to keep my kids (8 and 15) motivated. I sleep away any free time I have, and I know its my way of shutting down. Please keep me in prayer. I'm going to bookmark this great site. I try to keep my kids active in church, which helps a lot, but my faith is at zero right now. If not for my kids who I truly love, I would probably do something horrible. God bless everyone. Hey, you're facing it. It hurts. That's the first step...
What works best for me, is recognizing EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES, and realizing that I have a choice not to go there. It's kinda' like Melody Beattie stating that when we become healthy, we can always go down to the frog pond. We just don't have to jump in the water with da frogs...
Have a great weekend...it's sweltering here in LA.
Dear Tim B.
Its hot here in Sacramento as well. All of the frogs here are swimming to stay cool. So, there are good frogs and da bad ones. I happen to have crossed da bad one. Looking for a good frog. RIBBBIT!
There's sure a lot of giggling going on over here, it's kind of like the Prozac Palace. And, you're history. Blip!
To the newcomer that just posted with 2 children 8 & 15. I wanted to say that I use to "shut down" all the time. I stayed in bed on the weekends. I was depressed. I had migraines. I was sick all the time. I thought it was hormones? I did not realize that my spirit was being eaten alive!
Now that I have taken that time out for myself. Taken my power back. Accepted responsibility for my happiness. I am still healing my inner child. I am still learning and becoming aware of my self-destructive behaviors. I Gave him back his blame, excuses, responsibility for all his misbehavior, etc. I feel so much better.
So, you just listen to what your body is telling you. You need to feed the soul. You need to take time for yourself. It's okay to just say "I need some time to feed my spirit." You deserve it. Your children will benefit from it.
So take care! Keep us posted how things are going with you!
I have to admit I just couldn't even figure out half the posts. I think I have been responsible for a whole load of Trubble.....I think he had better be returned to Dr Irene forthwith and take up his normal duties......
Gordon, I am at a loss to understand why you posted a lot of Bravenet posts. if it was me I would want you to ask my permission before you put things specifically signed by me somewhere else. it would definitely cross my boundaries. This stuff could have gone to Dr Irene directly but I think sometimes she must want a rest from all this junk.....But to be fair my brain in not in any state to understand what all this is really about anyway due to the prescription of sleeping pills which I don't want and been told I need to have.. (If I want to I can refuse medication under UK law, but I so need some sleep........ Good point! I missed that one!
Anyway all I am saying Gordon is don't ever do that to me! One reason I object is that some people may not even ever read the catbox,. They could never know and they post there as they want to feel secure,. So Gordon, this is a definite no no..... and I don't dislike you; just think here you are (like we all get at times)... way out of line. I think the posts here should be deleted forthwith if that is what Dr Irene thinks...I do think you should let people on the Bravenet board know yourself...... I will go back and delete people's names.
I don't mean that if someone says something great it shouldn't be shared but sometimes you need to think what might be acceptable..
Theressa - all I meant was people have to be ready to hear the message- like Dr Irene wrote to me that what she said was BIG and because I couldn't handle it at that moment I kind of blocked it and then there was a point where I heard and got a clear message....
I am too "woozy ' to cartry on but being very sensible and looking after me....
I did hear a wonderful phrase yesterday.....I won't say where and it wasn't being said directly to me and applies to nobody at this moment in time...I have struggled a bit with it's political correctness (so Gordon can take ME to task...and if I think he should listen to me then I will listen to him!!!!!) mainly as incontinent people are often so upset by their condition - understandably and I am not sure if therefore it should have a negative connotation..
It was "emotional incontinence." i.e. some people (oh dear ...) are so over the top with all their varied emotions they display them in an out of control way...thought next time I fell apart the phrase could be useful!
Although there are times when life throws so much junk at you this is different. It would be wrong not to scream if you were scalded - so this is not being about appropriately emotional. It is about inability to keep a lid on where and when the lid should be kept.
