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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Catbox 8

Comments for Catbox 8

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: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Hell, Lynn here with a bit of an apology. I really got into this with Dan, but it's been going on for over 11 years in my life and 36 in his. Before I left we had a long conversation about his sister and then little snippets while I was away. I felt I had the chance and so I wanted to get it done and over with before we buried it again. Anyhow, I've read some of the posts and have a few tidbits (Walleye for Trubble).

Theressa, you asked about Inner Child Work. My personal favorite is John Bradshaw. He has some great books. The way I interpret this is you dealt with things as a child and he teaches you how to think about this as an adult. (Dan just said he thought you meant how to help your daughter. If so, this is a wee bit advanced for her, this is for adults dealing with their inner child). Dan and I read Pia Melody's book on co-dependence and I did the workbook, but I never thought he worked on it. He made it to page 9. For whatever reasons, this wasn't for him.

If this is about just your daughter I have a bit of advice and this comes from mistakes I made. Talk to her. Hold her and cuddle her and reassure her that you both love her. I didn't talk to my kids about the divorce and this came back to me about 30 years later. My son was still mad at me because he felt I "never" told him what was going on. I think this is natural, trying to protect the children, but they still know that something is fishy. Yes, they do know. (Sorry Trubble, I couldn't help myself). Where is Trubble? This is for Jay, too. This son was in therapy and the therapist suggested a confrontation. Their idea of confrontation was accusation and where I did wrong and what I did wrong. This whole scenario went downhill until I finally left his house in the middle of the night and took a cab to the bus depot and headed home at 2 AM. I will not be bullied, abused, badgered or browbeaten by any person, even my children. :) We had quite a time over this and all is well now, but it was touch and go for a few months. I do have one regret. I wrote him a long letter explaining why I left town and what I felt he said that was beyond the bounds of "talking." I'm sorry I never mailed it.

Still, the gist of this is, I think we can tell the children what's going on. Don't make the mistake of spoiling her just because she doesn't have a "daddy" living with her. I've seen lots of this.

Dear Asha and Hi Steve,

I really think one of the subconscious rebellions of verbal abuse is "Quit doing housework!" There are probably lots more, but my place is a dump!! My daughter in law has a cute little plaque that reads, "Please excuse my dust, just don't write in it!" The more I tell myself that I have to do it, the harder it gets. The more I let it go the harder it is to get anything done. Maybe we should just move and start over.

Becky, Just a word of advice. Keep your $$$$$ Then if you decide you have to go at least there will be no reason why you can't. I hope things are changing for you.

AJ, You talked about changes. Changes are scary! We seem to get into these ruts and then it's hard to function when there is any difference. I knew this about me. I knew Dan would have to change with me or not, yet I never realized that when/if he started changing that I would have to, too. :) I still see us both slipping. I like my definition o a boundary. I call it slipping into my mason jar. I've got a mental image of it and there are times I can slip into it at will. There are times I do in advance, yet there are times when the glass breaks and I seem to have none at all. Mostly with Dan. I have the worst habit of trying to take on his hurts and pain. Ouchhh! I didn't last night, but I would have liked to. I can get so mad at his mother for what she's done to him. Then he'll get defensive about her and I get mad all over again. I had a brief spell of this yesterday of all things about a picture. He blocked it from his memory. I guess he has his reasons, yet I can't understand how he can simply zap something away. Ah well, another thing I have to work on.

Astrid, How are things with you? I hope you realize the dangers of the pot smoking and the mood changes. When I was bartending I could tell if a guy had been out in the parking lot smoking pot vs. the ordinary drunk. Most of these guys would sit there and grin all night, but every s often and for no apparent reason see or hear a slight and go off the wall. Druns are pretty predictable. And I've found that in a pinch a drunk could usually get enough of an adrenalin rush to help me, where the pot smokers (or worse) never had the ability to respond quickly to any situation. I myself can't even be in the room when someone is smoking pot. I get terribly depressed. Yet medicinally, the last couple of weeks before her death from cancer. my mom was nauseated and couldn't eat. We got her some and she ate, didn't throw up and chatted like a magpie. She was also terrified she'd be arrested. What I love best is the sales pitch on how little it affects these people. They ought to see themselves from a straight persons eyes. Especially if I knew them when the didn't use it. It seems it tells the brain what it wants it to hear.

Dear Dr. Irene, I'm strangely sad today. I'm thinking it's residual from yesterday with Dan, so I'll see if it's better tomorrow. I'm thinking of the changes, too. This does change us, because he has boarded this up before. Dan had the strangest statement, too. I asked where he was after his sisters death and he said, "locked up." Then he said he must have meant he locked this up in his mind, but I still thought the answer rather strange. Again, I'll see how this looks tomorrow and we have our 1st appointment with the couples therapist Monday. Good! I bought another Harville Hendrix book on couples as Trubble must have used my last one for cat box liners. :(

Take care all and I am sorry, yet typical. I thought of my problems first. Now I can think of others.

Love,

Lynn    Good to have you back Lynn. 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Trubble (hope you're finally home) and the rest of the family, Just a short note to let you all know that I have thought a little more about May 19, 1964 and maybe I am finally getting the idea that I wasn't responsible and that I took thee blame to alleviate my mother of her responsibility and also because I had wished many times that my younger siblings weren't around and then she (my sister) wasn't.

I told Lynn last night that I may have locked up, I didn't mean physically but mentally. Two of the days that were lost for Lynn, were weekend days, we looked it up on a perpetual calendar, and they didn't bury people on the weekends.

She had died on a Tuesday and was buried the following Monday. I don't remember much of the time in between other than I quit school and we went back to our hometown and went to my Grandmothers and then went to a friends where we stayed until returning to the city where we were living.

We then packed up and moved back to our hometown. This was fine with me as I had never wanted to leave in the first place.

I will keep you posted as I remember.

Hugs   I am so glad you are coming to terms with this Dan. Here is a little more food for thought: You hated sis and wanted her gone. Then POOF she was gone. I wonder if you hated mom or anybody else too over the years Dan - but would never, ever dare to wish anybody gone again. No matter what they did to you...you will always protect them from how you feel about them...

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

Hi everyone, Lynn here. Dan and I each posted tonight. I finally answered some of the others, but alas, they went to Heaven. Will try again tomorrow, but if this goes through We're thinking of all of you.

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

3rd try tonight. We keep getting Dr Irene is too busy to use right now. We're thinking of you...

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box Family,

I posted twice last night and neither went through. I had a long list written with an apology and tidbits for all. Things changed a bit with the last post, Dr. Irene, but I'll re read the blue pencils and do some thinking before I re do. Some answers I know.

I hope everyone is well today and I hope this goes through.

Have a great Sunday

With Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

Happy Sunday, All!

I thought I had a Trubble sighting, but was mistaken--it was just the neighbor's cat climbing up our window screen. The Burlington-Northern/Santa Fe tracks are nearby. I will keep an eye on the passing freights, just in case he has decided to be a hobo for awhile!

Well, what do you think--yesterday, husband told me that when he does something wrong I should just tell him, without getting upset. Do it. You've nothing to lose.

I said nothing to this, but was thinking all kinds of things such as: 1. He has asked me to do that before. No problem. 2. I have done that before. Same. 3. He still gets defensive and angry most of the time. 4. He doesn't alter his behavior. You've got nothing to lose by doing well by you, and that's exactly what you do when you communicate calmly.

Things are "fine" today, meaning the tension is somewhat less. I think he is realizing that there is a real possibility that I'll leave. My youngest son is in college, and when he transfers and is no longer as dependent, it will make a difference in how I look at this situation. Stability for him has been my priority. In other words, I think my H is slowly beginning to take me more seriously.

I'm not breathing a sigh of relief, however; we have had the honeymoon phase before. I am being very vigilant about not giving him the impression that things are hunky-dory with me just because he hugged me and said he'd try to do better. Heard it before! He knows that the word "try" is meaningless to me unless there is action behind it. 

One thing that may have helped is that I told him that I know how hard it is to change ingrained behaviors and patterns of thought. I know how yucky it feels to have to dig inside for "the fix"--it's so much easier to expect others to fix whatever is wrong with our world. I told him that i didn't blame him for my co-dependent traits--I had them when we met, they played a part in how we interacted and the choices I made about our relationship (still do). I also told him that I don't expect miracles of either one of us, but that I believe we can have a decent relationship. He nodded a little bit, then softened up quite a lot. I think that deep down he wants a good marriage; he's just so scared! Yes.

As for depression, it hangs around, but I function, even laugh! I feel so tired all the time, though. I read Steve's comments, and I agree with Dr. I: he ignores the good aspects of these drugs. I have to wonder if he extends his opposition to drugs used to treat problems that are not connected to the psyche. Perhaps he does and I missed it. Should I not take Imitrex for migraines? Should I instead conquer the pain myself, thereby proving how strong and self-sufficient I am? Is the relief I experience some bogus state because it was brought about by a drug? 

This argument reminds me of my husband's reasons for not going to therapy: 1. Therapists are just in it for the money; therefore they convince you that something's wrong with you. 2. If the therapist tells you that you are progressing, she/he is only doing it to make him/herself look good. 3. How did people solve their problems before there were therapists? In other words,(1) therapists are underhanded beings who can't be trusted, and(2) you are a weakling if you go to one.

Lynn, I found Dr. I's comments to you interesting. She is wondering why you are so caught up in Dan's "stuff." My first thought is because she loves him and doesn't want him to be in pain. My second thought is, if Dan isn't in pain anymore, he won't take it out on Lynn. My third thought is, if Lynn is concentrating on Dan's stuff, she isn't dealing with her own. Bingo. This is why I've been concentrating on not being my husband's therapist. If he wants to talk about something, I'll listen and support him while he works things out. But I was wearing myself out trying to explain the dynamics of abuse, and how it relates to unresolved anger, childhood issues, etc. I'd get so frustrated I'd say "How were you raised, anyway, that you could be this way?" and he'd reply, "That's right, pick on a couple of dead people." It was all so non-productive! I do slip up, but I'm better at catching myself. I can tell I'm changing that because when he says, "Tell me how I'm supposed to be," or "Tell me how I'm supposed to learn empathy," I say, "I don't know. There are good books to read, and therapists who can help you." For so many years I was scared to say that because I knew that he was holding me responsible for keeping everything afloat. If I let go of that, he'd blame me when we sank. What I'm doing now is taking care of my end of the boat--I'm doing my share. He needs to take care of his end, and together we can float. Since I've been letting his end go, I've felt more free to concentrate on myself.

A question for Dr. Irene: is my being angry and hurt when he disrespects me (that covers a wide range of behavior!) a "bad" behavior on my part? Of course not. Isn't that a natural reaction? Yes. But, if you take his words seriously over and over and over when those words hurt you, perhaps you are giving his words too much power. Perhaps you would feel hurt less of the time if you considered the source of those words are whether or not their content was accurate. I understand that I choose how I express the anger and hurt, and that expression can be bad. You can tell him you're not OK with what he said or did in a calm and detached way. I understand my husband to say that the feeling is bad. I think this is why he wants me to not be upset when I tell him I don't like how he's acting. I'm not sure here what you mean.

Til later, everyone,

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

Hi Becky, Hello (wth an "O" this time) all, Lynn here,

Just a funny feeling and then I got to thinking and then it hit me. I've been going through Dr. Irene's comments all day, too, and things here have gotten worse and worse since Dan met me at the airport. Then I went back to what happened when Dan met me at the airport. Bingo maybe. My plane was 1 hour late when I got to the airport and then shortly it was announced that it was 2 hours late. I called Dan and told him. Somewhere along the route we picked up an hour so I actually arrived only one hour after schedule, yet 1 hour before I told Dan to be there.

I got my luggage and went outside to smoke and wait. About an hour later he comes through the door and started explaining to me (after a quick kiss on the cheek) that he was so stupid, he had been there for 15 or 20 minutes and then finally had a bit of the sense God gave him and went and asked the main desk when the plane was due and he was told it had arrived an hour earlier than expected.

Before we left the parking lot I asked him if anything was wrong and he said no.

We went shopping and he got us a new electric fry pan and a new pair of tennis shoes. When we got home he asked me what I wanted him to do with his old shoes? I didn't get it, but thought it was a strange question and told him I didn't care what he did with them. I put the old fry pan next to the garbage and he asked me what he should do with it? Still didn't get it.

Next day more of the same except he talked to me about his sister. This is a long story itself so I'll let it go and get on with the rest. We are moving furniture and trying to make more room and I'm feeling the butterflies in the gut. More of the same. What do you want me to do with this and general hang dog. 150 watt light bulb !!!! I asked him to sit down and talk to me. I went with my gut instinct and asked him if he was still upset because he left me sitting at the airport. Woe begotten, head held in shame and sorry because he should have checked at the desk and known I was in and not made me wait.

Holy Cow says I. Is this what's going on? Yep. I can't figure it out and I still can't. Sheesh, he was there when I told him to be, the airlines can't keep their schedules straight so how could he be expected to and anyhow, I was visiting people and sitting in the sunshine and no biggie.

If this was a problem, why didn't he tell me when I asked? It's hard to recognize what's going on when you are in the middle of an emotional reaction... Why is this still a problem with him 3 days later? Over-responsibility. And I'm sitting here feeling generally yukky and wish he'd quit beating himself up over something like this. 

My wishes. I wish he would have told me this from the start and now I wish he'd believe me when I say this isn't a problem and never was. So now I'm going to drop it and refuse to play this game because I don't understand what is going on or why. Right. You don't want to get emotionally involved; it won't help you or Dan and it will just wear you down.

As for his sister. Actually, the other night was rather productive and maybe I didn't explain well, but I've been through this with Dan numerous times where he cries heart wrenching sobs, but the next time it is always the same issues. This time I suggested he write it down (not necessarily post it) so he could look at it and remember that he said he had no control over it and he wasn't responsible. I think he can get selective amnesia about this and then start blaming himself all over again and I was hoping if he wrote it down and reread it, he would realize that he wasn't to blame. 

I'm sure a lot of this came out again as his nephew that just died lived in the same town where his sister did. I think I finally asked the good question. How did he feel about her? No wonder. No wonder.

About the knife Dr. Irene, what I was so agog about was when I asked if his parents knew he carried it. Yep. Ouchhh.

Becky, I wonder if your H might be more willing to work things out knowing you can leave at any time? I hope so. I never thought you stayed because he was a total no gooder. He has to have a few qualities that make you feel it's worthwhile to make the marriage work. Why else would you bother.

I do know that I am changing, too, as I'm eager to get this dump cleaned. Speaking of dump, the loo is the bathroom. Was that Jay?

Enough explaining, I'm feeling really gloomy and don't quite know why. If it is hormonal it's because I take herbal hormones and won't go back on estrogen. Change O Life and soy. I still think meds have a time and a place.

Dr Irene again, If Dan is shooting himself in the foot what do I do here? Nothing. I told him it was no big deal and he still insists he feels like a fool for not being there. Let him work his issue. I've refused to engage and he's moping around like (my words here) I said it's no big deal but he knows it really is. Big yukkies with/for me on this one. I think he's trying to engage me on this, too, like the turkey episode. What is it about "No problem" that he refuses to hear? You are engaged. If you weren't, this wouldn't be bugging you so. Something's going on with you. Are you frustrated that you can't sooth him? Do you somehow feel responsible for his pain? 

Hello the rest of you and I'll check in tomorrow night. The last I saw of Trubble he was at Union Station with a doggie bag and an AmtraK Pass. Do you suppose he's conducting? I can't believe he's after lost baggage. 

Love,

Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene and the rest of the family,

Good question Dr Irene, I really can't say whether my feelings are from guilt or responsibility. Perhaps a little of both.

I know that after Lynn and I talked about time sequences with my sister's death, I understood here she was missing the time period. I also know that no matter what, looking in the refrigerator when I was right there, she was already dead. I blamed myself and carried it for all these years and maybe wishing her dead was one of the reasons. 14 year old Danny sees this I think, at least I'm typing about it and haven't started crying as I usually do. You realize of course that 14 year old Danny is allowed to have a kid's feelings. Kids are allowed to feel anger, resentment, hate. Kids are allowed to wish others dead. 

I know that about the third whipping that I got, that I wished my dad was gone. It wasn't long after that that he went to work on the traveling section gang. Of course, that backfired because that's when I had the responsibility of my younger siblings placed on my shoulders. You couldn't win...

I think that I have carried this responsibility all my life. I know that even after I married the first time, my mother would call me if my younger brothers acted up. At least there she didn't wait until my dad got home to get them disciplined.

Lynn says that I have selective amnesia. I think that sometimes I may have. The reason for this is that she bought a picture of a house which I said reminded me of one we lived in in the city where my sister died. I don't remember the picture at all. When I asked if I could look at it again, she said that she burned it because of that reason and she didn't want to drag this up again. But, I'm real glad YOU'RE dragging it up. Only way to deal with it...

I have been kicking myself for not checking on Lynn's flight, mainly because I don't like to wait and don't like to keep her waiting. I cussed myself for being stupid but was relieved when I saw her. Posting this, I can see where I transferred my feelings to Lynn again. Excellent. I felt that I had done something stupid so I imposed what I felt into Lynn's thinking. I really thought that I had let it go. I am not trying to engage Lynn, she said it's no biggie so I have to tell myself and quit dwelling on it. This stuff runs deep. You have to catch it at even the subtlest levels.

I asked her about the tennis shoes because she has been after me to get a new pair for awhile. Look Dan, right here you've made her controlling mommy! Who cares what she's been after you for! You made her mom because you had to sacrifice yourSelf to save her feelings. Wouldn't you have just thrown the old shoes out had you been living alone? I didn't expect it to get this far out of hand.

I would like to comment on Steve's medicine post. I agree that too many kids today are classified ADD and prescribed medication. Those that need it need it but I think that part of this is that kids aren't allowed to burn off energy through pick up football, baseball, or any other game because parents are afraid that they may get hurt. If it's not sanctioned by the school or YMCA then it's a no-no. There also could be a personality conflict between student and teacher also. With the laws as they are, even parents can be taken to court for child abuse. I had a student who told me to F--- Off, when I sent him to the Dean of Boys he got a slap on the wrist, 3 nights of detention, which he didn't have to serve because he was a bus student. When I talked to him about his mouth, he told me that if I touched him, he would sue me for everything I had, see that I lost my certification and press charges. A hard choice for a teacher, let him go or face unfair censure. Big personality conflict between him and I. He later became one of my better students.

 

Medication would not have helped him, me maybe,:) but that is all I have to say about medication and those diagnosed ADD.

I missed some of the family but hugs to all.

Trubble, Where Are You? Yeah!

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

News Alert! A UFC was reported flying low over the great lakes and heading east. Could that be Trubble who took off on my broom??

Watch the skies..... :)

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dr Irene:

The interior of my coffin is blood red, what didja expect? Lavender is nice, but it doesn't taste good. I don't know; never tried biting silk...

I asked my cat where she thought Trubble was. She said "I don't care". I think Trubble is just hiding for the attention. Maybe we should just ignore him until he gets bored and comes back. Hmmmm...

AJ: I accidentally called you AK in my post Oct 20, so you may have missed it.

Sorry 'bout that.

Dan - was there ever an investigation as to who may have done this to your sister? I don't mean to dredge up horrible stuff, so don't answer if you don't feel like it. Hmmmm???

I am beginning to understand the very yukky pattern of reading what you think are your partner's thoughts and then acting on them as though they are real. Steve likened that sort of thing to a picture that gets "frozen". It's as if we put a template on our partner and can't see them any other way. It takes conscious effort to remove the template. I think you are seeing what's going on, but it will take some practice for it to become second nature. Just my thoughts. Wise thoughts.

Hi Lynn. It was quiet here without you, but we survived. Things are just... well peaceful for me, lately. I agree about the housework - ah well, when you're 100 years old what will it matter, right? What's a little (or a lot) of dust anyway? Is UFC unidentified flying CAT? hehe

Becky - did you see my post addressed to you in Catbox 7 on Oct 20th?

<<Well, what do you think--yesterday, husband told me that when he does something wrong I should just tell him, without getting upset. >>

I hope you don't mind me offering my thoughts here. As I said to David, in the Buddha section, if this is helpful, great. If not then disregard it.

I think your husband is actually right. Being upset is being disrespectful to both you and him. Why let it hurt you? You will be most empowered if you just look at what "is" and make your choices accordingly. If I were you I would expect nothing from him, and just work on you. I think you are disappointing yourself by expecting him to alter his behavior as a result of how you behave towards him. It's like Dr. Irene told me - don't anticipate negative behavior from him, just let him be. And then decide what you can and can't accept in your life. Again, I think you'd really benefit from the book "When Words Hurt". I'm getting a lot out of it. (thanks for the recommendation Doc :)

Also, in general I agree with what Steve says about what he sees as the over-prescription of drugs. However, this isn't to label those who do find them helpful as bad or weak people. I tend to agree with what Dr. Irene says is a narcissistic focus in our society. Drugs may offer relief to some, but I think that a strong sense of community support and belonging could replace drugs in a lot of cases. I would like to see more focus on these things in our society. And I want to help do that.

I don't think Steve was saying "no drugs EVER", at least that's not how I read his post. Personally, I think it's helpful to read up on some of the effects of anti-depressants - I looked up SSRI on the zworks.com search engine and not every medical expert is convinced that their benefits outweigh the risks. However, each person's situation is unique and I can't say what is right for everyone. I do think drugs are helpful for some things.

<<This argument reminds me of my husbands reasons for not going to therapy>>

I know what you mean about 'excuses' such as those you named, but I don't feel that Steve's post was like that. I think he is honestly addressing issues that are of concern to him. I was, in fact, very impressed with his post and the tone of it. Actually, I'm proud of him for it! :) I feel that if Steve were looking for an excuse to avoid his issues, he wouldn't be posting to the site at all. What I am seeing from Steve is that he is looking at his beliefs, concerns, fears etc. - ALL of them and rather than needing to be 'right' about them, he presented his observations to the forum for input. This is positive! Really positive! I just wanted to clarify my thoughts and feelings - no offense meant or taken.

