How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board

The CatBox Archives

 

(Archives)

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Letting Go Is Tough

Comments for Letting Go Is Tough

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

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Dear Faith,

I agree with Dr. Irene. Let him go. It doesn't sound like he's willing or able to change right now. I know it's hard...I'm currently going through the same thing. It's hard to care so much about someone and just let them go without a fight...but you have to put yourself first.

Good luck :)

D.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Faith, I was in a situation similar to yours. My advice is do everything you can now to let go of him. Don't do what I did and keep giving him the benefit of the doubt over and over while there is uncertainty about which way he is heading. Also, with his record with his ex-wife, I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't his next move if you stay with him. Been there.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

oops double negative - I mean I WOULD be surprised.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Who needs his begrudging ways....move on...it's long overdue.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Faith,

Your story is chilling to me. I went through the same thing with someone who totally blamed his ex-wife for everything (and I was convinced) and as he unfolded himself over months, I found that EXACTLY what he complained about in her was who HE was!!! He complained that she was sloppy, and HE was sloppy. She couldn't cook, I found that HE couldn't cook. She didn't want quality time together, HE didn't want quality time together, and so forth. So what does this tell me now...just like he has blamed me for everything, he did this to her and is still messed up enough to think this way!!!!! I couldn't believe it, this is a phenomenon that I can really sympathize with in your case. It took me a long time to understand just how "crazymaking" this was. Pay good attention to what Dr. Irene mentioned about "projection". It was a weird situation where this person couldn't accept responsibility for ANYTHING, so in his mind to protect himself, he turned it all around and blamed ME, or anyone or anything that would make him feel bad about himself. These personalities are very small, fragile, weak people, who can't make the effort to do anything unless it benefits them directly...they can't see the light and let me tell you they are NEVER wrong!! and you cannot have a relationship with someone who is NEVER wrong because they ALWAYS play to WIN!!! This man of yours has a very, very long way to go and no, he doesn't appear to be ready and probably never will. What you need to do is ACCEPT that this is the way he is, and if you cannot accept him like he is, you need to leave. Doesn't matter what he looks like, how good he is in bed sometimes (if he feels like it), how nice he is to the rest of the world, how much money he makes...he is not a full PERSON. Seems like you shouldn't be accepting this abuse and you need to work on yourself and your own self esteem. Believe me, I've been there and I'm still doing the work. I know these people have their "nice" sides and sometimes seem like gems to the rest of the world but believe me, you'll always be last on the list! My boyfriend had this "universal" compassion for everyone, but would stomp on me (supposedly the person he loved). I MADE UP MY MIND THAT I DESERVE SO MUCH MORE. I like my own company, and would rather be alone than taken advantage of. Come on and join me.. and free yourself now from a life of future agony! Look around at those who are happy.. and tell yourself that you will be too!!!

Good luck, LHW  

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Faith,

Life is too short. There's a nice person out there somewhere who will be nice to you and can give you what you need, and who can accept what you have to give them. Sounds like Sky isn't there yet, and will not be going there based on what has happened between you. Two divorces have not been enough motivation to change for him, losing you will probably not do it, either. Perhaps establishing happiness will motivate him. Live your life as an example to Sky, if you, as a co-dependant, need to be motivated by helping another. Show him that it is possible to love and be loved as adults, even if it's not with Sky.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

My 18 (almost 19) yr old son was diagnosed (quoting the doctor) a "sociopath" nearly two years ago. Naturally, he refused medication and psychotherapy. He was first an in-patient at the age of 9; committed a felony at the age of 13, misdemeanors since then; a felony last summer; more misdemeanors, and today he called (he's been out-of-state now for 2 months) and is incarcerated for 5 felonies pending trial (or plea). The only thing for which I'm thankful is that they're non-violent and neither he nor anyone else was injured.

Is true "antisocial personality disorder" a legal defense for which I might hope to have him institutionalized rather than imprisoned? I don't want to "get him off" ... but neither do I want him to go to prison to learn more effective means of manipulation and deception!   Nancy, Please stay on topic.

Nancy

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Faith, LHW made some excellent points about projection. After living with my abusive brother for the last 3 yrs, I have found this to be a fascinating observation. He tells me I'm a filthy bitch, but I'm the one who cleans the house. When I stopped cleaning the shower because it was his turn to clean, it got so filthy I couldn't stand to step in it, took sponge baths at the sink. He also lived in filth when he had his own place.

