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Comments for Catbox 7

Comments for Catbox 7

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

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 2000. 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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B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000

S1

Dear All in the catbox. Love and hugs.

Dan- I just think you are amazing. You mean that you saw what was wrong and worked on it. (I had a peep at the first posts yesterday_) I only wish my H would come on board. He thinks using this site at all is abusive to him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Any ideas?

Lynn and Dan you are older than me but not much.

Dr. Irene, How did you get so wise?   Akasha bit me.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000

S1

Sorry, forgot to sign her name again; the above post is mine. J

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000

S1

*lightning bulb*

Just read Dr. I's question to the "Over-responsible" and was thinking how much my dad was like that. Responsible for everyone at work, responsible for family etc etc then had a heart attack at 45 (luckily he survived). I swore I wouldn't do that because I could see how it didn't help anyone (actually made everyone dependent on him, and kind of showed a lack of trust on his part). So I think I shifted my "over-responsibility" from the realm of work and children (his areas) to the area of relationships, where my dad wasn't so over-responsible. This was how I "wasn't" going to be like Dad. But I took on that trait subconsciously anyway! Boy we humans make life complicated.

I realize that I literally *have* been expecting too much from Steve. While I'm telling him that change doesn't happen overnight, any sign of him "mis-behaving" has signaled "disaster" for me. This doesn't give him a chance to learn what he needs to learn. I think we have set ourselves up for failure by expecting the relationship to resume immediately as a normal functional relationship. I think that I need to acknowledge that it simply can't be that way yet, and that's okay. What I realize is that the "distance" necessary is not to be seen as a step backwards, but a step to recovery for both of us. So that I can "lay off him" while he learns. (Thus, not calling to tell him I'm worried about his progress, which doesn't help him at all.) It's just a way for us both to feel safe right now.

I've been wanting to rush the process to fit with my "life plans" and it's a process that can't be rushed. I think one problem that we have is that physical distance which we both seem to need a lot of right now, has been seen by both of us as a negative thing - sort of a reprimand by the other. Maybe if we can see it instead, as a phase of growth it won't have all the pain and sadness attached to it. I know from my end, I am constantly suspicious of "motives" now. I'm sure this results in some misinterpretations. Perhaps I need to work on dropping this over-protectiveness and build in myself a faith that I will take care of myself. It's very hard to do right now, because I don't completely trust myself to take care of me. (I haven't in the past) If I make myself the promise that I will take care of me then maybe I will eventually know that no-one can disempower me. It sounds fairly simple, but this stuff is so engrained inside. Sometimes I don't know how to take care of me, except by being defensive, or over-protective. Also, I'm just now beginning to learn how not to take in other peoples feelings/attitudes. Dr. I, any suggestions on specific things to do to build a strong center or sense of self? I'm thinking that confidence building stuff like putting myself in unfamiliar situations, public speaking type stuff etc. might be good. Also, being around positive influences. I'm alone a lot and getting out to see people more would probably be good.

Dr I makes it seem so clear, yet without her feedback I would still be in a fog as to what was going on. I hope that once I've really "got it" to make it my goal to help educate others on these basic, very important skills that few people seem to know about or understand very well.

As for the suggestion of an anti-depressant, using drugs just doesn't feel like the right solution for me. I barely use drugs for anything and never have. I'm nervous about other effects they may have and also have a concern about dependence on them. I don't feel depressed at the moment, though I sometimes do. Something for PMS might be nice, but I also wonder if that just covers up my body's symptoms, and the symptoms are there for my body's own good i.e. showing me that something's wrong - like poor diet, not enough exercise, too much emotional stress etc. I really don't want to "cover up" my feelings. I feel that drugs could suppress my emotions and then it just seems like another form of escape. Just my thoughts.

FYI Steve is gone until Monday, so I doubt he will see the posts until at least then.

Thanks

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000

S1

Dear All,

Steve,

I think that we were both posting at the same time yesterday, because I saw your post after I had sent in mine.

I did call you a jerk, I apologize. I based that on my reading of the prior posts. As Dr Irene said no one is a jerk, they may act like it. I don't think that you are acting like it any more, although I may have given you that misconception by my post.

I do think that you are working on your Self and looking at the issues that have brought your relationship to this point. I don't believe that anyone in our position can say Behold I am healed, I was blind and now I can see". This process is a lifelong endeavor. There is no overnight cure, although many probably wish there was.

I agree with your statement "Sometimes when one feels trapped they act defensively......this is, as you know the old fight or flight mechanism in our bodies. When Lynn and I fought before, I would yell and try to make my point while shouting. No win situation. She would withdraw, no discussion, no anything.

I don't have a hang up about your grinning, I was asking about it because of the content which followed. I may have misinterpreted it because I was reading it as saying, don't take this derogatorily because I don't mean it. If grinning is a natural thing, by all means do so, the only thing that I ask is don't use it as a put down, which some people would take it as. Giving double meaning to your words.

"You have to leave on your terms not someone else's." Sometimes, leaving is a compromise, both agree to a pausing of the argument.

I have to disagree with you though, I don't believe that you are 100% wrong, it takes two to Tango, or is that Tangle? Asha is trying to fix, you want the fix, but you both can't reach the agreement that the fix comes from ourselves.

I really believe that you are looking at the issues from your past an will continue to do so. Change is uneven and sometimes the change can be different than what we want.

Asha,

"I wonder if I should post my response at all. But I don't know if that would help or hinder the process." Posting for me is helpful in that I can see what is affecting me and how I can use it to heal, so if it helps you please continue . I'm also getting help from the other members of the family.

"I want to offer input ...." To me this is putting yourself in the position of fixer. You can only improve or heal Self if Steve heals and changes. I feel that you are being unfair to the both of you as you are putting the responsibility of changing on him. You won't if he doesn't. This won't work because you have to work on your Self and Steve has to work on his Self. Your input may be taken as an attack on him thus he gets defensive and then you're off to the races again. The merry go round that he mentioned in his post.

You become co-dependant and he reacts the only way he knows how, abusively or argumentively.

You posted that the timeouts don't seem to work because you both get back into the win at all costs situation. This doesn't work, as you have found out. The thing to do is to pick a time when you both are comfortable and don't engage each other.

I think, that Steve is working on his past issues and the progress is not as fast as you may want it but you have said that there is progress. Remember we learn to walk one step at a time. You both will slip, as the earlier posts from yesterday indicated. The idea is to not let these set backs deter you from the ultimate goal, whether it's a life together (I do hope so) or not.

I am basing my observations on the situations which led Lynn and later me to this site. I am sill working on issues and will get healed. I hope that you will listen to your Self's and come to the realization that what I have posted may be true or untrue for your situations.

If I'm pushing buttons (Dr Irene's phrase) please think about them.

I just talked to Lynn and she suggested that I write this down, so I'm going to do so here. It's about my sisters' death, again. As I wrote earlier I came home from school and she was missing, I went looking for her. My dad wasn't notified until I went to the cops for help. Why? Why did my mother leave the house when she knew that he would be coming home, and leave the telling him of Sister's (her nickname) death to me?  Why indeed?

Dr Irene,

I got sweaty and my stomach did a lurch while talking with Lynn and these questions. Hurtful stuff you've been protecting all your life. I also got feeling a little defensive, not about my mother but about my memories of this time. I guess that I will have to really get this out before I can be the big brother and the father.

I addressed the above to Dr Irene but if any have thoughts I'm receptive.

J,

Thanks for the thought, but I have a long way to go. Lynn just showed me the symptoms and her post. I decided that I needed whatever help and advice that the family could give me. If your H thinks that the site is abusive to him then I feel that he has issues which he doesn't want to face. Until he does, I can't think of a way to get him to join in.

I will close with these words of "?wisdom?" if man and women thought alike there would be no differentiation between the sexes, no mystery and no wonder.

Hugs

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000

S1

Ugh. I think I had some bad fish the other day. (Yes there is such a thing) either that or I caught the stomach bug that's going around. Maybe just plain stress but stress doesn't usually leave me running to the bathroom all day. I feel horrible. :(

I need to learn not to try to have rational discussions when I'm in this state. My ex wanted some company and I went over there, he sounded friendly and normal over the phone. A couple of hours after I got there, semi-out of nowhere: "I'm begging you to take me back."

*sigh* I can't. And when I tried to explain the things that would need to change for me to consider it, the mushroom cloud erupted as usual. Steve and AK sound so much like us...

I told him that I am not comfortable with his substance use, and he went on and on about how I keep calling him an addict and he's NOT an addict but obviously I'm convinced of it [well, frankly his attitude about it doesn't do much to make me think he's a responsible user -- I do believe such people exist, but he's NOT ONE OF THEM!] so anything he says won't make any difference. It is reasonable to request your partner stop using substances, especially if they are illegal.

The other thing that bothers me is he has a fairly vicious temper. He never quite crossed the line into physical abuse with me, but he went right up to it on two occasions, and on the second I almost called the police. I told him that, and he said "well, we all make mistakes when we're angry." A mistake is one thing though, being afraid for your physical safety is quite something else. And he HAS been violent with other people. He's hit his sister for insulting me, he's hit his best friend for some reason I have now forgotten, and while high he went after someone with a chair leg or something of that nature for calling him "goatf***er" repeatedly. I can understand that was annoying, but if someone hadn't pulled him off he might have killed this guy. He showed up at my house right after this (at 3 am) saying that he was dangerously psychotic and I needed to leave him. Wasn't easy to calm him down. I thought that experience might have taught him something, but a few days later he was shrugging it off and saying "well, I just won't smoke around jerks then."

We talked more about how things fell apart on vacation. I told him that one of the reasons I was so upset with him bringing the drugs there was because I was looking forward to some time away from our usual lives to try to work things out between us, and his bringing the drugs when I specifically told him not to, and lying about it, made me feel like he just didn't care.

In fact, though I didn't tell him this, if he had actually sat and thought about "OK, what's the most hurtful thing I could possibly do to Astrid?" that would have been it.

Heck, I've used the stuff in the past, and when we first got together that and my occasional nights out drinking made him uncomfortable. He was upset that my friends got me drunk on my 21st birthday! We had designated drivers, it was a weekend night, I didn't drink to the point of throwing up or passing out, but it still bothered him. What he says now about that is "well, I was a control freak back then. Now I know sometimes you have to lose control to keep control. But you probably don't understand that." (I do, better than he thinks. But I do not think it means what he thinks it means. Yes, that was a gratuitous Princess Bride reference. *smiles*)

*sigh* I feel absolutely miserable right now. Physically and in every other way. Hope you feel better soon...

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000

S1

Astrid

I hope you're feeling better soon...

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene's question to the overly responsible got me thinking. I remembered that when I was young, and home sick from school, my dad would pitch a fit, and yell at my mom for letting me stay home (I suppose he did the same if my sisters stayed home, but I only remember my experience). He would accuse me of faking, and tell my mom that I was tricking her! I'd have a bad time a couple days a month, and couldn't walk let alone go to school, but he never believed that I was hurting that bad.

These early experiences must have something to do with the guilt. It's not arrogance, as in "They can't get along without me," it's "I'm faking, I'm not really that sick, I COULD drag myself in there, I don't deserve to take time off." It's good old invalidation, my dad's voice still coming through! I am suggesting arrogance because you are so guilty. Who besides the Big Guy has the power to affect lives? In your example, your not feeling well caused your father to yell at your mother - so you feel as though your mom would not have gotten yelled at had it not been for you. Well, we know this is not true. Nobody forced dad to give mom a hard time. And, if it wasn't you or your illness, your dad would just find another "excuse" to yell. In using the word "arrogance" I am hoping to help you view your over responsibility as a negative because you assume you have a Godly amount of power.  

It's interesting that when my younger boy was sick and I let him stay home, my husband (his step-father) tried to control the situation by criticizing me for letting the boy lie downstairs on the couch: ("When I was home sick, I had to stay upstairs ALL DAY!") I felt the same "vibes" from him that I'd felt from my dad: "You're faking it, therefore, you should be made as uncomfortable as possible so you won't fake it again!" I didn't let him bully me; it was easier to care for my son if he was downstairs. But it was more stress for me, more reminders of how I'd failed my husband by doing things differently than he thought they should be done.

What it comes down to is this: despite years, more or less, in therapy, despite having weathered one severe depression and an anxiety disorder, despite getting myself together and going to school and graduating twice with honors, despite having raised two great kids, etc. etc., I STILL, deep down, believe that I'm a puny, insignificant nonentity! DRAT!! Why don't I believe that I deserve a day off when I'm sick? Why can't I trust my own judgment? Will I still be this way when I'm ninety? Only if you choose to be.

Becky (Pulling her hair out!)

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000

S1

Hi all.

I wanted to thank you AJ for your insight, which I never did address.

You said: [In this phase you both need time to heal, and I think a lot of healing needs to be done on your own, without the pressure of feeling you have to come up with some sort of solution. You don't. Just detach.]

I think you hit on something when you said "solution". I'm very goal-oriented and to not have a plan that I can break down into little bits is really hard for me. I've always believed I could accomplish anything if I knew what I wanted and how to get there - well I still think I do. But the game changes when it involves other people. You can't break down their choices into little steps when you don't know what those choices will be! Even my own life will have some unexpected forks in the road. I really believe in visualization as a tool for setting goals, but when the vision isn't what I expect, I have to re-work it. I have a belief that the difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline. My vision does include a relationship, but I can't put a deadline on it, the way I can with other things. I think there is a difference between drifting through life with no plans, and going with the flow. I need to know that I am in control of my life, but that I can handle changing circumstances and be flexible.

Becky:

You are so hard on yourself!

I hate to see you so discouraged.

I believe that we are all put here on earth for a greater mission, and that some of us have a harder path than others, but it is all in the name of growth.

I know, for myself, sometimes I've questioned how I have ended up where I am, but I think I have a bigger faith that says my "circumstances" have a purpose and it's my choices within them that count (the things I do have power over). I think you are just beginning to discover the power you have within.

It's okay to be frustrated though. You are human. We all are. (Well, except Trubble, but don't tell him that. He'd be crushed. He'd also be crushed if he ever figures out how many mommys and daddys he can actually have.) If you believe that life is supposed to be perfect then you set yourself up for disaster. It's the messy stuff that helps us to grow.

take care Becky - it's kinda like the dream I had where the ominous clouds that I thought were moving in on me were actually moving away and the sky became blue and sunny - sometimes what looks disastrous can actually be something wonderful and empowering in disguise.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Hi Asha, B. here.

Your Dog & Cat joke really made me laugh, especially since it's so obviously modern English speaking...

I thought further about what I wrote, that I discovered I loved my husband no less for his "weaknesses", and came to the conclusion that it was classic co-dependent: it was perfectly OK for HIM to be human, but I did not allow the same to ME. Giggle... Now I'm trying to work on loving ME for my weaknesses, shortcomings and horrible qualities too. My husband can't get it. Whenever I tell him I don't feel lovable, how can anybody truly love me, he says: But everybody loves you!

However, he does not really love himself, either. We'll work on that... B.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Dear Asha, You said my comment on looking for a solution hit on something. Then you explained how you feel. I know exactly what you mean. I too was always running around, desperately looking for a solution NOW, no time to just wait and see what would happen. I felt that if I didn't do anything, nothing would be done (typically do-dependent, as I now understand). It's not only non-productive in a lot of situations, it's very trying and frustrating as well. I used to think the same way as you (still often do). It's a very analytical, rational way of thinking, with hardly any room for feelings and the natural flow of live. Maybe that's why we are attracted to men like Steve and C.: they have a certain way of directly (re)acting to their feelings, something very intuitive, which we sort of lack(ed). When C just started looking into his problems he used to say: I need to get more rational. I think Steve has sort of the same problem (I'd appreciate your comments here Steve). We are the ones who want/need to sort thinks out, make a plan and then stick by it. They keep telling us our plans are like a cage (Steve's words) and they die within (C's words). I think you hit the nail in saying: <<I think there is a difference between drifting through life with no plans, and going with the flow. I need to know that I am in control of my life, but that I can handle changing circumstances and be flexible. This means to control yourself vs. others or situations. Then you really can handle anything!>> You and me need to learn to be more flexible I guess. Funny thing about not feeling you heave to be in control all the time is that it actually makes live easier. Let someone else do their part of the work to, sit back and see what happens. I course this doesn't go for everything, but I do feel as far as people and relationships are concerned, letting go and being flexible is by far the better solution (within boundaries of course:)) Steve and C. probably need to learn that a certain amount of rules make life easier and more comprehensive for all of us. (Jeez, don't I sound like little- miss- know -it -all :)) And, why not!

Dear J., Big welcome here also. I know it feels kind of strange at first being at this forum, but it's nice and really helpful. We're all kind of addressing the same issues and it's good to hear each others stories.

Dear Becky, don't pull out your hair: it doesn't look nice and beside it hurts! Please take care of yourself, you're worth it, even if you sometimes have a difficult time believing it. You're posting helps me and I think others as well, And know what: YOU EVEN DESERVE TWO DAYS OF WHEN YOU FEEL SICK or even if you don't feel sick , no matter what the reason.

Dear Astrid, hope you're feeling better again. If your ex says he wants you to take him back, you might consider asking him why he wants that. It might start him thinking what you really mean to him. I wonder, if and when he would behave, would stop substance abuse and would really start working on healing, would you consider taking him back?

To all, just want to fill you in on meeting C. last night. I think it went well. We talked a lot about boundaries, about rules and regulations and we did decide we both want to try to work things out together as in getting back together again, if possible. We both are very cautious and that's OK for now I think. We started of by both being very defensive, me making sarcastic remarks like: I'll just sit here close to the door, cause who knows when I ‘ll have to leave. He said: you don't have to leave, you can stay as long as you want. I said: well maybe I will want to leave. We had a hard time getting to the RULE-issue, which is one of our main problems. He stated he didn't want a contract about how things would have to be and he didn't want something like getting together every week and talk things over. (Very defensive body language). I said I didn't want to pretend nothing happened and just get on with the show. No, it would be OK to talk , but only as issues arouse. I used to get livid at things like this, but I think I realised what he meant: you can't set boundaries in advance, setting boundaries in advance is controlling and imposing rules. (Did I get this right, or did I just let C talk me into this Dr I?) We also talked about the fact that by saying I don't want you to impose rules, he is imposing the Father-of-all-rules on ME. He sort of grinned and said well oke maybe you are right there. He has a definite streak of arrogance (which funny as it may sound I rather love, though it really gets at me at times) and he used to be very very good at saying it was all my fault. I confronted him on that too and he said: I know, I still feel that way: when I am right, I am right. And if you don't challenge me, then I keep feeling I am right. Then it hit me: sure, that was part of what boundaries are about. If I don't tell him I don't agree with him, that he's hurting me, that I am not ruining his day by forgetting to put the sugar on the table, he will just presume that I agree and that it IS my fault. One more piece of the boundary puzzle. He asked me to stay, I said it was to early for me yet, and he said he understood, though he felt disappointed. He brought me back my favorite cheese and sweets from France, put on the earring I bough for him and was generally very sweet. I t felt OK, but I really wanted to get back home again, I didn't want to spent the night with him (sex or no sex), cause I felt I need to take things slowly. I just told him so and I felt so good about myself: I did not let him pressure me, I told him I had missed him also, but still needed a little distance. I am feeling a little guilty, but that's OK.

Dan, has Trubble arrived at your place yet. I am getting a bit worried about him Maybe he got stuck somewhere in a Trout farm, and lost his way. You think we should sent out a search party? Take care, just a few days left before Lynn will be returning.