<<he says, "Tell me how I'm supposed to be," or "Tell me how I'm supposed to learn empathy,">>

Though I agree you shouldn't play doctor to your H at least he is becoming aware of what he needs to find out. :)

Dr I: I didn't understand the comparison to Scientologists, who I think are a nutty group as well. Maybe it's because I don't know enough about scientology - my impression is that it's basically a method of brainwashing, Yep. but I could be wrong. The comment seemed just a touch provocative to me, like if I was to compare your beliefs about prescription drugs to those of the Moonies. :) (provoke, provoke :) Was it perchance after midnight when you posted? :) I really think you should consider switching from lavender to blood-red - blood red is much more calming.  The Scientologists are, in my opinion a nutty extremist group. They were offended by psychiatrists dismissal of their "therapeutic techniques" and so went after psychiatry and the prescription model. They vehemently attacked Prozac. Or, this is how I understand the story. Provocative? Yes. I mention them because I found Steve's account, while intelligent, very extremist, angry and rebellious (not that this is all bad by the way). Doubting that he would want to be associated with such a group, I compared his views to theirs; they really are similar! After he's done being mad at me, maybe he'll examine the anger in his extremism - and decide whether or not he wants to hold onto it. Because anger is exactly what it's about.

see you after sunset.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene and the rest of the family,

Lynn told me why she wanted me to write down the questions and about my sister's death. She also posted it so I won't go into it here.

I have been really thinking about what Lynn and I talked about and what we both posted earlier.

I thought that I was doing so well trying to resolve some of the issues which have led us to this site. I know that we slip and I have really tried to watch for the signs but I missed them entirely this time. I know that I felt guilty because I didn't meet her plane and why guilt I don't know. There wasn't anything to feel guilty about. An emotion which I placed upon myself. Could it be aftermath of the discussion which we were getting into on the phone and later when we talked about it the other night. It's just your unresolved baggage Dan; the old stuff you carry with you everywhere you go. You have to work that out and stop it, as you are doing with your increasing awareness. Lynn engages with your baggage. She needs to stop caring so much since it's not about her and there is nothing she can do.

I have always felt that I had a pretty good grip on my actions and reactions but I got surprised today because Lynn paid me a compliment on a makeshift shed that I put up to protect her motorcycle from the weather, and I tried to explain that it was just temporary, but then accepted it. So, I guess that goes to show that I am getting better at that. Accepting compliments. Yes!

I know just by my reactions and how it affected Lynn (by her post and our talk) that I'm going to have to learn how to express my feelings, those that are detrimental, and learn to talk more openly about them. Good: what you are essentially learning is that it is OK to be open with yourself and it is OK to be human.

The one thing that I know is that it will take time.

Hugs

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

 

Dr Irene: "There are biochemical components to depression. Do a search. The info is out there."

Yes, I agree completely. Do you suppose there is still an unresolved chicken/egg issue here? Do brain chemicals create depression or does depression make brain chemicals? Stress certainly produces an increase in some chemicals/components (hormones etc) and decreases in others (anti-oxidants, white blood cells etc). Our brains are chemical factories for sure. I'm not convinced that we can't learn to create the correct chemicals ourselves. I am convinced that we CAN do whatever we set out to do, at least those of us whose biology is not too whacked.

Steve: "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." Dr Irene: "Giggle! But Steve, drugs have been around since the dawn of time. Think "remedy", "potion", etc..."

Yes, but until recently, they were natural, and few. In all my readings of ancient cultures/tribes (I like history) I haven't come across any used for "depression". Probably because depression never existed. This may relate to a further comment of yours I've pasted just below.

Steve: "Our culture is getting way over-drugged. I wish I could emphasize that more. WAY WAY OVERDRUGGED!!!

Dr Irene: "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?"

YES YES YES. I agree with you completely. This is the rub. This is where meds come in. We fill a void. We want to perform a task, say, nailing a shingle onto a roof frame. We know our bare hands wont work. We look for another tool. A hammer works fine. Then, we drop the hammer and it falls to the ground. Maybe lost forever. So, we look for another tool, because it's starting to rain and the roof needs a "quick fix". Well, we have a nail gun up here so lets blast away...hey, that seems to work...who needs a hammer anwyay? Oooopsss...guess I blasted a few more holes than I needed. Hope the rain doesn't get in. OK if it does. 

"I'm fixing a hole, where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering, where it will go..." - Beatles

In the above illustration, the leaky roof is "depression", the hammer is our dropped social support system, the nail gun is the meds. Yes. We agree.

Dr Irene: "I think there is much truth to what you say, though I don't think there is a conspiracy."

You seem to be implying I believe there is a conspiracy. If so, you have misunderstood me. I don't believe that at all. It's very above board. There is a large degree of co-operation yes. Conspiracy is a dirty word in the year 2000. There are no conspiracies. Just agreements and sweet secrets. Grin. We tend to use the word conspiracy now, to subtly discount a philosophy or belief. If someone believes the US Government was behind the murder of John Lennon, it helps us feel safe about our Government if we can nicely label that person. The convenient label is "conspiracy theorist" or "conspiracy nut". However, simply applying a label to the opponent in no way proves the US Gov's innocence (or guilt). I stand corrected.

And yes Irene, I do omit discussion of the "benefits" of some meds. That is not my part. I would rather consider your observation of narcissism and social breakdown, and then address prevention. Many "symptoms" can be relieved with meds. However, I've never seen a "cause" be well-addressed with meds. OK.

Dr Irene: "You should be aware Steve. But, are you simply aware - or are you the rebel, looking for a cause? Perhaps both." 

Grin, I like this one. I think I know the answer. There are many causes, and not enough rebels Irene. Too many sheople, too many foxes building the chicken coops. This is what I am becoming aware of. I am nowhere near being totally "aware" yet - I am just in the process of "awaring". A lifelong process to be sure. I feel that the realization of my "lack" of awareness is a great thing. Nothing wrong with rebellion; brings about necessary change, etc., etc. I mention rebellion in relation to you because I am trying to highlight the anger I see in your thinking. Not that this is "bad;" the content is fine, but the underlying anger can and will  hurt you! I would like to point you in the direction of the anger so you notice it because it's clear to me from these posts that it's gotten in your life's way. 

I think back to Monty Python's Life of Brian...Brian says to the thronging crowd who've followed him from Judea, thinking he is the Messiah..."You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anyone. You are all individuals" - The crowd replies in one unified voice, "Yes, We are all individuals." One guy in the crowd puts his hand up and says "I'm not".

Hehe. Great insight into mass-thinking in that movie.

Dr Irene: ". 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 had to think about this awhile. At first, I was "push-buttoned" by what I felt was your comparing me to "nuts". Hehe. Now, I think I understand what you mean to say. :) And you also took away the power you gave me to hurt you - because you didn't let your button stay pushed long. Good stuff!

Sometimes, one may appear to be a little far out, when attempting to bring things back to center. When things have been way too far out one way, as is, in my opinion, the case with meds. Yes. This is what I mean by "the content is fine."

You weren't too clear as to which part I was in agreement with the Scientologists. Maybe you could elaborate on that. I can agree that they are a little nutty, mind you, perhaps our secular belief system is a tad nutty as well. If at times the Scientologists agree with me, then they must have some good points. I'm sorry. I forget that the little spiel I posted to Asha about the Scientologist-psychiatrist thing is not more commonly known.

 

It's true, I have failed to address the "beneficial" effects of anti-depressant drugs. That is because I don't feel I need to. Their "greatness" is already trumpeted brazenly throughout the heavens and the earth. My small voice would be lost in the cacophony I think. I would rather spend my efforts looking at the other side that rarely gets airplay. I want to understand the causes. I want to see what parts are pure Drug Cartel propaganda, and which parts are reality.

Maybe what we need is a wonderful placebo...

"All you need is Love" - John, Paul, George and Ringo. Thanks Steve. 

 

To Becky:

Becky: "I read Steve's comments, and I agree with Dr. I: he ignores the good aspects of these drugs. i have to wonder if he extends his opposition to drugs used to treat problems that are not connected to the psyche. Perhaps he does and I missed it. Should I not take Imitrex for migraines? Should I instead conquer the pain myself, thereby proving how strong and self-sufficient I am? Is the relief I experience some bogus state because it was brought about by a drug? "

As I said to Dr Irene, yes I don't trumpet the good aspects. I am playing "angels" advocate in a way. Grin. That's because it really needs to be done. I need to look at everything. However, I am not angels advocate just for the pleasure of it. I am sincere in my attempt to look at the "other side".

You appear to be assuming that I am opposed to all drugs. I can see how you may have thought that. I should have been more clear. No. Some drugs are fine, for some people. I will take an aspirin once in awhile. I try a hot bath first and then try relaxation/meditation but there are occasions where I need a faster relief and I don't have access to baths or relaxation times. I hurt my back last year and took a muscle relaxant for a week or so.

Becky: "This argument reminds me of my husbands reasons for not going to therapy: 1. Therapists are just in it for the money; therefore they convince you that something's wrong with you. 2. If the therapist tells you that you are progressing, she/he is only doing it to make him/herself look good. 3. How did people solve their problems before there were therapists? In other words, (1) therapists are underhanded beings who can't be trusted, and (2) you are a weakling if you go to one. "

Sometimes his outlook may be right, other times wrong. It all depends on the therapist. Some only want your money, and your continued visits. Some are genuinely trying to help. I think Dr Irene made an excellent point about our social structure. We are not geared to helping each other anymore. Therapists can play an important role in this case, contributing to complete recovery. On the other hand, a bad therapist can aggravate the situation, sexually abuse their patients or even contribute to a patients suicide.

This discussion board proves to me that WE still have the capability to help each other if WE want to.

I sort of sense that you might have thought I was assuming you were a weakling Becky. Not at all. Quite the opposite. I think it takes an enormous amount of strength to actually do something about your kind of situation.

I have the greatest respect for anyone attempting what I know is a very difficult task. I'm sending lots of hugs for you Becky. And for your husband as well. From what I've read in your posts, your husband does indeed love you. Some of his traits do seem like some of mine, although they appear to be more ingrained, but that could be just the way you are describing it. He would probably describe himself differently. But, if I can do what I am doing (and I do truly feel like I'm progressing), then I believe your husband can do it too. I think you will need to be much like AK was to me. (Strong, yet compassionate. And, willing to see that there were ways she could improve her role in the relationship as well.) I think the reason I was opposed to Dr. Irene recommending AD's for you, was because I saw you already had a very strong desire to improve yourself and your situation. I believed you were already well on the road to awareness. I have great faith that you will continue this journey. To me, you don't seem to be anywhere near the kind of person that would need AD's. You are already committed to improvement. I didn't/don't mean to appear as "knowing what's best for you". I'm sorry if I came off that way. That's something else I'll have to work on.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Astrid: " 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 couldn't agree more. The awareness is a great step, but acting on it to improve your self is when it really gets tricky - and interesting.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Theressa: "Aren't vitamins drugs??? chemicals??"

No, vitamins are not drugs. They are essential elements for survival. Without them, you get sick and even die. If you mean just capsule form vitamins, you don't need them if you already eat healthy.

Websters definitions:

Vitamin: any of various organic substances that are essential in minute quantities to the nutrition of most animals and some plants, act especially as coenzymes and precursors of coenzymes in the regulation of metabolic processes but do not provide energy or serve as building units, and are present in natural foodstuffs or sometimes produced within the body.

Chemical: : a substance obtained by a chemical process or used for producing a chemical effect.

Drug: a substance used as a medication or in the preparation of medication c according to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (1) : a substance recognized in an official pharmacopoeia or formulary (2) : a substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease (3) : a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body (4) : a substance intended for use as a component of a medicine but not a device or a component, part, or accessory of a device.

"other than food" - maybe apples aren't drugs after all? Wink.

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Jay: "...I think the people on this site are having, in a very healthy way, where applicable, a storm over depression and the drugs issue."

I agree Jay. It is very healthy. I also wanted to add, everyone on this site is making great progress. And, everyone here has helped me. Even though I got defensive at times (understatement?) with certain posters, I still found insight in their posts. I sense a very interesting community developing. A lot of people who care about each other. We are all journeying into the outer limits of our experiences. Sometimes I feel like a little boy gazing at the stars. What wondrous thing might appear in the heavens while I'm watching? 

Steve  I'm real glad you're here Steve.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Hello all *My* wonderful fans and family. It's *Me* Trubble and I'm on my way home.

I had a great time with MommyDoc2 and her family; had some yummy vittles too. Then on my way to visit Daddy Dan, I got petted by this nice lady from some Egyptian society who asked me to be Cat Of The Week! I said, OK! So, for a week I got pampered and brushed and fed and cuddled by lots of new Mommys and Daddys. I got a fresh catbox * every time * !!! It was so cool!

Love, purrs & kisses, Me

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Hi Becky,

I haven't a computer at home, so I only got your mail this morning.

I to find my ex used to still get defensive when I used "I", though it does depend on your tempo (speed of your voice), your tone (if your words are emphasized raise anywhere this is anger seeping out) Its not what you say its the way you say it. The HOW not the what. When words hurt is great, I have it. Need to re-read it again though. LOL

Can you Becky see you as a valid person???? This is also my problem. I know until I can see me as worthwhile and valid no one else will!!! Yeah my ex thinks if you give then you are open to being manipulated. Sad isn't it!!! Though I also feel like this somewhat with my ex. My ex used to be mad that I wouldn't ask him for feedback, (the reason was I didn't want tearing down and telling how useless I was, so I missed the useful feedback to, working on this now though!!)

I guess my ex and maybe your partner are afraid that saying we're valuable stops them being valuable. Guess they haven't grasped the idea that the world/universe needs each of us to be whole.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Hi Catbox family,

Last night I felt so hurt and disappointed. My ex as you know still visits every night to see our daughter. I liked him coming around, stopped me getting bored. (STOPPED ME HAVING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE SINGLE, FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE ALONE BUT NOT LONELY)

Anyone tell me the difference???? between ALONE and LONELY???? When you are alone, you are with yourSelf; you are peaceful. When you are lonely, you are empty and hungering to be filled by other.

I noticed on Saturday he wasn't honest about what he was gonna do. He told me he wouldn't be stopping after 8.pm since he was going home to bed since he had a headache. I said "RIGHT". Then our daughter was missing him and we rang his home number, no answer. She started to cry so I rang his cell phone. He answered. I said "How come you didn't answer your home phone, he said "Well I nipped out for some alcohol. I said "RIGHT". The next day Sunday (yesterday) he said "Or Rob so funny last night, he said xxxxx" Then he paused and looked at me, not that you'd notice unless, like me you were watching his body language. I said "Oh so you went to Rob's". He said "Yeah". Why did he not just say this instead of saying he had a headache and needed an early night???

Then last night he said "T, now I am back at work, I think its best I only come Monday, Wednesday, Friday and when I get my house sorted in a few weeks, Mel can come and stay on a Saturday night once a fortnight. How did I feel?? I felt disappointed, hurt. Why? well I gave him 7 years and yet he doesn't want to come every night, YUKKKKYYY!!!! When he left I cried and cried. Why is it that my friend gets so much attention, her guys flock to her and treat her like a queen, why don't I get this sort of treatment, am I that bad, or unattractive???

Why at school, at work are others so attractive and yet I don't get a look in??? Where I work there was a girl she left now. Though when she comes to visit they all treat her like a queen, they laugh at her jokes, they can't wait to hear her stories. What has she got that I don't have???

Then my ex told me also yesterday he is getting a dog. I felt angry at him. He used to have a dog. I hated having it in our house, its hairs every where and i had to clean up after the pain in the but animal. Then we separated temporarily and he couldn't take the dog. He asked me to mind it, I said "NO", so he gave it to my sister who loved it. When I asked my ex in the past why a dog, or the dog?? He said "He is loyal and never lets me down, unlike humans". Why was I so angry?? I was angry because it meant if ever we did get back together I'd be stuck with a stupid DOG!!!

My therapist asked me what I wanted? I said what do you mean. He said "Theressa, you didn't want to go out with Lee, or have your ex find out he existed did you? No I said. WHy? my therapist said. Well somewhere inside me has this picture of my ex working on himself, and me to. (MY ex isn't working on his issues, he doesn't see his name calling or criticism or anger, or bad temper as a problem, that I do!!!) All I ever wanted was BALANCE!!! I wanted him to see that what i did was worthwhile and helpful and contributed equally to our household. HE NEVER DID!!! He always said He worked harder, he gave more YUKKKK!!!!

Yeah I know, I need him like, I need a hole in the head!!! so why do I want him??? why do I feel I need him???

Why can't I break free?? I know I can't force him to want to help me, or to change his attitude towards me. Though I am so damn frustrated. What is this all about?? why? can't he see how awful he is to me???

Why does he continue to prod my wounded self??? He plays me like a dog plays with a squeeky toy. I couldn't let him know about Lee, since he might have not wanted me. (Lee is a guy I met a few weeks ago but didn't want to continue, since my ex might find out and think I didn't care for him anymore!! and also the fact that me starting to date Lee when I am SICK unhealthy is selfish, I would end up treating him like my ex treats me, pushing him away, that and the fact I don't know how I am meant to be when in an intimate relationship???)

Anyone, Dr Irene hopefully, my therapist said "Theressa you sought functionality from your relationship with your ex and not didn't have an intimate relationship. How'd ya have an intimate relationship and not JUST a functional one???? Your relationship is superficial. You may do things together, but there is no real sense of friendship, safety, and comeradie.

Speak to you all soon Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Hi all, I haven't had a lot of time to read the posts as my 16 year old is still home and the crisis got one awful lot worse. To cap it all she took an overdose on Saturday - fortunately she is o.k and got away with just drinking charcoal - needless to say it is all over some boy..... Anyway, we spent a night in the hospital and she seems better now even if the saga; one of those which only adolescents can interpret, continues. I seem to be left with all the sorting out as regards to getting her stuff home. At present she doesn't want to live here and isn't supposed to but she has nowhere else to go. In the end we will have to sort things out so everyone is safe.

Though actually, since I've been posting to this site I have felt safe. I sort of can work out what is coming now and stop situations before they start with both husband and daughter. I am really hoping that my daughter can feel the difference too. having all the stuff on relationships has been great as I have felt so sure of myself.

And I am so proud. I've had reason to feel angry but I really have kept calm; especially with the psychologist. Even acted calmly and assertively to ask for a woman for my daughter as the man who first came was well, to be frank, weird. (Sorry Dr. Irene but I don't know who chooses some of the candidates over here! Sometimes I wonder the same thing...) My H and I also managed to present a united front for once. This happened as I just agreed with him and then put my point of view after.

Anyway, now I know I can be calm (famous last words) and really surprisingly my son worked out what I am doing and decided to jump in when he thought I just might get angry, although I wasn't saying he had something to show me upstairs! Anyway, our family has hit a new record for peace. We just need to help my daughter on board. later I have to go and collect all her stuff and even if it doesn't stay for long it will be so lovely to have it back in the house for a while! She is clearly unwell, so I am enjoying looking after her. Just hoping the nightmare time we have had can be sorted. Please God!

I feel really mean not reading all the posts. I guess once things are sorted out I will feel more able to comment. Just knowing you are all here makes life bearable. I have glanced at them and Dr Irene and others........

LOOS are toilets. I had an American friend once who asked in a house we were visiting in England to visit the bathroom. Guess what the room she was shown into (and she was desperate,) didn't have.

I also got really confused babysitting some American kids looking for Jelly. To us Jelly is your Jello and we have Jam. Trout with Jam Sauce

love to all, Jay   

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Hi Becky,

This has really been helping me.

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/codependency_recovery/34028

check it out.

HI TO ALL OF YOU,

Take care T.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Hi LYNN,

I did mean inner child work (as in work I need to do now I am a adult to deal with my child hood wounds). John Bradshaw what book of his do you recommend.

Also you answered another question for me about my daughter. THANKS this helps. YES I have told her about the break up, never got married so that has its benefits, my ex was never prepared to give me his ALL.

Have to go now to my next therapy session.

Thanks and hi to you all Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa

Why bother comparing yourself to others? We are all unique and special in our own ways. I think you may be looking at the cup "half empty", and what good does it do you? Why not focus on your 'good parts'?

You aren't ready to let your ex go are you? But as long as you are there and available he has no reason to make any major changes. And he may not make changes even if you're not available. I think that deep down in you there is a beautiful person in you just dying to come out, but you're holding yourself back. Maybe because your situation is familiar and the unknown is kinda scary?

If you really care for your ex, you can show it best by accepting him 'as is', and by honoring and taking care of *yourself*. Accept that he might not change, and let this be okay.

Maybe you could structure your evenings so that you have other things to focus on other than him. Just my thoughts. I'll send some good vibes your way. Can you feel them yet? :)

Jay - I feel so happy for you! Don't worry about reading all the posts. I think it could be a full time job reading and answering all of them. :)

I know what you mean about language differences. I was on a trip with a group of English and Canadian girls. The Canadians were deciding which pair of 'pants' to wear and the English girls thought this discussion was rather odd. Later I discovered 'pants' to the English means underpants, and what we call pants are 'trousers'. I'm sure there are a lot of other funny misunderstandings.

Dr. I - It's not the silk that tastes good, it's the dye. Yuk!

love to all

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dear all,

Lynn I know how you must be feeling after your holiday: even a few days of not checking in leaves me all bewildered about everything posted. You posted that yes, change was scary and that with Dan changing you would have to, too. I have been realizing this over the past weeks wrote somewhere and I know it's the only way, but it's hard anyway.

This weekend C. and I stayed together as long as 24 hrs. (record for the last 4 months) and it was oke. We talked a lot about things we were never able talk about, like money. I really felt a huge pit in my stomach, but we talked anyway and there was a lot we didn't agree on, but we managed not to get upset and even still like each other afterwards. That was such an important lesson for both of us: we can disagree and that's oke, that's not the end of everything. It's great to try changing together, but it's harder than on your own I guess.