When he calls me or anyone else selfish, it's he who acts selfish. For example, a former girlfriend bought him a nice pocket watch. He bitched and moaned for months that she was too selfish to buy a chain to go with it! I won't list other selfish examples, there are plenty.

He has many other behaviors that he projects onto others; like denial, paranoia, etc. Sometimes I say to him, "You're describing yourself." And he does describe himself, to a tee! It is fascinating! But, he doesn't see it in himself. Until I recognized the pattern of projection it drove me crazy, and made me angry. Now it makes me laugh to myself. But, I don't want this crap in my life anymore, I can't wait to get away from him.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Nancy, my heart goes out to you. My brother has a paranoid personality disorder with alcohol/drug abuse. He is also a physical/verbal/emotional abuser. He put our family through hell. He has been in trouble with the law since age 16, and has been in prison twice for felonies. He has a list of other arrests as long as your arm. The first prison term was for vehicular homicide while driving drunk. The second prison term (I had him arrested) was for possession of a handgun, and drug possession. I feel sorry for my parents, now deceased. I knew he was always a problem, but until I actually lived with him, I didn't know what they went through on a daily basis. They always supported him, he could never keep a job. When they got old and disabled he cooked them one meal a day most of the time, but not always. I lived out of state and cleaned the house when I would visit. I finally hired a caregiver for my parents. I regret that I didn't know as much then as I do now. He threatened them, and hit my dad more than once. I could not convince my dad to have him arrested. The only thing I can say to you is; don't let your son's mental disorder be an excuse for abuse, if it ever comes to that. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Nancy, I forgot to comment about your son's disorder as a legal defense. First, based on my experience, the mental health system was a big disappointment. I think my brother received better mental health care in prison than outside, but I think that depends on the state you live in. I don't think the court will say your son was incompetent. Depending on the number of offenses and the seriousness, the judge might put him into some kind of program other than prison. However, I also want to add that my family has been through this for over 30 yrs with my brother. Several arrests, alternative programs, finally prison. He is in a county mental health clinic now, but their lack of competence is mind-boggling. My parents also spent tens of thousands on legal defenses that never worked. That's my story, maybe things have changed. May I suggest that you do research on forensic psychology, and the latest treatment models for your son's condition? Sis

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

It is extremely confusing to deal with Mr. Romantic and The Monster, isn't it? Nothing you can do will ever tell you how to avoid The Monster--he comes no matter what you do. No logic, no analyzing, you can even float above the egg shells all over your floor--because you have to accept that it is irrational behavior that has absolutely nothing to do with you. Unfortunately, Mr. Romantic usually has nothing to do with you either!

But once you accept that, it can be amazing how predictable an unpredictable person becomes. Once you remove yourself, you come to see that they tend to be Mr. Nice Guy when they want something. Remember, they are typically very selfish and self-centered. Stress ON ANY LEVEL and drugs/alcohol tend to bring out The Monster, including holidays and any change from their normal life. Empathy is not in their vocabulary.

You sound almost jealous that he spent more energy trying to control his ex-wife's life after she finally said NO than he has you. Reframe your thinking. You should be grateful that you can get rid of him quicker than the grief she had to go through. I was the ex-wife and then the girlfriend (I took him back) and it sure was simpler as the girlfriend.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Faith, I know how it is to live with someone who is a jerk, then Mr. Nice Guy, then back to jerk ad nauseum. Anyway, now that you're away from him, stay away! Here's a question for the board because I'm living with a guy like this. But, there are 20 years of marriage and 7 kids involved. How do I get HIM to leave? Right now the rages are very controlled, so unless I provoke a big fight in front of the kids, I can't call the Sheriff to make him leave if I want him to. He told me the other night that he wont leave. The kids are going to have a hard enough time if we split, but to make them leave this house they have come to view as theirs in a short time would make it that much worse. I have also been advised that for future legal leverage, I should not "abandon" him or our home. What do I do? Provoke him into a rage and put myself in danger? This doesn't seem wise. Help! I feel trapped! Butterfly 

Dear Butterfly, This is not the place to initiate a new question. Feel free to submit your own here. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

S1

Dear Faith,

He does not want to understand, he wants to WIN. Remember the thread about the Controller/Caregiver, and how Dr. Irene said that anyone can fall into either role? This is like that very childish part of the person that doesn't recognize that Baby and Mommy are not one and the same, has survived and is now in the body of an adult. So whenever you do something that His Majesty the Baby doesn't like, it's as if his own mind and body have betrayed him. Naturally having his "right hand" walk out is not going to be taken too well! But it may very well be the only way you can PROVE to the two of you that you really ARE two separate people.

