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Comments for Catbox 47

Comments for Catbox 47

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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46 as edited as it gets

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Friday, July 13, 2001

Hey Doc you thought it was okay that I went out to see my ex on the Fourth of July because it put into perspective that he hasn't changed (basically the adage leopards can't change their spots comes to mind). You also felt that I shouldn't tell my current significant about my visit. I decided you were right and didn't say anything. That sort of backfired though. "That" backfired? Hmmmm...

He and I went out to dinner Monday and then he suggested that we take a drive. He said he's never been to this little village and wanted to go out there. The village was the same as where my ex resides. Now since we would be getting out there at about 8:30 or 9:00 in the evening, I figured it would be "safe" - my ex would either still be working two towns over or he'd already be home. If you took responsibility for yourSelf, you would probably not have taken your friend to this town! You took a risk, and lost. Deal with it, cuz you can't have it both ways.  Even though the village is more or less one street long, there are enough people that running into someone, unless planned, just wouldn't happen. Or so I thought. As we're entering the village, someone starts to cross the street right in front of my car. I almost him. Of all the people on the darn street and in the entire village, it's my ex. I'm so shaken up over almost hitting somebody that I pull the car over. He thinks I want to talk and comes over to the car. Of course now introductions are in order, as is small talk for a few minutes. When we pull away, my current asks me how I know the other guy. I tell him that he was my ex, which got him upset because the last time we'd spoken of him, I told him I had no idea where he was, which was true. He's thinking that not only have I known all along, but when we stopped at a gas station so he could use the men's room, that I actually called the idiot. He got that impression because when he came out of the men's room, I was trying to adjust my cellular on it's holder (it's law here that you must have a headset when driving and all the wires were tangled up). Anyway, I came clean with everything - how he called me at such an ungodly hour in the morning, how he hasn't changed, how he twice offered me his phone number and that I still didn't have it because I chose not to accept it.

I honestly don't know if I saw anger in his eyes, or if it was jealousy. Doesn't matter. It's not your eyes - and he's entitled to feel whatever he feels; not your issue, unless you make it yours. Anger I could understand to a degree since we've always been honest with each other about everything and this was, to him at least, a betrayal of trust. I can't see him being jealous, especially since he knows my history with the guy. But when I told one of my friends, who was married to his brother (I introduced them when he & I were together because I thought he was so great, too - boy can I pick 'em), she seemed to think that my current was showing signs of jealousy because he knew that thirteen years ago I met and fell in love with that man and we spent seven years together and now here it is six years after we broke up, I'm running to him the minute he calls.

Once he calmed down, we had a wonderful evening. We even considered taking the ferry which would bring us to the casinos, but decided to save that for a day when we had more than just a few hours, like maybe for my birthday at the end of this month.

I am so confused. I am not married, nor are we talking marriage. Doesn't that give me the right to choose whom I see and when? It's not as if my ex and I got together and had sex "for old times sake". We visited; and when the fireworks were cancelled, I left, period the end. Why am I feeling so guilty? Do I need to go back and reread Co-Dependent No More? And why is it that only when my ex is involved to I have these weird feelings? Two steps forward, three back

Thanks again for letting me unload

kris

 

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Friday, July 13, 2001

Good Morning Cats,

As I'm getting ready for work this morning, I read one of my "daily affirmations" that I posted on my mirror. This was given to me by a dear friend. I thought it might be nice to share, because it's gotten me through many mornings. I don't know who the author is, but these are wise words. Guys...substitute woman for man. These words apply to everyone.

Peace,

L

"A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape... but a woman of strength looks deep inside to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything... but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her... but a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future... but a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure-footedly... but a woman of strength knows when to ask for help.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face... but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey... but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong. "

Dear L, Thank you; good stuff! Since this material is no doubt copy written, if you send me the source material, I will credit the author.

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Friday, July 13, 2001

Uh...I meant guys substitute man for woman. Need another cup of caffeine. Giggle!

L

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Friday, July 13, 2001

LisaMM - You go! Someone told me the other day in a post (see above) that these things are slippery - they sure are! I was encouraged by reading your post - when I hear about other's setting boundaries I feel that I can do it too. I am amazed at the unbelievable and immediate behavior flopping I see in my H and read about in other's partners. For so long I thought I was doing something to cause my H's 'grouchiness' that I would have never believed that simply setting boundaries and sticking to them would result in a change in his behavior. I started setting boundaries only about 5 days ago. So he's still behaving himself. I saw him struggle with himself a few times yesterday - he didn't go there so I know he is still being very cautious. I am delighted to find that my behavior change has caused a corresponding change in him - for now. I am even more delighted that my behavior change has made me feel so much better. This morning he apologized for being a jerk. I wasn't sure what to say - so I just said that I was sure that he was working on it and would improve. Trust level at almost 0 - love him, but not the way I always wanted things to be. I thought we were to be equals, yoked together, going somewhere we both wanted. I guess this is not the case. I feel hope that even if we aren't going to have my "ideal marriage" ( which was probably unrealistic) at least I won't be cowering around and feeling depressed and stressed, showing fear and hurt to attempt to communicate boundaries. It's so much easier on me to be clear. I have to laugh at myself. It seems so simple right now. I know it's very early in the game, as we move on I will have to watch myself so I don't revert. Vigilance! My battle cry. ;)

Mae

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Friday, July 13, 2001

Hey Cats,

Kris, I was a little uncomfortable with your guy's reaction. You should not be suffering pangs of guilt - you're not in a committed relationship, and you told the truth. What you told him in the beginning was all you needed to - the whole 4th was really none of his business, but when he asked you were truthful. That's all you need to do. If he drops it, great. If you hear about it again from him, more than once, or if he is unreasonable, then you might want to suspect you're with the same kid of guy as your ex! Sorry about that! But where was the new guy on the 4th, anyway? What does he expect you to do, stay at home and wait for him? Anyway, you got what YOU needed out of your 4th of July, fireworks and a useful reality check, so let your reason overcome your guilt! Yes.

L, what a great affirmation. I printed it out!

Happy Friday! Perdida

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Friday, July 13, 2001

Mae,

I love your Battle Cry! Vigilance! It is such a relief to learn that I had the power all this time. I have a lot of practice to do. I hope over time it will become automatic to set the limits. I am becoming more in touch with my feelings. I have noticed that I am starting to feel better already just by knowing that his behavior has nothing to do with me but how he feels inside. He has choices in how he chooses to behave. It is his responsibility to choose right or wrong. When he chooses to behave inappropriately then he has no one to blame but himself.

I make my own choices to live with integrity, love, and respect for myself and others. I do this in how I choose to behave in the world. I am not perfect. I am just doing the best that I can humanly possible. That is okay with ME. If I make mistakes it's okay. In this acceptance of myself I am able to forgive other people for being human and making mistakes too. I feel more relaxed around other people while they are talking and expressing themselves. I see it from a completely different perspective. I am not thinking "OH, my gosh what if I say something they don't agree with? Will they still like me?". My shame and guilt is diminishing.

As far as my husband.....Boy, he is one tough cookie. I am setting boundaries and he is having a difficult time understanding that I am not trying to control him. He really thinks that he is entitled to dump his blame and responsibility on me. In fact, yesterday he was just furious that I would "not listen" to him blame me. I am starting to get a little worried about his ability to cope with this? He was on the phone in the car just frustrated and angry. I just keep repeating myself over and over like a broken record. He gets agitated, yells, and hangs up (then calls me back). At a certain point I stopped answering the phone because he yelled "Just shut your mouth and listen!" I keep saying over and over "I am listening. I don't agree." Then he starts getting angry. I asked him "Greg, I thought you said you were not angry? Why does it bother you that I don't agree? Are you telling me what I should think?" I got "Shut up and Listen! God if you would just SHUT UP and LISTEN!" (Dr. Irene am I missing something here?) Can't tell. He's too angry. When he's calm, tell him you will listen when he can relate calmly.

Sometimes I wonder in the back of my head "What if he gets so angry he comes back and retaliates?" I have this incredible fear that he will actually just snap. I have a plan in place just in case. I try not to spend too much time worrying about it. It is in the back of my head though. Good.

Mae, I felt delighted along with you when you realized you had that power. It's this incredible feeling of relief, and "Wow, Hey, I can do this!" I am glad to hear you take that power back. Good for you!!! It will get easier. It's like a new pair of shoes you have to break in. It's great that your partner is responding to it. It reminds me of a child that is throwing a temper tantrum or feels out of control they almost need you to come in and set limits for them until they can do it themselves. They are just as relieved as you are to know you will stop them when they cross that line.

Mae, I pictured you just skipping around in your new shoes, clicking your heels together in delight! Yipppeeee!

:)

Lisa

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Friday, July 13, 2001

Hi cats,

Theressa and I will be keeping in touch. I think this is a very healthy move for her.

I feel stronger too...just a little more down time and all will be better.

love, Jay

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Friday, July 13, 2001

Perdida thanks again for the support. He did drop it, although I don't know if it's still in the back of his mind. As for where he was on the fourth, I had forgotten that he had an appointment in the morning and he actually called me almost as soon as I arrived to see my ex. My ex offered to take a ride back in to bring him out, but I was uncomfortable with that. After the ex started talking, I was glad that I made that decision.

kris

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Friday, July 13, 2001

This poem is for you, the origin of my pain, the source of my destruction. My life with you is a horror movie, every confrontation begins another grim scene. You lash out in anger and I am your target. You never miss a shot. Now, like a terrified animal, I cower from your touch. At night I lay awake, fearing the torment tomorrow shall bring. Yes, this poem is for you, the destroyer of my dreams, the executioner of my life.

Wow! Who wrote this?

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Friday, July 13, 2001

Hi, cats again! I didn't know we were on catbox 47 and thought I was more up to date than I am.

Oh dear the space bar is crazy again.

Just need to work this through. In 21 years Jake made one friend and that was through me. Now he seems to have made some. I am glad as I think it will 'normalize' him a bit but he announced this morning he would be late back as he was "out with friends.' It is OK with me; but why do I panic he is having an affair or something? He probably isn't but he came back very late Thursday- I think what he is doing is at some music gig...

But he never went out Thursdays with me. That's what bothers you...

OOOOH this is so silly....(on my part). I guess that it is just getting used to something new. He would never expect me to say where I was going....He hasn't just not come home like some men might and it is only 9.05 anyway!!!!!!

I need to sign off and ring a friend, I think and arrange to go out tomorrow...... Good!

(not passive aggression - I need to get out).

Meanwhile I think I am getting over my need for 'down' time.

I feel depressed a lot; but I have been taking St John's Wort so maybe that will kick in very soon........I will read the posts tomorrow.....I hope AJ and Theressa don't disappear forever from the catbox! love, jay I think I missed something. Better go back and read 46 better...

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Friday, July 13, 2001

To whomever wrote the poem "the destroyer of my dreams, the executioner of my life."

Is it possible that you are giving too much power to the other person? Aren't *we* ultimately responsible for our own dreams and lives? Of course Steve! But, what wonderful poetry - poetry that echoes human experience... Giggle! This is after all the CatBox; of course we pull it apart! Blaming others may make it easier to accept a failure in the short term, but in the long run, I think it makes us weak and frightened of the world around us. The world becomes full of danger and we let our own destiny be supplied by others, instead of shaping it ourselves...

Just a thought...