It's so much harder the get you boundaries in order with the people you really care about, isn't it. Someone once told me, if you have a difficulty with setting boundaries, think yourself in a golden circle and just pull it up when you need to.....

Dear Becky So glad you can still laugh. It really helps doesn't it. I don't know what else to say, it's all said by the other family members. I had a longer post for you but it didn't get through. So: just take good care of you, enjoy when you may and keep telling your H. when he is misbehaving, maybe also when he is not (a little positive reinforcement. Who knows, maybe it'll help). And don't feel bad about putting money aside. It'll help you feel strong!

Dear Asha, I read your post, thanks. I even answered it, but I couldn't get it through. It was basically about agreeing with you on trusting your mate and that I didn't think C's previous affair had anything to do with my feeling uneasy with him seeing other people. It's more like I feel left out some how (translation maybe: not able to control him).

You said Steve also felt weighed down by your ‘needs and demands'. I remember a post where Dr. I. Commented on Dan and Lynn, that Dan was feeling so very responsible for her well being. Maybe its a sort of pattern, anger and feeling responsible too much go together. She said they do go together . DAN WHAT DO YOU THINK? Dr I, your thoughts on this would also be very much appreciated

I think what you said later : << I am beginning to understand the very yukky pattern of reading what you think are your partner's thoughts and then acting on them as though they are real.>> is also related to something I said in that post: that I got angry at C. for ‘supposed crimes'. It really hit me hard that I would do that. Us humans do that all the time. Now, when I feel myself thinking he probably thinks/feels such or such, I try to stop myself and analyze whether I really have any reason for thinking it or am just making it up out of anger, insecurity, fear or wishing.  I think I start recognizing it. But I suppose the times I do it without recognizing , I wouldn't know about it, would I :-) (or :-( ?). Still practice will do some good. How do you deal with it? Paying attention to your thoughts and practice will do BIG TIME good! For this, you owe me Trout!

Dear Jay, hope everything getting along oke. Sorry to hear your daughter overdosing. Please send her purrs and kisses from *Me* Don't worry about not reading all the posts. You can't comment on everything anyway. Just do what feels good for you now. Posting helps getting your stuff in line (online). At least that's the way it works for me. Also reading about other's problems often helps to get a better view on our own I feel.

Everybody take care. I am happy to be part of this cyber family. As Steve said: isn't it great we can help each other. Lots of hugs and love.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dear Teresa I am sorry you feel so lonely. As for the difference between lonely and alone, for me it has to do with the way I feel. I've always loved being alone, but when C. left, I really felt lonely when I was alone. Now I like being alone again. Lonely has to do, I think, with the feeling of not having a special someone to share your thoughts and feelings with. I think you are so right when you say that having your ex over all the time keeps you from getting lonely enough to find other people to care about and be cared for by. I think it's something us Humans co-dependents do: when we have a partner, we have no other significant relationships. I was very frightened at first to get to know other people better, but I really needed too share and now I love talking to them and sharing and they have become a sort of home to me, like C. used to be. I never did that when I was living with C. , but I sure intend to keep it this way if, and when we get back together (he told me same goes for him)

I think you really should ask yourself what you want as your therapist says. The way you are acting know, you are giving your ex very mixed messages: I don't want you, but I want you to come over all the time, cause I need you to be with me. Gets a guy confused. And, under the circumstances, why should he want to change? He gets to be together with you and his daughter (maybe you even still feed him, do his laundry and sleep with him...) and he doesn't have to take any responsibility: give me a live like that any time! Yeah. Very convenient for both!

It's been on this site over and over again: if you want to change, start at your own end and start believing in your own power and strength, Maybe, just maybe he will start to change too. And Terasssa, YOU CAN DO IT. It worked for me and for so many others too. He's continuing to prod your wounded self, because you let him. Or even: he is not doing it: you are if you keep seeing him that much. Teresa, you are worth having nice people around, people who like you, who you feel oke with.

<<He said "He is loyal and never lets me down, unlike humans". Why was i so angry?? I was angry because it meant if ever we did get back together I'd be stuck with a stupid DOG!!! Yeah! A stupid DOG! >> Why? You don't have to get stuck with a dog if you don't want, even if you do get back together. He can't make you! Maybe you are not angry about the dog, but about him saying "dogs are loyal, unlike humans". I think he was manipulating and attacking you and you felt it, though maybe you did not recognize it. Could it be that you feel threatened by his getting his own home and a dog, cause it means he's setting up his own house and he will maybe spend les time with you and you feel it might be harder to get back together in that situation. I know U felt very threatened when C. talked about getting his own house. I felt he would miss me less and would become more independent. I was very scared. I don't know whether it applies..... She said to tell you that this is a good observation because we do this type of stuff all the time.

Take care, love and lots of hugs. Don't feel too lonely, we're here and we care!!! Yeah!

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Jay - just to clarify - I am happy for you that you are feeling safe and proud. I'm very sorry about your daughter's overdose, but you seem to be handling it really well.

Sometimes I scan these posts too quickly and don't read all the detail at first. I hit the send button before re-reading. oops.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dear AJ:

<<Now, when I feel myself thinking he probably thinks/feels such or such, I try to stop myself and analyze whether I really have any reason for thinking it or am just making it up out of anger, insecurity, fear or wishing... How do you deal with it?>> 

I think, first of all, you have to really trust your partner to tell you the truth, and create an atmosphere where the truth is appreciated and rewarded. Secondly, if you have healthy boundaries you will know that you won't accept a relationship with someone who isn't truthful, or trustable. Also, taking the time to pause before reacting and think about your intention, as well as his true intention might help. And you could try looking at situations factually (like a third person would) instead of emotionally. I think as you said it takes practice. I also think it's really important to be committed to awareness. If you slip, don't overlook the slip - go back and look at what went wrong and how you could do better.

hope that helps

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box and Dr. Irene,

Happy Birthday Astrid. Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Trubble came home, Just for YOU. Happy Day!! You bet! Happy Birthday!

Welcome Home You Trubblesome Cat, but I'm really glad you're here as I need you. Hi Mommy2Doc!

Lynn here and Wow, what a weird one, today. My mind is made up (I think), but I would appreciate some input. I'll get into it shortly knowing me, probably long-ly).

Dr. Irene, First, an answer to your question. Why does Dan bother me in these moods? Why do I engage? I can't understand what is wrong with a one word answer. When I say "NO Problem", I mean no problem. If there was a problem I would say so. I know I should disengage. I need to learn dis engage. I used to say screw you or up your tusie, but I can't (refuse to) spend the rest of my life talking like this to someone I care for. I have a bunch of big ones for you that I'll save till last. I'd better go find her.

Dear Jay, My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you. (((HUGS)))

Dear Becky, Thank you, thank you and thank you. You know why. Hugs to you, too.

Dear Theressa, Plan B with daughter. Don't get rid of her toys. She will probably find some comfort ones now. Let her keep them. My oldest son was about 25 and rediscovered his Lego's, which I was trying to give to my grandson. He said, "mother, they're mine!" OOPS!!! So I gave them back to him and he gave them to his nephew. He thought I threw them away or gave them away. They were important.

SOS Trubble. Would you recommend Bradshaw or Pia Melody?? Maybe either one? I myself prefer Bradshaw. The first I read and still love is "Homecoming." Check with Dr. Irene though. I just like him. She says, "Whatever works for you is the one that works for you."

Dear Asha, Now it's an IFC. hehe. Cremation for me in little matchbox size boxes and sent to all my friends. You can have one, too. Scattered everywhere. I would prefer mixed with sequins and glitter, but I have to think of the environment so how about pretty colored bird seed? I love Glitz!

Dear Steve, Where were you when I needed you? I wanted you to post for me the last few days because I felt you could say easily what I was feeling. We had Beetles in our basement once and I named them John, Paul, Ringo and George. My personal favorite was just George?? All those Years Ago.

Dear Jay and AJ, Just a brief one about boundaries. Dan and I spent a lot of time in the same one. Not healthy, because when I want out I can't get out. I think I should change; I need a life too; I need bounds.

Ok Dr. Irene, Big one for me. First about with Dan needing a controlling mommy. Funny, but about 5 years ago we went to our old town for a funeral and Dan needed a haircut so he called his mother and asked her where to get one? Then he came home ticked because it was a terrible one. He was putting her ahead of you, out of guilt towards her and anger towards you. That made you feel awful. Why wouldn't it?

In defense of myself. Yes, No or maybe? Who cares, but regarding his sisters death, I've been through this numerous times with Dan. They wear me down. Of course. He has to do this one and you can't do it for him. He is dealing with it now though. He is changing his underlying thinking and examining the automatic, irrational reactions he's had around guilt and over-responsibility, and rightful resentment towards his caretaker role. I no longer cry with him, but he always seemed to get stuck and then revert back to blame. (Please bear with me. This has to do with today's therapist). The other night I poked and prodded more than I ever have. Maybe I felt safe because he had the safety of you to fall back on. What I told him was I "couldn't" take this one more time. This had to be worked on as it was dragging me down. I was glad he could share this with me, but I wasn't helping as he kept falling back. Not so today. You CAN'T help Lynn.

We went to therapy and I have a BIG problem with me now. All things for a reason and in their time, right? Dan brought his sister up and the new lady quizzed him for a half hour or more. Hooray!! On the way home I asked Dan if he ever told our old one about it? "Yes,"  and he broke down and cried hysterically. "Then what," I asked. Nothing. Neither one ever brought it up again. OK I'm pleased with the new one. In fact I felt a great load off of my shoulders. Good.

Problem. Buttons. Alarms and then I tried to "think" this out. Dan loves her and wants to continue. He asked me what I thought. I don't. Here's where I get myself in trouble by thinking, so I quit and went with my gut reaction. RULE #1. We were to break ALL ties with this web site and have JUST her for a therapist. She felt two would be conflicting. OK fine. My problem.... I asked her if she looked here and she didn't and didn't feel she wanted to. I suggested she look and see. NO! I told her you were in favor of us working with her and how this worked. We could pick or choose, but if we continued she wouldn't be able to see us. You two have to listen to your therapist. If Dan likes her and you don't, perhaps she should work with Dan. He has lots of issues he could use the help with.

I asked her if she looked and checked your credentials and she hadn't. If I sound defensive it's because I am! Am I off on a tangent? I don't think so. If I had a reason I'd buy into this. She couldn't give me one and I thought she was overly narrow minded. Some more, but you get the gist. Listen, each therapist works their own way. Some therapists are OK with this, others are not. It is a function of therapeutic orientation and personal style. If this site can work in conjunction with your therapist, that's fine. But, this site is no substation for real-live therapy. It is my job to direct you to listen to your therapist.

What I came up with on my own, but this is subject to change and I welcome all input and I will make my own decision...... I felt very comfortable handing Dan's sister and his issue's to her. GOOD! Get out and stay out. I want no part of this. In fact it felt great. Yes. Why not let Dan work out the PTSD stuff with her? I'm not his therapist and I don't even want to be there when they are going through this. Been there and done that and I would do it all again. It was something for a therapist (or bartender), though. I was too involved to help YES, yet the last one I did and I can't say why because now it is between Dan and her. Lynn, of course you've helped. But, it is too taxing for a loved one to do this. It will weigh you down and wear you out because your own issues will mix with your helping. Your job is not to help him, it is to love him. I am personally delighted that Dan connected with this woman. Couple's therapy essentially teases out what problems belong to which individual. They then have the ability to go fix their stuff. Stop interacting so much with his stuff. I have a feeling you are worried about losing control...

Next biggie. I've been witching about this for years and now he's back and now I don't want to. Over thinking again. I don't want any part of the co-dependency things with Dan and his mother. I want to work on couples and when they pertain to us I'm willing to go. But Dan can't work on couples issues unless he works out the mom issues. Why not let him do that. Trust me: Dan has a very real and very legitimate need to work this stuff out. It is critical and doing so will help him become your partner.

I don't like excluding you or my friends at the Cat Box. I don't like this and this doesn't feel right and my first instinct is no. Both or nothing. My boundary and here's where I'm at. OK. Sounds simple to me: He has her as an individual therapist and you come in as needed to give her information. This is really an OK thing!

Big Question. I think I'm right. Am I being radical? I don't think so. SOS SOS SOS Trubble, I need ya'. If I'm letting Dan down my first thought is tough, he can go and do it. I think it's great I don't like ultimatums and this didn't set right with me. After writing this down, it still doesn't. Amen.

Love, Hugs and a Devil's Advocate, Please,

Lynn

PS She suggested she would look at your credentials Dr. Irene. Do you want to bother? Lynn, it doesn't matter. Working here and with her would be confusing to Dan. I can't imagine why as that I would see as defending yourself and she can see them if she would look at the site index. I did suggest this by the way. She thought I should print them out. He he, I don't have a printer. If she has an email address, send her this link: http://www.drirene.com/resume.htm.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Lynn here.

I reread my post and I'm still of the same mind. Maybe it's time for Dan and I to break the Boundary umbilical cord. Let him go. I don't want to. Period. It's good for you to break it. It's not a healthy cord. Let him go. You deal with your issues around losing control of Dan. (I bet this is how Dan's mommy felt when you entered the picture!) Here's some work for you: Write about your fears and insecurities re: his having her as his own therapist...

Thanks,

Lynn who feels greatly relieved coming to a decision.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

There are several things I want to reply to; I hope I remember everything! Dr. Irene, to clarify: I think my husband doesn't want me to be upset when he is out of line because he doesn't like emotions, especially "negative" ones like anger, sorrow, or grief. I believe that he actually thinks that the emotions themselves are bad, no matter how they're expressed. Wouldn't surprise me. I'm basing this on experience: he's ridiculed me or become irritated at me when I've expressed emotion over such diverse things as turning forty (I was a little blue), the start of the ground war in the Middle East (Desert Storm--I got teary eyed) and my grandmother collapsing and later dying (I was short tempered; I snapped at him when he still couldn't understand the circumstances of her collapse after I'd explained it several times, then I was sad. He told me that instead of being sad, I should feel guilty for not seeing her more often). Your husband is over-responsible. Kind of like Dan. So typical of the angrier of the pair. He often says that there is no use feeling such and such a way if you can't do anything about a situation. He finds no use in feeling, i.e., he finds emotions a painful place to go to because of issues around guilt, shame, bashing himself, etc. he hasn't resolved. Kind of like Dan.

I also think that he doesn't want me to be upset because that helps him deny the seriousness of the situation. I've noticed that when I get really upset, he pounces on it and ridicules me. The focus is then shifted from his behavior to my "sin": being angry, crying. Allow him not to want you to be upset, and be what you are.

I cannot imagine being so detached that I'm not hurt by what he says. I take that back. He did, the other day, make ridiculing remarks about my using the internet for support and information. I felt a bit of anger, but stayed very calm. I allowed myself one remark to the effect that he seemed so threatened! But I wasn't hurt at all. I know that I'm not doing anything wrong. Now you've got it. I am benefiting a lot from this. I understand that he does feel threatened by the idea that I may be getting support, and that's what fueled the remark. In other words, I'm considering the source, as dr. I says to do. Yippeee! And have compassion for the source if you can, recognizing he is doing the best he can. But you don't have to take it as anything else other than his feeling it is about his own survival. (Even though it's really not and it's just keeping him stuck. His problem; don't make it yours.)

Still: how can one not be hurt when she is called a "leech," a "mistake," and a GDF'ing B (this last one was said shortly after being intimate)? How can you not be confused, hurt and then angry when your husband accuses you of using him, when he calls you unsupportive because you don't agree with him about something, and follows that up with "We're just incompatible. we should go our separate ways." (I've heard that since day one). He hasn't gone anywhere, has he? How about when he says "Your pea brain just can't comprehend....." I could go on for pages. Then of course, I'm "cold as ice" because I'm afraid to get too close to him. I agree that I shouldn't let the hurtful things creep into me and affect how I feel about myself. I used to do that, but not so much anymore. Instead of saying "I feel so small," I'm more likely to say, "You [husband] seem to think that I'm less important than you." He tries to deflect by saying, "Well, if you want to think that you're less important.." Brother! Just tell him to keep his opinions to himself. Basically, tell him to stop with the put-downs, but recognize where they are coming from and why. By the way, some of what he says may be stuff for you to look at, but don't worry about that just now. Disengage first.

Enough of that--moving on. Steve, I guess I probably did get the impression that you think that only the "weak" take meds for depression. I think that I'm guilty of projecting my husband's characteristics on to you a bit! You seem to reason in much the same way, and that was the point of my comparison. Even as I was making it I was thinking that it was a somewhat faulty one, but I do see similarities, mainly the anger that Dr. I mentions, also the cynicism. I think that my husband is angry at therapists for a couple of reasons: 1. We went to two a couple years apart. Each talked to him as well as me about our behavior and ways of thinking. Each talked to him about what he needed to change in order for our marriage to be better. I really do think that he was hoping the focus would be on me and what I needed to do to please him more, so he wouldn't get so defensive and angry. When that didn't happen, he stopped going. Not uncommon. 

Secondly, since I've been going, I've changed in a lot of ways (tho he says I haven't That's OK.). I am beginning to understand the concept of self-respect, and for the first time in my life, I feel good about myself (at least most of the time!). Yippeee! Instead of becoming more passive and placating, I'm drawing boundaries and sticking to them even in the face of his attempts to guilt and shame me. Good! You are disengaging. I'm not perfect at this, but I'm a long way away from where I was ten years ago, or even a year ago! I think he's mad because therapy has helped me move in a direction that's not to his liking, as long as he stays in controller mode. He doesn't like his life either way. Damned if you do; damned if you don't. I'll be back to finish later....  Dr. I

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, Steve. It does mean a lot! I think it was Asha or maybe Steve that said that it's encouraging that my H asks how to be empathetic, or what to do and say. I'm not sure that the questions are sincere. He's asked those questions our entire marriage, I give him an answer, he says he'll "try" and there it ends. I've come to feel that this is just another version of "Let's put Becky in charge of the marriage so husband can just sit back and relax." It's a set-up. If he asks for my "help" how can I dare be angry--isn't he trying to learn? I'm back. Tell him you'd love to help him, but you can't; he needs to see a therapist. If I refuse to play therapist, he throws it all back on me as in "Here I am asking for your input and you won't give it to me. there's no use trying and it's your fault!" Your reply: "Actually it will be your fault if you don't see a therapist and try to dump it on me." He's actually done that: he doesn't do what I tell him I need him to do (at his request, mind you), I interpret that as inaction on his part, he's insulted that I think he's not trying, he says "no use !I quit and it's your fault." Have you ever seen someone running a young horse on a lunge(sp) line? You attach a rope to the halter, then run the horse in a circle, usually tapping at its heels with a long stick or whip. It's part of the breaking process. I feel like a horse on a lunge line--I end up going round and round! I'm getting dizzy so I'm letting him find his own answers.

Thressa, yes, I do have difficulty seeing myself as a valid person for a lot of reasons. But as I said, that's been changing, little by little. I'm working very hard at believing the good things people tell me about myself. I think I have a touch of imposter syndrome--when you believe that you've tricked everyone into thinking that you're okay, or smart, or capable, etc. When I find that I'm going into that mode, I ask myself what that person would have to gain by lying to me. I apply logic instead of listening to the old voices, the ones that tell Becky that there's something wrong with her, that she isn't as good as everyone else. Good! Because the only thing "wrong" with Becky are those voices!

 

I've rambled long enough. I hope some of this makes sense. It's difficult sometimes to express myself well in this kind of forum--I get caught up in correcting typos, and avoiding hitting buttons that could wipe everything out!

Oh--a story from today's "Adventure in the junior high library." I was told that I'm nicer than the former librarian (Her last name is Blair--they called her "The Blair Witch Project"-rotten kids!) I just smiled wickedly and reminded them that the school year is young yet, and that I could get pretty mean by December if I had to. Kids that age can be a real pain, but a lot of fun, too.

Have to get out of here and prepare for tomorrow. Thanks all of you for being here and for bearing with me!

Becky

PS Trubble, why didn't you send me a postcard? Uh, uh... I guess I was just having too much fun...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

I just read your post and WOW. It's funny, but I spent the last 3 days mildly depressed and was really thinking of you lots. Dan just read my post, too, and said it's OK if I don't go to therapy with him, he plans on continuing. Good!

I'm with you on the support. Even sometimes re-reading our own words helps, but input from others helps channel my thoughts.

Good for you and keep up the good work. The Blair Witch. I love it. Kids are so honest. Maybe Trubble spent the 20 cent postage. The little stinker.

Take care and hugs and love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Dear Asha,

After thought. I loved your post to David and your questions to Dan and the rest are great. To me, too.

Becky, I kinda quit editing too much. I was sitting here with a dictionary on my lap and going through the rules of English. I picked this up from another site, but I can spell missteak any way I feel like. This isn't an English test. Anyhow, you guys are suppose to be my friends, not the grammar police. As long as we "get it", that's the point and now that the Wayward Cat has returned he can get back to the serious editing.

Did you see my one the other day? "Hell, Lynn here." Missed the O, but the thought was spelled correctly.

Happy Asrids' Birthday,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Lynn

I really don't think your therapist was fair in making you choose. If I were in your shoes, I would find someone else, unless she decides to be more flexible on this. Would she still not accept Dan if *you* are using this forum?

If she hasn't even seen and has no interest in seeing the site, I don't think she is being fair. This wouldn't be acceptable to me personally.

I'm glad that Dan really likes her, but if he stops posting I'll really miss him here. I'm not trying to guilt him about it, I hope that whatever choice he makes is truly the highest choice for him. I'd be lying though if I said I felt really good about it. There are so few male posters here. :(

I like the "hell, Lynn here" - kinda like Dan's plan H.

I'm sorry you're feeling low.

 

Becky:

[how can one not be hurt when she is called a "leech," a "mistake," and a GDF'ing B (this last one was said shortly after being intimate)? etc.]

I understand what you are feeling (in fact I remember asking a similar kind of question), but if you choose to stay with him you have to accept him 'as is'. He just can't be anything else right now. *Not* accepting him doesn't help - it just adds fuel to the fire. I think when you are around him, it would help to learn to completely detach from the impact of the abusive words. And I'm not saying that's easy to do. The book I keep telling you about describes reacting to abusive comments like stopping a fuse before the bomb explodes. As you feel the effect of the words edging toward you, you make the conscious decision to *not* let the words hurt you. They have nothing to do with you and everything to do with him.

