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Comments for Catbox 43

Comments for Catbox 43

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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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Dear L and everyone,

I know what you mean about thinking that they have hit rock bottom. When you finally put your foot down because they failed to stopped themselves from crossing the line. Then your the bad guy or it's your fault. I am thinking "Your the one who went to far?" Hey, I thought I was pretty nice being the only wife that did not complain when my husband was out with his friends, or having them over to sit in my garage until....I realized my husband had lost the ability to "do moderation". It became all he did all the time.

He would then "make up" for it the next day buying the kids gifts and me something new for the house. Just telling me everything I wanted to hear. My emotional rollercoaster just wasn't any fun any longer. I wanted off the ride. I was getting sick from all the chaos.

You know I agonized for weeks when I came out and realized he was an alcoholic and lost control of his anger. I realized I enabled the behavior. My whole concern was getting him help. I worried if he would be okay. I did the same thing as you did I prayed everyday for him and our family to gain strength and courage. I was willing to do all my work on me to become stronger. I was typing my resume to go to work just in case, and preparing for him to go into a treatment center. I made all the calls (at the time he claimed he would do anything for me). I was soooo devestated the day I was talking on the phone with a co-worker's wife that he commutes with when she said "Greg, says he does not have a problem, and does not know what your talking about, he thinks you have gone crazy." I literally just got off the phone with my husband an hour ago as he pleaded with me to "forgive him" and stated he would do anything it takes. Then I realized he was playing me for a fool. Oh, no once again, I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he was just possibly embarrassed to tell the "guys" at work what's going on, etc. Now, I see where I was just missing it all together. I was sitting here caring about someone that did not care what this was doing to me, and or his family....He only cared about....himself.

My husband is getting a divorce but he appears to be having a great time? I am completely grief stricken and devistated. I can't even seem to make the phone call to my pastor to tell him because he was so happy for us. He thought he had saved my husband BTW. He thought God was touching him and making him into this wonderful person. He was just as shocked at the whole situation because here he had been sitting at our home giving us Catechism Classes at my husband's request. Then, boom....his disease takes over. He kept telling me to give him some time and he will come around. Nope, I guess I missed that he has wanted this all along and did not have the guts to do it himself. I guess by me pushing the issue that he go get help with his anger and addiction just gave him the excuse he needed? I am stumped? I mean here he was marrying me again in November telling me how wonderful I was and how great I was for putting up with him. He had me up on a pedestal as his "princess". Now, he is so cruel and mean that I hardly reconize who he is? I am left feeling so devalued and stunned I can hardly function properly. I guess this is me, right? This is my problem.

I have been bouncing back and forth between wanting to understand, grieving, accepting reality, and hoping for a miraculous recovery. Then, I clean a few drawers, cry, and slowly move on with my plans to start over. I am just so shocked at what has been happening over the last several months. I swear to you an alien snatched my husband....sounds crazy I know. I feel like I am purging all this yucky stuff and feelings out of me today. Like someone driving by an accident I can't help but sit and look at it? Then, I cry, and start cleaning again.....Yuck!!!

I am attending Alanon for me too. I guess my thinking is so irrational myself that I keep checking to make sure he is an alcoholic and self-centered driven to destruction. He has been blaming me for all that is going on. I just need a reality check from time to time.

I was thinking today in the midst of my "pity party" that "Where did I go wrong?" Well, we just both evolved into these grown up adults that never accepted responsibility for our own stuff. Then, I started thinking (BTW my head is sore from thinking) about a time when he went to church stumbling drunk. He smelled terrible from alcohol. He was grinning because he had promised to go but when I realized he was too drunk to go I said "Oh, are you too drunk?" Well, he was going to prove to me "He wasn't too drunk." Well, then he goes with me. I am just quiet and not wanting him to turn it around that I am ungrateful that he was attending church...DRUNK! (my bitterness now is showing) So, during collection he likes to help with the baskets. He is wobbling down with his basket hitting the parish members in the head. I have to laugh to keep from crying about this. Yet, here he is grinning at me because he went with me. I am just turning away thinking perhaps if I did not watch him he would not be so inclined to look back at me. That way he would stop hitting these poor people and ugh...I was turning ten shades of red. Then, he comes back and looks at me. He says, "What?" I just kept my mouth closed.

NOW....he asking me why I think he is an alcoholic and what did he ever do to show he was irresponsible by his behavior. I mean he is such a great guy he goes to church what do I want? I had to laugh today at how ironic it is that I have so many incidents in my head where I was worried about him and protecting him that I never realized what this is doing to me. I am just heart broken that I could be so forgiving all this time, but when I say I have had enough. He can not give the same back to me? I know this is part of my codependency and or unrealistic expectations. I guess I always assumed that he loved me the same but now I am realizing how conditional that love was. I was only loved when I went along with what made him happy or fulfilled his needs. As soon as I even asked for some of it back for me, then he just withdrew and became cold and distant. I am just completely shocked.

I know I need to "get over it" as my husband says. I want to know if it is normal to grieve and be sad? Of coarse it is.... how long? I feel like I am grieving a death! Maybe what you're asking for is appropriate...

Then how can he say my children are not affected by his drinking and this loss. He runs in pats them on the head, runs out and says "They are fine.". He is not here at night when they come in and ask if daddy's ever coming back? My daughter starting asking if our dog Barney (he's our 9 year old Bassett hound) was going to die? She says, "What if Daddy's not here when he dies." I am left here to rock them, hold them, and tell them it's going to be okay.

A question for anyone that may offer some thoughts on this: Is this all not normal to be thinking or be sad about? Am I really grieving like a child that just can't accept what is? If I was not so wounded inside would this be a little easier to grieve? My husband filed for divorce at the end of March. This is the first weekend he actually left to sleep at his mom's. He has been telling me this last 2 weeks that there's nothing more he is willing to do he does not have a problem. He says "Our marriage is over." He is in denial about his drinking and unresolved "stuff". I stopped trying to convince him. I am just trying to accept it and move on....Is three months too early to expect me to be okay with this?

LisaMM

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

"Letting Go" -- Author Unknown

To let go doesn't mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else. To let go is not to cut myself off, it's the realization that I don't control another. To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences. To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands. To let go is not to try to change or blame another, I can only change myself. To let go is not to care for, but to care about. To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive. To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being. To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own outcomes. To let go is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality. To let go is not to deny but to accept. To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them. To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment. To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone but to try to become what I dream I can be. To let go is not to regret the past but to grow and live for the future. To let go is to fear less and love more.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001

The discussion about alcoholism has me thinking: I wonder how many of us here has alcoholism and/or drug abuse somewhere in their family history? My maternal grandfather was an alcoholic, and so is my dad's brother. I imagine there have been alcoholics thru the generations on both sides. Neither of my parents drinks, nor do my sisters and I (other than occasional wine or a mudslide!). The legacy of codependency, fear, poor communication skills, passive aggressiveness, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse is alive and well, however!

Interestingly, when grandpa was in his 70's he quit drinking cold turkey! No ill effects. But the damage had been done: he had been physically and verbally abusive to his wife and kids, and continued to be hard to get along with. At the very end of his life he repented; too late for grandma who was already in heaven. It was very "telling" that the day of his funeral, his daughters built a fire in the fireplace, something he would never allow.

I have not married an alcoholic, but my husband is deep in his own disease of anger, hostility and cynicism. And just as the alcoholic expects his enabler to clean up his vomit and nurse him through hangovers, my H expects me to forgive and (most importantly) forget, shrug off my pain and smile so he can con himself into believing that he's just fine!

Sigh...............  :(

Becky

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Becky,

My family has alcoholics and abusive people in both my Grandmother's and Grandfather's side of the family. My mother was alcoholic and codependent. My father abandoned me. My grandmother was 13 when she started her family. My mother was 17 when she got pregnant with me. We have a history of babies raising babies in our family. The actual addictions vary but we just don't cope very well under stress and change. It's like the skills were never passed down.

My sister was pregnant by 17 and addicted to finding love. She was married 2 times. She has 4 children from 4 different fathers. She is now single, and raising the 4 children on her own. She has a job and finally has gotten self-sufficient. 2 Husbands were alcoholic and abusive. Hmmm....I see a pattern. The first was just too young and emotionally unavailable.

My husband's side of the family Adoptive Father was alcoholic and VERY abusive and controlling. Still is controlling in fact, he does not care for me one bit. Accused me of needing an exorcist and should just give my husband more sex and not tell the community about "our little problem". I gave him a little piece of my mind. He won't be back to have anymore "chats". In fact, he went to my mother to convince her that I needed to be cut off from my therapist put on mineral oil, and taken to a mental hospital. He was convinced after I came out of my FOG (my emotions were intense, I lacked impulse control at the time) that I had multiple personalities. He said, "He had a friend that could help her have me committed." My mother said, "He won't be over here anymore to have anymore "chats". Husband's Mother is codependent and very very passive aggressive.

When I was in high school and stayed the night over at a friends house was the first time I ever met anyone that was "healthy". Now, I have no idea what went on behind close doors. I am sure they had their problems like everyone else. They just had this openness. The got together without all the resentment and bitterness. It was a given that the love was unconditional. I still call once and a while to check on how everyone is doing they are still very close and loving. Always has made me feel welcome. I wished I could have that growing up.

I like to have a nice frosty drink w/ an umbrella on vacation. I believe I am actually allergic to alcohol. I get this tingling sensation in my jaw that actually hurts sometimes. Especially with white wine. I have no desire to drink at all. Makes me too tired. I love chocolate and ice cream. That's my weakness.

:)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Dear Lisa MM,

I think it is perfectly normal to react the way you do. Of course you feel sad and grief. It wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t! I know from experience there is only one way to get over it and that is to get through it. You need to feel the pain to be able to let it go. It will pass, even thought now it might seems sometimes it will never go away. I think actually you sound pretty much together in the way you tell the story. Don’t blame yourself for grieving and forget the shoulds. There are none. Whether three months is enough to recover or not, depends on so many things I guess, no one can tell but you. When you are still sad, feel the pain, there is a lot to feel pain about in your story. You need to grief.

When my husband left me, I was in so much pain, I could not function at all. He was leaving cause he realized he did have a problem (not alcohol, but lots of other stuff) and he needed to sort that out himself, but he kept telling me he loved me. It was a crazy making experience and it took me quite a while to recover. We all get into a marriage hoping it will be forever, so when it ends, one way or the other, we grieve, we grieve the partner we taught we had, we grieve the ‘bad choice’ we made by marrying them in the first place, we feel guilty we haven’t done enough, we feel sooo alone en helpless. It is a trying time, but also a time with great possibilities for growth. When I look back I can see that clearly. You are thrown in the deep, so you learn to swim. It gives you more confidence in your own capabilities, it brings friends closer to you, cause you really need them. I remember at the time I would tell myself: well at least I am learning things and then think, what the heck, I don’t want to!!!

But in a strange sort of way I am glad of the experience. It did make me more whole in the end. And at times I am still grieving the loss of my ‘innocence’, it makes me sad things could not have been easier. But live is what it is. Right now C. And me are trying to get things together. We both learned a lot from this, and I hope we can help each other on the way of really growing to be responsible adults. We try to find a better balance between helping out and caring for our own needs. It is not an easy thing to do and at times I’ve really had enough. But there are rewards on the way and I see both of us growing and there is still so much to learn.

Right now I feel sad and guilty. I told him I do not want him to leave with me yet, that I am not ready, I do not trust myself enough yet. He needs a place to live and I denied him one. I know I did the right thing, but is is hard not to feel guilty. I also feel sad cause I so would have wanted to believe everything would be just fine, but i don’t have that feeling yet. So it is no for now. But is does hurt. I have learned that grieving and pain is a natural part of live and that as Dr Irene (or Les?) Quoted somewhere: we are not entitled to anything. We can make the best of what we have and try to improve. We need our dreams, but we need to learn to be more realistic about them.

So, quite a sermon this post, but your story really made me feel sad. The old question, why does it have to be this way? But there is no answer to that. It simply is. Yes...

Take care, love and hugs, AJ

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Hi Asha,

Your fear of losing your parents is a big one for all of us. I guess we have to trust whatever happens God will send all the support we will need, and attract all the people we need at the time.

My mom is a true God send she has helped me continue with my career and looks after my daughter whilst I work. Without her I would find it difficult but I'd have to overcome this difficulty.

My nana always helps me out financially whatever I need. My sisters and partner help by minding my daughter so I can go to college and study.

Though I guess when the time comes for them to go it is A CHANGE, and well we all have to go back into the infinite some day.

RON my therapist put it like this: Whenever there is a change there is death (ending), when your co-dependency dies it is replaced by security and trust in thy self.

When flowers die the soil is ready to refertilise. When a child grows up they become a teenager, then an adult their childhood dies.

YES there are always memories but you can't ever go back to before the death experience took place.

Each hair on your body, each skin cell dies and new ones are born.

Death is part of rebirth. Death is part of change. Where there is change there is death.

I never thought it was true but when someone dies they make room for a birth.

When I had to say goodbye to RON on Monday of this week I was sad but I knew that meeting him was the best thing that ever happened to me besides my daughter. He gave me back my life. I accept all the gifts he'd given me, I thanked him and new he had to continue on his journey now. God had only ever lent him to me. HE was never for keeps. HE was just their to teach me the lessons I needed to live my life healthily.

So I understood he was attracted to me for a reason (GROWTH), now I had to let him go. I think this is the case with all the people in our lives. They are only ever lent to us. We can never keep them forever. We have to enjoy them whilst they are here.

We need to know we can always cope and handle our lives if we trust in GOD (in the universe).

Take care Theressa

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Becky,

I lived for about six months before I eventually left like this, however, I had no choice but to leave, since my fear of him leaving held me back from exercising my personal power. YOU CLEARLY DO NOT have this problem detaching.

Basically you just get on with your own life. You are respectful to him. You treat him like you would any one else who came to stay in your home. HOWEVER, you are not co-dependent people pleasing and and doing doing for him to make him happy.

You don't walk on egg shells. Basically you LIVE YOUR TRUTH. This means you are honest about all you do. YOU DON'T HIDE anything, then you allow him to react as he will, and then you disengage by setting a limit. "Please calm down." and if he continues "I will discuss this later". THEN YOU DETACH and go and concentrate on your life, your responsibilities.

SO The main thing is to concentrate on your responsibilities, live your life, however, be respectful to him. EVEN if he is disrespectful to you.

You can tell him "I need some space to work out what I want so I am going to work on my responsibilities and life, I will be civil with you, however, I won't be taking care of you during this time. So we are both responsible for doing our own cooking and household jobs."

He might start to yell, curse you, tell you your nuts, if he acts in any way abusive set a limit "Please calm down." and then detach if he continues "That is what I want and I do not wish to discuss it further."

This is about having self control over you. WHEN you are co-dependent you let life control you. WHEN you have self control you inform others as above, then you have control of your self.

ONE WORD of warning when you do the above live in the same house but detach totally as described above, don't act out. THIS means decide what you want to do and do it but don't PURPOSELY not do things to spite him.

For example don't leave dirty pots all over so when he comes to use them he can't. REMEMBER to be healthy you must be responsible for your environment. If it benefits you cleaning your house then do so. Don't be concerned that you are benefiting him in anyway.

When you don't fight it is you who gets peace. YOU might think, hey is Theressa nuts what am I getting cleaning the house etc and it is benefiting him.

WELL you are getting PEACE the truest kind. IT IS ABOUT YOU GETTING PEACE, not you people pleasing him. YOU do what you can. You do what improves your life.

You don't clean cuz he says so, you do it when you can honestly do it. NEITHER though do you not do it just to spite him.

You take full responsibility for your choices, your life, you don't waste energy worrying about what he is doing, or not doing. YOU do what you know will benefit you.

Hope this helps. Theressa

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

TimB,

Well done for your honesty, when you are true to thy self, you can't be false to any other person.

I can now see clearly my anxiety squelching behaviours, (those ways I avoid the discomfort) The main one is a I talk too much when I am in company I am uncomfortable with, or don't know well.

To ease the discomfort I talk, In addition I take the focus off me and talk about others, their problems etc.

VERY aware though at times I am still caught out. MAYBE I still have to learn from this.

WHAT is most insightful is I see clearly also the bullies in my life, the abusers, those who try to steal my energy. NOW I know this I don't have to buy into their games.

I can do nothing and realise it is about them. I LOVED the quote: "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."

This is so helpful. Thank you for sharing it.

WELL DONE TimB for knowing your worth it, enough to stay on track.

Take care Theressa

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Kathy,

When we have bad days they are sent to let us practice our skills of acceptance and knowing that we can handle them, dust ourselves off without beating ourselves up emotionally. AND pat ourselves on our backs to say well done when we get through them.

THESE days are like examinations. They show you where you are up to and what you still need to work on. TAKE THEM as blessings.

Take care Theressa

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Becky,

You sound great!!

YES to live in the reality, the truth. So he can face reality and face the pain. And you can handle his anger with setting limits and detaching.

WHEN we live in reality we are free. We are not free when we try to people please, or try to bend the truth to avoid the pain. OR to avoid their anger.

It is through letting them accept our truth, or not accept it, but letting it be so by sharing it, we are set free.

The truth is when we heal we see just how sick they are. Though we let them be, for it is where they are meant to be at, at this time.