Steve

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Saturday, July 14, 2001

Giggle.. Trubble is at it again I think. The fonts keep changing and now his postbox is at the left side! Trubble, are you having difficulty making your mind up which font to use? Maybe I will leave off posting until a bit later. jay Trubble is in big trubble.  He ate posts (cuz he's being Trout deprived), messed up the site, etc., etc. That's why he wants to be adopted by someone else. Trubble's been living in the DOG House lately, and he thinks it smells!

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Saturday, July 14, 2001

Hi Steve and Other Cats,

I'm intrigued by the anonymous poem because it sounds like it could have been written by an ABUSER. (Pardon me if I am dead wrong!) It sounds like some laments I have heard from my ex, that I destroyed his happiness (by objecting to living in a house with three guys and not having been consulted at all on this choice...). Maybe he wrote it! I would love for him to read and post on this site.  Me too!

I agree that the person writes about giving his/her power away, but we all do that until we are enlightened through reflection, sharing and study. I think that's what abusers never learn NOT to do because they allow the desires of their partners to interfere with their happiness (lose-lose) instead of letting their partners be themselves and have what they want, too, half the time (win-win). They also take the extra step of trying to be sure the partner doesn't get out from under their control so that the winning is doled out per their specifications (win-lose). Nice.

To me, that poem talks about either the misery that precedes getting aware and self-actualized, or the blame and self-pity that an abuser remains mired in and that motivates his/her abuse.

I guess I was right about my ex being mad that I didn't jump up and beg when he called this week, because he has not called again... I would think if a friend really wanted to talk to me they would try again. I suppose he could be thinking the same thing, but I KNOW I'm not sure I want to talk. I've noticed that exes who say they hope we can be "friends" usually aren't really ready to be. I think I have reached a talked-out stage with this, and you are all probably breathing sighs of relief!

Next week, I start a short course of cognitive behavioral therapy and I am really excited. Yippeee!  That "I can stand it" thing was so effective I am wondering what other bad habits I can break in five minutes. (Just joking, Doc, I know it takes a little bit longer... but not much!) Ten minutes!

Have a great weekend!

Love Perdida

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Hi, I just need advice. I feel I have been getting verbally/emotionally abused and I don't know how to handle this anymore. I am 24 years old. If you knew me, you'd know that I have NEVER been one to take crap from anyone, especially men. Yet, I feel like I'm going crazy right now. I have been dating this guy for a year and a half. It was a long distance relationship at first, then he moved to my state to be with me. We lived together with another female roommate (my best friend) for about a year. Our lease was up and I decided that me and him fought too much and decided it was best that I live with my parents for awhile. He wasn't happy about it, but he had no choice in the matter. So he has his own apartment with all my stuff in it, which I don't mind. We both work at the same place (that was one reason why I didn't want to live with him anymore, we were spending WAY to much time together). We fight constantly. And he can't understand why I don't want to live with him. He says that I should think about us (we are in allot of debt) and should look past that we fight so much. When I want to go do things with my other friends, he starts to cry (literally). Allow him to. Don't react. Reassure him once and go do what you were about to do. He tells me I am ignoring him, and that I don't show him enough affection. "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I suppose that's your reality. Have you figured out how you're going to cope with all this?" (Delivery is kind and caring; not sarcastic.) I am getting to the point where I don't want to be around him because all he does is make me feel bad about not living with him or not spending EVERY single day with him or so on and so on. I broke it off with him once, and stupid me, thought he would change. He seemed like he had for about 2 weeks. But it's back to the same crap. He depends on me for EVERYTHING. The man has no credit, so I had to get him transportation under my name. He does pay for it though. His check goes into my account, so I manage all the money. I tell him I am so tired of this but nothing changes. Are you waiting for his permission? Just do what you need to do, and give him to space to deal with it, (give him no choice here.). I want to leave him, but I love him This is love? See Item 24 on codependency here. "We confuse love and empathy/pity and tend to think we "love" people we can pity and rescue."

and I am also scared of all this debt. You should be. I can't survive with out his money, and I think he knows that, and that's how I think he thinks he can get away with treating me like this. I'm just so confused. =( Shannon Shannon, you're not at all confused. You just don't like your reality...

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Monday, July 16, 2001

AH!!!! The catbox is working again. Trubble must be off on his travels though. Trubble is grounded for the day.

Dear Shannon, Hi, I think the first step would be to talk to a debt counselor. Good! Talk to your family too... I would definitely get out of the relationship. I found myself asking 'what relationship.?' anyway. I think you are letting yourself be manipulated by someone else's emotional problems. You can be stronger than that.

Dear Steve, I thought that poem was really negative. It seemed just to be a vent by someone who was hurting and unable to look at things in terms of anything but blame-that can happen to either victim or abuser. Yes... But it's poetry...

I think that if I left a dog with someone there would be the unspoken implication that they would feed, walk and look after it. if I didn't mean that, then I would make it clear what I would still do when I left the dog.

I am now a bit confused. is this still a living dog?

Dear Sharon, I am still puzzled why your posts say so much of sightings of Dr Psycho. Is he stalking you again? Or is it you still need to let go? Giggle!

Dear Kris, Your life is your own. I don't think the new guy has any business worrying about who you see/have seen......ex/s do turn up and it can't be avoided.

Giggle- one of mine, a boyfriend I had when I was 8 years old turned up on my doorstep when I was 22. He had been in Australia all that time ( I am in the UK). Good grief he was just the sort I would never ever go out with and I couldn't stand him.....it was sooo embarrassing...he wouldn't go away and in the end my dad took him for a drink to get him out of my hair.....DUH a boyfriend I ha d when I was 8 thought he had the right to check I f Jake was ok!

Another rather later boyfriend tried that too...what is it with guys that they think going out with you at some point in your life means they have some sort of ownership......???

Makes me feel treated like a dog or cat. the implication is that the guy thinks he was the only good enough 'owner!'

Perdida-don't get too hung up on the therapy - go if it helps but don't if you start to feel worse. You don't sound in need of a therapist. 

Lisa and everyone else how are you? Asha?????

Becky, you sound a load stronger than you think you are. Hugs...

As for me....well I am feeling loads stronger. The down time was really helpful and I started to see how many people do care... Yippeee! Jake is being awful but I am ignoring it....I have taken to praying for him instead; he can't fight that! Giggle!

Even the swollen legs are less swollen.....Now it is time to start sorting life...but I am going to keep looking after me.

love, jay

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Jay,

Just a quick read over.

I want to share something with you:

jay says: this morning he would be late back as he was "out with friends.' It is OK with me;

Theressa says:

I don't believe this, look inside is it really okay? Why I ask is this is how I felt. Why did I feel like this? Well I had to let go and that was painful. JAY this is your neediness. YOU see we each need to be a whole circle on our own. Our own life, as Doc says get a life. Then we have to sit with our needy feelings. Those ones you get when Jake goes out. It feels like a part of you is missing. Yes. Granted he's probably not doing anything to make you feel secure; still, you need not give him so much power...

Why? cuz you have bought into only feeling 100% with Jake. You need to be 100% on your own and Jake on his own.

Then as Robert Burney said to me, you then feel okay when your partner pulls away to live their own life. You are safe enough in yourself. You see the relationship then as supporting each other, and not as you needing Jake to feel whole. Yes...

It is like this if Jake was gone tomorrow you'd still feel secure enough to survive.

The only way to sort this neediness out is to sit with the discomfort for a while. Then slowly start to do things for you when he is not around. AND also start to plan activities when he is around without him.

JAY when you feel heart broken it is YOUR head that needs fixing not your heart. It is what is in our mind (our thoughts about things, our expectations) that make us feel heart broken.

Our heart on the other hand is always truthful if we listen to it. Our feelings/emotions show us what thoughts we have about things in our head.

Such as how things should be etc.

Once you figure out that it is safe when Jake is not around, your neediness will slowly go.

My life has changed allot over this weekend. My partner very bravely said he thought we needed to be alone, and just be friends for a while, there is still are lot of past hurt and things we both need to work on alone. He seems to have difficulty remaining close with you... Part of his stuff to fix...

There is still allot of personal issues we each need to fix. My anxiety is a biggy for me, with everyone and thing in my life.

As Ron told me you need two people that are whole, otherwise you get a parent-child relationship. Yes...

So for the next 12 months we both plan to be friends but work on our selves. I need to fix so much and gain so much balance in my own life.

I've made a decision not to do a course next year. So I am putting my degree on hold for one year. Why? well I feel I need to organise the rest of my life as a priority. Also I need to give Melissa and myself attention. OK!

Maybe after that I will be able to fit in extras such as my degree.

I've cried so much this weekend. Why? because I know how painful living alone not co-dependent is and the pain I still have to go through. And watch your strength multiply as you learn to cope...

It would be so easy to run into my partner's arms and say I AM NEEDY I can't do this alone. BUT I know I must.

The goal is in a years time we will work on the relationship. This year out of the relationship I want to work on being truthful 100% in the hope we can both learn to cope.

I want to become the best I can be and work on my co-dependency traits. :)

So I will pop by the catbox once in a while catch you all later.

Theressa

 

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Hi Cats,

Yesterday morning, the STBX called the kids phone and our son answered. STBX said nothing to his son, other than asking if his sister was there. He checked, and his sister was sleeping, and told his father this. His father just said, oh okay, let her know I called, and hung up.

Yesterday, I was really upset. Thanks to the catbox being "offline", I have sorted through things, and accept this is just what is. While our son says it doesn't bother him (he feels his Dad was emotionally unavailable to him), I cannot understand how someone could be this hurtful to their own children. He is 'punishing' his son for sticking up for his own boundaries, and while he may think he's putting his daughter in the 'favorable' position, she is upset that he is doing this to her brother, who she loves dearly. She has made it clear several times she doesn't want to talk to her father until he gets help. His new hurtful tactics are ultimately destroying what little chance he has of salvaging a relationship with these 2 wonderful individuals. How sad...

I haven't spoken to the STBX since last Thursday. Wednesday he left a message (remorseful tone-Jekyll) that he knows our marriage is over, "we are both victims", and he wanted to get through the divorce quickly. Friday he left another message (angry tone-Hyde) that he is going to contest the divorce and fight me every inch of the way.

Okay...looking back, I should know the pattern. Jekyll/Hyde, rational/irrational. Going forward, I will never allow myself to forget that again. But, I bit....hook, line, and sinker and called him back after the nasty message, asking how can you go from yesterday's message to today's? Mistake... can't rationalize with someone being irrational. And REALITY CHECK. he got what he wanted, a reaction. I called him back thinking we could talk.

No matter how much I try to detach from the situation, he tries another technique. Other than last Thursday, he hasn't been able to pull me in for a couple of weeks. Now he is shifting gears, using our daughter to hurt his son. Reality is, the kids (both teenagers) are very aware of what he is doing, and refuse to buy into it. Good for them!

I felt badly when I typed this yesterday (on notepad as a backup!), that in trying to "rescue" him the last 5 years (anger/alcohol), trying to work things out, and fixing me (no longer enabling), that our children have been hurt more in the long run. This pains me. It pains me that I loved what our family had for so many years, and tried so desperately to fix it, only to have the anger/alcohol beast rear it's ugly head, and the anger on his part destroy the trust as soon as it was back.