The stuff you mentioned is awful, but as long as you put up with it and engage, I doubt that he will be motivated to change. I think deep down you do have a lot of strength or you wouldn't be questioning yourself or posting to this site. It sounds like you were given a lot of those "parental voices" and the challenge is to replace them with nicer, more caring ones. I'm sending lots of positive thoughts your way. Hope it helps.

Is it Astrid's b-day? If so Happy Day!

take care

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Yep, it's my birthday. :) Yipppeeeee!!!! Purrrrrs and purrrrrs and kisses from *Me*

People were here this weekend, which was good. My chosen brother and his lady, and a few other of our friends. We made a nice expedition to the state park -- five adults, one six-year-old boy, and two dogs. Beautiful weather.

Work got me a cake and a card. Good of them. Mom sent a card and called, Grandma sent a card with money, Dad sent a card.

My ex responded to the letter. Fairly well, actually. Though this comment kind of weirded me out: "I doubt that I will promise anything to anyone for fear of being unable to keep my word." But he did say that he has made a conscious decision not to be intoxicated by anything while in my presence (definite progress!!), while reiterating that I can't expect him to stop entirely. Fair enough. His body, not mine. And I found this encouraging:

"I want to affect some sort of change on myself at the very least so I can be a better friend to you, after that, then we should see what lies in the future for us relationship wise I think. Right?"

Again, fair enough. I'm still thinking the eventual answer is likely to be no as far as getting back together goes. But maybe we can both learn enough from this whole mess to avoid doing this to anyone else. I think I can, at least -- what he does is up to him. :)

Good kitty for coming home, Trubble. *earscratch* *rub-against-leg*

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Dear Group,

Lynn here. Tough sleep last night. Lot's of thinking, but not quality thinking.

Becky, I decided about your H and the foul language after intimacy. Sounds like you were making love and he was screwing. Dan and I went through a few years of this. Not words directed at me, but I finally got the impression that he felt if he was "good in bed" I'd never leave him. Typical... I finally told him if the language he heard on XXX constituted good sex he'd have to try it with someone else. Thank Goodness he got over that!

So sad about your grandma. I'm sorry. We all seem to have ungrieved deaths in our lives. Speaking of which, Asha. You provided the last one for my friend with the "fiend." He's now in my heart where he belongs and not constantly on my mind.

These seem to have to be brought up and up until we get them resolved. About me learning to disengage. I don't wanna! My mother did this and had it down to a fine science. She totally lived her own life and did her own thing ad my dad be damned. They never got it. I've said I would rather be alone than put in 50 years like that! I need Dan to learn that he doesn't have to engage me. (OK Trubble, I hear ya'. By the way, did you borrow Daddy's belt buckle? It's MIA, too). Dan went through the martyr and theatrics the other day and then came to me with a needle and a sliver in his finger. Fix my boo boo.

Dan told me on the way home yesterday that he hoped this new therapist wouldn't be so upset about his not seeing his mother. I rechecked this last night and he said yes. She kept dwelling on hw this "should" bother him. He said she was more upset about it than he was. Doo doo doo doo, Dr. I? Stop it Lynn.  We have gone over this. It was the right decision for us, even though I did it wrong. No matter who called, the decision was right. She still gets into the "I'll show him" about this. We both need to get a lot healthier before we let her back into our lives.

About our new therapist. I rehashed this until I was psycho last night. My decision stands. It may be the wrong decision for us, but it is the right decision for me. I don't think she understands what this is all about, but I don't like the judgment without giving it a chance. That is part of "Who Am I?" If she looked and thought it might interfere, I might have been ok with that, but this was so final. No, because I said so. Won't work for me. Another quality I have is not giving up on a friend. Ever. If they do me, it's their loss and I get on with life, but I never forget a good friendship and I feel that with all here (Especially Dr. Irene and Trubble). We're OK with whatever you guys do. We're glad we were able to get you two on the road. I hope Dan does go and I really think she knows her stuff, yet she's not for me. This was/is a tough one, because ........ well because. I feel like I was asked to pick sides between Dan and the group. I didn't/don't like the feeling. I do intend to call her and tell her why (If not go to the next one and do so). 

Astrid, Good for you. I hope this works. If not, have the strength to leave if you can.

Theressa, I think this is a sign of attaining true intimacy. If any or all of us can work this out with our mates we will be headed the right direction.

AK, Jay and Steve, Howdy folks. Have a good day and I am thinking of all of you.

Thanks for being here just so I can hear myself think.

Much love to all,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Hi All,

I wanted to share this:

1. Love - Development of self first priority.

Toxic love - Obsession with relationship.

2. Love - Room to grow, expand; desire for other to grow.

Toxic love - Security, comfort in sameness; intensity of need seen as proof of love (may really be fear, insecurity, loneliness)

3. Love - Separate interests; other friends; maintain other meaningful relationships.

Toxic love - Total involvement; limited social life; neglect old friends, interests.

4. Love - Encouragement of each other's expanding; secure in own worth.

Toxic love - Preoccupation with other's behavior; fear of other changing.

5. Love - Appropriate Trust (i.e. trusting partner to behave according to fundamental nature.)

Toxic love - Jealousy; possessiveness; fear of competition; protects "supply."

6. Love - Compromise, negotiation or taking turns at leading. Problem solving together.

Toxic love - Power plays for control; blaming; passive or aggressive manipulation.

7. Love - Embracing of each other's individuality.

Toxic love - Trying to change other to own image.

8. Love - Relationship deals with all aspects of reality.

Toxic love - Relationship is based on delusion and avoidance of the unpleasant.

9. Love - Self-care by both partners; emotional state not dependent on other's mood.

Toxic love - Expectation that one partner will fix and rescue the other.

10. Love - Loving detachment (healthy concern about partner, while letting go.)

Toxic love - Fusion (being obsessed with each other's problems and feelings.)

11. Love - Sex is free choice growing out of caring & friendship.

Toxic love - Pressure around sex due to insecurity, fear & need for immediate gratification.

12. Love - Ability to enjoy being alone.

Toxic love - Unable to endure separation; clinging.

13. Love - Cycle of comfort and contentment.

Toxic love - Cycle of pain and despair. (List compiled with the help of the work of Melody Beattie & Terence Gorski.)

I hope its alright to post this Dr Irene, Robert the author states as long as its used for educational purposes only.

Take care and HI to all of you Theressa  Can you send me a reference and I'll credit the author? But, yes, I think this qualifies as "educational" as long as it stays on the board.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa,

I love it. I hope it's Ok to leave it posted. A lot hit home, don't they. Thanks for sharing.

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Dear all, Thanks for the hugs, prayers and support. My daughter has managed a record 5 days at home and we have weathered some storms. At present she has gone out and I have my heart in my mouth each time. At 16 in England, kids can choose where they live and seem to be able to do anything without parents permission. Yikes! I just know I have to let her make her own mistakes and if need be go to the local shelter for the night if she doesn't return. Last night with her felt so good, but I am sure I have not to let any the family control me by what they do.  Exactly. Maybe what I need to do is to stop getting out of control in my emotions. Yes!!! It is only 6 pm and she didn't say she wasn't coming back. Some of her clothes are still here. The only real thing I am panicking about is her make up bag has gone!

Now I have written this I can see what is going on. She probably went to see a friend and I am a total nut case. A reality check shows she has left her pajamas and quite a few clothes. She was threatening to leave home this morning as her brother squirted her with one of those joke chocolate things that squirt water! This was while social worker was on the phone telling me that she can't place my daughter anywhere but at home whatever she wants just now....(Hooray!!!). Social worker has conveniently 'gone on leave.' I think she has my daughter sussed!

I guess what now I am really feeling the need of is of support from H. Stop trying to get blood from a rock. If he offers support, great. If he doesn't, no big deal since you don't need his support. He doesn't really want my daughter home as he is worried about how it will work out as she is so difficult. I just want her here and safe. I can put up with the drugs, pregnancy scares and general awfulness as long as I can manage not to get in her way if she gets violent. Why do you put up with such disrespectful behavior from her? So proud I have managed a few situations well with her now and refused to argue with H over it all.

There has been a sort of relief as after she ran off I felt bereaved and we have had some close times now. In fact my daughter tells me most things. It is weird that that never changed. I never dared tell my own mum anything at all. If I tried I got into trouble....

I keep asking myself if I am a terrible mother.... I really don't think so. You just on too much blame. I think what I was when she left was depressed and that must have impacted on my daughter with all the other things our family was going through. We were all pretty devastated after the death of my best friend's husband who was my husband's best friend and like a very close God parent to both children.

I keep going over all the mistakes I might have made. Please stop. But when one of J and C's (the best friend's) children ran off at 15, all I could do was think how they were good parents and it would all come right in the end. It did after four years of the hell of a child on heroin their daughter returned. Now she is married and amazingly stable and lives next door. That all happened just befo e J died.

C. my friend didn't fall apart like me and I just realised she is always her own person....hasn't always been.....owns her own stuff...yes..she always did that.

Dr Irene. I think you pushed some buttons on the Yak boards!!!!!!!!!! (new format). I see that! People complained about the old ones, and they don't like the new ones either...

Becky - I will post here only just for the moment as I feel like you about the above. Sort of felt really privileged we have the catbox!  

Lyn and Theressa. I just saw Lyn's description of what happened with her son in therapy. I have a tale to tell from a child's point of view. My dad got ill when I was 12 and my sister was 9. It was M.S. Ouchhh...

My mum never talked to me and my sister, and we didn't talk a lot to each other about this. Most of what I learnt, I learnt from overheard telephone calls.

I felt ashamed and didn't tell anyone. I thought it was my fault for getting into rows with my dad. Ouchhh! This is how kid's often think... That's where you picked up that nasty little habit of taking the blame. Life changed in lots of ways. We went from being quite well off to very poor. I felt angry when my mum went to jumble sales. She had never let us go before this time.

My sister fared less well than I did. She actually didn't know what my dad was ill with until we were in our twenties. No one had ever told her.

We both still have problems with the way we were treated. All we really needed , I think, is for someone to sit down and explain things. Yes. We couldn't alter the facts, but on top of the anger at the illness we have both found we have had the anger at not having the right knowledge at the right time.

Hell, I have just realised I have done this to my daughter about being in hospital. Exactly. Nobody explained depression to her and she has recently told me I must have gone mad to have had to go into a psychiatric hospital. I am only just realising that I was so bad when I was depressed and the effect this had on other people.... Depression is an illness; just like any other illness you might be hospitalized for. 

Asha, Thanks for the template description or rather it was Steve's. I guess we all sort of fix a template on others according to how we perceive them to be. I think this has happened 2 way in my own marriage. I certainly feel as if I am 'templated." In child care using templates is VERY BAD PRACTICE. It means that the child may experience the inability to follow the template (so you can fail) and this means a loss of self esteem. Yes. Free hand drawing is much better and helps develop confidence as it is harder to 'fail,' To use a template you have to have developed the right fine motor skills to use a pencil. So I guess if we want to template people we have to have our people skills pretty well developed.

(Some of my students have been known to hide templates if they know I am coming!!! I wage a friendly battle in one creche creche? where they keep putting out templates even where the kids are under 2!)

Sorry for he long post. Hope it makes sense! love to all, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

A short reply this time! Thanks for the list on love, Thressa! Also the web address. I'll check it out. I think I've read When Words Hurt, but it was many years ago and I should read it again. I understand that his words are about him; it's just that when you love and trust someone it makes the abuse that much more shocking. I keep thinking why did he marry me if he looks down on me so much?

Lynn, the string of names occurred because he was mad at me about something. We were on a weekend trip and all had been great. As we were packing, I noticed that he'd taken some tea bags from the hotel breakfast room. He has the habit of taking stuff like this just because it's there and he feels entitled. (This is a family trait). He doesn't drink tea; I do, but had this same tea at home. Besides, this is for use while you're there, you're not supposed to load up your pockets on the way out.

Anyway, I guess because we'd been having such a nice time, I felt "safe." I said, "Oh, we don't need these." I wasn't angry, but irritated at this habit of his. He made a remark to the effect that next time we'd get a cheap hotel; that the price of the room justified his taking the tea bags. I left the room to calm down, but (I hate to admit) I engaged by telling him that that was the stupidist remark I'd ever heard. (I know, I know!!) Giggle! He became very hostile, but again, because we'd been having a great time, and I thought we could be on the same wave-length, I tried to talk it out. He suddenly became very interested in a TV show, and that's when he called me the foul names. I was so shaken I went into the bathroom and threw up.

I ended up packing the car while he sat there. I knew that I'd better not give him any reason to blame me for a late check-out so I lugged everything out and packed it. guess what--I was wrong to do that. He stared at me and coldly said "That's right, just keep it up." Like I was doing something wrong. what a nightmare! A wonderful time ruined! I know that I should have let him take the tea; it's his integrity on the line not mine. But I didn't deserve what i got. (It occurs to me that I want him to have a very high level of integrity in general, because it would influence how he treats me. When I see him do things like this, things that he complains about if he sees others doing them, BTW, I feel insecure with him).

This was a turning point for me. I suffered the almost three hour drive home, and for weeks after. I don't ever want to hurt like that again!

Have lots to do this afternoon, so gotta run. Lynn, I missed the details, (I tend to skim when there are a lot of long posts )but I take it that your therapist doesn't want you guys to post here while you're seeing her, and you've rejected that idea. She hasn't check the site out? I mentioned the Cat Box to Dr. Z, and she seemed a bit puzzled, and I can tell that she hopes I'm not totally immersed in this. But she hasn't had anything negative to say. She has looked at the site and likes it. That was a while back, and I don't think she's "checked up" on me here.

Anyway, I hope this doesn't create a conflict for the two of you.

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Thanks for your post Theressa. Very insightful.

Becky: [I keep thinking why did he marry me if he looks down on me so much?]

I doubt he really looks down on you. I don't think it has anything to do with you really. It's just a behavior pattern. I think he really loves you, just has no idea (or incentive) to express it healthily.

Becky, I think I really understand what you are going through. It's awful for both you and him (and I'm not insinuating that you are in any way to 'blame' for his behavior). Somebody has to change the dance. As long as you both keep dancing the same way, the same patterns will continue.

I give you credit for your persistence in finding solutions. This 'self' work is really hard, but you continue to do it. And I think you are doing rather well.

***

On another note, I do hope more therapists will 'get with the program' and start to see how a site like this is invaluable to its participants. People that would never normally see a therapist or can't afford one can come here and get support. The friendship and support here is so positive. The therapist view of cutting all ties with this site came to mind when I read this (from Theressa's post):

3. Love - Separate interests; other friends; maintain other meaningful relationships.

Toxic love - Total involvement; limited social life; neglect old friends, interests.

Am I off on this one? Don't think so.

take care all

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Hi Guys, Lynn here and I just got a return call from the therapist. I told her I was uncomfortable with her judgments about this site without even checking it out, but that was OK. Dan wanted to continue with her and did she have a problem with that? No, she didn't and frankly, I'm pleased to turn Dan's sister over to her. Yippeee! She did ask if I would rather stay with the "Web" than go in and I said no, later on I would be willing to go for couples.  Good! This will also give Dan a chance to get a handle on his issues; I'm glad you let go. She said she noticed some issues that she felt I could work on and thought maybe I would benefit from individual and then we can progress to couples. Is that a compromise? She'll work on me to get me cured from cyber shrinking? I think I'll give that a go with the stipulation that I can make my own decisions about staying here.  

I feel greatly relieved. Maybe this is good for Dan and I to separate (in therapy only). Fix ourselves and then work on us. I was doing a lot of thinking (too much) on selling myself out vs. getting help. Dan can get help without me. We are not Siamese Twin cats. I liked her suggesting I could come, too. She knows where I'm at now with this.

Dear Jay, What a toughie. Thank goodness you and H are together on this. So tough, isn't it? Kids, I men. I think we have to give them our best and then let them go, and hope we taught the enough to get through the tough times. 16 is so young though. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you.

Becky, In spite of the seriousness of your post I had to laugh. Dan's family, too, and Dan. If it's not nailed down it's ours. My favorite. Dan's mom moved after Dan's dad died and took the kitchen sink out of the rental. Tooooo funny. When we moved here I left all the light bulbs in and a fresh roll of toilet paper on the holders. I caught Dan's brother removing the bulbs. I laughed and said NO! they stay. Maybe next time your H can drain the warm water out of the hot tub and bring it back. This assuming you are on a meter :) Giggle!

AK and Steve, Thanks and thanks a lot to the bunch of you. I appreciated the support and I think I made the right decision. If not, at least it was my decision and I did the best I could and I feel right about it, so I can live with that.

After reading David, too, maybe the right decision is for Dan and I not to be together. If that is so, we both have to get a lot healthier before we could even leave each other. We might get well and decide we don't like each other. Who knows? Don't think so, but... I don't wan to base the rest of my life on being a Siamese Twin. I said before, Dan is 6' 2" and I'm 5". If we are attached at the hip, my feet are never on the ground. Says it all.

Dr. Irene, I know this is right for me. My thinking is a bit skewered though. I don't feel I let Dan down by not going with him. If he feels that way it's his problem, right? Right. His over-responsibility again. That's where I am now. We came to the same conclusions Lynn.

See if Trubble will talk to LOCO. No, no bad cat has been getting out of the house and running as fast as he can to the other side of the house and hiding under the porch. He's not allowed to go out!

Love to all and thanks so much.

I'm thinking of all of you, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn. I'm very sorry I wasn't there for you. And yes, I could have posted for you because I do see what you're feeling. Sometimes, instead of trying to go back and fix a pair of "old brown shoes", we should perhaps consider walking barefoot for awhile. Like Paul on the cover of Abbey Road. Grin.

Relax, and pat yourself on the back for absolutely nothing at all. You deserve it just because you're you.

I remember one time, I was sitting on the shore of this beautiful non-domesticated lake, and I suddenly had this thought:

"We are just Life's way of observing Itself".

It made so much sense to me, and explained why I was always busy observing things that others would probably think either I was crazy for doing so, or it was none of my business. Grin.

I will miss you very much if you leave us. But it's your decision to make. I think Dan will be ok with you each doing your own thing. That's exactly what he would say to me. Another grin. At the same time, you should be ok with Dan doing what he feels he needs to do.

I somehow can't imagine Dan not sneaking a peak in here. Maybe he wont post, but I'm sure he'll be lurking.

Hi Dan! :)  Hi Dan! We're Purrrrfectly OK with your decision to go. Good therapy-ing!

Something I've noticed with absolutely everyone here, is a tendency to be very very hard on ourselves, and sometimes hard on others as well, our spouses etc. I think we all need to lighten up a bit. We are all worthy beings. We have some real problems, and some imagined ones. Let's not waste time trying to fix the imagined ones. Look positively to the future. Picture what you want, dare to dream it. Then do it. Easy to say isn't it? Maybe it's easy to do too - if we believe we can. 

Someone once said something like "faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain".

To be sure, Dan has some major problems to work out. We all do I believe. But the best way, as Dr Irene has said so often, to help Dan, is to help yourself. It's a win win thing. 2 for the price of one.

That's exactly how AK helped me. She decided to stop enabling me. I am so glad for that now, :) although at the time I was feeling hurt. Dan my hurt too for awhile, although something tells me he's learned quite a few things relating to this. He's pretty good with advice. If he could take his own, he'd be doing very well.

Dan: "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 in my guts when I think about this." Dr Irene to Dan: "Guilt...responsibility... "

Couldn't it just be feeling empathetically what he imagines his sister felt like? Not responsibility at all? Of course there is empathy. But if empathy were all it were, this issue would not be literally haunting him years later.

Lynn, you said "she (Dan's mother) tore him apart and threatened him and it was really ugly".

I don't quite understand. How could she threaten Dan? Don't you mean to say "Dan allowed himself to be threatened"? She threatened him while he was still a child, when caring for Dan was her responsibility, not Dan's.

Dan and I have very little in common when it comes to parents. My parents chose to help enable my X to take me to court for child support and legal custody. I haven't spoken to them in months. My Dad was even going for bike rides with my X while the court case was going on. I told him, "so you have a new daughter. Well, you just lost a son."

They reacted similarly when my older brother got divorced. They sided with his X. I've since realized that my mom just doesn't like men (I believe she wished I'd been a girl - lots of reasons I wont go into here) and my dad was totally snowed by my X. I think she strokes his ego or something.  I'm sorry...

Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is, I have set EXTREMELY CLEAR  boundaries with them. I have said - NO! I am quite willing to give them up permanently, as is my older brother (we've discussed our parents dysfunction at length). The ball is in their court. I will not participate in a phony family. Period.

It's interesting because for years I thought my relationship with my parents was fairly normal. There was no overt abuse growing up, in fact, I think I had a lot of fun being a kid. Typical, that you were not aware of the pain you experienced. Glad you're feeling more these days.

But now, I have to do what's right for me. If my parents choose to side with my X (they coddle her and minimize everything wrong she does) then that's ok. That's their choice. I think they're wrong, and greatly enabling her to continue her agenda of punishing me, but it's still their choice.

I am choosing to live my life, not theirs.

Lots and lots of hugs for you Lynn. And I expect the same back.

:)

"It's getting better all the time" - Beatles

 You know, I can barely contain myself because I see so much improvement in everyone. Especially in you! Thank you for this site Irene.  Thank you for joining in! Irene

Steve

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Ah Steve,

Thanks, tearfully.