Best wishes, Gayla  Gayla, "His Majesty the Baby" - this is priceless!

Faith - If you have any comments you want to fly by me, including what you said, he or she said, here is the place to do it. Dr. Irene

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

S1

Dear Faith,

I am going to through the hard part of letting go as you are. It hurts so bad to have to accept that the person you love is incapable of loving you back. I am such a loving caregiver that it is difficult for me to focus on myself, but after going back for more of the same treatment and getting the same result...I cannot take it anymore. I have to take responsibility for myself and realize that know matter how much I love my partner, he will betray me and abuse me again. It is up to me to have self-control and willpower and stay away from unhealthy people.

We are not on the same level and must use discernment, caution and eliminate our magical thinking about our situation, so that we don't set ourselves up again...and again...and again!

Love Jude [judy_lewis@yahoo.com]

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene:

Recovery is like mountain climbing. One day I'm on the peak and the next day I'm stuck in a crack.

Today is a peak day.  :)

I just let Sky be alone. I went home and I felt good. The next day I saw him and he was nice to me. Ok, I like nice.

He spent the day doing things for me. I saw him that evening and we were talking. If he did or said anything, he would tell me what he was doing. I ask him a question he would say something funny followed by, "I'm just playing with you. I didn't hurt you did I?" WOW! He told me all about his day. WOW! He told me he loved me and didn't want to live without me! WOW! He told me he is sorry for the bad choices he made about our lives .

I realize we are in the re-capture phase of the abuse cycle, so I'm aware.

Your words come back to me about how he self-corrects when a boundary is set. Not only a boundary, but a boundary combined with your pulling away.

Thank you for your insight and information. The awareness of the abuse I have suffered was painful. Starting to deal with it was torture. I wanted to do anything to stop the awareness, that was not going to be ignored this time.

I hear someone say "How could she stay look how he treats her"! I know how she could stay. The man I fell in love with paid attention to me, made me feel cherished and loved. HOW? He answered all my questions with, YES! Questions that I never should have been asking him. "Do you think I'm ok? Do you think I'm smart? Do you think I'm pretty? Do you think I'm ______?" The words were never spoken and my behavior was saying, "I don't like myself, do you like me? I don't protect myself will you protect me? I don't take care of myself will you take care of me?" AND THE GRANDDADDY OF THEM ALL, "I don't love myself will you love me?" Faith, please learn to love yourself. You are a wonderful, sensitive, giving human being. You are worthy; you are wonderful; you are God's gift to you. 

So I'm this candy-apple red corvette. Engine running, door open, white leather seats, no body behind the wheel. Sky got in and took her for a spin. I don't like the way he drives me. I don't like him at the wheel of my car. I am angry because I let him take control. The universe will fill a void. It is a natural law. Yes... And Faith, if it wasn't Sky, it would have been someone else who would have filled the void. Sky left you with a lesson you have to master. No matter what you do, learn to live a more balanced life; you must fill the void. You can do this.

For the first 10 months of our lives together Sky did my job. He drove my car and I got to sit and look out the window. It was wonderful. Then I spent the next 3 years complaining about everything and being angry he wasn't doing my job anymore. :) Well, I just stopped the car and escorted him to the door. I've got my car back and I am behind the wheel, where I needed to be all along. Sky is the passenger now; and if he doesn't like the ride, well lets just pull over and let him out. :) I like this. The sound of a lady taking her power. 

I'm not well. I just got out of surgery. The surgery that turned my responsibility, focus and awareness inward. Things happen exactly when they are supposed to...

Do I think I'm OK? Do I think I'm pretty? Do I think I'm _____?