Take care, WELL DONE, you come a long way Theressa

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Fantasies are more than substitutes for unpleasant reality; they are also dress rehearsals, plans. All acts performed in the world begin in the imagination. -Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, 1941- American Author & Publicist

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Aha, now we're on to nuclear physics! Do I want to be a Proton, a Neutron, or an Electron? I can't (read "won't") resist that question! But I would like to show how many choices we have in life, how we don't have to limit ourselves even to those we seem to be offered. The way I see it, Theressa hasn't just offered us three choices. She's reminded us that we have the entire Standard Model of Physics, with many fundamental particles to choose from. So I think I'd like to be a Quark. Then I can have Color, Charm... and Strangeness. This last quality is especially adaptive if we need to find a place in the Universe, because the Universe itself is nothing if not strange. The whole thing, after all, was just an idea in the Mind of God. I hope I'm not offending anybody either by mentioning God here, but sometimes it's hard to avoid. If I said "the Universe was just an idea in the mind of the Universe," I'd only sound silly. Solipsism is OK, but recursive solipsism? Never mind, being a Quark looks very appealing. I could even make up a poem about it. What rhymes with Quark? "Dork?" No, scrub that; too obvious as well as unflattering. "Cork?" Oh, there's the Universe giving me a hint; see how helpful it is? It's telling me I'd better put a cork in it and get out of stream-of-consciousness mode before I've got Mousie thoroughly convinced that this is Prozac Palace after all. Though even if it is, better a Prozac Palace than a whole "Prozac Nation," as that book was called. So may the Strong Force be with you all, and may it never keep you stuck in the wrong place.

The Boson's Mate

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LisaMM,

You are going through a grieving process! It's okay! Believe me, I still have my days. Whatever is causing the craziness (alcohol, anger, control, combination?), our worlds have been rocked! This is the person we love, and this is how they now treat themselves and those around them?! I've given up telling my STBX what his problem is, it's pointless, he won't hear it. I just that I can't deal with living this way anymore, and neither can his children.

One quick recommendation...I'm reading a great book, "Spiritual Divorce". Highly recommend it. We have choices in this situation too. We can mourn (which is normal), but we can also start moving forward on how there is a real growth opportunity from the situation.

Hang in there Lisa....you've got lots of folks rooting for you.

L

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, And remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing future of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign (Feign = pretend if you don't want it) affection. Neither be cynical (disrespectful in your dealings) about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment it is perennial (enduring) as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Written by Max Ehrmann in 1927.

Words written 74 years ago however still hold true today.

And, will probably still hold true 74 years from today!

I first read this writing when I was a teenager - the words & thoughts influenced me and have stayed with me over the years. Share this poem with a teenager Or anyone in pursuit of personal growth it may influence their life!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Hi. After some time of asking my husband to leave our apt., last month he finally said that he would. For about a year none of the 'really bad' stuff has gone on because I have pulled out of the relationship so much, but the covert stuff and the just going nowhere was destroying me. So I said good but please wait til end of June til I find a better job. I have enough savings to float me for two months but after that I don't make enough in my current job to pay for rent and utilities. I haven't found a new job yet though I have made headway doing my resume, investigating carriers and getting hooked up with my grad. school job net. Today my h. said, are you sure you have enough money to pay the rent next month? I said yes. The thing is that I know this is the irresponsible, incorrect move economically speaking. But I think something in me feels that if I don't get him out of my life now I will end up the beaten insecure dead woman that I have become. I also wondered whether my health would improve when he is gone. I would love some feedback on my actions. I sort of don't have a 'little voice' at the moment. Feel a little dead. The whole month of June when he was 'helping me out' by staying ,he kept harassing me about finding a job and was more pathologically messy than ever. I'm just wondering if without his presence I will feel better. Thanks for listening Mary

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Is it not a marvel that every living creature has its special place in the great scheme of things? Bees spread pollen, pigs provide meat for sausages, and dogs give the elderly and bewildered some companionship. I was struck by this astonishing fact on a recent visit to Brighton. Whilst promenading along the sea front I observed a small crab, shuffling in what seemed a futile gesture, towards the shore.

''What is the point of that animal,'' I mused, ''with its sideways movement and large pincers? Such crustaceans must be pointless, and yet the Lord has put nothing on this Earth merely for aesthetics.'' But my ponderings were disturbed by the screech of a gull, swooping down and pecking at the crab until its weird motion was halted. The gull, having received nourishment, flew off satisfied.

So I implore you, while you are enjoying the lovely beaches of the British seaside this summer, don't let your offspring build sandcastles (which are, after all, tiny shrines to siege and conflict). Instead, urge them to make miniature sand altars at which crabs can pray. Assure your children that the prayers of the crabs will be heard, because as I learnt that day at Brighton, God created crabs for a purpose.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

:)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Steve here

I was talking with a friend about, what else? Our partners. We both feel the same way. That is, that our partners seem to consider us 100pct to blame 100pct of the time.  Anger will make each "side" feel that way Steve.

If we ever say anything, with love and sincerity, that indicates our partners may have some things to work on, they get severely offended and want to say, "it's only because you made me, that I behave like this".

In other words, we are always carrying the full burden of the health of the relationship. Nothing is "always."

Because we have become somewhat aware of our own denial, our own bad programming, sometimes we can see people acting very much like us.  Giggle!

And we know how difficult it is for us to see our own denial, so we can understand it is hard for most.

That being said...I feel emotionally drained of energy. I cannot continue to carry the full burden alone. I can carry my part, and work on those things that are mine. That's good for me. But I cannot work on things that are not mine. I don't have the energy, the skill, nor do I think it's a healthy thing to attempt.

It's hard enough working on me. Often, the hard part is figuring out what parts are you and what parts are them...

Steve

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Do I smell satire on the sea breeze? ;)

"Les pierres ont été formées pour être taillées, et pour en faire des châteaux, aussi monseigneur a un très beau château; le plus grand baron de la province doit être le mieux logé; et, les cochons étant faits pour être mangés, nous mangeons du porc toute l'année: par conséquent, ceux qui ont avancé que tout est bien ont dit une sottise; il fallait dire que tout est au mieux."

Yet all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds so far. All we have left to do is improve it a little. ;)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

What to do, I'm a very ashamed 32 year old male! I feel like a coward and spineless for even writing this post, but i need some serious feedback or I'm going to have a full meltdown. I have been married for 5 years and have 2 children, one from my wife's previous marriage and we have one together. I have been denying it for a long time but I'm still here for the children! My father left when I was 2 and I really hated not having him around and that was never. I would never abandoned my children but the guilt of not being with them all the time is just eating me alive. Here we go....... My wife is both verbally and sometimes physically abusive. She drinks and while I don't think she is an alcoholic because she doesn't drink everyday, it seems when she does a light switch has been flipped and the animal has arrived! The verbal stuff has run the gambit of, put-downs, accusing me of where I've been, says I should go out with my friends and then turns around and would go off because I did, tells me men down the street would appreciate her more, my dinner given to the dog because I was a half-hour late for dinner, purposefully embarrassing me at functions to show everyone that I won't do anything about it, threatens to move the children 1800 miles away if we split up, I was once woken to the rage of an intoxicated animal at 3:00 a.m. because there were one to many loads of laundry left in the laundry room which subsequently led to her trying to drag me down the cellar stairs by the hair and make me do it right then, punching ,slapping, poking, grabbing and the like do occur but are not a constant behavior, and somehow after all is said and done I feel myself wanting her still and yet knowing it is not a healthy relationship to be in. Not for my kids and not for myself!

I have had a series of 4 knee surgeries in the past 2 years and haven't worked since then. It's hard on us financially and I'm sure it bothers her( she tells me every chance she gets about how I'm a loser and don't provide enough for the family),it would me too, but the scars attached with the abuse make me feel that I can't help support my children if I leave on my own. I find no happiness in coming home anymore and if I try to do something outside the family or her, it's trivial or a waste of time and it only makes her more abusive so I just don't bother going to friends house or go out without her. I also have been a musician for many years even before I met her and enjoy it very much. God gave me a talent to write a pretty good song at times and I can sing with the likes of almost anybody. She has for years told me how wasteful my time is with it and I'm just a dreamer. I don't really know how I remained in the music industry for as long as I have but I feel that if she has her way she is going to ruin my name and reputation that I have worked hard for many years to achieve some level of success. For instance she has on many occasions been supportive of my being a musician but it will be the first thing she attacks because she knows I love doing it. She will invite my musician friends for dinner and then attack them after they leave with her words of wisdom (and she wonders why I don't invite them over anymore). She once was so drunk that she started disrobing in front of our company and practically started to masturbate right in front of them. Obviously I was embarrassed and asked everybody to leave and found myself apologizing for her actions to everybody else.

She was married to an abusive man before we met and I know it's no excuse for how she acts but I really can't take anymore! Her parents are strong drinkers still to this day and were like that when she was little, she forever apologizes for everything even little things (not so much anymore), even accused me of being a coward cause I wouldn't hit her back after one of her outbursts. I am very worried that I'm not going to take it one day and really lash back at her with 6 years of rage I've been holding inside. I know it's all mind over matter but I can slowly feel myself losing my grip and I don't want my children to see me like that. I need to stay for my kids but I'm slowly dying here. I can't even see myself anymore. I don't feel , I just live day to day to day.......  Living day to day is fine; the rest is not...

Thanks for listening Helpless

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Some help!!, I am 16 years old and currently (well not exactly at the moment) dating a guy who has just turned 19. We've been together for 8 months now and from what I've read, been told, and seen...I AM in an abusive relationship. I suppose it started with the control...not being able to go out with my friends, not be able to talk to guy friends ANYWHERE (public, phone, Internet). Another thing is that he lies. He lies about where he's been, who he's been with, what they did. But if "I" did that...he would probably kill me (not literally but ya never know). Eventually it became physical. He would squeeze me very hard on parts of my body that hurt. I would pinch him back or tell him to let go and he would pinch me as I was pinching him while he was STILL squeezing the area he began with and would tell ME "LET GO!" and I would say "But you are still hurting me..." So when I would let go, he would stop hurting me after a few seconds. Then one time we came home from a baseball game and he was so nice to me in front of his family. He was telling me he wanted me to stay at his house that night and stuff like that. When he took me home he said "I don't want you to come home with me now, I was only telling you what you wanted to hear" and then we got in an argument and it became physical. But somehow, a week later I took him back because he wrote me a letter of apology, wrote one to my parents...said it would never happen again. So I continued seeing him. That was 2 months ago...and the emotional abuse has just escalated from there. We were on and off and he would break up with me and blame it on different things like my mom drinking, or telling me I was a "bitch" or something like that. One time he screamed at me on the phone that it was over between us and to get it through my head. So the same day I went to the beach with a friend of mine. Well when I got home he said to me "I can't believe you went to the beach without me...I was going to take you back but never mind now". It's just this constant emotional roller coaster. But 3 days ago...we decided to get back together and give things a chance. Everything was fine all day. We spent the whole day together and later at night his friends came to his house to swim. Well one guy brought 2 girls from another school. I was tired of swimming and I was really cold so I sat out. Well I could tell my boyfriend was flirting with this one girl and I kept giving him dirty looks and he would say "Come on, get in!" and I would tell him I was really cold. Closer to the end of the night I said to him to come over to me. When he did I said "Kiss me" and he said "No! You're going the f*ck home." And I didn't know what I did. So he tells all his friends to meet him at this gas station. He tells me in his vehicle that I'm going home and he doesn't wanna be with me anymore and all I do is complain and bitch. I said "Don't you love me anymore?" and he said no. When he dropped me off I didn't want to get out...I was afraid for him to be with those girls. But he said if I didn't get out he would hurt me again like he did after the baseball game. He was calling me names and telling me to get out. Well the next night I found out he drove around with that other girl all night. And he was taunting me online saying "At least this girl can drive" Because I don't have my license yet and he was upsetting me so much. But yesterday afternoon he called me from work to let me know that this girl is soo much better looking than me. He said looks wise and body wise she is so much better than me. I haven't heard from him since then but my problem is that...I can't stop thinking about him. Even though I KNOW he is abusive and I shouldn't be with him...it's killing me that he is with someone else after we were fine 3 days ago. What do I do?! Help me, please. I'm starting to have some bad thoughts for my self. Don't go there. Ask yourself instead why you put up with such junk, and work on not selling out again.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Hi all, and to the new people....

I am going to be totally self absorbed still - only the first time round I took it as a thing to be ashamed of...I know now that for now to survive I will have to be for a bit....

Admitting I actually am not surviving ok is part of the healing.... I found out something about Jake's counselor today - I don't know where he got this woman from but she is not picking up on the real issues and if Jake is to be believed saying stuff to him like 'your wife is dangerous!" Maybe she isn't but she has NEVER seen me and she also rejected the Patricia Evans book The Verbally Abusive Relationship  as irrelevant...... I think she is probably now clinically trained and hasn't a clue what she is dealing with - IF dear counselor you have learnt about this you are encouraging a man to disagree with his wife on everything in front of the child to the point of condoning it when the child disrespects the mother and I have had enough of this. YOU ARE ENCOURAGING MY HUSBAND TO ABUSE OUR CHILD.

If you had seen me once even you might be qualified to comment; but you are making things worse and my guess is you are a volunteer at a well known marriage guidance organisation...

I hope this post is not abusive Being angry and asking questions is not abusive! - but if this junk is what he is being fed then no wonder Jake is like he is ----It seems as if there is no justice in the world at all. I am just sick of counselors who can't see abuse as it is.....

I spent part of the day in the hospital and they checked my thyroid - don't know the results but it figures with the swollen feel which drive me nuts and I do feel really yucky today and rather tearful ...Theressa I have tried to book a break on a Christian retreat house..... I just wish they had spaces now and not next week as I think more than anything I need a rest from everything....

It won't be very far from where l live but the view is better,.....anything rather than end up in hospital stressed again ..The stuff with my daughter just hurts so bad just now....

The hospital did come up with something about the drugs though...I was taking pain killers to medicate the pain ....ie physical remedy for an emotional symptom...now I know it makes sense and maybe won't happen again.....It seems like I would have to break down and SCREAM to get any ongoing regular help and unfortunately or fortunately I am too sane for that ( at least sane enough to scream where no one can hear!)

Today all my buttons seem pressed at once and I want to be really self pitying so I am being it for once......YUK I hate that and am so quick to call everyone else on it.....mostly in GHU and not here so now I guess I will get some of my own medicine!!!!!!!

And of course I will then resort to humour...I wish sometimes someone would tell me to switch the humour off until the pain was out but the humour is what I hide behind ......  Consider yourself told.

And a fear of seeking attention and being called attention seeking...which means it gets all so subtle....  Of course you want attention! Normal human stuff. Accept it.

So today I am going to break through and say I am down and confused and I want sympathy! - well it is a lot more honest than writing as if I was ok.......I just feel like I messed my own life up big time,........YUKKY DAY - normal service will be resumed when I HAVE LEARNT IT IS OK TO BE THIS UN OK

BTW SAND IS RED IN SOME COUNTRIES.   

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

I am a reforming abuser! I am so depressed. The way I treated my wife has ruined both our lives as well as hurt the kids so much. She does not love me anymore. I love her with all my heart. I can't eat/sleep nor work very well. I am working so hard on changing my learned patterns and I think I am doing very well. She still won't get close to me or kiss me again and gets mad at me for my every move it seems good or bad. I can't leave because of financial reasons and also don't want to because I love my kids and they need a healthy Dad. I am so depressed. I am in support group but it still doesn't seem to help anymore. When we have good days, she says that things are going my way and not hers so she is unhappy. This has been going on for months now and I don't know where to turn to. What can I do to prove to her that I do love her and that our family is so important to me? How do I leave home problems at home and go to work and work? Will she ever find her love for me again? How do I learn to let go of her like she wants? Please give me advice.

Depressed

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Dear Jay,

Sending you all the sympathy you want and loads more, to safe for another needy day. I am sorry you feel so down and I do hope you will be able to get into that retreat house soon. Even if it will be next week or after it will be something to be looking forward to. In the meantime keep going the best way you can. I'll send you some Reiki energy this night around 11 (10 your time) hope you will pick it up. It is ok to feel un-ok. Ok to want and need attention, ok to hurt and not to know how to handle it. in admitting you cannot handle a certain problem, you make room for God/Universal power to work through you. I think it is one of the AA principles to: admit you are powerless. It is a hard one for a lot of people I guess, at least it is for me. We seem to need to feel in control so much, yet if we finally let go, oftentimes great things happen. By not focusing on what we want as solution to our problems, or never thought of solutions will present themselves miraculously. So, you see, feeling helpless and confused, might very well help an unexpected door to get opened.

And I am not going to accuse you of self-pitying, how much you might want it :-) Wanting attention is NOT self-pitying, needing love does not come from the lack of strength!!!! Dear Jay, please do whatever it takes to take care of yourself. Go to places where the sand is red, go to the sea and listen to it's stories, let the sun warm you and the rain cool you. And as you said: there is a place and purpose to everything. It will get clear, give life a chance.

Love and hugs and more love and hugs and purrs and kisses and pats on the back, gigglegurgles, laughter and joy. AJ

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Hi guys...

