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Comments for Catbox 42

Comments for Catbox 42

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

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

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41 edited.

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Saturday, June 23, 2001

Hi All, L here.

This site has been a Godsend between counseling sessions. The only thing is, while everyone agrees I'm doing the right thing, I am feeling a bit depressed after reading some of these posts. That's fine. You are accepting reality, where in the past you would pretend otherwise so you wouldn't have to feel yukky. You see, my estranged husband, is in total denial. He rationalizes and justifies everything he has done. Since his outburst on 5/29, he has been doing nothing to get help. As mentioned before, this has been going on 5 years now, and because I started making changes to give him "his stuff back" and take care of my own, it did nothing but get worse. Before filing this week, I asked him one more time about what he wanted, and he said the divorce. I told him I love him, his children love him, but he needs help because the drinking, irrational behavior, etc., keeps happening. Even when I maintained boundaries, such as leaving the room, he would follow me room to room, not respecting my right to disengage from the situation. He said, "Yeah right. If my kids love me, then they should prove it!". I was floored by that one! I said, they don't have to prove it. You are their father, and they love you, but need you to be well, to be a father they can look up to. They want to look up to you! Every time you came back and the trust started to rebuild, it was stomped on.

 You see, he believes respect is not earned. It's something that is "just there". I say, "No, there is respect for a parent in a parent/child relationship, but it's hard to respect the irrational behavior, name calling, etc. They've even told me they felt like they were "walking on eggshells". They love him, but hate the behavior, just as I do. He is pissed I'm continuing the restraining order. He says "I'm playing games". I told him, "no I'm looking out for my safety and the kids. If you don't do anything irrational, it's nothing more than a piece of paper." When he found out the case management date for the divorce is 2 days before our 20th anniversary, he said, "Oh great! 2 days before our anniversary". I told him it sucks no matter what day it is, and I don't pick the dates, the court system has a procedure for assigning the dates, and that is the date. He was the one leaving nasty voicemails at work that he "wanted it done, wants out, and my attorney shouldn't be taking so long getting him served".

 I know he's "upping the ante", as Dr. Irene says, but I don't feel I can take another 5 years of this, or possibly a lifetime. I love him, but have to let him go, even though it still hurts so much. I guess that's the "child" in me wondering if someone loves you, why can't they see what they are doing to hurt you, or themselves?  Well, they should, but they have chosen not to. Maybe they don't love you or themSelf enough... Just another place where you have to open your eyes and accept reality.  I am still struggling with this. Just as I start to feel stronger, I have a crying spell, questioning myself if I'm doing the right thing. Yes. He's counting on you folding. Don't you dare! For your kids if you can't do it for yourself. A lot of people here seem to have spouses who are trying, or even half-trying to work on their issues. The first being admitting there is a problem. Is there anyone who has gone through this time and time again, and finally realized enough is enough? I could use a little encouragement right now.

Thanks, L

 

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Saturday, June 23, 2001

Hello Everyone Kala Here

This is the first time posting to the catbox for me. Have been coming to the site for a few months now and have posted a little on the message boards. I grew up in an abusive home without any emotional support and never really felt *safe* or supported. This week I saw a counselor at our local DV center and attended my first group session. I am in need of a lot of support right now so I am sure I made the right decision. The stress of my situation is starting to make me ill and I am so tired most of the time. They told me I should try to conserve my energy, excellent advice. I have been taking some positive steps to reconnect with friends, going to a movie and dinner. It is so nice to go out and ENJOY some peace for a change. Everything I do with my partner is struggle. I am finally starting to come out of denial, though some days I wish I could go back, I am so tired. Not to worry, I know that is not in my best interest. Like someone else said When I went to DV center I felt like I was breaking some family rule. Yes. Secrecy and your guilt is what your abuser(s) rely on. Your feelings are normal. Keep going and deal with the feelings; they will pass. However I did feel very reassured and received validation. It was very liberating to *tell* others face to face what has been happening to me - secret no more. Theressa your posts have helped me a lot, clarified some issues for me. I am noticing the abuse more now, not always responding but aware.

I realize I have been in survival mode for so long I stopped LIVING. I realize I have been trying to fix my partner, rescue my partner and then get angry when all doesn't work out. I don't always see my codependent behaviors. I am reading and learning everyday, little steps.

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Saturday, June 23, 2001

Jay,

I wanted to tell you that I hope you will be feeling better soon. It's so important to just allow yourself time to process all this new information. Feel your feelings. Don't medicate the pain. Stay with that pain. It's coming from deep inside of you. I allowed the pain to just come through me or out of me. I cried soooo hard. I can't tell you how much better I FEEL. I am becoming calmer day by day.

You are so correct about how when information is presented to you before you are ready to process it then it just does not get into your head. You are not capable of coping with it yet. So you will allow it to sink in when you are able to process it and cope. That is perfectly okay.

I can see how I have been just tossing all this information at my husband who is so emotionally unavailable and disconnected from his self that it's not sticking. I don't have the magic glue to make it stick. He is not open to receive it yet. I can't force him to see it until he is ready. I am just frustrating myself, and should be doing more proactive things to take care of myself. If I back off then he will come around on his own. He is loving me the best he is capable of. If I learn to love myself. I won't need him to do if for me. I need to accept that he is not here to make me happy. He is not even available to make himself happy. He is full of self-hatred. When he lets that go, and makes peace with his anger, hurt, pain, from his childhood then he will feel this same freedom I am feeling now. I just happened to be to far ahead of him. I am willing to accept who he is now but at the same time because his behaviors are so destructive to my emotional well-being I must take the necessary steps to protect myself. I am allowed to do this. I never realized it. I was feeling too powerless and worthless. This caused me to feel frozen in fear. Now, I have turned around and hugged the monster "my fear". It's okay now. I am feeling okay now. I know in my heart he will be okay someday if he takes care of himself. Meanwhile, I have to take care of myself.

I hope you don't mind me offering you some advice and comfort. I am learning all of this same stuff too. I was just taking some information that I learned from Al-anon and my BWA Support Groups. I started realizing that I am going to be okay. I had the courage to ask for help. I have the strength to endure a lot more pain than I ever thought I could. All these lessons are right in front of me. I just did not see it. Here's what I have learned so far this week: It's okay to ask for help but at a certain point I have to help myself. I am the only person that can help ME. I can't expect my husband to take care of ME. He can only take care of himSelf at this time. I am capable of taking care of myself. I just need to be pointed in the right direction sometimes. I did not have a set of foot prints to follow. My mom is still sitting on her couch at home waiting for the world to come to her. She is still blaming everyone for her misery. She has everything she needs to make herself happy. She chooses not to use the gifts that god provided her. All this time I thought I was responsible for her happiness. I am not I am responsible for my happiness. So, what I learned today is the same thing I will pass onto you...Some food for thought.....when your ready.... Don't look to Jake to take care of you. I know you need that so much. You may not have gotten it as a child. Take the grown up in your body right now and lead the child who is not feeling well to a safe spot in your mind. If you need to lay in bed for the weekend. That's okay. That's what you need to do. You don't have to justify it to anyone. Just learn to comfort yourself. Then you will see the little things that Jake has been doing was his way of "loving" you the best way he can. It may not "feel" like he loves you but he does just not how you "need" to be loved. Could it be your needing more than what he can offer?

Now, I don't want to sound like I know everything. I am still sorting through my "stuff". I have been reflecting on all the information provided. My therapist says I was only capable of understanding what I was ready to understand. Heck, it took me 30 years to develop all these unhealthy destructive behaviors. It's going to take me a while to relearn healthy ways of thinking. It's a process I have to go through and experience fully before I can truly comprehend the meaning. I just hate having to do this at my age. Sometimes, I think because I am 33 that I am suppose to be able to just know it. I missed all of this growing up. I am really a child in a grown up's body. That's okay. I have a pretty good loving "parent" inside of me to guide me. She is doing the best that she can. I am learning to love her even though she is not perfect. ;)  You're on track.

OH, Jay, I asked my doctor the other day if I should just increase my anti-depressants or just learn how to cope with what may be normal grief. He said, "There is nothing wrong with taking some medicine to take the edge off until you learn healthy ways of coping. We all need some help with medication sometimes. It's okay. You are the only person that can know that. I can't tell you how to feel inside." I had never heard that before. I said, "Well, You know I'll take it. I need it right now." He said, "Good! Let me know how it's working. I can increase it or lower it at any time."

Bless you Jay. I can't say I know exactly how you are feeling. I can only offer you some comfort of knowing you are not alone.

 LisaMM

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Saturday, June 23, 2001

Dear Dr Mousie,

Having some totally nutty posts is great but do you also have a need you want to post. You haven't actually mentioned if you are or have been in an abusive relationship - It is good to have a laugh but do remember we are , a lot of us hurting here...giggle ..the newspaper is for patients and professionals alike...

You might enjoy something someone gave me the other day - and so might Dr Irene. It is too long to post here but I was howling with laughter.... It is about this group of people with a strange condition .. went on and on about 'grandiosity', delusions about grandeur and being in a position equal to God and engaging in strange and unreasonable demands like asking another person to count from 100 backwards and stuff like needing to know suddenly who was in charge of the country. A tendency to talk only to certain people over the heads of others and to use a desk for self defense and sit behind it and take insane notes in illegible handwriting and utter incomprehensible nonsense to whoever was in the room with them and to appear at times very paranoid and ask for others to be kept in a safe environment ..........challenges to this client group are met with hostility as they assume they are always right.........

Well, actually as I haven't got the article in front of me, I made a bit of it up........(Dr Irene is not like this at all and does not suffer from this condition. Oh, never! Giggle.).

Lisa, thanks....I will have to read your post in the morning properly after some sleep --I did take the stupid pills and they are rather taking effect ...I hope this post isn't as nonsensical as I feel.. jay

 

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Saturday, June 23, 2001

Dear Cats.

I just got back from picking up my stuff from my ex's house. It was a lot sadder than I thought it would be. The stuff downstairs was easy because it was all together and in boxes more or less. But when I went to the bedroom, my stuff was all enmeshed with his stuff (just like us), and I remembered how we had planned on my moving back there, getting married blah blah blah. I got really sad and kind of lost it and had to stop getting my stuff for awhile. We got lunch and went to a movie, and talked a lot about a lot of things. I reminded myself that he was in the Dr. Jekyll stage and that it would only be a matter of time before something awful or crazymaking would happen, but it was really really sad. We have such a high level of compatibility when he is not screaming at me. That sounds kind of funny, like a Mel Brooks joke or something. But it's really sad. I'm sad. I guess I will wallow in being sad for awhile here, pardon me.

I also found it extremely confusing, and I told him so. I didn't think I still had any feelings for him, and I found out that I did. We talked about the good times and I asked him didn't he love me enough to work on the few behaviours that I couldn't live with? I told him that I didn't break up with him lightly, that I couldn't drop everything and go live with someone who yelled at me all the time, and he said he understood. At one point he said that I had a right to my feelings but that he "disagreed" with them, and I told him that there wasn't any "disagreeing" with someone's feelings, but that in a couple when someone feels strongly about something, the partner tries to negotiate or come to some mutual solution, rather than just stopping short, saying he doesn't feel the same way, too bad for you. At the end, I asked him again if he didn't love me enough to change these behaviors that he had admitted, he agreed, were the wrong way to behave (meaning the temper tantrums and the screaming and those two occasions of violence), and he said that 'We tried to be lovers and it didn't work out." Just like that, a copout, a way to get the pain away as fast as he could so that he could go back to pretending he was perfect. I said that that sounded like a closed door, and that I would go. And I went.

I can't help analyzing - it just seemed like he could not face his own behavior, even though I told him I thought it would be easy to change with practice. He said I was insulting him by saying that he couldn't change something in 3 years and that that kind of opinion I should keep to myself. I thought that was weird - I was trying to be encouraging. I kept telling myself: You can't help him, you can't help him! So I didn't try very much to help him. But everything in the house was just as I had left it, photos of me that he had put up all over the walls and fridge, my stuff exactly where I had put it, and my stuff was EVERYWHERE. I couldn't even bear to take it all - linens, dishes, books. Stuff for a couple, more stuff than I would ever need by myself. I ended up just taking stuff I really needed or wanted and leaving a whole lot there.

And he looked really bad. He said he hadn't been eating in the last couple of weeks (about the amount of time he knew I was coming) and he had a really bad stress acne breakout that looks like it needs antibiotics.

It is so incredibly sad and I am really crying as I write this. Why couldn't he at least try? He is losing/has lost me and he knows his behavior was wrong. A normal person would say, "Oh my God! let me try something to keep my loved one!" Well, you just said it. He's not "normal," whatever that is. That is reality. As things are going now, it's unlikely that this reality will change. At least today was the first time he admitted that his behavior was not right. But he seems to think he has done all he can, and yet he still rages and that's why I broke up with him. This is a crumb. Not enough. Don't let your empathy get in your way because you got a crumb so you rationalize to yourself that "he's trying."

I forgot to bring The Verbally Abusive Relationship  with me so I went out and bought another one. I need to re-read it. The ex was trying to pretend nothing bad had happened, nothing that wasn't normal fighting, just a difference of "feelings" or opinion, minimizing, denying - and yet he finally admitted that there were things he wished he hadn't done. I think that an abuser's behavior is so mortifyingly bad that for them to take a hard look at it is too painful and destructive to their self-esteem. My ex was such a picture of low self-esteem. And I agree with Dr. Irene, I think he must be depressed - I've thought that before. He said he left all my photos on the wall because the times he spent with me were the only happy times he has had in the last 3 years. How can someone say that and not try to change so that the relationship will work? Is he lying?

I am living 2 hours away from him, but he didn't ask for my phone number and I didn't offer it. And I won't call or initiate contact although we agreed that we could be friends. It's just too sad. 

Love, Really Sad Perdida Sometimes what is real is very, very sad. Accept what is...

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Saturday, June 23, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here,

Well, today is Saturday and I am grounded. Off my feet, that is. I have a huge blister on my foot from doing all of walking. So, I've been home taking it easy. Came into work to read all of the posts and do one myself.

I'm doing better. Tried to make myself cry a few times, but couldn't - so I'd start cracking up (LOL) instead! What is sooo hugely funny is that every time I have gone outside to either go to my car or throw out the garbage - Dr. Psycho would drive by. As we live and drive down the same streets, its anybody's ballgame. But I've been good. I've not driven by or even walked by. I go the opposite direction, and if he goes outside I do a U-turn.

I've lost 6 lbs so far from walking and eating better - its taken me a month - but that's OK. Wow! I'm physically looking more toned - and that alone is helping my self-esteem. Not interested right now in finding a new man for a relationship - though my personal ad is out - maybe just new friends - because I am really getting into feeling some deep things. I can't explain it - I think I like what my reality is starting to show me, as I've been in denial and fantasy for a long time thinking, hoping, wishing, etc. and now I see how it all will fit for me - like a 'reshaping' of my future and even though I am sad about ending things - I ask myself 'what did I lose'? And then I LOL 'a man who abused you!!' That's what you gave up, Sharon. Yep.

 A mean spirited man named Dr. Psycho who loathed himself and others around him. So, I get on my high-horse and think about that for awhile. I know that he lost a great woman because of his own issues. And he knows it too. But there is nothing I can do about that. I didn't lose a great man because of my issues. In fact, I think I've gained and learned something here. So, experiencing these painful feelings feels good at times because it feels like I'm healing - and leaning in is the only way - no amount of denial, wishing, hoping will help the process. Just the real nitty-gritty get-down-and-dirty crying your eyes out does the trick for me. I'm not enjoying this blister on my foot, though. OUCH!

Hugs, Sharon  Dear Sharon, Trubble's coming right over with some flea powder and an old rag. He's  convinced he can fix your blister!

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Saturday, June 23, 2001

Dear Perdida,

I am SO sorry about what had transpired in your last email. I've been following your posts regarding this issue and I was so hoping for a more favorable outcome. As you were too, I am sure.

Well, what can I say. Life is all about choices. And apparently he chose the EASY WAY OUT. For him, the hard way would have been doing something about it. Did the therapy issue again be discussed during your visit? He chose the easy way out because it would be toooo painful doing it any other way. He would have had to be emotionally stripped from everything - bad behaviors, etc. - and he is NOT willing to look at himself. That's why you saw everything the way you did. That's why he is so depressed. That's why he looks bad. He's fighting his demons and they have won. He couldn't even touch your stuff for the fear of FEELING the pain. To touch is to feel. And he can't. He is so much in his own world of 'crap' he can't even begin to look at it. You did what you had to do. This is a start for YOU. Again, another 'process' for you. Again, more pain you will feel through what happened. You will get through this. He won't ever get through it. But you will. Because acknowledging your pain is the beginning of recovery. And HE is in too much pain to even go there. So, good thing you acknowledged the fact that you can't save him. He's in too much pain. Still too hot to handle for him. Remember, you do hold the power. Still after all of this time. Or you would not have seen what you did.

A big hug to you --

Sharon

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your email although it made me cry! Again!  I am known as a crybaby, no repressing for me, thank you!  Giggle!