I talk nice to myself. I am kind to myself. I stop that voice inside me that is full of hate and disrespect. I challenge that voice. It is the hardest thing to do. Because that voice can speak to me before I realize the words have passed through my mind. Yes, it can. That voice belongs to one or both of your caretakers. Time to stop carrying your abusers around. Become acutely aware of that horrible voice. Keep on challenging the voice. The message is a lie. Be relentless! In time, watch: the hatred will lessen and go away... Promise.

My challenge is to learn to relate to others without letting them behind the wheel. Yes.

Thank you all for the feedback. This site reminds me of the healthy thinking and actions that are necessary for survival. Exactly!

I wanted to know how to make people respect me. Dr. Irene thanks for the answer. I respect myself and then the rest doesn't matter. :)  Exactly! Funny part is that if you respect yourself and really not care too much what others think, as long as they treat you OK, they respect you! What is lethal is looking to others for approval; affirmation... Oh boy... Even a victim can have contempt for you then - cuz you are literally asking for it.

For whatever reason, I am asked in this life to do what I can NOT do - but I must do - to be the person I want to be. Once I do what I can NOT do, something unexpected happens. Yeah!

That part of me starts to heal. That part of me stops being afraid. You got it! That's been my message to victims all along: there is no need to feel intimidated, and if you do because of physical abuse, etc., then take appropriate action. 

I am changed forever, and now the real work begins. Taking charge of my life and my space and my happiness and my reality and my whatever.

DO I SOUND SELF-ABSORBED. I AM. AND IT FEELS SO GOOD. IT IS ME ME ME RIGHT NOW BUT NEVER AT THE EXPENSE OF YOU YOU YOU. I like this! Faith: Keep posting. Any specific questions you asked about like what to say to this one or that one, etc. And, much love to you, Dr. Irene

With Love For All,

Faith

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

Faith, I have been married to an abuser for 36 years. I am now finishing off the divorce that began 16 months ago. How many times I have thought 'If only I had left him years ago or had never married him'. Breaking away before the trap sets to deep is so much less painful than waiting, living on hope, until one day you wake up and find that your life passed you by and that elusive hope never materialized. Brenda

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

Faith, your analogy about the corvette was really good. And, what you said about those automatic self-defeating thoughts; I know what you mean. Sometimes it's just a fleeting image or feeling, so fast it's easily missed. Your post was very helpful. Sis  Yes, Sis, and very important. Never forget those fleeting thoughts or images come from somewhere. You learned them at a very early age, even if you think you didn't. Spend time sitting with them just long enough to identify exactly what they are saying. You are almost certain to find their message is pure, irrational nonsense. Then fight them. Over and over and over again, counter these awful thoughts each and every time they come up. You'll get rid of them because you will have made the new, healthier and more rational thoughts your habitual "autopilot."

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene:

It's me again. I am wrestling with another problem.

Sky's second ex-wife is an abusive, controller, she devil.

Anyway, she is obsessive and invasive. After three years she tells Sky at every opportunity that I will never be anything to Justin (he is 6).  I will never be his family and I will never make any decisions about his life. She tells Justin he can not love me because I am not his family. Not true. But I guess she feels better if that's what she thinks. However, when she married Sky it was perfectly ok for her to be a stepmother to Sky's two daughters. What come back could I use here to respond to her? Be more specific.

She blames me for all of Justin's problems and says anything I do is wrong. She takes every opportunity to bad mouth me in front of Justin. The next time she badmouths you in front of the boy, simply tell her something like, "Barb, grow up." And walk away. Under no circumstances do you defend yourself or respond to the ridiculous accusations in any way. Stop caring what she thinks. You have no control over that, nor over what the boy thinks. The best you can do for the boy is to role-model appropriate adult behavior. She swears she doesn't do that. So what? Stop caring! You're giving her too much power Faith. Barb's rules: If you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth. If you do something and no one of authority sees it didn't happen.

I never say anything about Barb to Justin. Good. I wouldn't hurt her I would be hurting the part of Justin that looks like her. He asked me the other day, "Why don't you like my mommy?" I said, "Justin I don't like the way your mommy treats you." What could I have said? That was very good! Excellent!

Justin comes home from being with Sky and me and kicks his mother. He yells at her and tells her he wants to kill her. Yikes... She blames Sky and me for Justin's behavior. So what? Let her. Don't justify this junk by responding to it or thinking twice about it. Justin has never done any of this with us. I told the counselor that I believe this is a typical evening when Justin arrives home from our house. It is just my guess after listening to him and I don't know.