I know lots of people work on things for the love of their spouse or significant other. They work to keep the marriage together for what it was, a loving family. That's admirable. But stop looking at what was, and look honestly at what is. I wish I did. I wanted so much for things to be like they were before, and had my own irrational guilt issues, that I was in as much denial as the alcoholic/angry person I was trying to work things out with. I now feel I caused more pain to myself, my children, and even my STBX (because he clearly didn't want to change). It is part of life to make mistakes; we do the best we can at the time we do it. Like most of us, if you could go back knowing what you know now, you would do things differently, OK. Part of life. Be careful you don't dwell on the "mistakes" and let guilt take you down. Pain (realizing the error of your ways) is an inevitable part of life. Suffering (dwelling on it) is optional. Don't go there OK? Feel the pain and let it go. You've got too many other things to do!

Thankfully, through good communication with the kids, they know how much I loved their father, and understand that I had good intentions. But they also saw and hated how he was treating me, and that he only did what was necessary to get back in the door, things would be good for a while, then back to the same old issues.

What I am trying to share here is this. If you suspect you are sticking your head in the sand, do yourself a favor and take it out. Don't take it out, look around, stick it back in, and go through the cycle over and over. I did this for almost 5 years. It may be painful (change always is), but as I once read, "pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional".

Looking forward.. Giggle! Believe it or not, I had not read this when I typed the above... We're on the same page...

L

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Dear Theressa, Hi, I will try to ring this afternoon if I can.

Thanks for your feedback...I think I was trying to work through into the position of trusting that Jake is just not possessive. He has never ever asked me to account for where I am going or have been. I think that it just surprised me he was going out more....I am pretty certain it is to music gigs and that is what I wanted for him.

I am so sorry your weekend was so bad. I think that it is a brave decision you are making but now I would not be in too much of a hurry not to use the catbox- use me as a sounding board too if you want.  Yes. We're here...

I do know that your town is probably even better than mine on free self help courses etc......

As for the honesty.....you are already honest, so I think you are going to heal fine... Yes. I kind of wonder though if in al, this working on yourself you are in need of some really fun stuff to stop balance you getting intense??

Sometimes it is easier to cope if you also give yourself room to relax and laugh....I do this and it helps....

Giggle I think I am going to print Jay's Survival Guide....

When you are stressed......

mix together equal parts of flour, water and pretty food coloring and need until smooth..........PLAY at rolling it around, squashing etc.

pour corn flour into a cat litter tray and add water and watch as you lift and pour.

Get a huge piece of paper and throw paint at it........

Or giggle the neighbors may have you committed for this one....

hang up a large sheet on the washing line and load tennis balls with poster paint and then throw them at it...

Fill a balloon with flour and draw a silly face on it . leave it so you can squash the balloon......giggle the end result I s you will use it as a stress ball an d beware they sometimes break and cover you in flour! You can stick on a woolen wig if you want.

These may seem childish, but they do work for adults too...the thing is it relieves the tension so then you return to the problem with a fresh perspective....I

ER.. I have tried all these ...I will save the bicarbonate volcano for another time!!!

Cats have it right when they play with wool. I think that is a cat distressed. any comments from Trubble welcome....

What I am trying to say, Theressa is that maybe you are so concerned with getting healthy that it makes you so very serious.....

After a year you will be better maybe, but perfection is never going to happen...sometimes we have to live with our less than perfect selves and just try and keep our bad side in check.. I guess,,,,,,,,

Anyway, lots of love.. from Jay  and *Me^

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Monday, July 16, 2001

The person who seeks to change another person in a relationship basically sets the stage for a great deal of conflict.

Very often we go into relationships with the idea that we can make somebody better. We see their flaws or short comings and take it upon ourselves to help them fix what is wrong. Our task in our relationship is not to fix one another. Our job is to love what we see and support one another in doing better. Fixing is telling what is wrong, why and how to fix it. Supporting is allowing us to make our own choices, being there if things go wrong and supporting us in doing better next time. Fixing is forcing us to do it their way when our way doesn't work. Supporting is sharing with us their needs and trusting we will take them into account. Fixing is nagging. Supporting is nurturing (encouragement). Fixing is anger when things get rough. Supporting is knowing things will get better. Supporting is seeing us exactly as we are. Fixing is seeing in them what we refuse to see in ourselves.

I love and support you exactly as you are.  Excellent! Thank you...

This is for my Little Sister/Cousin:

Love, *Me*

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Hi, I just wanted to share some things I'm feeling. My husband left me about 3 weeks ago. He left after a fight. Take off his wedding ring and was gone. He come back the next day and told me he talked to a lawyer, got his own place and wants to find someone before he's too old,

I took my ring off and let him go. I have been going to a counselor fir about 6 months anyways because my husband said I was the reason we fought.

So now he's been gone 3 weeks and I feel sooooo good. The first couple days were hard. I cried and cried.

Since he's left, he has done a little back peddling. He wanted my to put my ring back on, he wants to talk about "us". He is going to my counselor 2 times a week because he said he wants to get things fixed.

When I wouldn't put my ring back on, he was mad. He took away the check book, the ATM card and my credit card. (We do have 5 kids and I just started to work Real Estate) So I have no way to support myself or my kids.

This was just another way to control me. He's mad because I stopped playing his game. I stopped running after him and begging him to stay. I stopped crying and begging him to come back. (This is not the first time he's left me) I stopped all of it. Now he don't know what to do.

He told me he knew this might back fire on him.

I'm going to keep going to the counselor. If he keeps going ok. But I love my freedom, and my kids. We get to cuddle in the bed and play outside in the pool and go for walks and read books. I never had time for that before because he was so demanding of my time.

Bye. Heidi

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Monday, July 16, 2001

I would be grateful for your opinion on this issue I am struggling with. My bf and I became physically intimate several months ago. I have really enjoyed that part of our relationship, but lately it just hasn't felt right. I know I am still hurt by an incident a few months ago where he was very manipulative sexually and the fact that he doesn't have a problem with porno makes me uncomfortable.

This weekend I brought up the subject and asked him what he thought about waiting until a couple is married to be physically intimate and how he really views that part of our relationship. He got upset and was having a hard time with the idea of going from being intimate to not being intimate. I understand that's a difficult and kind of weird idea. I also feel I have the right to put on the brakes if I am uncomfortable whatever the reason is.

What do you think? I don't believe I am doing this to be manipulative, play mind games or control him - I just don't like feeling uncomfortable with this part of our relationship. I want to be able to give freely and not do it for the wrong reasons - fear, insecurity...

Thanks, Suzanne

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Monday, July 16, 2001

How important is your partner being supportive or happy for you for major accomplishments?

Hunter

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Suzanne,

Listen to your body.

My body is MUCH smarter than I am. It recoils when I'm being hurt and my mind has missed the jab. It cringes, gives me an adrenaline surge, registers shock - when I don't.

When I listen to my body I almost always find that I a boundary has been crossed that I am not comfortable with. My mind may register guilt - but my body tries to get away.

The more I listen to my body, the better I feel. The better I feel the less grip guilt has on me. Sometimes my mind registers the problem at the same time as my body now, since it's getting practice - and I do what my body tells me to.

I am learning to NOT say I am sorry when I am simply doing what anyone with healthy self respect does (saying stop it, or refusing to get caught up in a word war, or refusing to explain what would be obvious to anyone who had witnessed our interaction) Sometimes I feel sorry, think about it, and if I think a boundary has been crossed by my H I DON'T say it. I have bitten my tongue so many times this weekend there's not much left.

I am tempted to feel sorry for my husband because he is very very good a claiming that he has no idea that he has hurt me, that he didn't mean anything by it, blah blah blah. Then I end up feeling hurt, and feeling guilty. Ridiculous.

Reality check for me : would he say this, this way, to my sister (whom he likes). If the answer is no he's out.

Would he say it to me if my sister were here. If the answer is no, he's out.

If the answer is yes and my sister would think he's idiot for saying it, he's out.

I'll tell you, the man could get an Oscar for wide eyed innocence. Giggle!

Vigilance! (over myself) :)

Mae

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Another comment here -

I do love and support my husband just as he is.

When he is nasty to me I have to support him from the next room. Giggle!

Mae

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Good comment about fixing vs. supporting. However, I feel my situation was a blending of the two. I wonder how many other situations have this blending?

I was extremely supportive of my husband, encouraging him in his business, his talents, his abilities, etc..

However, fixing became the objective when the alcohol/rage entered into the picture. That I would not support! He would have to work on his stuff, and I on mine.

When I finally realized I could only fix me, I woke up and finally understood he wasn't doing these things because of me not being supportive enough, but because he had his own issues.

Well, as most on this board know, I'm working on me, and he chose not to do anything.

You can love someone, but if they aren't willing to change their self-destructive behaviors, that's when you have a choice. A choice to continue living with that behavior and treatment, or love em' and let em' go.

No one has the power to fix what is not theirs. But we all have the power to heal ourselves.

L

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Hi Cats,

I'm responding again to the anonymous poster because it sounds strangely like my ex. It's true that trying to "fix" someone is not our job and the wrong basis for a relationship. But fixing someone and setting boundaries by asking that not-okay behavior be changed are TWO *very* different things. I am not convinced that the person writing is aware of that difference. Like Mae said, we can support an abusive partner - but from the other room (in my case, the other hemisphere!). And "support" can only go so far - when our partners' behavior starts to be harmful to us, our support can and should be withdrawn. Mae's partner is LUCKY she loves him enough to support him by NOT engaging! I didn't love my partner enough to put up with any more tantrums. That's not trying to fix him, that's taking care of myself. When and if he "fixes" himself, I would love to see the result. If our partner is broken and his or her presence does not feel good, the only sane option we have is to love from afar, if we still love at all...

It feels funny to respond to the anonymous post like this, but I used to hear my ex telling me the same things - that I should be accepting him for what he is and supporting him - even as he gave himself permission to rage at me, throw things, generally act in an extremely insane manner when raging, and attack me physically (actually, he tried to blow those occasions off, once by forgetting and once by saying he was trying to kiss me). Not to mention allowing himself to get in the habit of being negative about me and my work and subtly putting me down in that way. So when I hear someone who won't sign a post telling us in the Catbox that we shouldn't try to fix but instead "support" our partners, a little red flag goes up. OK. I have ditto advice to the writer: If he or she cannot or will not support you and continually tries to fix you, the only sane option you have is to love from afar, if you still love at all...

I also used to hear "I love and support you just as you are" and also "I don't think there is anything wrong with YOU" as if I should in return not have a problem with any of HIS behavior. I never could figure out that logic. Irrational... Not only that, but it's easy to say the words, "I love and support you exactly as you are" while at the same time engaging in ACTIONS that make lies out of those words. If you really love and support, you will change bad behavior. Nothing less will do. More words we don't need. Actions speak louder than words (Hear that Trubble? Get those little furry paws off my keyboard!)

So I would like to hear the anonymous poster tell us more about what he or she is really experiencing. Is it the same person who wrote the poem?

Sincerely, Perdida

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Cats;

Just wanted to say I've been doing EMDR, and it is working really well. I was skeptical, but I admit it is helping me to find peace and forget the past. I highly endorse it, especially for those who do not wish to take meds to get over past trauma. (I wanted to face this without the aid of drugs.) Think of it as facing the bad memories from a safe place. You are the pilot, you come to conclusions on your own terms with it. It's a great way to clear up the confusion and find your inner strength again without "serotonin uptake inhibitors" or whatever they're called. :) meows, XX.  EMDR as I see it is a quick course in coping. You sit with the stuff in doses until you can tolerate and accept it. Good for you!

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Perdida,

Can't blame you for being suspicious. These sound like things my STBX would say too (it's almost scary!).

I would cringe when he said I should "love him unconditionally".