You are exactly right, he DID take the easy way out. We didn't talk about therapy again. I didn't expect to talk about the relationship at all, and I didn't expect to feel like I wanted him back or even that I still loved him, and that was all a surprise. On the drive down, I had totally empowered myself, realizing and reflecting that I had all the power because I didn't need anything from him and could walk right out of his life. It was interesting to feel all those feelings and not be a prisoner of them, because in the end, as I was paying careful attention to what he was saying, I realized that he is very very stuck, and there was nothing at all I could do about it, and I did in fact walk back out of his life. There's nothing left at his house that I need to go get, although he's left with a lot of reminders of me. He said that he liked having my stuff there and left it where it was because he knew that I would always come back to get it, that I would be back. I'm sure I hurt him when I said that I realized I still had feelings for him after being convinced I didn't; maybe I shouldn't have said that but it is true. Maybe it isn't wrong for him to know that it's possible to lose someone's love.

Well, anyway, for all my bravado on my posts I was also hoping for a different outcome. It seems like it must have been very painful for him when I broke up with him, but I didn't hear from him in all those months (he said "You told me not to call you"). I tried to put myself in his shoes but if it had been me in his shoes I would have done things very differently. I asked him if he had been trying to get me to break up with him, was he intentionally pushing me to leave, that I had felt that way for a long time - of course he said "no" but I did have the chance to get some of my feelings out there.

I was really hoping, of course, that my leaving in February would be the impetus for him to go to therapy, but it wasn't. Could it be that this time he will? I feel like I broke up with him all over again. When I left, I just did the air kiss thing and said "take care of yourself" and drove off. He stood in the yard, shoulders stooped, with this forlorn look that he has, watching me leave. It's all so pathetic. So much pathos, so easily resolved happily, so close and yet so far. What utter stupidity and waste.

I just sat in Starbucks for several hours re-reading Evan's book The Verbally Abusive Relationship  and underlining in red the parts that resonate (practically the whole book). I realized I am doing it for him, still trying to fix, teach, explain! Then I would refocus and read it for me. I realized he was totally withholding, the whole 24 hours we were together, in addition to the denial and minimizing while we were talking about the relationship. I was businesslike when I first arrived and he wanted to give me a long hug, but I don't think he would have been any less withholding if I had been warmer. He only became more withholding as I warmed up. I read the book, and I remembered. I hope there will be an appropriate opportunity to give him the marked-up book - such an opportunity would be a communication from him that he was willing to work on things. I only wish Evans had included more words of hope for the abuser. I sense that my ex feels like a loser and that's why he controls. It's so sad; he is brilliant, young, handsome although if he doesn't start taking care of himself he will look more than 50 before he is 30. It's just how he learned to behave growing up and that's why I think of it as a habit that can be changed.

But I won't waste any more time trying to understand, or help, or teach, or whatever. It's time to disengage. He closed the door. He may expect me to knock, but I won't. (I just wanted my stuff...)  Hang in there...

Love, Perdida

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

Dear L,

I am in a similar situation. My husband is in complete denial. I have found it really helpful to attend Al-anon and for my kids Alateen. Just to hear the other members tell similar stories and validate your feelings. You are doing the correct thing by protecting them. I met a lady at a meeting that just had her kids taken away because she did not take the necessary steps to protect them. She was too afraid at the time. It had escalated beyond her control. That's what she thought because she felt so beaten down. She says her mother never left her abusive alcoholic father. She thought it was normal. It was heartbreaking to sit with her in her pain. I kept telling myself. That could be me next time if I don't stop it. Now she is attending these groups and getting the strength. I attended a Battered Women's Group to learn ways to communicate during his hostile times in front of the children. I found it necessary to take my children to a behavioral specialist to help them learn how to communicate their feelings and to help me set-up a safety plan. I have a secret pass word and told them what to do if mommy and daddy argue or they don't feel safe. I ran through a series of different situations. Just like a fire drill we did a practice run. My son is 8 years old and now feels like if an argument gets out of control that he has some power to leave the scene or go get help. The children really need to hear what they are experiencing is really happening and that you will do what ever it takes to provide them with a safe home. Most importantly that it is not their fault. Yes.

My husband filed for divorce at the end of March to "up the ante" like your husband. I did not realize that I was in for the biggest power struggle of my life. I am fighting for my spirit at this point. I endured 9 1/2 years of this unhealthy relationship. I am not willing to "enable" his behavior for another 9 1/2 years. It stops here. I thought I could change him. From everything I have read that they have to hit bottom to want to change. Sometimes it takes a loss such as a job, divorce, etc. for them to "wake up". When you stay you are actually "enabling" the behavior. That's what he is counting on. I have learned to watch their actions not their words. They have to back up their words with actions. They avoid admitting they are wrong at all cost. They will avoid making a commitment to change, and or tell you what you want to hear then go back to what they want in a couple of days or weeks. They start that "Stinkin Thinkin", blame you and distort their reality to suit them. Each time in their irrational head they think "Well, I just need to get more control over her." So they "up the ante". Nope, I am learning I can only change ME, and do what I know in my heart is right for my children.  And, some will never change and will never hit bottom...

I can tell you that if you just stay strong, and learn all that you can about yourSelf that you will just know in your heart that you are doing the right thing.

It's been 6 months since I woke up. He filed for divorce 3 months ago. He refused to leave. He has been attempting to prove that I am crazy or an unfit mother. Kind of difficult since I am taking the necessary steps to protect myself and my children. He finally slept at his mom's this week instead of the family room floor. I asked him for some time and space for 6 months but he refused. I told him this time that if he did not leave, that I was taking the kids to a shelter. (now, I don't recommend this to everyone, I knew I was safe in saying this because he knows he is being watched by the neighbors, and my family.) I explained that I was not falling for the manipulating and passive aggressive behavior any longer. I finally learned how to disengage. What a lifesaver! He really thought I would give in like I did in the past. I kept telling him over and over. If you respect me like you say you do then you will allow me this time and space. He just left me alone at the house on the weekend for the first time. I had to leave with the kids to relatives houses every other weekend. He has been taking them all out on the weekends. He "visits" about an hour a day during the week. This is the first time he is really suffering any consequences. He asked my son if he wanted him visit him on the weekend. My son answered "NO". My son has caught on to the manipulation and games. He is ready for peace in his home. He agreed then it would be best he stay away and give me my time and space. He is already feeling the pain. I figured if he had to sit with himself and suffered the consequences then perhaps, he might "wake up". We will see. Yes. You've created the space he needs to heal. The rest is up to him.

Meanwhile, I am attending classes to update my work skills, job placement research, preparing my children for the changes, and the working on the divorce paperwork. My main goal is to become financially independent. I have been out of work for 8 years. I have been staying home with the kids and doing daycare. I stopped daycare when I realized that I was not able to provide a healthy environment for the kids any longer. I have my 2 children and one neighborhood child that the parents know the situation. He has all the pension, 401K, and seniority. He was controlling me through the money. Now, he is ordered to pay all the bills. He refuses the internet, telephone, gas, and my personal items. That's okay. He buys the kids their supplies and food. I just simply told him I would eat beans before I allowed him to control me through the money. That nipped it in the bud. He now purchases all the items requested on the grocery list. You just have to be willing to do what ever it takes. Exactly. My husband has tried just about everything to control me. As it moves I learn a new healthy coping skill.

With your children, they won't understand it now, but as they grow older, they will. I have been telling my children that it's okay to love both Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad are having a difficult time communicating because we did not learn the skills growing up. We are both coping in our own way. Sometimes people are in so much pain that it's hard to see that we are hurting the people around us by our behaviors. That does not mean that we don't love you. We are loving you the only way we know how to. I will do what ever it takes to provide you with a safe home.

Hang in there L. You will be okay just do what it takes to protect yourself and your children. There are wonderful people out there to help and guide you.  Like you.

LisaMM

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

Hi all,

Sometimes Dr Irene, I think I will still be here in catbox 101. I hope by then I will be posting as healed and helping others; but just now I think I am starting to realise how good it is for me to really admit my need for help! Yes....

Becky, I know just what you mean about pretending to be alright. JUST what I do. If you will agree to stop selling yourself short by this then so will I. The therapist can only work with what she sees.

I too can appear so ok. This is a good skill in one way as it means you can avoid losing everything work wise etc by cracking up (only that caught me out too for a while). But it sells us short of our own healing. I even LOOK healthy. It drives me nuts that I can be really one step from death's door and someone will tell me "you are looking really great!" Even after the stuff last week I met a friend in the street while my mind felt like a stuffed banana, I felt sick and heady and as if I was about to cry my heart out. She said, "Wow you look great!" So easy to cover my needs up!

The thing is, neither of us are going to be helped if we don't admit where it really is at...

And for you and me we are actually going against our own belief system in doing so ..so that lesson will keep coming back...Becky you need, just like me to be really honest to get the help...and I know how hard that is.....

Hugs....and don' forget how great you are.

Dr Irene. I did think Dr Mousie would get blipped. I just kind of wondered for a while if she had a need and couldn't say it. A lot of  people ring help lines for a friend and really it is them. But usually you can tell - or they admit it in the end.  Dear, BleedingHeart Jay, and other Benefit of the Doubt Codependents: Yes, Mousie needs help. Big Time. But, I could care less how much poor Mousie may need help but can't admit it.  Mousie's intent is clearly to disrupt and intimidate, so this is not the forum for her/him/it. 

I hope the non Christian posters weren't offended by my 'sermon'. I was posting out of my belief system. I won't and don't want to start a theological debate in the catbox. I know that is why you started GHU. I think that there are Christians who post here and so I knew there would be a few who understood what I was saying; but I also kind of needed your input as well.. I actually think it is important sometime to have an outside view as Christians can be very good at deceiving themselves into thinking only a Christian point of view from an out and out Bible thumper is God speaking.

Actually it never worked like that with me. Christians talk about 'discipleship' thinking this only happens in Church. I have always found for me that is the least likely place to help me...(oh dear not knowing the church!) This is when God shows you how to move on by identifying the part of you that needs to change - and it can mean recognising the good stuff...Sometimes it is a painful process. I actually found the hardest times were what I had to sort through on my teaching courses.....I had to see me far more clearly in that context!

I do hope I didn't offend anyone ,,,,the therapist works within the belief system of the client. (Well Erickson certainly did!) Whatever I believe about salvation etc. I was posting how MY interpretation of things are and not knocking others, If I wanted to 'evangelise' then this would be an inappropriate forum.  No problem Jay. I'm glad you posted what you did. It gives me a chance to "translate" because all roads lead to Rome and who cares which one you take. You take the one or ones that work for you. My purpose was to "broaden" what you were saying.

I just wanted top make it clear.

Giggle. believe me ..some Christians are shocked I use aromatherapy and homeopathy and if I dared to mention I had had 'hypnosis' they would be writing to me telling me it is a tool of the devil! This would be out of genuine concern but a complete misunderstanding of what exactly happened in the PTSD therapy. ALL that happened was I was put into a very relaxed state and ran through the stuff as if on the outside of a TV screen looking in.. I did not even have to say all that happened....It was all very clinical and I was completely conscious and felt totally in control of my own belief system...

Perdida- time to leave the past behind and move on???????

L - Thanks.

Dr Mousie. I think you have been deleted from more than one forum? You can be really upset or you can say. "I need to learn from this." It could be a turning point. Sometimes we are more able to control our behaviour than we think. I saw a video of someone with Tourette's syndrome a few days ago. The thing that I learnt was is that all the inappropriate swearing and shouting is a form of self medication. It makes the person feel better as it relieves the symptoms; but it doesn't make them exactly un-isolated from society! The person on the video was able to recognize that they DID have control over their actions and find other ways of feeling better. They couldn't stop the physiological stuff, but they could take some control and find a quality of life.....think about it. Could you do yourself a favour?

I don't mean you have Tourette's. I mean could you do things in a way that meant people don't delete you? But, I think Mousie wants to get deleted...

Theressa. when we are both healed as far as we can be lets do a psychotherapy course and set up together!

Jay herself? Needs to know what Dr I means about the Yam cream. I do know Yam affects hormones.... but that was my Drs prescription. All I meant was that it's a powerful hormone and you were talking about your doc playing around with it. If you really believed your doc was playing around, I was suggesting that perhaps you needed a new doc.

I think I need to start helping myself and get a little more of the hated self discipline... I am going to start with the jungle (garden) and no excuses about not liking gardening and house... where Jake won't notice I touched it. Giggle! This will be for me and HKK, I am also going to make myself do the hated swimming and get the bike fixed so no excuses...In fact I am going to make a timetable...I will HATE this but it is a part of self love to get me back into functioning...days spent on the internet are fun but not actually helping solve my life crises and I am going to use my own form of self hypnosis and guided visualization  to do it (Christians please not e this is not about going into an uncontrollable trance state ...but as one condition of the counseling was I went to church and no excuses and it is Sunday then I think I must get ready.. and actually go!

Sleep sure does focus the brain!

Jay

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

LisaMM,

Thanks. I have definitely had many talks with my children (who are teenagers), about their Dad and me. Like I told them yesterday, it's not like he woke up one day 5 years ago and said, "gee, think I'll drink, scream, name call, destroy property, and do anything to hurt my family". He loves us, but right now is incapable of even loving himself. As an ACOA, I am very adept at separating the behavior from the person. Unfortunately, that was my biggest downfall. Until I went to ALANON, I was minimizing, rationalizing, and justifying too. No more. That's why I am now in the beginning of the divorce process, trying to restore the sanity around here. My oldest, who will be 20, has called me the stability in their lives. When I was having a rough day last Sunday, he gave me a hug and said, "Mom, it's okay to cry. I hate seeing you like this, but it's better than seeing him treat you the way he does. You have a good life ahead of you". He's right. While this is painful, these tears will eventually subside. If I allowed us to remain in the situation, those tears could go on forever.

The only thing bothering me is he hasn't even tried to contact his children. I think this bothers me more than them. My youngest, 15, said "I want a relationship with Dad, but not until he gets help". Right now, he's so embedded in his own crap, he can't even see his way out of it. We are the ones with the problem, not him.

He called yesterday about picking up some mail, and again told me I wasn't the same person he married. Translation: I won't go out and have a few drinks with him. I told him, sorry, but every major episode around here involved you drinking only, and I'm not playing "Russian Roulette" with you. That is a risk factor that needs to be eliminated. Get the alcohol out of the way, then you can see what the real issues are. Nope...not his problem. Well, we know it is, but it's no longer ours.

He has had every opportunity to get help, but he never took it seriously that he had a problem. Still denies it. So be it. That is out of my control, but protecting myself and my children is in my control. That is what I am focusing on. Stay strong. He will try to get to you.

Like Perdida's post, it is so sad. To see the one you love so lost and buried in their own muck...

L

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

Dear Perdida (and all)

I completely understand what you are going through. You see this person with so much ability and so much potential, and yet they don’t make positive choices. I often try to understand this myself and it perplexes me.

People like your x who run these negative programs often lack self-control. I don’t think they trust *themselves*.

I have concluded that abuse is not the problem, But a symptom of the problem. The problem is the negative program running in that person’s head – the abusive behavior is just a result. You bet.

I am currently reading “The Feeling Good Handbook” by David Burns. It’s a great book for almost anyone. Yes! It talks about common types of ineffective thinking that lead to depression and mood swings. 

I still believe that the best thing you can do for an ‘acting out’ negative thinkers, is to simply not accept their abuse. However, it is really difficult to accept ‘denial’, or ‘twisted thinking’, but what other choices do you have?

I recently went through an incident where my own ability to accept ‘what is’ was tested. My friend was acting out miserably. I didn’t react, I didn’t react, and then, oh boy - did I blow! I was angry for about 3 days after this incident! Though I know my friend couldn’t deal with my anger effectively, I also realized that my feeling of anger was 100% appropriate! *No* human being would have not felt angry in this situation, unless they detached from their feelings.  Your goal is not to "stuff" your anger. It is to hear it. But, you won't "hear it" if you blow up. When you are asked to "do nothing," it is to give you a chance to understand your feelings, and to examine whether or not they are rational. When you get real good at this, you can nip the anger very early in the chain - by calmly asserting yourself before your annoyance escalates to anger.

My past feelings about anger were sometimes muddled with logic that said “but Buddha wouldn’t be this way”. I’m not even sure about *that* any more – I don’t think the objective for spirituality is not to feel feelings, *including* anger. Of course not! I think the objective is to take the anger and deal with it effectively. Yes. This was always the objective!  By "doing nothing" instead of reacting, you build coping skills in tolerating the frustration, etc. You also have the time you need to understand what your body is telling you the problem is, and to work out how you are going to handle it. I *was* angry. I wanted an apology, but none was forthcoming. I needed to let myself feel what I felt (without going haywire) and be okay with it. I chose to treat my anger as a gift. Excellent! The anger was a signal – Always! a very significant one - that I can’t allow myself to be subjected to abuse. It was self-protection.

Finally, I was able to let the behavior be ‘his problem’ and not my own. Bingo!

BTW, he even apologized after I had cooled down and detached.