Dr. I. If you want to hire me, that's OK, You won't even have to pay a fee: just pay my ticket to the States. :) (Thanks for the compliment anyway, I had a couple of good teachers here on this site, including of course yourself (Self?))

Love to you all, AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

I don't know why but the post I wrote last night didn't get through.

 

Dan - At least you are willing to try and that s what is precious. My H avoids all ways to look at my point of view. He has the world convinced he is the nice guy and at times even me. At least one of us is looking to change. H is very freaked by my refusing to be part of the cycle we have got in to and I am trying to stay strong.

I have taken to posting rather than losing control. Hopefully soon I will feel totally in control. Then he won't have all the control and I won't have all the emotion.......HEY folks that is what happened this morning. I kept calm and he lost it. PROGRESS Excellent! But, he'll change tactics and you'll have to continue pulling in your buttons. Actually, this is good for you even though I know you hate having to do it. and now I need to look at the awful feeling of glad revenge....NOT RIGHT. Please, no right/wrong. You feel revenge because you are very angry. Best solution: Learn the skills you need to never, ever let him get over again. He is only doing to me what I have done to him. Ugh I hate my own self righteousness but do I feel smug. You're human.

Lynn he is cleaning the kitchen floor right now. I want a cat so I can clean a cat box. He has also washed up and sorted the washing. Made our son a drink.......Guess who gets the loose in our house. (and the Hoover). This week I will wash my own floor......

A.K and Steve at least you have a dialogue on here. What I wouldn't give for that.

Love, J (Jay)

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Lyn - correction. I came back from doing the shopping to find he had the Hoover in hand.....I suppose my husband did too much housework wouldn't look so good if I went for a divorce.

Actually, I guess there was a time when I did nothing. He even might be trying but not able to express it in non control terms. I guess being gracious and saying thank you will be the best way. Yes! 

I was thinking a lot on my shopping trip about how I have lost the ability to get into adult to adult interaction. Somehow H and I are in adult (him) and child (me) and I have to start being a grown up again. Yes. I think I might have set the pattern by my own insecurities by always wanting reassurance for what I did. I even used to get him to check my essays when I did my first degree. So I suppose I have to tale responsibility for not wanting an adult role when I should have taken it. I guess this is what plays right into the hands of a passive aggressive. Subconsciously I probably wanted someone to take charge, but then you change and develop as a person. He is still back 20 years ago and hasn't wanted to see that I have moved on. Hates any moving on.

It is my responsibility to myself to move on and not keep myself stuck. As from today I am going to be grown up. I've done all the going into the childhood stuff; got plenty of sympathy; I think I just maybe have been running from being a grown up for a long time.

Lyn!!!!!! HE HAS TAKEN THE HOOVER UPSTAIRS..........but there are now sweet wrappers by the Mac. Hey, nobody said he would do it as fast as you would!

I am going to finish my MA research and not ask his help once.

Dr. Irene, I'm composing my email, but things are changing so fast that I have to keep changing it. I just looked at your comment to Lyn about being strong. Yeah, I guess that is a good and productive use of anger; but I would like to stop feeling angry at all. Sorry, Trubble, it was your comment. Are you really on a MAC - great things MACS. I love mine. Do you give therapy for those majorly addicted to your site?!!!!!!!! Giggle. Trubble's adoptive daddy, my husband, has a Mac. I am Windows. We are a mixed marriage and there will be no compromise here!

Someone. what is an SO and an SOX? Not English terms. I worked out H for husband. LOL?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Dear Asha, I was writing in my diary about what happened with C and me, and I all of a sudden realised that his learning to cope with his own problems is kind of threatening to me. Typical, you know. Good observation on your part. Tolerate it, OK? Actually I think he is doing great, all things considered. Part of me is happy about that, because I really wanted him to be able to stand on his own to feet and fight his own battles. But you know, funny thing is I feel threatened, probably because if he heals and starts ‘behaving', 1. I won't be able to blame everything on him anymore (which was subconsciously what I was still doing) and look to him for the solution; 2. I loose my control on him (which I thought I didn't want, but......). I thought maybe something like that is happening for you too: you want him to work things out, but it is scary at the same time, cause, what if he does, you'll have to decide for yourself whether you want to be with him the way he is, you can't hide behind the ‘if only he would change' anymore. So you need, maybe to subconsciously make it clear to yourself he still is the one with the problems and you are the victim: feels like a safe place to be and changing is scary, if if you want it

Just some thoughts on Sunday evening. I don't know, maybe I am rambling, but I would like to know how you feel about this.

Take care, AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Well, I'm feeling a little better this morning. Still kind of weak but at least not wearing a path between my bed and my bathroom. :)

Would I consider taking my ex back if he worked on stuff? I might consider it, but there'd have to be a lot of real change that he's made it pretty clear he isn't interested in making at this point. And I certainly have no intention of waiting around for him to change! As to why he wants me back, I questioned this and the most I could get from him was "I don't know, you just feel like home to me." Yet if he wants me back as much as he says he does, a) why is he so unwilling to work on the stuff that bothers me and b) why does he read and respond to personal ads when he's feeling depressed? Sounds more like he wants a woman and he knows I was willing once. Maybe I'm overreacting You're not. , I don't know. But I sent him an e-mail last night about this and I'll clip some of the relevant bits here:

At this point, I'm willing to upgrade chance of us eventually reconciling from "no way in hell" to "possible but highly unlikely." There are things about you that bug me. Some of those things I feel I have the right to ask/demand that you do something about if you're interested in sustaining a relationship with me. The rest, I acknowledge that I have no right to do anything beyond letting you know they bug me and then trying to find a way for them not to bug me so much.

In the first category, at this point, there are three obvious things. The biggest one is of course dishonesty. If you do something that I don't like, I might still be mad, I might even lose my temper (working on that), but it's NEVER as bad from my perspective if you're honest with me in the first place. If you continue to be dishonest with me, you run the risk of losing not only my love but also my friendship. I don't like broken promises, I don't like being lied to, and frankly I don't see why someone who loves me as much as you claim to would find it necessary to be dishonest with me. It's not one particular instance of this so much as it is the pattern. I'd rather you not promise me anything at all than hear you promise me something while wondering if this is one of the handful of promises you will keep or what excuses you might find to break this one.

The second one is the drug issue. I'm not going to rehash the question of addiction, psychological dependency, or responsible vs. irresponsible use, but I am going to say, again, that you have by your actions made it very clear that smoking pot is at this point in your life more important to you than being in a relationship with me. You have brought it into situations where it was not appropriate, you have done things under the influence that disturbed me a great deal (the night you got thrown out of the apartment across the street, the night you said we should have an orgy with [one of his male friends], the night you moved on campus and showed up here high and got REALLY persistent about wanting sex after I'd said no, which is something you just don't do sober, other stuff I'm not thinking of right now but those are the big ones), and if I object to this you say I'm being judgmental. Again I ask, if it were truly no big deal to you, and if I were truly as important to you as I once believed, why would you do something (I don't care what the something is) that upsets me so greatly? If you feel I have no right to ask this of you, that's up to you, but that also tells me that (again, leaving aside the whole question of what constitutes addiction) having a relationship with me is a lower priority in your life than smoking pot is. There is no real way around that. And yes, I am willing to turn this around and say that my sense of what's right on this issue is more important than staying with you. It took me a long time to realize that, but dealing with your sudden reversal on the topic of drug use put a severe strain on my sense of reality and dealing with what IN MY OPINION constitutes irresponsible use on your part on a continual basis is too threatening to my own mental health. And no, I don't have an easy answer to "How much is OK to use?" With the exception of the SCA event issue, I'd be equally uncomfortable with you drinking as much as you smoke pot. And I would be equally uncomfortable if you brought alcohol to a dry site unless it was well-known that the site wasn't "really" dry. So this isn't some irrational "just because it's illegal" thing with me. I don't think pot SHOULD be illegal, and you ought to know that by now. I don't think that any use of it whatsoever is inherently irresponsible. In fact, as such things go my opinions are pretty darn liberal, whether or not you believe that.

The third issue is that I'm uncomfortable with your temper. Yes, both of us have bad tempers. However, yours gets you in much more trouble. I haven't lost jobs along with my temper, or burned bridges even at jobs I hated (like you apparently did with the video store). I do not become physically violent with people, especially people smaller than me (like you did with your sister because she insulted my appearance -- I know, you say that I'm an only child so I just don't get it, but she's how much smaller than you? and you're both old enough to have ways to deal with conflict other than beating on each other). Both of us have a problem with losing it in front of other people; I'm probably worse than you in that regard. But I'm trying to get a handle on mine before it damages my life any further, and I feel like you're ignoring yours and hoping it goes away. And yes, the situation with my housemate's ex made me rather paranoid on this subject, but when I state that I am concerned about my physical safety, I expect that to be respected rather than casually dismissed. Certainly I don't expect it to be mocked, as you have done in the past, and I don't expect you to get upset if I'm jumpy. I'm naturally a jumpy person -- as we've said even my aura is ticklish. :) Mary at work came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder and I think I was six inches out of my seat for a few seconds. When you take this as evidence that I'm afraid of you, and become angry about it, it has exactly the opposite of the result you want -- it makes me more afraid.

At a minimum, to seriously consider getting back together with you, I'd have to see those things change first and stay changed for some time. How long? I don't know. Until I was reasonably certain the changes were genuine and not merely an attempt to win me back that would last at most a month or two before it was back to same old same old. I don't know how long that would take. Even then I don't know if it would work. But it would be a point at which I would be willing to try being yours again.

--

So we'll see what he has to say to that. When we tried to talk about it face to face, basically he kept saying "I'm not an addict, how can you say that about me, how could I go without it for two weeks if I was addicted?" etc. Like I said, IF he was willing to change some of this stuff I'd be willing to try again, but he just hasn't shown himself to be willing. And I can't in good conscience give him one more chance when it will only hurt me more once he screws it up (which at this point I'm sure he would do). Guaranteed.

As far as I'm concerned, whether the issue is pot, porn or something entirely different that most people wouldn't think of, if one person in the relationship has said "this makes me uncomfortable" and the other continues to say "How dare you say that to me?" no real communication can take place, no compromise can be made, and there's little chance things will get better until the conversation gets more productive than that. And that's where I'm at with my ex. *shrug*

Astrid   Astrid, start moving along...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and Cat Box Family,

My two questions about the death of my sister were in a way rhetorical, as no one but my mother could answer them. I know that... My job is to get you to think think think about this stuff in new ways... And, you are.

Dear Asha,

It seems that you and I were posting at the same time yesterday and were on the same wave length. You just posted it better than I.

You said that you were very goal orientated, and when things don't go as planned, it throws you. A suggestion based on my job. We have specific targets (goals) to attain through the year but sometimes things happen that they aren't able to be accomplished the way that I had planned. I've always develop a Plan A, B, C, and H. A is my original idea, B, C, take into consideration whatever changes are made beyond my control. Plan H is Punt and to h--- with it. Whatever it takes. Remember "the best laid plans of mice and men...."

You empower others to take our power, whether it is Steve or someone else. Giving up our power is a rupture of our boundaries. We must still look to Self, and thus we are able to keep in touch with our power base.

Dear Astrid,

Hope your feeling better. I would like to ask, why do you think that your ex seems to think that no damage will come from using drugs? I have tried them although nothing harder than Hashish and did not enjoy the feeling of no control, which is how I felt. I would just sit and stare and of course munch.

You posted that your ex had gotten violent while high, this puzzles me as most heads that I have known are very anti-violent when under the influence. Unless the influence was alcohol related. I cannot partake of whiskey other than maybe one shot. I loose it.

Dear J,

You posted that your H was housecleaning, was he doing this to appease you or does he have another reason. I posted earlier that my mother would get me mad to get her house cleaned because I took my anger out on things. Could this have happened to your H when he was younger? I'm not suggesting that you are getting him angry to get your house cleaned, I'm just wondering if he has a childhood reason for doing so.

Dear Becky,

Has your H been physically abusive?

Dear AJ,

It sounds as though you and C are being very careful around each other.

You want to make sure that he isn't going to resume his past attitude and are being cautious about his actions and motives. I think.

He wants to change and is a little fearful that he might say or do something which is a slippage to his old style.

I think that both of you are on the right track, and once the old habits are broken, both your Selfs will be visible to each other.

There is a fish hatchery not 20 miles from here so it Trubble reached there, he'll have a feast like he's never had before.  You mean he hasn't gotten to your home yet???

Dr Irene,

I think that I have figured out my reactions to Lynn yesterday. I slipped back to the young Danny knowing that I was going to get in trouble because I didn't defend my mother. Then the adult took over, I didn't want to look at the honest feelings which took place. I was denying my responsibility to myself. I was accepting responsibility for not being the parent again. I have said that I don't want this responsibility but I find that I slip into it. Excellent. That's what it's all about: catching yourself acting irrationally, cuz that's what you know to do, and then changing what doesn't work!

Lynn has said that my dad didn't die and leave me in charge. I agree, but old habits are hard to break. Yep.

Dear B,

I think that I can identify with your H, many times I have asked myself what ever made Lynn fall in love with me. I know that one of the reasons that I fell for her is that she can be very independent but also very dependant at the same time. I still have to love myself and I am working on it. I beat myself and that is not a sign of self love. I'm sure that there are plenty of reasons for you and your H to love each other and your Selfs. Nice!

Hugs

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Okay, I feel an epic novel coming on. Forgive me for what I think is going to be a very lengthy post.

B - nice to hear from you

AJ - I feel that we have a lot in common. Corresponding with you reminds me of when I was a kid and was seeking pen pals from other countries. Will you be my pen pal? :) Well I guess all of us on this forum are pen pals with a common interest.

<<I used to think the same way as you (still often do). It's a very analytical, rational way of thinking, with hardly any room for feelings and the natural flow of live. Maybe that's why we are attracted to men like Steve and C.: they have a certain way of directly (re)acting from their feelings, something very intuitive, which we sort of lack(ed).>>

Yes I think you've hit on something here. It's so odd because my dad is a "rational, logical" guy and I've always seen myself as more right-brained and creative. But what I think it comes down to is that I'm repeating his patterns.

When I think about my childhood, I see it as pretty average, with the main dysfunction being that my dad was very over-responsible and my mom took on his feelings. (gee, I got both traits, lucky me :) My mom and dad "took care of me" so much that I don't think I gained the skills and confidence that a healthy person should have. But it was done out of love and compassion. For example, if I needed a hand with something, anything, my dad would be there in an instant. My sister and I had few household chores - my mom took care of that (and my dad). Both my mom and dad had tough childhoods. At 5 years old my dad had a "job", delivering milk for the family business. His dad was sick from war-related wounds and was unable to work for periods of time. My dad said at one point (during the worst of the family health problems) he and his brother went to live with a neighbor woman who didn't like kids much. What I'm getting at is that both my mom and dad wanted my sister and I to enjoy our childhood (probably to make up for what they lacked) and so we were given few responsibilities outside schoolwork. My dad is quite a perfectionist, and is very "security" oriented. Though I felt I was nothing like that and would never take life so seriously as he did, I suppose I still took on his traits. I think my way of "rebelling" was to be with men like, first, my ex-boyfriend, and then Steve, who like you said, re-act from their feelings, and intuition, unlike my dad. (Steve - please don't be offended by this - it's not the only reason, but I'm looking at my patterns. I hope you understand this is in no way a jab at you.)

<<I all of a sudden realised that his learning to cope with his own problems is kind of threatening to me.>>

I was thinking about my response to Steve's question about boundaries and why I re-acted so defensively. It's because I'm afraid he will interpret "boundaries" as a form of control, which was what I felt happened in the past. I think clarification about what 'boundaries' are is really important to those of us who are or have been boundary-less. For example when you said:

<<Steve and C. probably need to learn that a certain amount of rules make life easier and more comprehensive for all of us.>>

I realized that it's easy to confuse "rules" with "boundaries". I know it's all just wording, but to me there is a very big difference, though it can appear subtle. I think that "following rules" comes from the ego, while boundaries come from within (the Self). At times the 2 can be hard to distinguish. For example say I don't want to visit my mate's parents. This can be because of a "boundary" or because of a "rule" I have created. i.e. I might not want to visit his parents because I feel ill, or because I have made a previous commitment, or because I feel that my being there would be detrimental in some way (a boundary - listening to Self) OR I could refuse to visit his parents because I "know" that when I visit his parents once, he'll want me to see them every weekend (rule - give an inch and he'll take a mile). When I think about Steve discovering "boundaries" I fear that he will just have more reasons to want to control everything. I know rationally-speaking that this isn't true, but I just haven't got myself convinced of it deep down. That's OK; no reason to feel convinced just yet. Try to stop anticipating bad stuff and just observe what is.

<<you'll have to decide for yourself whether you want to be with him the way he is, you can't hide behind the ‘if only he would change' anymore.>>

I'll have to think about this. Is it that I want to mold someone into my own vision? But then, why did I choose someone who was so absolutely unwilling to be molded? My "fixing" has never worked anyway. Maybe I want to be the hero for helping him be a "better person". But I didn't really know about all the problems when we first got together, so I'm not really sure about this. I do think that really I would prefer being in a healthy relationship - me becoming healthier and my partner, also. I think I'm still defining for myself what "relationship" means. Definitely mutuality is important to me. I think though, that Steve in certain ways "takes care of me" not quite the way my parents did, but similar. If he is "in charge" then I have the permission to rely on him for certain tasks, as his "dependent". I think this may be more the issue for me. You are working on caring for yourself. And, you know what? So is Steve.

<<He has a definite streak of arrogance (which funny as it may sound I rather love, though it really gets at me at times)>>

I think we mistake 'arrogance' for confidence sometimes. Often.

Astrid - it's so funny to read your email, because it reminds me so much of me, and it's interesting to see it from an outsider's perspective. It's like "if you'd just understand you'd change". And it's probably something you've said again, and again and again. But the appeal of this guy makes it too hard to withdraw and just say "I accept you as you are. This is what I require" and let it go. It's like looking in a mirror when I read this. My ex-boyfriend (before Steve) was a bit like your guy. But I did reach a point with him of total acceptance. I knew that he was unwilling to look at certain parts of himself and after breaking up and getting back together countless times, moving in then moving out, I came to the slow realization that my feelings for him had dulled, and that I could no longer fully trust him even if he did change. I could love him, I could care about him, but I couldn't live with him. I felt so guilty letting him go, because I felt he really needed me. I would find myself, even 2 to 3 years after not having seen him at all, waking up feeling guilty that I had abandoned him. I realize that these were my own nutty thoughts and that he could have just as easily been happy as heck with life that morning, but my belief was that his life without me would be bleak. Now is that over-responsible or what? (and I don't mean that in a good way)

By the way, I'm not saying you shouldn't send him this type of email. I think sometimes you have to, just to clarify to yourself, that yes it's been said, and no he still doesn't understand, to be able to let it go. I'll be honest with you here as well. I think he is looking for a fixer, and it's probably not relevant to him whether that fixer is you or someone else (just that you're "home" to him - familiar territory, no surprises). He will eventually find someone to fill that role if he is as into avoidance as it appears.

I kept "hanging on" to the memory of my ex out of guilt and, in retrospect, my own need to fix him, until one day I gave myself permission to let him go. By the way I "let him go" internally more than a year before I met Steve.