I want to let everyone know that I am the 'other friend' that referred both Mousie and Kris to this site. They are both members of my site (which is not nearly comparable to this one in terms of information). They are both dear people to me and have suffered through plenty. I know that Mousie is unconventional and controversial, however she has many of her own demons to deal with. I'm sorry if she offended anyone, she is a joker and funny by nature and I adore her. I suppose I wished that she could post here and get more 'educated' help than I can give. I'll continue to stand by them as friends and as individuals looking for additional assistance... Just like I've always stood by Mel (and for that matter, Wayne). I (and of course this is my person opinion) refuse to abandon anyone if they don't 'fit' in with my group. I've been the outsider so many times that I can now accept almost any approach, as long as I am able to understand the underlying reasons for their behavior. I'm glad that you have created your space for people. There is a need. http://communities.msn.com/stormshelter/messageboard1.msnw

 

In addition, I realize that this is NOT my site, this is Dr. Irene 's and she has every right in the world to ban or delete any posts she likes... that's one of the rights of your own site. I perfectly appreciate that right.

I'll continue to post here (as long as Dr. Irene wants me to) and support Mousie and Kris because they are my friends.... Jeannie, you're welcome to post all you want. And so are your friends. I know Mousie didn't understand my criteria.

(Note: Sometimes, the person posting in the most obnoxious manner is the one who needs the most help and support.) Without a doubt. 

Dear Jeannie, The CatBox has helped many. In the interest of maintaining this forum as is, I've opted to keep blame and  sarcasm out, even the joking kind if it's at someone's expense. Yes, this will cut into some people's "free speech" or ability to "be," but different strokes for different folks. 

I appreciate your understanding. I also want to apologize for anything I may have said that may have offended you or your site throughout this fiasco. My very best wishes, Dr. Irene

Stormy/Jeannie

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Dear Jeannie/Stormy

In all the time you have been posting I have never seen the url for your site. Please could I have a look as I am now intrigued!

However, Jeannie I think you are getting it wrong in just the way we codependents do. I seem to remember that you supported wpb to the end and also tried to get Mel back on Bravenet...

I know just what you mean about the neediest person- but you are missing the fact that by enabling them to continue just in the way which caused them the problem you actually prolong the suffering....

I don't think Dr Irene ( oh dear I really hope I am not going to put my foot in it) wants to ban any of these people if they try to be appropriate. Thank you... There isn't a lot of point in having a lot about boundaries on a site if you then let people cross the ones you set for the site!

The need may be there, but what you are not seeing is that these people (Mel is much better now she has accepted the boundaries) will not be helped without learning that they ask in an inappropriate way....If they do it today here they will do it tomorrow elsewhere and remain stuck.......  Exactly.

If it was me and I was, say, Mousie, I would write about what I needed the site for - I might because I have a sense of humour put some in but I wouldn't start by criticising the cat! (So to speak - imagine if you are visiting someone's house and they have one of those really awful Chichewa dogs and they invite you in and it is clear they like the dog. You may think what an AWFUL animal and as the friendship grows you might be a bit more forthcoming in that you personally dislike dogs at a later date but you wouldn't walk through the door and before they even offered a drink say "I hate your dog." If you did you would not be welcome would you? (Giggle I do not have one of these dogs). It is a guns blazing approach that puts people off and it says  I don't care about your boundaries as a human being."

I do not mean out and out rejection. If the person re enters appropriately then I am sure they would be welcome...Jay  Jay, you put it better than I could have.

AJ Hugs and I was meaning to email you. I had the counseling just now and I have been instructed to like myself! Or else Trubble will start hissing and scratching - and we both know you hate cats! Today was an awful day -really was and those stupid pills played a part in being in hospital although it ended up about my thyroid. You sound great and so does Theressa..

Becky this might be helpful for you too- Joyce Meyer has a website which one of the counselors thought would be good to look at. Also most of the prayer went on me feeling good about me--how about practicing liking yourself and saying that whatever even your horrible husband says about you that YOU like YOU and GOD likes you and that is all that matters.....I am supposed to look at myself in the mirror and say this.. gigggle I may be certified insane for talking to myself by the end of the week......  But only if you don't give us that site's url!

You see it came out that I really had stopped liking me and was totally out of control of the thoughts that said how dreadful I was - I used to like me so I guess I know it is a great feeling to work back - no forwards to,. :) :) practicing feeling happier after the junk! jay It's a back and forth process. Two steps forward... 

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Dear Lisa

I really hope that Dr Irene won't mind the religious bit in this post but I just thought about our dear friend - my best friend's husband who died--you see Lisa he became a Christian and then backslid so many times and then finally.......one day he was able to say this is the way for me and no looking back.. my best friend has been where you are so many times-I still think she was relieved when he dies as the emotional stuff he put her through was big! but before he died it all came right and he was back on track, My friend had to say "me or the drink" and he would sound ok but not be - actually towards the end he was totally 'off the wall," BUT I have watched my best friend open up like a flower and I am saying this happened when one of the other dearest friends I ever had died. God may be taking your husband through some more stuff--J had to go through court arrests, a daughter addicted to heroin -at one point all four adolescents were acting out at once, being disciplined by the church , drug addiction for himself and he had been suicidal, bereaved of most of his family, he was diabetic, he was depressed, he had back problems, and still just in the few years before he died he showed his true God given nature - and every other family member is ok now,,,,The think is Lisa your pastor will have seen all this before in others and he will if he is a pastor know that there is a battle to be fought....YOU will be ok.

To the non religious - please just accept the spirit of the post..  Spirituality is a wonderful thing. On a generic board, I try not to alienate people with different belief systems. For example, Jewish people who don't regard Jesus as the Lord are likely to cringe. My belief: God/Universe/Nature  doesn't care how you get there, just that you do!  

jay

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Hello again.

I told y'all last time that it was put up or shut up time with my spouse.... that he had to stop what he was doing. Did it work? *falls to the floor in something between an uproarious laugh and a terrified sob* Yeah right. This past weekend was a nightmare. First off on Friday he told our 11 yr old son to f*** off. I was livid and the end result was a three hour discussion, lead by me, on what constitutes adult behavior. He promised, he swore up and down that he would do better.... boy was that ever short-lived. By Sunday morning is was back to the same old same old with him attacking the way I dress. (I am not a fan of dresses and he knows that so he tries to coerce me into them as often as possible. I don't see what the big deal is. If the occasion calls for a dress I wear one... a trip to Wal-Mart is not an occasion.) Then he began on the kids again, more specifically our son. I intervene to divert my husband's attention then spent most of the rest of the day disengaging. I was exhausted by the time I got to bed. On Monday, it was much the same until he left that evening on his truck. Then, right after we pull away from dropping him off, our daughter started prodding her brother to tell me something. When he was reluctant she told me herself that their "ADORING" father had told our son to quit tattle-taling or he would get him and make him regret it. I was flabbergasted. This was totally and irrevocably over the line. I called CPS the next morning. What choice did I have? He threatened an 11 year old boy with bodily harm. Probably just smoke but that doesn't matter, the child is scared and so is his sister. I don't know what is going to happen next. CPS interviews the kids tomorrow. No matter what, though, I don't want that man back in my house. As much as I love him, he stepped too far over that boundary line and I cannot forgive him for this one. I feel like my back is against the wall here. Damn him!

Jeanne

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Theressa, Thanks for the encouragement and insight.

Jay, I will check out Joyce Meyer's site--thanks! url???

Becky

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

The Pathless Path by Gertrude Stein -

There is not answer. There never has been an answer. There never will be an answer. That's the answer.

I wanted to share the above. It helped me today to stop asking so many questions :)

I am meditating, affirming, and going with the flow.....Just goooooing with what ever comes my way. Relaxing, and just taking is slow.

Thank you so much L and Jay for your supportive post. I know this is healthy. I have to remember I am feeling - and for the first time in years. It feels catastrophic at the moment but as I sit and listen to what my "voice" and intuition is telling me, I will be okay. Yes... If I am not sure I just go pray and sit quietly waiting....then if nothing comes it's not time. Meanwhile, with this pain is growth. Extraordinary growth. Yes!

I just keep moving forward and finding ways to take care of Lisa. My parent in me is encouraging my inner child that it will be okay, and that I need to learn this all to become fully human and develop my sense of Self. It will become easier as I learn how to process those feelings into something productive to make the necessary changes....It's real hard dealing with that "unknown" at first.

I went to my BWA Support Group. We went over the different types of abuse.. emotional, verbal, sexual, money, and physical. I learned all kinds of different techniques to handle each different types abuse. They are very aware how the abuse moves from one thing to another in attempt to keep you off balance. It was very good to have someone to clarify my "personal rights" and challenge my beliefs. They listened to how I talked about myself, and tested my "thoughts". Then it provided me with a new way of "thinking" and "feeling" about a situation. I learned a lot. When I thought I had a big sign on my forehead that says "Doormat". I did. All I had to do was open my mouth sometimes....I never realized how many times I said "sorry" when I had nothing to be sorry about.

Something very important was learning about how the court system works in our county. I am meeting with a counselor and getting with a family lawyer to go over how to communicate to the judge about what types of abuse are going on at home, and how I can document the incidents. I am curious to see how our county responds to "verbal abuse" and "covert" passive aggressive behavior. They also prepared me for the fact with all the letters, evidence, etc. that the judge may not order my husband into counseling or what I want. They prepared me to accept that this does not mean I am wrong or he is right. So, I am typing up some examples in writing and obtaining witness statements that can verify that my husband was controlling and verbally abusive. Since he is going to be so good at appearing to "the good guy". Again, they focused on ME and told me not to worry about how he looks, or what he says. They even offered an idea to picture these two counselor women behind me cheering me on no matter what happens. They know I deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. I don't need a judge to tell me this.

I worked a little more on my impulse control and reactions. When he does say something to me it still hurts no matter how much I think in my head "he is just saying that to provoke me". It still hurts. I don't respond and say "STOP" then the tears come out. I don't openly sob but the tears stream down my cheeks. As I stand there seeing if he is going to respect me. I was counseled today that feelings are okay, and very human. His laughing at my feelings are about him. It still hurts. You haven't fully understood that it's about him, that's why it hurts so...

Oh, another good tip. This may have already been offered here by Dr. Irene, but my counselor said when he comes attempting to provoke me or using covert passive aggressive statements to think to myself "Well...now...Isn't that interesting. That's exactly what I thought he would do at this moment." Don't say it but think it..."Now, isn't that interesting." To redirect the attention off of what he is (obviously, sometimes) doing into my thoughts of how this is making me feel at the moment, and "do nothing" just act bored, say "Oh", thinking that this is just being done to upset or provoke me. (same "do nothing" when your not sure, like Dr. Irene's advises). Then, take that energy and call the hotlines, journal, and talk to a sponsor. VENT the Anger into something else productive since he does not hear it. I even practiced it out loud and did some roll playing. It was good to practice it with someone that could imitate my husband out loud. This really helped me build some more confidence. Not my technique, but I like it!

They really helped me understand that I did not need to "explain or convince anyone" how I feel. I have the right to express my feelings. Just to tell the judge how I feel when he says something to me or how I feel when he hugs me then won't let go, or how I feel when I am talking and he yells "Just shut up". I feel devalued and worthless.....I know I am not. If I feel this way then imagine how my children must feel when he does these same things to them.

So, it was a better day today. Just taking action really helps me get out of my slump.

Oh, and my husband did surprise me by taking the next 2 days off of work. He "popped in" to take my son to a baseball game. He then proceeded to tell the kids that he was picking them up to take them to the movies. My son spoke up and said, "Dad aren't you going to ask Mom first? She had plans with us to go to the movies." My husband was caught just acting like I did not exist at all. He even blushed at how blatant this appeared. Not to mention that my son is bright. But, I could have used this as an opportunity to say "Oh, SEE! That proves my point." (that he treats me like I don't matter or exist) But, I just let it go. Good for you! That's integrity! My husband had to stumble through his excuses one by one. My son just said, "Well, I think you better ask mom next time before you just say you are coming to pick us up and take us somewhere we may have plans." Okay, 9 year old parenting my husband. Hmmm....I saved myself all kinds of energy allowing my 9 year old to work this out with his dad. Oh, and the end result. 9 year old feels since he and I made plans first then it was only fair that he sticks with our original plans. Besides Dad took him to ballgame today. He wants to spend time with both of us this week...his dad gets him all next weekend. He tells his father, "It's okay with me if you pick us up after the movies, but you better ask mom if it's okay first." Sometimes it's really a good thing to keep your comments and thoughts to yourself. :)  Especially since opening your mouth on this one would have been acting out - acting like him...

Thank you very much! I just know it will get easier :)

LisaMM

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

I want to get to the point where I don't care if he changes or not. Is that a desirable goal? If I am that detached, doesn't that mean there's no point in being married? Would that kill any love i have left for him? Just wondering...........  Then you could leave him, unless you were like Hilary and had other reasons to stay...

Becky

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Adding to my last post-- I just sat here and allowed myself to experience what it feels like to not care. I had an enormous sense of relief! Hm-m-m-m-m! Becky

P.S. Tim B.: God sent me a pick me up tonight in the form of a movie on AMC. :-)

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Dear Theressa, Asha here

I am learning that losing loved ones and being isolated and alone, is a fear that many other people also have. I probably need to spend my energy letting my family know I care and building other relationships, instead of fretting about the future. “Family” probably doesn’t have to take the shape of mom, dad, mate or children; those are just the models we are accustomed to. What Susan Jeffers talks about in her “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” tape is that the biggest fear of all is that we can’t “handle it”. I need to assure myself that I can and will handle whatever comes my way. I have so far and I’m still in one piece...

I was listening to a tape by Steven Covey called “First Things First” over the last few days. He talks about how what is most important to us is often not ‘urgent’ and therefore gets little or no care. I can let this happen with my parents when the business of my life and the little day to day urgencies get in the way. That’s because I think they will always be there... In any case, I can count my blessings for the many things in life I *do* have and make the most of them, and not obsess over what might be and what isn’t.  Both excellent tapes...

Dear Depressed

I would suggest you check out the “Buddha link” at http://www.drirene.com/buddah.htm

There is a lot to start with in the 4 pages there.

Hello to all the new people – I don’t have the energy to respond to all of you, but I encourage you to hang around. There is a lot of knowledge in the ‘catbox’, and *plenty* of previous pages to read that may answer some of your questions. :)

Anyways, I’m wiped – just mostly wanted to say thanks Theressa for your support. I guess the sooner I accept that life is really just one long series of changes, the more I can handle ‘going with the flow’.

Take care all & goodnight (or good morning depending where you are located).

Asha

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Becky,

I am asking that same question. How do I get to a point that I do not wonder if he is going to change or not? I can see by his recent behavior that my husband is choosing not to change, in fact, even worse, his agenda appears to be to turn things around to make it appear that I am crazy or abusive. I get so upset and hurt. I just can't seem to figure out why I can't detach completely. I am asking myself "Why do you care about someone that is hurting you, and why do you want to stay with someone like this?" Why do I still love him after all he has been doing to me, and he comes right out and says, "Our marriage is over." That pretty much tells me he is not changing - he is moving on. Then there's "Your Nuts"....Again, that's him, right? You hate what is, so you try to convince yourself otherwise... I am crying and reacting so he is calling me nuts. Sometimes I actually feel crazy from the craziness and my lack of control over the situation. I know I am okay because when he is not around I feel fine. It's so hard to explain but he just stomps on my foot over and over. It's like I am standing there saying "It doesn't hurt" when it does. I then go back and think okay, be strong and "let go" but then he comes stomping harder. An example I use with my clients: If you're in a room that's on fire, you don't sit there waiting for your heat tolerance to increase. You get out cuz it burns! I am not attempting to control others anymore, and I am accepting responsibility for my behavior. I just can't seem to keep it together around him. If I stand up to him and say anything that he disagrees with I am "a very angry person" but that's him too, right? . I keep thinking "Yes, I am angry and hurt, and sad, but you don't care?" I would even be willing to walk around with a shirt that says, "You know I am feeling very very very Angry and Hurt" will you get off my foot now. I would be willing to share this with him that yes I am angry but he doesn't care to listen to me, he is just stomping. I want to share with him that I am learning how to deal with my anger. Does this mean I am stuck in Anger and that's why I can't move on? When you pay attention to your anger and look at it, as you are, you are not stuck.

I am starting to feel very very angry at this lately. Am I choosing to be angry in front of him so that he can't see the pain? My guess is you are very angry, as you should be, and you're tired of hiding it from him.

Around and round I go in circles again. I don't want to wake up and have to go through this lesson again, and again.

Becky, I am here with you. This is just one of those things we have to go through and experience before we will know how it feels. I am at the point I am aware of his behavior, and I know I am not willing to tolerate it but it still hurts me. What now....

Hugs,

LisaMM

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Steve,

Glad to hear from you. I understand what you are saying. AND without being defensive I admit and I am sure Asha would that she nor I are at fault. AND yes at times we do feel angry and lash out.

I myself am learning to look at ALL interactions and see where I fit in. This has taken alot of help from RON my therapist and alot of insight. AND guess what at times I am still reactive. And guess what else? You'll never be purrfect (like "The Cat").

Steve Asha will make mistakes, on the whole I believe, like me she is trying her best. AND I know you are.

One thing that ALL of us have to accept is until the lessons are completely learnt we will continue to attract these lessons. Steve: one of your major lessons: it is OK for Asha to be upset/angry/whatever with you. It is her anger and she's entitled. You don't have to react to her anger.

THIS is good news for you Steve and for Asha. Since you DO WANT TO heal the whole of you. DO you have faith in the universe to stop sending the lessons and experiences to you when THE universe is sure you have completely healed the button/issue concerned??