Lynn  

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Dr Irene (addressing AK): "Provocative? Yes. I mention them because I found Steve's account, while intelligent, very extremist, angry and rebellious (not that this is all bad by the way). Doubting that he would want to be associated with such a group, I compared his views to theirs; they really are similar! After he's done being mad at me, maybe he'll examine the anger in his extremism - and decide whether or not he wants to hold onto it. Because anger is exactly what it's about. "

For me, it's about awareness. I'm definitely not mad at you Irene, though you may feel this very strongly. No, I don't. The anger I refer to is not directed at me in particular, it's just a "readiness". I believe I'm only examining things more closely. I don't find the comparison with Scientologists to be very constructive. I got your attention, didn't I! Instead of me finding light and truth in that particular comment, which I think is what you'd wish I wanted you to think, I see more of a negation of MY reasoning, by associating it with anger. It also removes the focus from the actual meds discussion, and places it on "my anger" instead.    :)    All I want is to get you to think and re-think. I don't have the answers for you. All I can do is point out when something strikes me as somehow "off." Thinking is about awareness and taking a second look at habitual irrational beliefs. That's all.  I'm also less concerned about removing the focus from the meds discussion because this is not a meds discussion board. The content at hand is secondary to looking at your stuff...

 

Dr Irene (addressing me): "I mention rebellion in relation to you because I am trying to highlight the anger I see in your thinking. Not that this is "bad;" the content is fine, but the underlying anger can and will hurt you! I would like to point you in the direction of the anger so you notice it because it's clear to me from these posts that it's gotten in your life's way."

I believe a mistake that you may be making is assuming that what you perceive as my anger is the CAUSE of what you feel is my extremism. My views on meds are not "caused" by anger. I certainly am disgusted by the absolute power some doctor/drug combos have to destroy human brains, and I have a great feeling of injustice and deception around the whole affair This is exactly what I am referring to; perhaps I use too much psychobabble., but I am still sincere in my efforts to see what's real. I know. And I believe that I am not extreme in the way you are meaning it. Extreme is usually a relative term. Relative to your position I may appear extreme. And, as you can see below, in definition 1c and 4, I may agree. Definition 3 would depend on where exactly you define your personal center Irene. 1b of course doesn't apply because I don't think I exaggerated at all. Yes I omitted the "benefits" but I also omitted many many other "bad attributes" of the meds situation. 

To give you an idea about how shrinks talk about "anger," for example, two shrinks would understand each other when talking about the "attorney's anger working for his client in achieving a just outcome." Anger is not "bad." It just is. I have not changed my opinion regarding your "anger." I think it does fuel many of your views [ " I certainly am disgusted by the absolute power some doctor/drug combos have to destroy human brains, and I have a great feeling of injustice and deception around the whole affair. "]   I see a tremendous amount of anger in that simple statement. By the way, from a cognitive perspective, anger is grounded in injustice.  I'm not trying to convince you, though it might be beneficial for you to regard "anger" and "injustice" in this way. I am trying to explain how I use the jargon.

Here are 2 links that may help illustrate that my opinions are not extreme in the sense that you seem to be implying.

http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/3568/

http://www.breggin.com/prozac.html

-------------------------------------------

Websters definitions of "extreme":

1

a : existing in a very high degree

b : going to great or exaggerated lengths

c : exceeding the ordinary, usual, or expected

3 : situated at the farthest possible point from a center

4 : most advanced or thoroughgoing

Steve: It's not about consensus. Of course you will find agreement, but that's got nothing to do with nothing. I still think you have lots of anger fueling your views, and it doesn't matter whether or not we agree. 

-------------------------------------------

I'm staying the course. I know! And have made incredible strides.

I'm wondering if at some level, you did feel I was attacking you personally. I think you probably were making a personal attack, though I took no offense personally. I expect it; normal stuff. OK.  That could make you think I am angry. No. I explained why just above.  I tried hard not to come off that way. Because I disagree with your position on meds, doesn't mean I am angry with you. I know; the anger is not directed towards me. It is more of a readiness where you perceive injustice, one of the major "irrational schemas" with anger. That's why I state stuff like, "Life is not fair, " etc. throughout the site.. It makes me wonder what kind of injustice you experienced as a child.  I truly think you are a great Doc and I know for a fact that you have already helped many people here very much, including myself. Thanks Steve.

Steve

  B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Dear Steve,

(((HUGS))) and hi the rest. and hugs to the rest, too. Steve, I always felt you were here. Some things I guess I was just meant to figure out for myself.

Before I get carried away, I have a thought on your last post to David. Maybe you and AK can be a better example to your kids than you and X ever would have together. Might give them an example of "normal" Can I add a wry grin here?

I know what you mean about nature. I posted years ago about this Indian Medicine Wheel Dan and I drove by once. What I said was that this makes you KNOW there is a God. It gave me goosebumps.

As for taking myself too seriously, frankly, I'm terrified right now. I think this may be comparable to tough love. I feel like I'm throwing Dan to the wolves and yet if he's half the man I think he is, he'll do better at this without me. I had 2 choices. Be true to him or be true to myself. I picked me. That scares me.... Stupid thoughts like "what if I'm letting him down" I don't even need Trubble to tell me how dumb that sounds. Tough to break old habits MommyDoc2.  

I'm sure Dan will lurk here, too. How could he not? Is this like putting the Cat Box in the Closet?

As for me, Dare to Dream I was raised on. Doris Day and Walt Disney. Did you ever hear of either of them having anything but a Happy Ending? Sometimes I think my worst fault is being too Optimistic. I can take this waaaay too far!

Dan's mom. Yep. I've seen her verbally attack him and I'm speechless. Actually scared speechless and that's tough for me. She attacked me big once and I was terrorized for days. I'm with you. We are pretty verbal in my family. I periodically tell my father to get lost in choice %#&%@ words. We both cool down and a couple of months later we get back in the same routine. He'll never change (maybe I won't either) but I'm probably more like him than I am my mother. Scary thought, that. Just being honest. 

Funny you said that. I always thought my parents would have preferred I were a boy. I learned to change tires, target practice (pistol and rifle), went to stock car races and fixed roofs. Dolls, yuk! Then I grew up to be one of the boys and I think I scared them silly. I had a great growing up. I can think of very few yukkies.

Bunches of hugs Steve. I think lots of you and AK. I think lots of all here and Dr. Irene, I can't begin to tell you what this has done for me. I'm learning..... I made the bed today. That used to be# 1 priorty. If the bed was made the house was clean. Well, the bed was made period, but that's a healthy start. How about my box?

Trubble, I might be in trubble next door again. I hope you are home to help the Doc so she can go play with the Mac. That's OK MommyDoc2. We'll go hang out in the Dog House together. She's still mad at me for running off to be worshipped for a week! 

Loves, Laughter, Tears and I think Prayers for Dan's mom tonight.

Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Lynn back,

John and Yoko's "Starting Over" is an all time fav. Tonight I need Helen Reddy's "Peaceful."

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Lynn said: <<Dan's mom. Yep. I've seen her verbally attack him and I'm speechless. Actually scared speechless and that's tough for me. She attacked me big once and I was terrorized for days.>>

I'm curious to know what terrorized you? How does this woman evoke so much terror in people? Is it her tone of voice, something physical she does? I can't say I've ever been terrorized in this way by anyone, so I'm wondering what exactly she does that makes people feel this way?

Just wanted to ask, if you don't mind talking about it. 

Asha   Maybe she was bitten by the "bad" clan, unlike us...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear All,

I have a dilemma and need an objective viewpoint.

I am very overwhelmed at the moment. I knew this would happen when I lifted the lid off my buried feelings, though I need some support.

You see I have lots and lots of stored anger about my sister who is a year younger than me. All my life she's done different things to me and I've had no control over her doing them. She has always been a manipulator in my life or rather an emotional blackmailer. THE ANGER I feel is so huge. This anger is running the show and not ME. My childhood wounds are driving my bus. Good to be aware! Now you can fix it. Pay lots and lots of attention...

Anyway, we're holding a 50th Birthday party for my mom and her best friend on the same night. Therefore, me and my two sisters, my uncle, my mom's best friend's brother and her son are putting our money together to pay for the party. NOW my youngest sister has paid the majority of her share, I have mine put aside. My uncle and my mom's best friend's brother seem to have their share and the son of my mom's best friend seems to have his share, next Tuesday we're gonna meet so I can collect all the money.

My sister, the one I have so much anger against, well, back in January I asked both my sisters if they would  like to give me the money in installments so it wouldn't be such a big chunk for them, plus the fact that neither of them are good at saving. My younger sister has done this. My sister who I am so angry at didn't. She said, "No problem I'll get it to you on the date its meant to be in."

Anyway, its nearing Tuesday. BECKY, my sister I am angry at has always played the victim the manipulator, all my life she's used my things at home, entered my room wrecked my stuff. I tried hard at school, though she was thought of as POOR old maggie, not so smart, needs taking care of. So for most of her life people have felt sorry for her, she a CLASS A manipulator. I left school and got a job, she didn't mommy and daddy kept her. She's been ill a lot over the years. Lots of it put on. NOW though she has problems, women problem and has to have a big operation next week, they say she has cancerous cells.

The sister I am angry at has cheated on her partner, though he never lets her forget it. He withholds money, he doesn't help her much with the kids. Though she pays him back by going out and not coming home until the small hours. THEY are in debt up to the sky, so careless with money. They buy cigarettes, they drink every week 4 or 5 times. Her partner buys dope. When I told them I sold my car to pay off my debt, my sister's boyfriend laughed and said "BE like us don't pay off the debt, live life to the full".

Well they are now, when her partner has been sacked for using money out of his milk round box. So as you can see they bring all this mess on themselves.

Me I stay home and pay my bills, Melissa and my own well being come first (our clothes, food and bills) then and finally then do I go and buy booze, or go out. I used to give all My daughter's clothes to my sister's kids. BUT I am not anymore, why? Well in the summer I told my sister I'd pass on the school uniforms of my daughter's. Though I'd just moved and they were packed. MY sister's partner said "We're not buying xxxx a uniform, she's getting them off Theressa." Anyway I couldn't find the uniforms. I told my sister, she said "Oh God, what are we suppose to do now." I said "Do like me get out and buy one". Good!

My sister goes also to bingo once a week. (Flittering money away)

Anyway back to the party. My youngest sister very helpful. Said yesterday "T, I think she'll not be able to afford to pay us the whole money on Tuesday, her fellow lost his job, maybe we can say to her pay it in two halves".

I BLEW BIG TIME. I said "Yeah so as usual we bail her out once more, Why is it that everyone else can pay on time but they need special treatment, hey all her life she's had special treatment the POOR OLD BITCH, well let me tell you I've had enough of her pity excuses. I just knew it."

My sister said "T, okay, okay, I just thought it would help her, she has to feed the kids. okay, forget it, it doesn't matter." I felt so angry, I still do!!!! It matters to you because you are tired of enabling your sister's excesses at your expense.

My youngest sister went out of the room and when she returned she said "T, you don't like her much do you, you hate her, don't you." I said "No, I don't hate her, I just hate what she does." 

"Yeah T, but you know she's not good with money, what did you expect? " "I expected she'd not pay which is why I suggested she pay in installments, but no, she couldn't do that leave all the shit to hit the fan and then cry poverty, that is what she always does, well let me tell you, if she doesn't pay by the date we've allowed her to by paying it in two halves, I am out, I won't be contributing to the party either. I'll throw the towel in, I swear." You'll certainly get their attention! How will your self esteem be?

My young sister said "T, its not her fault he lost his job" I said "No it his greed that is at fault, his and hers since she helped spend the money out of his box."

My young sister said "T, can you have some compassion and see how you'd be feeling if you were about to go into hospital and your partner lost his job and your oldest sister just wouldn't budge and give you some more time to pay the money".

I said "Okay but if the money isn't in by two installments then I am pulling out myself."

The trouble is I know deep down she'll not pay the money. She never has, she has always had excuses in the past and her victim attitude always helps her win, sympathy.

How can I handle all this? Am I being selfish? How can I handle all this anger? Further don't I have a right to be angry? I don't want to keep running my life out of this gapping wound of anger for my sister.

Thanks for listening, boy did I need to tell someone before I exploded. You have a right to be angry. You other sister can't see the manipulation, but you do. In the future, don't accept the "I'll pay later" routine. You may all have to share the debt this time around though...

Theressa.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa

Lynn here. Wow, feeling better? Probably not, but it sure helps to get it out doesn't it?

Probably too late for the birthday party, but for the next time, why include her? Giggle... The rest of you share the cost and leave her to her own devices. If you don't ever expect anything from her, you'll never be disappointed. Closet H agrees here. He is going to post. He's just been busy.

We had that type of thing in Dan's family, but in reverse. Dan's mom likes to buy flowers for a funeral or Wedding gifts and then put everyone's name on the card and tell the rest how much they owe her. Cute. I never played this game. We bought our own flowers and gifts. The rest were always angry. So easy to me, just include us out! She tried this for years and Dan finally said to take his name off. (Yes, his name, she wouldn't include the wife's).

Hard to do, I know, and I don't blame you for feeling resentful. If she wants to join any future parties, let her pay in advance or tell her NO. If the others want to pay her game let them and get a gift from you and your daughter and go to the party with your head held high because you know you are the ones with the integrity. Yep.

If you can learn not to, don't cover for her or "enable" her to do this. Kinda like you knew this was coming so don't let it in the future. Then she won't be able to do this. If the other family members want to cover her, that's their mistake.

Enough lecture. Do the best you can and have a fun birthday for your mom and her friend. It sounds like your thoughts were nice and well meant and I hope your mom has a good time.

I really don't blame you for being mad. Has anyone ever patted you on the back for how well you have done with your life? Theressa\\\ Best I can come up with on a keyboard yet the thought is there. I think you have done a great job.

Love and hugs,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Asha,

I know. It sounds silly on paper doesn't it. The power of the rages. The first one I stood there with my mouth wide open and never got a word in. This was after Dan and I went to a smaller town and retrieved his niece and nephew from the cop shop after his drunken and drugged brother tried to outrun the cops. We got the kids home after midnight (to ours) and thought we did well. Ha! She came to the house the next day and told me it was ALL my fault, raged, flapped her arms and scared the hell out of me. I called Dan at work and had him come home. I lived with a wife beater and until this day I had never been this terrorized in my life.

The only thing we could figure is we let him set and I think we were expected to bail him out.

Even typing this I can get shaky. I've seen her ready for these later, too, and we've found safety n numbers works well. She backs down. She has attacked Dan in front of me and I (my thoughts only) feel Dan shrink. He never says a word. Terror is the only adjective I can use to express her coming at you. Shivverrrrr

Funny, but a few years ago a caseworker for Dan's brother thought their was an indication of Alzheimer's.. (sp?) Dan asked if she would go to a Dr. and get a checkup. She did get the medical, but wouldn't talk to the therapists. Before she went I was so relieved because I would have felt better if their were a reason she was like this (I'm sure there is a reason). Other sister in law has a joke about Alzheimer's. With her how would you know because she's always been crazy. Sad really.

I get knotted even getting this down so I best head for greener pastures. Last word on the subject. I'd rather meet Cujo on a dark night in the woods then be around her when she's in a rage.

Now I think I know why I need to say a prayer for her. And maybe it's a good thing Dan doesn't retaliate. He'd probably finish her off. Self control might be in order here.

Love, Lynn who is going to write herself into another script.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Brief PS from Lynn,

When she has attacked Dan verbally, I stand in front of him. Funny weird. Yet instinctive. I want to protect him.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Lynn here with an afterthought. Dan's here too, so I ran it by him. His mother wishes I were dead, I asked him. Maybe not dead he replied, but just out of his life. This brought up a lot of uglies and I can feel the hatred.

OK Lynn, you are safe. 2 big dogs (chuckle) and 7 cats. And *Me* In my own home an a lock on the door.

The 2 big dogs my dad's girlfriend (dumb phrase) calls them the bast___d hound and the borderline collie. That's appropriate.

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Lynn

Another question, and perhaps its none of my business. I could be treading on thin ice here. Use your discretion on whether to answer or not.

Was/is Dan's mom capable of physical violence? Probably. But Asha, who isn't?

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Asha,

Oh yes. I never saw it, but she tells of some. Almost brags, when he did this I did that. Speaking of thin ice, we are sure that his DD brother who still lives with her is being abused. Long story and we did lots to get him here. His caseworker works with Dan and DD but according to our state law he has food shelter and clothing. Those are the only requirements for a home in this state. Again, how are we going to prove it? If not beatings I think she slaps him across the face. Actually I know this because he has told me. When he gets angry at her he makes fists and turns red and she calls it sits and pouts because he doesn't get his own way. Sad, sad and sadder still. I have him in God's hands, because we have tried everything legally possible to get him here with us. He won't "tell" authorities anything.

Enough for a while. After my last post I got a headache from hell. This with brother makes it doubly hard on Dan and I as we don't want to get him hurt. The caseworker asked him what he would do when mom died and he got a big grin and said I'm going to live with Danny and Lynn. I the whole mess of her, he has to be a priority.

Thanks Asha It does help to get these thoughts out.... Now I'm going for the garlic,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Asha,

I posted a reply, but it hasn't shown up yet. It may so I'll let it go. Just another to your Q. This is beyond any reactions I know or ever did. Your Q's are bringing up a fear in me that is bizarre. Maybe it's good that Im getting this down and out. This is about my feelings and not Dan's so I think it's fair. I feel terrorized, frightened, scared and sick to my stomach. Irrational? I KNOW I'm safe here. Heeby Jeebies or whatever, my instincts say run and hide. I have nothing that I can think of to base this on. I'm sure there is something there, but I've never known anyone who made me feel this way before. 

Trubble???? Dr. Irene???? We don't know...

If this comes across too strong, you ought to be here right now. I'm trying to erase what I know about others and just deal with how I feel from what I know only.

Instinctively ..... Yikes! Yikes!

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

You ok, Lynn?

I've noticed that people not on the net sometimes have quite the distrust of it... as if nothing that happens here is quite "real." This site is a big step up from two of my old "peer support" net-hangouts, though: at least there's a professional keeping an eye on us. :) *Me*

Five and a half years ago, when I was coping very badly with my friend's suicide, the school counseling center didn't have time for me. I was dragged there kicking and screaming by one of my fraternity brothers (I was in a co-ed frat), who was scared that *I* was suicidal (I wasn't; there is no faster way to snap someone out of any inkling of being suicidal than to lose someone that way), and then told that they didn't have time for me for the rest of the semester. Lovely. About that time, I discovered BBSes. One of the larger ones had a "support" forum that I spent quite a lot of time in. Not a trace of a professional there, at least not officially (I know one of the ladies who posts there now is a crisis counselor at a battered women's shelter), but it was SOMEthing. And at that point I needed something.

There were points when I got a little too caught up in other people's problems, but that happens with my local friends too. I certainly don't think being online made things worse for me. As for now, I don't have insurance or a whole lot of spare cash, so seeing a therapist is not the easiest of options for me. Dad would probably foot the bill if asked nicely, but I prefer not to ask him.

More thoughts on the medication debate:

Diabetes does actually make a good analogy. (I am not a medical professional, just someone whose family has an extended history of both diabetes and diagnosed mental illnesses of various sorts.) If someone has Type I diabetes, IIRC, they need to be on insulin shots and/or the new pump thing, period, and they have to be on a VERY strict diet. Likewise, some people absolutely NEED to be on their meds (and keep an eye on other stuff) -- or else. However, Type II diabetes ranges from being controllable simply by maintaining an appropriate weight, through stricter monitoring of diet, insulin pills and eventually shots or the pump like someone with Type I. It all depends on what the individual case responds to, and the motivation of the individual patient.

The trouble with mental health problems is that the measurements just aren't as objective. It depends a lot more on self-reporting -- my old housemate's abusive ex was very very good at the fake-out-the-doc routine. (Or the police officer, or the customs official, etc.) I can state the things I would like to work on, and the things I think would help me accomplish this. A peer group and a trained professional can point out the things I might have missed, but they're unlikely to completely out of the blue come up with something, and I'd be very suspicious if they did.

For instance: My childhood was by no means perfect, and I was exposed by both parents to a lot of things that really weren't meant for childish ears. I have on occasion explained my immediate family as resembling three siblings more than two parents and a child -- this is true even physically. We ALL look alike; my parents look younger than their age and I look somewhat older (I'm still at the point where this is occasionally useful). However, much of what was wrong with my childhood and teenage years stems from influences other than my parents, and my parents did quite a bit to mitigate that stuff. I was a fairly happy kid, and when I wasn't, it was almost always due to things that my parents either tried to fix or had no clue about until well after the fact. I also remember my childhood fairly well. If I were to go to a therapist who suggested that I try to remember being sexually abused as a young child, I would laugh in his/her face before walking out and filing a complaint. There is simply no way such a thing happened to me before the assault at my high school when I was 13.

Lynn, trust your instincts. In the long run it saves you a lot of trouble. Don't demand that Dan or anyone else follow where your instincts lead (they need to trust their OWN instincts), but certainly by all means DO trust yours. I can't stress that enough. Talking yourself out of "bad vibes" is dangerous. Listen to the bad vibes, follow what they're telling you to a reasonable extent, and try to analyze what they're really saying without doubting them (that's the tricky part). I'm not saying that running away in a panic helps anything! :) But a rational reaction based on intuition is certainly possible, and usually a good thing.

More later, perhaps -- I have a dance practice to get to.

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa, Lyn here, We haven't forgotten about you. How's things now?

Dear AJ, Are things good with you? How is your daughter?

Dear Becky, I was thinking of you when I posted that last post. I signed my name with a small "L". Got a headache over it, too. I hope all is well with the kiddies and the school. Not to mention at home.

Dear Asha, Great Q. Dan took a nap and then read our posts. He told me he couldn't figure why he was scared of her, too. I was flabbergasted! He used the same words. Terrorized, almost a feral fear. We've spent hours talking about this. I thought I was over reacting because he tends to brush these attacks off. We remembered 2 instances where she put this fear into two of his sisters in law. One "had" (begged really) Dan come up and waited with her until Dan's brother came home.

Now he's thinking .... What is it she does that terrorizes him? I can't come up with the right Q, but I'll bet you can. Your last one was great and opened up a new "something" that has been ok. Just talk.

Not funny, but she is 300 miles away and 80 years old. Some power we give her.

Hi Steve and Jay. B and David, too if you are about.