J - If your husband is done with your place, maybe he could come over here and do some 'hoovering'. My "addiction" to this site is interfering somewhat with housework, and yard work :) Giggle! But the dust will still be there when I'm ready for it so that's okay. "sweet wrappers by the Mac." - Oh do I relate. The one that gets me most are the wads of gum that show up stuck to my daybed, my bathroom sink, my kitchen counter.. drives me crazy, *especially* when I'm PMSing!! :) (which I'm not right now by the way)

that's it for this chapter.

take care all.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Dan - we always seem to post at the same time.

I *love* plan H. Yes, this is my new plan. :)

Good advice on not letting others take our power. How do healthy people manage to live together and not allow their power to be taken on occasion? What I mean is that things can be very healthy, then suddenly one partner could take a turn and refuse to take responsibility for lets say household chores or whatever. There is just no way of ever being entirely *positive* that the person you are with will remain healthy throughout life. I guess this is where plan H comes in. Just go with the flow. Does anybody know of any good pre-marriage "questions to ask yourself"? If so, I'd be interested in seeing something like that.

take care

Asha

p.s. If Trubble's anything like my cat, he has jumped into an open car window and is in Timbuktu by now, probably having the time of his life! Oh I hope not! I'm worried about him! Dan: If he's not at your house yet, could you take a ride over to the hatchery?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Another thought...

I think the abuse that Steve wants me to fess up to is manipulative stuff like "getting him to do things" by whining and complaining and otherwise trying to make him feel guilty. When you whine and attempt to guilt him (even though it's really his job not to let himself be manipulated), you are stepping over his boundaries because you are treating him poorly and imposing stuff on him. This is different from making a request of him - and accepting a "no" answer. It rarely gets him to do what it is I want him to do. Except that he does seem to feel guilty when I do this, so maybe it's my way of "punishing" him. Oh, Steve: Don't let yourself be guilted! What I think I have to realize is, to accept gracefully what's offered, or not let it into or otherwise affect my life. YES!!! If I know that I will accept nothing less than a relationship which requires mutuality, I won't have the need to whine and manipulate. The whining and manipulating might also have to do with my parent's previous "care-taking"; that when I'm not "taken care of" I feel like something's wrong. I need to look at this more.

Also, I will tend to blame the "little things" on him, like when something goes missing or is misplaced, I usually suspect that it's his "fault" (or at least, not MINE!). This is probably passive-aggressive stuff, and perhaps some parental stuff as well. I seem to remember my mom running all over the house in a panic when my sister lost something. My, the human comedy of it all! More excellent self-observation.

As Dr. Irene very accurately said, I feel yukky when Steve brings up my "abuse" because I feel it has been used in the past to avoid some of his own stuff. (Steve, again, no offense intended, if I sound like I'm treating you as the "subject", it's only because I'm speaking to a group and not you alone.) Let him state his feelings. Hear him; he has something valid to say whether or not he is avoiding his own stuff.  If you dismiss him because you anticipate being dumped on, you miss an opportunity to self correct as well as draw together. If he is avoiding his own stuff, well, that's not a relationship that will make you happy. Just pull back.

I don't know whether in the end Steve and will be together as a couple, but I have a feeling that if we are, it will be a very positive thing, and we will know enough about our own boundaries to accept nothing less than a solid, healthy relationship, for both our sakes.

to be continued... :)   

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Dear All,

I have just skimmed through the latest posts, and haven't read them carefully so I'll hold any comments until I have. I'm having a scary depression today. I wrote about it on the message board; I don't feel like repeating, so go over there and check it out if you want to. This has taken me somewhat by surprise because it's so intense. I managed to leave the house for awhile and that helped, but I'm pretty blue again. I can't stop the tears and that's what's so frightening--they just keep coming! 

I know that I'm too hard on myself, but I look at it this way: at least I'm aware of it, and want to work on it. That puts me way ahead of someone else I know, who seems to want to deny that he has "problems."

I will check in later. Tomorrow is a long work day; all your strong vibes would be appreciated! (Direct them toward the mid-west; I'll get them)!  Becky, I wish you would think about medication. Contrary to the opinions of many on this Board, and many elsewhere, depression is  considered to be a physical illness. Just like diabetes or hypertension. Please stop making value judgment and consider treatment.

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Becky - warm vibes are headed your way.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Becky: WARM FUZZY THOUGHTS! WARM FUZZY THOUGHTS! WARM FUZZY THOUGHTS! *hug* *grin*

Same for anyone else who could use them right now.

Asha, you bring up some very good points. I feel like I *have* had this conversation hundreds of times. I guess the difference is that I'm outside of the relationship now, he's at a point where he's asking me to come back, and I've spelled out in black and white the minimum I would need for that to be worth considering from my perspective. And even if he writes back and says "you're right" that doesn't mean I'd go running right back. It means that IF he followed up on this stuff for a sufficient period of time to make me feel safe and comfortable, and IF neither of us had found another relationship more worth pursuing, I would CONSIDER taking him back.

I seriously doubt that's going to happen, but at least if he asks why, I'll be able to say "you know why" and leave it at that. Because I have TOLD him why as clearly as I know how to, the ball is now in his court. Like I said, leaving aside the whole issue of what constitutes an addiction, if he's not willing to meet my needs on some kind of minimal level, I am not willing to be in a relationship with him. End of story. I deserve better. I deserve to have my feelings and my boundaries respected. And he can turn this on its head and say I am not respecting HIS needs on the subject, but that's all the more reason for us not to be together. If I don't meet his needs, why should he be in a relationship with me, right?

What he said to me when we were writing letters in a notebook on vacation was: "I'm sorry my use of marijuana has driven a wedge between us. But I have no intention of stopping and I don't really want to cut back." HIS words. That sounds to me like he's saying that his ability to continue using is more important than the health or even the existence of our relationship. Will he admit this? No. I'm just being judgmental, in his eyes. :(

Dan, I don't get the violent bit either. In fact it disturbs me. One of my college buddies used to say "I feel safer in a room full of stoned people than I do in a room full of drunk people because the drunk people tend to get violent." But it's been my experience that recreational chemicals of whatever variety tend to bring out what's already there, which is why it worries me that he would get violent under those circumstances. It certainly doesn't make me feel safer. *shrug*

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Trubble (wherever you are), and the rest of the family,

Dear Asha,

Yes it does seem that we post at the same time, and I seem to post at the same time as the other members of the family, i.e. I asked Astrid a question about her ex, and she more or less answered it in her post before mine showed up.

You asked a very important question about how do we know that our mates will stay healthy? We don't. There will or maybe slippage throughout our time together, and this will always be in the backs of our minds. My opinion. 

Also you and AJ mentioned how C and Steve were alike and how you picked them. I think that we send out some sort of beacon which says help we need fixing, not knowing that we are the ones who have to fix. Then when your fix doesn't work the arguments start and we wonder what does she want from me. We then somehow become co-dependant on each other.

The empowerment which we have spoke of is really hard to explain, the only way I can try is to say that when we forget our boundaries and let someone hurt us then we are empowering them. When you and Steve, Lynn and I, AJ and C, Becky and her H, engage then we are empowering them. We give them the ability to hurt us and so we start to defend, and on and on and on. When you empower Steve, you are giving up some of your Self and losing some of your identity, and the same for Steve, he empowers you losing his Self and his identity. My opinion. Good opinions!

Dear Astrid,

I appreciate you posting your email to your ex, it really says a lot for you and how you are working on Self. I agree that if his pot smoking is the most important thing right now, then you have to continue as you are.

He says that you are home to him, I know that I don't necessarily look at Lynn this way, I do know that I don't consider this house a home without her, I don't know if that's what he means, if so then he should step back and reevaluate himself. I think that you are closer to your Self than I and wish you all the best. The email did answer the question which I posted to you earlier and I think that you should give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage to tell him what he is doing wrong and what he has to do to enable a life with or without you.

Dear Becky,

Validate yourself, give your fathers little voice the closet that it belongs in. When you are sick, it's OK no excuses about why you should go to work, no excuses why you shouldn't. Take care of yourself and then the rest will become a memory. It's true, it may not be a pleasant one, but it will not be an antagonistic one.

Give yourself a pat on the back, and an extra hug because you are doing so well working on Self, you have two young men who, I'm sure are appreciative of your efforts and you have achieved a goal, your degree.

I'm still fighting the demons of my past and allowing some of the old feelings in when I know that they are wrong. Not "wrong" Dan... Think: "bad thinking habit," which is what it is. "Wrong" implies moral judgment while the latter implies something you can do something about. And you can. Proof: you have! I know this as an adult but the little Danny doesn't. Yep. Takes time. He is going to have to grow up one of these days. This is one of the reasons that Lynn went to this site and now I am here also.

Hugs

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

Warm thoughts and good vibes to you

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 16, 2000

S1

Dear Becky, My post to you is on the message board. Mac froze here.  Love and lots and lots of hugs today and thoughts and prayers for tomorrow too.

Dear Dan, I wish I knew the answer. His mum was ill and his dad bought a dishwasher when he was young. We are not 'allowed' to use the one I bought. Well, he doesn't have to use it, but why is he deciding what you are doing? It is now defunct anyway and H does all the washing up and complains if I do any. I suppose there could be some deep psychological connection.

I just don't know if he does it to put me down or not. I suppose he could be trying to be helpful. That may well be his intention, but he needs to recognize the effects of his "helpfulness" on you.  I looked around and have to admit that the house isn't at it's best after I got ill. Before that I was just so busy. I suppose I should ignore this as a problem and just concentrate on the real difficulty of how to break the cycle of aggression. Things got ugly last night but I am feeling quite sure I am on the right track.

It even occurred to me that really I have almost all my time free of H if I want to. I do need some space so mentally I am going to take it for a while. I wish I could afford to go away.

Dear Asha,

Looking on the bright side, at least I don't get the gum!! As you say the dust will still be there......

Love to you all. I feel I am mostly so trying to get my own act together I don't have a lot to say about anyone else's situation. But I do read the posts and think about you all

Love Jay (J)   :)

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 16, 2000

S1

Dear Asha, (This will be a long post, skip what you don't want to read....:))

I'd love to be you pen pal. How exciting to have a pen pal in the States :). By the way, I think you're right, all of us are sort of pen pals here and I really love it. What part of the world are you from AJ? 

I've been discussing the rules/boundaries issue with a couple of friends here and we sort of came to the conclusion that rules have something to do with authority and that's probably why some people get very upset by them. Rules have a definite 'should' feeling about them. I never realized this before I it makes C's reactions a lot easier to understand. Especially if I take into account that he really, really hates rules (authority-problem dating back form his youth). So, as long as I don't make it sound as a rule, it's OK. And I think he is actually right about this (however hard to admit). In a normal adult relationship between equals, there is no room for rules. You can come to agreements, you can set boundaries, but rules are not OK, I guess . I am not sure about rules coming from the Ego and boundaries coming from the Self, but I do feel there's a definite wish to control in imposing rules, which would make it an Ego-thing. As for the example you gave, I think that saying "I can't (won't) go THIS TIME because....." could be a healthy boundary as long as the reason for not wanting to go is genuine (e.g. not out of spite or to punish etc.) Saying "I NEVER want to go because..... " is a rule I think. Absolutes such as "never", "always" etc. imply irrational thinking because very few absolutes are true. 

I am really interested in everybody's input on this issue. I think it's something that confuses a lot of us co-dependents, because we simply don't have a clear view of what boundaries are. Think about your boundaries as your conscious choice and control over YOU.

<<you'll have to decide for yourself whether you want to be with him the way he is, you can't hide behind the 'if only he would change' anymore.>>

What I was trying to say was that its maybe like living with an alcoholic: you think, if he sobers up, everything will be OK (Not my own experience, but Beatty points it out again and again and says it goes for living with guys/gals with any major problem: it's typically co-dependent behaviour). But, once he starts to sober up, it may scare the hell out of you because then you have to really take your own responsibility for what the relationship is like and if you want in or out. No hiding any more, no postponing, you'll have to choose and you have to look at your own motives for going or staying. Yes. It may sound as an attack, as if you wouldn't be willing to take your own responsibility, but please don't take it that way. I'm writing this, because I feel this is what is sort of happening to me. I wanted him to be less dependent, less passive-aggressive and now that he's doing it, I can't put the blame on him if the relationship is not working out the way I would want it. At least not entirely. 

<<I don't know whether in the end Steve and will be together as a couple, but I have a feeling that if we are, it will be a very positive thing, and we will know enough about our own boundaries to accept nothing less than a solid, healthy relationship, for both our sakes.>>

That's just how C. and I both feel and I think that's the reason why we try to work things out. We both feel there's some magic between us, something, may dating back from other lives, unfinished business, who can tell. Maybe this is just being co-dependent. I don't think so. Codependent and interdependent people feel like this. Perhaps semantics get in the way... I've read several times that feeling the other is very special is a co-dependent thing. But I would not want to be with someone that was not special for me, and who didn't think I was special too.

Dear Becky, lots of love, energy and good feelings coming you're way (and Becky, if you want I'll lend you one of my cats, their great for hugging :)). Yeah! Please take care of yourself. I read your post about your depression. I know the feeling of just not being able to stop crying. Medicine will help you get over the worst of it, and at least makes you feel stronger to tackle your problems. When I was feeling like that I took Remeron (don't know whether that's available in the States) for a few weeks and it really helped me back on my feet again. Please consider it. Is there any way you might take a long weekend to go some place nice and quiet? Stay with friends or family maybe? And if your H. can't be compassionate, please find a good friend who will (I don't mean as in partner). You need someone to listen, to hug you and say it's okay to cry and to be there for you. Cyberhugs are great, but not enough.

Dear Jay, You did say something about your H. being the adult in the situation and you acting/feeling like the child and that you needed to grow up. Can you explain a little more about that. From your post I am not clear about what exactly the abusive circle is that you are talking about. What does you H. do, what do you and where do you feel the problems come from. I'd like to know if you're willing to tell.

Dear Dan, You're right, C. and I are very careful around each other, we don't want to hurt each other or ourselves again, and we don't want to give each other or ourselves false hope. I asked C.: "How will we proceed from here" and he answered "The right way". "But what will we do", "The right thing" We both want to do it right, but we'll have to find out what exactly "right" is and keep identifying what doesn't feel right and talk about it. I feel oke about it, rather cautious and not quite sure which way to go, and how to do things, but oke anyway. The most important thing is that I feel a genuine feeling of good will and tolerance for each others mistakes in both of us.  Good! I go with plan H for now, just see what will happen, trust in that what needs to be, will be and try not to worry over much.

He, if Trubble doesn't show up, we might have to find another cat to take his place, though of course it will be very hard on all of us, I am sure. (Hear that Trubble? Just a little manipulating here .....)  Manipulate all you want AJ. I'm worried about him... I'm ready to guilt him home at this point!

Love to all, AJ

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Date: Monday, October 16, 2000

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Dr. Irene

Don't worry about Trubble coming back. You just have to shake his food bowl and I promise, he'll come running (like my cat does).

Maybe you could explain one of my cat's "misbehaviors". She leads me to her food bowl and when I get there, I find out that it's still full. When I pretend to fill it up, she is happy and leaves me alone. Is this co-dependent behavior? Is she trying to punish me for her dependency on me for food, by exercising her control over me? :) I think you should take a look here!

BTW, she was found frozen under a truck when she was less than a year old, before I adopted her, several years ago. Poor little thing. Sniff sniff...

AJ, I think I know what you are saying about taking your own responsibility for your end of the relationship, once your partner is in recovery. I feel that this was the "lesson" of my previous relationship, before Steve. I realized that when we broke up (which happened several times) this was not my boyfriend's "fault" for having problems, that my choice to continue in an obviously dysfunctional relationship was my responsibility - no-one to "blame", but me. I feel that I do take responsibility now for my choices and my mistakes in my current relationship, that is when I realize my own "misbehaviors". (If you aren't aware of them, or don't see them as misbehaviors, you can't own up to them.) I don't take your comments as an attack at all, I think it is excellent advice. Yes.

I think what I have to look at is why I would want to "fix" anyone in the first place. I think that my "fix-it" mentality is deeply engrained and that I used to see it as a positive attribute. Exactly. I think that what I need to learn is how I can really help in the highest way. There are always people who want fixing, and for me the test is to know how best I can *really* help, and I think that is about knowing when my actions/input enhance someone's potential, and when I am only acting as a crutch, which is preventing that person from moving ahead on their own. Stephen Covey writes about treating people for their potential; i.e. not seeing people for their weaknesses, and not treating them like "weak" people, who need your help. This encourages people to better look after themselves.

Just got off the phone with Steve. I feel good about our conversation.

I am so thankful for this site and how it's impacted my life. I realized this weekend that normally I would have been upset all weekend because Steve left on his trip and we weren't on good terms. But I was able to detach from that, deal with my own stuff and let "his" stuff be "his" stuff. Yippeee! Doing so also gives Steve the space to stay where he needs to be - and he won't get a hard time about it when he gets back.  feel like the best me has a chance to make its appearance, now that I'm not trying to fit into what I thought was Steve's vision of me. (See how And, when he gets back to find your best You, he gets the opportunity to enjoy you. Win-win. complicated it gets - before I spent my energy analyzing what Steve wanted from me and trying to fit into that role. how unproductive.)

hugs

Asha

p.s. If I'm really a vampire, then why do I like garlic so much? Am I in denial? You must be a rebellious vampire. 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 16, 2000

S1

Dear everyone,

Made it to work--hooray! I have a few things to do to prepare for tomorrow, then it's early to bed.

I'm not against medication for depression; I was on it for a year in the '80's and it did help, but I remember how fuzzy and shakey I was for awhile and it really bothered me. At the time my younger son was only 2 and I had a rough time taking care of him every morning until the effects wore off. After I got through that episode, I promised myself that I'd never get that bad again. I'm not that bad yet, but if I'm still like this in a week, I'll have to face it and get some help. So don't worry--I will get meds if I need to! Great;  you may need to and, if so, there are better drugs now.

I know that my mind and body are tired. I am so hurt and angry but where to go with it? I want to give up! I mean give up completely. But there are reasons why I can't leave right now, and I feel that I'm just treading water, and that's frustrating! I've made a list of little things I can do, such as save money, but that gets discouraging because I make so little right now. My parents plan to give my sisters and me part of an inheritance from my great uncle, probably about 1000.00. When they've done this before, I've put part into our joint savings, and part toward my college loan. I'm considering asking them to hold onto it for me so I can have a nest egg that he can't touch in the event of a separation or divorce.  What do you think? Is that too sneaky? I'm just trying to help myself feel safe; I'm trying to find places where I have some control. Not sneaky at all. Just Smart with a Capitol S. Stop being so guilty!

I understand that he is lashing out at me because he's scared: for us to have a genuinely good marriage, we will both have to make changes, and I don't believe he wants that. I truly believe that he wants a controller/co-dependent relationship, and he's mad as heck at me because I don't. He wants things to be "better" without having to go through the painful hard work, and he's throwing a hissy fit because deep down, he knows that isn't possible. I'm weary of being the target of his hissy fit. Good.

About all I can think about the last couple of days is how much I want to be loved and respected, treated with honor. He can be so mean! It amazes me how anyone can be so flat-out mean! Yuk. And you wonder why you are depressed...

Thanks everyone for your good thoughts. I really did feel those warm fuzzies all day! Isn't it funny: we could walk past each other on the street and never know it, yet we're friends. And although the "bond" is centered on one issue, I have the feeling we'd all have other more positive things in common, too.

Trubble, tuna and noodles tonight? Or maybe noodles and trout? (Shudder!) Giggle! By the way, still no Trubble... I've notified the authorities. He is officially missing. Could he be on his way to your house?