The problem is, Perdida, that with your guy – even if he *did* embark a path of change, you would most likely go through more anger for what ‘was’, as I have done. Yes. This is what is so difficult for negative thinkers to deal with. There are reverberations from past abuses that keep echoing until the abuse is long gone. Yes, but that is just a normal aspect of reality that they have to deal with, for the sake of their own recovery.  Initially the steps to healing must seem very difficult to a negative thinker. Feeling vulnerable and facing the truth (no denial) about the impact of what you have done must be terrifying for some of these people. Yes. Many of these people are horrified at themselves.

This is probably why most choose denial. It’s much ‘easier’, short term to pretend that it’s not your problem, or to choose to think that it is the ‘other person’s’ problem, in order to not have to face these scary feelings. And the codependent plays along by buying into the denial as well, also seeking to avoid feelings of pain and anger...

The thing that is so sad, is that the key to changing the thoughts, starts with acknowledging them. Running away from them because they are frightening ensures a long term plan of self-destruction. Yes. For all of us, abuser, victim, cat, dog, you name it.

Other than trying to manipulate or control the situation, you have no ‘sane’ choice, Perdida, but to accept. (well, you *could* send him a copy of “The Feeling Good Handbook” – giggle) I have a hard time with this too, but the harder us ‘helpers’ try, the less others need to help themselves. She's right Perdida.

Take care Perdida – I feel for you.

Asha

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

Dr. Irene,

My gut was telling me the same thing your instinct about Mousie. I could see he was attempting to push buttons to get us to respond to him. I chose to ignore him. Just as others will always do when someone comes on any sight with unacceptable comments. Thanks for blipping him out of here. Saves me a little time scrolling over his post. 

Okay...back to the good stuff :)  Talking about good stuff, send me or post your url. I'd love to see your site! Thanks.

LisaMM

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

I tried to submit this earlier but I don't think it worked. It did. I just deleted multiple copies of lots of posts! I wrote a while back. Now my divorce is final and things are getting settled. My best friend told me that my ex-husband e-mailed her to let her know that he would be in her town on business. He wants to get together with her. They used to do this when we were married. However the last time he told me he took her to dinner once and she told me he actually took her to dinner and out dancing twice - and she watched a movie with him in his hotel room at night. This was when we were still married and I told him that I did not like that, and especially that he didn't even tell me. Well anyway now we are divorced so it's none of my business, but I feel I should warn her. I know he is playing some kind of control game and he gets to affect two people this way: both my best friend and me. She says he was always nice to her and even though we are divorced, she doesn't want to be rude to him. I know what he is doing. I know him. Why can't other people see it? Why does it bother me? It's not my problem anymore. I keep thinking maybe I am wrong maybe he is a nice guy wanting to visit a friend, but I know this isn't true.  

 

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

First of all, what is Trubble kicking up that is red? Is that soiled kitty litter or is Trubble a boy kitty and he's marking? Either way I think it's inappropriate.

Second, the banning of Dr Mousie was wrong I feel. Everybody needs humor to heal and without the doctor, there really isn't any of that here.  This is a depressing site. How can people expect to get well when they don't laugh? I've been hospitalized twice medication adjustments due to bi-polar disorder and both times, one of the most emphasized thing was LAUGH. Laugh over anything, but laugh. It's too bad that everybody here is buried under the litter in the box and can't (or won't) clean themselves up. I don't know where you've been if you've missed the humor all over the site, but so be it. If you find it depressing, it is not the place for you.

I've met Dr Mousie on other sites (no the Dr has not been banned as you stated) and everybody appreciates the humor that she conveys. Yes, I said she. Dr Mousie is a woman, Just as yourself, Dr. Irene   Mousie may be a neutered cat for all it matters. Intimidation lightly veiled with humor doesn't make it here. By the way, Mousie wasn't banned. The hostile posts were banned - and will be banned.

 

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

HI Asha,

Thanks for the post - I am going to go out and sit at Borders this time and take a look at it! I only wanted to pick up my stuff!! I didn't expect to find feelings inside me and then turn into some lost yuppie, haunting bookstores and coffee houses, drowning my repressed sorrows in latte and self-help books! :)  This is not a book to "look at." This is a book to read and re-read, and practice, practice, practice!

I started out fine today and this afternoon I feel sad. I didn't expect to want to visit him and to think about being close enough. Everything you said was right, Asha. I just have to keep a new mantra going: He can't get it together and I want to move on. He really can't get it together. He really doesn't see any need to get anything together. It's too hard to get something together. It's easier to drop the relationship. Dr. Irene told someone - Lisa MM? - something applicable to my ex - he doesn't love me enough, regardless of what he says, to get it together, and/or he doesn't love himself. Gee, that's a long mantra, but I will just have to take a deep breath and keep repeating it.

It's funny, but it's easier to go on with my life if I see him as not loving ME enough. I wonder why that makes me detach and stop suffering. Well anyway, it's certainly a shorter mantra! "He doesn't love me enough... he doesn't love me enough..."

Off to today's latte! Sharon, are we twin souls or what?

PS - I called my friend in Brazil and told him I had picked up my stuff. He wanted to know if I was in my house and my ex was in his, i.e. were we still apart. I guess everyone saw this current situation coming before I did, the betrayal of me by my own heart.

Love, Perdida the Yuppie

PS, Jay, howya feelin'?

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Sunday, June 24, 2001

Hello Cats!

Well, I actually had a decent weekend! We, along with my parents and siblings, painted my sister's house and garage--twice! I'm sore all over, but it felt good to get so much accomplished. We hope to keep this going, helping each other with big jobs. Saturday night we spent some time soaking in the motel Jacuzzi and pool (Ah-h-h-h!), slept like logs then finished the garage and trim before coming home. Since Saturday was our anniversary, and Monday is another sister's anniversary, the rest of the family surprised us with a cake--very nice!

It was nice to work side by side with my husband with no tension between us. In fact, the whole family got along great, no squabbles except for one instance when my dad acted a bit insensitive( in the guise of being funny) and hurt my sister's feelings. (She bought a house in a neighborhood dominated by persons of another race, and he makes remarks about it). My sister S and I gave her a pep talk, reminded her that she has done well, and that HIS problems are HIS to deal with).

My H is back in "nice" mode, but I will wait and see how long it lasts. I.E. the kitchen: I think he wants to do it, but he gets so many irons in the fire he doesn't complete anything in a timely way. he'll go just so far, quit, and start something else. Of course my feelings about this aren't supposed to be a factor; a good little codependent goes with the flow, right? So my wanting the room done by a certain date is seen as "pressure."

I will keep any plans and timetables to myself; I think I'll follow my gut for a change!

Trubble, would you like a lady friend? My sis' cat Sophie is a looker: a combination grey and yellow tiger. She's very clean, is great at jumping up on countertops and beds, and while affectionate, has just a touch of haughty disregard for humans. One thing: her front paws have been de-clawed. Would that bother you? Let me know if you want me to set you up! De-clawed? That's on par with being neutered...

Becky

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Dear Dr. Irene and group

I am still thinking about this anger stuff and I understand what you are saying about 'doing nothing' and examining feelings.

In the case I mentioned, I felt I needed to say "stop! this is unacceptable to me." If I were to go through it again, 'consciously' I would have still expressed this, but using better words - i.e. not telling him he was 'being an a****le'. (big oops!) Don't get all caught up in what you did wrong. You are on the right track. While your goal is to "catch" stuff early enough that the "Stop!" comes out sooner, and is therefore less angry, it's normal early on in assertion to have anger spill over. Keep it up and you'll get better at it. 

I don't even know where that came from in me - adrenaline maybe? I think that's what you are referring to when you talk about doing nothing instead? :)  That's just uncontrolled impulsivity. A knee-jerk reaction.

This is where 'victim' becomes 'abuser' in turn, and it just goes on and on if someone doesn't stop it. This is where "victim" looks like "abuser". It's too simple to say that victim "becomes" abuser.

At the same time, I felt so much better once I had said 'no!' I am normally really tolerant, I think over-tolerant Yes! in fact, and maybe because saying 'uh-uh' is new to me, I need to learn more tact in my presentation.

A 'higher' me maybe would have said: "What you are doing is destructive and I won't accept having you act this way around me." My using that "bad word" made the bad behavior towards me more justifiable, rather than creating a better atmosphere for this person to look at his own behavior by using 'higher' words.

I would like to learn to be affirmative, to set clear boundaries that stop or at least limit abuse around me, without acting out myself. Very tricky. These are skills. You can do this. VERY do-able, in fact. I may never be 'perfect' doing this, but I can work on it. At times I feel that doing 'something' to stop abuse, even if it's not the absolute right thing, is better than allowing more of it to come my way. Of course you should do "something." You do want to stop it! The language gets confusing here. All "doing nothing" boils down to is: not acting out. You do what you have to do without acting out and "losing it" yourself. People who don't recognize all their acting out are literally told to "do nothing" to help them first see it. I felt and still feel that doing nothing would have allowed the abusive behavior to go on without consequence. I didn't want to deny or minimize what had happened.

I did look at whether my feelings in the particular situation were rational and I think they were. I still feel I needed to express my anger to this person, but I need to look at more effective ways to do it - like maybe expressing that I am feeling "hurt" or that I am concerned about the impact of the particular thing that was done. Sometimes I'm not in a situation where I can take the time to use 'choice' words, but perhaps as I feel more strong in my ability to protect myself, I will be able to firmly say 'no' to abuse, and express my anger in a way that will benefit me and the person who I am angry with.

This anger usually happens along with a sense of shock or disbelief that someone could "do something like that".  I rarely become reactive when I anticipate a problem - it's when something happens suddenly and shakes me off balance. I'm giving myself a break about my reaction because I'm learning to accept that I'm human and I can't be perfect... I'm doing the best I can with what I have and I'm learning... I'm sure *that* will never end.

I don't usually feel deep anger. When I do, it is because I have been pushed to an unacceptable limit. When I reach that level, I have found that can't just 'turn it off' - it sort of fades down little by little as I reassure myself and bring myself back to center. Sometimes venting helps, along with affirmations that my reaction is normal (though I realize external affirmations aren't always available and I need to reassure myself).

It is easier getting over anger when things can be resolved. When they can't be resolved and there is unfinished business, I think my goal is to 'safely' vent my anger, and to understand completely that as Tim B. said, a few catboxes back (I hope you don't mind me repeating this Tim, 'cause I just love it - it's on my computer desktop and I bring it up to read frequently):

 

"If YOU said it, it's about YOU. If you said it ABOUT ME, it is still about YOU. If YOU did it, YOU live with it, not me. If YOU did it TO ME, my only responsibility is my own reaction. If I did it or said it, ONLY then am I responsible for it. "

I need to memorize this!! This one is big. For all of us.

One thing though, Dr. Irene - I don't know if annoyance is always more appropriate than anger. Don't look at it that way. Annoyance or frustration or call it what you want comes before anger. Anger builds. The idea is to catch it way early in the chain before it escalates to anger, or, ulp, rage.  I may just be misunderstanding what you mean by the terms, because if you mean 'acting out' anger, then I do agree. For example, if someone intentionally hit me with a baseball bat, I think anger (after the initial pain wears off), and not annoyance, is actually appropriate. Annoyance might not give me a strong enough warning signal that I need to protect myself from this person. If I understand correctly I think you are talking about dealing with the feelings in an effective way that doesn't hurt me or the other person. Again, I'm realizing more and more, anger is a *gift*, but it's how I use that gift that matters.

On another note - I was really proud of myself last week. I had worked for 2 days on a document in a little program that was supposed to save information automatically. Suddenly, just a few steps before my work was complete, I got the BSOD - the "blue screen of death"! Guess what - the little program didn't automatically save *anything* and everything I had done was gone. I opened the document, looked at it, re-looked at it, realizing what had happened, took a deep breath, called my client and explained the situation - even managed a laugh about it. I then I went back to starting from scratch, knowing that at least it wouldn't be as hard the second time around. I didn't even get upset! I *laughed*, even! I was so proud of my ability to choose my reaction to the situation. (and it only took me 6 hours to recreate what I had done vs. the original 2 days... )

This 'thought-reprogramming' I am trying to practice does really work. :)

Perdida - How about a mantra about you loving *you* enough to give *yourself* the best possible relationship!

take care all

Asha

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Hi Dr Irene,

I am glad you said I am in the wrong business!!!

I am on the first of many steps. I now have a dream, a focus, goals for my future. RON said it would come. Today is my last counseling session with this wonderful man, who taught me how to LOVE myself, and to see the beauty in others. I feel so happy these days. So full of live. AND yet despite the mistakes I am working so hard on accepting and learning from them.

I want to share my dream. As you may be aware I am studying psychology at degree level. I have between 4 and 5 years of study left. THE purpose is "I am learning about me".  I was not aware! Cool!

My goal is to study for this degree. The end result is I want to set up my own business and THE best part is I want to set up my business in helping children. BUT not just any children. Those who are bullies and those who are bullied. I want to teach these children how to take care of themselves. EVEN those who can't see the light inside of them.

Though first before this I want to write a book for children like these. I am going to start at home first. I am going to start with one of the most precious people in my life. MELISSA, the book is gonna be a "celebrate me book." In it Melissa will list and draw all about her, the talents, and all the blessings about her, the enjoyment and goodness, and acceptance in her. :)

I really want to help these children in the hope they never have to go through the pain I have had to go through. SO my therapy won't be just about me, it is about my little girl, and my future career.

I want to use my co-dependency to benefit instead of destruct, the difference as RON says is "These seek your help, as you do from me Theressa, this is using your resources GOD gave you to the best of your abilities to enhance your life and those around you." Yes...

What do you think DOC, about my career plans?? Will you give me a reference??  You bet!

Take care Theressa

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Monday, June 25, 2001

"Thy who is perfect can cast the first stone." Are any of us perfect? WE are so judgmental, we use our own experiences and perceptions to force our judgments and expectations on others. We condemn others without even knowing the histories.

OUR job is to set limits on others behaviour if it effect us personally or our children.

Though it is saddening when we judge and feel we can play GOD with our young peoples lives. WHO are we to judge others behaviour, and it rightness, others mistakes.

I am talking about a very controversial subject and will probably be cursed for what I am about to say, DO I CARE, NO! For you can judge me all you like, I know the truth will protect me.

Have I gone mad. NO! I have become more sane than I ever was.

*************** I am talking about the James Bulger case. This little precious child should never have been murdered. Those boys of 10 years old should never have been emotionally abandoned. Three lives wrecked, and why because our society judges parents, instead of supporting them.

I hold the society responsible for this little precious child's life. NOT those boys of 10 years old. WHAT sort of society makes mistakes so bad that mothers/parents won't ask for help when their child is going out of control.

BOTH mothers of the boys who murdered this sweet little child say they knew they needed help but the fear of being judge was high.

What sort of society punishes surgeons and doctors yet expects to be told it is okay for the office worker to make mistakes?

What sort of society lets children down in schools across the world. Since it only accept academic skills, those who are practical and can't articulate their talents are not allowed to be praised and encouraged for the blessings GOD gave them.

I see in the news papers and across the media, radio, TV, all the comments about COST, MONEY to the tax payers. NO word about the valuable lives that have been messed up is there?

A society that values money over everything else even the trees. Is this what GOD wants??

These boys are SICK psychologically, centuries of emotional pain built up. Years of poor habits that stretch across centuries. SO are these boys responsible for bad habits of many life times.

Freedom we say "BRITAIN, AMERICA GIVE FREEDOM" Or do they?? Freedom is acceptance do we accept ALL??? I do not think so the evidence speaks for itself.

Am I saying these boys should be forgiven? YES!! Do I think they should stay in supervised secure protection?? YES!! I think the person (Home Secretary) or whoever it was who said that these boys should not go to prison, IS A VERY SENSIBLE MAN.

If you put an infected person with more infected people will it make them better?? NO! Will it bring back the lives lost? NO! It will destroy more.

THE chaos in our own lives is major but we are more concerned in judging others. We all want to be accepted for the imperfect beings we are. THOUGH we don't have equality and acceptance for others.

AM I saying no one should ever be held responsible for their crimes? NO!

What I am saying is we need to rehabilitate, get rid of the psychological pain. AND NOT just lock up these people who are mentally and psychologically damaged. WE NEED TO REPAIR as much as we can the damage.

James Bulgers family will never be at peace, and my heart and soul goes out to their pain. NO one can say it is OKAY for this lady to go through this pain. THOUGH all the people involved the boys who murdered this precious child will also suffer.

MAYBE it is time for us to look at home, in our own houses and sort out our own issues and accept what we are. THEN maybe we can stop judging using money as our tool to bash others.

To value money over repairing lives is INSANE. When you see that money isn't meant to cause wars it is meant to be respected and used to improve lives.

IF money is respected it brings much help but when it is abused and over valued over lives, then it is disrespected.

Dear God,

I hope one day that each and every one of us can accept ourselves, our family's and then their is hope for the world to be at peace and acceptance to.

Love Theressa

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Hi all,

Jay here, I will not feel stupid I engaged with Dr M and only because I am practicing being allowed to make mistakes! It just didn't bother me that much..  You really didn't engage Jay. You tried to give Dr M the benefit of the doubt. Nothing wrong with that. My limits are just much shorter than yours. That's all.

Perdida- I am sorry it worked out with pain but you seem so in control of where you are heading although you may think you are not; your head seems ruled by your head and not your heart so I think you will be ok.