Take care and Love and hugs and pats on the back,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Whoops Astrid, I didn't forget you, I meant to add that the garlic works! Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Astrid,

Doo, doo, doo, doo. We were posting together. Thanks for the good vibes. I was floored at Dan because I thought I was over reacting and he felt the same way. Amazed me because he used to try and convince me that I was nuts.

I learned late in life to trust the gut feeling because I was usually right.

Hate that about your therapist trying to subject her thoughts on you. Dan just told me that our old one used to do that to him. That's his story and I'll let him tell it if he wants.

Agree totally about insulin. I too have seen medical misuse of meds. The Dr. who took out my gall bladder wouldn't give me pill. He didn't believe in them. A few years later he had his license taken away because he was taking drugs. Prescription. So he either knew the dangers or he saved them for himself.

That is the nice thing about the web. I mean here and the support. Dan and I have truly done more and gone further with Dr. Irene and you here (Trubble, too) that we got in all our years of therapy. Had a few slips, but heh. Just practice runs. Thanks Doc. Glad we could be around at the right time.

Yep Astrid, I'm ok and glad to have these feelings validated. I probably have a real reason to feel fear. Getting it down helped defuse it. That doesn't mean I'll let down my guard.

Love and Hugs and Pleasant dreams,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and the rest of the family,

Here I am going against the new therapist's wishes by posting.

I am going to go to this lady as I think that she may help me work out some issues from my childhood, but wanted everyone here to know that I will think of you because I believe that we are family.

Asha, as far as I know, there wasn't an investigation into my sister's death, but then I was just the brother so why would I be told anything.

Garlic for Vampires is just a Hollywood myth, you have to spread the oil around the doorway to keep them out, cloves of them doesn't work, so you're safe.

Steve, You are right about our parents which is good in a way because though we had different upbringing, I think that we both have more or less the same problems. I do believe that even though you are not with your children 24hrs a day physically, you are still with them. I also think that the time you spend with them is as important to them as it is to you. You and Asha can lead by example and whatever damage to them by your ex, will be countered. I wish you the best.

The one thing that I have noticed with you and I is that somehow we are able to push each others buttons, I don't know if that's good or bad but at least we're doing something. I am going to try to follow my own advice.:)

Wry grin

Dan (the jerk)

Becky, please take care and work on self. Remember "I am Woman."

Astrid, I'm still wishing for some of that wise thinking which you possess.

AJ, Best of luck to you and C

Jay, Your thoughts and posts have really been enlightening, keep up the good work.

Theressa, Don't let your sister deter you from what you feel and know what is right. Keeep working on being unlonely.

Trubble, I'm glad your back and the next time that an Egyptologist offers you SALMON, remember us.

Dr Irene,

I want to thank you for this site and your comments, even the ones which seemed to reprimand, they all have helped and I appreciate them. Thank you Dan. I'm real glad you found someone you want to work with. Good stuff!  

To All,

I fully support Lynn's decision with this new therapist and I am very proud of her for telling me and also for not going just to show support for me. 

I will think of you and who knows I just may peek in to see how everyone is doing:) Especially *Me* Daddy Dan!

In the words of a famous general "I Shall Return."

Hugs

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Jay,

I'm so sorry, I called you AJ in my post. That doesn't mean I'm not concerned about your daughter, I hope things are going ok for you and I will try and keep you straight.

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box on the Family of Origin Stuff,

I found it! On Dr. Irene's site index page about 10 down there is a page called Family of origin stuff with some great references. You might be interested in checking it out. 

Thinking of you,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear all. A weird day with some relevance to Lyn and Dan. But first, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, ASTRID.

I got a paid email from Dr Irene to share with my therapist and then found there was a cheaper one who knows about verbal abuse. Realised I had booked both and forgotten to cancel one! So I thought as I would lose money, I would compare both. Both interested in Dr Irene, but neither wanted to look at the email. First therapist ignored it, but she did go along the same track. I just didn't realise how I was repeating what happened with my Father with my husband. But now I think about it it is true.

my father was very controlling and would belittle me for what I thought or believed in and guess who else does that! Replaying the old rejection tape. Except somehow it got from the rejected feelings to where I ended up in hospital at about 15 in a psychiatric ward as I got so wound up by my father's continual shouting I lost it and screamed. I didn't stay long as the minute the psychologist saw me he wanted to discharge me and told me I was normal, but my parents weren't. On the way home I said something my parents didn't like and they both turned on me and said I 'hadn't changed!' Yuk.

And when I cried as my best friend was leaving I was told not to be so stupid.

The thing is until today I have felt angry but never defined my feelings. The therapist got me to do that. Fear, anger, confusion etc. :)

Taking it into where I felt rejected first by my husband. He was playing his guitar and ignoring me and I felt an overwhelming need to make him hear and couldn't leave him alone. He carried on playing and I got angry.

I guess the rejection tape has been playing in my head all these years. Anyway the end result of this was feeling the rejection led to an assumption I wasn't OK which led to I must be mad to I should die. Scary. But I suppose it explains why I felt I had to fight back verbally all these years. 

Therapist 2 was much more interested in Dr. Irene but she preferred me to talk and the same thing happened....You haven't said much about you. How did you feel...

I feel guilty for having feelings. As if all my life I should have coped a lot better. I really do find it hard to say how I feel as opposed to what happened. 

I will have to go with therapist 2 as she is cheapest. Both were good.

But I still think, Lyn and Dan, that Dr Irene's email was the most useful thing all week. I hope the therapy works out for you Dan. I think we have to go and grab whatever we feel suits us best at the time.

My daughter left again which is so sad. I just hope and pray she has such a rotten time where she is she wants to come back in the morning. I did handle things well with her today but needless to say, love problems upset the apple cart again and she got out of sorts with us all. I think she will be o.k . Just needed space again. We've been close for the last 5 days and that has been precious. I don't think that will stop, just she got herself in a state.

I could have done without the usual lack of support from my husband. He said this evening he has looked at this site and apparently I lie!!!! He has a different perception of the world than you do. Sad choice of words though.  I feel so angry with him at the moment. For the first time today I thought "I want to end this marriage." if he showed one bit of desire to look at himself it might be worth staying but I wonder if I am deluded thinking that would ever happen. You never know what would happen - if you were to leave...

Also apparently "surprising people have been saying things about me...but he won't tell me who??? and then said he retracted that statement as he was lying........Talk about verbally abusive. Yuk. Actually, I can't think of anyone who would have said things I don't know about. I just think my husband has turned into one very sad human. I hope one day he gets help........ Maybe he'll join us one day. I hope he knows he's welcome.

If he looked at the catbox maybe he got the wrong person...Now if that came out in therapy that could be very amusing,

Just now talking of feelings I feel used and abused. Had a scary few moments when I thought I might be getting ill again but then I sort of cried it all out and I don't think that is what is going to happen. You get ill when you deny feelings. You have lots of stuff to feel, and lots of it is sad. Like feeling used and abused. Glad you found a comfortable therapist.

Oh yeah, we have both been cleaning the loo! I thought it wasn't being done and my son commented he thought we had a new loo in the utility room......Wonder who is cleaning it first!

Dr. Irene. I just think that today I was upset about my daughter and it was all too near the surface not to let the buttons get pushed. Hey, who can blame you! To be frank I am glad I shouted. He deserved it. Maybe he did...  (O.k. I know the answer really).

Gosh I hope those out there are having a better time. love to you all. Jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

Dear Jay,

Lynn here. Thanks. So funny about the new therapist. I just didn't like the narrow mind. I told her that when I called to cancel me. Then she suggested I might like to come and see her alone. Does that mean I can stay in the Cat Box? Sorry I didn't ask. I wish she'd just give it a chance. Other than that I really liked her. I hope yours works out. I don't want to mess with your therapy Lynn. Many therapists don't want a mix of treatments. What if we were to strike a compromise: Ask her if she is OK with your posting with your Catbox buddies while I refrain from commenting.

I'm so sorry about your H. Speaking of narrow minded. I guess change is scary. Even for the better.

We (I say we because I was involved in a lot of this) had lots of problems with Dan's daughter. Long story, aren't they all? but Dan called her the other night to wish his granddaughter Happy Birthday and they talked for quite a while. She even exchanged email addresses. She's now about 28 and it's been a long 11 years, but maybe she finally has it together. I hope so.

If you can, try and talk to your daughter. Tell her how you feel. If you can't that's ok, too. She might be willing to talk to you. Or better yet, email her. This is amazing.

Dan's daughter was always trying to commit suicide. She tried it so many times (not seriously) that we were getting bored with the routine. The thing that scared me was that I was afraid she was going to accidentally going to pull it off. She moved and has a good Dr. now and we hope and pray things are better.

I wish I could tell you tomorrow will be better. I can't guarantee it, but I do think you are headed in the right direction.

Lots of love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Lynn

I'm no expert but if she evokes that kind of terror in you I would think she is capable of some extremely severe damage - I think I would trust your instincts on that one. When the body says 'danger', as yours was doing, I think there is a valid reason for that.

If you, an adult, feel this way, imagine how a powerless child would have felt. Meowwww!

If life threatening abuse (like dunking the babies to get them to stop crying in the bath) occurred when Dan and his siblings were children, the terror would be deeply engrained.

A comparison: My dog was about 8 years old when my friend first got her dog - a 6 week old pup. My dog was the 'alpha' and the puppy knew it. The puppy grew into a very large muscular boxer and is dog-agressive. My dog is border collie sized (smallish). However, this tough, dog-agressive dog still treats my dog as the alpha because it still sees him through those puppy eyes. It makes perfect sense to me how terrified children become terrified adults.

In fact (I don't know if this is true) I've heard the same thing about elephants, that as tiny elephants if they are tied to a tiny tree, then they won't realize as adults that they are capable of pulling away from the same sized tree when they are older. The tree still has power over them.

Also, it's as if Dan's mom can't accept her abusive side so she buries it - thus the lies and the expectation that everyone should go along with those lies. Her children were probably very well trained. You wisdom is showing...

A close male friend of mine had a very abusive mother, but his mom kept the children because she wanted the support payments. His dad was a little better than his mom (although he eventually committed suicide) and the kids would run away to their dad (they were separated) but the court system would continually send them back to their mom. My friend was sexually abused by his mother, strapped into a chair because he was too active, and locked in a closet while she went to sleep. I'm sure there were even worse things that happened, but that's as much as he could share. I think the sexual abuse was the hardest because he didn't feel he could share it with anyone. It was as if he felt that men shouldn't feel bad about something like that.

((((Lynn & Dan)))) I hope you're doing okay with all this.

Dan - Now I understand about the garlic. Mystery solved.

Steve is away, so don't be slighted by his delayed response. ;)

I think you should just forget what the therapist told you about not posting here. We're just a bunch of friends chatting. What she doesn't know won't hurt her. On the other hand if you feel you need a break from the board to deal with some things privately, I understand that too. First see how she feels about your posting without my comments. Humor only!

Jay - my thoughts are with you. Hope things get better.

love to all

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Dear Lyn, Thanks for the support and for sharing about Dan's daughter. Unfortunately, the one thing my daughter won't do is talk about what is bugging her. I have a suspicion that she has become deluded about one particular thing she accused me of that just didn't happen. No word about her yet this morning, but at least she is not on the streets. I'm just praying she hates where she is now. But given the way my husband has been over the last few days she is better off out of it. here is a pattern to all this. She will probably say she won't see me for a few days and then have a 'crisis' and need to be in touch. Then we will get along until I refuse to be manipulated ..... She will be back as soon as this happens the other way around. She is refusing therapy and won't talk about the issues with me. Suffice it to say she was fine with me and just suddenly turned. Some of the damage was done outside the family we know. Think that and the marital difficulties we try to hide but are probably obvious is all too much for the poor kid combined with her complicated love life. Also, she will be back when she discovers that she can't use the phone non stop where she is! Ideally, you and your husband would get together and draw up a reinforcement plan that might help her...

I told my husband I wanted a separation and he told me he wasn't getting into my "petty squabbles." If only I had the money to leave. But he even cut the housekeeping so I am not able to do this. I am sure the next thing will be that he won't contribute to the enormous phone bill my daughter ran up.

I think you should give the therapist a really wide berth. Why does she want to take you away from what is helping? If she is there for only a few hours a week why does she think that she should take your support system away? Sounds controlling to me. Many therapists tend to take on an all-knowing position, and the "control" is a necessary part of the way they conduct treatment. That is in contrast to more behaviorally-oriented therapists who tend to view themselves more as teachers and consultants. Just different styles and approaches, but, all roads lead to Rome. 

Maybe I am just reflecting my own need for the catbox. Still feeling battered, but a lot stronger. going back to bed for a bit as I hardly slept last night. Think I am going to have to get the sleeping pill prescription I have been sitting on - blow. I was proud of not needing it.

Asha, thanks for your kind messages.

Becky - thinking of you a lot.

Dr. Irene - I want to sleep before deciding if I am depressed. So please don't tell me this yet!!! I will go to the doctor if I still feel ropey when I wake up. Yes I do have the medication and yes I take it. Ooooppps on me! She's mad! Me thinks I have been stepping on people's feet with the depression thing! Sorry, and I promise to try to tread more lightly! 

Everyone else, lots of love. Hope you all have a good day. See? I don't fall under the "lots of love and have a good day" umbrella! Giggle!

love, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Hi All,

Thanks Lyn and Dan for your encouragement and pats on the back!!

I am reading a book Dr Irene recommended called Emotional Blackmail - Fear, obligation and guilt. MAYBE this will help? I have only just started it.

Last night well my ex came around as usual to see our daughter. I have been so busy and so focused in other areas of my life that my house work has fallen behind. The pots have not been done. (OH BOY CALL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DEPT!!! LOL) Giggle! , I rinse my pots after use and place them in a bowl of hot soapy water so NO I don't think its unhygienic, Maybe a little untidy perhaps? Maybe annoying when your down to the last couple of cups maybe? But not unhygienic.

Anyway my ex comment on them. I said "URRMMM" I turned on the tap but got side tracked and the bowl over flowed so all the hot water was wasted. OH BOY never mind these things do happen.

Anyway next my daughter was answering back. [She has been answerback far too much lately. It's getting me down, she called me fat, fat, stupid, smelling mom in the shop when I said "NO, you can't eat crisps now its late; you'll get sick when you go to bed.] She answered back her daddy when he told her to stop rushing about as it was getting late.  Ouchhh!

He sent her to get her pajamas on and she yelled and yelled, he told her if she continued to yell she'd be off to bed. Anyway she came in the front room with a different top and different bottoms to her pajamas. My ex blew. He said "Look get them changed your being very naughty".

When our daughter left the room I said "God its not a big deal if she wears different bottoms than the top." He said "It does on principle, its disciplined to wear the right things with the right things." I said "I'd call it making a big deal out of a small thing." He said "Yeah you would, well I'll tell my daughter to be disciplined RIGHT".

Then if all else wasn't enough he commented about her vest. Why on earth do you wear a vest for bed? [she always has, urgh???] our daughter stood puzzled. I said "She has always worn a vest for bed all her life, it keeps her warm". He said "Warm, it isn't so cold." [Who is he trying to kid this is the UK, not California.] Well our daughter looked at me and took off the vest.

What else could possibly happen? Anything with him!!!! I went in the kitchen to cool off, I made myself some crumpets. (You toast them.) Anyway as I had finished cooking them, my daughter came in and said "Mommy I am still hungry, I know I had my dinner at nan's but can I have some thing else to eat?" I said "Okay, I suppose so, go ask your dad." He said "Yeah thanks." When I toasted them, he said "Yeah, you're selfish aren't you? You didn't offer in the first place. And you give me only one." I said "Yeah, that is right, there are only two left and our daughter needs one." He said "OH so you never wanted to give me one anyway, did you?" I said "whatever you say." Good for you for not engaging.

My ex was reading a car magazine, our daughter said "Daddy which is your car?" He said "I've had enough of you prats." Then he said "I thought you wanted to watch xxxxx" I said "Its not on." He said "Really, so you've put it on this side, I've had enough." I said "Well you know what to do if you don't want to be with two prats don't you." He looked at me and then he got up off the sofa and said to our daughter I am off, give us a cuddle, I'll pick you up on Sunday to come out with me, I am not sticking around here. Our daughter cried and said mommy you shouldn't have said anything. I said "Its your father's choice if he goes, I am not having him taking his moods out on me." Good. Uh, what's a "prat?"

With that he slammed the front door and off he went.

I explained to our daughter. She said "Mommy oh why did you have to shout at him, he has gone now." I said "Little darling, it's not your fault he is in a bad mood, but I won't allow him to be nasty to you. he has gone because he wanted to, he is in a bad mood and he is a big person and so he can chose to stay or go. He is being silly and so its not your fault. He loves you lots but he is being silly. I love you lots to and this is not your fault it is his fault." Excellent.

Then I read her a nice story and cuddled her and she went to sleep.

So I guess he might not be back. Who knows???

I am just so fed up of him telling me how unworthy I am, so if he thinks so maybe he should hang out some where else. I don't need this BS when I get in from work. No. You do not.

SO yes Dan I'll have to get used to being alone!!!! I can read and relax and watch TV, OH boy will I have any free time. LOL  Good stuff!

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Hi All,

As you know from my last post of this morning (UK time) last night was undesirable, however, I just gained some new insight and I'd like your views:

I put the crumpets on to toast for myself. I was very hungry and didn't want to have to make everyone else's first, or to have mine go cold. My ex had had his evening meal at his home and my daughter had had her meal at my mom's house. I had had no evening meal up to this point. Therefore, I resented waiting for mine or it going cold to make them some crumpets.

Is this selfish? I mean why should I wait to get my meal and end up feeling hungry and resentful?

Am I being selfish? NO! Eat your dinner and tell them as soon as you're finished, you'll make them their snack.

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa

Of course you are not being selfish. I think that where you go wrong is doubting yourself on this, and putting others feelings before yours - as I have often done. 

I think you have enough to deal with without the evening visits from your ex. I don't think he will change unless you take a stand. Why not tell him that the evening visits at your place aren't working out and that if he wants to see daughter, he can take her out somewhere. And if he threatens to never come back then all the better, the way he's behaving. I don't think you are really seeing on a deep level how his visits and your interactions with him are harmful. Your daughter won't learn to have boundaries unless you demonstrate healthy boundaries yourself. She's already learning to adapt to unhealthy behavior with the vest incident. You haven't accepted that he's not going to change as long as you keep accepting the behavior.

Good luck and good wishes Theressa

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa. I thought you handled the situation with your husband well and also your daughter. Not selfish to have the crumpets if they all had had food already.

I've now had to say my daughter can't come into the house at all. She got violent again. It really hurts, but I think I have to keep sending the message that this is not O.K. Yes. My son appears relieved she has gone and we were both frightened. We couldn't even get out of her way. No way am I exposing my son to this ever again. Good. My daughter can come home as and when she agrees to have some proper therapy and to discuss her issues with me. Even better: She can come home as long as she behaves appropriately. Don't make the rest of the stuff a control battle. We do have family guidance booked, but she refuses to attend. Her choice. Don't force it on her. The bottom line is that you want her to treat family members OK.

I really appreciate love and prayers for this. Things won't change overnight, but I do know this isn't the first time I have had to go down this road. It is quite likely I will be telling a different story in a few weeks after my daughter has had to be on her own. I just can't not protect the younger child, hard though that is on me. Correct. If your daughter is old enough to decide where she will live, she is old enough to be responsible for her mis-behavior.

The weird thing is, I feel much stronger if still tired today. Maybe it is because now she is legally old enough to leave home - I know I can't do anything anyway. Yes. I do think our son deserves a better deal than he has been getting, as she literally controlled us all. Yes. I did ask my daughter if she thought I was too controlling of her; but she said she didn't know and would have to think about it.

At present, she is in an awful mood so it is best not to get into contact as long as I know she is safe. The temptation for me is that as soon as anything happens I go into 'rescue mode.' I am sure I need to leave her to find out what the world is like for a bit. Feels like being torn apart inside, though. It can be very hard being a mom. Ask yourself if you are enabling her misbehavior though. If you do decide to pull the plug, warn her first.

I have been trying to work out what made my daughter turn. I still don't think it was directly me. No. The whole family situation and her biology...  It happened after a phone call someone else who was refusing to give in to her. I was consciously not engaging.

This time I will not get depressed. Good! I realised half my problem is I have stopped making my own life. Time, even with a broken heart to rejoin the real world again. Yes! To take care of the Self - otherwise there will be no mommy to take care of them!

I am beginning to feel as if my life is filled with doctors and therapists. One thing one or other of them pointed out yesterday was I spend so long worrying about everyone else YES!!! I don't leave time for me. That I need support. Going right back to my childhood I have always had to look like I was self sufficient and coping. I don't know why I find that it is so hard to admit I can't. I think I feel as if I will be labeled a failure if I do. You need to stop thinking of yourself as a failure. Then you won't care what others think. When I mess up or need help, I think nothing of it - other than I need help or what can I learn from messing up... 

Which is stupid as I would be saying the rest of the world is stupid if I buy into this. This is a passing if painful phase. Good. If I am still stuck in it a year from now, I have been barking up the wrong tree. (Do you have that expression in the U.S; one for Trubble. Meow. That one we understood. But, we're still not sure what a crumpet is other than they eat them in fairy tales. )

I've decided this also applies to my husband. He is showing no commitment to the marriage in terms of sorting the issues out. I am doing my bit and there is therapy to come for both of us. Meantime I am just going to find out what I like doing as me. Yes! I WILL HAVE A LIFE. Yippeee! Now she's got it! I think for a long time I've bought into a belief that if someone causes me pain I have no right to enjoy any part of my life. Yukky belief. Dump it! Back again into the childhood; I'm sure guilt comes into it somewhere, but I don't know where. Maybe I don't need to know. You don't; you do need to stop it. But, I've got a guess about the guilt: that you don't deserve to enjoy...