Oh yeah ...one for Dr Irene - you fit the bill anyway.. "the best form of cognitive therapy is to make the patient laugh"
I love the term "retired mental patient." please may I have permission to use it in a newsletter for people working in the mental health field including the client group....?
I have a lovely quote up my sleeve which I have been dying to share with Dr Irene from a manic depressive BUT (Gordon see how it works,,, I need to ask her if I can share it and tell her where because it was said in a confidential context....SHE might be identified if I just wrote it here and might not want an association with this board - especially as she doesn't have an abusive partner!)
Please note I do not dislike Gordon and think some of his stuff is ok - just not all like all of us have some off days.
I hope this post is not totally waffle. If I got it wrong then I apologize in advance but I am practicing not being perfect anyway.
My hugs and prayers to all the people I haven't replied to. I am reading- looking after Jay is hard because she is having to learn that sometimes it is not self centred not to reply.
What is the difference between self centred, self absorbed, selfish and open hearted, caring, ane unselfish...I seem to feel one (either way and get told whichever way it was I was the opposite.)
Also, I fell apart last night and just cried and cried - maybe Theressa gave me permission and I knew I just had to ring the doctor.. Jake ignored me TOTALLY and then I had to ask him to get a prescription and he talked to the doctor at the doctor's request. Then he described what HE thinks my symptoms are .....oh boy...all my life I have had low blood pressure and if it goes to 'normal it is abnormal....(at least when I was pregnant the hospital were concerned so I assume that this is the case. - (In England low blood pressure is seen as good- in Europe it is bad! What about the US then?
He was telling the doctor I had high blood pressure......but he couldn't know as it is normal by UK standards...
Was Jake caring or abusive- he hasn't a clue what distressed me - ignored me and got dinner instead and then only when the DR asked did he go to get the description , He did bring me a cup of tea but only at my request and he then said in a really horrid voice 'someone' would.
I wasn't trying not to control my emotions - It had been a good day and then it was as if a feather knocked me over - maybe due to lack of sleep..
But if you recognise an addiction and then cut out the pills and then have to take them as you will get sicker as the only ones that will work are addictive and to sleep you need a really high dose (four to the prescribed one to get 6 hours sleep) then what do you do?
I refuse to be depressed,. I just will not go back there,.,,,,and why should my family send me - the doc was going on about anti depressants and I don't want any pills around me...I am doing all the other right things...
BTW the brief therapy I had for PTSD worked with only an hours session for the specific incident - I can't write it all here but I know the technique now and can see why it could. £25 for losing a horrid bit affecting your life is very cheap. I really have despite all this stuff above stopped reliving a bad event.
Maybe that is why other stuff can now surface my mind coped with that and couldn't cope with anything else? On one level I am really ok- I function and I do get up and do stuff .....(yes I know lack of sleep/waking early has to do with depression.. I am not denying it just not going to let the black Knight win - did I ever write my black night poem here? i will post it when I am feeling more on top.
Just now what I really want is for someone to come in and really take care of me....put me to bed and make me stay there and look after my every need.........This is because I do feel neglected and I know usually I have the resources (or did until last year to cope with all those needs for myself...abuse wears you down....... ) Yes...
I think I no longer care who did what to whom. I just want it to be that we can have some peace and harmony around here regardless of whether there is a marriage or not. Just a smile or welcome would be really nice - sorry -- no not sorry this is a catbox and I needed to put the litter in it..
Trubble might have taken a well needed holiday and I think we should be sensitive to him and not demand he uses this litter box too soon - a cat must after all look after a cat. But I do disagree on one thing. I think I like his drawings and I wish I could too... I'll let him know it's OK to use your couch as a canvas.
Actually I will later I have this large canvas and I have been thinking of using it for a long time and I have lots of paints and I am going to use my fingers and who cares about the result. I didn't spend years training in childcare for nothing.....all adults should do this ---giggle I didn't spend years making students get their hands messy for nothing! jay