Lisa - I thank you for all your help. I am still very 'fuzzy" which is a hard feeling for me to feel so I kind of keep reading and meaning to reply and then can't get it together like usual. What I suspect I need is a holiday but no chance at all of that just now-I will look again and reply and I am so sorry you have had so much hurt too. I always get confused by this- are we also talking on GHU? I kind of need both forums just now and there is a Lisa there and then I get confused if it is the same one!

I have to go to the e docs this morning- I just do not want to go as I feel like "what can she do anyway."

Gordon - I noticed how you replied to people who felt like I did on another part of the site, and I just want to say you did really well in acknowledging a fault.......no buts...oh if only we could take a bit of Gordon's brain and plant it in our partners! I guess that wouldn't be exactly ethical and I just mean that part of his brain.

Mel - you haven't posted...........come on....you wanted to post somewhere but when the challenge came did you opt out? If we all only posted when others agreed with us then none of us would be here!

HKK has his own views on the pic of Trubble- he is in Trubble if he states them! Life is to short to worry about a picture of a cat.

Trubble seems anyway to have a Transmogifier and be in several places at once! (If you don't know the relevant cartoon then this makes no sense). jay  Don't forget, Trubble has the broom Lynn gave him. It flies faster than the speed of light!

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Dear Jay Honey,

I want to comment on your post at the bottom of cat box 41 it will help you start to receive more:

Firstly YOU SHOULD ask for "what you want" for your needs to be met. And you have to accept the response you get and then look at your other sane options. (Sometimes the sane option is to accept you weren't meant to have it, otherwise the universe would have provided a way to meet your needs)

THIS INCLUDES asking for cups of tea.

"Seek and thy shall receive"

Don't assume others SHOULD know what you need!! It is always your duty to yourself to ASK.

You usually get more when you ASK and not just wait and expect others to GIVE.

Another thing I want to comment on is:

Depression, I am not a medical doctor not my field, however, I do have commonsense I think. (TRUBBLE do you agree??)

Depression in your life maybe about not concentrating on hearing JAY'S lessons. Taking small steps to look after JAY. Taking time to feed herself spiritual food.

Maybe Jay can take GOD'S order seriously. SHE MUST put herself first, and take care of herself. IT is an order!!! No choices here!! She must stop abusing herself, by thinking others deserve resources she to deserves!!!

So is Jay listening to GOD. Is she hearing his message, even the psychologist tried to show JAY what God is trying to tell her.

Is she listening to GOD??

When Jay accepts the truth and takes responsibility for grieving and taking small steps her depression will lessen.

IN FACT methinks if she starts ASKING JAKE and accepting his NO'S eventually he'll start saying YES. (It worked for me!!)

Further Jay one thing I am learning is when you stop caretaking everyone else and getting into business you have no business being involved in, or over involved, in helping/advise giving without being asked you start to mind your own business (LIFE), then you have more energy to live your own life.

IF JAY GETS SIDETRACKED could she say "What am I suppose to be responsible for in my life now? I am a poor worker in life if I am not tending to my own life. So better do this as a priority."

Jay your life is a job, so run it like a multi-million dollar company. Give it all you can, act as much as you can in your life. DO it, do it, do it. NOW.

Take care Theressa

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Dear all,

I found that I can get into the Catbox without problems when I use explorer instead of Netscape. So be it. It seems there are a lot of extra posts in and between the ones I read the 1st time I was here. I don't get it. Maybe Trubble did try to eat them and then spit them out later. Can't blame him if he did. I am not going to try to get a grip on all the posts I missed. It is simply too much. I will try to catch up a gain from now on. I am happy I can get in again, cause I sure missed you all.

There's one thing that really stuck with me, while scrolling to the posts and that is the way Sharon writes about Dr. Psycho. Sharon, why do you still loose so much energy on him, why bother whether he has someone new or not, about what he might think or not he sees you. I think the walking you do is great, I know walking (or other physical exercise really helps when you feel down. It can even get to be addictive ! :-). I think you should focus on you, as with the walking. I am not sure whether it is a good idea to focus on getting a new BF right away. It might be better to give yourself some time to get to know the real You. Cause if you know you can take care of yourself, it is so much easier not to put up with bad stuff other deal to you.

Asha, About this discussion on annoyance versus anger. You said you did not react, and then again did not react and then blew up. Dr. Irene said if you don't deal with annoyance, you will eventually blow up. I did this so many times before I got to recognize what was happening. Now I am slowly learning that saying what is on my mind, or at least acknowledging I should say something, helps me not to blow up. I still find it totally scary to tell C. that I do not like certain things, and it usually takes me a couple of days to do so after something happens. But it really helps. Cause when I tell him soon, the anger does not build up, and he seems to have less need to get all defensive, which he does when I get angry. Yes! We might joke, or talk, but it definitely is easier. He too, is learning to do it. Excellent! This is for everybody! Like you I thought, I need to be tolerant, and I translated tolerance in not telling C. what bothered me. But not telling is not tolerance when it keeps festering inside you. Exactly. I know feel the opposite is actually true: telling someone what bothers you in their behaviour, without getting too mad is tolerance. Cause it means you respect them enough to share your opinion, and you tell them, without implying they are worth less because of it. I am still not sure how it works, but it definitely does work. I still get scared when I want to tell him something that bothers me, I get scared he will blow up, get scared it will mean the end of out relation, that we will heave a conflict, you name it. But I still do it, Cause I am experiencing that it really works and that 90% he does not blow up and neither do I. I think that maybe when you tell things in time, your whole composure is different, cause you are not really angry yet. Your partner senses that, and has less net to be defensive, cause you are, in truth, not attacking him/her. Whilst when you only mention things when you are really fed up, your whole body language and tone of voice will probably shout 'attack', even when you try to talk rationally, and he reacts to that. I think this is a typical pattern in our kind of relationships, cause abusive partners tend to react non-conscious. This is excellent. By the way, the technique is known as "assertion" in case anybody is interested. Lots of books on how to. The best part, I think, is that you are facing your fears dead on when you assert yourself AJ. You face the fears that he will leave, etc. So you grow in many ways.

I am not sure whether it makes any sense to you, or any of the others. Maybe it is a personal thing that's just for me.....  No. You explained most people's experience of this stuff accurately.

AS for C. and me, well we did have a rather tumultuous weekend. The friends he stays with are moving to Portugal and he has to leave his house too. Saturday he said, "Can I stay with you, I can find another place maybe, so you can be honest if you do not want it, but it would be easier this way. " I was not too happy, and he felt that, so he got a bit defensive and we really had a difficult time. But I felt, when this situation would have been different, we would not have moved in together yet, so I would prefer not to do it now, because of the situation. I felt guilty and sad, cause I was making things 'difficult'. No. HE was making things difficult by pouting. You were just reacting to his provocation. Guilt, irrational guilt that is,  right on cue.  Bt the other day I still felt like I was right, but I told him I wanted to talk a bout it (our conversation was cut shout, cause other people dropped by) and he said, we do not have to, I will find another place. I said I still wanted to talk about it . He was nice , not angry and that really helped a lot. It is so great to see this happening, he is not pressuring me, I say things he does not like, and he respects it, or seems to at least. Se we both did our own things and I came over to his house and we had dinner together with his friends and later we talked. I was scared, but I also told him I liked the way tings were going, and that I really liked hi and loved him, but things were just going a bit too fast, but that he could stay with me if he could not find an other place, And he said, yes things are moving fast, but I do not want to drop this change to go abroad, and you are right I will try to find another solution. It felt great, especially that we could talk about the fear of moving in together to soon, that I could tell him I love you and I feel were are doing ok, but I am not sure enough to move in together, especially not when it seems to be a decision dictated by circumstances. There were other things we talked about and it was so much easier then I had imagined it could me. I felt great after and very loving. By speaking up, you make room for love I guess......  Not always, but at least you don't complicate things more...

Well, enough for now. He will go to Portugal in July by car to help take his friends stuff there and I will go by air (no broom, just a simple airplane) to bring over his friends cats and to check the place out, and we will go there again in September. He will stay then, at least for a couple of months, and I am considering going there for a year, when we both still want it, and we are still able to handle things the way we seem to do now. Taking care of the Self might not be an easy job, but it is rewarding.

Love to all, take care and see you soon,

AJ 

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Asha,

When your angry about what another has said, why do you feel you need to let them know that you won't put up with this?  Not unusual in early phases of learning assertion.

Your actions would speak louder, your detachment would speak as loud as if you shouted it from a roof top! 

You setting a limit on others' behaviour such as "Please calm down." and then "I will discuss this later" and leaving the situation. WOULD speak VERY LOUD. To say: I am not putting up with this.

YES you should discuss it later. (BUT, discuss not teach! Yes! ) Discuss means you say "I feel we need to be clear about the expectations we hold. "

It could be that no discussion ends up happening, then you have to trust it isn't the right time yet.

ASHA I  feel the way you do, that they "should" know it was wrong, that they "should" see, apologise, KNOW it isn't okay. That if I don't show them how wrong it is how am I ever gonna change things.

This is about our EGO, our need to fix them. This is about control. Fixing another is about controlling that person, Our need to show this is not okay. IF we followed our integrity we would understand our ACTIONS speak a thousand more than any of our words. :)

The lessons come to teach us about US what issues we have (anger signals these), What emotions do we need to sort?

So any interaction is about YOU, you give up your co-dependency of worrying about them getting it.

They get it better from your detaching, as the Actions show it isn't OKAY to behave this way. And, you're also refusing to take responsibility for their stuff.

Though in the end I think your right for understanding that sometimes you can't help but react. THIS IS THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND THE MOST.

To go away and know this is another button that was previously hidden. NO need to beat yourself up. Just need to recognise and go inside you.

FORGIVE yourself as you would anyone else. YOU are sometimes meant to react so that YOU KNOW IT IS BIG and needs working on this issue.

I think the key is to "Do nothing when you can." AND "forgive yourself when it is too big you can't." ACCEPTANCE.

When it is too big that you didn't even know it was coming this is the time to FORGIVE thy self vs. beating thy self up and then go inside thy self to work on the issue.

I think the goal is to listen and do nothing as far as you can. AND then to love yourself enough to forgive yourself when it is deep inside and take a great YANK of strength such as REACTING to bring it up.

What do you think DOC??  What do you think I think? Giggle!

Take care Theressa

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Monday, June 25, 2001

I have been reading the posts on "doing nothing", and agree, acting out in anger is a definite "no no". One can say, "STOP!". But here is what I struggle with in the last incident with my STBX. After saying "STOP! Don't do this again!", he grabbed me out of my chair, and started physically pushing me out of the office, still screaming at me, saying to get the F#@* out, cause he built it! If you have any reason to fear the significant person in your life, you do not confront them. Certainly not privately, where you have no backup. I pushed him away from me, not out of anger, but fear. I then left the room, but of course, he followed me out. No boundaries with him! He is using this against me completely, saying I am the violent one! Let him say and think what he wants. Don't react; you know the truth. He says because he didn't hit me Garbage! (I guess grabbing and pushing is something another should accept?), and he was only screaming and swearing ("sticks and stones" as he likes to mock), I was wrong. Also, as he was drinking, his recollection of the incident is completely different than 2 other sober witnesses. When he threw this at me, I tried to explain (yeah, I know. .can't rationalize with someone being irrational, even sober Yep. ) that I was scared, and I was sorry and not proud that I did it, but what was I supposed to do? Just take it?! He should have never put me in that situation. He was out of control and scary!  You do not confront. You remove yourself from the situation when there is any threat of physical harm. Call the authorities if you must, and you should have in the incident above. Grabbing you out of your chair is assault.

What does Dr. Irene suggest in a fear vs. anger situation? I know this is a verbal abuse site, but eventually, some crossover to the physical side, maybe not a beating, but grabbing, pushing, etc... Things happened very quickly, and I reacted out of fear. Now it's being used against me by him. This is totally playing on my "irrational guilt" and I'm not quite sure how to get through understanding this so I can forgive myself and move on.  Read: The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life  This book will help you deal with your irrational guilt and other maladaptive thoughts and feelings related to being a victim.

L

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Dearest Jay,

On a serious note:

I think it is a fantastic idea that we set up a treatment center in the future, and my idea is that YOU run the south office and I'll run the north office.

THEN no one up North or down South can say they are getting more than the other end of the country.

We would be able to collaborate, put our ideas together and help others grow. One day we also get AJ to set up a center in her home town.

Lisa MM in hers, B could set one up in her home town. Tim B in his, etc.

Asha and Steve in their home town.

HEY ASHA maybe this is a new route for your professional life too.

I would ask DR IRENE's permission and name the center the CATBOX as it is where I first learnt to become healthier.  No. You would have to name your center's "Ron."

I know there are al-non, AA's all over the world. BUT I think the resources for children are limited. Yes, I think so too. We have child protective agencies in this country. They are so overworked, I've seen them miss who the more destructive parent is in too many of my cases...

The trouble we all are having is it isn't until we reach adulthood we are working on ourselves, which YES helps our children, but not every child has a parent who is able to do YET what we are doing.

We would have to involve the school on some level.

THIS IS MY DREAM to set up these centres.  Go for it!

THOUGH first me and the rest of us here, NEED to work from the inside out. YES it all starts in our own homes. The inequalities, disrespect, acceptance, LOVE and taking care of ourselves. ALL HAS to start with THY SELF FIRST.

So Jay what do you think?

Dr Irene do I have to have a FULL FIRST DEGREE before I could set up a treatment center like this? In the US, you need no degree to administrate such a center; you need a degree if you want to be licensed or certified as a provider in your field.

Also maybe you could clarify if one needs to be registered with the Psychological Society? In almost all States in the US, the doctorate is the entry level degree in psychology to practice without supervision. The Psychological Societies don't matter much and are typically a source of political advocacy, news, direction for the profession, etc. The State Licensing Boards are important. They credential you to practice. The English system is probably very different.

WOW how different I feel now I have a dream to follow!

Take care Theressa

PS Doc You see I know deep down I need to fix me before I ever begin to support anyone else with their growth, just like RON did for me. It's a process Theressa. You've already been supporting people with their growth here, even before you grew... Your wisdom just increases with health...

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Hi All,

A funny thing happened this weekend, in fact more than one, but I will share the one as it cuts the long story short:

I have a slight problem with my hearing, I think it is due to having had many colds recently maybe my ears are blocked?

Any how I find it hard to hear the TV or a group talking when there is back ground noise, and even when it is totally quiet. I can hear general sounds, but low ones I can't.

I have to turn up my TV set so I can hear it.

My partner has very good hearing. My father is deaf in one ear and slightly deaf in the other.

So what happened:

I asked my partner to turn up the TV. (We were at my house) He had the TV control since I'd left it on the sofa he was sat on.

His reply was: "it is loud enough." I said "it isn't for me, I can't hear it, it is not my fault" He said "Look, if you turn it up I am going home. I don't want it so loud". MY reply "Well I can't hear it."

I didn't do anything else. YES I felt anxious and didn't no what to say next. I felt uneasy like I had many times before. Quietly without saying a word I walked over to the sofa he was sat on and turned the TV set up. He didn't reply at first.

Then he said "Just turn it up a touch."  Giggle!

SO he never went home!! I never engaged and argued. I didn't beg him to stay. BUT NOR did I engage.

In the past I'd have continued arguing. ACTIONS do speak louder than words. If he'd have got up and left then I would have left him to.

It is hard sometimes, as ASHA said in one of her recent posts, KNOWING whether to call someone on this behaviour, or to ignore it and learn from it.

THE good thing is I have made an appointment with my family doctor to get my ears tested. (PART of taking care of thy self!!!)

DR IRENE at times I don't knowing whether it is worth the fight. I mean if I just had left the TV set low, I'd have lost out. That would be being a door mat wouldn't it?  Only if your motivation was to appease your partner, keep him around, etc.

Better to take the risk and act and let others choose how they react, then tell them "It is your choice" (If they choose to leave), then detach.

Am I on track here? Yes. And when you get really, really good at risk taking and such, you may at times elect not to exercise your power! You have freedom to choose!

Thanks Theressa

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Hi Everyone,

Jay, I have been extremely busy lately is all. I appreciate all input, suggestions, advice, etc. If I felt challenged, I wouldn't opt out. That would be so unlike me hehehe.

Anyway, things have been going OK. A few times this past weekend I had to tell my partner to stop, I don't want to listen to all the negativity. I don't want to hear how he perceives things that I say in a negative way. I wasn't exactly as diplomatic as I should have been (I got angry and spoke rather harshly) But, he should understand. It was the equivalent of his saying love to all and getting a hostile reaction. I said, "the housework will be there tomorrow, I might not be" and he took it as a dig instead of the suggestion to spend time together. I had no patience to listen to him go on about how I always do this and that to make him feel like he's doing something wrong. I told him to "go ahead and clean the @#$%ing house if that's what you want to do. I don't give a sh!t, I'm not telling you what to do and I never have. The only thing I ever tell you are doing wrong is perceiving what I say or do in a negative way." So I realize I said too much, he feels he should be able to constantly express how he feels and I should just listen without getting defensive. But I don't want to hear about his incorrect perception of my words, if he won't let me respond. He was the one who got defensive in the first place for no reason. So anyway, he said he would work on his perceptions and keep his feelings to himself. It didn't escalate into anything nasty, but I have expressed to him that I am concerned that since he feels inhibited from telling me how he feels because of my response, or even if I was able to listen to it, that all the frustration and anger will build up in him and eventually he will blow.