Justin comes in door. His mother drills him for every piece of information she can get, the more details the better. Then she gets on the phone and calls anyone who will listen. So what? Justin will lie to her about us. She repeats everything, and I think it is one thing to lie for attention but then he hears her repeating the lies. I wonder if it makes him angry to listen to her talk about people he loves so badly? It may be confusing to him. Ask him if you have that type of relationship. You can also tell Justin that it is sad that mommy is so angry. Validate his feelings, if he will talk about them. This is very important. Let him know it is OK that he feels so angry towards his mommy, even though you know he loves her too. She stays on the phone the rest of the evening. I am going to guess Justin knows even at 6 he has just been used. He gives up the info, and she ignores him the rest of the evening. So he is lonely, especially after a weekend with us because we focus on him. So he starts to act up, and the more acting up the better. She will get off the phone if he gets angry enough. What do you think? I think the child is responding to emotional abuse. What a sad situation - especially since there really isn't more that you can do.

She calls me at work several times a day and hangs up. She comes to every birthday party of Sky's family and plops herself right in the middle of everything. They are too polite to ask her to leave, and she loves people she can bully. Don't let any of this bother you. Not worth the space in your head. Who cares what she does.

Every thing she does is only for Justin and never her. Poor Justin is a crowbar that she uses to get her way. Very sad.

 

She and Sky see a counselor for Justin because Justin has so many problems. The counselor tells Sky to tolerate her and listen to her. She will talk the entire 45 minutes and if Sky tries to talk she interrupts him and "explains" why what she does is ok. I have told Sky this counselor is enabling Barb's abuse and control. He doesn't understand that the playing field is not level. What do you think? From what you say, I agree with you. The counselor seems to be placating her.

A few weeks ago we went to a birthday party with Justin. Barb lied to Sky about coming and showed up. She also told Justin to keep a secret and that she was coming all along. In the parking lot she came across to tear into Sky because we were a few minutes late. I intercepted her and asked her what is she doing there. ( I have never spoken to her before in the entire time I have been with Sky). Nor should you speak to her unless she is talking about you or to you. Sky needs to confront her, not you! "More lies and manipulations?" She goes nuts on me and starts screaming verbal abuse! You're insane! You're mentally ill! She is just yelling all kinds of stuff. I go to Sky's car and say, "Let's leave. He ignores me. I say it again. He ignores me. I go back over and he is getting Justin out of the car, who was getting dressed in the front seat. Barb is still yelling at me, and I am saying, "Stop it Barb! Be quiet Barb!" Faith, the problem is that you do not have the right to intervene. She is the mother and Sky is the father. If Sky permits this type of behavior, there is nothing you can do about it.  

As we round the corner to go inside the bowling alley she turns on a smile that I couldn't believe. We sat there for 2 hours while she told every person at the party. All her friends, as she told me, her version of the parking lot. Her version didn't mention anything she did or said. We sat there for two hours and listened to her go on and on until people started moving their chairs away. As we left she gave me a smug smile and said have a nice day. I am so pissed about this. How would you have responded? Well, first of all, I would not have confronted her. But, since you did, there is not much you can do other than not dignify her ramblings by not listening or paying them any mind. Personally, I would have left and graciously made my apologies to the hosts. The more she senses she's pushing your emotional buttons, the more she is going to do this kind of thing.

She had Justin. She found out how to get to my house 40 minutes away - and then drove Justin there so she could show her where I live. What do I say to Justin, who tells me this happened and that it is OK because his mom gets to do what she wants, and I can't stop her! Well, what he said is true. The sad part is that he is receiving expert anger training. He is identifying with the person he sees as most powerful: mom. Faith, you really need to disengage from all this. You've got real stuff to worry about.

Sky says he doesn't want his son to see abuse, and that is why he divorced her. But I say Justin is getting first class lesson in watching Daddy put up with every kind of misbehavior while he just follows behind Mommy without saying a word. Yes. He is learning that the angry, loud person "wins."