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 16, 2000

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Yeah, what's up with that, Becky? They do indeed seem to want the benefits without doing the work.

As for me, I'll do my work if he does his. Wait, I'll do my work anyway. But I definitely won't go back to him unless he does his work, and I might not even then. But if he wants his chances to go from "never" to "maybe" he'd better do his work. I can do my work with him or without him.

Frankly, at this point I think I'd RATHER do it without him. He'd just be a distraction. A painful one.

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 16, 2000

S1

Astrid,

Amen, Girl child! I am woman human, hear me roar! 

Becky Just some PC stuff. Don't mind me.

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Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene and the rest of the family,

Still no sign of Trubble so I'll run by the hatchery tomorrow after work. He should be easy to find, I'll just look for a fat cat with a smile while licking his chops. Thanks Dan.

Just got a call from Lynn, she sends her love, she is now out of the big city, into the country at her sons house listening to the coyotes. :)

Dear Becky,

Please hang in there, you can work it out for yourself and Self. You posted to Astrid " I am woman, hear me roar." Say this to yourself every morning, validate yourself in this way! :) What a guy human!

You must be showing some improvement with the working on Self or your H wouldn't be behaving as he is. I think that he is feeling that his way isn't working and you are looking for something that he is unable to give right now. He has to face himself, as I did, then perhaps things will improve for both of you.

One way other than having your parents hold on to the money is to get a savings bond with your son as either primary or co-owner and you as the other party. Then you'll have the start of a nest egg when and if you may need it. I don't feel that this is betraying your H as you are providing for your son and his future. Do this only if you feel comfortable with it though.

I kind of know what you must feel about meds, because I hate to take them also. After my back surgery, the surgeon prescribed muscle relaxers and pain killers but I got off them as quick as I could. I don't even take aspirin for a headache unless it really feels like I'm losing my head. After saying this, I am going to say that Dr Irene is right. You may need them for your depression, and who knows with the new medications that they have out now, you may not suffer side effects.

Dear Astrid,

That's a girl person, You are right you don't need him to work on his stuff for you to work on yours.

I wonder could you possibly send some some of that wisdom to someone who's older, but not necessarily wiser?:)

Dear J,

Your story of your husband and the dishwasher, reminds me of what my dad said, when one was suggested to him. I have a perfectly good one that doesn't use electricity. Guess who? Yes, it was me and boy did I hate it. I don't mind it now though, I think it's because it's not expected of me by Lynn.

Your H is having a problem with you working on your Self, because it shows that you are starting to get your boundaries in order and he's possibly very uncomfortable with it.

I haven't forgotten the rest but it's late and work tomorrow. I still have to feed the cats, fish, birds and let the dogs out before turning in.

Hugs

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000

S1

Dear all,

Talk about blowing it this morning. But I suppose if I share it here it will explain the abuse cycle as AJ wanted. I think t started last night. I got really fed up with my rebellious 16 year old who wanted to meet me for a drink but then spent the evening abusing me verbally to the point that I have decided on no contact. H supports her against me and won't take any parental authority at all. He basically hangs on her every word and I suspect has deliberately turned her against me. She certainly has huge control issues and he has even condoned her physical violence towards me (which is one of the reasons that she can't be at home). This is incredibly sad...

I came home really upset and just cried my heart out. Ignored as usual by H. This morning I got up to find a tent had appeared in the bedroom overnight and removed it. It doesn't have to be in the bedroom and he hasn't been bothered by it's whereabouts for 3 months. He has to have put this there after I was asleep last night. Then I came down to find all the newspapers I had put into a black plastic sack emptied out over a box n the kitchen with a note abut recycling. I blew up and got angry. He derides me and we are back in the cycle. He baited and baited - and you finally bit. You let him provoke you. Then you look like the nut. If I could only ignore things and not react he wouldn't get the payoff, I would feel much better about myself in the end; that I am above this sillyness. He has also reduced the housekeeping. I will have my revenge on that by letting him buy more of his own food! And the sand box fight continues. No typo. Sand box because you two are acting like two year olds throwing sand in each other's faces.

Some days I just think I am this awful failure of a person for reacting and I should be stronger. STOP! Not allowed! Think: I need to improve my anger management skills. Next time he baits me to the point of blowing up, I will go take a walk, jog, swim, etc. I will even hop in place if I have to. And, I won't open my mouth until I'm cool and I've thought about how to handle this. I think I should leave some days, but what about our son. I suppose whichever way round he is already hurt and I really worry about the male role model he is getting. Mum is an idiot is the message he gets reinforced. It's happened with your daughter. Don't repeat it with your son.

I guess after feeling strong for a few days I am down as I feel a failure again. You may need an antidepressant too - to give you the strength to control yourself and/or leave. I can't see it as o.k to argue so I have to be. STOP! You have poor self control skills. You are probably also depressed, making everything harder. See the difference?

Sorry, feeling down this morning and needing friends.

Hope others are having a better day. I am off to the doctor's to show him I am still well in a minute. Guess some days you just have to pick yourself up by the scruff of the neck. (Hope no one does that to you Trubble! Not since you were a kitten anyway...) Oh, he'll be picked up by his little scruff alright...

Hope its a better day today, Becky. Love. Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000

S1

Hi Cat family,

Sorry I haven't posted for a bit!!! I've been poorly, (RUN DOWN, felt like a truck went over me) OH BOY!!! Oh well, I am feeling a lot better today. Good!

So much has happened to me in the last week I want to share. So here goes.

I went out on Friday 6/10 I think it was, was having a great time, then a guy smiled at me, he was watching me for a long time apparently he tells me. Then he came over and asked me would I like a drink so I said "Okay". He chatted though I couldn't hear him so well over the music, I told him this, as I wouldn't like him to be chatting and me ignoring him. Anyway, as I drank a little more, we ended up on the dance floor, and then ended up kissing, like I never kissed before, no one ever before was so taken over by me. He asked me lots of about ME, he was interested in ME. My ex never asked about me, it was always about him. Anyway, he was on a business trip and so he was staying in a nearby hotel. He lives about 1 hours drive from my house. He was with his work colleagues,

Anyway one of his colleagues turned to us and said "Hey do you want me to bunk in with xxxx, so you and Theressa can come back and stay in your room." I cut in and said "No, that won't be necessary, I won't be going back to anyone's hotel room. I'm not that sort of girl". The guy I was with smiled and said "it's okay". I said "yeah it sure is okay". Anyway we danced some more, then later me and my pals got a cab and the guys followed. I never expected him to come to my pal's house. Anyway when we arrived back at my pals house I had sobered up. YIKKKEEES!!! I thought, as he spoke to me and was so interested in me. I thought YIKKKEES this is far too soon to be getting serious with anyone, and I started to push him away. VERY much in the way my ex pushed me away. It was as if with this guy I was my ex and he was me. IS THIS MEANT TO HAPPEN???? Nothing's happened yet! I think he came on too strong. Too much interest, and I don't imply that you don't deserve it. But he doesn't know you well enough to know you deserve it yet. But, I'm glad he gave you a needed boost.  

Anyway not long after this guy left in a cab, we swapped numbers. I was so unsure, the next day I didn't ring him, though on Sunday I did, it was so exciting. THEN my ex rang and left me a message to ring him. LIKE a good CO-DEPENDENT I rang him straight away. It was my ex's birthday and lots of us ended up going out. I KNOW, maybe I shouldn't have!!!!

Anyway I had a fab night out but my ex didn't; he looked miserable and left early, I carried on partying. Then when we left I ended up staying at my ex's sisters house, when I got home in the morning, the Niagra falls happened. He'd been at my place last night when I was staying at his sister's house. He'd left me a note and cut into pieces the birthday gift I had given him. The note read, "My life is very different than yours Theressa, you'll never understand how I feel, you can't, its not your fault. I've always only had me, and looked after me. All my life I've had no one but myself. I don't understand me, so I sure don't understand you. Theressa after 7 years. GOOD BYE FOREVER!!! Love xxxxx PS (Don't call me)." Yuk. You need him like you need a hole in the head.

I never cried so much in all my life, all day I cried and sobbed. Then I went to my therapy session and do you know my therapist said Terrific, that Terrific, I said "What, I cried a whole day and my world is a mess and falling apart and you say that terrific, I don't understand." I read out the letter in therapy. I said "Do you know what is most hard for me, Ron, its that I can't help him, I can't change his past, I can't protect him, I just can't do any more for him. I hate his mother, she did this to him, I can't pay for her mistakes, I won't, why should I? I mean she messed up not me. I mean I am sure to fail at an impossible task or trying to undo someone else's mistakes".

He said "Yipppppeeee!!" This is profound!!!! This is what I've been waiting for, I saw your pain for so long and YET you just couldn't see that you caused some of this pain yourself by trying to do what is impossible. Yipppeeee!

Though on Tuesday my ex was back. I was shocked, I let him in my house. I couldn't understand why he came back. We had a long chat, I told him about a neighbour who'd been through the same as him. I told him that she worked on her past rejections and healed herself, I asked him wasn't he angry with his mom for leaving him. He then told me that he knew we had to live apart, and work on ourselves before we'd ever be able to work on our relationship. I didn't say anything to this. Then I said "I had to work on me and didn't know what was gonna happen in the future."

YOU all see he makes me laugh, like no one else does!!! (EVERYONE HAS GOOD QUALITIES Don't they?) I like doing the family stuff like going to eat as a family with our daughter. I don't see the harm here!!! Isn't it true that its hard to break free completely all at once????

My therapist said everything happens when its meant to, if you don't fully feel like letting go all at once, that's up to you!!! Smart shrink.

He asked me last night what did I think had changed since I left? I said "I feel empowered more, I can stand up for myself and set boundaries, I can be more honest with my ex. I feel more in control of me."

Every now and then though he has a mini tantrum, I ignore it!!! Though they bother me, since he says things to our daughter, like: "One day you will grow up and be able to come and live with me, away from the woman who is defensive and has an attitude". Yuk.

Dr Irene how can I help my daughter deal with this breakup???? Well, like Ron said...

She is throwing tantrums a lot lately. She answers back a lot!! She rebels against what I am telling her to do!!! I know she is hurt but how can I make this less painful for her??? Pain in inevitable. Suffering is optional. Don't try to protect your child from pain, but do try to protect her from suffering. The best way I know how to do that is not to suffer yourself...

I guess this is better than keeping her in the crazy house we lived in 10 weeks ago but I am unsure how to handle her going through all this hurt???

FURTHER HAS ANYONE DONE INNER CHILD WORK????? Can you tell me how this works, I know you discuss the past, though how can buried things come out????

Anyway glad to be back guys and gals!!! And Trubble, and Dr Irene, HI TO YA ALL!!!!!

I did go and get some St John's Wort, not sure what its doing for me, don't really know what to expect????? Give it a few weeks. See if you cry less, if things bug you less. Kind of like losing PMS...

Speak to you all soon, back well and living Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000

S1

HI DR IRENE,

A MAC is a long waterproof coat!!!!

(THIS IS A WORD I USED A WEEK AGO BEFORE I GOT ILL ON ONE OF MY POSTS!!!!)

Thanks Theressa Giggle!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. I and 2x B and J and 2xD and 2xA and S and T and Tr. (did I forget anyone?)  

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I do want to ask your input on something very important to me. C. and I talked (or rather mailed) about rules and boundaries again and he says he hates rules cause they are laws and can't be changed and the whole world in in constant change anyway. Boundaries and rules are two very different things... I have a big problem with this, but I am not sure it's mine or his. I somehow am very very afraid of change (even changes I perceive as good scare me very much) So if he says a simple truth like that, I feel he is sort of undermining my security. He can't undermine your security. Only you can do that. Let him have his opinions. He gave an example of changing as in: I never buy flowers for my self, but who knows, maybe I will next week.

Why do I feel so threatened by this? I think part of this is about feeling that when he says something like this I feel he also says that he cannot be sure he will be with me forever and that's scary, even though rationally I know quite well that you cannot promise something like that: you ,may die or whatever. You hit it on the head. I also know that he used to promise me he would always be there for me and that he knew everything would be all right. I didn't believe him then either. Maybe you shouldn't believe him. He still says he wants to try for a lifetime together anyway. So I think it has something to do with me No. It only has to do with HIM> , but I just don't get it and I have no idea how to handle it. I know I handled it all wrong in the past: I used to get very possessive and controlling and that constantly backfired. I do want to find another way to deal with this, but I haven't a clue where to start!! Just do nothing. Let him be however he is; accept how he is being whether you like it or not. You can state your opinion, but only state it once or twice. Then drop it. 

Any suggestions will be very very welcome!!

Sorry I don't have time now the react to your posts. So just a quick: hope you are all OK and that J, Becky and Astrid are feeling better. Dan, did you find Trubble? And Dr. I, aren't you working too hard? No. That's why it took so long to reply! Lots of love to all of you, AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000

S1

Dear all, Am I nuts or coping? I agreed to talk for 15 minutes which ended with me saying how I felt about the housework. I pointed out that I would like to do turn and turn about re the washing up and loos. What is "loos?" H's view was there was 'other' housework I could do. Instead of agreeing to turn and turn about, he has now said he is going to clean the loos as well! If there wasn't a more serious point that he is probably doing this as yet another way of being controlling I would be laughing all night!

More seriously, this is what I mean about the adult / child interaction. I did a course in transactional analysis a while back and the basic thing seemed to be about if you treat someone in an adult way they will treat you as an adult back, but if you respond in a childish way, then they will respond in the mode of an adult talking to a child and treat you as if they are the parent.

What H was doing to me just then was opting out, Rather than respond to me as an equal, he was giving a childish response. "I will do anything rather than what you want me to." I just said OK and butted out, so I guess I was the parent there. No. You were the adult.

H's refusal to listen to my point of view about anything puts me in the position of a child. No. You are the child only when you insist, demand he listen, or try to change his view. If you just let him be and do what you feel is right, you are being the adult.  He knows best. I get angry and respond so I end up like the child having a tantrum. Then you are being the child.

Some days I just get so sick of this "I am OK and you are not" stuff. We are as bad as each other; and I get so mad he won't change. So stop getting mad at him. Let him be who he is.

But hey, I just kept my cool for 25 minutes and he got very flustered again. I suggested that we both agreed not to accuse the other of lying and he kept changing the subject. (He has based his analysis of communication difficulties on the basis of what 3 people said in a situation that was extremely distressing and emotive for me.)

Hey!!! I kept my cool. I was in control of me and that feels really good. You bet!

I also talked about how I felt about the fact he has taken the fuse out of the tumble dryer........The drying is his responsibility..... He just didn't get it when I said I felt I had the right to decide how I dry my washing. Right. (He took the fuse out as he disapproves of the thing.) Not OK to dictate how YOU do something.

I suppose this all sounds a bit trivial, but the reality is that there is a lot else that happens that needs sorting re: verbal abuse and communication. We are jointly unable to let each other finish sentences and we have 20 years of this to sort. For me a lot of the issues are non verbal. He just refuses to give verbal support or sympathy Accept that. and won't discuss anything except from the point of view that he is unalienable right. Accept that too, like it or not. .......O.K I am like that too so we are stuck most days at an impasse. If I do try to do anything right, then I get accused of being manipulative. You two are working so hard on controlling each other!

He does have his good points too.....

Dr Irene. I have to use a Mac as Windows confuses me! Giggle. Macs confuse me! My H also insisted on setting the MAC up. But now he won't touch it, as it is mine. ( I paid for it.)  Is there some sort of strange psychological condition where men control their wives by housework? No person can control you - unless you allow them to.

Actually, confession, I lost it earlier again. I am aware of why the button got pushed, though. It was over my 16 year old daughter and her attitude to me again. Sometimes I am so stupid. How do you not literally erupt at a trigger point. You practice anger management techniques: Get out of the room. Get out of the house if you must. Exercise. That depletes the catecholamines (anger chemicals) faster. Then, when you cool down, think about what happened, what bothers you, and what, if anything, you are going to do about it. The anger is justified in this case, but it is so unhelpful to us both. Don't forget there is a big difference between angry feelings and angry behavior. I just don't see it coming. I don't want this to happen; any tips any one? I can't share too much of that story for her protection. I want her to look at this site when it is appropriate.

Becky, St John's Wort works, but you have to take it for bout 3 months to find the full effect. I so empathize with the lack of empathy from the H. Mine always leaves me to cry alone. It doesn't seem fair that we are the ones who get depressed. Thanks for your message on the other board, earlier. Love to you all. Jay

 

All. I just realised SO means Significant Other. I didn't know that either! Thanks. Is an SOX an ex SO? We do have the term in English I forgot it which shows what attention I paid in Psychology class.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000

S1

Hi all

Jay - what I notice is you post a lot about your hubby's problems. Been there, done that. I can relate. (Just read thru my old posts, you'll see what I mean.)

Okay, here I go playing Ms Fix it again - if this is helpful to you, great. If not, please disregard.

The only one you have control over is you, so my observation is that your energy is best spent there - on what YOU can do (not him). Excellent observation and advice. I say that with total compassion, not judgment. Sometimes I know that people just want to vent, and of course you want to depict your situation here also. But remember that you are the only one you have control over. When you focus on that, progress happens more quickly. I'm reading "When Words Hurt" on Dr. Irene's recommendation. There is an excellent section on effective listening, which points out to me that very few of us are skilled in that area. It's harder to deal with your partner when neither of you know good communication skills.

My suggestion to you - expect nothing from him and everything from you - i.e. work on you and let him be whatever he will be. The more clear you are on your own boundaries, and understand effective communication, the less you will tolerate or perpetuate disrespectful actions. Let him accuse, attack whatever - you don't have to fight back. Right. Don't absorb it - let it be like "water off a duck's back". Right. If it gets too intense, tell him respectfully that you need space. You can also just listen - you can literally just say "ok" to it all, unless your input is asked for, while you continue to figure out your own stuff. If he is abusive, you can respectfully walk away. Yes.

Look at your own intentions and motivations to start with - the ones under the surface. As Steve said to me recently, "awareness" is the key. Just a few tips that I am practicing myself right now. Hope it helps.

Hi AJ

Can you name some examples of what "rules" your H is set against? I think I understand YOUR fears, that no rules might mean that H can have affairs, not take any household responsibility etc. I find that when Steve and I talk in really general terms we don't get much accomplished, but when we speak of specific incidents, we can look at them more deeply. Exactly. Speak specifically, one incident at a time.

Gotta go - hi everybody else!

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2000

S1

Dr Irene,

When you speak of me not suffering, do you mean me allowing this to happen and feel the pain but not to fight it??? I mean that you don't have to dwell in the pain. Feel it and let it go.

Dr Irene how can we in therapy dredge up old wounds even when we aren't conscious of them?? It just happens as you talk about this stuff...

The guy I met, I didn't call again, I spoke to my therapist about him. Ron my therapist said "Theressa do you need to carry anyone else at the moment, or should you concentrate on Theressa since her issues are a priority, you see when you meet someone new, they also have histories and baggage and maybe you're not yet equipped to deal with Theressa, never mind anyone else. We all have histories, like it or not, BUT you decide Theressa!! DR Irene do you agree, that sometimes its not a great idea to be pairing off with another if your not healed enough?? Yes. I agree fully. It's different if you are already paired up. Does it make things harder??? You don't need the confusion of a new relationship right now.

I decided that this poor guy doesn't deserve to be dragged into all this mess, it's like taking a healthy plant and storing it with the unhealthy, isn't it??? I guess. Maybe the other plant is unhealthy too. So I decided to be brave and not call him anymore. My ego wanted to badly, I mean all the attention. BUT is it fair?? I mean this poor guy doesn't know what he is taking on does he?? Wrong. Worry about what you are taking on. That he may have to take you on is his choice.