Here is a meditation that is a great help in understanding this, Steve I now realise that we have issues inside of us that need fixing, so the energy these issues contain attracts an experience to heal/fix this issue. SO IF you are still getting the experiences it is obvious the button is not yet fixed.

WHY does it concern you so much whether or not ASHA gets it? Or is getting it? Isn't your good behaviour benefiting you? Are you using your energy supplies productively? Or are you using them to focus on what Asha isn't doing, or getting? Could there be a little irrational thought kicking away back there, something like, "If she were more understanding, calm, nice, etc., my life would be smoother, happier, whatever..."

If you weren't focusing on Asha's issues what would you be using your energy for? (it should be to benefit and do for yourself)

I to get annoyed that my partner isn't getting it, though I know deep down if I had processed my issues in that area it wouldn't concern me so much. SO I know that when I feel angry that my partner is interfering and criticising me, THAT I to am still doing this in my life. THE MESSAGE I AM GETTING FROM THE UNIVERSE IS I STILL NEED TO FIX THIS IN ME!!!

I have weak boundaries in some areas of my life, I use others in some ways by stealing their time manipulatively. For instance I take advantage of my mom and then wonder why she reacts angrily. I will spend extra time at work and not ask her if she minds minding my daughter some extra time. I just assume she has no choice. WELL she deserves to be given the opportunity to make her own choices about how she spends her time. Otherwise I am dumping my responsibilities on to her. I was angry when she pulled me up firstly because she did it in a judgmental way, BUT THE lesson was still their (stop using me Theressa)

So here is the meditation:

YOUR MATE is your Mirror.

Many of us think we are lucky or blessed when we find just the right person to love. By now we know that NOTHING IN LIFE IS AN ACCIDENT, including our selection of a mate. The people who come into our lives are a reflection of who we are. They reveal to us those things we cannot or refuse to see about ourselves. The very thing we don't like about our mate IS THE THING WE NEED TO CHANGE. The thing we love about the other person is a hidden, undeveloped or unrecognised asset that we have. We can only draw to us those people who are on our ray, our level of energy and development. They reflect back to us the very things we do. Most of us reject this idea. But then most of us reject criticism, too. We find it difficult to accept those things about us that others see. We do, however, feel completely justified when we criticise our mates. Here's a question for you: How would you know what to call what you see in your mate unless you had seen it somewhere else?

I am looking in the mirror of self and making adjustments in me.

(The eyes are the mirrors to your soul, the real you, what you see externally is a reflection of what is inside of you, how you feel right now, what stage you are at)

Do you accept and allow the teachers in your life to show you where you still need to do work on your issues? Do you take the lessons in your life and embrace them to be the best you can be?

Take care Steve, I know your a smart guy and you'll recognise how true what I am saying is. I have made many changes and still am by following this advice.

Will you be courageous enough to follow this advice?

One last thought, Steve as it says nothing is here by accident so do you have the faith to believe that when you truly don't need to learn anything else from someone the universe will make them unattractive to you.

I believe Asha has lots to still teach you about you, and you to teach her about her. The goal is for her to look at what you do that creates a reaction in her, and for you to look at what she does that creates a reaction in you. THEN YOU HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS INSIDE, you know what to fix when you see it in your outer world.

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Hi Jay,

Do you get it? Finally you are resting, this had to happen so you'd be honest and allow yourself to be honest about not feeling okay. GREAT.

Can you now face your fears and be vulnerable and ask for support? Can you attention seek in a healthy way, by asking for help, and trusting that if you really need this help GOD will provide it one way or another.

It sounds to me like someone made you ashamed of asking for their attention when you were a child? Can you check this out, did this happen in your childhood?

Were you told "children should be seen and not heard?" and now you have guilt surrounding asking for attention?

Jay please believe me when I say this: When you ask for support/help and you really need it, you are being vulnerable and healthy, NOT NEEDY.

It is only when you ask for help and you know you can manage without help, but you just want others to pat you on the back and they are usually angry at you for asking for there help.

YOU see when GOD thinks you truly need the help and you humble yourself enough to be vulnerable and seek the support/help GOD makes sure you get it one way or another.

REMEMBER GOD SENDS ALL THAT WE NEED AT THE RIGHT TIME WE NEED IT, NOT BEFORE.

Take care Theressa

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Depressed,

You learn to detach and at the same respect her choices not to want you at this time. You work on your own self you don't need to tell her this, she will see this better in your new ways of acting.

Read above the post to Steve about the mirror.

Take care Theressa

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Hey Steve there,

how are you doing? Glad you posted again and I hope you will keep at it.

In your post you write: If we ever say anything, with love and sincerity, that indicates our partners may have some things to work on, they get severely offended and want to say, "it's only because you made me, that I behave like this". In other words, we are always carrying the full burden of the health of the relationship.

You know, I think that maybe your partner  feels just the same way. They too feel like they have to carry the whole burden. In a way I think you are right though, you are carrying the whole burden of your part of the relationship and what is sooo difficult is to see which is actually your part and which is not. Do you remember, a long time ago you wrote that you thought we all had to give 100% in our relationships and expect the other to do the same. I feel that still holds true. We have to give our best regardless of what the other person does. We get mad because we actually want the other person to do things for us we can and need to to for ourselves, to help us solve our problems by solving theirs first. It is like negotiating a peace treaty: if you stop shooting, the maybe I will stop too. It seems to me apparent it does not work that way. So, if you feel shooting is a bad thing to do, you stop it and see what happens. Not meaning of course you should get yourself killed in the process. But start thinking about what YOU can do to make the relationship more healthy and stop needing your partner to do it first. Yes, you have full responsibility for that and you cannot put even 10% of that responsibility on your partners shoulders. It is yours 100% as it should be. Your partner has her/his own 100%. I think it cannot be shared, nor should it.

Hope I am making sense here. It is all quite new to me too, so bear with me if I have not been able to get it across rightly.

Take care, and to quote Eric Cpaton Clapton? (I think :-)): take a good look at yourselves!

Love, AJ

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Dear, dear Becky,

It is a desirable goal to accept someone is as they is.... If you are detached you aren't further participating in destroying your marriage, what you are saying is for the moment I need some space. You are controlling your own life and taking care of you. IN FACT if you behave respectfully as I described yesterday, not acting out, then you will build some respect back into the equation.

It will not kill the love, LOVE is seeing the good things in others and accepting where they are at. You are giving yourself space and him space to grow.

You are actually building healthier love. And getting rid of the toxic love, (where in the past you never cared about you)

Take care Theressa

I want to get to the point where I don't care if he changes or not. Is that a desirable goal? If I am that detached, doesn't that mean there's no point in being married? Would that kill any love i have left for him? Just wondering...........

Becky

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Steve the mirror post and meditation was from me. Theressa forgot to sign.

Steve it is obvious you are aware things aren't right, but i know your a smart guy and will look at what this has to do with you.

Take care Theressa

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

This morning I just ran into a woman my abuser was "friends" with. So much anger welled up inside of me as I remembered the abuse, humiliations and pain this 1 person (the abuser) caused in my life.

In hind sight I can see how damaging it was to be in an abusive relationship. When I was in denial and didn't get angry about the abuse, I stayed. I became numb to the cruelty. The evil things he said and did to me formed my reality and image of myself - then I was really stuck because I believed the awful things he said. My abuser was also a pro and knew how to slowly increase the abuse as my defenses were down and how to continue to hook me.

When I first got out I was really angry at myself for staying, but the hind sight has given me a different perspective. I fully believe there are no excuses for abusers, and my codependency is a problem, but has nothing to do with his choice to be an abuser. He is still an abuser, and thankfully I am on my way in my recovery! I am learning the skills I need to have a healthy relationship with myself and a loving partner. Excellent Suzanne. Thank you!

Thank you Dr. Irene for a place to share this journey, Suzanne

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Test, please ignore

|A||||||||C||E|||||I|||||N||O|||||||Œ|S|Š|U|||||Y||Ÿ||| |a||||||||c||e|||||i|||||n||o|||||||œ|s|š|u|||||y||||| ||||$||||*|†|‡||

Repeat, this is only a test

[If this were a real emergency, you would be facing a baffling jumble of coded instructions without the faintest idea how to respond to them]

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Steve here.

Theressa, thanks for your insights. I will take them to heart. Yes, there are many more lessons to learn. The mirror concept is a good one.

And A.J., thanks for reminding me...I am losing my memory I think. There's so much going into my mind lately that some stuff seems to be getting dumped to make room.

I don't think I'm focusing on Asha too much. I will explain.

I have 2 options. Redrawing my boundaries, which have fallen to the ground lately. Without even knowing, redraw the boundaries. Or, trying to get through to Asha.

The problem is this.

I find that some issues cannot be dealt with fully if only 1/2 of the equation is there. So much energy is consumed by me having to repeat myself. Asha has very "loud" preconceptions of me which tend to drown out my words. She *thinks* she knows what I think most of the time. Instead of asking me, or hearing me, she seems to think that is unnecessary because she already knows what I'm thinking. No problem. Let her think what she thinks Steve.

Quite often, she's wrong about what I think or feel. But if I tell her, she forgets, or it never gets past the preconceptions. Why are you making her preconceptions your problem?

I am just worn out from fighting this current.

I'm going to turn around, and start gliding downstream. To the sea. Where I can recharge under the never-ending benevolent sunset.

Then I'll try to remember those things that the universe was yelling at me...

Steve

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Dear Teressa,,,she who humbles herself.........Thanks. Yes I am finally looking after me. I wish I was like HKK - he had to come home from school and said he had a headache - sounded like migraine to me - He said' " I need pampering because I am sick." He doesn't really ask for much; but when he really needs care and attention he ensures he is looked after. - he seems to have informed the teacher he was going home! Just  an hour early but I am really proud I have one kid out of the two who seems emotionally healthy. He was grateful for some attention but once he had it he could just let it rest. so I got something right as a mum after all.... Much more than one thing Jay...

I also thought as I was walking out to get some lunch just to be out of the house for a few minutes "why not ring S" S is a long standing friend who has an abusive partner and sometimes gets psychotic - she really is ok when she is ok....when she is not she is off the wall - our children have been lifelong friends and so we went to lunch together. The nice thing is I did this for me as when she is OK S is good company ... I just hoped it was a good day but then to S it meant a whole lot more - she said she had felt she had got really isolated - so we went to this really special cafe and discovered an old friend of hers actually owns it - so I just took a back seat and listened while they caught up on the gossip and each other - It just felt good to be part of her healing......And it was fine as it turned out we had all lived in this town for so long that we kind of knew of the same people even if we didn't know them......

Then I went to see a marriage guidance counselor and more of the puzzle fitted together. Jake hasn't been letting me see the counselor as he couldn't / it isn't the policy of the organization - they put in a new counselor if the counselor is seeing one person independently! So he has just not been communicating like the rest of the world again. My friend described how he talked about me when I was in hospital. It is all very confusing as it appears he is so different when he talks about me to my friends and I don't know if that is my perception or him fooling them - I just can't think he is the type to fool people though........ I suspect Jay that he loves you and cares about you, but is depressed /self-involved part of the time and baffled how to handle you the rest of the time.

Ah well . What I said to the therapist was I wanted to know how I could make things better for me in MY life so what Jake wants or is doing is only relevant if it affects me adversely..

I got a letter from the hospital acknowledging that the family therapist had acted wrongly over one particular incident.....  What incident?

That was kind of helpful in itself. made me surer of my own judgment....  Good.

Now I have to work out how to wash! Our water system is completely messed up.......love to everyone - nice when Steve posts! Yes! jay

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Theressa,

Thank you for that wonderful post about our lessons and mirror. It has given me something to think about.

I am reflecting a lot of anger then. I am very hurt inside. I am putting a defensive wall up. I do not like selling out. I don't like seeing people out of control because inside I am not sure that I can trust myself to protect myself from them.

I guess what my husband does not like in me is the hurt and anger that is exposed? He can not seem to deal with my pain. I want to so that I can get over being in pain, angry, and hurt.  

Now, he keeps saying something to me. He says, "I want you to take responsibility for your life." When I am doing that but he won't acknowledge how and what I am doing to do this. Is this because he is aware that he is not accepting responsibility for his life and passing the buck to me? I mean I know as a codependent person. I was having difficulty not worrying about what other's were doing so that I did not have to look at me. There for I was not accepting responsibility for my life because I had an excuse. Now, I am trying.

Okay, back to reflect.....Thanks for the tip Theressa :)

Hugs,

LisaMM

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Hello; I found this site as I searched the web for information about alcoholism and codependency. Some of the postings look like I could have written them. I made my alcoholic boyfriend of five years move out this week. I had reached the end of my rope. This time, I called the police to remove him. His verbal abuse & threats had been directed at my two children this time. For the hundredth time, he had not come home from work. No phone call, no warning. What was worse, he was ,AGAIN, driving my vehicle. Putting my driving privileges at risk along with his. Not to mention endangering the lives of innocent people. For five years I have heard how badly he wants to quit drinking, how hard it is because his entire family are alcoholics, and giving up drinking basically meant not seeing them. I attended al-anon for some time several years ago. He attended A.A. from time to time. And he would go months without drinking. However, lately the episodes were increasing in intensity, with less time between each drinking binge. I know now that alcoholism is a disease. That left untreated it will only progress. When I first met him, I believed that it was a bad habit, or a character weakness. I believed him when he said that with the right motivation and support he would beat it. I know now that nothing I can do will be that motivation or support. That he will have to quit because he wants to and nothing that I do will bring that about. After going to al-anon, I did stop picking him up in the middle of the night. I shut my telephones off and went to bed when he was out. I told him I would never again pick up a drunk and bring them to my home. Furthermore, after one bad episode here at our home, I drew a line and made a rule that no one(not him, not friends, not his family) drank here. Both of those things brought a much greater measure of peace to the household. But it still didn't eliminate him going out and coming home drunk in the middle of the night. The kids did miss seeing most of his episodes first hand, but they always knew later what had happened, or at least suspected. Two and a half years ago, we had a beautiful little boy. I was devastated to learn that I was pregnant. My boyfriend was thrilled. For the most part, he has been sober for the last three years. I don't know what happened exactly, but last fall, he began to spiral slowly back out of control. He went from months, to weeks, to days between drinking bouts. Now I have not two but three children to protect. I also know from past experience that it will get much worse before it gets any better. It will be a matter of time before he loses his driving privileges, or his job, or both. It is "all my fault again" that he is drinking. I am very in need of emotional support as I go through these very first days of him being gone. I have close friends that I talk to, but I have no desire to burn them out about my feelings of loneliness and even guilt (there's a sign of real emotional problems) over his leaving. I am also hurt by the ungracious way that he has behaved towards his son, whom I know he loves to the best of his abilities. He would rather spend time now drinking with his family and friends than seeing his son. I have such mixed up emotions about him. I don't want to burden my two older children with my guilt or fears. They are happy that he is out, and thinking that I miss him would cause them to feel guilty. that's just not fair. Of course I am enjoying the peace and the knowledge that we are safe from him when he's drunk. And any reasonable adult would know that he had to leave. Why am I still blue? I know that he would never "bottom out" as long as he was here. I was here to take up the slack. Keep the bills paid, food on the table, the house immaculate. All he had to do was come home and sleep it off. He is making very good money. He has been at this job for a year and it's the best one he's had in the five years I've known him. When he moved in here, he had no vehicle, no license, no bank account, and a garbage bag of clothes. He didn't even have his s.s. card or a copy of his birth certificate. Of course, in my crusade to sober him up, all that has changed. There could be two outcomes to this. He may lose his job (in a week, he has already missed 2 days of work, the first in a year) and he may finally bottom out and get help on his own. The other scenario is that he may not quit drinking. He may just slide right on into the state of many of his friends and family, of desperate alcoholism. I would be dishonest to say that I don't hope that this separation will be what it takes to make him quit on his own. But I realise that it may not work that way. I am looking for a new al-anon group in my area that I will be able to attend regularly. I need to take care of my children and myself, first and foremost. I would welcome any feedback or shared experiences.

Sincerely, Karin

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Dear Helpless:

Have you re-read your post? What advice would you give someone who posted that?

I think you really know that your wife is an alcoholic. Even though she doesn't drink everyday, she has a problem with alcohol. However, this is NOT your problem to try to fix. You CANNOT fix her. But you can help yourSelf. Have you been to ALANON?

That said, I would like to tell you that you are NOT truly HELPLESS either. You might think that you are helpless, especially when you let her words define who you are but instead of being helpless, I believe you are a person with some very difficult choices to make.

Pretend you are just an observer in your house for a few days - a fly on the wall so to speak. Look at what goes on in the house, how she reacts, the things she says that bother you BUT don't get involved, don't argue - just detach from the situation. This will help you see things as they are. This will help you decide on the course of action to take to make the changes in your life that YOU KNOW are necessary. If you can't see the changes you need to make for your SELF, look through the eyes of the children.

I hope this helps you somewhat.

Kathy

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Theressa,

BIBGOS!!! - The Mirror, I deny in myself that which I see in others. Hmmmm....how old was I when I first experienced that? Who did that? How did I feel? What did I do? How is that experience manifesting itself in my life TODAY?

GREAT STUFF!!!

GOD puts thorns on roses for a reason. What is the lesson in that for me?

LisaMM,

DETACHMENT is a process, not a destination where I have someday arrived. Practice, practice, practice...it happens when it happens, and in BIG GUY'S time, not mine. Do you have a sponsor? Are you taking the steps? Are you being of service? Are you calling and connecting with others in Alanon outside the rooms? Are you extending your hand to newcomers. What are you doing to get out of LISA?