I know he loves me and I love him, so I'm willing to live with the negativity due mainly to his depression. No Mel. While someone is more likely to be negative when they are depressed, depression is no excuse for negativity. As far as abuse goes, I'm probably being more abusive by refusing to validate his feelings. But his negative perceptions about me could be abusive if I let them get to me by accepting his perceptions as reality. It wouldn't be so bad if I could say," No sweetheart it wasn't a dig, I just want to spend time together." But then along come all the other incidents over the years that he interpreted as negative about him as proof that I don't admit to what I do.   In my opinion, he won't admit that "all those other incidents" were also poor perception on his part. Probably because he feels stigmatized. Seems he doesn't realize how common it is to misinterpret the world when you see the world through colored glasses. He essentially has bad thinking habits he can work on. You might want to give him a book that begins to explain all this. A good title that you may want to read too, is be A Guide to Rational Living  So, this is my only concern that he keeps adding 2+2+2+2 and coming up with -8. But I don't find it nearly as frustrating as I used to. I go gardening or read a book. I know for a fact he respects me and thinks very highly of me. I just hope that one day he realizes he's putting himself down, not me. He must have really low self-esteem to think I'm putting him down when I know that is the farthest thing from my mind.

Well, that's all for now. And if I don't write that often it is because I am OK and busy with all kinds of things. I just want to share my progress or relapses with you and to read about others experiences as well as any thoughts or advice directed at me.

Take care,

Mel

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Theressa and AJ

Thanks for the thoughts. When I spoke to this person about my concerns (at the point of mild annoyance) I have a hunch he was twisting my words in his mind, because my expressing my concerns (at that point, not angrily) had no impact except to get him angrier. I agree that if you get your concerns out early on, you can often avoid having something escalate. In this case, the person could not hear my concerns and my expressing them didn’t make a positive impact. He could not understand me and my expression of my concerns were taken as an “attack” which was really out of proportion with my intent. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent the escalation of someone else’s anger. I was frustrated with the lack of understanding, though I realized I had no power to do anything about it.

Theressa – I understand what you are saying. This situation involved the person leaving 3 times angrily, then coming back the first 2 like nothing had happened. I could not take one more incident of this, because it was hurting me too much. He seemed to want to avoid dealing with any of it, and there were other people involved that it was also affecting. I think he was distorting things I had said to him and perceiving them as abusive. He wasn’t interested in talking anything out at that point.

My ‘detachment’ which I had practiced the first 2 times he left, seemed to leave him unaware of my level of annoyance – my “discussion” about my concerns didn’t help either. I really felt he needed to be told in no uncertain terms that I had had enough. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but there are times when I think you just have to say “stop it”. I think that my level of anger was ‘appropriate’; that is, I had been frustrated, I knew he was misreading my intentions and my body was telling me “this is damaging for you to be around Asha”.

I know that I can’t fix things for others. At one time I would have obsessed over this kind of incident and not been able to do anything productive for a few days. Now, I am aware enough that it is “their problem” that I can carry on with my life and not let it affect other things. However, my anger towards *them* does not subside right away – I think this is because my body is telling me that the situation is not 'emotionally' safe for me; I don’t believe it was.

I don’t worry so much about other people “getting it” anymore, but I do want to prevent or limit other people’s poor treatment of me. I think my blow-up did help in part to say “no” to the abuse. This person seemed unaware of his own ‘acting out’ and I felt, for my own sake, I needed to make this person aware – not try to change him, but to say “this is unacceptable to me”.

I agree with what you say about reactionary stuff, but I fear that ‘doing nothing’ at certain times could be more damaging to me; especially if it allows the behavior continue only to my detriment.

L

What you are saying is exactly what I am getting at – there are points where no amount of rationalizing does any good, and where I think a reaction of fear or anger is actually natural. My situation was not in the least physically threatening, but emotionally I was hurting a lot. In a strange way it felt like I was doing what was best for *me*, for once, and not for the other person – I was taking the “abuse” load off my own shoulders and placing them back on his.

Every situation is so different, and many people do carry their anger too far. I’m just saying that I think some anger exists to tell us the situation is really serious. I’m not suggesting ‘acting out’ as a solution by any means.

Let’s say I had walked away and said nothing. Maybe this *is* ego-related, but I would have been churning inside, and he would have driven away thinking he was right. Instead, he was probably the one churning, and I felt relieved. I’m not saying my method was the “right” one, nor did I choose the right words, but I don’t want to carry someone else’s load. I know this is about me, and about my tendency to carry other’s loads, but it’s as if, for my own sake, I needed to state firmly that I will not.

These are just my thoughts. I am getting better at letting go of other peoples junk – I can forgive, but I don’t forget. I don’t want to set myself to be hurt again and again.

Thanks for the input

Asha

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Hi All,

Jody here again.

Sharon and Lisa M, thanks for responding

Sharon: No, thank God - I am not Dr. Psycho's ex from California. I reside on the east coast - and thank goodness, my experience with this kind of abuse in a romantic relationship has been my first (although I was emotionally and physically abused by my dad growing up).

Lisa: No I don't have any children. (Only the three-legged kind: a daschund and a pug - they are my babies for now.)

I think that accepting that there is nothing I can do to change him was the hardest. I kept thinking that it was somehow my fault - If I just tried harder, if I just hung in there and loved him enough that he would change. But it is not my fault, and no matter what I do, I can't fix him or control his actions or decisions. I can only work on myself. When ever I start to feel a little yucky I start to remind myself of all of the negatives - all of the terrible things he has said and done over the years. Do you believe that the last time I spoke to him he actually asked me "How come you keep coming back for more?" He pretty much admitted the abuse right there - and said it with a sadistic smirk on his face - YUCK!!!

One thing I am struggling with is the fear that I am the only girl he has ever treated this way - that he is abusing me because I am not as good as his ex-girlfriends, or even his current "Jail-Bait Barbie" gal. I am worried that someone else prettier, more interesting, etc. would get better treatment. He never has anything good to say about me. One time over dinner he started singing the praises of his cousin's wife - saying what a great woman she was, that her house was decorated so nicely, that she was so great with her kids, that she was intelligent and did all kinds of interesting things like taking a self-defense class, etc. (although I had just told him earlier that week that I was taking a self-defense class - about which he had nothing positive to say). Then he said that he was going to tell her how great she was, and that he was going to start telling all the women he met that had terrific qualities how great they were. Of course, that does not include me. - This guy has done some terrible damage to my self esteem. I asked him later on that night how he viewed me as a person. The only thing he had to say was "You're nerdy." Nice huh??!!

Thanks Sharon and Lisa for validating for me and letting me know that I am not alone.

- Jody

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Jody here again,

Did I say "three-legged" before when referring to my doggies? I meant four-legged of course. Don't know what I was thinking when I made that slip - I must need a cup of coffee <GRIN!!!>

Have a great day everyone!

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Monday, June 25, 2001

I am so stuck, trying to figure out, if it is me, or if it is truly time to give it up. Right now, I feel like I have become a tool to simply be there for his needs. We had the relationship from hell for several years, we separated, he did some work, I got clear from the anger and pain. I saw action, not just words, so I returned, I gave up all that I had struggled for over the months, to return to empty promises. It appears that the problem is its all about him. I said so what about this, where we were supposed to move to, he said that is impossible so I am a liar. I said what about joint accounts, he ignores me completely, at one point he admitted trust issues from the past, but now its just ignored. I feel like his sons are his partners, and I am getting pushed to the side for cooking and sex. I have refused to do child care of his grand children, and thus, the inadequate grandmother. We had his family over for fathers day, it was I thought a good gathering, when I asked the next day about our goals, I found out two days later that he was traumatized by the stress and sarcasm of the gathering. When I sarcastically offered to apologize for the situations, and my denial of my actions, he said he wanted to just let it die. He has scheduled a vacation for every one to go on, never asking me regarding the dates, and of course my daughters are not in the picture at all, with no sign of incorporating them into our family. He knows I never wanted to live in this town again, and now he says this is it. He knows I am un comfortable with the arrangements of the finances, yet there is no effort in securing any sort of documents that would enable me access to any of his accounts in the event of his ill health, or an accident The house is in his brothers name, all of the other accounts are in the name of the corporation, there is no social life, and if there is any thing to attend, its with his family. He has resisted any opportunity for involvement with my family. I can't complain about what he is currently providing but I feel controlled, vulnerable, and hopeless about ever getting what I think I want out of life, other than this day in and day out boredom. He has never had many close friends, and those that he does now associate with seem to be real young, the age of his sons, I have asked why he does not associate w with his own age, and get called judgmental. He can support his sons, when it could be us accumil ating a retirement account, but he says he has it figured out, he is fifty, I am forty seven, and financially dependent, I fear for the future, but wonder if this is just my excuse to get away from such an apathetic relationship, that appears to be all about him. Then the dance, the words of war, then the I love yous. I suggested to him, that he was co-dependent, that he didn't like me but was afraid to leave me. he ignored it, suggested that I needed counseling to deal with the denial of my anger, but I am not in denial, I am angry. This is not what I thought marriage was supposed to look like, there is no joy, and I sure don't see any in the future. Am I the square peg trying to fit in the round hole? I am not excited about living alone, but I don't fear it as much as continuing life as it is. Yet, is it just sick love, there is love , but it doesn't feel like caring and nurturing, unless I keep my mouth shut.

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Monday, June 25, 2001
 

Giggle- Theressa we can set up now if we want- the UK laws don't say anyone at all can't set up as a therapist - which is why you sound check what courses they did! But yeah - let's get healed and go for it. Why should the rest of the world realise it's dreams and not you and me...I would love to just be well and healed enough to let this happen and I think you and I will be if I can write this after a really awful time- I think I would like a non hospital house though- my DR thinks I need a break and got stuck- she knows hospital isn't the right place but that is all she can offer if she wants...I would like a big house by the sea where people could go for no money and have a weeks being looked after and therapy on tap 24 hrs a day. I don't do the lottery but it is an incentive.......giggle. This has been such a horrid day and so I will forget it. M course got inspected without warning this evening and I felt like I was functioning through a fog...and I left a very details lesson plan at home....I kind o think it was OK but then I went for a drink with a friend and discovered that I should not drink ....a songle glsdd og wine turned me into a demented cat and my friend called a taxi and sent me home- I though that because I had the sleeping pills last night it wouldn't affect me and it did! I didn't get myself in this much of a muddle as an adolescent! jay

 

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Dear L., I read your post of June 23, Oh, my it sounds like you are describing me and my alcoholic husband of 26 years. Yes I totally understand because on April 23, 2001, I had to have a PFA hearing against him placed. Denial, talk about denial that's all I hear but he does not contact me, he contacts my daughter once in a while on her cell phone and all I hear is how I betrayed him!! I did not betray him Jack Daniels (the whiskey) betrayed him and when he comes to the choice of facing reality then I will talk to him, not until. Crying, I know all about that too. I cry alot, I cry because I feel like a failure, I cry because I put up with believing for 26 years he would change, I cry because all of our dreams are dead. I was also told that he was going to file for divorce because he choose to go to the bars and he choose them over us. What kind of love is that. He is lost, totally lost, but in his twisted mind its me. Please write to me. I would love to share my experiences with you and be of any help I can. Regina, amishchic@hotmail.com

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here,

Wow! I've just gone through reading all of the posts in 41 - lots of blipping going on, Dr. Irene!! Is there anyway you can tell where these posts are from? Some really mad folks out there don't like what we have to say.......mmmmm.........maybe it is Dr. Psycho-head? I doubt it -- he's not that smart to check out websites regarding verbal abuse issues, or he may have learned something!! NA DA!! Anyway, I'm just having some fun. My blister is better on my foot - I took a break from walking lots this weekend so its starting to heal. Still keeping the weight off and feeling very good. Still emotionally down but but as down. Staying busy with friends and family. Meeting some new people. No real proof on new victims - nobody jetting out of Dr. Psycho's backyard where he'd keep them in hiding. No real news - saw him on his bike once - he saw me - we growl at each other. Too funny. I think when October comes around, I won't even be in any way, shape or form 'ready' to even want any friendship with this man. My heart has HARDENED even thinking about being his friend after the emotional stuff he has put me through for the last 18 months. Its funny being away from the situation and the abuse how you can now reflect how it affects you. It still affects me - but in a different way. I am feeling better, though not great-great, just not as 'deep' these past few days. Thanks to Trubble!!! And all of you of course. Ribbit!!

Hugs, Sharon

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Catbox gang,

I was reading Perdida's post and realized what a spiritual experience that she had on becoming AWARE of all the material STUFF that she was willing to leave behind - that it no longer served a useful purpose. I believe that, when each of us is READY and WILLING...the emotional, dependent attachment to the person also leaves. This takes time and work...it happens when it happens, like releasing our breath when it's been held for far too long.

I also agree with LisaMM's suggestion to get the kids to Ala-teen when the partner is acting out in the disease of Alcoholism. It is also a good idea for the kids to continue in their recovery well after the Alcoholic has addressed their addiction. It is a family disease. I believe that each person in the family system is codependent Anyone in the family, who is actively in an addiction, needs to deal directly with the addiction BEFORE working on codependency issues. From my own experience, I started taking my two youngest kids to Ala-teen (pre Ala-teen in Ally's case) when I was nine months sober. This was on Sunday evenings at a facility where AA, Al-Anon, pre and Ala-teen meetings took place. Unfortunately, I say that from my perspective, my X chose to demand that I bring the kids home at an earlier hour effectively ending, for awhile, attendance at those meetings for the three of us.

Jean attended Al-anon for a short period of time, elsewhere, until the woman who offered to sponsor her suggested starting on the Steps and looking at "her side of the street" and owning her own behavior.

For whatever reason, Jean bailed..

All I'm able to say is that it wasn't time and it may never be. I now understand that it is OK to love someone... I just won't be able to touch them again.

This thing called recovery IS an inside job...for some, it is just too painful and frightening to go there and embrace that shadow part of ourselves. As a culture, society and family, the LOSS belongs to ALL of us...,

Tim B.



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Monday, June 25, 2001


Dr Irene,

I do not have a url or sight yet. I meant the good stuff on your sight :)

LisaMM

 

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Dear Regina,

Don't feel like a failure. I know it's easier said than done. I would definitely suggest what a lot of folks have to me...ALANON. I went to my 1st meeting back in February of this year, and many more since. You are not alone! Alcohol is a family problem. It's hard to understand how someone can choose their love of alcohol (and usually denial) over those that love them. The only thing I have learned to understand is that it's a sickness that says "I'm not sick". Also, read up on the co-dependency articles. I thought I could fix this being supportive, loving, understanding, etc..but it's just not the case. ALANON taught me to detach w/love. Something that took me months to grasp. You can have a life, you can have dreams, you deserve to be loved. But first, you have to learn to take care of yourself and your daughter. Not easy for someone who places other's needs over their own (believe me...I know!). I walked in expecting answers how to fix my husband. What I found was I can only fix me! It's a hard concept to explain, but after several meetings, I started getting it! While counseling had taught me to "give back his stuff", I wasn't really taught how it's okay to detach, and do so with love. Perhaps this is why counselors even suggest ALANON. You hear how people are moving forward in their lives, with or without the alcoholic that brought them there.

L

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Monday, June 25, 2001

HI Cats,

Thanks, Tim, Asha, Jay, Dr. Irene, Trubble, everyone. Those duplicate posts must have been all mine! I had "trubble" getting thru, ar ar ar. But I went to the bookstore, and "looked at" The Feeling Good handbook. Yow, that is one *big* book. Concurring with the blue pencil, it is definitely not something just to look at. It's at least a semester or more of doing it till you get it right! which means my ex won't read it; I won't even go there. In a perfect world...

So instead, I went out with somebody else, my favorite way of putting distance. It worked. Having fun with someone else is for me the quickest way to viewing the problematic ex with objectivity. I guess my readiness level has not diminished!

Yes Tim, that was quite an experience. Everything about the ex's house said he wants me back, even as he said he didn't. I wonder if the house was a sort of shrine to make me feel what I am supposed to have lost. In retrospect, it feels manipulative that he left my clothes hung up in the closet, my pictures up all over the house, etc etc etc, like a stage. I told a girlfriend and she said "Ewwwww! That is WEIRD!!" But the moment came that the stuff was not as important as getting out, does that make sense? I am feeling funny feelings,guilt, like it was silly to go there and get replaceable material possessions. But I got a box of rare books and my good bike, so that was important...

He said he wants to be friends. Let's see what that means. More opportunities to withhold, probably.

Sharon, you sound good! Theressa, your idea of working with bullies is cool. I wish I had had someone when I was in school (I wasn't the bully, I was always the target... so nice and so naive...)