On top of all this I am still not ready to totally let go of my ex, am I? Only you can know that. I still encourage him to stick around. I am still feeling inside that perhaps he'll work on him self, my ex and maybe one day things will be healthy!!!! I am working on friendship only right now though.

DR IRENE how does one learn to give out of love and not just obligation??? One pays attention to what they are doing and decides whether or not that is what they want to do. My ex gives, but lets me know, and I ended up thinking I should give back to him. No "shoulds" Theressa. Don't give out of guilt. Give because you want to. Is this YUKKKYYY??? How can I learn to give without feeling obliged???? 

Anyway HI TO at cat Family. Becky, Lynn, Steve, Dan, AK, TRUBBLES and everyone else!!!!

Cheers to you all Theressa   Cheers! 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene,

I get the picture. I think I had already got there. I know I need to climb out of the sandbox...Got to learn not to respond to the button pushing....

I was being too hard on myself, yesterday. I am not depressed. Sometimes you can verbally abuse yourself. I do still take medication, but I have been signed off as fit by the doc and psychologist. SLEEP is probably what I needed. Now I have had some I am alright. :)

I do think however, that everything got worse while I was depressed. I suspect you get a kind of residual pack of feelings after. And you have to put right the damage done while you were ill.

I have broken my own resolutions - Thanks Asha for your words. fair comment. I was trying to give a picture but from now on I will post about me. :)

Since, I said O.K and butted out he has been friendly so I guess I have to take this experience and apply it. Yep.

Thanks to both of you, Love, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2000

S1

Dear Jay

Just a quick note. I don't know if my observations in the last post were appropriate to you or your situation. I don't mean that you "shouldn't" (hate that word) post about your hubby, but was trying to tell you what I would have told *me* several months ago. It *is* really hard to post about yourself without giving background about your situation. I didn't mean it to come across as a reprimand, so hope you didn't take it that way. It's simply not helpful to talk about others - you have NO control over others.

Of course we all bring our *stuff* to these discussions, and my stuff involved looking to the outside more than inside. In fact, I thought I *was* looking inside. But I wanted so much for the relationship to work, that I didn't want to acknowledge that looking from within might mean that I would have to let the relationship go. I wasn't ready to see *that*. Love can be blind, but it doesn't have to be.

hugs

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000

S1

Dear Asha,

No, I didn't take your comments that way at all. They just made me reflect on how I was sharing things. I do think you are very right about how the only person you can't change is yourself and about taking the plusses when they happen. In fact, H has appeared better now I am doing that, in my eyes. There was once a loving relationship in all this and I guess if I am honest we got this way as we both had so many other stresses on our lives. We became abusive to each other, I think, because we were not prepared to allow each other to be what each wanted. Yes. My H is not going to change but I can. Yes. I have a responsibility to myself t do this and I think I would lose self respect if I don't. Yes.

Dr Irene,

I am not depressed. I am just too hard on myself. This is a problem for people brought up in the evangelical tradition. We get a lot about 'seeing our sin.' not enough about forgiveness esceot about forgiving others. And accepting yourself and self esteem....I guess those things get lost in the kind of hell fire preaching I have heard. I know there are Christians out there with a different view and I am running towards that view and finding a loving God instead. OK. I think we sort of internalize God according to the type of Father we had Yes! and believe me, mine was one step short of the National Front and guess what self control he lacked. Likewise my mother. In fact, they are so controlling they still think that I should do what I think and say and I am in my forties! Yuk!

So I married someone who 'controls,' Enough said. And to think I married him as I thought he had the self control not to shout. I puzzled for years as to how my H could be like my father.

I am not climbing out of the sandbox. I am running. :) Sorting out my anger is the next step. Buttons are being pushed. But staying out of it and saying o.k has a payoff. I am enjoying the peace. I am making decisions for myself and it feels good. Yes! And I am definitely not depressed. (I keep taking the medication though as you are supposed to.) I am staring to feel good about me, I know it is early days, but I always do move quickly. :)

Hope everyone else out there is having a nice day. Lyn, I know what you mean about the washing up my dad did the same to me and my sister,

Dan. I realised I have no right to expect my H to use the site if he doesn't want to.

Trubble, where are you now? Yeah Trubble... Where are you? Some of your cousins are stalking the goldfish in my garden.

Love to all. Jay (J)

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000

S1

Dear AJ,

I am no expert but here is my opinion.

The word rules sounds inflexible. I spent the last 7 years with rules, other people's. HOW I SHOULD BE! HOW THIS SHOULD BE AND THAT SHOULD BE, other's expectations. This also frustrates and confuses me. Though I hear from a smart guy that you can have flexibility and discipline. So you can have boundaries and agreements and flexibility. AGREEMENTS sounds much better than RULES in my opinion. Here are my thoughts. I wanted to share our finances, I want to share the chores, I wanted to be taken seriously and respected. I WANTED BALANCE, not perfection but BALANCE, where it was okay for me to make mistakes, I was so understanding of EX's mistakes, and not so understanding and nor was he of MY mistakes.

YES the world does constantly change and so do all of US, but if we are ever gonna get our needs met, we have to outline what they are, being SPECIFIC, e.g. What do I want? How will I know I have what I want? Don't generalize, e.g. satisfaction, what is your definition of satisfaction? Balance, what is your definition of balance. What would C be doing if he was making you satisfied. When we have SPECIFICS we can ask in a SPECIFIC way for want we want. :)

Whose problem? well both of yours, since both of you are in the relationship. So whatever either of you do effects the other. I think when we use the word RULES we sound controlling, try using the word Agreements and agree on a balance. I want xxxxx, because it would mean xxxxx to me. :)

When we are unsure of what we want ourselves we are easily shaken by others. This happens to me. I was trying to change my parenting habits, as old habits die hard and mistakes are inevitable for success, I sometimes slip up, my ex is quick to point out that my new ways aren't working, but do his ways always work, no not at all. When we are unsure or are venturing into new territory or changing things, it is inevitable that we will feel fear and insecurity in the unknown. Others who want to fulfill their own self esteems sometimes see we are vulnerable at these times and so its a good time for them to boost their own self esteem by shaking us.

You will experience fear whenever you make changes, fear of the unknown, as you continue to grow you will face one fear after another, but pushing forward through this fear helps us grow and pushing through this fear is easier than living with the helplessness that comes from never trying anything new and feeling helpless.

If you break up into small steps your changes, then the outcomes you gain will be one more step towards you goals. That's progress!!!

Say to C, "Have you never changed??? So is it not possible to change??" I used to make none of my own decisions, or at least very few without asking someone else's opinion, now the majority of the time I decide myself, ISN'T this change??? :)

YES being alone is scary at first. Facing up to the fact that you'll still survive on your own is scary. I have left my spouse and live alone, now, you wouldn't have met a more scared women in my opinion. I was terrified, no one believed I would leave and live alone. My ex still calls around a lot; we are friends, though I know I couldn't have him living back with me now. Not unless he went to therapy. Though how I got more confident about leaving was: I made plans.  I made them long before I was gonna leave. I planned, where I'd live if ever I had to live alone, how I'd financially survive. etc...... These were building blocks, you can do this with any goal. You can plan outcomes, steps. I AM NOT TELLING YOU TO LEAVE JUST USING MY LEAVING AS AN EXAMPLE OF USING STEPS. :)

AJ your partner sounds as unsure as you do, in fact we should never make promises, since like you say we don't know what is in store for us tomorrow, though we all live with uncertainty, we just need to learn that no matter what we can survive.

Read this and see if you can't shed some light on it: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/codependency_recovery/20548

 

I hope this helps AJ Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene and Cat Box Family,

No sign of Trubble around here, so I hope that he decided to return home. :(

Lynn just called to say that she will be two hours late. I received two days off because of the fires, compliments of the big boss and I'm changing departments again, so I'm going to have a week off. This changing departments isn't par for the course, but since the fires there is work which needs to be caught up on everywhere. I've been running around trying to get things somewhat organized so the animals can snub her before they welcome her home. :)

There is a job opening in the big office and I asked my boss if he was going to apply, he laughed. It was like when he came here, I said that maybe I should apply for the job that he left. Then I said no, because Lynn would kill me as she loved it here. In actuality I didn't have the qualifications for the job and Lynn has told me before that she wouldn't go with me unless it was back to our original hometown

The new therapist called this morning and we have an tentative appointment for Monday next. Yippeee! About time! I'm looking forward to it because even though everyone here has been helpful and Dr Irene's comments have really hit home, I know that I still have work to do. The work is never finished either...

I'm rambling here but my thoughts are just jumping around. I would like to tell of a dream which I had some time ago, it still has me puzzled. Lynn and I were staying at my parents house, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and my dad came in and told me that it was time to get up to go to work. What is strange is that he never met Lynn and he never woke me up to go to work, he said that it was my responsibility to get to work on time. Also we have never stayed with my mother let alone sleep on a mattress on the floor. Although I did when I returned from the service. There are some that say our dreams are telling us something, if this is true then what could this dream be telling me? Only you can know that. I wonder if there isn't a piece in there about wanting peace with your parents and wanting Lynn to be a part of that peace?

The thing which I don't understand about my parents and growing up is that whenever we moved, we always moved into a 2 bedroom house and they would take one and all of us boys would get the other. With 5 boys I think that I would look for at least a three bedroom house. Giggle!

There was one house that we moved into when I was a freshman that was three bedrooms. They used the room which would have been the dining room for their bedroom, gave my younger sister a room, us boys had a room and the third bedroom was to be a guest room, even though we never had anyone stay with us the whole time that we lived there. Old habits die hard, huh?

My dad died after having open heart surgery to replace three valves in his heart. He had to undergo surgery three times 1) to replace the valves 2) to place a balloon and 3) he had developed a blood clot and they couldn't locate it. While he was in the hospital the surgeon was there the whole time. After he died, the surgeon recommended an autopsy but my mother was dead (no pun intended) set against it. I told the surgeon "yes,"  because there is a history of heart trouble on his (my dad's) side of the family. The findings were not conclusive, perhaps too many hours under the knife without his body having a chance to recoup. This was in 76, so they didn't have the knowledge they have now. I don't have a problem with this;  my problem is that my mom has told my brothers, especially the younger ones, that the Dr. did his job and left. The hospital didn't do their job caring for dad and that's the reason that he died. I have tried to set them straight because I think that they have the right to know. I don't know if this is being the father figure or not, I don't feel that it is. No problem in trying to set the record straight. There is a problem when you try to set the record straight, and not heard, and keep trying despite not being heard.

I also try to visit his grave whenever I'm back just to talk to him as we were unable to do while he was living. This does make me feel better about him and what I seem to have going on at the time.

I have been thinking of what Dr Irene said about my feelings when I posted that they were wrong. I guess "wrong" is indeed an inappropriate word. I do know that when I get these feelings, I don't enjoy the sensation that I get, internally. In a way they are just like the ones that I would get when Lynn and I had our heated discussions. Everyone here says "Yukky." Good. Try to pin the thoughts down too Dan. What thinking accompanies these yukky feelings?

I think that I have also had a light bulb, Lynn used to say that as long as I had food cooked, my pants ironed and someone to have sex with, that my needs were being met. In one of my posts I mentioned that we were looking for someone to fix us. I think now that is the major NEED that I wanted Lynn to meet. The food, clothes and sex were there, true, but they were secondary. When she wasn't doing what I wanted her to do, I would instigate some actions which would have us engaging and engaging. It is so nice to see you open and accepting of yourself, even the parts I know you don't like...

Telling her that her feelings were wrong, because I felt that they were, is an example of this. Excellent Dan.

Trubble,

If you were where you can read this, it's time to get home and start helping the Doc out. Yeah dumb cat.

Hugs

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000

S1

Theressa

Thank you for the link to that article. I found it very interesting.

Hi everyone.

Steve and I having been talking about offering "help" to our mates. He mentioned that if I focus only on myself and don't communicate to him my observations on his actions, then at times he may miss out on a learning experience. Steve is correct. I believe that this can be true for both of us, and I think there is a point to be made about the difference between genuine "help" and "help" that isn't sensitive to the other's true growth (though it may be well-intentioned). Also, give this type of sensitive opinion when it is requested.

Focusing on the Self (the higher one) doesn't mean that we live in a vacuum unaware of anyone else. I think it means that we can only "control" ourselves vs. others or circumstances. This doesn't mean being "self-absorbed", which would insinuate that we are unaware of others or their feelings. It means having a higher awareness that sees more than just what the ego sees. Yes.

For example if I am with someone in pain and can see them from a "higher" vantage-point, I may be able to offer help, given that they are open to receiving it. But if I am not sensitive to whether the person wants it or not, then I may be either imposing my own stuff (control) or just blowing hot air and wasting energy. Yes. Also, taking on that person's pain does *not* help, though it may appear honorable. Then you end up with 2 people in pain instead of one. Right again.

Awareness and sensitivity to "when" it is appropriate to be helpful, and boundaries that don't allow absorption of the other person's pain are probably key factors.

Just my observations.

Asha

p.s. If all 'help' was dysfunctional, then Dr. Irene has a major problem. ;)  How can you be sure she doesn't anyway?

Okay, okay, I'm going back to my coffin. This would be funny - if you hadn't bitten me. I chose a lavender interior. What color is yours? 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000

S1

Asha, if you're a vampire I think I'm an anti-vampire. I miss the sun! I walked home from work today -- it's a nice day here for a change and it was good to be outside. I just wish I didn't have to get up for work before it gets light out. Oh well. :)

Dan, Lynn's comments sound familiar. I've said similar things to my ex several times. And I think that what you said might be true in this case as well. Something he said to me recently stuck with me. He feels "useless" now that he's single. Um, not good. I do not exist to give someone ELSE a purpose in life, thank you very much! Yes.

And now that I've thought about that a little more, a light bulb seems to have gone on. Part of the reason I feel weaker around him and stronger without him is that I sense he feels better about himself (more "useful") if he can do something to take care of me. So I *need* in this situation to be weak enough for him to have something to take care of, and the ways in which he could do that were limited. Wow! Good stuff! So, if you take care of your need to take care of him, this shouldn't be a problem any more. He thought he should be taking care of me financially, but due to differing life-stages and vastly different priorities about spending money, he couldn't do that. What he *could* do is compliment me, hold and/or cuddle with me, drive me places (usually in my car on my gas money!), and once in a while make me dinner (almost always something out of a box) or buy me a silly present from the dollar store. And of course, remind me that I'm not invincible and eating and sleeping on a regular basis is a good idea (Especially if you're not hampered by Vampire constraints.). And if I'm to the point of feeling, I need rather than just want any of those things (especially that last), I'm not in good shape. I have to have lost some self-esteem somewhere to "need" him to raise mine, which in turn makes him feel useful and needed. And if I need to be told "go eat something, dear" that generally means my blood sugar has crashed to a degree where it's obvious to anyone who knows me, which means I've probably got a splitting headache, might be shaking, and probably am in a horrible mood. Likewise for lost sleep, basically. On my own, with the exception of the lost sleep (since I suddenly had more energy than I'd had in two years), I've been taking care of this stuff myself long before it reaches critical mass. But with him, at any point where he doesn't immediately want me to take care of him or be strong for HIM, he wants (maybe not consciously, but wants nonetheless) me to be weak enough to take care of. Take responsibility. He can want whatever he wants. You don't have to buy into it.

But when I've drained myself trying to look after him, having him "fix it" -- well, the concept of hair of the dog holds here. It really makes about as much sense to have him "fix" me after I've run myself ragged trying to make him happy as it does to have a drink in the morning to kill a hangover. In other words, none. :) 

I feel better having realized that. I can fix myself better than ANY other human being can fix me. Right. And, you don't even need to be away from him to take care of yourself. It would be perfectly OK to take care of yourself even if it leaves him weak and aimless when you are together, should you choose to be together. (Perhaps I need some help from my kitties *grin* Do they know where Trubble is?) I think I knew this, but I never thought of it in quite these terms before. And I want to make a difference in people's lives specifically WITHOUT becoming supposedly indispensable. Whatever shoes I leave to fill should be difficult but not impossible for whoever comes along after me, whatever I'm doing. :) Good stuff.

I feel better. Not sick anymore, which is a good thing. And much more cheerful in general.

Trubble, where are you anyway? :(

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000

S1

Steve said: "I know that I too am subject to mood swings, more dependent on my current or recent environment/experiences than a hormone, but moody just the same."

Dr Irene said: "That's why I think the two of you should consider an antidepressant or St. John's wort assuming your doc is OK with it. It will make doing this stuff easier."

Something about the way you phrase that seems odd. If you read it again, maybe you could see how it could almost be perceived as a sales pitch. I'm sure you didn't mean that, but if you really believe in it, maybe you did. I do believe in it, 90%. And, I don't even get a percentage. Anyways, it pushed about sixty buttons on me and I'm trying hard to contain my ego. Wink. You're doing a pretty good job.

Dr Irene said: "Becky, I wish you would think about medication. Contrary to the opinions of many on this Board, and many elsewhere, depression is considered to be a physical illness. Just like diabetes or hypertension. Please stop making value judgment and consider treatment."

Please bear with me as I attempt to offer my feelings in good taste. Deal.

Dr. Irene. You say "depression is considered to be a physical illness." I personally don't feel this accurately describes the vast majority of "feeling bad" people. I am very curious where you get this information from. Would you mind expanding on your philosophies/research on depression as a "physical illness"? It's not my philosophy. It is the way depression is considered by the majority of physicians and thinkers in the field today. There are biochemical components to depression. Do a search. The info is out there.

I'm wondering this - if depression is a state of mind, and a physical illness, then isn't love, anger, happiness, euphoria etc.? Absolutely. Everything is a state of mind. The DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) considers an emotional state a "disorder" when the condition gets in the way of your life. If, for example, you were perpetually euphoric and it impacted negatively in your life via poor judgment for example, even though you were euphoric, you would be considered ill if you fit the criteria (probably manic). Is there something more to the expression "Lovesick"?  

My feeling is that "depression" is a very overused generalization for feeling bad. Yes. That's why there are criteria for the various types of depression such as duration, symptoms, etc.

I think calling it an illness is playing into the Drug Cartel's "hand that feeds". Once you call it an illness, like diabetes, then it can be marketed to. And we have another big industry. Big, is an understatement really. Yes. It is sad that this happens. 

I have noticed a large increase in the word "illness" in our society at large. We are apparently becoming "iller" every day. We seem to develop new illnesses just in time for a new drug. Giggle! But Steve, drugs have been around since the dawn of time. Think "remedy", "potion", etc...

"Misbehaving boys" now have Attention Deficit Disorder. "Moody people" are now Bi-polar. The list goes on and on. I wonder what illness "shiny happy people" have?  Depressive Deficit Disorder? Are they displaying symptoms of Mono-polar manic euphoria? You are pointing out a philosophical controversy in the field. That is the reason I am 90% and not 100% sold. I often wonder why Prozac shows up on the top 10 list. It was number 1; may still be for all I know.

Grin.

I don't think there is anything wrong with Becky making a value judgment. I feel it is an excellent judgment. I agree with her and would even go further... Do you think I am disagreeing?