I told Sky I feel unsupported when he doesn't respond to Barb. Barb has nothing to do with you, unless, of course she is attacking you specifically. He just ignores her and no matter what she says, he never answers. However, he gives into her on a regular basis. If she wants something and I want something different, she always gets her way. He sounds intimidated by her. This is Sky's issue, not yours. Don't take his behavior personally. He's doing the best he can, even though it's a rotten job. If you feel hurt by his lack of support of you, tell him your specific concerns and then pull away. DO NOT insist he clean up his act. He already knows what you want, but can't or won't do it. Just back off.

What can I do here? How should I respond to her? What can I say to Sky about the situation? If she addresses you specifically or is talking about you in front of you, you can reply to her. But, be careful. You tend to be intrusive and stick your nose where it doesn't belong, despite your good intentions. You can tell Sky if he did something (or not) that hurt you. There is no more you can reasonably do. Oh yes there is: you can disengage! Stop trying to fix the child's life. You can't. You can fix your own: When someone hurts you, you can tell them. If they continue to hurt you, you back off. But, you don't seem too good at doing that.

I feel like Sky tolerates her abuse and then takes out his bad feelings on me. I wonder what my place in Sky's life is and who will make decisions about our lives? Her? Forget her. Why not make decisions about your own life. Who cares why Sky acts yukky towards you. Fixing her is not going to fix the problem. Your only concern should be putting a stop to his acting out towards you. Stop trying to fix the world!

She doesn't want Sky to move to my house north of where she lives by 40 minutes. So she works on Justin to get Daddy to stay here. It worked. Sky will not go to my house because Justin doesn't like it there. Justin has never been there how would he know if he liked it or not. Let it go Faith. You must respect their decisions whether you agree with them or not. You are meddling otherwise. If you don't like Sky's decisions, get away from him.

She tells the counselor I stole Sky from her. So what? I told the counselor you can't steal someone who doesn't want to go. Of course. Why are you defending something so obvious? Why are you defending at all? She said I am a witch and I am holding Sky against his will. I say she needs a Prozac the size of a handball. Whatever. Stop it! By the way, a little Prozac may help! No kidding. You are obsessed with this junk!

It isn't so much what this bird on a broom does that bothers me it is what Sky does or doesn't do that is killing me. Then leave. Don't ever, ever let anyone kill you!

What can you suggest? Well, you just heard it...

Thank you, again

Faith

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2000

S1

Faith, I suggest you move on. My story is that I was involved in a verbally abusive relationship for 25 years and have only recently seen the light. My husband and I were musicians together and I worked with him as well as lived with him. There were no complicating factors of drugs, affairs, or alcohol, but after all this time I can see that even if you tried to continue with him (as I tried to continue with mine) you will have more heartache. There are wonderful, caring people out there and finding a good therapist for yourself IS A MUST!!! I had left my husband 15 years ago, went through therapy with him then and the problems of verbal abuse were never addressed .I went back with him, had two children and found myself in a worse situation with him. Through great therapy and understanding, I have fully recognized what has happened to me. I had not only been abused in private but had even been screamed at through a microphone on a performance stage! (How un- Professional!?!!!). I have been stranded in a car told what to wear, etc... So I know where you are. Get some therapy and learn how to move on. Yes. This is excellent advice. There is a fine world out there waiting... :)

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene:

I read your response to me about Sky's ex-wife. I hear you saying that I need to disengage from the situation. If she does or says anything, just ignore her (And/Or, you can put her in her place, but that is secondary to not caring about what she does.). She is not my problem. Right. If I don't like something she is doing, I can take care of myself and not get involved with anything else. Did I understand correctly? Correct.

As for Justin, validate his feelings if he speaks them and otherwise Justin has to find his own path. Sad but true. I need to be a good example for him no matter what anyone else does. Correct. And in so doing, you will be a good example to yourself.

So when Barb shows up at every family gathering, I can decide if I want to be a part of the situation? Yes. So when Barb does any behavior, I can decide if I am going to tolerate it and then act? Yes. Her constant messages to Sky about how they are a family and I am nobody is none of my business. Not between you and Barb. It may be an issue between you and Sky. No matter what she says, it is her problem and I need to detach myself. Yes. What she does and how she acts is her problem. Did I get it? Yes.