Look around the rooms, observe who is still practicing the Alanon Salute, listen to their sharing with discernment...and ask LISA - " Do I want what they have?"

On WHY: I started taking WHY out of my vocabulary when BIG GUY responded by saying - " WHY NOT " - I had not learned the lesson...

Hugs and positive affirmations, Thank you Tim...

Tim B.

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

To the person who says she can identify with where I am : I was nodding and saying Amen! to everything you wrote! I truly believe that these people want so much to deny that they have anything wrong in them they will stomp all over those they claim to love over and over and not have a clue as to the damage they do. Or, once they "get a clue," continue and put the burden on us to forgive and forget so they can be comfortable with themselves. In either case: unacceptable! Yes.

It is crazy making to tell a wife that if she were a better wife he'd respect her, then when she gives him what he says he wants, still disrespects and abuses. It's crazy to say "I'm sorry I hurt you," and expect to be believed, then do NOTHING to make sure you don't repeat the hurtful behavior. My H told me the other day that if I left him, he'd finally have "peace." He will never have peace; he never has. No one who is capable of inflicting such pain and walking away feeling justified knows a moment of inner peace.

It is good to know that someone else shares this experience and these feelings. My H constantly tells me that I'm over reacting, but after being on this site for a year, and reading so many similar stories and hearing others express exactly what I'm feeling, I know I'm not emotionally unbalanced, as he says.

As far as being stuck in anger, I think it's normal to have days when you feel paralyzed by it. Yes! The trick is to use it to your advantage. Let your anger motivate you to do something positive about your situation. To the extent that you can, as your recovery is to a large part about using your anger as your Maker intended: as a signal.

Theressa, thanks again for your insight. Becky

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Hello Everyone, Kala here

I started reading a new book this morning "Life Makeovers" by Cheryl Richardson. This is 52 week lesion plan so to speak, of positive actions we can do to improve our lives. This weeks project name 25 things you have accomplished in the past year, then go over these things briefly when you first wake up in the morning. This may seem a little over indulgent at first but I think the message here is clear. This reminds us of the positive things we do and helps to shut up the "critical voice". This is not as easy as you might think, but she says make it easy on yourself and carry a piece of paper around with you and and to your list when you think of one.

My "critical voice" is very loud some days and hard to ignore, I beat myself up alot especially when I do not recognize my codependent behaviors until after. This is to silly to mention but here goes anyway. This morning my partner left a little piece of aluminum foil on the counter, so when I was cleaning the kitchen I picked it up, crumpled it up and started to throw it away. Well you would have thought the world was coming to an end because he grabbed it out of hand and started name calling etc. etc. so I started explaining ( I know it's not my job to set straight, teach Etc.) What I have learned in the past few weeks is I am especially vulnerable in the morning and and a bed time and he knows that to, he has been finding it harder to engage me at other times of the day .I think it would be better to do nothing at these times. I am human and it's ok to make mistakes, I did the best I could at the time. Next time I will do better.

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Hi;

Am enjoying the messages very much. I am Karin. I posted this morning, for the first time. I see so many people on here that are at the same place that I am. I made my boyfriend (or sure I say I had the police make my boyfriend, M.) of five years move out earlier this week. Some one mentioned the "rollercoaster" feeling. I sure have that! Right now it's not day to day, it's hour to hour! I guess I'm still on "couples" time. I keep thinking that I have to start dinner at the regular time. I keep forgetting that M. isn't going to be here for dinner. The funny thing is that I never knew if he would be here for dinner! Now, can anyone help me with why the thought that I KNOW he won't be tonight is bothering me? I guess it's a process of grieving for the man that he was when he was sober. It's been a sad statement of how things have really been lately though that our 2 1/2 year old has yet to ask about his father. I am fortunate enough to have 6 weeks off every summer. I have two and a half weeks left before I have to go back to work. I have always been the main care taker of our son. But since I have been on summer break, he's been very clingy. Children sense tension, whether they can articulate it or not. Not one time since M. left has little M. mentioned him. I keep making the craziest lists of good reasons for him to be gone. M. does construction and roofing, so there will be no tar tracked into the house. We can eat chicken and fish seven nights a week (beef....yuck!) No Sci-Fi channel...yeah! I love sleeping diagonally on the bed. No one to complain that their eyelids are tanning if I want to read at night. And now we all know who really messed the house up and never filled the ice trays. And that's not even touching the big alcohol issues. (My gosh, why didn't I do this months ago?) I am going crazy to keep telling myself stuff like this, or is this a normal defense mechanism? The evenings are harder. the housework is done. (I tend to use cleaning as a numbing activity, so you can imagine, those of you that do the same how clean the house is! Did you know that Murphy's really will clean anything? I am scaring myself!) During the day, M. wasn't here any way, so it's easier for things to feel normal. I have refused to, in any way, try to figure out where M. is staying. He pointedly didn't tell me the one time he called, and I wouldn't ask. This is not exactly a booming metropolis that we live in. I could probably figure it out. But I know how unhealthy that would be. (I have the police put him out and then drive around trying to figure out where he's staying. Ideas like that one let me know how co-dependent I have really become!) Then I have the mean moments. And yes, I really did turn his power tooth brush on and let it run for an hour before he picked his belongings up. I also threw away the credit card offer that came in the mail for him. (It was for his own good, he's terrible with money!) And I took the drawstring out of his favorite jogging pants before I threw them in the bag. Giggle! Now I hope he calls this evening so that my teenage daughter can tell him that I'm not here. Am I cracking up? Some one tell me that this will get easier. This will get easier... I found the al-anon meeting that I'll be going to.

Karin

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Theressa (and everyone else)

I loved what you said about relationships as mirrors. Shakti Gawain (sp?) did a tape on just this subject and you summed it up perfectly.

I know that Steve and others have been drawn into my life so that I could learn certain lessons. I am still learning those lessons. It is a never-ending process.

BTW, I don’t feel that "it's only because Steve made me, that I behave like this". I *am* responsible for my behaviors. If I feel hurt too often about something, it is my responsibility to do something about it. And it is Steve's to respect you enough to allow you to feel what you feel.

One of my patterns with Steve, as I see it, was that I would be disappointed by his actions, feel very hurt, and be unable/unwilling to get close to him again. Essentially punishing him... Initially my response was to try to change his actions so that I wouldn’t feel so hurt. I realize now that that is manipulative; it was about making him be who *I* wanted him to be so that I could still be his mate. Good insight! My new pattern is to remain somewhat distant, and expect little from him. Then I am not disappointed. But still mildly punitive. Why not instead simply accept what he offers? Can you accept what is without attaching so many expectations? At times I still do feel very hurt and disappointed, and that’s probably because somewhere deep inside I have not given up the hope that we could be mates. The chances of being mates will increase when you give up that hope! *But* the truth is that I don’t want a mate from whom I expect nothing. Wrong! Don't think "expect nothing," think, "accept what is offered."

Now you've taken it to the next step without having worked through the first, so back up before you make defensive assumptions! .I think *some* expectations are reasonable. I can accept Steve exactly the way he is right now, but not as a mate. I can’t “sanely” expect him to change, even if *I* think that’s best for him. I can still love him just as much, but I have to accept that a big part of love is accepting ‘what is’.

I wonder if what Steve experiences as my bad behavior is just my sense of having given up. I'm sure he hates it when you distance, as you do when you give up. His button, I think, is feeling punished, which is a button, but he is pointing out something you probably do inadvertently do. I am careful to assure my needs get met, and not so concerned with his these days. I don’t do the things I used to do to try to maintain balance in the relationship. It seems I can’t focus on looking after me and be concerned so much about Steve’s feelings at the same time. That's good. I feel that Steve won’t think to put me first, so I put myself first (not always, but much more than ever before).

That doesn’t mean I have an excuse to ‘act out’, but at times I just get tired. Translation: you need to increase your skills in handling disappointment, hurt, anger, etc. I’m not walking around in a rage, but I feel very distant from Steve and at times (not always) I’m sure that comes across as being cold or hostile, especially if a recent incident has occurred over which I had no control, and I disliked the outcome. Which you could handle better, less emotionally. Needless to say, Steve also needs to learn to deal with the fact that you have moods. So, each of you have work. But, this is no 50/50; each of you is 100% responsible for your part.

Mostly, I feel neutral, sometimes disappointed, but not nearly the strong feelings of hurt that I used to feel. Good! I guess along with that, I am not as warm, giving, or loving as I once was to him. Not because I don’t care for him, but because it hurts me too much to be that vulnerable.  Not good. You are still too attached. Too many hopes and expectations.

I can still be happy around him, and I don’t want to throw away our work together which I love so much.

It’s just that Steve has some patterns right now that I can’t cope with in a mate. I’m not saying he isn’t trying to change those patterns; just that I’m not at a level where I believe that the change is big enough to trust him with my feelings. Listen Asha, the problem (for each of you) is that you do not have the skills to deal with/ cope with the other person. That each of you cannot cope is what each of you have to fix within yourSelves. You know my position: Of course Asha wants Steve fixed and Steve wants Asha fixed, and both of you have your points, but, while your partner will be more comfortable as you fix yourSelf, the reason you fix yourself is not for your partner, but for YOU!

And sure sometimes I ‘act out’, get grumpy, angry, upset etc etc etc. But I am becoming at peace with my imperfections. I no longer am making it my goal to “be perfect”. I want my focus to be on the growth *process* not on those things I do momentarily. These things are what make me human. My mate would need to understand that I *am* human, that I do react with anger, hurt, and upset at times, and this is normal and natural. I would like my mate to accept this as natural and be willing to work things through. I don’t *want* to have to be perfect. Life’s process for me, is about falling down and getting back up, again, and again and again.

I don’t understand, Steve, why you think you have to repeat yourself to me. I’m not actually sure what you mean. It could be that I just see things differently than you and you feel I’m not hearing you. You two don't need to agree, just respect each other. If it's your task Steve, you can let Asha know, but unless she wants to input something, go do your thing.

Do I have preconceptions of you? Probably. Are they set in stone? Probably not.

Steve, I haven’t a clue what you are thinking most of the time, so I don’t know where you got that idea. I’ve just stopped asking. You're angry...

Thanks all for the many thoughts. I don’t wish to slam Steve, and I don’t wish to focus on what’s “wrong” with him. I just want to focus on how I deal with my own feelings and reactions to the things that happen.  You're not slamming him, nor he you. You are each sincerely looking to understand...

Take care all

Asha

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Hi! When I was divorcing my husband last year this board was where I would come to get my courage....my ex-husband (FINALLY!!) is a control freak and a compulsive liar. I do not have to go through the hateful mood swings anymore!! BUT--- and unfortunately, this is worse - now he is doing to our 11-year old daughter what he did to me through our entire marriage. He is not happy until she is crying her eyes out! He told her her hair cut was ugly, He has told her too many times to list that he was going to have me taken away, call social services (??) and EVEN call the police because I was a few days late on a car payment!!!! The thing is though, my daughter absolutely ADORES her father - rather it be real love or more sympathy because of the sad crap he tells her that is TOTAL lies!! She has caught him in several lies but is able to make up excuses for him. Its SO sad! Sometimes I wish I had stayed just so she would not have to take it! :(   Don't kid yourself. It would have deteriorated to this anyway. Instead, figure out how you are going to counter his horrible antics.

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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Hi, I'm new here

Just for the record, I am a very bad speller. So please bear with me.

Ok, I've known for a while that I am in an abusive relationship. I have read books and I go to a consular. He has helped me alot, but he is on vacation this week. What's that?

I've been married for 6 years, we have yours, mine, and ours. Two of the kids are ours together, it makes a total of 6 children. Wow! I've always stayed home and took care of the kids. This year I decided to get back into Real Estate. But the money is slow.

He left me this weekend. Because I got upset that he went to bed and I had to lock up the doors and chase the raccoon out of the garage and shut everything up. Now I know my husband, so my being mad was walking into the bedroom and not looking at him. That pissed him off. He asked if I was mad ( Loaded question if I ever heard one.) Of course I said no. Then the ,.'; hit the fan. He left. I wandered the house until 2:30 in the morning thinking What did I do ? Then I found that he had thrown his ring in my candy dish. He was gone all night. You're not allowed to be mad. Rubbish. Of course you are!

In the morning we didn't talk and I left for work with my ring in the dish.

We that made him fit to be tied. He packed his stuff and has moved out. He has made it a slow process.

First he told me he talked to a lawyer and that if we can split things and agree, it will be ok.

Then he took a few clothes. Then the next day all of his clothes. Today he took his boat and his motorcycle.

This man has told me that I am a F-ing B and I'm not the kind of woman he wants as a wife so many times that I can not count them. He said the only thing I did good for our marriage was give him his 2 babies. One day when I stood up to him and told him I was a good woman, He told me " No I divorced a good woman, you're a B&^ch !

He said since I have been going to this counselor, it has made our marriage worse. Yes because the counselor gave me the courage to stand up to him.

Sorry this is so long, I really need to vent. Thanks for your support.  Yuk! If you  read this post  as though it was about someone else, you'd wonder why you're not celebrating that he's going!

H

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Good Day/ Night Everyone!

Dr. Irene, thank you for the book recommendation. I love reading and I have read the book reviews. I was thinking of taking my kids to Chapters tomorrow to check it out. I doubt Wayne would have time to read the book, but I know he likes discussing what I read. Good enough.

He is upset with me tonight. Has sent some yukky type emails and voice mails. I've been cleaning my house, and staying "even keel". IMO he sees the world through as you say "colored eyes", but to him and many others in the world I am the one seeing with colored eyes. And it is true. Different realities, focus, perspectives. I figure it is only fair to try and meet half way. He usually does too, but is under some extra stress these last few days. So I think he's finding it harder to let go of his fears and negative feelings. And taking things more personally. Which is his right, but you don't have to take his acting out. If you need to back off from him, try not to do it angrily.

On the other hand, there is me. I'm feeling rather fed up with hearing so much negativity lately. He is not liking my reaction to him "sharing his feelings" with me. He thinks that I am insensitive and don't care. Or that I think he's a wimp and should just snap out of it. Or that I only care about my feelings. Or that I am putting him down or taking him wrong. Mel, let him think what he thinks...

He is partly right. Of course.

I am being insensitive to his feelings right now, but not because I don't care.

I don't think he's a wimp, actually I think he has been very strong to survive his life to date.

I certainly don't think he can easily "snap out of it" as much as that would be nice.

I have to care about my feelings if I am to be able to care about anyone else's. If I allowed something to occur that is detrimental to my emotional well-being, then I would not be in any shape to consider the feelings of another. Yes. So you have to deal with the fact that he has moods and he has to deal with the fact that there will be times that you don't want to deal with his moods.

I know for a fact that I've had no ill feelings toward him so I don't see how I could be putting him down, other than that it makes him feel like he has no credibility when I tell him something wasn't a put down.

Should I just apologize for upsetting him instead of explaining I don't feel that way? I usually do both, but maybe I explain too much, I'm not sure, because it seems to just keep going downhill no matter what.  

I think I need to just learn when to say, "I care very deeply that you feel that way, but I can't talk about this anymore right now. Just know that I love you and respect you." That sounds good. Try it!

And yes he is right that I do take him wrong sometimes. I really think that if at those times it would be good if he could also learn when to say, "I care very deeply that you feel that way, but I can't talk about this anymore right now. Just know that I love you and respect you." Ask him.

The discussion about mirrors was very interesting. Wayne and I had much the same discussion. We both do very much the same things, but it is very hard to recognize when it is happening. Not only that but when one starts it, it can trigger the other because we get it in our heads (preconceived notions) about how they are now going to behave or how they have in the past (which are painful memories) and also tend to forget that deep down we both know exactly what we are doing.

But I have seen improvement in myself. I can stay pretty calm, stay 80% positive and know that we will get through it. The less said the better. I recognize sooner (but not soon enough yet) when I am being triggered and I can say, stop, but I also find it is very hard to say, "I care very deeply that you feel that way, but I can't talk about this anymore right now. Just know that I love you and respect you." Probably because in the heat of the moment, you're too angry. Maybe you can hold up a sign (I'm serious)...

Maybe if I write lines, over and over, I will be so obsessed with that phrase that I'll jump to say it at the first available opportunity. I actually thought about saying "you are the weakest link, goodbye" as a joke to try and ease the tension once, but I knew at the time he would not find it at all funny. He would have taken me seriously. That would have been insensitive. (I hope you have all seen that tv show or that wouldn't make any sense.) It's funny, really.

OOPs, it's tomorrow and I have to go put back all the junk I pulled out in my cleaning frenzy, before I go to bed. Goodnight everyone. Keep up the good work!   

 Mel

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Steve here

Asha: "It’s just that Steve has some patterns right now that I can’t cope with in a mate. I’m not saying he isn’t trying to change those patterns; just that I’m not at a level where I believe that the change is big enough to trust him with my feelings."

You ended this post by saying you didn't want to focus on me. Just an observation.

I want to say something I've been holding back for awhile. It's not meant to hurt. It's just something I believe at this time.

Asha, you are in denial.

And the first rule of denial is - talk about someone else's problems, and your own will go away.

I know this from my own experience of my denial.

That's all I want to say right now. Steve, you'd get much further if you would talk about how her comment affects you rather than telling her what she's doing wrong. 

Steve

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Dear H,

I am sorry for your pain. No matter how imperfect any of us can be, a loving partner wouldn't call us names, or put us down in comparison to an ex partner.