The propaganda that I feel is continuously foisted on us by the BIG drug companies has led to a society where instead of talking to each other, we go "running for the shelter of our mother's little helper". We are constantly told by "medical reports" on the major media platforms, that we are sick and in need of treatment. I know of a city where there were 347 prescriptions of Ritalin for every 1,000 boys aged five to 14. ( Full Story - http://www.vancouverprovince.com/newsite/features/ritalin/1649272.html.)  This is more than 1/3 of all the school-aged boys in that city. Amazing, isn't it! Very very disturbing. Our culture is getting way over-drugged. I wish I could emphasize that more. WAY WAY OVERDRUGGED!!! Perhaps. I wonder though: Is there something wrong with our extremely stressful and narcissistically me-oriented culture; could that be part of the reason so many people are "ill"? Our ancestors lived in tribes. They had a level of social support we can't even dream of, like built in day care, lots of friends, community, etc. Are we sick in part because our culture is sick?

Very rarely does the word "prevention" make it to the surface. Why? No money in it. The money's all in sickness. A world without sickness would be a world without drugs. I.G. Farbens worst nightmare. There's no money in St. John's wort either. No patent on this herb. It just happens to work. 

I feel you've misread my personality Irene. I don't think so Steve. No harm done. But I'm attempting to head the exact opposite direction - to a state of awareness, no more running. I see that and I'm happy for you. I feel anti-depressants are a dangerous form of running. For some people, those drugs are about running. Like anything else, it's what you do with it. 

I agree with much of your other (non drug-related) advice and observations Irene, but I must be candid and say that I feel you were much too quick to offer this to me. I offer an option that it is your prerogative to check out - or not. It makes me feel uncomfortable. Would you rather I offer many options knowing some will strike your fancy while others won't - or no options? I can't explain it clearly, but it definitely raised an eyebrow when I read that. You are anti-medication, big time. You're entitled and you're not alone. My job is to help you expand. I want you to think about it and to make an educated decision, as opposed to one that arises out of moralistic and judgmental reasons (e.g., "Meds are a crutch.").  

I am responsible for most of my current condition. Any problems I may have are directly treatable by me - once I realize it. Yes. Most of us don't realize or believe that we are very capable at examining ourselves. There are many tools to help us. Books, talk groups like this website offers etc. Right.

Let me preface the next part by saying I don't mean to apply this directly to you Irene:

I feel that Doctors are even more "programmed" toward drugs fixes than the rest of the population. I agree with you. They receive the bulk of the misinformation and "streaming" during med school and it continues with "pamphlets" and "updates" from door to door Pharmaceutical salespeople. Also, many Doctors are now addicted to direct or indirect financial/material "kickbacks" they receive from drug companies. Too bad psychologists ("fake doctors" who can't prescribe) don't fall into this category... The whole research community is hopelessly tied to the Drug Cartel's umbilical cord. Therefore the research is geared toward profit, not health. Bottom line. If it were health, Prevention would be the first word spoken. Yes Steve. A sad truth. Nevertheless, our modern day "potions" wouldn't be as popular as they are if people did not benefit from them.

A massive industry devoted to sickness. It's very dangerous. To make sickness as profitable as it has become, means prevention will always take a back-seat, if it gets any seat at all. Yes. This is very sad. Prevention is given no more than lip service.

"Abraham Flexner, author of the famous Flexner Report of 1910, led the crusade for upgrading the medical schools of America. All the while, he was in the employ of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefelle,r who had set up gigantic tax-exempt foundations for that purpose. The end result was that all medical schools became heavily oriented toward drugs and drug research, for it was through the increased sales of these drugs that the donors realized a profit on their donations". - G Edward Griffin - "A World Without Cancer" Wow!

Once, I was interviewing a doctor, who was actually a substitute for the regular doctor of an elderly person I knew. This elderly person had gone into a hospital for broken-hip surgery. When she awoke from the anesthetic, she was disoriented and making some noise (or so the nurses told me). The doctor on duty at the hospital, came in and cranked her up with Halperidol and Loxipine, to keep her from "disturbing the other patients". Ugh. I'm sure you are familiar with those 2 drugs Irene. For those that aren't, they are VERY powerful mind-altering anti-psychotics! Not a sedative, tranquilizer or any such mild medicine which normally would have been prescribed - if any. 

Have a look at Halperidol, it's very extreme - http://www.mentalhealth.com/drug/p30-h02.html and can have many IRREVERSIBLE effects. Permanently disabling. Yes. Haldol is a horrible drug. Thankfully we now have effective antipsychotics without the devastating long and short term side effects.

So this doctor injected an elderly lady with Halperidol and Loxipine. It was a crime. This was a crime. Elderly people cannot effectively metabolize these kinds of drugs. They should NEVER EVER be given to the elderly. (A group of doctors in Britain are trying to get halperidol banned altogether). This elderly person received at least 3 injections (completely against her will I might add) in the hospital, and 2 years later still suffered severe PERMANENT side effects directly related to the drugs. Many of the exact side effects listed on that website. The long term side effects usually take years to develop.

Prior to her "hospital visit", she was completely normal and healthy. This experience has made me aware of just how warped some of the medical community is, especially where it concerns drug therapy.

So...I went to talk to the GP of this elderly person, to get his views on this gross misconduct of the "Doctor" at the hospital. I was unaware that he was on vacation and there was a sub.

As God would have it, this young sub doctor was an incredible human. Compassionate, knowledgeable and forthcoming. A "Doctor" in the truest sense of the word.

For some reason, he was VERY forthcoming on this day. He told me how it works.

First, he pulled out a compendium (Bible of Pharmaceuticals) and gave me the page with Halperidol. "Note", he says, "the side effects listed".

I look, and oddly enough (at the time at least), one of the side effects of this "anti-psychotic" was - PSYCHOSIS. Hmm...ok. Cute, huh? But, then again, when is the last time you looked at the potential hazards of aspirin?

"That's how it works" he said. That's how addicts are created. That's how doctors support the Pharmaceutical industry. In other words, a person (victim) is given one drug, which will often create the necessity for different drugs, permanently. A permanent addict. A permanent source of profit. He then told me lots about how the Pharmaceutical Industry supported Doctors. The truth is out there Skully. I think there is much truth to what you say, though I don't think there is a conspiracy. The reality is that these medications have helped many people. For example, the mental hospitals were filled to capacity before...Haldol.  While there is truth to what you say, you omit the beneficial effects many of these drugs have on those whose life is truly normalized by these drugs. So, is the drug industry greedy? You bet. Are doctors independent of these giants? No way. Are we overmedicated? Probably. But, medication is also exactly what some of us need.

I'll never forget that Doctor, although I never saw him again.

Since that time (and we discussed many other "interesting factoids" as well), I've always wanted to look behind the drug scene. So, I paid attention every time I heard something about it. Depression was especially interesting because of how popular/trendy it had become. Yes. Everybody these days seems to be on an SSRI.

So...I did a lot of reading, observing, and came to an easy conclusion that there was a massive amount of "pushers" pushing state-sanctioned drugs. Far more people were addicted to these drugs than street drugs. There is no physical "addiction" (cravings, etc.) to these drugs although there may be effects if an individual is withdrawn too quickly. Yet all our prevention programs are geared toward street drugs. And, I think our prevention programs need to stay geared towards street drugs. Do you want your teenager on meth? Neither do I. Nor do I want my teenager on Prozac. But, I'd rather see my kid on an antidepressant than lying around the house sleeping and eating in a clinical depression all day. I've never heard of a prevention program for people addicted to the drugs dealt by the Cartel. Interesting, to me anyway.

A Cartel is just a bunch of good ol boys figuring out how to promote inter-company cooperation and hopefully reduce competition. Sort of just a way to escape the civil bounds of capitalism. It's very common and nothing drastically sinister about it. However, when the Cartel's main source of profit is sickness, we may want to think about what that could mean...at least I sure want to think about it. I agree with you in part. Doctors are not independent of drug companies. How can they be? The drug companies sponsor research, education, and golf trips to Hawaii.

The Drug Cartel has inserted itself into the FDA, the medical establishment, and the political. Most Doctors are unaware of just how much they too are victims of misinformation and disinformation spread by the Cartel. 

There are many many instances of drug companies falsifying test results to get their drugs to market. I've heard of this. I believe the tobacco industry made a similar faux pas by covering up test results. Then, the unsuspecting doctor passes what may be a very dangerous drug, onto their patients. We all remember the thalidomide experience. Yuk.

My journey, (and I've still a long way to go) is to be one of awareness. Awareness of self first. Then, awareness of the real world. Not the one that gets painted for us by Corporation Earth every day through it's position of owning all the major sources of information which we mortals consume, rarely questioning... You should be aware Steve. But, are you simply aware - or are you the rebel, looking for a cause? Perhaps both.

If I'm to look at the real me, not the ego, should I not also look at the real world? Far beyond IT's Ego?

I am firmly opposed to the use of anti-depressants in the vast majority of what the medical community might call "clinical depression". I feel the abuse/overuse of these drugs is heavily influenced by the profits involved. The massive amounts of money to be made, mean that all facets of "medicine" and "health" education are very susceptible to disinformation and conflicts of interest. Doctors are educated in a system that is based on profit first, health secondary or even further down the line. The Ritalin example is a perfect demonstration of this in action. There is no way that 1/3 of all school-aged boys in ANY city in the world should be prescribed a mind-altering drug. NO WAY. A deeper investigation into this affair may uncover a cynical campaign by the manufacturer of Ritalin to spread dis/mis-information and engage in covert bribery.

I think, as in the depression phenomenon, Ritalin is being used to "run from" the truth. The truth is that children are getting far less parenting today than they got 30 years ago, and schools are no longer allowed to discipline kids. So, the teachers get nice peacefully doped kids, and the drug companies get more profits. It's a win win situation - unless you consider the kids. Drug Companies would NEVER EVER consider the kids. They are not motivated by kindness, sincerity and benevolence. They operate on a bottom-line profit basis.

Depression has a similar ring to it. Less help from other humans means more help from drugs. Less responsibility for our own lives means more drugs. More drugs mean more profits.

Prevention requires education. Unfortunately, there's too much profit involved for there to be much hope for widespread social education. We have to educate ourselves. One by one.

Just my opinions.

Again, this is not meant to be taken personal Dr Irene. No offense taken. Although I firmly disagree with your position, I'm not trying to say you are intentionally doing something bad. I believe you believe it's ok. We are coming at it from much different vantage points. I understand Steve. I am aware of all you've discussed. But, I think you are a bit too far out, and, likewise, I am not looking to offend you either. You are however in full agreement with the Scientologists, a group I think is rather nutty. You cannot, I think, sanely take a position while excluding all evidence to the contrary. What you've failed to mention is the beneficial effects these drugs have on many, many people whose lives would be much more difficult without them.

I'm not trying to be confrontational either. I'm trying to say how uncomfortable I am by your hastiness to promote meds. It seems to be a real contradiction to the "talk" therapy which is so successful - and healthy - on your website. We are always talking about "taking responsibility", the higher self etc. Why retreat to an artificial sanctuary for the ego? I don't understand this at all. I don't see how both can occur concurrently. How can you examine and heal the self when all you have is a doped-out ego to work with? Simple: If you are chemically imbalanced, ill, clinically depressed, or otherwise compromised, you will have a very hard time doing the work I suggest. Taking these drugs, where appropriate allows one to work the program. Think of having to scale a mountain. This is hard enough in itself. Now imagine doing same with a pack of bricks on your back. 

There is a controversy in the talk therapy field re: these drugs. Some take a biochemical approach as I do and others are purists who believe all issues should be worked out. I don't know who is wrong and who is right. I do know that people I work with have been infinitely helped with these medications. Have any been harmed? Not to my knowledge, though we don't know the very long term effects of these drugs (the SSRI antidepressants) on the brain. We do know they permanently change the way the brain operates, and I can't imagine that this is good. I guess time will tell. 

For me, meds mean "running away". I do accept that in extreme cases *some* meds *may* have some benefit, but I think most of the time, by using meds, we are just avoiding the real world. No. Wrong. Running from reality toward a chemically altered fantasy world. How then, are we supposed to address reality, while "under the influence"? Extremist view Steve. Check it out.

I've been there. You can't address reality if you can't see it. I feel that meds only delay the process. For some they may. We feel better because we've managed to run from our predicament to a doped state we think is safe. How long are we going to stay there? How long before we take responsibility for our self? Before we just open our eyes? One thing I am learning, when you first start opening your eyes, it can be scary. But once they open more, it gets beautiful and so "freeing". The scary part is soooo worth the rewards of examining truth. I'm glad that your biochemistry responds well to your inner search and needs no chemicals. Not everyone is so blessed.

The real scary thing, is to NOT open your eyes. To keep on running. It's so draining, so pointless. So self-abusive.

...Meanwhile, the Cartel grows fat on the sorrow of man/womankind. Have you ever noticed no-one talks about a "cure" for depression? That's because the Cartel DOES NOT WANT A CURE FOR IT. They want to treat it forever. There's no money in a real cure. Our whole society is based on "treatment" rather than cure or prevention. How many psychiatrists would be unemployed if there were no "depression"? Social workers, lawyers, researchers, drug manufacturers etc etc. All become attached to the "sicknesses" in our society.

"Sick" just may be the biggest industry on Earth.

I think we like to relieve ourselves of the responsibility of the choices we make. Maybe we "choose" to feel depressed. Maybe that's our habit. Maybe we've been subtly taught it's ok to CHOOSE depression, and there's always another Prozac just around the corner.

I choose anger. Or love. I choose to remain unaware. Or I choose awareness.

The one thing I would try to "change" about you Irene - if I wanted to control you, grin - would be what appears to be a fairly strong zealousness favoring the use of anti-depressants. I would encourage you to take a very discriminating look at the "source behind the source" of your information. I do. Then I give my advice. Then I expect you to do your homework. As you have.

Perhaps the Catbox crew could help you examine your own pre-conceptions. Grin. Awareness...it's all in the ss's. I feel you are a good candidate for change, because you understand it's necessity in others very well.

My opinion, if anyone asks is - stay away from meds at all costs. Try a better diet, vitamins, exercise and self-awareness. And take a good look around you. Things aren't always what they seem. Everyone here knows that, about ourselves and our relationships. The same goes for the wild, wild world. 

As you can see Irene, I am not open to meds. Never ever. I've seen too much. Or, I think I know too much about the reality behind the state-sanctioned drug scene.

Got a cure? A prevention? I'm all ears.

BIG SMILES AND HUGS FOR IRENE. (Hope I didn't push any buttons). Not this time! 

Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000

S1

Hi Steve.

Let me start by saying that I *definitely* understand your perspective re: meds, and I have very good reason for it, as you may have seen by some of my earlier posts. The Ritalin thing is completely out of control IMHO, and at least at my school there was an equivalent problem with handing out meds (and not doing much else) for any college-aged female who was having a bad week.

OTOH, my chosen brother has bipolar disorder. Seriously. I was there when he had a major manic episode our first year of college, and I took a Friday off of work and class to make the trip to see him when his then-girlfriend called me to say he was in a serious depression. If he goes off his meds, if he doesn't watch his salt intake (something about chemical similarities of sodium and lithium), or if he doesn't get regular sleep, he runs into serious problems. He absolutely needs to stay on his meds and do these other things to function. And I was there when the docs messed up a bit and gave him too much of one of the things he takes -- THEN he sounded doped up, yes. But most of the time he doesn't, and you wouldn't know about any of this unless he told you. If he's worried about this stuff, he calls me because he knows that after seven years I know what to look and listen for. Then he calls his doctor and asks about possible re-adjust to the lithium and whatever else they've got him on at the moment.

I'm also on St John's Wort about five months out of the year, since I don't deal very well with winter. I also tend to sleep with my light on starting about now. :) I feel *less* "doped up" rather than more -- usually, starting about Thanksgiving and continuing till early April, I've felt like I'm constantly surrounded by radio static. It's not pleasant. I'm not thrilled with the idea of taking something either, for a number of reasons (I'm one of those people who has to be half-senseless with pain before I'll give in and take Tylenol, and nearly unable to breathe before I'll take allergy or cold pills). I also develop tolerances to drugs quite quickly -- I went through so many different take-nightly allergy meds before doctors and parents figured out that the problem was the featherbed I was sleeping under. I'm *extremely* allergic to feathers, unfortunately. I also have various medication allergies (my own and those that are in my family) to worry about. I also hate admitting I'm sick in any way. *grin* Too much going on for me to be sick. I was furious when I woke up ill this weekend, since I had stuff planned and that forced me to stay home.

I also know that for me, personally, the most critical thing I can do to stay functioning as I should be is avoid skipping meals and carry some dried fruit in my purse. :) But the other things are helpful for me. Ideally, you should be the best judge of what you need to function. Obviously, we all in the cat box need some work on that or we probably wouldn't be here. *wry smile* But I think that ideally, we should be self-aware enough to know what we need to function and to make sure we do it. I am better at the first than the second, at this point.

I, too, wish the medical establishment was more focused on prevention than treatment me too!. I've had many long discussions with my chosen brother about that (he's a nurse). But by the same token, psychiatric meds can be used as prevention rather than purely treatment. If they prevent him from collapsing in a dead faint after six days with no sleep, or prevent me from getting in the bad mood/don't eat or otherwise take care of self/worse mood/don't take care of self loop, they're doing a good thing. If they are being used to treat what is simply an aspect of someone's personality, THAT to me is unacceptable. I think a lot of Ritalin prescriptions fall into that category -- I've seen research that implies that certain personality types are likely to be seen as "problem children", especially by teachers who are of opposing personality types.

Of course, that sidetracks off into my numerous opinions of what's wrong with the educational system, which is another story in and of itself. :) I think that in general there is a lot of emphasis put on "fixing" those who are considered "deviant" without recognizing the difference between what's harmful and what's just plain old different. Like my mom said, "Normal is six hours of television a night. I don't want that for my daughter." That's one she got right, I think. :)

Astrid, who could go on way too long about this stuff... :)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000

S1

Wow, Lynn back and I just got in and had the hair licked off my arms and went to catch up and I can't so I'll just say HELLO! I'm glad to be back and I don't have a clue where we are.

We didn't mean to worry you. We called collect and sent post cards, but I guess you didn't get them. Trubble was with me! He loves the "House of Blues." They have a Crazy Cat there who loves the Blues and he really got into that. We even brought Daddy Dan a Crazy Cat watch. Then we took a tour by ferry boat and you can see the cat fish a jumpin'. Then he left you to visit Dan - and hasn't been heard from since...

Steve, I have a bit of train and jet lag and I read your "disorder" as Deficient Derelict Disorder. Now that I can relate to as we met every derelict west of the big Mississippi and they all traveled east with us! I'm still laughing. Honest, Janis Joplin was on the train with us. :)

Hi Becky, Asha, Astrid, B, Theressa and the new cats I haven't even met yet. I will catch up and get back soon. Talk about withdrawal.... I had to call Dan and LOCO every night and see what was going on here, and then I checked about the rest of the world.

Came back really classy, too. My son put bright blue duct tape on my "luggage." Now that's what I call first class! :)

Dear Dr. Irene, Trubble and I didn't mean to cause worry and I hope you forgive us. We had a wonderful time and we wish you were there.... There is/was just about everywhere. Even managed to tie up some loose ends with my children and we are all planning on going to our hometown for Thanksgiving with my father. Celebrating on Friday, tho, as we all have to travel on Thursday.

We had 3 lovely Christmas parties and got lots of lovely gifts and ate enough that I outgrew my jeans and couldn't get in them to get home. Ho Ho and Ho!

I've missed all of you and I'll read all more better after I get some quality time in at home.