Love, Perdida

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Monday, June 25, 2001

I found it interesting as I read some of your posts that you all seem to think that Dr Mousie's intention was to disrupt and to intimidate and that she needs help. I know her from a few other sites and in fact have been invited to join her own site. Why? Because I took the time to get to know her. She is a shy person who uses humor to break through to people. Yes, she has troubles, as do we all. I will not break her confidences by telling all the sordid details, but we initially met on a site for women who are or were involved in verbally abusive relationships. She has to get to know a person before trusting him or her with her story. I know that there are 4 of us that she has taken into her strictest of confidences and she is slowly warming to others.

She came here because someone else, another friend from another site told her how wonderful you all were and how much you had helped her. Little did she know what she was in for when she came here. Apparently, you all are not as wonderful as our other friend had thought. Perhaps you are, but as I see the same names posting here all the time, I'm thinking that perhaps this is just a site for those in a "clique" and that since Mousie didn't fit your mold of someone who needed help, she wasn't welcome. Just like when we all went to high school and there were two sets of kids - the "cool" ones and the "dorks". The cool kids always shunned the dorks because they were different.

I came here for the same reason Mousie did: because someone else had said that this site was very good and would help me a great deal in coping with certain problems I have maintaining relationships, as well as coping with the ups and downs of bi-polar disorder. I haven't posted my story yet only because I, too, have to be comfortable before I will share my story. So far, I haven't gotten any warm fuzzy feelings here. This site is very good for some people, but it does not pretend to be everything for everybody. It is the way it is - and either it works for you or it doesn't. Mousie, by the way, is welcome to post when she stops attacking others, however humorous those attacks are..

kris

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Monday, June 25, 2001

I'm sorry I wrote all those bad posts but they were all posted before anyone complained.  I just want to say goodbye to Jay and thank her for talking to me. I was molested by a psychiatrist but this isn't the place to deal with.  Mousie  I understand. While this is a forum to talk about love relationships and personal growth, you're welcome to hang around. But please take a look at your style, OK? It may very well be that people who look underneath the exterior, really appreciate you. Problem is, you're likely to turn off more people than you engage. And, those you've turned off are unlikely to tell you how they feel. But, this is the CatBox, and I'm telling you. So, food for though: why in the world would you want to do that? 

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Monday, June 25, 2001

Dear Cats,

Is it part of the "process" to feel like you're going to shatter into a million pieces if you have to live like you are living for one more second? I am "in trouble" again because I didn't want to take the car in for a new muffler today. I had plans to do a lot of yard and housework. Instead of asking ME how I wanted to spend MY time, H assumed that any plans I had could be dispensed with. WRONG! When i asked for some consideration in the form of asking me when I wanted to take it in, he mocked me :"Oh, you're SO BUSY! You can't take a half hour to get the muffler fixed!" and on and on.

He is making this about his being "wrong" to want me to take the car in today. It isn't about that. It's about his lack of respect and consideration, and his defense and justifications. He began bullying again, and telling me that I'm the one who is screwed up--typical! BTW, while I worked around the house he sat in front of the TV until 2:30 when he decided to mosey into work. Seems he had more time to take the car today than I did!

I can't do this alone, anymore. As Tim said, I have to let my breath out because I just can't hold it any longer! My chest hurts, I'm in that much emotional pain. And I can't go anywhere. No money, no place to go. I'm starting to feel like I hate him at times. Becky, a goal: when he tells you your plans are dispensable, consider throwing an amused glance his way while you get on with the business of doing your business - offering no defense, no explanation, no nothing. Because any comment to his silly statement only validates an invalid position he imposed on you.

I guess the honeymoon is over.

Becky

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear Theressa, there are lots of routes to what you want to do! A psychology degree is ok if you want to go into clinical psychology BUT you need to have a first at least and even then it is not always a given that you are accepted into the post grad courses. I worked with a lovely girl who had a first and IMO was very suited and she didn't get accepted by the first school she applied for. Competition is FIERCE.

Counseling is a lot easier to get into as there are less demands and you need to prove life experience over qualification and it is possible to train as a psychotherapist which does not have such high academic criteria BUT you have to prove your skills through being observed. The course I want to do they video you in the sessions and I suggest if you use that route you save about four thousand pounds and do it for love and not money. At present you don't HAVE to be accredited, but there are some plans afoot to change the law so you won't be able to practice unqualified. I have counseling skills at MA level but I don't think this lets me automatically be a counselor and NO WAY do you practice if you are in a mess yourself- I wasn't when I worked with parents; I felt very calm until the last 6 months - nobody could prevent me practicing now if I want to...but I have enough sense to know that you need to have a stability in your life I don't have just now- I think it is coming back - but no way should anyone practice in whatever field until their emotional balance comes from outside their practice

So building up your own life skills and friendship base and learning to have a good life are in a way more important than qualifications- we may set up because we worked through a need but if we set up to help alleviate our own need then that is where you end up with a very bad counselor. Your own stuff can't be part of your clients stuff and that includes kids!

Sometimes I feel desperate to do what I did and then I look at my posts here.....and I realise that while the theory is still there and the experience and I keep up with stuff it is not the right time to practice.

I wish it was as I so loved what I did!

But the background in psychology is great....but also you need experience in real life situations of what to do...This is low paid and weird hours often - just try as I did and run a pre school! Estimate is about £4 per hour and if you are employed to do 20 hours double it because of the hassles and preparation!!!!!!!!!!!!

(That is why I started to tutor- you still do as much work at times but at least you get a better wage!)

Credibility is one of the hardest things to get......If you do psychotherapy you also have to have 40+ hours counseling for you and hey ho.. many people end up messed up who weren't before throught the demand you have it!!!!!! That is why I support brief therapy.......(oh dear I hope I am not upsetting Dr Irene - I don't mean not as many sessions as the client needs!) I heard this conversation between two "practitioners" on a brief therapy course I went on recently - one was objecting as she didn't see how she could make her money and the other was telling her very firmly you don't practice for the money!

But why even then not work towards the dream - I was a bullied kid too and so much RUBBISH was attributed to it...I have such different views now....a bullied kid needs to be heard but also taught the skills not to BE bullied....Always, always the bullies were not the big thugs - in fact they seemed to protect me as a kid! It was the "nice" kids - even my own friendship group and I would laugh along and take on board the junk....I started to think I really was 'the loony!" Then I matured a little and realised that the very popular girl in our group got her kicks by being horrible to me ....our friendship group wasn't based on so much friendship after all.....

In fact several of us became very ill. My friends supported me - including the bully - This was because she hid behind the niceness of being 'caring' and she could carry a lot off as she had a huge musical talent....but we are all responsible for the really saddest girl in the group being 'vilified' for ending on a psychiatric ward.....thinking back, this girl was being physically beaten in a way I would not care to describe her - she and her sister were both punished whichever did something wrong and it was not something any sane parent should or would do - she had tolf us and we still thought her 'illness' was putting it on.....and of course who would you try not to invite to your party etc...this girl was also physically unattractive......

So any kid - even the nice one bullies....and I think all we can do is to give skills that will help.....My son had a wonderful answer - but not every kid could do this to being quite badly bullied by lads in an older class- he challenged them to basketball playoffs - they soon learnt that they were going to look an idiot as he is very good indeeed! This was al his own idea but it meant that there was no more bullying........after all you are a coward if you don't agree to the playoff......

So I think it is about helping the bullied learn skills. I know i was bullied at work now; but I didn't see it then- just more of the pattern I never learnt about defending me.....

The other thing is about Mousie - and still about bullying. Mousie wanted to intimidate.....she also maybe did want help...Mousie would NOT have been helped on this forum if she had been ALLOWED TO CARRY ON. Being hurt/ bullied/ having needs does not exempt you from using good behaviouir.

When I worked in a hospital for children some of them had real physiological needs (most were epileptic) and soon you started to se a pattern. Mum and Dad ran themselves ragged and the child was in control of the whole family....sometimes the poor kid had not ever heard the word 'no.' Mum and dad would feel too sorry or guilty for that.......and so there would be this very sick tyrant manipulating their whole family.......

Or for example there was the boy who just refused to move....I didn't see it in these terms then but in the end he was not allowed home without getting up off the couch.. and making it clear he wanted to go...he didn't get what he refused to speak to ask for any more and I think we also stopped trying to force feed him ( he was on a drip for a while) ,,,,,,there came a day when the boy got up and walked and said 'I want to go home." I heard later from someone he started to be a normal kid again.......

The control was broken.....

So i think we have to be careful not to lose the child in the effects of the bullying....or to let the child become the bully.

If this makes any sense.

Mousie has needs but before Mousie's own needs can be met she needs to learn how to get them met by sking for hope appropriately - just as wpb needed (yes Mel he did.. it was never about not acknowledging he had needs) the appropriate way to get help - or you create another bully in the process and then the circle starts again.....

Now if Mousie was to post her need.......maybe sometime (oh dear sometimes poor Trubble must feel so got at!" she might have been able to post her views but it would have been more appropriately- you don't just enter someone else's forum and post off point to get attention, you post your need, build a relationship and then you say any relevant and or humorous stuff because you approached things in an acceptable way....

Meantime I fell apart just so badly yesterday; but today's today and to my amazement I slept through the night with no pills and I have decided that unless referrals to see specialists come through the doctor is not an option. I am not mad just sad...

I am going to cultivate a life for me as I want my emotional highs outside of any employment and I have decided as living for others makes no sense anyway I will not only give out of what I have left over ...

But yeah ...why not about those centres Theressa.. there are lottery grants and I know a lot now about applying to different places for funding!

We could anyway start by doing a web site???????????I have often thought if I could design it one for parenting would be helpful linked to this site as I think general sites don't really deal with the same issues......

Parentinghurts (my message board ) runs itself and gets new members weekly so the need has to be there..)

Let's get healed and have a life outside of the junk!

Oh yes re your comment about Child Protection Services....I think I have seen this so many times too...I used to visit families and report it and get rebuffed then I would find a family that was really not needing to be had come to their attention...round here they miss so much...like not wanting to know if one year olds are toddling down the street in no shoes and I live on a main road......or 10year olds are taken naked by bus -just wrapped in a towel because the mother is so out of her head she can't just go a friend in the next street after the child fell into a boating lake....and as for my own experience===yes they f got the wrong parent there! Funny how they sign families off so hurriedly when the y realise........(of course admitting they were wrong never enters their brains) I have NO respect for Social Workers anymore and I used to work with them...just cut me some slack and let me vent it here!!!!!!!!Love, jay

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear Asha,

What is the anger really about? The anger you feel when things just don't seem to change. What do you think the lesson is about? Is it about total protection for Asha? Is her inner child needing to take total care of her regardless of the consequences?

Asha as Dr Irene said to me and to AJ when you can finally accept that what will be, will be and you can only live in TRUTH and all the emotional energy that needed working on has been healed these lessons will stop being attracted to you, THEY come so you can work out your issues.

IS your anger like mine at times about your frustration about things not working out the way you wish? Is it about you feeling so annoyed that your limits are being ignored? SO what are your sane options left when your limits are ignored? ACTIONS speaks louder than words so what is your last option? MAYBE it is to totally detach so that the other person can then decide if it is worth it to them to work on themselves and their issues that are affecting their relationship with you.

ARE you ready to have the courage to walk? YOU KNOW Asha as I do, it is our co-dependency, fear of abandonment, our neediness that conflicts with the healthy parts of us. UNTIL we heal all these parts we won't feel whole.

WHAT DO YOU REALLY FEAR IF THIS DOESN'T work out and you have to walk?

RIGHT now this person is your teacher and they are pushing your buttons VERY HARD because you need this to happen so the PAIN gets bad enough that you examine it.

WHEN you are ready to totally face your fears of detaching totally from the relationship in its current form and you will allow the hurt, to feel so needy and to allow it. To cave in and cry and cry until you are worn out and are ready to walk on and live your life. ONLY then will you be ready to have YOUR CAKE instead of the crumbs.

I know the fears to, I am having to deal with this to. I AM ALSO having to deal with letting go the unimportant things which sap my energy levels.

Asha we are all ENERGY BALLS each time we buy into someone elses poor behaviour we GIVE them chunks of our ENERGY (power), when we LET go and just live, totally detach no one can take this energy. SO IN BRIEF for instance with the tv set and me. SOME times I MUST decide to let it go, CHANGE my plans for at this time I know that arguing would sap MUCH NEEDED ENERGY FROM me. It isn't life or death. SO I can choose to use this ENERGY either to FIGHT, OR to use it on my life in another way that benefits me.

It isn't about him getting his own way. IT is about the best use OF my PRECIOUS ENERGY. UNLESS it is about a child who is defenseless NO ADULT ISSUE IS THAT IMPORTANT TO FIGHT ABOUT. When we realise we waste far too much ENERGY fighting instead of USING it more BENEFICIALLY we LOSE OUT, we LOSE OUT TWICE, FIRST WE WASTE OUR energy fighting and then trying to recover.

It just isn't worth it, THE BEST WAY TO WIN is to KEEP your ENERGY and use it on ANOTHER AREA OF YOUR LIFE TO BENEFIT YOU. IT isn't about him winning again. He stops winning when he can no longer TAKE YOUR ENERGY SOURCES, he will then realise HIS OLD TACTICS just don't work.

YOUR LIFE STILL BENEFITS AND IMPROVES regardless of his antics.

SO YOU USE YOUR ENERGY TO MAKE A WHOLE YOU!!! (IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU!!)

YOUR anger is your CUE that you need to detach at this high level and retain your ENERGY levels to be used to enhance your life.

READ THE CELESTINE PROPHECY that is my next book. RON says it is all explained in there.

Take care, I am glad you are on my journey. Theressa

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear Becky,

I am so sorry you are feeling so down and I think you are right this is not a thing you can do alone. I even think you should not try to do it alone. If you do not have familiy or friend you can rely on, then try if you can find some new friends, or maybe talk to the old friends so they might understand. And you know you have friends here, you can come anytime you need to, you will find help and support. If you can get professional help that would help a lot, but if you cannot, writing in the Catbox will help too!!

Did you later all get to bring the car to the garage? You might have asked/told H when he was sitting in front of the tv that he could do it himself. After all, i suppose it is his car as much as yours? When you do not speak up about this, you keep getting angrier and even hating him as you said. And hate is not a pleasant emotion to feel, it does not make you feel good inside. And don’t buy into his quilting you, especially when there is so clearly no justification. He did have the time apparently, he just wanted to control yours. And while you should help each other out and work together, that does not mean him telling you what t do. After all to house and yard work are for both benefits also.

I really do not know what to say what would help. After al these months in the Catbox and the healing process I find myself in, there’s one thing I really learned, we can support each other here, validate, advice, but the only one able to really accurately assess the situation is the person in it. Just know there are people out there who care, he will support you when you need support, but you have to let them know. Try it, having a support group, or even one trusted friend, really makes a lot of difference.

Theressa, your plans made me laugh. In a happy, good way. I have been having plans like that, not for children, but for couples of mixed marriages, especially those between western European women and men from more male oriented cultures. They often have huge problems, and there are hardly any therapists who have a clue as to what is going on. The women tend to excuse their partners macho behaviour because of the cultural differences, they feel they have to be tolerant and what happens is that the situation gets very unequal with a lot of abuse going on. The extra problem involved is they (myself included) find it very hard to talk to friends and family about this , cause nobody was actually happy with their partner choice to begin with. They need help big time, and it would be so much betetr if they had it, before things got really out of hand...... I do think it is a very good idea to use our personal growth to help other people. I am not sure whether I will ever be able to make a center like that, but I would like to write a book some time concerning this problem.

Jay, I hope your class was well assessed in the end. I am sure that, even when you left your your plans at home. Good intend and knowledge shine through anyway. About the wine, if a single glass  of wine makes you feel like that, if definitely would be better not to touch the stuff (or are you getting into bad spelling, like me :-))

I'd love to come to your house by the sea and relax and have therapists at hand whenever I would need them. It could grow into an addiction though...

About the Dr. Mouse thing, I have no idea what actually was going on. I saw a couple of posts about Trubble and copying cats, but apparently a lot got blipped before I could get in the Catbox again. I can imagine the Catbox might seem like a clique to some, but you only have to look at the way most new people are received to know it is not really like that. New people are usually welcomed and if people tend not to answer all posts, it is mainly cause that is undoable. You pick the ones you relate to most and I think they are usually from people who can help you most and you them. I think the main thing, or even the only thing needed to be welcomed here, is the willingness to look inside yourself as a way to solve your problems, versus blaming others for the spot you are in. I do hope that Mouse and her friend both will want that and will be able to stick it out here. You will find help, when you are willing to listen and look inside.

Love to all, AJ

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear All,

ARE YOU LIKE a Proton and Neutron OR ARE you going to let others be like an electron to you?

That is the question:

Are you willing to allow yourself to become full of the weak force, (sapped by the electron YOUR abusers)?

Or are you going to be a Proton and Neutron and Magnetise the positive energy to you? THE MAGNETIC FORCE.

In all interactions whoever they are with there is an exchange of ENERGY, Yours and theirs. THIS ENERGY is power, do you waste it or do you USE it to benefit you?