In a parent/child relationship, you love unconditionally.

This is not the case in an adult relationship. Especially when their version of "unconditional" is for you to put up with their raging, name calling, and other basic acts of irrational behavior.

That anonymous post says "DENIAL" through and through.

L

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Just a few thoughts on the unconditional love idea. One of the reasons I've learned that I got into an abusive relationship was that I learned as a child (however wrongly) that love is earned through actions. If I showed a "flaw," the love was withdrawn. So when I got into an adult relationship, I did what I was asked/told because that was how I thought I earned love. And when I didn't the love was withdrawn again -- seemingly proving the point. What I had to learn was that as an adult I had a *choice* about accepting that behavior.

To me, unconditional love is loving someone because of who they are, not in spite of it. I have two very dear friends that I love unconditionally and they love me in the same way. So they loved me when I was in a bad relationship, when I was struggling to get better, and now that I've left. My mistakes in my life didn't stop their love (and the reverse is true).

For me, unconditional love does not mean accepting behavior that crosses my boundaries. Excellent analysis. It means loving the whole person, and pointing out boundary violations in a loving way. I've done this with my friends, and our relationship got stronger, not weaker. So I believe it works in more intimate relationships as well -- though I don't have any experience with that yet.

Friday

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Misogynon is a Twelve Step Program of recovery for woman who are now in or are surviving the effects of a violent relationship.

www.misogynon.com  Nice! Thank you; I linked to you from here.

 

a program pamphlet and sample meeting format can be downloaded from the web site or email us and we will send you one.

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Just discovered this site and all I can say is WOW. I've found answers to questions I've been asking for at least 17 years. The main question being "What is wrong with the relationship that I have with my husband.?" I believe him to be emotionally abusive to not only me but also my son. Perhaps I have also been guilty of some of this.

I'm reading and easily finding many examples of my husband's behaviour that I never realized were abusive until now. I'm still struggling to put this all together and I really need some feedback or maybe I need to write this out for clarity in my own mind. Here is some of what I think qualifies as abusive:

1. At night before going to sleep he would want to cuddle and I would for a while but after when I wanted to go to sleep, I felt more comfortable letting go and finding my own space. He would get upset every night saying that he wanted us to fall asleep cuddling (even if I couldn't fall asleep that way.) He would also be relentless is I said no to sex. YUK!

2. When our son was a baby and I was desperate to get out of the house for a little time to myself my husband would always find ways or excuses to get me to stay. One time I tried to leave and son was crying. My who husband knew that I had a hard time leaving our son anyway, stood there holding him and saying "Look he doesn't want you to go" instead of encouraging me to get the time away that I desperately needed. He always won and was always just miserable enough with our son that son soon started to not want to stay with him. Our son is 11 years old and I'm sure that he has spent at least 90% of his time with me. I've had comments like, "Well you wanted a baby" and "I'll look after him after I look after myself" and "He never listens to me because you let him do what he wants." Memememe...

3. If I say I have a headache, stomach ache, sore muscles, sore throat, etc..... he has one too. If I say I need a new coat, boots, pants, haircut... he needs that too.

4. If he does something that I'm not in agreement with, he won't talk about it because he won't even admit that he did it. One time our son brought home a craft from school. The glue was still wet and it was drying on the kitchen table. When my husband came home he sat at the kitchen table and I think that the wind from his coat must have knocked the craft onto the chair and he sat on it. When I discovered what had happened I said "Oh you sat on his craft". He said "No I didn't." I couldn't believe it. He had glue and sparkles all over the back of his pants but there was no way he would say that he sat on it accidentally or otherwise. They thing was stuck to his pants when he stood up. He saw me peel it off of him. I said to him that it didn't matter it was an accident but yes he did sit on it. He kept saying that he didn't and there was no way he could have sat on it. I kept saying that it didn't matter and asking why he couldn't just say the obvious. I asked him to take his pants off and he complied. I had to hold the craft and his glue and sparkle covered pants side by side to show him (not that he didn't know) but to make him say it. This is the way he is with anything that he doesn't want to answer to. It never happened or I get the "You do it too" or he sometime changes the subject to talk about what I do that bugs him. Nothing ever gets resolved. Hmmmm...

4. One morning I got up and there was a poem he had written on the middle of the kitchen table. I can't remember it or I would post it too. He talked about our relationship and hope being gone and about giving up, etc. I had a hard time getting through to him at work. I was frantic. When I got through to him I was in tears and asked him if he was leaving me. He didn't know why I was so upset and denied that the poem had any meaning.

5. I had had surgery and he was bringing me home from the hospital. He started giving me a hard time about him not having money for work the next day.

6. Our son was hospitalized for a bronchial infection when he was a baby and I was staying with him at the hospital (I was also sick). I asked him for money so I could get something to eat while I was there. He gave me 15$ and snorted at me not to spend it all.

7. Almost all holidays and vacations and get-togethers have been marred or ruined by his moods. When pressed for an explanation he says nothing or comes up with some way to make it our fault. I've all but given up on family outings because I can't stand it. If our son starts to act up in anyway his mood goes bad and it just makes our son worse.

9. Our son has problems with anxiety and anger. Go figure. I've seen my husband lie about our son. Son will come in upset about Dad and my husband will deny what son is saying and later I find out it was our son who was telling the truth.

10. Husband says whatever you want to hear but goes ahead and does what he wants anyway. Makes it impossible to parent together.

11. When I was found to be anemic a few years back, doctor said if I had any bleeding to go to hospital right away. Late a night I had some bleeding and was quite alarmed. I asked him to take me to hospital. He asked (angrily) if it could wait until morning.

12. Whenever I have had the flu and am on the couch he doesn't stop our son from coming to me for everything. He usually falls asleep if left with our son so that son gets bored and comes to find me. Sleep is a big tool for him.

13. Some mornings if I'm still sleeping and he can't find something he will root through the drawer like a mad man making so much racket that it would wake the dead.

Ok, ok I'll stop. I'm sorry this is so long. I've always know that something was wrong and have quite often been willing to accept blame but I have never, never had the insight that this sight provides. I have approached my husband over this stuff. We did a bit of counseling and each time there was such a honeymoon phase that I felt guilty and we never followed through, but of course things went right back to where they were. Right now he is being very, very good but I know it won't last.

Just reading and thinking and trying to decide how to proceed.

Any feedback from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Hubby sounds more like your spoiled child than your partner... Abuse? Yep.

Thanks for listening.

Norma

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Monday, July 16, 2001

I have a bit of a problem

This statement: <<<Using your criteria Asha, almost every decision is a "big" one... >>>  But, that's true Asha. You care more than anybody else, even if it's not your issue! (Lots of wasted energy here...)

and some of the other comments to me, seem to have reinforced to Steve that his negative impressions of me are accurate and that pretty much anything I say that he dislikes is denial, a boundary infringement or an expression of my anger/abusiveness. If he's saying this to you, he is out of line. If he feels “yukky” towards me I guess that now justifies it. Anyways, his focus is definitely on me and my "problems", and not on himself. This is disturbing to me, but I'm not surprised since both of you can be more concerned with identifying what's wrong with the other than with fixing yourSelf...

I feel invalidated and cut down to size, and if I post anything, I don’t feel I will be taken seriously. Not true. But you do get challenged when you get defensive (which is a waste of your time and energy); I try to direct you to look inside and sit with all the conflicting thoughts and feelings until you can integrate them.

I’m trying not to give power to these feelings, but I can't post anymore under these circumstances. I understand... You don't know how else to handle it... Keep reading:

Asha

 Ohhhh.... You're mad at me! Please don't run away. If you can deal with me, you can deal with anyone... So I'm great to practice with...

Listen Asha, like most codependents, you tend to be not only giving and selfless, but controlling and somewhat self-righteous as well. Pretty normal (anxiety-based) stuff by the way, that just is. I call you on it because you don't see it, that's all. When you don't see stuff, it has a way of gaining power over you because nature will simply not allow you to cast off a part of the Self without a big penalty. What I call you on has nothing to do with Steve. Being called on your stuff (and every human has "stuff,") does not make Steve "right" and you "wrong." There is no blanket validation here...  Please recognize if you see "siding" or judgment, you're putting it there...

I point out what I observe. My criteria are not "good" or "bad", "right" or "wrong," but "does it work for you..." Each individual will at times feel validated. If Steve takes my comments to reinforce his negative impressions, that's his problem, and trust me, if I see it, I will call him on it. It's not your job to call him on it because now you're taking his inventory. Let him think as he thinks.  If he throws stuff in your face, it's your job to pull away from him - because a friend doesn't throw things in your face. (And don't waste your precious energy convincing him he's throwing things in your face.) Now, he's crossed a boundary.

You have stuff. So does Steve. So do I. We're human.

You're better off facing  your stuff than you are denying it. Walking out of here because you "can't" handle it won't help you. I also know you CAN handle it.  

Granted, when you involve yourself here, you hear it.  Remember way back when Steve first popped up in the CatBox? Boy, did he get it! And, boy - did he use it to help himself... He had a tough time swallowing some of it too; but now, he's glad he did. Therapists have different strengths Asha. Mine is cutting to the quick of things. My comments, which admittedly can be too direct (I'm not a good "hand-holding" therapist, which some people prefer...) are said to help you stop hurting yourSelf...

So, I hope you come back soon. I hope you feel free to be angry with me, disagree with me, whatever. If you feel helpless and cut to the quick, tell me, and I'll help you with what to say - to me even! (These are just assertion skills you learn.)

Also, please don't mix your boundaries with Steve's! Who, but Steve, cares what Steve thinks! All you have to worry about is not letting anyone into your space - and staying out of the space of others. That last back and forth between us was mostly about your inability to accept that you go into his space. You kept talking about your good intentions (which are  very, very good!). Not just you, but people tend to associate the word "controlling" with the abusive partner, but that's not true! The partners both try to control each other in different ways. Being controlling does not make you abusive, which is how I think you may have understood it. Having anger does not make you abusive, though you will appear abusive to your partner and are likely to appear irrational to outsiders.

If you could accept that anger is a necessary signal - that God gave us to use - and is perfectly OK, you'd be in a better position to take care of yourSelf. You'd become more comfortable with your own and your partner's anger. (Anger, as opposed to abuse.) If you could accept that "caring too much" and trying to fix everything (control) is the codependent's trademark, and is not a bad thing per se, you might accept that you're human and these are habits that sometimes get in your way that you have the power to modify....

I hope this helps. Be well Asha. Irene

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Dear Friday,

When you said you were in an "adult relationship" but you did what you were told, it sounds like a bit of a contradiction because you should not be in a position where you automatically do what you're "told" as an adult with another loving adult. You're right that as an adult you don't have to accept that kind of power imbalance in a relationship. It's up to you to ensure that that doesn't happen - don't give your power away by being overly submissive! And being submissive is not the same as compromising. Compromising and negotiating with your partner are what relationships are all about.

We all eventually learn to acknowledge and get over what we learned when we grew up. Everyone has stuff from childhood that doesn't work anymore.

Don't forget, you are not enmeshed with your friends in the same way as in a romantic relationship. There's a distance between you and your friends that isn't there in a romance, nor would you want it to be - that's what makes it a romance rather than a friendship. It would be nice if they worked the same way, but I think the two relationships are like apples and oranges. Someone else might have a different viewpoint.