Sorry going on a lot lately, I will try to be more cheerful next time I post! Jay Jay, I thought this was a GREAT post!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Dear Theresa, Sorry to hear about your problems with your sister. You asked for some input. I think you have every right to feel frustrated, but the question is, does it make you feel better? As Lynn pointed out, there's not much you can do now. But maybe you could put a very firm boundary and tell her you will not put up with this behaviour again, and you will just count her out if she will every do it again.

I do feel you might have some consideration for her now, cause she is in a tight place. You cannot hold her responsible for her husband loosing his job or for being ill. If you would vent your anger now, I think you might not feel good about it afterwards. Hope you will been able to work it out and have a nice party anyway.

As for your ex: if he wants to go, let him. You don't want him around anyway the way he is behaving and I think you are so much stronger and more ready to be alone and take care of yourself. You'll be fine without him, I am sure!!!

Dear Lynn and Dan, Lynn, good for you for deciding to let the spelling and grammar drop. I think I'll follow your example (mine was never any good to begin with, but your decision sort of sanctioned that :-)) .

I hope you will be able to get things sorted out with your new therapist. If not, still feel you two did the right thing. You both did what you felt was right and what you needed to do, without feeling offended or hurt by the other's decisions. Could you have thought of something like that a couple of months ago? It's great to see things going so well for you, gives me courage again. Dan, I do hope you will be able to pop in now and then and if not I do hope Lynn will keep us posted on how you are doing (which I am sure she will actually :-)). Thanks for you support and kind words and lots of love and good wishes for you.

Dear Ahsa, I have been thinking about what you said about trusting. I felt very yukkie all week about my feeling angry for things that didn't even happen and feeling so irritated for not knowing what he was doing. I just felt I was falling into old behaviour so soon after meeting with him again and I didn't understand the feeling. Then I realized there is a definite link between my distrust and uncomfartability and a need to control. I feel insecure about any situation I feel I have no control over and that's makes me automatically distrust it!!! Excellent observation. Wrong link. Now that I have identified it I feel so much better, like I can be in control of me, and let go of needing to be in control of him. Yippeeee! It's not something I did consciously Irrational, automatic thoughts are not conscious; if they were, you'd see they don't make sense. That's why you want to become aware of them. , but I do think I did it a lot :-( :-(. Hope that identifying it will help me control this feeling. By the way, I never said anything angry about it to him, just my own feelings, no acting out. That should make you feel proud of yourself! Does it?

Dear Steve, in one of your post you said you were mad at your parents for getting on so well with your ex, as you felt they were enabling her in punishing you. I have a lot of contact with C's mother, she's a great friend and a lot of help and she says talking helps her too. (she doesn't live here, so it's just talking on the phone). I asked C. once whether he felt threatened by my talking to his mother much, he says no, that's your business, but I am not sure. Especially after reading your post. What do you think? I don't believe him, though he may not be aware of how he really feels... Something else, I think it's great that you can write how happy you are that Asha (AK) stopped enabling you, though you felt bad first. I think it will help an lot of people to see that you can feel that after being mad at her about the same thing. Great stuff. You bet!

Dear Jay, I posted earlier about your daughter, but the post got lost. I am glad you feel you are more or less on track there now. You said you asked H. for a separation, but can't get out for financial reasons. I wonder, is there any possibility that you could get help from friends or family. If you can get a formal separation he will have to help out financially after that anyway won't he? So it would just be for some time. Hope you will find some help if you really decided you want out. Good luck.

Trubble, you lazy cat, you just took a holiday, so get to work, or else no SALMON!! Yeah. He's just getting canned tuna these days. He's been a bad cat.

Lots of love to everybody and thank you all for just being there.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Good Morning all you wonderful people. Steve is gone? Is he out flying with Trubble? Trubble's only flown with you Lynn so far. Beware of the Egyptians.

Theressa, Your post go me so angry at your ex that I'm shaking. I think he's taking advantage of you and your daughter. As for the dishes in the sink, let him wash them if he's going to continue to eat there, which I also don't think is too healthy for you. Sounds like he has it ALL.

I have to tell you a cute story about Dan's DD (developmentally disabled) brother. His mother buys clothes from thrift stores (that's ok), We gave him a new pair of pj's for Christmas one year and he opened the package and said, "Look ma! they match!" But the moral of the story, If she doesn't care, why would she. If she likes red tops with orange bottoms and a purple vest, that's how she will determine how it is in the adult world when she HAS to dress. As for the vest, if it gives her comfort, let her decide if she wants it or not.

I say be selfish. Take care of your needs first, then your daughter's. Yep. He has no business controlling you and I don't think I'd let him anymore. I feel it would be much healthier if you split. She will learn and adjust and then she won't be thinking mommy and daddy are a couple. Mommy and daddy aren't! Mommy and daddy both love her, but not each other any more. I'm really venting and getting hot. I really think you are giving her mixed messages and that he is abusing and controlling you because you have a daughter. I wonder if he'd be around as much if you didn't allow him at your place? I'd bet not. She'll adjust to that, too. That would say a lot about his character. I better slow down. I'm doing a slow burn. Take charge and take care of your daughter the best you can. Allow her to be herself and you, too. I really think he's abusing both of you. He's manipulating her feelings. That's abuse in my book.

Jay, I didn't mean get her to tell you about her problems. I meant tell her about your concerns and why. Reassure her you love her. Tell her that you are worried about her. Then somewhere somehow reassure her that you know she is a good girl and you trust her to make the best decisions she can for her own benefit. Maybe even admit where you feel you made mistakes. But not this last one before she can take some responsibility otherwise she might use it to dump responsibility on you.

I'm with you on the sleep. If I don't sleep everything gets distorted. If I get a goods nights rest then I can "rationally" think out the next day and my next moves. PS dare you ask your daughter about the pill? My daughter would probably kill me for telling this, but she had a friend who was a legal foster daughter to my late H and I. They both had steady boyfriends. I talked to them and told them that I loved them both, but understood "those feelings" and thought I would like them protected "just in case." I expected them to use good judgment and didn't feel this meant they were free to "screw around," but in case.... I wanted them protected. I took them both to a doctor and he put them both on the pill. It worked for us. (H knew)

Good luck, too. Sheesh, ain't it tough? Can you get a legal separation and some $$$. I would think maybe you might need to look into this.

As for the new therapist, she's really a neat lady about 60 some. She asked some great Q's and I feel she really has quite a lot to give. Great! So you do like her! I just don't think she understood this site and I did try to explain it to her. I only wish she would have peeked and given Dr. Irene a chance. Then if she felt it would have interfered with her therapy, I would have given her a chance. I'm not totally against her either. In fact she did something there that was so beautifully human that I loved her all the more, yet I didn't accept the I didn't look and so you can't play anymore. I told her this and why. Maybe if I don't go and Dan does well she won't be able to resist a peek. Dan has come a long way in the last couple of days towards dealing with his sisters death. He may get across to her why and how this came about. If not, it's her loss, because I think she would work compatibly with Dr. Irene. I couldn't have gone and cheated either. 

Dr. Irene, if it sounds like I am on my soapbox here, well, I am. I know you don't need me to defend you. I just don't feel you were given a chance to defend yourself and that's what I find unacceptable. Defend what? It's my broomstick here and I stand by my decision. I love you and what you are doing and I'll never be able to thank you enough unless I can find a way to get a lifetime supply of salmon to that trubblesome cat. Giggle! Truly, I appreciate everything more than I am able to express. I know that Lynn. I've often said that the satisfaction of being able to positively affect people's lives is the greatest gift I could possibly be given. And you and Dan have given me that gift. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  But there comes a time when it is OK to let go and when that time comes for any of you, for any reason, I will support you. No ties; no strings. OK? 

Asha, Ah! Dan's mom and my terror. He admitted he felt the same way and except for the fear of what she would do to us, he was elated that I said she wasn't allowed in MY home. When he called and told her her only comment was, "Well, you'll never see DD brother again." Then she hung up on Dan and then tried to get Dan's legal guardianship changed. Most of the family wrote a letter to her lawyer and to ours. One of the sisters in law said it would be great if her lawyer would show her the letters and see how we all really felt about her.

Truly, kinda backed off, I think she is a very mentally disturbed human. If she weren't up my nose half the time I could feel so sorry for her. I have come to her defense numerous times and even was genuinely worried abut her reaction when we found out about Dan's half brother and his dad's bigamous marriage. I thought she had kept this secret so well that she might have a heart attack when she heard. I wanted to soften the blow and have it done tactful. I underestimated her. Dan called her and gently told her and quick as a wink she replied, "Gee, Daddy never told me." Daddy did, by the way. They have letters from her telling the dirty sob to get his tushie home. That's how the other wife's dad found out and ran Dan's dad out of the state.

Dan and Lynn should be honeymooning here, but the dog won't let us. Our borderline collie doesn't want Dan near me. If we are ever going to resume a normal relationship I think we are going to have to rent a room elsewhere.

Becky, I hope things are well with you. Is it time to get your H here? I think so... I'm using Steve as an example here. Dan, too. Both have really made an effort, haven't they? That's all I can ask of Dan.

Astrid, I'm glad you posted to David. I never meant to push his buttons. I just felt that we are all guilty of some of those and they should be corrected from both sides. I never meant that Dan had to follow the rules and then I went on the way I was. Fix ourselves first.

Trubble, Trick or Trout time, or did you eat your costume yet? Have a Happy Halloween week and drop by and I'll bet LOCO will share his salmon and tuna Pounce.

Love to the rest and I'll check in tonight.

Love, Laughter and no more tears,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Dear AJ and Jay,

We must have all been posting together. Dear Jay, you will have a life. You deserve it and remember, you did the best you could. (((HUGS)))

AJ, Hi, and thanks, Glad to hear from you. Things always seem to be toughest around holidays, but Halloween? One optimistic point. We are getting close to a new year and things do seem to be looking up, don't they? Stay strong and keep up the good work.

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Dear Jay

<<Going right back to my childhood I have always had to look like I was self sufficient and coping. I don't know why I find that it is so hard to admit I can't. I think I feel as if I will be labeled a failure if I do.>>

I understand this. I think it has something to do with the labels people used to put on people who were getting psychiatric or other help. I had a friend in high school go to a psychiatrist and she felt worse about herself (he wasn't a very good one - made her act out or mime things that were going on, and she was really, really shy). She felt that because she was going to a shrink, she must be really awful. I wish that we could all see seeking support and help as a positive step. Hopefully this is beginning to change, as we realize that these struggles are all part of the human condition.

Also, about your daughter... Stephen Covey (7 habits of Highly Effective Families) talks about treating others for their potential. I've mentioned this before. Treat your daughter as you would a strong, capable, healthy person and not like a weak mixed up girl and I'm sure she will feel the difference. There is strength in her, and I think you are best to support that strength and not to focus on the unhealthy stuff she does. It's sort of the same concept about 'fixing'. See her for what you know she could be.

Don't worry about being cheerful. Sometimes we're just not.

my love and prayers to you

Dear AJ - I'm glad you pinpointed some of your feelings. I think awareness is the first step, then figuring out how to re-program reactions.

Hello everyone else. Gotta run.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Good night time Cat Box,

Lynn here with no comments. Just venting. I had a thought a couple of hours ago and I asked Dan if he remembered so I was sure of my "facts." On boundaries, our old therapist told us that she thought Dan's were totally enmeshed with mine. She felt I had "walls" rather than boundaries. This was a couple of years ago, so I'm, trying to get my feelings back, but I think if anything I thought she meant I had to loosen up a bit. I think she was probably saying that you needed to be less defensive. Boundaries and walls are different. Boundaries take care of the Self. Walls don't.

My second thought on this. If Dan was invading my boundaries wouldn't it be natural to get them a little firmer rather than let them down? Both of you need to firm your boundaries.

Just doing some thinking aloud here. There is enough fog out there tonight to make me think I've been transported overseas. Hope it's clear there ....

Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs in or Trubble will try to eat them. And yes, barking up the wrong tree is used here, too.

Asha, if you are near, OK means Oklahoma rather than okey dokey. Sorry about that.

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000

S1

Dear Astrid,

Are you out there? Think of us and send us a sign .... :) Hope all is well.

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Hi All,

Thanks for the support!!!

First off though my ex doesn't sleep at my house EVER!!! He does bath here or dress here!! He doesn't live here!!! He doesn't choose what TV channels we watch!!! He doesn't eat here most nights!! I may offer him a sandwich or perhaps some crumpets once in a while but his evening meal he has at his own place!!!! I treat him like any other visitor, I'd make a cuppa for anyone visiting and I'd maybe make them a sandwich!!!

Though I do understand that allowing him to behave this way is a NO NO!!! This is why I said the other night "You don't have to put up with two prats".

I am gonna if he says ever again I'll be around in the week say this is not a good idea. It is obvious we have different values as far as parenting is concerned. I believe that my daughter is playing up because she is hurt and he is hurting her more. Further I believe it the uncertainty and instability that she is fighting when she answers back and has tantrums.

Thanks for listening. Last night I was alone but didn't feel lonely, I read some and watched TV and had a long soak in the bath. YIPPPEE!! Theressa Yipppeeee!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Dear all. I just glanced at where Lynn says she will clean her own cat boxes. This about sums it up for me. I will clean my own metaphorical cat boxes too. Yippeee!

The final straw was my husband admitting he has looked at this site and I lie. He has denied he would ever look at it. So who lies?!! He now says he looked at it once and never again.....Well dear husband, Hi. Hope you enjoy the catbox!!!!!!!! I think. Oh well, his problem if he can't tell the truth. Hi "husband". Join us please! Dr. I.

My daughter is safe and well and not too far away. I realized the best thing I can do at present is say I won't see her until she will sit down with me and a counselor to discuss why she is so angry at me. I hope this happens soon. That sounds very good.

AJ I thought about what you said about strengths. The puzzling thing for me is that I have always emphasized these and we have a very close relationship when she is o.k with me. She is on the pill and she had no problem telling me or about drugs or boyfriends. But then she gets these very angry moods with me. I wonder if she is angry with me for not being able to handle her anger. I wonder if she suffers from bipolar disorder...  I realised I get so scared by other people's anger that I retreat into victim mode and I literally freeze into place and let her hurt me. I do walk away, but she follows. Sometimes I wonder if she is just angry at me for not being whatever it is she wants from a mother. Or for having been ill. or maybe we are too close and she gets into a knot trying to individuate. I must have got it wrong with her somewhere. I know she doesn't realise the extent of the way her Father treats me as I try not to let the kids see it. They do. That's where she learned to treat you poorly. When you look for what you did, I keep going to family dynamics. Seeing daddy treat you poorly and beat you down will hurt her. Then you are too sick to be there for her and she is at powerful dad's mercy. I think the family situation has contributed more than you realize. She watched abuse. She saw who "won" and who "lost." 

But when I was ill it was very hard to hide this. You can't. There are things about her past I would rather not share here which she would have anger at me for. She appears to think I did something terrible when I was ill but will not say exactly what to anyone. Nothing ties up and I just long for the day we can get to the bottom of this. I may have to let her turn full circle before she finds she needs me again, but I think that there was enough good stuff between us to bring her back again. At the moment she is so enmeshed with a boy who is too young for her that I will need to wait for that to fizzle out. It is a bit too difficult to share the whole story of why she is so angry. It is not about you. Promise! But, she will blame you. And you have taken it. So stop turning over every stone, please. Stop looking for something you did! You were simply the "weak" one who took the blame. Do you see this?

Meanwhile I realised protecting my son means not just keeping him safe but that he needs a mum who has a life and takes care of herself. I am going to stand on my own two feet. Yippeeee!

I am writing out what I want from any relationship and if my husband won't read it it still stands. He is not going to bug me any more. I can't leave as I have no money and nor does my family or friends. His family have a lot of it. I will have the catbox clean the day I can let it all go and not feel bugged.

You know what, I realised he is always going to be thought of as o.k and me not o.k by some people. Doesn't matter. But God knows the truth of it and one day it will all come out. I am going to stop worrying about what I can't change. Now we're talking!

And something I am really sure about now is that my depression was linked to sleep. I am a whole new person today and I didn't need the Nitrazepan. I didn't cash the prescription!!! OK!

Theressa, I think you should read 'The Incredible Years' By Caroline -Webster Stratton. I think everyone with a young child should as it will help you feel confident in parenting your daughter. If you do decide to keep seeing your ex then even more to the point it might help him see where he is going wrong.

Asha thanks for the advice. thinking about it, my whole childhood was one long battle to be seen as normal. I wish the u.k was as healthy about therapists as the u.s. I've been thinking about redoing my psychology which I started and changed in my first degree when I have my life sorted out a bit more. That's a long way down the line though as I wouldn't do it until I am sure I am not doing it to sort out or address needs in my own life. Why not? If it helps you sort out your life, why isn't it OK?

I feel like my brain has returned from a long absence. I feel hopeful about the future. I feel confident I am on the right track. I feel sad about my daughter just now. But I also feel I have the strength to do what will best help her. I have had depressed thoughts today, but they went. I felt angry, and it was justified but then I took a walk and let the feelings go. I feel confident and secure with my son. Hey, I am feeling again. Sorry..... rambling.  Nope. We like this!

love to you all, Jay.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box and Trubble,

Great Day, I went back to bed this morning. I've been getting up too early. The 2 dogs and 3 of the cats were curled up with me and it felt wonderful. I've been working on cleaning the house, too. I think that comes with the depression. I had days where I couldn't have made the bed.

Dear Theressa, Would you have your daughters father over to visit and treat him as a guest if he weren't he father? I stick to my guns on this. I don't think you need him in your life and I think he is using your daughter to keep control of you. My ex told me if I left him he would never see me or the kids again. I told him OK, that was his choice. I haven't seen him over 5 times in the last 32 years. In the long run, it didn't hurt them either. They got to know him and don't like him so they have no contact. I saw no reason to have him in m life and without me, he wasn't interested in his kids.

Dear Jay, Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful to go back and get your degree or certificate and work on this type of therapy like Dr. Irene? Sounds wonderful and I hope you do it. You will have some great references.

About your daughter, it sounds to me like she is a very intelligent young girl and at the usual confused teen years. Honest, I had to older boys and then a daughter and I swore I would have found it easier to raise 10 more boys than her. Looking back this softens. I did the best I could and she turned out OK.

Funny about H peeking and then saying you lie. I hate the control because of money thing going in. What a shame. Are there any courses you can/could take on the internet? There are some here in the states. Might be a way for you to go until you can get on your feet.

Hi Asha, Steve, Becky, Astrid, AJ and I hope I didn't miss any. If I did I'll remember and repost.

Clean your own Cat Boxes, you can do it. I'm glad you are strong and don't despair if you slip. I'ts natural until we learn how not to fall back.

Love to you all and my prayers and hugs are with you. Lynn

I've been over in "Working it out" on the emails at this site and there area number of women posting there, too. I'm getting so I have to take notes or post to one at a time. (((HUGS))) Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Hello all.

I have been going through a rough patch and I'm trying to figure it out. I started to feel angry with Steve a couple of days ago, and since that point it feels like we're back into old patterns. Hey, you're going to slip! Expect it.

It has something to do with talking 'feelings' I think. It's as if when I talk about something that involves intense feelings - either unhappy (especially unhappy) or happy ones, it seems to me that Steve gets uncomfortable or disinterested with the conversation and wants to end it. Let him end it. I get the 'yukkies' over this, so I don't think it's all in my head. Probably not in your head, but, if he's not into it, let it go! No, I don't need to tell him every feeling I have - I know that some feelings are inappropriate to talk to him about. It's more than that. I don't want him to 'fix' my feelings - just to hear them out and acknowledge them. It would be nice if he did, but allow him not to. Why force him to do something he does not want to do? Another option is to write down your feelings and give him the note. He can look at it at his leisure. This may work better for him if your feelings are pressing buttons. He's also the type of guy who will take something in and think about it until he's ready to emerge. (And I don't mean feelings about 'fixing' him) It seems like we get back into the old 'you're making a big deal of this', or 'you're choosing to feel that way'. I don't feel as if they need to be seen as 'big' or 'small' just seen for what they are - a signal to look more closely at something. The 'choosing' is more to do with my reactions to them, they show up on a gut level, and when they show up that I want to embrace them, acknowledge them and decide what to do about them - if I 'choose' not to feel them, I am being dishonest to myself. No Asha. Feel your feelings. But, don't impose them... 

There is also an issue about 'how much' to talk about any given subject. Steve seems to feel sometimes that I've talked too much about a subject and sort of cuts me off, I feel. Obviously I don't want to drone on and on to someone who isn't interested, so it should be okay that he tells me he's had enough. But somehow I feel that I'm then putting the 'Steve' filter on again - e.g. is it okay to talk to him about this? Will it be appropriate to say such and such to him? etc. It just feels so controlled and not 'free and easy' - that's the only way I can describe it. I don't understand what this is about. My guess, and Steve will have to nix or nay me on this, is that when you talk about heavy stuff, it kicks in his sense of responsibility. He auto pilots into how he should do so and so for you which turns into his feeling pressured to being frustrated that he's feeling pressured.

I don't think that he or I have to be 100% fascinated in what the other has to say to be able to hear them out - maybe it's something to do with this. There was a point in our relationship when Steve would tell me that I was repeating myself, or that I was taking too long to explain things to him. (He hasn't done this for awhile.) I would get so frustrated because I absolutely couldn't communicate in the way he wanted me to - in short concise, well thought out phrasing. Perhaps I can write like that but I can't talk like that - that's just not how my brain works. Have you tried writing to him? 

There are still issues around compromise and Steve's kids. Steve is currently deciding whether or not his kids will see me on the weekend. This feels very yukky. Yes, I have some issues with Steve that aren't yet worked out, but we had talked over the last couple of weeks about having a family dinner, which I was looking forward to. It's as if when I'm feeling bad towards Steve, I get further punished about it through choices around his kids. (I know he doesn't see it that way.) Could it be that if you're not feeling good towards him, he picks up on the vibes and retreats? On the other hand, I do want Steve to be able to compromise and consider what both me and the kids want to do about weekend activities. If he doesn't feel like doing that, maybe it's best we are apart. Again, old unhealthy yukky stuff. I don't like it.