If you are defensive, sarcastic, manipulative, buy into guilt, let fear run your life, let others run your life, critical, violent, OR abusive in any way YOU GIVE AWAY YOUR ENERGY (Your power from your source).

When you learn to let go and USE your energy to your benefit (to LIVE YOUR LIFE) , YOU DETACH completely from the need to win, to score, to teach, to argue, defend, counterattack, explain, convience, be needy and let fear of being on your own run your life choices, when you return violence for violence, when you return abusive statements for abusive statements, when you manipulate, when you are sarcastic, OR defensive. When you try to run others lives, rescue, fix, people please, try to control the pain and anger of others reactions by bending the truth about incidents, hiding the truth, In fact whenever you buy into ABUSE it saps your energy.

So giving in and letting go is the best way to save your energy. It doesn't matter what others think about you, ONLY WHAT YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON YOUR LIFE, using your energy to the best of its ability MATTERS, for this is where true self esteem comes from. YOU CAN NEVER win when you ENGAGE you lose too much precious energy.

IT is better to always WALK AWAY and not FIGHT, you don't need to prove your right, OR To show them their misbehaviors. This is not your job, THIS IS NOT THE PURPOSE OF YOUR ENERGY GIFT GIVEN BY GOD AND THE UNIVERSE.

YOU WIN when you retain your energy, (YOUR POWER), WHEN you let others affect you then you give away your energy (POWER),

BETTER to leave the house, OR change your plans, THAN to buy into I deserve this xxxxx, you shouldn't do xxxxxx. I want xxxx, and if you don't give it to me I will xxxxxxx. THIS ALL SAPS YOUR ENERGY.

Better to say, to yourself, this is a waste of my precious energy so I am going to find something useful and beneficial to me to do instead. BETTER to leave the house and go and do something fun.

WHEN you dwell on other abuse you give away your energy to THOUGHTS and judging, calling him/her to friends. BETTER to go and spend time on you.

In the end if this person is extracting large amounts of your energy THEN I'd run for your life. YOUR ENERGY is too important to be sapped.

YOU BUILD UP THIS ENERGY when you celebrate your successes. When you accept yourself and everyone else, and their choices. WHEN you let others be and learn for themselves.

WE are given so much energy each day, so it SHOULD NOT BE WASTED. USE it to look after yourself.

YOUR WORTH IT, so USE THE FOOD IN YOUR SOUL wisely. Each day you only have so much, in a life time you only have so much how will you spend it.

HOW VALUABLE is your life energy?

RUN your energy account like you would a multimillion dollar corporation that is flourishing. THE corporation knows how to use its energy to the best of its ability.

YOU may wonder why you do some things VERY WELL and others only mediocre? THE answer: Well the universe knows the areas you benefit the world mostly with. THESE ARE THE THINGS YOU SHOULD DO WELL, spend most time on. THE universe also knows some things you find hard, so just do your best. THE UNIVERSE IS VERY WISE, it knows if there are enough people who are DOING PARTICULAR THINGS WELL, and others mediocre then the world will still go around.

THE UNIVERSE knows that we are all given so much energy, so if we try to be 100% in everything we'd reach burn out. That is why we are given some TALENTS of which we should work hard on and some skills which we are only mediocre at. It is called BALANCE, Acceptance, Accept what you have been given.

USE the talents, do them well and you will have a great positive ball of energy inside of you. You will feel great. Allow yourself to be mediocre at some things, saves your energy for the things you are best at (your talents), THIS IS WHY PERFECTIONISM doesn't ever work.

So accept your capabilities and don't waste your precious ENERGY.

Take care Theressa

the abuser. You

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear L. and Everyone Thanks for responding back. I know I need to detach, I know that I should go to Alanon, its so hard to accept that my marriage is over. I thought this person who I am finding that after 26 years I did not know at all loved me. I failed to mention that he has already gone thru a drug and alcohol program back in 1990 it was an intensive 31 day inpatient stay, and he quit drinking for 5 years that was the best 5 years of my life, but I guess he did not get sober he got what they call dry drunk only, because deep down I knew that his drinking was only one drink away. Then after 5 years he came home one day and said DID YOU KNOW THAT I CAN DRINK 4 BEERS and that's ok, I thought then are you nuts? See I do not drink at all I detest the stuff, Gee I wonder why!!!! Now he is faced with a DUI, which is all my fault, so he says because I called the cops on him as he was abusing me and he took off and when he came back the cops were waiting for him in the driveway, so there for I betrayed him!! Now he lost his license for 14 months, so I heard thru my daughter who he called and told tell you mother thanks because of her I lost my license ! He is living in a tiny apartment with another drunk, with a train that rides by next door all night long, OH well. We live in a beautiful new house with 5 bedrooms and 4 baths, look what he choose. He must really hate me, I guess he hates him self also. Last night my daughter called him , since he has not sent her any money since he left, but can buy all the drunks rounds of drinks in the bar, which by the way is across the street from where he lives. So she called him and asked for some spending money, he said did your mother put you up to this? In the first place I have a very good job. I actually would pay him to stay away from abusing us, in fact I supported the bum for the last three years when he quit a very good job to say home and find himself at 43 years old and start a lawn service business which he only has enough jobs to work 1 day a week, lots of money there. Oh also who do you think purchased the equipment for him, YEP was I. So see that's why I feel so sick and hurt. While after reading over this I do sound very angry. I am in therapy and the therapist said, he suffers from three things, control, anger, and alcoholism. When do they hit bottom? Do they always hit bottom? And why do they destroy all that they have for the drinking? Please some one tell me why.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear AJ I think I had better lay off the wine -it was a single glass; but that was no typo! Oh dear are all life's pleasures denied.....?

To the people who think the catbox is like a clique. .I don't think that but what I do think sometimes is that it gets hard to follow a thread and then you can feel either bad as you feel unsupportive or an 'outsider'. Basically it is just that sometimes we have to look so closely at our own stuff we don't tune into others and leave that who are feeling more able...I think everyone who posts appropriately is welcome.....

I did think this morning.. Jodie???? Hi Jodie, I will have to go back and read your story because just now I had to think about me and that took and is taking a lot of emotional energy so I tap into people i kind of now well through the catbox for now- when i feel a little more sorted is the time to find energy for newcomers but it isn't I don't welcome them or I want to be unfriendly - just that I genuinely am having to look at me in a way that has drained me for now of the ability to look at much else...So please don't think it is cliquey if a t times particular groups of people seem to be more involved with each other than others it will even out .. love jay.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Read article at: http://drirene.com/celebrate.htm

Today's (Priceless) Thought

Contributed by Gwen Gamble

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

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

the ability to care for YOURSELF. That is a magnetic quality.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Where is your integrity? Find it. You have too much good stuff to lose. A caring person with healthy self-respect and self-caring is an unbeatable package. Don't spoil it by not caring enough about you!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Choosing the Four Horsemen - Or Not!

by Les January 18. 2000 Recently I heard a presentation about the four horsemen a.k.a the four qualities/traits of our own self annihilation. I think they are very germane to each of us who come to this site, though the relevance may be tempered by where we are on the road of: disengaging from our codependency with the abused or abuser; our own self awareness; and our own goals and beliefs. One: entitlement. This rider is part of our 'rights' system. We are entitled to a free lunch, good behavior, a loving partner etc. Who says? We are NO more entitled to a good partner than we are a bad partner. We get what we get and we can and often do choose to move away from what we get. We can also influence what we get, but we have neither good nor bad entitlements. To believe or live as if we do simply sets us up for unrealistic expectations with slippery slopes. Two: Resentment. This leads to revenge and a lack of forgiveness. Simply put, you can tug on the rope of non forgiveness forever but it accomplishes a pair of outcomes. You waste a lot of energy holding on that would be better spent in living and exploring life elsewhere. You also are stuck there forever unless you release it. Imagine in your mind a weathered ol' guy with long gray hair, in his beard and on his head, still doing a mantra, 'she done me wrong' long after his mate had passed away. I think that image tells us how absurd, in the extreme, we look when though fully justified with our righteous anger, we see anger as a state instead of a verb of transition. Three: Identity. Now this is one that is a tough one to imagine, a self with a false identity. But how real is the face presented to the world? How honest is that face that withholds anger or feigns enjoyment while seething inside that my partner did not cook what I liked or I did not bring her flowers on her first day of a new job? By staying stuck, with the false face driven by the false identity (nice person, never makes waves) am I not equally as out of place as the face of a clown in the boardroom of a large corporation? False identity needs to go and the inside person to grow if the mask of the clown, and all those it fools and sets up for false interaction, is to be corrected. Four: fixation and obsession. Oh but how I rob myself and others by keeping focused on the small stuff like the guy who gave a finger when I slowed for the amber light instead of sharing stories with a son on our way to his school. How my vision is impaired when I allow myself to see so little, even perhaps as I bathe in righteous indignation. Righteous fool is the result. So these four horsemen of our own self destruction pillage our lives - when we let them. Maybe it is time, as the automobile replaced the horse, to let my life and my walk in it, replace the horsemen of the apocalypse and thereby avert a self constructed state of doom. Me thinks it is.

Les

And, me thinks I fully agree with Les' viewpoint, although I arrive at the same place from a different perspective: cognitive psychology. (Who said, "All roads lead to Rome?") 

Translation: Each of the 4 horsemen represents a set of underlying, irrational cognitive beliefs - beliefs which create self-defeating and painful emotional reactions.  Call them "subconscious" beliefs, if you will; they are often just out of awareness.  Yet, each set of beliefs are statements that, without question, are accepted as truths!  Only when we examine their premise, as the parables above do, can we see that they create no-win situations. In accepting their premise, with or without our awareness, we set ourselves up to experience unpleasant emotional reactions! Yuk!

Apply each of the analogies to your own life. Be honest. Are you adding to your misery by buying into a set of irrational, implicit expectations? Once you learn to spot your stuff, you can exercise choice over whether or not you want to participate in self-defeating habits. 

 Thanks Les.  Dr. Irene

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear All,

I just found another button and it is a relief:

I have had an issue with my keys for a long time. I would lose them, and then get very anxious and annoyed at anyone who intervened.

What was this all about? Attention seeking.

When I was a child as you are all aware my mom had a lot on her plate, she was too overwhelmed. Anyway I people pleased and rescued my mom alot.

THOUGH one thing I felt starved of was ATTENTION so I used defense mechanisms to make sure I got some attention, ANY attention was better than none.

Though it didn't teach me to be responsible and accepting.

I used to lose things alot. I could just never find them, however, my mom always would find the items when she came to find them for me. Though even this attention came at a price. She would then go on and on about how I was a nuisance losing things, that she always found. GOD forbid if anyone intervened and tried to take this attention from me.

When I met my partner a similiar incident happened. He rang my mom at work and asked her where my jumper was, she told, him he found it, even though I couldn't.

WHAT is this all about? Well it was all about gaining her attention in the only way that seemed to work.

SO how is this relevant to me today, well it seemed when I lose my keys I get to spend time on me. EVEN though this is negative time. Though just like my mom I beat myself up. I tell myself I shouldn't lose my keys.

If anyone tries to intervene and remove the attention from me I fight them for this time. I feel invaded if they intervene. So when yesterday Melissa was shouting me and singing when I was trying to find my keys I felt this familiar angry feeling.

Just like I had done if any of my sisters tried to take my mom's attention away from me.

SO WHAT is the solution:

Well firstly I know now that my little girl Melissa is much more important than any material thing in my life, so she deserves attention over all of these things.

I am meant to take care of her.

Infact our children are lots of bits of our families. Some bits from mom's side and some bits from dad's side and this is why it is so important to heal ourselves so that we can teach wholesome ways of coping so that our children can then pass on wholesome parts.

FURTHER now I am starting to work on me, and not so much on others I have more energy and so I can give myself good attention.

I can now take responsibility for my life and give myself the attention I deserved back then and deserve NOW.

-------------------- The destructive ways I fed my neediness:

I people pleased. I sought attention in ways as above I talked too much to retain attention I tried to get people to like me I beat myself up for making mistakes I didn't know how to accept a know (rejection) and know it wasn't about me.

Thank you UNIVERSE for setting me free.

Love Theressa

What destructive ways did you get attention?

Did you act out in angry ways to show them? Did you do whatever you had to, to feed your neediness for attention as I did above. Can you gain awareness and find better ways now?

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Theressa - Asha here

Thank you for your caring post. You are right - this is about protecting the "inner child" in me. Finally, I am protecting myself, the way I would protect someone else, if I saw they were being hurt. My emotions "count". Though I may be able to "take" poor treatment - why should I? Why should anyone.

I admit that I'm still hurt, and that I wish there was understanding from the other party. But there isn't, and will probably never be. I can't "do" anything about that.

And you're right - this person is my teacher. I am learning to deal with the lack of understanding, or compassion for my feelings and still be okay with myself. I am realizing that whether anyone likes me, dislikes me, agrees with me or doesn't - it's me that has to live with me. I can still have my integrity, and realize that this is between me and God (or the universe.. or however you see it) and no-one else.

I agree that our energy is precious and it pays to choose where we expend it.

***

I was reading through that big thick 500 page "Feeling Good Handbook" last night, doing one of the exercises when I realized that one of my fears is losing my parents.

They have been a source of moral support my whole life, and have offered me structure, when my life felt in pieces.

My fear is that without them, I will have nothing to catch me when I fall - no support structure. I am afraid of being isolated and alone.

I think that loneliness is a big fear of mine.

"Codependency" is one thing, but I think we all have a sense of wanting to belong. As Bernie Siegal said in one of his tapes - I need to "find new people to love".

I've lived without a mate for the majority of my life, and that has been good for me in a lot of ways. I know I can be independent and self sufficient. Being alone gives you a lot of freedom.

At times I feel perfectly balanced with just me, my dog and cat and my career, which I love. I feel positive most of the time, and have a zest for life. I try to focus on the 'fullness' vs the 'emptiness'. But every once in a while it hits me that without my parents, I have virtually no family, and that scares me. I really didn't think it would be that way at this phase of my life.

Over the last year I have reached out a lot more and have met some very good like-minded friends. Maybe I need to make this an even higher priority....

I'm just rambling I guess. I try not to dwell on my fears, but it doesn't mean they don't exist.

take care all.

Asha

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Goodmorning Trubble and crew,

Thanks, Dr. I for your comment. I know better than to engage; I keep forgetting and I'm so impatient with myself! I have given much thought as to why I engaged with him over the car. I believe that I still get hooked into his "I want to work things out" line. So I assume he wants to understand and I offer an explanation. When he rejects it and steps up the belligerence, my instinct is to walk away, and I very often do. But then he yells out something like "See, you can't listen to how I feel," or "You won't converse!" I need to keep on walking, I know.

Theressa, I do go to therapy once a month and that helps. I have hinted at my situation when talking to a couple of people, but I want to be very careful who I confide in. My family knows what goes on.

It's just so hard to come to terms with the probablility that he's willing to sacrifice the marriage rather than look inside and deal with himself. Last night I was so angry that I said "Don't think I wouldn't go through with a divorce!" He got this injured look and said "You probably would!" The man clearly believes that he deserves to stay married and have his life undisturbed and that it's my job to make that happen!

I'm getting angry again, so I'll stop. Don't want to rant. If anyone has some advice to give on how to let the marriage go while you're still living with "him," please enlighten me.

Becky

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

More about Alcoholism,

This is a disease that tells me I don't have it. The drinking, is but a symptom. Causes and conditions, what lies beneath, is the root of my problem. Selfishness and self-centeredness are at the core of the disease of Alcoholism - my DIS-EASE.

Both my Mom and Dad were alcoholics. My Mom was in enormous pain, my Dad was in enormous pain. I loved them both - I hated the disease. People who are alcoholic are INCAPABLE of BEING THERE for the people in their lives who love them...it is just the way it is...not good, not bad - just is. The little kid inside me did not know this until he knew it. I could not see until I could see, I could not hear until I could hear.

When Lois first started Alanon, the meetings were held in the same room at the same time, with the alcoholics. Many people in recovery either do not know this or choose to forget it. Bill W. and Lois were on to something here - commonality as opposed to separateness.

What are the unexpressed, shared feelings of both people?

Anger, loneliness, hoplessness, helplessness, overwhelming FEAR, sadness...the list goes on.

I don't know when people get it. All I know is that today, I choose to be where and with people who have and continue to get IT. That for me is the Catbox and the rooms that I need to be in.

All of this required ACTION...coupled with an understanding that there are a lot of wonderful people out there who are willing to teach me new ways of thinking and acting when I am open to the experience.

I need to remember that last drink, what it was like. The further away I get from that, the closer I get to the next drink. I have this brain in my head that wants to kill me, snatch defeat from victory and make my life as miserable as possible.

I must ACT my way into better thinking...the heathier feelings will follow...and I must not forget that I need BIG GUY'S help on each and every step of this journey and ask him for it.

When I start and continue to take care of myself with his help...my, the wonders happen...

Tim B.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Tim B

I'm encouraged by your posts.

I think this disease "that tells you you don't have it" comes in many forms besides alcoholism. The symptoms can be drinking, abuse, overworking, overspending, or a variety of other things which are not all obvious.

It is very hard to watch someone succumb to the "dis"-ease.