Lovingly pointing out boundary violations works good on paper, but it takes a LOT of practice before it feels loving to the other person. Practice, patience, commitment and a lot of love. Also, you might point out a boundary violation that the other person feels is an integral part of their personality and has no intention of giving up. And they have that right. It's for you to decide if you want to accept what they have to offer. I pointed out boundary violations, sometimes patiently and lovingly and sometimes VERY nastily! (I am human!) I never got anywhere, yet I still wanted to marry the person and it took a really long time before I gave up. I loved him for what he was - the only thing was that he wasn't what he "was" all the time - he was some cruel mean alternate personality more and more often. At some point you have to decide whether you really do love this Mr. Hyde for what he is! Wasn't it charming, kind, playful, humorous Dr. Jekyll who first came out on the dates? He was around less and less until he was pretty much a rarity.

I think you have the right idea about addressing someone violating your boundaries, but you implied it didn't work although you still believe it does. What happened, exactly? Good points.

Perdida

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Perdida,

I said I didn't have any experience making it work, because I've only recently ended that relationship and am not trying to start a new one because I haven't emptied all my baggage yet (so to speak).

When I discovered that I had been submissive and co-dependent, decided I didn't like that, and chose to change, I did try baby steps to see if having and enforcing boundaries would be safe. (A lot of my submissiveness was due to fear). Yes. It didn't work in my relationship because every time I set a boundary or enforced one, over the smallest things, the controlling/abusive behaviors escalated to the next tactic. Sooooo typical... Why you don't confront the abuser if there is any risk of violence. Very quickly I found that it wasn't safe -- neither emotionally or physically. So I took inventory of myself and took myself out of that situation permanently. Good.

I say I believe it will work because it has worked with intimate friendships and I won't stay in any relationship where it isn't safe to have my boundaries. Food for thought: There is no place where it isn't safe to have boundaries - except where you make it  unsafe... Maybe that means I will never have another committed one-to-one relationship. If so, so be it, but I will never again give up my self to become someone else's ideal. I can guarantee you that I prefer living the rest of my life single to spending one more minute in an abusive relationship. You're doing exactly what you should be now: willing to give relationships up. That tells me is that in time, assuming you don't "hide" from relationships, you are likely to get yourSelf together.

I agree that I am not enmeshed with my friends like I was in my relationship, and that is GOOD. My next relationship won't be enmeshed, either. Intimate yes, enmeshed no. I believe now that some distance in all relationships is appropriate -- certainly enough so that it is a partnership of two separate people.

It boils down to if I knew then what I know now, I would have never gotten into that relationship to begin with. I wouldn't have ignored the red flags and ringing sirens. I would have been more sure of my own worth that I didn't need someone else to prove to me I was loveable. I wouldn't have been willing to give away my power to get that security. I did choose to put myself in that relationship, just as I chose to leave. You're learning...

My original point was that saying that unconditional love is not possible or appropriate in an adult relationship seemed to me to be an overstatement. I think it is possible -- but it has to have the same meaning to both partners.

A lot of this is so new to me, that I'm just beginning to integrate it into how I behave. Did this make sense? Yes!  You both make sense.

Friday

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Hi Cats,

Okay, I have tried, but... what does "STBX" Soon To Be Ex mean? and "EMDR" Eye Movement Desensitization something or other?

Hey L - I liked what you said about parent-child relationships vs. adult relationships. That seems like a clear way to describe the difference between loving unconditionally or not. .

I was glad for your input. I think the most confusing thing my ex said was that I didn't "support" him or love him for who he is. I used to always have to stop and look at myself when he would say that and for some reason I would temporarily forget the rages. Or get blamed for them - actually maybe it was my "not loving him for who he is" that threw him into a rage...? (YUK) The trick is to pick someone who loves themSelves enough that they behave responsibly enough that you can love them more or less unconditionally!

Love, Perdida

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Oh do we live in a world of abbreviations in cyberspace-LOL!

I'm not sure what EMDR is, but STBX is for "soon to be ex".

Believe me, I'm amazed at how much looks so familiar on these pages, except for the STBX honestly putting in some effort. I used to hear (and still do on some phone messages), that "I was never there for him", "he could never make me happy", "how could you abandon me if I'm so sick", e-mails sent to me with the word "goodbye" 36 times...any possible form of emotional blackmail he could use. Do you see the underlying assumption: You are supposed to take care of him, regardless of where you are... Yukky!

I look back and now think a lot of it was projection. He was rarely "there" for me and his kids. But his friends?? In a heartbeat! The one time I honestly asked for his help was to take some college courses, 2 1/2 hours twice a week. He paged me out of class because "I was the one who decided to this and our daughter was my responsibility". The one who was never happy was him, because I never did enough, gave him enough attention, the kids were more important, I wasn't his drinking buddy anymore, we never had enough sex, and even when we did, I always did something wrong.

Sounds like you were "second guessing" yourself too. Been there. That's when I would put my head back in the sand.

It was getting to the point I honestly thought I was the one losing it! (DOUBLE YUK!) That too is unfortunately typical... Glad you learned to go inside and listen to yourSelf.

L

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Dear L.

Sounds like our guys could be twins. The night my sister's husband committed suicide, I was at my sister's house (middle of the night) and my husband called and tersely told my mother that I was needed at home because our son was crying.

I so need to know how to deal with this stuff. Memememe! Did you read the narcissism stuff?

Warmly, Norma

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Hi Cats,

Now I am pondering this "unconditional love" thing. Does it really exist or is it a myth? See how semantics get in our way? We need new words... I thought I loved my ex unconditionally, but I did want some of his behavior to change. Can you love someone unconditionally while NOT loving his behavior? When my ex attacked me the first time, I said he needed to work with a therapist about the violence. I said I loved him and would stay with him while he did that. Did this make my love for him "conditional"?

Can we love someone "unconditionally" as long as we aren't loving an abuser? Perhaps if you know how to maintain your boundaries.

I'm starting to think it's a myth or a youthful romantic illusion...

Norma, go right ahead and vent in the Catbox. No vent is too long. L and Norma, it's so often seemed like we in the catbox are all dating the same person! When it gets to that point, I think it could go in the psychiatric diagnostic manual as some kind of syndrome.

Now I have another theme I am confused about. What is with the "mirroring" behavior that so many people say their partners do? The only reason my ex has never called me abusive is that I avoided using the term when talking to him. The "You do it too" is a small example. Maybe it is the lack of sense of self as a separate person? That was always a hard notion for me but maybe the mirroring is part of that.

Is Friday the same person as the Anonymous poster from Friday's poem and today's fix and support post? I had to ask.

Asha, please don't go away. Don't stay away very long at least. I place a lot of value on your wisdom and I always get a lot out of your posts. Maybe it's easier to guide others than it is to guide ourselves sometimes. I can tell you feel devalued and misunderstood and I am sorry you feel bad. I would really miss you too much if you were to stay away. And Trubble might lose all his fur from loneliness and the Catbox would have to take in Steve's dog. That would be a big mess. So just go to Tahiti for a few days and then come back.

Love, Perdida

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Perdida,

I'm not the anonymous poster. My name is from the Heinlin novel "Friday." I needed something my now ex would never guess. I've been lurking and occasionally posting since Feb.  Hi.

Ms. Friday

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Hi Everyone,

I had a nice productive weekend. My husband was here taking his turn visiting the kids. I mastered the skill of disengaging. For the first time I listened to what he had to say but did not take it personal. It was amazing. He was demanding that I leave the house so that he could spend time alone with the house. I refused. I did this a couple of weeks ago to prevent him from provoking me. We are in the process of completing the divorce paperwork. I was advised that I would most likely be awarded the house. He is aware of this and furious. He attempted to provoke me to leave and then said, "You are breaking our contract!" We have no contract. I said, "Just because you say something does not mean it's a contract?" I said, "You have no legal right to come in here and demand that I leave." He was frustrated. Keeping in mind he says he is filing for divorce not to control me but to keep me from berating him in front of the kids. He says he is concerned for the kids. Here he is yelling and demanding I leave. I just said, "You can yell, but I am not listening." I went up to my room. He was preparing to take the kids out for the day. I found this to be ironic. He is demanding I leave when he is leaving. He was gone for 5 hours. When he returned with the kids. I left to a friends house, and then went to my mothers. I started watching a movie. He calls and wants me to come home because he wants to go his mother's for dinner. I said, "Why don't you take the children." He says, "They ate dinner." So, I said, "This is why we need to discuss and visitation schedules, and set a time of when we are visiting the kids. I am watching a movie, and I am not jumping to your demands" He was mad again. Oh, he called again to complain that I locked the garage door. He was beside himself. He says, "You can not do THAT!" I said, "Greg, let it go." Hung up. He just could not find a place to dump his anger. I continued to watch my movie. When I went home a neighbor was there. He kissed the kids goodbye and he went to his mothers. Now, tonight he is refusing to come by to see his children after work because he is too upset about this weekend. He is now refusing to purchase groceries. I am dependent on his income. I have one boy I watch and he is paying to update my work skills at school etc. So, he is really trying to keep his control. I am just keeping in mind that this will escalate then when he realizes it won't work. He will stop. I hope. He really is trying to play the victim in all of this.

Meanwhile, I am having my own "flashbacks" from my childhood that I am learning how to cope with and process the feelings. Oh, boy do I have a lot of repressed grief. I am pretty much past the anger feelings. I am thinking that I must feel safe enough or strong enough to try to remember them. I do want to just get it out of my system. I have been grieving over the loss of my marriage, and my husband's support. He was just not capable of allowing me the space to heal.

Oops! I have to take a break. My daughter would like to play a dinosaur game. She needs my help :) I will write when she goes to bed.

Lisa

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Steve here

Asha said: "Anyways, his focus is definitely on me and my "problems", and not on himself."

My focus changes from minute to minute. I am trying to help you see some things. I'm not trying to hurt you. You often talk about speaking freely but you don't seem to want to extend that to me. If I speak freely, somehow I am guilty of "focusing" on you. Steve, you do focus on her. You are an expert on what's wrong with Asha. You are each experts on each other; that's the problem.

I am NOT using Irene to *justify* my take on things. She isn't spending her time trying to help me knock you down. She is just trying to get through to you. I think (correct me if I'm wrong Irene) she tries different ways, some may seem harsh, because she is truly trying to reach you. She cannot possibly know for sure in advance what "style" will work best with you. I think it may be beneficial to give her the attitude to vary her approach. I am trying to reach Asha...

Irene has done a great service to me. If you recall, I was VERY resistant to much of what she had to tell me. I was angry, hurt and afraid of many things she saw in me. How many times did I say I was never going to post again? Several for sure. But, for some reason, I stuck with it. Somewhere inside, there was a spark and some kindling...and whatever Irene did, it worked. Of course I am nowhere near being "well-healed", but at least I now know I need healing. Previously, I steadfastly believed all was well and I knew my "self".

I was soooo wrong.

Irene is not "reinforcing" my take on the situtation(s). She is viewing it from her vantage point. She sees some of what I see. I see what I see with or without Irene's comments. However, my feelings and observations hold no weight with you Asha. To you, they are merely my focus-challenged ineptitudes.

But I understand how you feel Asha, because I felt the same way when Irene was beating on my thick skull...grin. It's not easy...

What she said about me always seemed to "reinforce" *your* viewpoint. There were times I felt like the whole Catbox crew (except Lynn) was ganging up on me. Irene always seemed to be on *your side* Asha. I felt very invalidated and at times even abused. Yes. Because in those days, most of the stuff that glared at me was Steve's.