TTFN (Ta Ta for now) and Asta la bye bye. These I learned from my 14 year old grandson and traveling companion who thanked me for "going with Him!"

Love,

Lynn  Welcome back Lynn.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

S1

Hi All,

Aren't vitamins drugs???? chemicals??? Yes. So are apples and milk and Trout...

Take care all Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

S1

Dear Steve, Just a few of my own observations from having been depressed enough to be in hospital for a week with it over the summer. I think you can have either a clinical depression, or a depression caused by a set of extreme circumstances. Mine was the latter. Originally I agreed to try St John's Wort but I wasn't very good at remembering to take it. I got better using seroxat (peroxitin) which worked. I still take that. I also had an additional drug, Tradzadone. This worked on the depression, but I kept fainting and had chest pains. It was prescribed for sleep as I wasn't getting much.

I stopped taking Tradzadone without telling the doctor. I had a major reaction at first, but continued with just the seroxat. Now I have added in Kava Kava and Ginko Bilbao with Ginseng and Iron tablets.

I only got better when the doctor prescribed Nitrazepan - he was reluctant to do this as I had overdosed, but it worked. Herbal remedies and Zopiclone were useless.

I needed the seroxat as my serotonin levels were low. I needed iron as I was anemic and most of all, whatever way I got it, I needed sleep.

I was pretty resistant to all drug use before that. The sort of person who never actually gets the prescription to the chemist. I couldn't begin to sort out the problems until I felt well enough.

I was aware in hospital that a lot of people were much less well than I was and I also found a lot of people who like me had gone through traumatic life events and it was easy to see the difference.

While I was becoming ill I was in denial about it and now I so wish I had taken the doctors advice. I would have saved myself and my family a lot of heartache and I might not be able to return to my much loved, but stressful job.

I don't think pills are the answer. Pills and therapy can go hand in hand and I had someone help me work through my depression. I also had some relaxing breaks in beautiful places, alone. I had friends to support me.

I am definitely not addicted to anything. The Nitrazepan is addictive, but they wouldn't prescribe enough to get addicted to. Seroxat is not addictive either, but you have to stop taking it slowly. I rather like the legal effects of Kava and I really think that the Ginko is making me more focused. Also life is a lot easier now I am not anemic.

No drugs at all didn't help me one bit. I think, because the causes impacted on me in a way which caused my body to react physiologically. Stress caused a reduction in serotonin which is what you need good levels of in your body to cope with stress. To me now, and believe me I wouldn't take an aspirin before, drugs are a way of giving your body what it can't temporarily do for itself.

I always thought before the summer I knew what depression is. That I had the skill to fight it. I wrote a poem when I was becoming ill and gave it to a friend. It was about depression. She looked at me and said "That is not depression." Now I know what she was talking about. Perhaps we should make a distinction between depressed feelings and depression.

This is a lot of waffle, probably, and just sharing my own experience. I do think the drug companies have a lot to answer for. Having worked in hospitals at times, including caring for epileptics and hyperactive children and with a knowledge of ADHD there is good and bad drug management. Perhaps I am lucky in the people who looked after me.

Dear Lyn. I am confused. It isn't Christmas yet. I thought Thanksgiving a few days before Christmas and that the next American Festival was Halloween.

Dear all, sorry for the long ramble. I am feeling so good today as my daughter is at home. She arrived in the middle of the night with a long and complicated love problem. Having all the info from this site I found really helpful as I talked to her. I am probably writing as a displacement activity as she has gone out and is returning here.

My H is responding to the non sandbox treatment by doing the same to me so maybe we will both grow up and not just me. I do so enjoy the peace. (I don't mean I feel god my daughter has problems, but this is a huge step forward and has involved me in a lot of boundary setting.

I am in control of me! This is fantastic and I am going out with some friends tonight to celebrate our new found personalities. (We've all been through the mill.) I am going to laugh and have fun.

Sorry again about the ramble, Jay. :)

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, I may have it wrong, but I think the people n this site are having, in a very healthy way, where applicable, a storm over depression and the drugs issue. When I teach adults there usually comes a time in a long course where the class starts to own itself and become less dependant on the teacher for knowledge and work things out from themselves; they start to think for themselves and to stand up for themselves and say back what they really think. I take this as an indication of my success. No storm and I have not got people thinking for themselves. Jay Good stuff, I agree!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

S1

Need to vent, and asking for input.

We had semi-scene this morning during which he once again blamed me for his abusiveness, telling me that I "cause" him to react the way he does to certain things. Nope. He also said that if I am hurt or angered by how he reacts, that that's my fault responsibility; I am choosing, he said, to engage in bad behavior. Yes. In other words, no matter what, he is blameless. Ooops!

I was still in bed when he left. When I got up I noticed that he had placed his pillow over the phone on the nightstand so if it rang it wouldn't disturb me. I started crying when I saw that. How can he be so stubborn, so hard, so disrespectful, then turn around and be so thoughtful? Am I wasting my time trying to figure out this contradiction? Shouldn't HE be wondering about this?

Thoughts, anyone? Yes. Don't try to figure him out. Just love him if you do, don't absorb the junk, and appreciate the good stuff. Easier said than done, huh?

Becky

ps-Welcome home Lynn!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

S1

Dear Catbox friends Welcome home Lynn. I sneaked in your catbox during your holiday. Hope you won't mind. I am very happy you had Trubble with you all the time. Is he OK? I have even wondered whether he might have turned up here, cause there was this cat running around here mumbling about his mommy/daddy complex and needing to withdraw to find his Self. Well, there must be more Trubbled Cats around in this world, I guess.

Dear Asha and Teresa Thanks for your comments on my question about rules. I think you both are right. We keep discussing things in general and than get stuck. C. suggested we would talk about things as they came up, and I suppose that would be better. I don't really want rules, but I do want some sort of general agreements on how to relate to each other that I can be sure of to hold for some time. And I just realized that somehow this is a big button for me and I am overreacting a lot. I get angry for things he might do, things he doesn't do anyway, and which I rationally don't think he will. Yikes! Good you see that one! He's willing to talk about the space he needs, the space I need and that's something I guess. I do belief that this whole issue is a big button for him also. Sort of what ‘holiday celebrating' is for Steve and Asha.

I don't even think what we want is very different. Just for me NO RULES spells TOTAL ANARCHY. For him ANY RULES spells TOTAL LOSS OF FREEDOM. I think rationally we both know the truth is somewhere in the middle, but we have a hard time of letting go of our own feeling on this subject. I guess it may have something to do with his difficulty to say no and the feeling he has that he has to take care of me and is responsible for my happiness. Not wanting any rules might be his way of defending himself against ‘demands/needs' he can't and doesn't want to fulfill but feels responsible for anyway. I have a big problem with asking what I want, so in my heart I would probably like to have everything neatly programmed, so I don't have to ask every time I want something and risk a no. But I know that bores me too in the end.... I'm getting better at taking risks anyway. Somehow this issue just escalates, we get into our respective trenches and keep saying: you come out first. Maybe I should just drop the subject and only judge the way he acts, which is usually quite caring. But I do feel we need to learn to talk about these sore spots. It's a kind of test case. I used to be the one waving the white flag, but boy, would I love to see him do it once...

I sent him another mail to explain what I need and want: no rules, no contract just a sort of commitment on where we would like to get in the end. Nervously waiting for an answer ( :-)) and just trying to sit with this feeling and remember: I said what I felt was important for me, without blaming or anything and whatever he feels or says does not have the power to make what I feel wrong, bad or detestable. I tried to write it the best way I could, and that will have to do. But boy, do I feel like he might be going to chop my head of!!!! Work on that. Too much weight to carry around all the time!

Dr. Irene You asked what part of the world I am from: I am from Western Europe. And I regret to say codependency is NOT an issue here. No books, except in English, no books on verbal and emotional abuse, nothing. I have to order everything. I gave this address to some friends who could use the information. But not everybody who could use this information is able to read English. But I do find that reading and talking about this at least helps to spread the word. It's been said many times before, but still I would like to add my THANK YOU. Hope you are well. Thank you AJ.

Love to all, and Trubble, tell us about your holyday. I'd love to hear about the Jazz Cat.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

S1

Hi Becky,

You know each of us is responsible for our OWN behaviour!! We are also responsible for OUR OWN feelings about others behaviour. Becky you are justified in ANY feelings you have, anger, or hurt. What you do with these is another matter, feeling them and then in anger going to cool down alone, reading, relaxing etc... then when and ONLY when you feel calm, ask yourself OBJECTIVELY how'd you'd tell a friend to sort this, Speak to your spouse in a none judgmental way. I would like xxxxx to happen (DON'T USE I don't want xxxx to happen!!) say ONLY what you WANT to happen (stops your spouse getting defensive) Don't use YOU, use I. e.g I want help with the dishes, AND not You never help with the dishes. I want you to clear the yard, (state the change you would like and why) so that we can sit in it and have our meals outside.

To recap, State using "I" what you would like, then state what change you would like, and why.

Becky, even abusers are a mixture of GOOD and BAD (WE all are!!!) You see when your spouse feels out of control of a situation, i.e. like when he tried to throw the blame on you, you become unsure. THIS IS ABOUT HIM FEEL OUT OF CONTROL, so he'll try to reflect his Insecurities on to you by projecting his pain on to you and blaming you. However, when he doesn't feel out of control the GOOD bits of him can shine through.

Abusers aren't totally bad, they are counter dependent though, they can't allow themselves to not be on a pedestal, or be FIRST, they have to be single minded to feel okay.

Does this make sense?? I think so. 

Therefore, even co-dependents like ourselves can ACT out and on another occasion act Healthy, e.g We might Yell at our children and yet still kiss them good bye.

Becky there is no contradiction. You have every right to feel this way. Just remember we are all mixtures of good and bad. We have to STOP ABUSE, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy OR THAT We SHOULD FEEL GUILTY for enjoying the good. The GOAL is to stop the ABUSE. (Cuz our spouses are broken and so we need to set BOUNDARIES to show them how far we will allow them to treat us a certain way.)

BECKY STOP the ABUSE by setting boundaries, and know what is your RESPONSIBILITY and what is not. YOUR responsibility is YOU ONLY your feelings, your opinions, your behaviour, your reactions. YEAH we should watch how we treat others also, though we aren't responsible for their feelings. BEING respectful and non judging and non blaming is the KEY!!!

BECKY YOU can also enjoy the GOODNESS in your spouse, even abusers have good sides. SO stop feeling guilty for feeling happy about the good you receive, YOU DESERVE IT!! YOU ALSO DESERVE TO STOP THE ABUSE!!!! COS God values you MUCH!! Your a single component in a wider system. Since your one single part, doesn't mean your not an important part, cuz for a WHOLE we need all these parts that are just as important.

Take care I hope this helps, have a lovely weekend BECKY,

And Trubble, Dr Irene, And everyone else have a lovely weekend.  Thank you; you too.

Love Theressa  

 

 

I was still in bed when he left. When I got up I noticed that he had placed his pillow over the phone on the nightstand so if it rang it wouldn't disturb me. I started crying when I saw that. How can he be so stubborn, so hard, so disrespectful, then turn around and be so thoughtful? Am I wasting my time trying to figure out this contradiction? Shouldn't HE be wondering about this?

Thoughts, anyone?

Becky

ps-Welcome home Lynn!

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Good Morning Everyone,

Lynn here with two neurotic dogs who won't let me out of their sight. It will be awhile before they trust me to stay. :)

I had to jump in about the meds. Are birth control pills meds? I think the hoopla about drugs has been taken out of context for generations. I could never figure out my dad (86) who loves to go to the Doctor for anything and is at his happiest getting well. My daughter is a nurse and she said that is familiar for people of that generation. These were the years when penicillin, polio vaccine, etc. were found to work and this era of people think that drugs can cure Everything!!! Drs. are akin to miracle workers. Then we get to the abuses. My daughter was on Ritalin for about 1 week. I took her to a therapist. In her case he felt she was simply an active child with a high IQ and needed to be stimulated with brain activity and lots of physical activity. It worked. She was lifeless on Ritalin and she WAS quiet. It just wasn't her. We are all hyperactive by nature (my family).

There are so many variables to medication that I think there is bound to be abuse. If Dan and I couldn't have worked on our problems I would have loved a lifetime supply of Valium. Not because I need them, but in the situation we were in I sure could have used them to cope with his none change. Now that he is committed to a better relationship (remember, he saw no problems with our relationship) I no longer feel like that. I am just saying that if they are indicated they may be necessary briefly to give our bodies and brains a time to heal. That's what they were invented for in the first place. Not for a buzz at parties.

Hi Becky,

Sounds to me like your H may not mean to hurt you. Maybe he learned bad habits and doesn't know how to change them, but means well and does care for you. I agree with Dr. Irene about the meds. I went through a bunch of stuff years ago and I wasn't getting better. I couldn't get out of bed. A couple of weeks on Elavil (I think) I was able to get on my feet, go to work part time and eventually deal with things that I had no control over. Just had to many hit a once and I overloaded and overwhelmed. This I called the light at the end of the tunnel was an oncoming train and in every cloud there was a thunderstorm and it's always darkest before it's pitch black. Too much, too many and too often and I wans't capable of a decision on what to eat for dinner. I've seen the effects of drugs go both ways. Just so they don't become a crutch I say use them.

Hi Jay,

We try and get our family together around the seasons to share a Christmas and Thanksgiving each year, although we can't ever get together on the actual dates. That's why we already exchanged gifts. Usually Dan and I go later in the year and the trees get put up and decorated, too. Hadn't planned on a meeting in the middle for Thanksgiving. This year we are going to go have one with my dad.

Whomever's H thought this site was controlling to HIM sounds a wee bit controlling. I still haven't read the posts in full, so I don't know the rest of the story.

Dear Astrid,

I love what your mother taught you about normal. Isn't that great! Reminds me of my, "everybody is doing it" and I was asked who is everybody? Then I was told NO. Somewhere here we were talking about dinner and I have to tell you what Dan makes when it's his turn for dinner. Reservations! :)

Dear Asha and Steve,

Boy oh boy, look at the changes 2 weeks have made. I'm so glad for both of you. Keep up the good work. We have to get going on ours. The 2 week vacation was great, but by tomorrow it will be time to face real life. Once we got over the you did this and well you did that and got into what we were aiming for, peace settled here. Not always, but it sure got better. Now we have to work with getting that behind us.

Time to go. My favorite breakfast has been cooked and served and I'm not going to miss this.

Hi Doc and Trubble and bye bye for now.

Love,

Lynn

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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Lynn here,

All posting together again.

I will go read and get back to us. Talk to you later,

Lynn

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Hi, Thressa, I wrote a lengthy reply to you and everything crashed before I could send it. I won't try to repeat. i will say that even "I" statements make him defensive. I think this is because being who he is, he cannot deal with the idea that his wife is a valid person in the marriage. If he honors a need of mine, in his eyes, that means he's "less" in the relationship. I've been with him long enough to come to the conclusion that his competitive nature, and insecurity, will not allow him to "let" another person have an inch for fear they'll take a mile. For example, he is mad at me because I won't work for him (I need more respect from him first, otherwise --too risky). Several years ago I told him that I would, but that I wanted a desk to sit at (there is an extra desk there) and a key so I didn't have to wait until he is there to get in and work. He accused me of wanting to "take over the business." Both counselors we worked with over the years tried to talk to him about this attitude, but he refused to address it. His fears are unfounded, by the way. My former husband and I co-owned a business. I helped out, was given responsibilities and credit for what I did. When we divorced, I gave up any claim to the business (probably a typically co-dependent mistake yes --I should have been compensated because I was a legal partner).

I am going to send this in case the system crashes again! Thanks for your comments!

Becky

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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Dear Dr. Irene and the rest of you all

I tried to call C., thinking, oke, I'll be the one to call now, I won't let him do all the work, feeling very good about myself. And he didn't answer!! I noticed myself getting irritated. Seems I have this feeling that whenever I deign to call him, he should be there to answer at once and let me know how happy is that I called. It really struck me like lightning: this is what I have been doing a lot, expecting him to be there whenever i would think to call and getting upset and irritated when he wasn't. I never really allowed myself to feel this, because I knew very well it was irrational.

After all, I could hardly expect him to sit waiting by the phone for me all day and night. I n the past, I just pushed away the feeling, but someplace inside it always stayed. And I would remember the irritation I felt, but not that there actually was no sane reason for it, so I would act irritated the next time I spoke to him and he wouldn't understand and of course neither would I. I was just mad at him.

Now that I ‘sit with it', I realize that maybe I feel very unhappy if he is doing things with other people I am not aware of. Is that controlling or what ?! Hope that I can get past it. I'll just phone again and leave a message like adult people do :-)

Love to all, AJ

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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Hi all.

Lynn - welcome back from me too. We missed you here! And it's good to know that Trubble is alive and well.

Jay - You sound very grounded in your posts. I also agree with your note to Dr. Irene. I think this discussion over the drug issue *is* a sign of success of this site; that people are examining their boundaries on a larger level - in society. There are external 'controlling forces' which we have choice over as well as in our own personal relationships. Looking at all of it with a higher goal in mind can not do any harm.

I also wanted to mention that the mind is a powerful tool, and this site demonstrates the power of group support. I personally have felt the prayers and good thoughts of people from this site. Knowing that there were people willing to help guide me and who cared enough to send their prayers and offer input made a world of difference to me. Before I started posting here, I would have felt discouraged and alone. Becky mentioned that she felt warm vibes all day a result of group support. I would take that any day over an anti-depressant. However, I think each situation is entirely individual - I guess that is also the point of the 'examination' of drug use. That each of our needs are individual and drugs may help in some cases and may not help in others. I know that for me, at this point in time an anti-depressant wouldn't do a thing for me. Why? Because I feel good, and peaceful. And when I don't feel good and peaceful, I use my feelings as a signal to deal with something. I don't want to change any of those feelings because I need all of them to face my issues. However, it might be different if I couldn't get out of bed all day.

PMS is something altogether different, but if I am suffering from it then I also want to look at diet, stress, exercise and anything else I might do that's preventative. If there was a drug geared towards prevention of PMS, or cure I would consider it more readily, but I don't want to mask symptoms designed by my body as a warning signal that something I'm doing to it is wrong. I have begun to try homeopathic medicine, but I'm not completely convinced that works either. My body is telling me *something* when I suffer from PMS. I guess the tricky part is finding out what, and deciding what to do about it. But I don't want to run to a drug, vitamin whatever, without understanding more about why my body is doing this.

Becky - you might want to read "When Words Hurt". It talks about effective communication and listening for abusive and non abusive situations. Also helps you to distinguish what is 'abuse' and what isn't. The book suggests ways of *not* engaging. For example, if he says "You cause me to react this way" you could say "I can see why you feel that way" or other neutral statements that can end a provocation. You don't want to use these statements when he is making a sincere comment though, only when the comments are designed to provoke or to hurt. Right now you are letting his angry statements hurt you. You don't have to. Really, you don't. They have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with him. What I have realized lately is that if I react angrily to an intentionally provocative statement, I have actually been disrespectful to myself. I don't have to allow myself to feel bad at all. The provoker is the one with the problem. I don't have to take on his problem. Maybe an affirmation like "I am protected from H's anger" might initially help - something you can quickly use to replace your previous negative thoughts about him when you feel attacked.

<<Am I wasting my time trying to figure out this contradiction? Shouldn't HE be wondering about this?>>

You are wasting time thinking thoughts like "shouldn't HE be wondering about this". THESE are the thoughts that are a complete waste of energy because you can't control what he thinks or does. I would spend your time learning how to respond to him in ways that are self-respectful. Spend time learning how to honor YOU by learning new communication skills.

hope that helps a bit.