You should have felt free to say, "I'm upset because you went to bed and I had to take care of things."

I don't know if this helps, but I believe everything happens for a reason, and if you hang in there and continue learning to be assertive, and have a healthy belief in yourself only good can result. You probably need to be apart right now. "what is happening is timely in your process". That is a phrase that helps me feel better.

Take care. Vent anytime, I've found it quite helpful. (Even if it doesn't go over very well. *sheepish grin*)

Mel

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Steve,

Please forgive me if you feel I'm butting in. I just saw something that in my own experience is what I was just talking about in my last post.

Do you think that Asha could be talking about herself and not you? I don't know much about your history together, but I clearly got the impression that she was talking about how SHE can't handle certain things and SHE is not feeling SHE is at a level where SHE can trust you. Perhaps, you have both changed, or are at least working on it, but she is afraid or unable to believe. Isn't that focusing on herself?

Again, please forgive me if I am way off base, I'm just curious because you could have been my partner, making an observation based on a different perspective than what I was feeling when I wrote/said a comment like that. At the same time you could have been me, getting hurt or frustrated that my partner seems to be saying I NEED to change, and also that my partner can't just let go and trust me.

Wow! How weird that I can see myself on both sides of that exchange. That must mean something. Hmmmm......

Peace....

Mel

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi Mel.

Yes, I think it does mean something. I think most of us can probably see ourselves on both sides of the equation at different times. It can easily get mixed up especially when the boundaries are weakish.

I don't think it's a good idea to keep score. When one says "you're more badder than me" then the other gets tempted to say it back. It's a huge stumbling block in many relationships that I am currently observing.

I wish I could demonstrate something...

I'll try.

When I pick up my kids every second weekend, I usually bring my dog too. My X refused to give me my dog when we broke up. So, the poor guy had to stay at her place, very neglected. The x never had time for him, and the kids were busy playing with the toys (video games, TV, gameboy, etc etc) that ol cotton-candy mom has raised them on. So my dog was just another pawn in my x's desire for vengeance. It hurt me a lot. That dog was my best friend for years. We went places together that no other human or domesticated dog has ever been. Mountains and forests and beaches...he was always with me. He loved nature, hiking, swimming...just like me.

So, recently, I picked up the kids and my dog and brought them to my town and over to Asha's.

I live in an apartment now (since I moved out from Asha's last year) and so my dog stays at Asha's at night.

Asha called me in the middle of the night to say "he's not doing to well. He's acting really strange." My dog is close to 18 years old. The next morning the kids and I went over and we saw our dog looking very much like - in my opinion - he was having strokes. It was very very heart-breaking for me.

Asha began telling me things, like, "If he were my dog, I'd sure be calling the vet". That's her anxiety Steve, don't you see that?

Personally, I know the vet can't do much for a dog who's that old. (A few days later, my x talked to a vet who is a friend of hers, and he did say it was probably strokes)

And I didn't want to think about putting him down. He loves life too much. And when he came out of his mini-stroke (they lasted about 5 minutes), he seemed ok again.

I just wanted to be with him. Asha kept repeating that stuff about "if it was my dog...yadayada" and it began to wear on me. I felt she was telling me I was wrong to not do what she thought was right. I felt like she was saying I was somehow a bad person for not calling the vet. She was not saying it in a loving way either. There was a very obvious angry inflection in her voice. All you had to do was say, "Asha, I heard you. Now please drop it." Even if you needed to repeat it.  Instead, you took it to grand and ominous places. (This is the irrational thinking stuff.)

I got fed up. I didn't want to be around her because she wouldn't let up. She was doing this in front of my kids too - kind of putting me on the spot with them. Here you guys go, bouncing off each other again. Neither can cope with the other's stuff...

I just wanted to escape and take the kids and our dog somewhere where there was water, because that's what makes my dog happiest.

I wanted him to get a little bit more out of life. I wanted to give him lots of attention. Forget the vet. He can't do a damn thing for a dog that old, and the vet that my X knows said that too. He could die at any minute and I didn't want him to die in a sterile clinic. If he was going to die, I wanted it to be where his spirit loves to be.

Anyways, I was already under severe stress because of other issues (school that was very intense and tons of homework and all kinds of crap) so I just wanted to escape. I kept hoping Asha would back off if I left her alone for awhile. It had the opposite effect. Like "how dare you leave when I'm not finished with you". She had no regard or compassion for what I was going through with my dog. Her needs had to be met first. Of course her needs had to be met first Steve! But, now this has already escalated too far and the mutual anger is clouding the skies...

Every time we came back to her place, she was that much angrier and it was that much sooner I wanted to leave again. Finally, I just thought "forget it, it won't work right now" and I left for the last time.

So, everything was all my fault according to her.

I can't agree with that.

I did take my dog and the kids to a river and my dog loved it. He's still alive, and I'm going to call my X right now and see how he's doing.

I can't meet Asha's needs right now, and to be completely honest, I don't even want to. Do you see how simple it would have been had you had the skills to tolerate her anxiety instead of taking it to new heights?

Steve

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Friday, June 29, 2001

AJ,

Thank you for the comforting post. I am having the ups and downs of accepting reality. Like you were saying, I keep getting handed these lessons, and I don't want them. I know I need them. Oh, but I tell you I am just afraid to ask "What next". I just know better. I keep looking up saying, "Okay, Okay, I got it this time." If you dance with the devil you will get burned. Stay away from the red guy. You can not fix him, he has to fix himself. Can I just have a little relief. Then, back I am in wrestling with the demon. I just can't seem to get enough. Well...Today we both were waving the white flag. Not one word out of us after last night. (It was pretty bad) My counselor offered me this good analogy. Just picture my husband as this burning hot raging fire and I am the wood. So, when he starts burning on low. He comes to me for more energy. Every time I engage with him then I just toss another log on his fire. I need to find something else to do rather than feed his fire. She did also mention that I may want to pretend I have duct tape on my mouth. I thought that I could write out some prayer cards. That helped me. I could not leave it at that though. My immaturity is thinking. You know he just doesn't play fair. See he..... Picture this all I see him doing is yelling "Fire! Look over there! There's a fire!" When I get all burned up and act out. Again, I am really listening and staying aware of my feelings. It's getting easier to just feel the adrenaline pumping, and feel my body tensing, and I am practicing calming down. Before, I would just want to run. Now, I am seeing how long I can stand there, and calm myself. Unless of coarse he seems really hostile. Get out, and finish feeling after I am in a safe place.

This is where Robert Burney's website really helped me. I do ask myself often "How old do you feel right now". There are times like he says that I feel like the inner child just started driving the bus one day and took over. I need to really learn some self-control and impulse control skills.

I can pat myself on my back today. He was leaving after "popping in" and suddenly having this need to go purchase rock ground cover for our back yard for a spot in our yard that our Lab dug up and chewed a sprinkler head. It was a muddy mess. He had told my son that he would come by to give him some money for the movies (he would not give him a time). Then, when he came he said he would take them to the park but somehow started in on this project in the back yard. He was hauling rock back and forth. Then, it was time to leave. He appeared to be tired and not feeling well. He made some comments about the kids needing to be supervised better. (I let it go... :) Then he told me that he would be coming Friday night since more work needed to be done in the yard. (I was ready to pounce here, but held back since I don't have anything legal that says he can't come to our home yet). He seems to always have an excuse to "pop in" or fix something in our home. I am trying to eliminate the chaos. I just tell him that I would like if he could talk it over with me when he wants to do a big project around the house. He doesn't even ask me. I have kids playing, and he just start tearing the house apart. So....We have been separated in the evenings this last week. He left me alone all last weekend but he "popped in". I am feeling very "tested" at the moment. I realize we both love our children. No reason for them to suffer from us not being able to be in the same house right now. This was his turn to have the kids. So he advised me that since he was staying the night Friday (Didn't ask me, just told me), he would just stay here Saturday, and Sunday Evening then go to his mother's but that he felt it best that I not be around. Again, my instinct was to jump and say "You can't tell me what to do and I am not doing this when your ordered out of the house." (not to mention the "popping in" is getting old!) I just remained detached, and said, "I will consider your request. Keep in mind that I will not be doing this if you are ordered out of the house but let me think about it. I may need a break myself. I will let you know by tomorrow." I have to give him some credit because he had been at his therapist this last 2 weeks. He does not want me to know he is going. I can see he is learning how to ask instead of demand. This is a big one for him. He use to come in and yell at me like a dog. I use to think of that phrase "You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar". Since he offered to be civil then I realized there was no need to be defensive even after he added "I hope you don't mind staying away the whole time" as if I had answered "yes" or agreed with his first request when I didn't give him an answer. I was trying to decide if I should go to battle or actually just take it as an opportunity for myself and heal some more....create more distance.

So, little baby step....

LisaMM

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Jay,

I was confused about my husband's behavior when he talked about me to other people. In fact, when I told some of our friends that we were having difficulties in our marriage the would be absolutely shocked. They would say "Oh, but he says he loves you and the kids. He tells us how wonderful you are." All the time I am thinking..."He does not tell me how wonderful I am ?" In fact, he doesn't even acknowledge me at times. He can be down right mean, and say very hurtful things behind close doors....but I just couldn't see sharing this with everyone. (Especially since I really hope he can heal someday on his own). I kept thinking of his behavior as an illness that if he had cancer/or like disease I would not be telling everyone the details to allow him some dignity. I just kept the explaining to a minimum. It may be part of their "image" they want to project out into the world. It's part of the facade. I have my own at times...I try to remain down to earth, and connected as much as possible with the people around me. I am not comfortable lying. I see this as lying to myself. I can't do this very well anymore (especially since my depression just shows at times). We get the "real guy" at home. I do think sometimes families do "let there hair down" at home and behave differently because they feel safe and relaxed at home. My son will come home from school and have a breakdown if he has gotten upset at school, and not capable of expressing his feelings. As soon as he sees me he just falls apart. I accept this as a gift. I am the only person that can be there for him until he learns to be there for himself. But, my problem was with my husband's outright disrespect or devaluation of me. It just felt horrible. This behavior became to comfortable for him to do and say to me. I started realizing he was crossing a line. It was too painful to tell everyone myself that it wasn't as it seemed at home. We "appeared" to be so perfect...Well, in our heads, I am sure. Now, I can see where it was not healthy. Especially when I could not keep up with the "perfect wife" label. He just started getting more and more demanding to the point when company was over I was exausted afterwards worried he would be mad at me for something I said or did to make him look bad. Hmmm....I am just bewildered at my "denial". Again, my mom can confirm that it did happen slowly over time. It excelled to new levels this last 5 years. So, now he started testing the people around me to how far he could go with treating me bad in front of them. This is where I have learned to just say "Stop! Don't talk to me that way." I use to just get quiet. It was getting to blatant. My friends were starting to express their concern.

Oh, BTW he still says "He loves me" and says "It wasn't that bad." to everyone. I stopped worrying about what he was telling others. He had tried to gather allies. I learned that his actions always speak louder than his words. I am learning most of my friends and family have known it all along.

:) LisaMM

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi Karin,

Welcome! You situation sounds the similar to mine. I really found comfort in attending al-anon and battered women's support groups. The battered women's groups are not just physical violence. It's for emotional, verbal, control issues, sexual, etc. They offer a variety of services to help women get counseling, support, legal services and become independent. I am offered tips on communication skills, and where to go for self-defense classes, classes on assertion, and update my work skills, you name it. I met some really helpful and informative people in my groups. I no longer feel alone.

Just jump in anytime. There's a great bunch of people here. I can't tell you how often I have come to just read something inspirational or just listen to the other's vent. I am truly learning a lot!

The key is to work on YOU. Strengthen yourself so that you can be healthy and strong for your children, and for you. Let your husband work on himself. (This is a biggie for me too) I just got some advice from a counselor the other day about my codependency....she said, "Sometimes you have to move out of their way so they can feel how hard the sidewalk is when they hit the pavement...or the bottom."

:) LisaMM

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi all.

Dear Steve I am sorry your dog is sick.

Dear Lisa, I get so muddled- I once thought my husband was one of the rare people who didn't have a malicious bone in his body - the feedback I get suggests he isn't,,,,,,but it feels like all the negativity he can't put elsewhere got gathered into a huge ball and thrown at me-

As if if I couldn't be perfect then I am no good.....

Oh well, I am really too tired to care just now,,, forcing myself to be out when I would rather be in but slightly more positive too....looking definitely afer ME. I guess that is all we can do- speak the positive stuff tho ourselves.....but as for whether they are sincere or not ...I have no idea anymore....jay

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Friday, June 29, 2001

I don't want to be tossing kitty litter around here but I felt the same thing Mel mentioned to Steve about how that sounded like my husband.....made my hair stand up on the back of my neck at first. I am okay now ;) My husband had just said the same thing to me a couple of weeks ago. Now, I am feeling like the mirror effect. I see how we are both reflecting off of each other what we can not stand about each other is in us.....or it was....I am not in denial but I can hear myself talking about my husband, and I am aware of this being a codependent behavior so that I don't have to focus on myself. I went to therapy for to get help dealing with my depression and anger. I broke through my denial. That's when his behaviors were triggered and escalated. He panicked when I started getting better. It was like we just stopped hearing each other at all one day. I am taking notes on the side.

Now I know that I focus too much on others and my husband. I am working on changing this and focusing on myself. I guess that's part of learning how to establish the boundaries. Every time I express my feelings about my husband's behavior he counters it with a comment like that? I want to get past this and start listening to each other. My problem was that there was the imbalance of power. He was not willing to listen to me or even hear me sometimes. He will not openly admit out loud that he had any problems, but he is driving to therapy here and there.

I was just thinking too. How easily it would have been for me to get riled up over something my husband says like that....In learning how to love myself, and forgive myself for having those same feelings or behaviors. I may not be so inclined to become upset at him for having these same feelings or behaviors over time....okay, lot's and lot's more time but.....I am getting there :)

Question: I was wondering if this was crossing the boundary line when a question was asked like that? I want to clarify that in case I do this too. I know I am not communicating well at all with my husband. My husband felt a need to build a wall up too. He kept saying it's because when I chose to sleep upstairs with the door locked to create space (pulling away) that he felt a wall building (as if I put it there). I said, "You put it there." I was just "taking some space for MySelf." I felt like I did not communicate that well and he told me "You are the one in denial, I am not angry, you are.... and there are several ways one can be abusive, not just what he did." I get completely dizzy in comments like that. No matter what I say it comes back at me. I picture myself just flicking off the kitty litter (or his "stuff) off of me. We are too enmeshed to be able to communicate or even see our own reflections right now. The answer is you are both angry.

LisaMM

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Friday, June 29, 2001

LisaMM,

It is only through releasing your pain as you are, will you heal. That means acknowledge it work through your faulty thinking.

One of mine was I thought I had to talk all the time. WHY? cuz I felt anxious in silence. I thought it was my job to occupy everyone. It took alot of energy and I ended up feeling drained.

Now I know it is better to pause and reflect. To leave space when someone has finished incase they haven't finished. It is okay to sit silently and others do take the initiative to speak when I don't. I can now hear others and get to know how they think.

Before life was boring, I used to go on about others, and things I couldn't fix. Now I ask about them, and tell them about ME for most of the interaction.

Conversations are to be about me and You (the person I speak to), this way I learn about me and about your thinking to.

I know when I try to rely on my partner when I could have relied on me that it causes me pain. For instance last night I was at his house making my daughter some toast. I said to my partner. "Does the toast pop up when it is ready on that setting, or will it burn?"

He said "It is okay".

I relied on him and trusted him. Instead of trusting my own good sense.

What happened, what always happens, I end up in unnecessary pain. When the toast burnt I said "look you said it wouldn't burn." He said "who's making the toast? It is your fault not mine." In his defensive blaming tone. I HAVE TO FACE IT he can't tolerate imperfection especially not in himself so he is defensive, YES he puts up a wall.

SO again I got stung. I put another slice of toast in and TRUSTED myself this time. I turned down the toaster and kept checking the toast.

SO why do I continue to go there and get stung. BECAUSE I don't have faith and trust in my own self. I need to practice this, and let myself make mistakes.

THIS is part of my old people pleasing, I am trying to get rid of.

LISAMM it all takes time, I make mistakes and then in my journal I think about what I could do differently.

IT is through being truthful about what doesn't work that heals. At times I to feel weak and react and suffer pain.

It is all part of the learning process. OH BOY it hurts sometimes.

In your house get some limits set. Hurry up the legal order to say he can't just stop by when he feels like it. If you are too soft you will pay. SETTING LIMITS GAINS YOU RESPECT.

Take care Theressa

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Good Morning (or afternoon etc.):

It was nice to wake up this morning and look forward to reading the messages that had been posted.

To H: You sound as if you are in the very first stages of growing up, just like I am. You say that your husband is always calling you names and telling you that you are not a good woman. It sounds to me like he is working just as hard to convince himself of that as he is at convincing you! Furthermore, the better a person that you are, the harder he is going to have to work to tear you down. It sounds like he is working very hard at it, therefore, you must be a VERY good person.