Then, I began to understand...that was MY stuff. I'm ok with it now. Exactly. You accept your imperfections. What a load off your shoulders! And with acceptance comes change.

Anyways, despite our inability to progress in our relationship, I still love you Asha. You have an abundance of wonderful qualities that I respect a great deal. You will do much good in the world.

Steve

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Perdida! You have one awesome sense of humour! And a very perceptive wit. Keep it up please, this place can always use some light-heartedness. Thank you for shining that light.

My dog likes cats by the way.

Steve

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Dear Friday,

You won't have to spend the rest of your life single! You may have to wade through some frogs. I'm glad I asked if you were the anonymous poster because I am now reading your post differently - sorry about being confused.

I thought your comment on what you learned growing up, about love being based on your actions, and how you duplicated that in your relationship, was really insightful. I am still learning not to recreate my childhood stuff in current relationships, and I hate to admit this but sometimes I act like my mother! It's so hard to unlearn all that modeling.

I think this is all new to most of us! It takes practice. I'm still here talking ad nauseum about something that I ended in February. I think you sound really strong even though I am picking up some hurt and bitterness, but don't be hard on yourself. I like the idea of modeling a relationship on friendships and the trust that we share with good friends should form the best basis for a good relationship. I guess "enmeshed" was the wrong word to choose - what I meant was that a romance has some other element than a friendship - which should include intimacy but doesn't always...

I hope you keep posting as well as lurking! Now I will take your Heinlein novel suggestion for something to read.

Steve, how big is that dog? Is he going to fit in here? I hope he won't behave like that so-called elephant in the middle of the living room that one hears AA people talking about.

Love, Perdida

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Dear Asha, I think I can understand your reaction:

I think that it is frustrating when you feel that somehow you are right but someone else is implying you are not and it impacts on your relationship so that you feel that the partner uses it to justify your position. I have been there with that family therapist when Jake just twisted whatever she said to suit what he wants to hear.

I learnt it is important not to globalize things and make them bigger by letting my thoughts run on into how I was completely invalidated. You have to cut it down to size,

After a while I was able to see that although I still think she was a bad therapist there were a lot of ways that she had actually backed me up and then it all got clearer.

I also wonder now if Jake is not becoming more aware of his own bad behaviour. I called him on the mortgage thing and he couldn't get round that as there was written evidence...also if I don't act out he has to start wondering why he is left holding the can so to speak. Exactly. It's so much easier to see it's yours if there is no one else adding to the broth.

I think that to stop posting now might be a way of acting out as you are mad at Steve. And mad at me. Maybe it would be better to keep posting and work this through. even the bit about Steve using what Dr Irene says to justify himself.... Exactly! If Steve isn't doing it, someone else will be. Better you learn to deal with it. Hugs anyway.

Dear Norma,

I think it sounds like your husband is stuck in a really young childhood age. He sounds like a kid. Was that ever explored in therapy? I think it needs to be. I think it was good you got it all out onto the site as it will help you start to work out what you want not for you.

Dear Perdida, you sound so healthy.

Dear Everyone else, HI. I do read but I haven't anything specific to say just now.........There are so many people in n the catbox now it is hard to keep up.

And...wow. this has to be progress. I haven't actually got a lot to say about me! No that a lot has changed. just I guess, sitting with it to see what will happen!

love, Jay

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Hi Cats,

I am so chatty tonight! Jay, my therapy will be more of a surgical strike. I'm going to try that cognitive behavioral therapy to break some bad thinking habits. I would like to stop allowing people to annoy me. I was really happy with that little exercise in Emotional Blackmail, the "I can stand it" thing, so I want to learn more of those exercises or affirmations and change some of the ways I feel about how people are interacting with me. (Maybe I can also stop eating my head off when stressed out...)

When I was younger, I used to be *very nice* and I didn't let things bother me - or maybe I did - but then I kept hearing that I was so NICE that people didn't respect me, so I shifted and confronted poor treatment and bad behavior in others. Now I feel kind of like, okay, I know how to be militant and confront bad behavior and you can make kind of a scene and get treated better, but now I would like to learn how to stop allowing the bad behavior of others to bother me. Why should THEIR maladjustment to life make ME irritated? Why should THEIR unhappiness spread to MY day? So my therapy will be really short term and focused on this project. I also don't have a lot of time because I have to get back to Brazil by late August.

Debbie said way back that she confronted her mother, and I could really relate. In "Confront Bad Behavior" mode, I became pretty obstreperous around my family for awhile Giggle! because - it's a complicated relationship - I get a lot of flack for being in grad school, it means I am a wastrel (my mom REALLY said that) and professional student instead of praising me or supporting me for trying to rise as high as I can... the comments on my body during my childhood and adolescence were nonstop... I managed to retrain my father! He stopped his negative, biting criticizing sarcasm, but my mother is not as fast a learner and still is able to blindside me. In her case, confronting her behavior won't work, and I must change how I think about how she treats me. It's wicked hard work, that family stuff, wanting to get along, relax and love them but having to coldly set firm boundaries. So Debbie, I know what you went through!

Eeek, bedtime! Blah-Blah-Blah Perdida

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Perdida,

It's interesting you pondered the same thing as I did, which was can you love someone "unconditionally", but not love their bad behavior? I thought so too. I have always been good at separating the behavior from the person (I'm an ACOA).

This issue came out in one of my counseling sessions, when I told my counselor, after my STBX flipped out and attacked me and his son, and the police got involved. I told my husband he could not come home until he worked on his issues.

My STBX kept telling me I was placing "conditions" on our love, and that I should love him "unconditionally". My counselor was the one who pointed out that a parent/child relationship is unconditional. When you marry someone, there are conditions involved, such as love, honor and respect. When the police get involved, or there are issues of control/abuse, clearly there are some conditions they are not meeting in the relationship.

This single statement, which came out of his mouth many times, kept me "stuck" for quite a few years. I loved him, but not the behavior. How could I throw him out when he was "sick" (e.g. alcohol/anger)? Just as the counselor mentioned the above marriage vows, I vowed "in sickness and in health". I wrestled internally with that for quite some time.

It finally came to me a few years later when reading "Conversations with God". One paragraph about putting up with abusive behavior said so much to me. I quote:

"This is not healing to the abuser, but damaging. For if the abuser finds that his abuse is acceptable, what has he learned? Yet if the abuser finds that his abuse will be accepted no more, what has he been allowed to discover?

Therefore, treating others with love does not necessarily mean allowing others to do as they wish."

Hope this helps!

L

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

LisaMM,

I just read your post, and you sound like you are getting amazingly stronger everyday!

YOU GO GIRL!

L

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Hello everybody,

Monday night my husband crossed a boundary. I hesitated to respond, not wanting to 'ruin' everything else at the time. Two beats into the hesitation I realized I wasn't doing the ruining. So I said in essence, I didn't like that. He said What? He has a habit of asking me to explain everything. He'll go back through the entire conversation with you said this and then I said that. Its exhausting. By the time we've hashed it out I'm confused and unable to articulate just exactly what the problem is, and he's acting wounded and justified in saying I'm oversensitive.

So this time I just told him that I was not going to discuss the obvious and shut up. He didn't pursue very far. Just got real quiet and left me alone.

So my mantra for the evening was recalling some advice from one of the books I've read in the last week - can't remember which one. The book said when you are ready to make a stand you have to be prepared to call your abuser on every offense.

Yesterday morning he was very with drawn. All yesterday I was second guessing myself. Was he really that out of line? Should I have put my foot down? He seemed really hurt and frustrated. Maybe I was being too picky. Maybe I AM too sensitive...

I have to laugh now. He's trained me to pick on myself when he's out of commission.

Anyway I arrived home with some trepidation, concerned about how ruffled he would be. So when he walked in the house 10 minutes behind me I was just friendly and normal on the outside, watching out for those eggshells on the inside.

To my surprise he was initially a little wary, but as I told him about my day with as much good humour as possible he relaxed. The rest of the evening was spent very nicely.

The advice I have read here works. Its very hard. Its well worth the effort of self discipline. I am grateful that my husband is one of those who respond well, he's probably simply been looking for limits. Yes! Time will tell.

Thank you for being here.

Norma -

I just found this place last Monday and what a relief for me, too. You gave allot of examples of what you are experiencing. You are right. What you are experiencing IS abusive. It sure helps to see it in writing, doesn't it? Just giving the churning inside me some validation has gone a long way to giving me courage. Not exactly courage to confront - my H is like yours - denial to the bitter end. Courage instead to behave like a regular person who removes themselves from interactions that have a dead end, without forcing my H to admit his behavior is rotten. Most of my reactions haven't been to helpful over the years, so these new skills (which probably really just boil down to self respect) are very valuable.

After one week and two days of boundaries:

Anxiety plummeting Self esteem rising

Prognosis : Cautiously good.

Mae

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

OOPS that was Sunday he crossed my boundaries. I reread my post a realized that didn't quite gel.

Mae

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Good morning all. Haven't much to say...just thanks to those who posted back to me last night. I appreciate your feedback. My husband knows what I'm reading on this sight and sure doesn't look too happy about it. Makes me feel guilty just coming here. I try to get online when he's not around.

Have terrific day everyone.

Norma

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Ok, maybe I do have something to say (hee hee). Just read your post Mae. Glad to hear your having success already. The part you said about your reactions through the years have not always helped rings true to me to. I often would react angrily. I guess I was taking the bait. I'm having a hard time sorting this stuff all out. There are things that I feel guilty about (mostly my anger) but when I'd try to think about how I should have dealt with it I have no answers. I guess that's the part I'm trying to learn and am happy to know that I have some way of learning what to do. My husbands mother is the same way and I have the same problems with her. It's been so frustrating trying to hold my own in this (not knowing how).

Best of luck to you and keep posting so I can see how it goes.

Norma

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

I've just been bullied out of my job. I'm a self-employed contractor and was working on a project with a project manager who was clearly a bully. Being self-employed I was obviously in a weak position and could easily be disposed of. Nevertheless, when he started writing comments in documents which I had not completed and without telling me he was reviewing them, I decided I was going to consider each comment and judge it on it's own merits - with the result that I ignored most of them and deleted them and carried on with the document. He did not notice, of course, as they had just been random criticisms made as he read the document. Anyway there were other troubling behaviours and I had to tell him several times that if he wanted to see me late in the day I wished to know in advance. Twice I told him I was leaving and he could talk to me tomorrow. Anyway last Thursday his boss asked to see me and told me I would have to go. It was clear that behind my back I had been presented as incompetent. So I accepted that there might be some grounds for dissatisfaction, but that it had been difficult for me to understand what the project manager wanted from me. Anyway I thought about the situation and the following day - my last day - made the following suggestion to his boss: that I would work one more week - and not bill for the extra week if they were still not satisfied as I felt I was now beginning to understand what was wanted of me. He said he would have to discuss it with the project manager. Of course I knew that he would try and do everything to prevent them from taking me up on my offer - if they had done I would also have insisted that the project manager leave me alone for the week and that I copy his boss in on all requests for information and that the project manager copy his boss in on all replies. He said he would talk to the project manager and let me know. I did the handover of my work and left. I arrived home to find a furious email from the project manager's boss berating me for not having done a handover and for just walking out and that in the circumstances my continued presence was unthinkable and that I would not be paid until I returned and did the handover. This was not the person I had known. And I thought 'No. I have been humiliated enough already. I am not returning to be further humiliated.' I phoned yesterday. Explained that I had done the handover. He did some investigation and called today. Yes, everything had been as I said. They found everything filed away and the file in the drawer of my desk. All the documents I had handed over were where I had said they were, and the emails which I had allegedly not forwarded to the project manager had been forwarded. They will pay me my money. OK - I lost my job. I don't know how much damage was done behind my back - too much to repair I suspect - even after only 4 weeks. Most people think that there is no smoke without fire. But the business about the handover has shown the project manager's boss that the project manager is simply a liar. He wanted to make sure that my offer was not taken up and just made further accusations - thinking perhaps that he could humiliate and control me further. The strange thing is, he had plenty of time to remove all the evidence that a handover had been done and it did not occur to him to do so. Good!