I'll bet many people with it are not aware of their real feelings at all.

Many years ago, I decided that I wanted to work on the way I was perceiving life. I decided that the best way to do that was *bombard* myself with the kind of thoughts I wanted to be thinking, so I taped positive affirmations all over my house - on the mirror, in the drawer, on the fridge, even at the office. I played tapes by Louise Hay and Susan Jeffers (Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway is a great one) over and over and over, while I was getting ready for work, while I was in the car, while I was gardening (with my walkman). It does work! But it is just as easy to stop doing this and get back into negative patterns.

It's like an exercise program for the mind - keep at it and you get healthy, don't do anything and your mind gets out of shape and can get sick.

Keep taking care of yourself! It gives me hope.

Asha

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

I promise to hit submit only once. I hope it works this time. I am just wanting suggestions on how to deal with my ex-husband seeing my very best friend. She is sure it is innocent. I think he is playing games with me. Should I just detach and realize that they can do whatever they want now that it is really none of my business anyway ?

Thank you!

MM

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Hi all, Kathy here.

Having a bad day here. (I would use other words to describe my day but don't want to get blipped!).

I went out this morning to drive my baby to the sitter's and my garage was full of a yellow puddle of liquid - no doubt the coolant from my van's radiator.

OK, now I have to admit one of my greatest fears - fear of car repairs! I just feel like I'm clueless when it comes to this stuff. So who do I call - the boyfriend to rescue me. Why? Why do I call him? He is on the other side of town and can't really do much to help me - except scare me even more about the cost of the repair. Why can't I just deal with this myself?

His advice was to drive the baby to the sitter's, and then take it to the garage I normally go to near my office. I didn't feel safe doing that - afraid that the van would die in the middle of traffic with me and the baby just standing there, not knowing what to do. Too scary.

Called my mom instead and she drove me around. Drove my car (after dropping off the baby) carefully and slowly to the garage - now I'm waiting for the diagnosis...this is truly the part I hate.

I have been carefully debating recently whether I want to continue the relationship with this man. He continues to be negative, sarcastic and critical when I don't feel I need that in my life right now. However, every time I start to think about breaking up, my van acts up. This happend at Christmas too just after I moved out and BF ended up helping me by driving me around and letting me use his car. Maybe my van should be the one to continue the relationship....

Somehow, someway, I'll get through this. <Sigh> I hate these kind of days. They leave me feeling vulnerable....and unprotected :(

Kathy

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear L,

From what I have read and have seen from my husband is that they may not necessarily hit bottom and change their behavior. I found that my husband actually used his therapy as a tool to gain further control over me (he thinks). He has been hoping that he can get me to go into his therapist to discount my accusations of him being abusive, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and that he is not acting responsible. Infact, he took picture of our home and the material "stuff" and our house (even the food in the fridge) to prove that he was providing me with a nice home and all the things a wife could want to prove he was not abusive or an addict. I told him that material "stuff" does not equal love and proof that he is not an addict. I call him a functioning alcoholic that binges.(Not in public or to him any longer, just to my therapist). I was just not appreciating what I have and that my childhood has caused me to be paranoid. Since I am not cooperating with his demands now he is rejecting me. He has a distorted view that he is not willing to challenge. He really believes if he can drag me into his therapy sessions to convince me that I am wrong about his misbehavior and alcoholism that "WE" will get better. His therapist keeps telling him "Perhaps there is a different perspective". He wants me to come in and hear his "perspective". I know what he is going to say. He will rationalize his behavior and deny that he is abusive no matter what I say. Since I am not willing to do this he has chosen to "move on with is life" which has lead him to finding someone else that will accept him as he is. He is not ready to change. He is not willing to hear my perspective at all. He says "He is not the problem." He says, "He does not have a drinking problem." So, since I have a problem with his drinking and behavior then I have chosen to accept that he is not willing to change, and change myself so that I do not ever get back into a relationship with someone that is not willing to act responsible, love me unconditionally, and himself enough to live with integrity. He is right I am the one who has a problem living with his alcoholism. I am leaving him because of his alcoholism. My question to that is now "Does that mean he has a problem?"

I am deeply saddened by his choice. I honestly believed that I could love him enough over time that he would just automatically choose me over the alcohol, drugs, and friends that support his addictions. He has chosen to surround himself with people that will not challenge him. When someone threatens his reality then he just rejects them.

What I realized is over time of living with an alcoholic I kept changing but he never changed. We were surrounded by people that blamed the world for everything that happened to them. As I sat there completely sober for a couple of years. I got tired of hearing the same old "song and dance". I kept wanting to take action but I felt like I was pounding my drum all alone. I realize he had no intentions of doing what it takes to change, infact, when it came to backing his words with actions I could see that I was the only taking initiative and doing all the work. Sometimes he would compliment me for my efforts. He resented me for saying that "there is a better way look what I found out" because then they would have to look at himself. He did not want to hear it. I felt undermined and all alone. Then I realized that I was trying to convince him to change and I was the one who needed a change of scenery. He just kept bringing in people that supported his staying the same. Telling me it was not as bad as I made it. Then why did I feel so bad? I did not want to go alone. I wanted to bring him with me. I can always go back and visit him. I just can't sit and do nothing because it depresses me. It is not working for me. It apparently is working for him (at the moment).

I am so sad because I have done research on alcoholism. I have seen the changes in him. It has changed him from a person that would once climb on his bike and ride to Mexico (900 miles), Travel to Europe to follow the Tour De France, meeting new and interesting people, he use to want to be loving and to be loved, ETC. His heart has hardened. His view of the world has changed to "Everyone is just out for themselves" or "You can't trust anyone". His drive to experience the world has disolved into sitting in his garage waiting for someone to come and sit and drink beer with him. His world is happy depending on if beer is going to be served. BTW Disneyland was a nightmare. I never met anyone that could make "the happiest place on earth" so miserable. I have seen what it has done to me to live with an alcoholic. I have photo's of us when we were young. We "looked" so happy. We had so much potential to "grow and change" to become fully human. It just seemed that we were enduring instead of living after a while. The effects were not present but the underlying behaviors that drove him to drink were. He expected me to make him happy. When I could meet his expectations then he was disappointed. He says well then I had to drink because you would not give me what I needed. He was very clingy and needy. I kept feeling suffocated at times because he would literally hug me. Oh, and tell me "Just don't talk". He would insinuate that I was not "good enough". He would say, "My friends and alcohol gave me what I needed that you could not". I was deeply hurt. I wanted to prove him that I was worthy and loveable. Perhaps, it was my childhood or that I needed to change to be what he needed. I kept thinking I was a failure in some way. I was trying to live up to an expectation that was not possible to achieve. Not to mention I was broken myself.

I wanted to share that my grandfather was an alcoholic. He died of Pnuemonia from Enphyzema. He drank until his death. I loved him so much. He use to call me "pepper belly". I use to sit on his lap while he played a guitar singing songs that drove everyone crazy. He was funny and loveable. He was not a violent drunk. I just never realized that he was killing himself slowly over the years. What I realized is that I was growing older and changing. He would still be there sitting on the porch with his beer and his guitar. As a child I felt deep sorrow of not reaching him. I can remember touching his face with my little hand hoping to "touch his soul" and get a peek inside of this jolly old soul. He was empty inside. He could not offer me love at the time. He could only offer me a little hug here and there but he couldn't sit for long because it hurt him too much. He always kept dancing and moving through life. It wasn't like he just woke up one day and was an alcoholic. It was this process from when he was younger. I watched him over the years never change just change where and who he drinked with. He disappeared several times but he returned home when he hit his bottoms. He did this several times. He died saying "I just like to drink." He was dying slowly from his disease and I offered his some sips of water "He says Pepper Belly I love you." I learned at that time that it was okay to love him even with his disease. For the first time I saw his "love and soul" in his eyes that day. It was just in bits and peices....He was just all broken up inside but it was there. He died loving me the best he could.

My husband's choice today is to go back out there in the world and find that person that will be there to make him happy sit by his side and drink with him. He is blaming me for his pain and misery. He is moving on to find that person. He doesn't realize if he had stopped and looked deep inside that he has always had it all along. His therapist told him that I wanted to stay in the victim mode and protect myself by being angry at him. (Could this be because he went in and says this is my view when it's really his?) This is not true for me. I am hurt and feel rejected. I am aware that this is my responsibility. No matter how he makes me feel. Especially when the narcissist in him laughs at me. Oh, it is really bone chilling to feel. I am starting to see this behavior more of a reflection of him than anything that I said to make him laugh at me. I even ask him when I say something that causes his to laugh at me "What is so funny?". He rarely can answer with out accusing me or blaming me for being so "over sensitive" and......I guess human. I just try to stay detached enough to protect myself but not change that I am human, and really "feeling" how I feel. I took his need to drink as a reflection of my self-worth. I don't believe that any longer. I just want to do the necessary work to change myself. I don't want to enable his drinking any longer at the same time. I see that if he continues to drink then he won't ever become available to be in a healthy relationship.

I do the same thing. I keep thinking that if he stops drinking, doing drugs, and could empathize with my feelings then we would be better. Not necessarily, I have heard it's not that simple. Infact, I can tell you from experience when my husband stopped drinking. I had demanded it (BIG MISTAKE) What I had on my hands was a person feeling the pain of withdrawl and intense emotions that sent him in a psychotic state. He was so afraid that he scared himself right into his defense mechanisms. I seem to just trigger him even more. His irrational thoughts were taking over. He needed to be in a program where he could receive assistance from professionals and medication to minimize the withdrawl effects. It just scared him from wanting to face it even further.

It's not going to magically happen over night. It's something that both partners have to be willing to endure together, be patient, and be accept the other person's imperfections. The other person has to be willing to allow you to be human enough to make mistakes.

I keep thinking that if I can convince him that I am willing to do the work to cure my codependency by accepting responsibility, looking inside, making the necessary changes to heal my wounds, work on making myself happy so that I don't think he should "make me" happy, etc. Then, we would be happy. I realized that we would not because he still is broken. Even if I did all these things (which I intend to do) then we would live happily ever-after. Well....not if he is still drinking, doing drugs, and emotionally unavailable. He would not be present to form a mutual partnership. He isn't picking up his end of the bargain.

I have found that there are several other people that are willing to be supportive of my growth. There are people that have made it and say that it is absolutely wonderful. I see the peace and feel the warm love flowing from them I am drawn to that warmth. They are open and accepting of who I am now. That is because they trust themselve and love themselves as imperfect humans. I feel comfortable around them enough to take a risk of exposing myself as I am (work in progress). I have found that they have much to offer in experience. I listen and learn something new them and about myself everyday.

All these changes from what I have been told can be made by both parties if each person is willing to accept responsibility for their "stuff" and heal their wounds, and do what ever it takes by both parties. It takes a couple of years to change the old behaviors and learn new behaviors. It can be done.

You can start to work on you and see if it motivates him to want to follow you? That's why I am still going to Al-anon. I have heard that it takes time to really let this program to sink in.

Hang in there! Get that validation....It really helps. Sometimes my recovery (healing) comes in bits and peices at first. I gather all the information then sit with what I have learned. Process the feelings write down my thoughts. I then start challenging my beliefs, and irrational thoughts. Then, it comes in clear. The answers are right there!!!!

It's absolutely fascinating!

LisaMM

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here,

Dr. Psycho is 'trying' to flaunt 'a new car in his driveway.' LOL LOL and giggle giggle I've shared with you in the past that he has always flaunted his other possibilities of women that NEVER EVER pan out. He's waiting for me to rage out and ask questions. Its never happened and its not gonna happen!!!!!!!! There is never any car in his driveway. However, last night on my way home there was a brand new 2001 sport vehicle Lexis. So, I giggled thinking 'oh, he's flaunting HER and her money.' I didn't react, call him, email him or anything. He then asked his friends if I saw the car in his driveway -- however, I 'have connections' about where the car did come from -- it's a loaner car since his car was in the shop!! I've said NOTHING to NO ONE about what I know about this new car. When his so-called friend asked me if I had seen it - I knew it was a mind game. This is the kind of stuff that he did to me that would provoke my insecurities and all I can say is 'yuk'. When we were in a dating mode - he would pull something like this in order to distance himself and create havoc and off balance crap. He WANTED me to see this car -- and I know how this creep's mind works. So, saying nothing -- no reaction -- doing nothing about this -- beats him at his own game. I think its very funny. In the meantime, I am laughing about the 'why' and 'what' does he think its going to accomplish. I know its an escalation of abuse for him to do this to me. Even when we are not together -- he is still trying to pull my strings. And it ain't working!!! LOL LOL

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Sharon,

When I mentioned something about my X to the female partner of my sponsor team and told her that it really didn't bother me, she replied, " Then why are you talking about it, Tim?"

BUSTED!!!

It's OK. Sharon will DROP THE ROCK, when Sharon drops the rock. I'm really glad that the catbox isn't like that circle of women in a plains Indian tribe that gave one three visits to the circle with the same problem...if they weren't into the SOLUTION by the third visit, they were asked to sit outside the circle.

What's going on over there is NOMB, what's going on IN HERE ( inside ) is. Access that, scream it out loud...love Sharon for being imperfect, angry, sad and hurt...

Super hugs,

Tim B.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Tim B.

Thank you for being there and validating the fact that I am imperfect, sad, hurt. Did you mention angry too? My heart is broken and HARDEN towards this man -- all at the same time. My soul is weeping - my spirit is crying - and I'm trying to keep my dots connected by going into work every day, having a smile on my face, and being pleasant. When on the inside I want to scratch his eyes out and tear him a new one. I just simply hate his guts. But yet there is something I am trying to seek -- its closure -- and I realize I can't fight my feelings. It just makes it worse when I try to resist to find out what's going on. It spills over into other areas in my life when I live in denial - like I don't care -- when in fact I still do care, I am still hurt by him, I am angry at him and how he treated me, I feel rejected, torn, bummed out, wondering all the time what happened, etc. but yet -- the thing that has changed is the 'desire to love HIM'. To open my heart again to HIM would be unforgiving to ME. I don't know what I would do if he came to my door some day -- and I am not sure how I would handle the contact from him in October (120 day no contact). At this point I think I would cry uncontrollably (if he came to my house today) and scream 'how dare you!!!' So, I am hoping that my reaction in 3 months time would go something more like this 'oh, its you, what do YOU want?' But I'm not a good actress, not a good liar to others (I can lie to myself really well)so in the perfect world -- we would get back together in October and live happily ever after. He would apologize - take me in his arms and tell me how sorry he is. However, reality??? I will get zip from him. NA DA, no I'm sorry's, probably more of the same crazymaking. You'll see me posting in October with no real news that are favorable.

I am healing from the inside out though. My personal goals are being met without him, too. And the sun is starting to shine through alittle bit for me. Realizing that I'm going to screw up from time to time is OK for me. That's something new that I don't mind seeing about myself these days. I'm not as uptight.

Love, Sharon

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Sharon,

One of the things that this wonderful woman, Billie - suggested that I do was:

To write down on a legal pad and list in order each of my angry, hurt, sad,jealous etc...feelings towards Jean. I am angry because, I am hurt because, I feel used because, I am envious because. When I was finished with my list, I shared each of those with Billie. Then she asked me to cut each one of them off the legal pad and put them in a pile. I put a large, empty coffee can in front of me and fired up my Zippo. I read each one to GOD and asked him to take this from me. As I did this, I lit each and every one of them and placed them in the can...a lot of smoke went up to the BIG GUY...my toxic smoke, that was shutting me off from the sunlight of the spirit.

It works...

God, doing for me - once again, what I could not do for myself.

In faith,

Tim B.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

LisaMM,

I think I'm now beyond the point believing Alanon will motivate him to want to make the same positive changes that I'm working on with myself. When I go, or when I read my daily pages from 2 of their books, it's now for me. I walked in expecting a "cure" for him, but instead found a cure for me. I cannot fix him, only me!

Today was more validation that I'm making the right choices. Got a continence on the restraining order, and what happens? Don't hear from him for a couple of days, and today....4 phone calls, which I allowed my voicemail and answering machine to pick up. I'm not being cold, but a rational conversation at this point is not possible, so I'm not wasting my energy. Sounds like he was drunk by 3:10PM, as he was slurring his words. Says he resigned from his part-time teaching position, something he really seemed to enjoy, and was a wonderful fit for his talents. Saying "I hope you are happy". Ummm...okay...again, he makes his own choices and twists it so "I'm doing this to him". Nope. Not buying it anymore. Twice he said, "you better figure out what you're going to do". He just doesn't get it. I already have. Perhaps he is projecting again? Maybe he's the one who needs to figure out what he's going to do, cause from the sounds of it, he is doing more "self-sabotage". Sad....What I would have considered "rock bottom" would've been long before this. I tried to save him. I pray everyday he can save himself now. I pray that he realizes he is worth it, because he is not a bad person. There is a loving soul in there. He just has to reach in and find it again.

L

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

PS Sharon,

Um...what was it that the carpenter's son said? I'm supposed to forgive...let's see now, 70 X 7. It is in the act of forgiving that I am forgiven...that's the way it works. 11th (12&12, AA ppg.99) Step prayer...self...me, me, me, dying?

Tim B.