The peace here continues. M. called and came over last night for a visit. He was sober and quiet. Little M. barely registered his presence, and I think that was surprising to him. He asked me why I thought that was and I told him. It's because I am his care giver and his mainstay. I bathe him, change him, eat with him, take him everywhere I go, read his books to him. I am his adult that holds no surprises. Little M. always knows what to expect from me. M., on the other hand, would leave for days, come home drunk, scream and yell, and provided no routine, even when he was sober. Sure, he plays with him, but that's it. Little M. always knew when M. was drunk. Small as he is, he would stay his distance. Even when M. coaxed him or tried to make up to him. If M. even smelled like he had been drinking little M. would just stand across the room and stare. It was not a bad visit. He was here for about two hours. He said that he is staying at his sisters house. Let me clarify, his sister actually lives with her boyfriend at HIS house. M.'s sister is also a raging alcoholic. She has no house. I didn't bother to point that out. M. hust doesn't get it. People that give in and let alcohol consume them tend NOT to own homes or vehicles. (Or clothes or furniture, or much of anything usually, beyond a bag of clothes.) But he is in denial. M.'s new plan is to clean up his credit, which he feels he can do in "a few months", save the money for a down payment on a small house (another six to eight weeks) and be in a house of his own by the holidays. Does he really believe this? Apparently so. I told him that it was a very good plan. And it is. It would involve, I believe, sobriety. Beer and weed are very expensive. That's NO PROBLEM, though, as M. assured me last night that he is NOT AN ALCOHOLIC! Just because he likes to drink "every now & then" doesn't make him a DRUNK! (Do I hear his family talking thru him? Yes, I believe that I do!) He commented on how nice the house looked. I was surprised. I clean every day and always liked to have the house looking good. He brought it up four or five times in passing. Later, my daughter(15 yrs. old, drop dead gorgeous, genius intelligence, dry wit) said "Think about it. He's staying at C.'s house. Now I haven't been in M.'s sister's home for 31/2 yrs.( the last time was Thanksgiving, a drunken holiday for M.'s family. They rolled the turkey down the driveway before cooking, in a drunken accident, had a fistfight among themselves, and burned down part of the neighbors fence. I never went back.) My daughter pointed out that clean is "relative". What looked like normal to M. last week must look sterile after being at his sister's. M. wanted to stay the night last night. I told him that I really would rather he didn't. Today is Friday, and that's always been a BIG drinking occasion to M. (ahhh, Friday night. The Drunk Sabbath...)I had no intention of letting him stay last night and go out and drink all weekend. I had enough of that while he lived here. I played Susie Home Maker all week, packing lunches, folding my (brilliant!) white laundry, and making Martha Stewart dinners all week, only to have him never come home on Friday evening. It used to make my blood boil! M. said that he would be back this evening. I told him to suit himself. Time will tell, won't it.

To Steve; Don't expect people that have no understanding of what an animal can mean to you to comprehend how you feel about your dog. Some of the best friends I have ever had have been animals. Karin

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hey Cats,

Lisa MM, you sound so good. You are being so strong and wise. It's so hard and all the pain comes through but your posts are really inspiring. Hang in there! You are going in the right direction now!

Dear 16-year-old, your EX (please make him be your EX) isn't just extremely immature which is part of the problem. He is dangerous. Anyone who would inflict physical pain is not a safe person for you to spend any time with, or be alone with. Don't worry about the other girls. He will do the same thing to them. They aren't prettier or better than you, and he will soon tell them they are useless. That's just what this guy does. You deserve much much better! Tell him that the next time he tries to get you to come back! And don't go back! Tell your parents and all your friends what that guy did, hurting you, and get their help keeping away from him. You need support! Keep posting here too. Good luck! I'm glad you wrote!

HI Jay - You can't do anything about the counselor Jake sees. What a bummer he didn't pick one who deals with abuse. But that's HIS problem! Focus on your progress, which is HUGE! Jake has to find his own way, and the only thing you are responsible for is your response. That therapist sounds totally crazymaking, though. Yuck!

Hi Becky - You WILL get to where you don't care if he changes! Your post resonated because I think I am there. At least I have the glimmers of what it feels like.

I don't recommend this, but after that sad day where the ex looked so bad and still had all my stuff where I left it, we talked about being friends and I remembered that we had done the friendship thing pretty well. Cutting to the chase, we have been emailing each other every day this week, long, newsy friendly emails about the day and work, etc. Seemed to go okay. That's the surface. Under the surface, I had been completely confused by my own feelings when I saw him again because I had just spent almost 5 months thinking I didn't have any feelings for him. So the email was kind of a space where I could figure out those feelings and also see what it was like to be friendly with this person who had been so important.

I also reviewed The Verbally Abusive Relationship at the same time, and remembered how bad it was too. I also read The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse, which isn't a bad book for people who decide to stay with their abuser - I hadn't thought that was possible at all. I thought you had to leave. ( I still think you really have to leave... but I see the gray areas...)

In this process, I reinforced my feelings of acceptance that this was an abusive relationship. I accept that this guy is very unlikely to change - read that, "will not change." In fact, I can see that being friends with him will quite likely make him feel okay enough so that he will continue to feel that no change is necessary. I don't know if that makes it morally wrong to be friends! Not my job to make moral evaluations! My job is to take care of myself and clear out my own confusion, however I have to do that.

In Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse, the authors talked about how the abuser is an expert at creating guilt, and I think this is the meaning of how awful my ex looked and how he left photos of me up everywhere, etc etc, the whole Perdida Shrine scene. If it was a move to inspire guilt, though, he sure had to wait a long time for the satisfaction of my seeing it. It worked, though because I did feel very sorry and sad for him as I said in a previous post.

But in the end, I feel good because after sorting it out for a week, I really don't care if he changes; I really don't want him back unless he changes; I accept that he really is very unlikely to ever change, and I am okay with that. I am okay of this distanced contact with the email. Today he leaves town for ten days and I won't have contact with him, and I am looking forward to having that space to think further. There was originally an element within my being friendly to him that I admit to wanting to "help" him because he seemed so seriously depressed. But not by being his therapist or telling him to get therapy, but more by being a voice in the wilderness, a sort of connection. I felt this way because I saw/see him as being really seriously clinically depressed (I am not a clinician but have had some training because of my thesis and he has many of the outward symptoms).

Well, anyway, for good or for bad, I solved some things this week, and not by being the black and white, hardnosed, pragmatic "break-it-off-NOW" person I always hear myself telling other people to be on this site! I guess that may have been a stage. But it is very strange, in accepting that he won't change and not caring if he does or not, I seem to have forgiven him.

Sharon, I answered a personal ad! I've never done that before! I thought of you! I had a really good entertaining time (even though I am not that interested in starting anything - it was just for fun). I always thought that was risky behavior, but it was my favorite thing: pragmatic! When Brazilians feel bad about something, they "distract themselves." They go out, they do something with friends, they go out with someone else, they go out and enjoy nature. They always offer to distract a friend who is suffering. I think this is something I will borrow from the culture! I have always indulged in bad blocking or ruminative habits.

So I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Love, Perdida

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Friday, June 29, 2001

HI Karin,

If you are cracking up, you are so funny while cracked up! I loved the part about letting the toothbrush run and taking the drawstring out of the pants. I loved your list of things you get to do now that the impediment to your happiness is no longer in the house. (sorry, there I go again being black and white...) I was sad for your child but that was a very poignant observation, that he hasn't asked for his dad. Anyway, you are not cracking up at all, you are on the road to becoming sane! Trust me, us and yourself: IT GETS BETTER, every single day, starting immediately. Some days you can't see it, but it really does. Keep using this site!

Steve, I had a dog for 15 years, and then she passed away. I still carry photos of her even though she died in 1996. I use her birthday for my PIN number. I remember her in so many ways and as soon as I can have a dog again, I will scour all the Golden Retriever litters for her reincarnation! People who don't love dogs will think I am totally insane. But you might understand!

Steve, can you not have your dog in your apartment with you? Is there a reason like that why Asha has the dog? If it were me, I would want to spend every possible moment I had with the dog considering its age and health problems. Sometimes people just don't understand that, but I do, Steve. My dog passed away naturally at home. Nothing in my life, including my experience with the recent ex, has EVER been as painful as losing that dog. NOT EVEN CLOSE. I guess that doesn't say much for my relationships with humans! The point of all this is, if the dog is yours, try to work it out with Asha so that you have the dog with you for its remaining time here. At least share custody somehow!

Love, Perdida

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Dear Perdida,

Sounds like the culture over there isn't much different than the USA. And they even have personal ads!! Do you think you'll put your own ad in? I have met some winners and sadly, some real losers through this ad business. However, it has kept me distracted LOTS and my phone rings alot. I play it safe and not let people know where I live. But yes, I know what you mean. Distraction is good. If I didn't have a distraction -- I'd be like Dr. Psycho -- perched by my front window sitting in a chair watching the cars and everyone go by! Giggle!

Hugs, Sharon

PS - BTW -- I'm doing TONS better. Still walking lots, sleep pattern still a little weird, and I have my appetite back though I'm making better choices in eating. 16 lbs. more to work off! I see Dr. Psycho occasionally since we live so close - however, I just turn my head. He stared me down last night - but I turned my head first - as if to say - 'YUK'!! You sound like you are doing better as well. That's great!

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi All,

I don't have alot of time but I do want to share this with all of you as it is vital to all of our recoveries.

You probably already get it: What is happening in victim/abuser relationships - there is a vast competition for energy, thus power, control.

We each have energy sources. Though some of us are broken inside and don't know how to tap into our own energy sources (acceptance of our talents and abilities to survive on our own, to handle any situation with courage, if only we'd face this)

When another person isn't tapped into their energy source they feel empty so what do they do?

They try to steal another persons energy. They do this by putting the other down, making this person (victim) feel bad about themselves, they control this person. Eventually this person gives over their mind to the ABUSER, they no longer trust themselves.

When someone dominates/controls you physically they take away your mind. They steal the victims energy to feel okay. Though they never feel full so they keep on stealing until you feel drained.

They get this energy by following a strategy that works well for their theft of your energy.

They may use this strategy:

*Pretend to be helping you, be-friend you, be all nice and make you feel they will protect you and RUN your life for you. To a victim who is so unsure this is seen as a GOD SEND.

*Then this person who you thought was so good and who you let run your life, your thinking etc, starts to find something wrong with you, or what you are doing, this is when your energy starts to get depleted.

*This subtle undermines your confidence (your trust in yourself) You faith in your own ability to handle things. I am not talking here about asking for support in things you are weak in such as building work. I am talking about everyday general things you once did well. Though your abuser led you to believe you did these things wrong, since you didn't do it their way.

You end up taking on the abusers views. In fact you take on another form of their life. You don't have your own anymore since you gave it up. So you know now why you feel so drained. YOU GAVE YOUR RIGHT TO LIVE AWAY.

How can you get back your energy supplies and live happily and fulfilled?

You can start by not buying into criticism and accepting you are really okay. You are just shaken because you know the abuser is looking over your shoulder constantly putting you down.

Have faith my child you can regain all your strength and power. What you have to do is get to know yourself, the things you do. The habits you've picked up to survive and replace them with other habits.

You are full of anxiety it shows in your every dealing. You are so afraid of other people, what they might think, that they might not like you that you stop realising the beauty within you.

The light that shines in you that includes all your talents, all the things you used to be able to do with ease. Start to do them again and PRAISE yourself, start up doing things that bring you joy.

Start to see the things you do when you are anxious/fearful, do you talk non stop? Do you people please? Do you try to argue others views? Do you worry if you can't stop others believing things and having their own views yours are invalid?

Accept others right to make choices, stop judging how they use their energy/choices of how to use their energy is their business not yours.

Start to see how wonderful you are, accept your mistakes and look at what you did and change the things that don't work. They are all linked to anxiety and you will know which they are when you feel anxious, overwhelmed, and feel drained after doing them. You feel used when you've done them.

May God bless you. Please remember God sends all you ever need, you don't need a person tearing you down. BUILD yourself back up as above. GET INTO THERAPY IF YOU NEED HELP DOING THIS.

Love Theressa

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hello all, Asha here

As for my "denial" - I repeat - "If you say it, it's about you... if I do it or say it, only *then* am I responsible for it."

Or, a shorter saying - "What you think about me, is none of my business".

No point in trying to "make" someone understand. For my own sake, I just have to be at peace with me.

Just to clarify my tone here because it's hard to do with text - I am not angry, not surprised, but I am disappointed that Steve still reads me so inaccurately. However, I know that that's not for me to deal with.

As for the dog, I sure saw that scenario in a completely different way. I hope this doesn't come across as "explaining" or "justifying" but I would like to clarify and give my take. I'm sure the doc will point it out if I've gone too far. STOP! Not necessary and you take it to places you needn't. Bottom line: You were anxious and were over reacting... The reality is it's Steve's dog, no matter where he sleeps... You were out of your Center and Steve didn't have the skills to help you get yourself back inside your boundaries.

Anybody who knows me knows beyond any doubt that I love dogs. The dog was making this awful shrieking noise and doubling over in pain. I couldn't stand to see him that way. I wanted to call the vet to find out what was going on - I am less sure than Steve that we, with our lack of veterinary training, could know that the dog was having strokes. Also, if there was something we could do to help the dog through this or ease his pain, I really wanted to know. I couldn't understand why Steve had such a problem with me calling the vet. I had told Steve - and maybe this is partly what upset him - that it's my viewpoint that if an animal is feeling pain too much of the time and there is no prospect of recovery, the kindest thing is to euthanize. *But*, it wasn't my suggestion to euthanize the dog, just to find out more about the problem. Steve's dog is not my responsibility anyways because he's not my dog.

The reason I wanted to call the vet in the first place (having said that the dog isn't my responsibility) is because *I* have a very low tolerance level to watch an animal suffering and *I* could not bear to see this. (I was the one up at 5 a.m. holding the dog and sitting with him while he shrieked in pain.) *My* solution to deal with my feelings is to get information, so that *I* don't feel so helpless. I empathize *very much* with the dog's pain. Talking to a vet gives me a sense of level-ness - then I have some idea about what's going on, and what to do about it.

I wasn't saying that Steve was a "bad person" at all, but I was totally perplexed at why he objected to one simple phone call. I told him I would pay for a vet even. I had no idea what was going on in Steve's mind at that time. I wasn't "angry" as Steve believes I was; I was concerned and very bothered about the dog's pain and perplexed at Steve's reaction. This was nothing to do with Steve, and everything to do with how *I* felt about the dog's pain.

I did feel Steve was taking what I said personally, and there was nothing I could do about that. But I found the driving off with the kids and the dog to be very unsettling. He was going to drive away without even giving me the opportunity to say goodbye to the dog, and I was very upset by this. He wouldn't look at me when I wanted to talk to him.

I had offered earlier to take him and the kids for dinner because it was Father's Day. The last time they drove away, the kids said to me "we came back because you were going to take us all for dinner for Father's Day..." They looked at me for some kind of answer and I said I didn't know what was going on. They shrugged and got ready to go. In retrospect I wish I had given them an answer that made them feel more secure, but I really didn't know what to say at the time. I feel that this is very unstable for them, and I don't want to be involved in this stuff anymore. And I know it is *my* responsibility for having put myself in the situation in the first place and *my* responsibility to decide what to do about it for the future.

What I would have hoped for, in a perfect world, would have been to discuss the situation like adults; him telling me why he was uncomfortable with calling the vet and me telling him why I thought it was important. *But* to do this you need trust and respect, and - I think - a willingness to see things from the other viewpoint. Whether we could have come to mutual decision, I don't know. But in a healthy relationship, I think that a desire to communicate and to understand and attempt to resolve issues is certainly a goal. If I were to be in a relationship again, it would be crucial.

Steve, when you say "I didn't want him to die in a sterile clinic" it seems as though you felt that that's what taking him to the vet would mean. Taking the dog to the vet doesn't mean you give up your right to choose what to do about it. In my view it gives you a broader range of options.

"I kept hoping Asha would back off...Like "how dare you leave when I'm not finished with you"... She had no regard or compassion for what I was going through with my dog. Her needs had to be met first."  

I don't think it will help to explain my feelings here, so I won't. I am entirely misunderstood, and this is where I just give up. I repeat: "What you say about me is about you..." "What you think about me is none of my business"

If someone really wants to understand me, I think they will look deeper.

Asha  (Trubble did the strikethrough. Giggle.)

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi Everyone,

I just had a "light bulb moment" when I was scrolling through the post I typed to AJ about wrestling with the demon or devil. I held a mirror up to that....YIKES....That demon is inside of me. WOW! Giggle. Yes! Always! When I take all my energy and fight the reality then I am just fighting against myself. I am thinking that I need to take that energy to find inner peace instead. So, when my husband comes up (which is not necessarily nice of me to label him as devil or demon by the way then I am just anticipating evil deeds). I can start thinking in my own good will.....I am not sure how to finish this thought here. I just got stuck.....So I will finish this later after I think it out.

BTW my husband does usually come up with an agenda or he lies so much lately I am starting to feel like he believes his own lies. As I get to know mySelf, and start trusting mySelf to be able to protect mySelf or my boundaries then I guess I won't take his agenda to be so threatening.

Little by little.....step by step ;)

LisaMM

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Friday, June 29, 2001

HI Steve and Asha,

As Trubble would say, "Ooops!" When talking about Steve's dog, I mixed Asha up with Steve's ex to whom he referred, and I see now that "Asha" and "ex" are two different people. Doh! I knew that. Sorry!

blushingly, Perdida Giggle!