 

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Hi everyone!

Welcome to all the new people, keep reading and posting it will help you.

Lisa, you asked me what I feel guilty about? I guess I feel guilty because I feel I am leaving my partner behind. I am working on my "stuff" and trying not to get pulled into his. He just doesn't recognize he needs to work on him. Everything that happens to him is always someone else's fault, if I would just SHUT UP everything would be ok. Blame Supreme! Over the weekend I found a notebook, he has been writing down every time we have an argument, leaving out the abusive parts of course. He has been writing all this stuff down since last October, this really hurts me, maybe he is considering divorce. I wouldn't have a problem with the fact that he was writing down all this stuff if he were trying to work out his feelings, but that's what he is doing details on incidents only. One sided at that, I do this and that with no mention of his part.

He wanted to go out this weekend to see some jazz bands, so I invited some friends that we haven't seen in a long time. He wanted different people to go but never mentioned that to me, OH SHOOT MY MIND READING ABILITY IS ON THE FRITZ AGAIN. I said that's ok we can invite them to come along, but that wasn't good enough. I had ruined the evening. My friend could also possibly be a source of support to me, a threat to him. Any way, we all went out and I made the mistake of letting him know that I wanted to see this one band more than the others.

We get to the club go inside, it was really crowed we were in there for about a minute and the bouncer asked my partner to please move back a little. Well he called the bouncer an a**hole etc. etc. started to push him and then three guys carry him outside. I was just going to let what ever happened, happen but my friend said you have to go outside and stop him. We go outside and he is grabbing the guy and pushing him, calling him names what a seen. My friend kept saying stop him, so I went over and calmly put my hands on this arms, never said a word and started to guide him away he started to push me then he stopped. The whole incident stopped, luckily and I never said word to him. Why he would just blame me or someone? His violent behavior is scaring me and it certainly put a damper on the evening. He made sure I didn't get what I wanted and my friends will probably never want to go out again. The next day he wanted me to go to a baseball game with his parents just like nothing happened.

Thanks for listening, Kala

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Friday,

Your post to Perdida just hit home with me! AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!

I did the same exact thing. I went into therapy asking how I can stop my depression, anger, and anxiety. I felt powerless. I have found out that due to my childhood I was codependent and submissive. I operated out of fear and the need for approval. I was needy myself. Now, that I have learned about the concept of boundaries. I was ecstatic to go home and tell my husband all about how I can stop feeling so badly. Oh, boy I could "fix" myself, and let everyone worry about themselves. I was just jumping for joy. I had the power to make the choices and needed to set up boundaries. Well, much to my surprise I was living with my abuser in complete denial. The more I set boundaries the more he thought he was losing control. It set off this chain reaction of events. I am still recovering from the harrowing experience. I was lacking the skills to cope at the time. Infact the thought that he would be abusive at all was just too painful for me to admit. One day in an EMDR session I just snapped out of it. I even yelled out "Oh my gosh I am living with my abuser. The monster is in ME!!!" I unconsciously realized that we were enmeshed and I was creating my own problems with my codependency. I have learned how to cope now but to my disappointment my husband just cut and ran.

My therapist told me about the concept of breaking the family rule and how when you establish boundaries it places their "stuff" back onto them. My husband, family, and friends all resisted the new change in me. Yes... My husband even went as far as wanting me to quit therapy and saying "I don't like this new and improved you." He liked the old submissive gal. He has tried threatening me, intimidating, bullying, passive aggressive, withholding, etc. to get me to go back into submission. I am still standing :)

I now realize that this has nothing to do with me. Yes! At least I am trying to grasp this concept. I get sad sometimes because in my codependency I think that since I am willing to do this for them that they should be willing to do it for me and to me. I would automatically respect their boundaries now. I just needed someone to point me to the line. Now, if they don't draw the line. I stay aware that there should be one there anyway.

Friday, I believe we will all meet someone that has boundaries, respect, and treats others with dignity. Looking back I did the same thing. I thought I knew what love was. We joined forces together hanging onto what we were familiar. My only regret was that children were in the midst of our unresolved issues, and growing up. They have endured through our suffering. I am telling them it's not their fault. I am doing my best to change my behavior. I know I can utilize what I have learned to break the cycle. I have a lot of work to do to learn how to pass these traits down to my children. I am working on myself now. I believe when I am healed internally then I will attract someone to me.

:) LisaMM

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Greetings all. Hope someone can help me through the fog here. Our son who is now 11 has had problems with anger and anxiety especially since about grade 2 to 3. He's always been shy and fairly sensitive. We have seen a psychiatrist with him who said it was behaviour problems. We were sent to a family therapist who addressed his anxiety somewhat. Anyway no great gains were made. He has improved somewhat. His anxiety is still present but perhaps milder and he still has a big problem with staying in control when angry. Our marriage has suffered for most of it's existence. I could only see that my husband had terrible moods where he would withdraw, sleep and just be plain irritable. He was assessed before we had our son and they said he had low self esteem but no other treatment followed. It has ruined so much. Yes... After finding this site I am blown away by the parts that I didn't recognize (please see my above post), the abusive parts. The abuse has been very covert for the most part. I knew that the unhappiness in our home has affected our son and I am just exhausted from trying to work overtime trying to keep the peace so that he can grow up in a healthy environment.

Here's the thing thing... I would like to try to work on this some more with my husband but what do I do or say when he expects me to be supporting of him when I think (know) the way he handles things with our son is not right. Your job is to learn to set limits on hubby. This will help your son too because he will realize that power does not have to be forceful.

Example: Our son wanted a ride to a friends house and did not want to ride his bike there. He said that his knee hurt. It had been bothering him just recently but I'm not totally convinced he didn't just want the ride. Anyway my son comes to me in the backyard and says Dad is being a jerk. Dad appears in the back very defensive and angry and talks nasty to him saying to get in the car. He goes to the front and grabs his bike roughly and starts to put it in the trunk. The last few times he has asked for a ride to this friends house, I have ran him over there. He asks his Dad and all heck breaks loose. My husband has a habit of driving rather nasty when he is angry and I make the decision that my son is not going to have to go through this. Meanwhile my son is angry and telling his Dad to not be rough with his bike and not to break it. I tell my husband to never mind I'll take him and he refuses and yells at son to get in the car. I take my son into the garage to wait it out.

I know that in a normal relationship that children should not see parents against each other but many times I have not been able to take my husbands side. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO YOUR CHILD WHEN THIS HAPPENS? You ignore your husband, who is acting like a jerk, take your kid and leave the scene. Stay away if you must. (But you don't do something like this unless you know exactly what you're doing; you don't do this impulsively.)

PLEASE HELP

Norma

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Sorry for the triple post. Each time I tried I got page cannot be displayed and thought it didn't work. Sorry again. What triple post? Giggle!

Norma

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Hello Trubble This is Mousie. Are you still Troutless and in the doghouse? Yes! Isn't it awful? Mousie thinks you have been framed by Microsoft hackers. (You know those guys that hack up fur balls to leave them at the scene so you will be falsely accused.) Yeah! I didn't do it!  Well it doesn't matter, we will build on an addition to the doghouse with our thong money. We can put your water dish in the microwave and have a Jacuzzi with 2 big 7-11 straws to make the bubbles. I think we can get a used air conditioner from Tammy Faye Baker's dog house. Mousie cannot get you fresh trout because she will not touch worms. I found a great goldfish and koi supply meanwhile. Hehehehe... Also there is a hook shortage supply because they are all being used to make rings for teenagers to pierce their tongues and navels. Is FakeMommy sneaking in the fridge at night and eating your trout? Probably! All that vacuuming must make her real hungry. Yeah! Mousie has pasted your face on her milk carton in order to find your real mommy. Thank you AuntieMousie! Mousie has gotten no phone calls yet, but a cow was giving her and her milk carton suspicious glances. Mousie will keep looking. Mousie is relieved that you explained what FakeMommy was. Mousie was thinking "Now what has Dow made out of Silicone and when are the lawsuits going to start pouring in?" Giggle!  Love, *Me*

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

OH my, I am allowed to use the keyboard to say thanks for the fishie and so I am going to add more to Jays survival guide...when stressed:

put your paws in paint and walk all over a large piece of paper. Humans may use bare feet or wellingtons.

oops...jay is coming...she says I was only meant to say "thanks for the fishies ....."

And she doesn't seem to appreciate that using flour in the kitchen instead of paint was an er..experiment...it is only flour and it is not much mess...er well ok a bit of er oh dear a lot of mess!

Trubble you are better off in the doghouse there than here.. it is probably warmer. :(

kittycat.

Oh dear move over pussycat!

Living feeling ok is something I thought one time I would ever experience and just now I am feeling ok..no need to post of anything traumatic as I have a handle on me......wow...I guess it will not last; but I think that there is a point where you know you finally know how to cope with the bad stuff and you do.

Taking down time for me made all the difference ... I now longer feel exhausted and I am actually feeling fit and well.. this is so great after do long... the thing is the yucky stuff has not gone away. But you're in a better frame of mind to handle it.

The advice not to act out and to take time out when you feel yucky releases a whole load of emotional energy.. Yes!

it happens when you can finally say what is your and what is the other persons stuff.. and I have got it wrong and not felt so much like it was the end of the world...this week anyway.

hey this stuff works! The more you do it, the clearer stuff becomes. Think about making this stuff a way of life...

love, Jay

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here,

Well, no new news on Dr. Psycho 'sightings' even though we live a split second away. I see him all the time however we don't speak. We look down and around when we do see each other. giggle.

I DO have news on the Dr. Psycho - friend front. This past Sunday evening his best friend, "Dave" stopped at my house. He smelled like alcohol, however, not drunk at that point. He comes in my house, sits on the couch, and I offer him juice, water. He sees that I had 2 beers and asked if he could have one. I said yes. We then proceed to sit and talk on my couch. After an hour later, he started trying to kiss me. I backed off. He kept trying....then I answer my phone. When I return to the room, he was NAKED. He stood there showing his jewels and offering to service me. Giggle! I was - needless to say - shocked!!!!!!! And this is Dr. Psycho's BEST FRIEND. He would not get dressed!!!! Giggle! I thought about calling the police. Then Dave goes outside - in front of my house - stark naked - except with his tennis shoes on - to have a cigarette. He's outside talking loud (thank GOD it was dark outside) - I was DYING to say the least. Anyway, I dragged him into the house - this guy, BTW, was drunk at this point because he had the two beers so he must have been pretty drunk to between with - I sat him on the couch - and proceeded to dress him. He fought me off. I persisted and finally got him dressed. Told him I'd call him a cab - he refused - so I dragged him by the arm to my car so I could take him home. (I almost called Dr. Psycho - but I stopped myself because Dr. Psycho would still BLAME ME for his friend's actions and behavior). Even more amazing! He refused to get in my car - so he got in his truck and drove away. I followed him home to make sure he got home OK. (he lives in the same area as Dr. Psycho and myself). WHAT A NIGHTMARE! It was, however, funny in some ways -- disturbing as well. Part of me wants to let Dr. Psycho know about this -- part of me says no. So, I'm torn. It was very, very bizarre!! I told Dave the next day to not let this happen again. He agreed.