AK, my penpal:

Hi. Nice to hear from you.

The great thing about emailing our thoughts to our mates is that there is no 'tone of voice' and you have a chance to really think out what you want to say. If he does want to 'chop your head off' so to speak, isn't it better to get it out in the open and be honest to each other about what you both really want in life? Don't be afraid of hearing what you don't want to hear. If you're honest about it then you can deal with 'real' issues and find out what's really acceptable to both of you.

<<I guess it may have something to do with his difficulty to say no and the feeling he has that he has to take care of me and is responsible for my happiness. Not wanting any rules might be his way of defending himself against ‘demands/needs' he can't and doesn't want to fulfill but feels responsible for anyway.>>

This is interesting - make me think that Steve probably felt responsible for my happiness as well. He often felt weighed down by my 'demands and needs' also. The great thing is that he's not responsible for ANY of my feelings. Must be a relief for him.

Is your unhappiness about C doing things with other people based on his previous affair? If so, it might be your fear of that. I guess you have to decide whether or not you will choose to trust him. I don't think you can have a healthy relationship without trust. Once you feel that you have strong boundaries then it will be easier to accept his choices. This is because you will know that you won't accept unhealthy patterns in *your* life or that, if they come up, you won't let them affect you.

Just my thoughts.

love, hugs & sunshine

Asha

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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http://slashdot.org/articles/99/04/25/1438249.shtml

The ultimate victims-turned-abusive: the kids who shot the kids at Columbine.

The ultimate sanctioning of verbal abuse: what happened afterwards.

For some reason, this has been on my mind a great deal today. Maybe because it's 1 1/2 years after it happened; maybe the post I made mostly to Steve last night had something to do with it. But the Web address (and other follow-ups to this article on the site) show what happened afterwards. For me and mine, it was a defining moment. Not one of us would have done something so horrific, but we ALL felt the backlash. The world lost a talented potential high school teacher over this. He told me "at the school I student taught at, they were trying to make me go after the kids in black and make them get help. I was one of the kids in black. I am one of the kids in black. I can't send my own kind home for supposed anti-social behavior, when they've done nothing wrong!"

Though my appearance is usually much more moderate these days (no more black hair dye, and I wear business clothes to work but I still like my dark striking colors), I'm still one of the "kids in black" at heart. Not meaning that I would ever shoot anyone or want to -- but I play Dungeons & Dragons, read morbid poetry, like Halloween, and go to midnight showings of Rocky Horror every now and then. (The would-have-been teacher used to play Riff Raff.) If I had still been in high school when Littleton happened, I would have had some serious problems.

As it was, I had nightmares for weeks. I still have them sometimes. We could use counselors, yes -- but not the ones I heard about over on Slashdot, post-Littleton. And the living nightmare continues. The local SCA fencers lost their practice site (a suburban high school gym) due to a new improved "zero-tolerance" policy. Apparently, legal adults using fencing epees in a safe and supervised fashion after school hours would still break the local zero-tolerance for violence or weapons policy. One of my friends who grew up in the SCA used to laugh about how he wore a chainmail shirt to school (his dad makes it as a hobby) while they were studying the middle ages, and set off the metal detector. Probably if a kid did that now he'd get suspended.

Steve, the things wrong with the world go so much deeper than the pushing of certain drugs. Unfortunately, I have limited ability to fix anything other than myself, and you have limited ability to fix anything other than yourself. Maybe both of us can be there for the kids in black, if they ever come to us (somehow I have the impression you'd be sympathetic to this).

I don't know why, but I had the feeling all this needed to be said. Hope it was helpful to someone other than me :)

Astrid  Thanks Astrid.

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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Hello group, this is Lynn and I've just read the posts and blue pencils and wouldn't even know where to begin. Here's a good one on how important we are though. I see that everyone is still alive, still working, still working on themselves and still helping and supporting others. Technically, I could have died and life would have gone on. I like that. That for those of us who think that a job or a marriage is working because we are there. Not so! See....

Anyhow, I'm going to answer to a few replies and then just get on with it, because if I start going back and replying to ALL the posts I'll need a whole # and I see that all of us try to help and care for others, no matter who is missing for a moment.

I did reply to David that maybe we were the "Can Box" because we CAN. It makes perfect sense to me.

Dear Dr. Irene,

Where did you take that picture of Trubble and I? It's great. Must have been Friday the 13th with the full moon. Wasn't that a beauty? I hope I didn't spoil Trubble, but he acquired a taste for calamari. Looked like bait to me, but he said with the fancy name it's a delicacy. I suppose he'd even like fish eggs? How would I know? He's still gone! 

Trubble really enjoyed the Jazz Cat. This is a black Cat and just one of the logo's for this club. My grandson suggested we go there. We sat in the cafe part and listened to just one musician play. He wasn't loud and after a while he played to the crowd and picked up a lot of songs that I knew. What fun.

"PMS" Now that might get me going, but mine is menopause. Just for the record I think if men had it we would have had a cure for it by now. What we finally did was learn to tell each other what was going on. i.e.. I'm not feeling too well today and you best walk on eggs till I get feeling better or I'm angry with you because you did this or that and it has nothing to do with hot flashes. The reason is......... if they happen to coincide, that's the breaks. Giggle! Dan has gotten so much better at this. Same with hypoglycemia. Clinical here. My daughter has it too. This means No Sugar. That's just a quick fix. This can be controlled by diet. Herein lies the problem. I love Coca Cola. If I only have one or two a day I feel pretty good, but the last 2 weeks I've been eating, eating and eating. I will probably get shaky, weepy and cranky. I know the symptoms (secret now is to be really careful with my diet), but when I feel this I simply tell Dan I've OD'd on sugar and it's time to dry out. This doesn't mean bring me home candy bars and ice cream. Meat, eggs and cheese and lots of water and diet pop. Sugar is just a quick fix and will make me feel worse longer. He understands that this isn't about him, but he has tried to bait me at these times.

Becky, I used to wake up at night and not get back to sleep. I could dwell on Dan's mother and then if I went to sleep, she would be my first conscious thought on waking. This tied in with, "If I could only reason with him." (more about his mother later). Just since I've been posting have I been able to let these go. I've even written them down and they didn't go away. I think they need to be brought into the open, hashed, rehashed and then buried. Until they are resolved though, I don't think they are ready for burial. They seem to pop up when I least expect them.

One of you new ladies talked about the chance again with your mate. It's funny, but I always felt Dan was a good person. I think these are the toughest to leave as we aren't being beat, cheated on, supported, etc. and it's tough to put your finger on why we are so unhappy. We just know we are and can't live like this anymore. Bells on the door. Turned out to be real simple. We got those decorative Indian bells on a rope and hung them over the door knob. Every time we let the critters out we'd go "ding-a-ling" first. Before we knew it they would go ding themselves. Really a matter of training ourselves. This also means at 4 AM we have to get up and let them out (not cats at night).

Steve, Boy, oh boy, can Dan get your goat. Here's my question.. Why Dan? I can't see why you would really care what he thinks. Is this about someone else in some other place at some other time?? One of the things that re-endeared me to Dan was his empathy with the others here. Kinda funny to me, because I can see him get mad at you for something he thinks you have done to Asha and totally miss that he does the same thing to me. Ah well, Steve, I understand.

No cure here either. Cats on the keyboard.

Theressa, I loved your reply. B, thanks. AJ and Jay, I'll catch up with you. David, where are you? Astrid, that about the sugar I understand, you knew it, I'll bet.

Now I've got to get into a few with/about Dan and I.

He talked about the phone calls his mother was making to me. BIG red button and off it went. Louder than an air raid. Thanks Dr. Irene, I let this set for a few until I really knew why that was still bothering me. Yippeee!  I know! Dan said to me years later that he felt I was getting solicitor phone calls and that his mother couldn't be doing that. It was tough for him to admit that she could do that sort of thing. I caught her years ago. I'd say to the dead phone, "He's at the store." Dan would call and ask her if she called and she would tell him no and then later in the conversation ask him what he bought at the store. Might have been a clue, but he never got it! When he did he acknowledged that she "Probably" did this. Period. That's my problem. I still need an I'm sorry for doubting you. Enough of that one.

Dan's post about his money that he sent home from Viet Nam. I told him I would respect his decision and never mention it again, but here I am mentioning it. It's just in a different context.

We got a lump sum of $$$ a few years ago and he wanted to pay her back what he owed her. She named a fixed amount and I wanted him to deduct the 7 or 8 hundred she stole from him. He didn't. No fight, I just felt he was selling himself short and as long as he felt he "had" to pay her back to pay her back, but I never wanted to hear again that she took his money. From my point of view he had it in his hands. I think this could have been done tactfully and not nastily. He still insisted if she said he owed her, he did.

Just for you Dan. I still think you sold yourself short. Why did you spend so much time fixing Dan? Why do you STILL care so much? You knew in your heart that she owed you. It's not the money that's important. To me it is your worth and I never doubted your word. It's funny, but it didn't make her one bit nicer to you and as far as I know she has never told you thanks. I think she did you wrong and I would have stood behind you and stood my ground because I knew you were right. Enough of that one, too.

Dear Dan, This is about your sister, MC. I've heard about this since the first and there are so many conflicting stories I'd like to hear the finish. Just before I left 2 weeks ago, you were talking about her death again and I was asking you questions. We almost got into an argument, so I let it go, but there were even more conflicting stories and there are a few blanks. There was a large time gap in some of the things you were telling me and when I asked about them, you got defensive.  Lynn, you are in his space. Let him be what he is, including defensive. What's it to you? I asked when you told the cops. The next day. Did she call them? You didn't know. She must not have as when you did the search was started. Why wasn't your dad told until the next day? Where was your mom that night? You didn't know. Yet you said to me that these were your memories and you knew they were right. That's when we almost got testy about this. It seems to me there is a time gap of about 18 to 24 hours that are all interwoven. That's all I was trying to get straight in my mind. I wasn't trying to question your perceptions. I believe them. I'm on your side. I think you were more aware of what was going on than anyone else in the family. I was just trying to get the days and times straight and in my mind there are two days interwoven. This doesn't have to be posted, but when I questioned anything, I felt you "ready" to defend so we quit the conversation. I would like this to be settled for you in your own heart and mind. We can get her death certificate, we can get old newspapers, we could probably get old police records. Let's do what we have to do and then let her rest in peace. We can go out to the Cemetery alone and grieve her death and get it behind us. (I say us because I feel I've been involved with this for 11 years, too). I never thought you were to blame, I never held you responsible. I always knew you did everything you could to find her. I always felt you were the only functioning "adult" in the whole situation. I have let your dad off the hook because he wasn't informed that she was even missing until she was found dead.

Anyhow, I don't mean to drag this out, yet there were a lot of unanswered questions the other night and when you feel comfortable let's try and talk this out and get it over with. If you feel safer on the boards, that's fine to. It seems to keep coming up in our lives and maybe it's time to let her go. Lynn, let him let go when he's ready to... Stop pushing him  towards health. He's already going there himself...

Lighter side, There seems to be a number of us sharing the same birth sign Scorpio. Not that I believe this stuff, but I like to hedge my bets. Just in case there is something to it. I have known very few who share this birth sign and yet those who do/did have become real good friends of mine. So, whatever the reason, Happy Birthday soon to a bunch of us.

Chocolate covered crawdads for Trubble.

Love and Hugs and Happy thoughts to all of you lovely people. I'm glad to be home,

Lynn

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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Ack! NO! Chocolate is deadly poison to cats!!

</panic>

Good to see you back, Lynn. And I'm technically a Libra -- was in denial because mom's one too and I wanted to be not-Mom. October 23rd is the cusp and is my b'day, and when I got a real chart done (just for the heck of it) found that I'm a Libra after all. :)

This weekend, I celebrate! Yay! :)

*hugs to all*

Astrid

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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Dear Astrid,

October 23rd is Dan's youngest grand-daughters birthday. You are in good company, she's a rip snorter.

Hugs back at you,

Lynn

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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Dear Dr Irene, Trubble (hopefully) and the rest of the family,

Trubble this is for you compliments of Stephen Baker.

The 4 Seasons Menu (How to feed the Neurotic Cat), not that you are. He is.

Savory

Squid Sashimi

Cold Appetizer

Crabmeat Mousse with Beluga Caviar

 Hot Appetizer

Salmon Souffle Oh boy...

Intermezzo

Tuna Fish Sherbet He's love it

Main Course

Stuffed Baby Quail w/Crawfish Tails Dessert

Foie Gras Truffles w/Creme Fraiche

I will try to post to everyone a little later but I guess it's time for 14 year old Danny to grow up.

To Lynn,

About my sisters death, you have said that there seems to be about 18 to 24 hours interwoven so I will try to unweave them here.

I got home from school about 5:45 P.M. and was told to go get the kid for dinner. Sister was supposed to be at her friends house across the alley, She wasn't so I went to another of her friends house, this is where she was found in the refrigerator by the way, and her friend told me that she was at so and so's house. I went there, she wasn't, so I went home and ate dinner, then I got on my bike and proceeded to bike around looking for her. I covered just about the whole town and finally got in about one in the morning. It may have been earlier but I know that it was after midnight. I went to bed and got up the next morning and she still wasn't home, so I went back across the alley to see if she was there, she wasn't. I don't remember if she had school that day or not, anyway I went back to looking for her and finally went to the cop shop. I talked to the desk SGT and finally got to see the Juvenile officer whom I had wanted to see first anyway. He turned to the desk SGT and said we have a missing child, get on it. I then went back looking for sister. I stopped to eat lunch, I returned home for this, and he was there, I had made a sandwich with my switchblade and still had it out when he told me that they had found her and she was dead. I stuck the knife between his feet into the floor. He pulled it out and put it away, and then offered me a shoulder and told me that my mom had went up to make the identification. HE then told me where they had found her because I asked him. He said that my dad had been notified that she was missing as soon as they got the search started. I cried like I had been beaten, then my dad arrived and asked if she had been found yet, I told him that she had and that she was dead. He then punched me ! , and asked where mom was, I told him that she was up at the friends home where sister was found. He then went up there. I as unable to go around the house for a couple of days, because the refrigerator was still there and I told myself that if I had looked in there she would still be alive I know that this maybe wishful thinking on my part, but it's the way I felt and maybe I still do, and that's why I still break up, because I was right there next to it when I asked if they knew where she was. Ohhh Dan... All I had to do was pull it away from the house and look in it. The refrigerator was and had been pushed up against the house with the door into the wall. I still have questions on how a 6 year old could get it away from the house enough to open the door and how it was pushed back against the house. Or who could have pushed it to the house. It was one of the old fashioned refrigerators, with the small freezer inside and a pull handle to unlatch the door.

According to S----she was lodged between two shelves and would have had a very rough time because she wouldn't have just went to sleep. I haven't any way of expressing here how that affected me, then or now. I cry now, and I did then too but I also get the yukky feeling I my guts when think about this. Guilt...responsibility...

I don't know what time she went out to play because I had school from 11:30 until 5:30 so I guess that there is a possibility that she had been missing from 4 until whatever time the cops found her. I would say that the time was around 10 AM.

We can get the newspapers if they still have them, and her death certificate also, we need it for the genaology files anyway. I don't know if police reports are available.

I don't know what my mom was doing while I was out on my bike. I don't know why she never called my dad and I don't know why she had to die. Every time you get that yukky feeling Dan, tell yourself that IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!

Dan

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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(((((Dan)))))

I don't know if this helps, but I believe that all is well with little sister, and that she doesn't want you to blame yourself for what happened. I also believe that one day we will understand what is incomprehensible to us now. I agree Becky.

Hugs,

Becky

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Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

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Thanks Becky.

I appreciate the thought

Hugs

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 20, 2000

S1

To All,

I don't know if we're ready, but we might have fixed some of this. This is Dan & Lynn and we are posting together so we are using we here. After 2 days I asked Dan how he felt about his sister and he finally told me that he couldn't stand her. No wonder the tremendous guilt. She was a spoiled little witch ha ha ha from Dan. He just said I best add that he felt the same about his brothers, too. He wished they were all elsewhere. Well, of course he felt bad when his sister died. He wanted her gone (dead may be too strong a word). Not for a kid. Kids think this way... Then she was. I interrogated him all day and finally closed some loose ends of this story for myself. Chronologically, this never worked for me. We finally wrote down each day and almost each hour. This seemed to help. Dan had a couple of tough hours and then we went back to it. Maybe he's started on the healing process now. I hope so. He's been healing for a while Lynn. What about you? Why is Dan's healing and family stuff so important to you?

Dan here,

I feel wrung out, and emotionally drained, tired and just blahsy.

Lynn feel that she wants this written down. That's nice. Dan: what do YOU want? Have you made Lynn your controlling Mommy? She asked me how I feel about my sister now, and I haven't given it any thought, I know that I wasn't to blame and even though I felt the same about all my younger siblings, I always asked my mother why she didn't stop after the brother who is DD. I more than likely took the blame because I hated the role of caretaker. Healthy reaction for a kid. I gave myself the power of life and death over them and she died. So I blamed myself not only for her death but also the reactions of my father, she was his only daughter, and whatever feelings my mother had.

Lynn here again. After Dan admitted that at time he wished all the younger kids were dead and he wished she was too, he decided that although he couldn't stand his brothers as children (his), he learned to like them as adults and probably would have learned to like his sister, too. Did he figure this out Dr. Irene? He wished she were dead and then she was and then he took on the guilt? Now he has to start to grieve and feel sorrow and quit blaming himself. Yes he does doc.

Anyhow, enough of this, too. I just hope this is the step in the right direction and Dear Dear Becky, I can't tell you how wonderful the hugs are.

Thank you all for listening and caring and we'll see you tomorrow night. Love, Lynn

Hugs,

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2000

S1

One addition here,

Lynn again. Making sandwiches with a switchblade knife????? Indeed.  Indeedy.

The Juvenile officer took the knife and then Dan and his family moved back to the hometown and he never made his lunch this way again and quit hanging out with the gang he was in.

He just explained this like it was commonplace and my eyes are bugging out. Dan's here and he's got an answer for me, Lynn

Dan here,

One thing, we didn't move back when the Juvenile took my knife away. He kept it by the way. It may not seem commonplace to some, but I belonged to a gang while we lived in that city and knives were a form of defense as were bats, car aerials and lug wrenches. I just happened to carry a switchblade. Illegal I know , and knew then but I felt larger with it. 

When we moved back to our (Lynn's and mine) hometown, I never felt the need for one again, because I was back with friends that I knew that I could definitely trust from friendship not because we belonged to the same gang. Lynn lived in a different part of town, we used to say below the tracks was the wrong side of town, but they would say the same about us. This was a mining town so there were many different sections of town, depending on the nationality of your grandparents. I come from the Irish part. We did get into fights, but it wasn't the do or die situations as in the town where we lived when my sister died.

I have told Lynn that I was a juvenile delinquent when I was younger, but when she read about the switchblade, she was agog with amazement, or surprise. Why Lynn? Why such shock???

Dan

Small world Lynn here. In our genealogical travels we found that his grandparents lived at the same address as mine did, only 2 years later. Another strange one. I'm 2 years older than Dan. In high school, in my senior year, I sat with his sister (the one who was adopted out) and Dan's former sister-in-law. I later introduced him to his sister.

Goodnight Trubble, Calamari with lobster bisque for you.  Still no Trubble Lynn...

Love,

Lynn

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