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Friday, June 29, 2001

PS - controlling visitation rights to the doggie didn't sound at all like Asha... ok I will let it go now... Perdida

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Theressa,

Thank you again! I think you have a true gift in relating to people. I could relate to that same incident with the toast. In fact, I just thought back to why I may do that same thing. My mom use to do everything for me. I would try to make my own toast. When I asked her a question like that she would come over and finish making my toast. I lost out in an opportunity to learn how to make toast. Oh, my 9 year old son does that same thing. When the toast is burnt he says, "Momma you told me...." I then say, "Well, next time don't ask me just figure it out. That way it's not my fault your burn the toast next time." In fact, now with my son, when he asks me a question I tell him "I believe in you to be able to figure it out on your own."

Wow...Bells and Whistles just keep going off. Theressa I can not thank you enough for all the valuable information that you post here. You have done some very hard work on yourSelf and it really shows.

I am just learning to accept all these lessons as opportunities to grow. I know this is good for me. Then I will pass these same lessons down to my children by example. I am going to teach them to believe in themselves. I can see why I was having such a difficult time because I still need to learn how to walk the talk.

:) Thanks again!

LisaMM

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi all! Kathy here.

Thank you Theressa for posting over and over reminders that God really is there for me.

I think part of the anxiety and fear that affects me is from trying to do and control everything instead of "letting go and letting God". Maybe I should turn that into my mantra!

My van is finally fixed and lucky for me it coincides with payday (God at work) and the guy who fixed it had it for 3 days and replaced a bunch of stuff but only charged me $75 for labor and his cost on the parts (God at work again).

My daughter came home from her friend's house where she moved (for the summer) after turning 18. She has been a nightmare to live with and it was very relaxing being home without her there for the past 10 days. I notice that I've been in an annoyed state since she got back. She is supposed to leave sometime today to go back.

Yesterday she made all kinds of accusations toward me that I never did anything for her when she had a drug & alcohol problem and I never asked her how she was...etc. She cannot accept any responsibility for any of her stuff. Detach, detach, detach - I keep telling myself.

Actually, I suspected her drug use (at age 13) and took her to a very well-known rehab center for evaluation. What a great counselor - he did no physical testing, only talked to her - told me and my ex that "she is fairly naive when it comes to drugs and alcohol and that all her problems stem from the divorce and her mother having a boyfriend". Talk about heaping the guilt on me....

Then my ex used to tell her "this is all your mother's fault, this is what she wanted" when she was having problems and I asked him to spend some time with her.

She later admitted that she was using LSD and taking some prescription drugs like darvocet. Who knows what else she was involved in.

All in the past....I did the best I could. She is 18 now and I cannot help her because she doesn't want help. Detach...detach....detach.

Jay...I hope you're doing well today. I think of you often since our situations are similar with our daughters.

Theressa...thanks again for your reminders that God is there! Sometimes I get immersed in my own anxiety that I forget that he's there and that I can learn from the situations that he puts me in.

LisaMM...you sound well into recovery! Congrats!

Have a good weekend!

Kathy

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi Asha,

I hope I didn't contribute to your confusion by temporarily confusing you with Steve's ex. I think you did absolutely the right thing regarding the dog and your questions about the dog's health care.

Along with everything else Steve has going on, i.e. losing you and dealing with those issues, facing the mortality of the dog, and losing that friendship too, is a major stressor, which I am sure you know. The interaction which you've related that didn't go so well may have had everything to do with the fact that the dog (what IS the dog's name by the way?) isn't going to live forever; is elderly and in poor health, and not under Steve's care 100% of the time. I guess I am explaining and I don't want to be excusing. Anyway, maybe Steve was dealing with extra shots of pain and guilt unrelated to you or anything that you said or did.

Asha, you are still the loving, introspective and levelheaded person we know on the site. Like you said, it isn't about you.

Love, Perdida

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Friday, June 29, 2001

dear doc, ten years with a histrionic person can really put a damper on things ,my life has been a lie ten years gone. my children?? are they realy mine? always an excuse . always a lie ,she was so good at covering up. a whole group of oddball friends who would cover up for each other. all with serious relationship problems.t his has drained every aspect of my person. the demands upon me were trematic.i tried but failed, under a barrage of critesisum, I not hold my life...my lie together..i am tring to heel my broken self esteem . Tim OK. Start by getting yourSelf out of the Pity Pot!

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi all, Oh boy can I go back in time please to when I didn't have to see all the junk in my life. Alternatively could I fast forward over our wedding anniversary which Jake informs me it would be totally inappropriate to celebrate , He is right, probably; but why do I feel so rejected ( guess because it was a rejection!) i have been feeling a bit better but I just want tomorrow not to be,,,,U suggested we just celebrated the good in our kids and the good times we once had but he just turned the radio up.........he really seems to have me now....thanks to the people who have replied ..I was feeling better but now I feel worse ,,,why woh why........jay  :(

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Friday, June 29, 2001

No Perdida - you didn't contribute to my confusion.

And I do understand the points you mentioned about Steve. I just don't like that he focuses on getting me to 'admit denial'. However, he has the free will to say or do whatever he wants, and at least I know his honest perspective on things.

But... it's sure not helping to form any healing bonds with me.

BTW, the kids are coming to visit Steve for a month and now there is the question of whether to bring the dog...(no Steve can't have the dog in his apartment.)

I don't know what to do. The dog, among many other things, keeps us enmeshed. On one hand, when the dog stays at my place it gets more attention and care because I work from home. I feel this is kinder for the dog because the kids' mom is not home that much and probably wouldn't be there to do anything if he's in pain. Also, Steve and the kids could see the dog more and these may be its final days.

On the other hand, if the dog goes through more of these attacks, I'll be the one doing the caretaking, and without any authority to medicate or do anything about the dog's pain, I don't know if I can handle it. Plus it means the kids and Steve will be over here a lot, and I would be risking the same types of scenarios all over again.

Any constructive advice would be appreciated. 

thanks

Asha

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Steve here

LisaMM, much of what you said (post starting with "I don't want to be tossing kitty litter around here ...") could have come out of my mouth. This morning, I had an awesome post ready to go, and foolishly didn't have it in a word processor. I had forgotten the strange gremlins on Irene's site. Microsoft Frontpage indeed! Give me Linux anytime - please! Ooops! Sorry Steve! 

Anyways, Imo, you are very perceptive LisaMM. You are going to breeze through this stuff. I wish I could've seen so clearly so quickly.

Karin: Asha should understand attachment to dogs. Of all people, she should.

Perdida: Glad to see you got it clear now. Hehe. I was going to explain that this morning when my post went puff!

Asha said: "*My* solution to deal with my feelings is to get information, so that *I* don't feel so helpless. I empathize *very much* with the dog's pain. Talking to a vet gives me a sense of level-ness - then I have some idea about what's going on, and what to do about it."

Great. That's your solution. It works for you. I've been around vets (my dogs regular vet used to be my next-door neighbor and I saw and learned a lot from him and his wife) and I know the routine. I know what they say about a dog that's almost 20 years old. And when my x called him, he said exactly what he always says. The obvious common sense thing. I said to Asha, "it looks like mini-strokes". 2 days later the vet said, "it's probably mini-strokes".

I knew this, but Asha didn't seem to want to give this to me. This is where I begin to feel controlled. The  loss of control is in your inability to assert your position firmly and calmly.

It wasn't about me objecting to a phone call. It was about me being free. Just free to see life as it comes to me. I can't be like Asha. Why do I feel Trubble getting ready to strikethrough again?

Asha (speaking of my kids): "In retrospect I wish I had given them an answer that made them feel more secure, but I really didn't know what to say at the time. I feel that this is very unstable for them, and I don't want to be involved in this stuff anymore."

They are fine with this stuff Asha. They understand that adults don't always see eye to eye. Maybe you could give them a little more credit. They are getting older and smarter every day.

I'm ok with you not wanting to be involved.

Asha: "What I would have hoped for, in a perfect world, would have been to discuss the situation like adults; him telling me why he was uncomfortable with calling the vet and me telling him why I thought it was important. *But* to do this you need trust and respect, and - I think - a willingness to see things from the other viewpoint. Whether we could have come to mutual decision, I don't know. But in a healthy relationship, I think that a desire to communicate and to understand and attempt to resolve issues is certainly a goal. If I were to be in a relationship again, it would be crucial."

This works both ways, and both parties need to take part. I agree with you.

Asha: "I am entirely misunderstood, and this is where I just give up. I repeat: "What you say about me is about you..." "What you think about me is none of my business"

Not always. Sometimes, this kind of thinking is a good garden for denial to flower in.

Just my opinion - after living it.

Steve

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Friday, June 29, 2001

Hi all, Kathy here.

Well the perfect ending to a perfectly awful week.

Saw my brother at the store this evening. He's not talking to me or our mom - he actually hangs out with my ex-husband, his best buddy. I'm sure they make fun of me and my mom when they're together. I know, I know, I shouldn't let this bother me but for some reason, it does.

Tonight he said hello to me, to which I replied that he better watch out, he might get hit by lightening for talking to me.

Very ironic that I have been chatting online with two of my other brothers this week. Before that, I hadn't really talked with them since Christmas. Then tonight I see my other brother at the store. One more brother left that I haven't seen since Christmas. He has a bunch of problems - I believe they are drug and alcohol related. He is homeless for the most part and steals from anyone who lets them in their house.

OK, Theressa - what is the message here? I'm thinking God wants me to spend some time with my family. Very strange how things go.

Jay - Sorry you're feeling down about your anniversary. Why don't you bake a cake anyway and see what happens!! Invite your friends over if Jake won't have any.

Kathy

 

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Saturday, June 30, 2001

Dear catbox people...I just found this site today after entering "Verbal Abuse" on my web search. I was so excited to read all of the help and concern coming from you all. I haven't had time to post my story ( nine years of crazy-making ) but I do have a quick question that I was wondering if someone could take the time to comment on? I am in the process of reading "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" and it's a Godsend. My husband and I have been separated for 2 years and I have all the feelings of..."if only he would do thus and so" and "doesn't he love me enough to just try?" My question is: even tho' I know that it is over and he's an extremely abusive angry man...would if I divorce him and give up the hope of us being together and then he meets some other woman and "wakes up" and becomes the warm loving man I wished he'd have been with me? There's a small part of me that still believes him when he accuses me of being the "problem" in our relationship. Even tho' as I was reading Patricia Evans' book I saw myself literally on every page. As someone else on this site said, she started underlining the parts that applied in red but it was all RED! Well my color was green, but same thing. I understand if I don't hear from any of you, I don't know how big this board is and I'm kinda new to writing on boards but even if I don't get a reply at least I got to put my feelings into words and mull them over. Thanx all! My name is Becky too so I guess I'll call myself Becky from Seattle .Thanx again for the great site!  It's bookmarked for sure !Thank you BeckyFS!

 

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Saturday, June 30, 2001

Becky from Seattle,

Hi and Welcome. Isn't this a relief that your not crazy! I was married 9 years also before it got to this point. I swear it must be magic number. My husband's alcoholism peaked this year too. It changed who he was.

I can tell you from struggling with that same question about if you let them go and then they go get "healed" with someone else. Well, I am finding then that is what the universe had planned for him. I had a friend in Al-anon tell me a story about her husband attending AA and she saw him one day just hugging and making friends. He looked and felt better but she wasn't getting any credit for sticking around. In fact, now that he felt better he had things he wanted to do. So it kind of goes with the territory of codependency. You give and give but in reality you have to give and not expect anything in return. It's heartbreaking to give and always assume they would do the same. Now, that I have checked a couple of times with my husband, he is not going to admit he did anything wrong, and do the necessary steps. He did at first but now this last 6 months he has been trying to turn it all around that he is divorcing me because "I berated him, and abused him." Which was "telling" him that I would not accept any more abusive behavior and say "STOP" when he crossed a boundary line. He says it's abusive, and he feels as though I am controlling him. He says, "What you have done to me can not be repaired." Because I told other people and reached out for support. Now, he is running around trying to do damage control instead of getting the help he needs to change. Again, this is his choice.

I promise you that if you just turn all that energy into figuring out why you would want to stay with someone that hurts you this way then you would be using your energy more wisely. I wasted so much time and energy trying to "fix" my husband and worried about his well-being. If I had stayed focused on healing myself then I would feel stronger and probably would not tolerate what he has been doing lately. I am getting there. Believe me I have done a lot. It takes time. Just "Let Go" and learn the art of disengaging. It's a lifesaver. Read Patricia Evans follow up book: "Survivor's of Verbal Abuse Speak Out." I loved it!

Keep coming here. Vent and get that validation. It really helps.

Take Care,

LisaMM

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Saturday, June 30, 2001

I am going to lean hard on the catbox today! I understand from Trubble it is unbreakable - he told me that when he visited....

I guess the thing that sucks most is it is actually out silver wedding anniversary- I had forgotten that completely - not that we were ever into parties much- in the past we would just have gone for a meal ....but it sucks that it is this day - we are still in the same house and he is clearly not giving any at all.. I tried saying 'good morning' just now and hot a totally sneering reply - at least I think it was Just 'good morning Jay' but the way he said it gives me little hope for anything......

HKK and I will just try and have the best day we can ....HI to the new people again . I wish I had the energy to make some replies but I still don't just now. Focusing on me is really hard ....I do refuse however to have bad day memories so I will do what I can to have a reasonable day despite the pain....Jay

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Saturday, June 30, 2001

Good Morning; So many new people on the site besides me. I am having trouble keeping everyone straight, but I think it will get easier in time. Lisa; I read some posts back and found one that you wrote that really hit home for me. You wanted to know when you stop worrying about whether or not your husband will change. I guess deep down, when we finally find the courage and physically separate from a drinker, (abuser, addict, or any dangerous person) we hope that will be what it takes for them to change. I know that I hope sometimes that M. will decide that he needs to seek help for his alcoholism. After all, he always admitted that he is an alcoholic, he did make small stabs at getting help (A.A., antabuse, buspar) so I would think that having the police remove him, losing it all, staying drunk for a week, blacking out & missing work, and most of all, not being with his son would make him see things differently. But if you recall, when he came to visit he told me he was no longer sure that he does have a drinking problem. Apparently being with other drunks full time has some very comforting advantages that I didn't see from my (very sober) perspective. So when do I begin to feel that peace from the worry  that he WON'T change? I want so much for him to get better. I know that I can't make it happen. I think that most posts that I read here make it pretty obvious that most people accept that. So, Lisa, how do we turn off the caring switch and get beyond wanting it to happen? M. was here Thursday and told me that he would be back Friday. The entire visit, he tried to get me to reassure him that even though he isn;t living here, we will still be a couple, exclusive to each other, that he loves us and doesn't consider this a break up. Lots of people that are couples don't live together. M. wants to spend time here, spend time with little M. and do things together. Now, the more I think about that arrangement, the less advantage I see in it for me. M. will store things here, have his son safe and well cared for in a comfortable home, he wants to continue to get mail here (he's concerned that his family will steal/lose it, which has happened before) leave most of his clothes here (same concern as the mail, same past experiences) and spend the night from time to time. I won't even be able to reach him if little M. had an emergency. He goes from job site to site, and no one at his sister's house is going to give him a message. I certainly wouldn't stop over there (once I refused to allow people to drink here, they never came back. If I wouldn't "loan" them money anymore, I was a selfish b!@#$%,when they kept calling drunk at all hours and made physical threats to me, I blocked the phone numbers out. Then I was a stuck up B!@#$. It goes on, but all of you get the picture) So I have no way of contacting M. And last night, he didn't show up. I told him when he left that I don't want him here once he has been drinking. He is only welcome sober. He called me at 4:00 pm and left a message that "it's too late. I started drinking. I don't know what to do about this (His drinking or the fact that I won't let him come here drunk?) Maybe I'll see you tomorrow (then again, I decided, maybe he won't!) I really do love you, though." I went on and had a nice evening with the kids. Took little M. in the pool, which he loves and is a riot to watch. I couldn't help thinking that it's a shame his dad couldn't get the same "high" off of that that I get. I let my oldest have her friend spend the night. I didn't allow much of that when M. was here. (What if he came home drunk and she had a friend here? What if he made one of his big loud, slurred scenes? I never knew when that could happen.) She had a grand time. The run of the house (no hiding out in hr room, like the other times we tried it) popcorn, night swimming, a new release "chick flick", the works. But I still feel sad that the first weekend he was away, he chose to go drink. So again, how does one turn off that hurt? I am proud of myself, because I didn't let it tear me up. I did go ahead and enjoy the kids and the weather. I refused to dwell on the fact. But now it's tomorrow, and I don't even want to take a call from M. I do give him credit (not much but a little) for calling so early and saying that he wouldn't be here. But in his mind, does that let him off the hook? (Probably. It's the most responsible, courteous thing he's done in weeks!) Again, I see no advantage to remaining a couple. (He apparently defines couple by a different standard than the one I do.) So, how do I not care about his choices? I know that I no longer wanted him here to wreck the peace. How do I take away his power to ruin my peace when he ISN'T here? I know that nothing should be done in haste, but I believe that the next step to this is to tell M. that this arrangement doesn't work for me, and he should call me, if and when he goes to get help (not when he's thinking about it, or to ask where to go for help, but once he has actually made a concrete step to receive help.) I am not going to be his KARIN STORES-A-LOT, his mail box, and his child's nanny, waiting here with his darling little boy for daddy to sober up and make time to visit. But all in good time. (Baby steps...right?) Sorry so long, but this is my vent spot. Until next week at al-anon, this is my only vent spot. Wishing you all a good weekend and telling you that you sound stronger in your posts than you may feel. Karin  You too Karin.

 

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