I suggested an activity for after dinner with the kids - carving pumpkins. Steve said he wouldn't find that very interesting so 'no go'.

More yukkies from me. Why not carving pumpkins *and* xxx....? What I really have resented in the past, is my suggestions being rejected and then all of us sitting around with nothing to do. Well, you don't have to sit around. Invite the kids to carve with you, or watch a movie with you, etc.

Steve is a spontaneous person, I like plans. But the spontaneity has been the rule of thumb and I don't want that anymore. I'm getting this feeling all over again, that I'm asking 'too much' of him. 

There is a certain 'loop' that Steve and I get into - maybe a negative vortex would describe it better - we seem to get stuck there, and neither of us know the way out. The only way out that I know is to get yourSelf out. He followed you out the last time...

There is another problem I'm having lately.

When I feel that there are unresolved issues, and we're in the 'negative vortex' I can't seem to communicate to Steve nicely. My anger comes out in *all* my communications with him, not just those related to the 'issues'. It comes out passive-aggressively in my tone of voice, and I become critical of everything he says to me. This is what I was hinting at above with the "vibes." Maybe I'm afraid to let go of the anger because I fear that the issues will get swept under the carpet. Maybe you're very angry! I guess I don't feel confident that they will be dealt with constructively at a future point. I know that my irritability is fear based, and that fear is probably based on denial of a problem, or not feeling that problem will be worked out to a level that I am satisfied with. Part of me feels selfish for 'needing' things to reach this level - but I think that's putting Steve's feelings above my own. Don't complicate things by feeling "selfish." Work instead on articulating what the anger is about. Write it down. Ask him to read it.

Time to have distance I guess, but it's a shame about not knowing whether my weekend will be spent with his kids or not. Leaves my plans up in the air. I know I could make other plans, but his kids would come first. Make plans. Otherwise, you are acting like the teenager sitting by the phone all weekend waiting for "him" to call. Maybe I'll just cook a turkey anyway and carve pumpkins by myself, if they're not coming over. Sure! I could invite a friend and then Steve can still decide whether he wants to come over with the kids or not. Yes! I hate for things to be this way. Just take care of Asha.

Thanks for letting me vent. Dr Irene - input? You got it. Let me know if the writing stuff down thing works.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Dear Asha,

Thanks for venting!! I'm so glad you did. It saves me a lot of venting myself. I think I would have written about the same text, apart from the kids-stuff, and of course your Steve filter has a different name here! I think this is about allowing oneself to belief in an outcome again of the two of you together and not wanting to blow that. It's so much easier to be You, if you think what the heck, if he's behaving like that I don't want him anyway. Then he starts changing and you start thinking, well, maybe there's a future for us. And then at some point you get into the old habit again of caring to much about what he may feel and to little about the Self, cause you are afraid to ruin things if you are yourSELF. Don't know about you, but that's sort of how it works for me.

It's such a rotten feeling when you think you've made quite some progress and then you feel like you stumble over all the old issues again as if nothing ever happened. As you said: it's time for detaching. I know it's hard to make plans when there's still a change that the things you wanted most of all might still happen. But I think your proposed solution is a good one: take care of you have a nice evening and if Steve wants to join in he's welcome. :)

It used to be the same here, running around in circles, no deciding, waiting for him to decide whether he wanted to come over or not, and not making any other plans just in case... I thought I had that under control (for myself), but seeing C. again makes me feel all back in that same place and I hate it. Maybe you should just think what you would want to do if he wouldn't be around and do that regardless. If he doesn't want to commit to coming over, it's his problem if you won't be there if he decides last minute he will.

This spontaneity versus planning is one of our biggest problems too. I do like spontaneity, as long as it's mine! :-) I hate his, cause it makes me feel insecure and out of control. Maybe you should check that out too. Does this have something to do with wanting to be in control for you also, or am I just projecting? Good hypothesis...

As for the unresolved issues and the connected anger, I try to solve that by not doing anything till I no exactly what it is I am angry about and by trying to gently explain to myself not everything can be solved at the same time (problem is I don't always listen to me :-)). Usually it does help me to cool it.

Hope these thoughts are of some help. It helped me at least to see my fears of falling back reflected in your story, and it gives me the courage to go trough regardless. I feel we can only solve these issues in the context of our relationships. It's not something we can do on our own. We'll get through, don't worry!!

Lots of love, hugs and good wishes to you and all the rest of the Catbox.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Thanks AJ

<<I think this is about allowing oneself to belief in an outcome again of the two of you together and not wanting to blow that.>>

Yes, it's also the feeling that I can't let my guard down yet.

<<you get into the old habit again of caring to much about what he may feel and to little about the Self, cause you are afraid to ruin things if you are yourSELF. Don't know about you, but that's sort of how it works for me.>>

Yes. I feel SELFish doing this. Check it out: does it make sense to feel selfish about taking care of your needs? Do you think anybody else should take care of your needs? But I don't want to go back to adapting to things that don't feel right to me. I don't mean that I won't compromise. Compromise feels fine. 'Giving in', or denying what I feel doesn't. And we can't compromise unless both of us are willing.

What's hard about not knowing about the weekend, is that we were making plans and keeping them, up until yesterday, so it surprised me in a way. Steve knows that if I suggest an activity or make a suggestion in front of the kids, and he rejects it, then, because that doesn't 'feel right' to me I will want to 'talk it out' more. I guess I would like to know if it's this 'talking it out' that makes him uncomfortable having me around his kids. Good guess. He may be concerned that the 'passive-aggressive' talk that I was engaging in, isn't good for them to hear Excellent guess. - I agree, and can commit to not doing this in front of them. The underlying issue for me is that if it felt like 'we' were deciding these things, it would be different, but I am uncomfortable that he has the final approval or disapproval on activities/suggestions etc. It's not what I want from family life. Well, then...

I think out of respect for myself, I will make plans. I'll make the turkey dinner (have to start thawing it now anyway, if we are going to have it at all), get some pumpkins to carve on my own, and Steve and the kids are welcome to come over, but leave it up to him to decide.

<<This spontaneity versus planning is one of our biggest problems too. I do like spontaneity, as long as it's mine! :-) I hate his, cause it makes me feel insecure and out of control. Maybe you should check that out too. Does this have something to do with wanting to be in control for you also, or am I just projecting? >>

Yes it does have to do with wanting some control, but not at anyone else's expense. I am a bit of a 'planner' - not excessively so. Plans can change, but I do like some structure. It's hard to get things done without it, I think. OK.

<<As for the unresolved issues and the connected anger, I try to solve that by not doing anything till I no exactly what it is I am angry about and by trying to gently explain to myself not everything can be solved at the same time (problem is I don't always listen to me :-)). Usually it does help me to cool it. >>

Yes, my anger started after a conversation with Steve when I felt he cut me off before I was finished. He gave me a hug and said he wouldn't let me leave mad (I had to go to a class), which was really nice, but I still felt funny about being cut off. Then later when he called and was talking about his day, I mentioned something that had frightened me that day - a piece of coal came seemingly out of nowhere and broke into bits on my kitchen floor - it had me freaked. Yikes! I know there was probably a rational explanation but when I shut out the lights I literally ran to my bed thinking about ghosts. Anyways it felt like he blew that off and went on to the next topic. The next day I told him I felt funny about these conversations and we talked about them a bit. He agreed that maybe there was a way to be less abrupt when he wants me to stop talking about something. That still didn't feel totally right. He said that after I had mentioned my little fright, he had just remembered something and that was why he changed the topic, not because he didn't want to hear me out. That's fine too. So why was I still feeling angry? Probably because of his self-absorption. But, that's the way he is Asha... That one is hard to change.

His trip was very last minute. He had decided the night before he was going. That wasn't a problem either, except maybe it brings up the issue of spontaneity versus planning for me. Technically there was no reason he shouldn't go - in fact I know it was good for him. Actually I'm not sure the trip had anything at all to do with it, I'm just searching at this point.

I had an upsetting discussion with him last night and he announced he was going again today on another trip - no problem again, technically, except that I feel it would be nice these things weren't announced to me, but decided together - this because we work together and when he leaves spontaneously I sometimes discover that there are things I needed to find out from him for client purposes etc. I just would like a little time to consider some of these factors before he makes the decision to go away. I support the 'going away' 100%. It could also be memories/fears of the 'old days' when he would announce his plans every other weekend and I wasn't involved in those decisions. I have to get over this and deal with the issues at hand instead of confusing them with the old issues.

<<I feel we can only solve these issues in the context of our relationships. It's not something we can do on our own. We'll get through, don't worry!!>>

I agree that relationships are a great way to work on ourselves. Thanks for the encouragement. Steve and I are not very good (in my opinion) at dealing with feelings, and knowing how to detach gracefully. I'm hoping this will come with time.

Thanks for your good wishes. Same back to you.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box family, Dr. Irene and Trubble,

Lynn here and Asha and AJ, I hear ya! Dan has the ability (in the past I hope) to blank out what he doesn't want to hear. Then I used to accuse him of selective amnesia. I think this is a "guy thing." We females tend to yap too much. If I brought something back up he was "confused because he didn't know what I was talking about. Then we'd get into those verbal games that feel so Yukky. This part can be avoided, the verbal games. Just drop it or make a joke of the amnesia and then drop it. It's not that you don't matter, at least most of the time. I have told him that I'd love to have a tape recorder at times just so he could hear his tone of voice. I like to talk things out. I want to know all that I ask about i.e.. are you mad at me? etc. Nothing worse to me than to be told there is nothing the matter when I say I have something the matter and need to talk.

I can't get into disengage yet either. My disengage used to be go out to a casino and gamble or tell him up his. And of course, you know that that has nothing to do with emotional disengagement... That didn't ever make me feel better, it just got me away from him. And then the next day if I wasn't harping at him he thought everything was all better. It just went down deeper and deeper like a cancer in the middle of my gut until I slipped into depression.

I still have a hard time with my asking if anything is wrong and him telling me no if there is. Don't take it personally if he auto pilots into "no" when it's a yes. Gypsy witch or not, I'm not a mind reader and I can tell if things aren't feeling right. He has said to me that he didn't tell me because he didn't want me to get mad. (?) He needs to muster the courage to let you get mad and you need to let him retreat.

I'd rather have a good screaming tizzy snit and clear the air than keep it all inside. That's you.

I think if these guys gave it any thought they would realize that if we felt we had someone to talk to we wouldn't have to be here at the cat box telling each other. Not that this doesn't help, it did me, I never thought anyone understood what I was going through until I got here. The group support is wonderful, but I still want the support of my mate. Even if I'm dumb, irrational, stupid sounding and just plain PMS-y or menopausal. OK! 

This comes from my childhood, too. I used to say to Dan that it really ticked me off when I'd say something, ask nicely, request and not be heard and then go into a 4 letter snit with my arms flapping and then have everyone listen! Then I'd get twice as angry. I said the same thing in a nice tone of voice, but if I wasn't screeching, I didn't get heard. Venting, too, and I hope most of this is behind us. I do know that these issues stay around forever. They need to be talked about and resolved or there is no healing and they always are right there at the edge ready to blow at the least expected time.

Ok, I'd better slow down before I get angry at Dan all over again. I'm not, but I know exactly where you are coming from.

How are the rest of you? Becky, I hope you are doing fine; and Astrid, where are you? Jay, keep up the good thoughts and take care of yourself; Steve, if you are out there Hello; B, are you still around? If so I need some disengage lessons; Dan, Don't take this too serious, I'm not mad at you. Just re-enacting some of the things you used to do and I didn't like. That goes for me too, if there is something about me you need to vent, I would rather know so we can work on it.

Dear Dr. Irene and Trubble, I hope all is well with you. Have you just been busy keeping Trubble out of Trouble? I think we are all thinking about you. Pray for me instead. She's got me on canned tuna! And no catnip!

Somehow I'd like to get the message to men (I can't speak for them) that if I say I've got a problem, we have a problem and it would be best to face it and try and work on it, because if it goes unresolved it grows all out of proportion and then we really have a problem. A big one! Stop! You can't insist the two of you face something when only one of you is willing to go there...

Dan has to go out of town for work next week so the therapist will have to be cancelled again. Why don't you go alone? I hope we have learned enough to get by until we can get our relationship as well as we can. Life is just too short to stay on the Merry Go Round for too long.

Love, Prayers and Goodnight,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Dear Thressa,

I didn't forget you. You can fix me crumpets and a cuppa anytime. I'll even try that stuff. Got Salmon flavor crumpets?

Love, Lynn 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 27, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box Family,

I just posted a long one and it hasn't appeared yet. Ah well, I'll let it go and say goodnight guys, and have a good one,

Love,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000

S1

Hello Cat Box Family,

Good Morning and a glorious beautiful day. Dan just woke me to two moose in our yard eating my willows. They go around the corner and there is the 3rd. A mama and two older twins. Took 2 rolls of film and stayed behind trees ready to run.

I still say this is what it's all about. Nature a it's best. Beautiful way to start a new day.

Love to you all,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene and Trubble,

A lady at Working_It_Out, post # 94 asked me to let you know that she was doing OK and had things with her weight problems under control. Thanks Lynn.

Thanks again for all of your help and keep Trubble in or he'll be thinking he can have moose and tuna for did din.

Love to you and all ....

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene:

How do 'healthy' couples negotiate?

i.e. Say they have kids, and one wants to do 'such and such' while the other wants to do 'bla de bla' - what techniques can be used to find a happy outcome for both?

I was thinking about my parents and their 'negotiating' which seems to me to be fairly healthy. One suggests something - the other seriously considers and the answer tends to be 'yes'. When both have different ideas, they seem to find ways of doing both things, or doing them separately, if they aren't specifically planning for a group family activity.

I was thinking today how some of the basics of improvisation in theatre are similar to real life challenges. I was taught that when someone in an improvised scene suggests something, the rule for interesting scenes is to accept and go with the idea, while saying no to the idea is called 'blocking' and the scene loses its intrigue.

Example: Actor A is pretending to shovel some dirt. Actor B enters and says "really too bad about grandma isn't it", looking down at where A is digging. If Actor A 'accepts' he might say something like 'she's in a better place now' and the scene may evolve so that you find out Actor B's job is gravedigging and that's why he's burying Grandma - (okay morbid example, it just came off the top of my head - it's Halloween) If Actor B 'blocks' the scene (a dirty word in theatre) he will say something like 'I don't know what you're talking about' or 'Grandma's not dead' and offer no new suggestions. Actor A can continue to suggest, but if Actor B continues on that line, saying no to all ideas and not suggesting other ideas the scene will die very quickly.

I somehow feel this is very similar to real life. That saying 'yes' is always the more interesting solution, or coming up with something even better than the original idea. e.g. in the above example, Actor A could have said "Grandma's not dead, I saw her last night. She was wearing a long black cape." etc. etc.

Just some thoughts.

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000

S1

Dear Asha,

Lynn here. Are the kids included in the decision making. Such as the 4 of you deciding what all want to do and coming up with a vote and 3 outta 4 wins? Or is Steve assuming the kids don't want to carve pumpkins? Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000

S1

Lynn

Since I can't speak for Steve, I think that question is better left to him. I would be happy with the voting idea, as long as there was some sort of alternative idea besides just sitting around. Then again if they all voted to sit around, then I could at least make plans.

At this point the pumpkin thing is out for them anyway, as is their dropping by for dinner, because I haven't heard anything from Steve today. Some turkey, Trubble? There's plenty. I'll do the pumpkins on my own tomorrow. Yeah! Turkey! Real, fresh, uncanned Turkey!

Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000

S1

Dear Asha, Hi the rest of the Cat Box. Trubble and Dr. Irene, If I'm going overboard here I'll take my criticism. I just had a suggestion for Steve and Asha and it pertains to how Dan and I worked this out.

Anyhow this is just my opinion from reading both of Asha and Steve's posts and you/they are under no obligation to listen or even try. And I hope it doesn't sound like I'm picking sides.

I'm talking about Asha's post and the planned dinner and pumpkin carving and Steve's posts about the X and her idea of good parenting "game boy, tv, etc.

I've mentioned before that Dan and I had his grandchildren for most of the summer a couple of years ago and OH BOY! No manners, "gimmee, I wanna" and they commenced to tell me what they would do and what they would not. That ended with me in about 12 minutes.

I mentioned way back about the good qualities of our Old Therapist and she was great with kids and families. First she suggested a book called 40 Ways To Teach Your Child Values by Paul Lewis. It really helped us because we Didn't feel these kids had many.

Next stage, the oldest had just had a Birthday and Dan's daughter went in for the show birthday's at pizza parlors and anything that we thought put on the dog. Then she "forgot" to send the invitations to the granddaughters friends and "remembered" only the adult friends of herself.

When we got her we had a family birthday party for her. Her friends, her young family near us and generally a Party just for her with Pin the Tail and the works.

Now for what I wish Steve and Asha could have done. Asha likes traditions, Steve doesn't, but in this case for the sake of the kids I feel (my opinion only) it would have been OK to have the family traditional pumpkin carving. Even if S and the kids thought it was dumb, I still think the lesson learned would have been, "around here we don't do video games and TV ALL the time" and I think it would have showed them how to compromise as this meant so much to Asha. This is what I meant earlier in the cat box (about 5 pages ago) about the parents or step parents showing unity.

This is only one day of the year and I think this is one instance where compromise would have been beneficial to the children.

Again, my opinion and not meaning to pick sides. Just thinking aloud what might work for future Holiday family events.

With that I'll tell Dan thank you. He spent the day installing my new whirlpool bathtub. This didn't even take me 9 months. It took a cold water leak and since everything had to be turned off anyhow he went ahead and got the old tub out and the new one in. Oh Happy Day. See, I knew from the moose this was going to be a good day.

Steve, I'm willing to listen to your side of this, too, if you are lurking. I wrote without knowing both and I'm truly not trying to pick sides. See, I'm still ready to give you a break :)

Love to the rest of you and I now have go fix dinner for my sweet plumber. Thanks Daddy Dan,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000

S1

Lynn again with a brief PS. I can get so wordy. Capsulized, I think Steve and Asha missed an opportunity to teach the kids solidarity, unity, tradition and family values. I'll bet 20 years down the road Dan's granddaughter will remember the best birthday party she ever had. Cool!

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000

S1

Yes, still alive. Tired. Just ate way too much good food, spent a lovely day with lots of people I haven't seen much of lately, and one of them is trying to set me up with a better job. Yay!

More later when I can concentrate. I need sleep.

Astrid

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000

S1

Hi all, Jay here.

Asha, I love your acting examples. I think I can use them.

Lynn and Asha and Steve, I loved giving the traditional birthdays. Still feel sad my kids grew out of them. Steve, they are hard work and not easy for parents, but the kids have good memories. So yeah I just did take sides.

Becky - missing you are you o.k

Astrid lovely to hear you are o.k and having a good time

As for me

Dr. Irene - Help!

All. I am presently unsure, not confused, just wary. My husband suddenly changed yesterday. Bought me a bracelet, said a pleasant hello, was friendly and polite all day and didn't withhold information about how my daughter is like he usually does. Wow! Just enjoy it!

I asked him if he had been to marriage counseling but he wouldn't say.

This is in the week where suggesting a separation was described by him as 'petty.' He has been awful and withholding information all week. I have been trying not to let the buttons get pushed. It has been more peaceful; but I realised - or rather had confirmed, by Dr. Irene that I had become the family scapegoat. Without a doubt...

I don't know what to think. I'd just got to the stage of realising I had to make my own life regardless of what happens, and to validate myself. Yep.

I don't want to be fooled. But I do want to give him a chance. But this is what I have done before. The hard part is to continue to take care of the Self whether he's being a doll or a troll. Just be true to you and the rest will follow, though this is easier said than done.  You'll do this best by stopping to think before you speak.

My emotions seem calm. I feel well. I am in control of the stress. I don't want to go backwards. I feel if not happy, because of the situation with my daughter. That hurts. But I know I am doing what is right by her at this point in time by leaving her alone. I feel fairly peaceful (Steve, I forgot the tablet again this morning!) I feel in control and as if I have stopped letting others control me.- Early days I know, but it is a beginning. My mind is working well and I am sure I can do things intellectually again.

I don't want to go backwards and get into the relationship unless it can be worked so I don't come out as the victim of passive aggression again. But I want to be fair. 

I don't think there is an answer to this, It is a kind of positive vent. It just all took me by surprise. 

Love to you all, Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000

S1

Hi Jay

Good to hear from you. Glad you liked my acting examples. They probably don't make make a lot of sense to people who haven't participated in improvisation, but I find it so interesting how 'accepting' or 'blocking' really determines the success of a scene; and I think that real life is very similar.

 

Hi everyone else.

Just wanted to note that I'm not looking for anyone to side with me; I think it's the 'his side'/'my side' that gets Steve and I into trouble. I know that this isn't really about pumpkin carving or family dinners. I don't want him to feel I'm getting everyone to gang up on him. How about siding with the healthy side of each of you while ganging up on the yukky side of each of you. That's how I see it.  Suggestions/solutions are much appreciated though. In my opinion, the issue is more about my being upset about something Steve's said or done, and then rather than having that acknowledged and discussed it gets blown into something much worse. This is how I see it. We have never found a constructive way to talk about 'icky' stuff. And just talking about it doesn't help if we don't get to the source and deal with the issues. I have feelings - sometimes unhappy ones, and I'm not going to bury them anymore. Again: don't bury your feelings, but you don't have to process them with Steve either...

Steve is free to make whatever choices he wants. I'm learning to expect very little from him. Over the last month, I started to feel safe in the relationship. Now I feel that we're back to square one, and I'm on my guard. But I'm trying to focus on other things. Excellent. Do this. I'm either in the kids lives or not. Right now, I accept that I'm not, and unless we have a healthy relationship, maybe it *is* better that way. I guess I just thought it was a little healthier than it actually is. Oh well, 1 step forward, 2 steps back and onward again. I'm trying hard not to let it get me down.

I had my dinner - turkey and a glass of wine for me, turkey and bowl of milk for my pooch. With a candle.

take care

Asha            To Catbox 9

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 02, 2001

S1

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B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 02, 2001

S1

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