Hugs, Sharon

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Sharon, these people are crazy and possibly dangerous. I guess it's because I suffered an acquaintance assault that I don't find that stuff funny at all. I think you were lucky he didn't go further. I would NOT have a sense of humor about this. I would have called the police. Did you ever think about what Dr. Psycho has said about you that would make Dave feel like he could behave this way, since they are best friends? This is beyond YUK!

Sharon, take CARE of yourself! This I find very worrying! I wouldn't tell Psycho, I would tell the POLICE! You may need their help someday and I think this should be documented. Good idea...

Love, Perdida

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Dear Perdida,

I sent you this long post but it didn't take! But in the meantime it might show up!

What I said in my post that didn't take - short version here - was that the visit from Dave was so very confusing, I'm in shock. It was disturbing - and in some ways frightening. The man has a drinking problem which I didn't know about. He's always been pleasant and polite with me in the psat. So, it was very weird for me to experience otherwise. I wonder too if Dr. Psycho put him up to it?? What an eye opener for me to see this as 'birds of a feather flock together?' Maybe, perhaps. Dave was at Dr. Psycho's house last night for hours. Probably again getting drunk. I hate living so close because I see everything. I doubt if Dave will be back at my house - but if there is a return visit - I will be calling '911'.

Sharon

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Dear Perdida,

You know something I just thought of? I think I will be filing a report with the police. This is just in case something does happen in the future. I did file an 'informational police report' in January when Dr. Psycho chased me in the neighborhood in his car. Remember that? So, I think I will be filing the same for information just in case........

Sharon

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Hi all. Kathy here.

Haven't posted here for a while. Welcome to the new people!

I am still struggling with those darn codependent issues. Yuck! But I know for a fact that I NEVER, EVER, want to go back to the depressed, almost suicidal person I was last year. So its struggle, work through my feelings, cry, feel angry, get some self-esteem (for Pete's sake!) and listen to myself and figure out what I like and want regardless of what other people think I should want or like.

whew....

Some days I just want to go back to my old, sad, codependent ways. I still have wishes that things could be different with my boyfriend but I doubt they ever will so am doing my best to take care of ME and my two boys. It takes a while to break the bad habits... Keep at it!

I miss Theressa's posts in the catbox.....hope you're doing well out there in cyberland! You helped me a lot to see the point/lessons in the things that happened to me. Thanks! Yes, thanks!

Jay - hope you're doing well today. You sounded great in your post.

Sharon - double YUCK on Dr. Psycho's friend. I agree with Perdida - file a police report on him.

Kathy

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Norma,

I responded last night to your post about what to say to your children. I am so bummed it got lost. Perhaps, Trubble got a hold of it. I had fish sticks last night. The scent may still have been on my fingers as I typed it? He's in the doghouse for a reason.

I will write to you later. I wanted to print a copy up for myself.

For right now, I offer this. Don't say anything until the situation has cooled down. Then talk to him later telling him that you are looking into counseling for you guys and validate his experience. I would recommend seeing a family or child behavioral specialist. My son is 9 years old and seeing one now. She gives him a safe place to vent, and learn how to release his feelings and anger. He is too worried about me right now to show me his true feelings. He is also afraid of his father turning his rage back onto him. He feels powerless. I am showing him by standing up and becoming stronger that I will protect him and get us help no matter what. This will develop trust. I can remember this being done as a child. It makes all the difference in the world. Just keep in mind that he is a lot more perceptive then you may realize.

Take Care, I will write more later :)

LisaMM

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Hi Sharon,

I am so glad you decided to file an informational report with the police. You also spoke to Dave himself, you said, and handled it personally too. You covered all bases.

It's just that you know and we all know here too that Psycho has a serious problem, and you are right to wonder what the two of them might plan. And the goal would be to humiliate you. They might think they are trying to be funny, overgrown adolescents trying to get your attention. But a man getting naked in your living room without your consent is against the law! Don't even let him in the house again!

Try to look at yourself too and make sure you are not sending any unintentional signals of interest. You know the guy, maybe in happier times you had some laughs with him, and this makes these situations REALLY ambivalent and ambiguous. You have to be really clear, with him and with yourself.

Good luck! Keep us posted!

Love, Perdida

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Oh brother.. not the site...I just wrote reams and lost it.

I think I was saying to Perdida that the therapy sounds good.

I think I was saying to Steve that I think his last post looks like he is gloating a bit and not looking at himself....? Yes. Just a hint, but it's there.

But I now know the dog is still alive!

I wanted to say to Sharon that I thinking it was CRAZY to not dial 911..you has a naked guy in the house...not at your invitation who had been drinking and were even going to put him in your car and drive him...Sharon what if he had raped you????????? What if he had raped you and then Dr. Psycho walked in and joined. They would have told the police you invited your former boyfriend and his buddy over...

Please don't make yourself that vulnerable again.. also where were your kids with this scenario going on...

I think though that this is so typical of us codependents.. we manage to rescue people with really bad behaviour and it is so silly as we generally put ourselves at risk.

Kathy - you are OK.

To the person who lost their job.. that is a really horrid story and I think that you should take it to a tribunal. Keep the emails and go to law...If you feel you have the energy.....After all they are the people likely to give you a reference.. though if it is only four weeks you could probably still ask your previous employer...Sorry you had such a rough time though.

As for me...I just got an interesting taste in what it is like to get validation when you are no longer dependent on it for survival.. It feels good.. but it can't be knocked as you are secure enough in yourself to know you are ok anyway... Exactly!!! I had to do a role play in some training and I was sure I did it right and then got feedback along the lines of being a good counselor...The thing is I didn't NEED this because I could look at my own performance and then someone complimented me on my cool head and I didn't throw the compliment back.. that has to be a first.

Then I came home to find I left the dinner behind in a shop and was really tempted to lay it on thick about how silly i am.. but I just explained to Jake what happened and he insisted that he would make dinner...

Then he went into anti Jay mood and asked me to get out of the kitchen...

Later he gave me a problem to sort...at least I would like to know how others would view this...Last week I gave him a letter to give to his counselor.. he said he would give it to her. Tonight I asked him if she took it and he replied he wouldn't tell me as what goes on in counseling is confidential.... I don't think I am particularly bothered which way it goes; but I just wondered if I should have just not asked.

Jake got pretty mean after that and ate his dinner in the kitchen and was generally uncommunicative.. I went away and prayed and he can't do anything at all about that as he does not know....giggle so now if he is horrid he gets prayed for and the more horrid he is he will get prayed for more ...this is a constructive solution when someone's bad behaviour bugs you...They can't of course do a thing about it.......

Maybe the answer to all relationship problems is that the minute they happen both parties go away and think good thoughts about each other or pray... Praying is similar to taking time out and doing nothing but sitting with it. You are not reacting and giving yourself time to understand how you feel and what may have happened.

Jake is saying he won't go to any more counseling with me so I didn't have many options left..

For everyone with post traumatic stress/bad memories.. I hope more people get trained with the technique used on me,...I am still marveling at the way £25.00 got rid of a really bad memory-it doesn't go altogether but got moved to a different part of my brain so I can think dispassionately about it. It was so simple but what I really can't understand is I tried to use the technique alone and thought it should work; but it doesn't...Why would you need the presence of the counselor to do it?????

Jake is taking HKK away at the weekend...so I will be all alone.. I liked it last time that happened and I am going to treat it as space for me.. I have been invited to a party so it won't be too lonely and in this case I would not particularly have wanted jake with me as he would 't know anyone and would just sit i n a corner looking miserable! More progress.. one time I would not have gone at all.......Giggle ..it will be full of 'service users', psychologists and psychiatrists.....and other assorted people involved in mental health...so i can have fun wondering who is who......

In other words there has to be recovery form codependency because I feel confident and it is also good news for people who are depressed and I thought I was going back there and I have really found that I am able to work round this not to.

I was talking to someone the other day who told me that three of the psychologists in my area are people who suffer from a mental illness....wow and they are working.....and good at the job....I am unsure how they get insurance though!

I just feel so grateful that depression was the only thing I suffered from. Oh yes, I have a handle on the pills stuff...I found that there were some herbal tablets and started using them...they actually send me to sleep better than the prescribed things and sleep seems to be the key for me.

I guess I am just amazed that with all the junk I can still feel ok....I really thought this time last year I never ever would again.

And I think I finally got it to integrate and accept the two halves of me...which I thought would not happen so quickly.. I think I realised the ups and downs have merged together in a whole...I can't think how else to say this.......... Yes. Just keep in mind that you will do this many many times before it becomes automatic; so if you blow it next time, you didn't "fail." Know you will blow it many times until you no longer do...

Ah well that is enough for one night!

love, Jay

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Dear Perdida/Jay:

Oh, I know what you are both saying! This situation with Dave could have turned out really bad. As it was - OK in the beginning -no signs of weird. Just two friends visiting - then bingo - and then it got super weird - and now I'm in shock *afterwards* about all of it. 3 days later and I'm sooooooo very grateful that nothing worse happened! But Oh my God, I just froze and acted with my own instincts. And now I think about it and its shocking. I felt numb at first I think and now the reality is hitting. That's why I need to file the police report. I didn't give him any *hope* in the past that he would even *have his way* with me - I think this guy was just plain drunk and horny - however, now I am wondering if it was a *set up* from Dr. Psycho. Me too. All day long I've walked in a daze thinking 'what if'. Now the reality of it all has hit. I don't like how I feel. Yuk.

Sharon

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Hi I found this website about a month ago. I have been reading everything in it and I am in a verbally and emotionally abusive marriage. I am trying to decide whether to leave or stay. I have 2 children, ages 12 & 10. I love my husband but I am so unhappy. I want my children to feel loved, safe and secure. My husband is a very good father. He has never abused the children in any way. However, they have witnessed terrible fights between us it has frightened them. Isn't that abusive? My children love their father and I don't want to turn their world upside down by divorcing him. On the other hand I think I would be happier if I was no longer married to this man. I am grateful for this website. I have learned a lot here. I would appreciate any replies. Thanks for all the insight you all have given me already.

Mary

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001
 

Dear Sharon,

When an acquaintance suddenly pulls a stunt like that, it's really hard to know how to react. Don't spend a lot of time going over what you shoulda done! There was no reason for you not to let him in and sit down for a chat. You had no indication that he would drop his trousers and offer stud service (although if someone smells like alcohol, they are NOT sober!). You did the best you could with what you knew! Exactly.

What's important is to learn what you can from this. It probably won't happen again, but it was the moment that he wouldn't stop trying to kiss you when you told him to that you needed to take it seriously and take steps to protect yourself. We're all socialized to not make a scene and our gentle education has the potential to put us in danger. I can even see that it may have seemed funny until it got very very weird. I personally would have locked him out of the house butt naked and let him go home that way. Yes. The codependent part of you had to make sure he got home safely. Check that out... There's always Monday morning quarterbacking!

But a situation like that can go awry in a very UN-funny way, very quickly. Stay away from the whole crew!! I still wish you could move...

My ex wants to bring me some attachments to my cappuccino machine that I forgot to take. I will ask him if he is the anonymous poster. Wouldn't that be cool!

Love, Perdida

 

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