Sky goes to counseling with her and he has asked me to go. The counseling is to help them parent Justin better. These sessions are about Barb telling how it is and how high Sky should jump. It is a session of her talking , interrupting and carrying on. She states everyone's problem and why it is so. She will not control herself or allow anyone else to speak. Every problem is someone else's fault and she knows why. The counselor doesn't respond to her, he just lets her go. I told Sky if I am not allowed to speak then I am leaving. I am not going to give her abuse an audience. What do you think? I think that's great. Sky wants me to come because he wants me to be Justin's stepmother. I don't want to be invasive and I'm not sure how to handle these situations? Go if you are allowed to speak. Keep in mind however that you may speak all you want, but ultimately it is Sky who will need to deal with his Ex. Not you. Don't go there.

Could you tell me what you would do? We are in this session and Barb is going on and on about how I have ruined Justin. I gave him a cap gun and now he tells Barb he wants to kill her and it is my fault because I gave him a gun and taught him about guns. He is going to kill her because of me and I ruined her life and I am so awful. And Justin tells her what Sky and I do and he isn't lying either and ect...What would you do in this situation? What I would do: Tell her in no uncertain terms that if she loves her kid, she should consider that he does not feel too OK about mommy if he wants to kill mommy. But, I can tell you ahead of time, saying so will probably accomplish nothing.  But you never know. I would also ask the therapist why he or she allows this one-sided tirade to go on. Though that probably won't accomplish anything either... This therapist is either not in control of the sessions, or is trying too hard to engage Barb, or - has his or her hands tied because Sky won't open his mouth. 

How can I set boundaries with a woman who tries to control every thing? She creates situations just to see who will win. Just walk away? Faith, it doesn't matter what she tries to control. Don't you see, she really has no control. Not unless you give it to her. That's why you need to disengage...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene:

Yesterday I had a situation I didn't know how to deal with.

The doctor I work for was gone and he didn't tell me the office would be closed Saturday. So I got up, went in and no doctor shows up. I called his son who usually covers for him and he said "I told Dad Wednesday I would not be working for him on Saturday. He didn't tell you?"

I look back at the last day I worked and Doc did tell everyone to come in on Friday or Tuesday. The only people he didn't tell were patients I am close to. I sat there all day and scheduled people for Saturday. Doc knew he wasn't coming in Saturday; he never said a word. I even asked him if he would be gone and he said yes. I said, "Will James be here." "Yes."

I don't want to quit my job and I'm not sure how to respond. Doc never fires anyone he just makes life miserable until you quit. He has done this to every person who has ever worked for him. Something happens and he gets an attitude toward the person and he projects and blames that person for everything until they quit. I think I am now the target. I don't want to quit I need the job. How can I respond to him without giving him a payoff for mistreating me? Faith, why wouldn't you want to quit? Unless there is some great benefit to this job you haven't mentioned, why not look around and see what the available options are - before you make up your mind about not wanting to quit. Why would you want to work for someone who has made you their target???

Also, I am to tell people when they are to come back. He is now telling them in the room before they come out to me. What can I say to him about this. I feel like a fool when he tells them one thing and I tell them another. I suppose you can ask them first if the doc told them when to come back. Look, he is the boss and it's not worth your while fighting City Hall. Why knock your head against the wall?

I took this job that used to be done by two people. Doc said if it was too much he would get me help. It is too much and he has ignored my request for help. Paperwork has increased 10 times since the other person left, and I can't keep up. I take work home and spend long hours trying to keep up. Why? Stop it! He recently told me I would be working a schedule and cut my hours to 30 a week. What can I say to him. "Bye." He knows I will do the work on my own time and I don't want to do that. Then don't do it on your own time! What would you say to him and how do I respond? Work your 30 hours and no more. Deal with the fact that all this very important stuff will be left undone and that your not doing it will affect real people. You know what? That's his problem. 

You make the same mistakes with doc as you do with Sky. You pick up the slack where they don't do their job. STOP IT! If it kills you, stop it. (It might kill you if you don't stop it...) Just worry about Faith. No one else... Try it as an experiment... 

Thanks,

Faith

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2000

S1

Faith, he has spelled it out loud and clear. I suggest read Patricia Evans books over and over and over again. Until it sinks in because you are not getting what verbal abuse you are missing. It is happening to you and you are not recognizing it. Read it over and over and over again. Teri Yes Faith. Over and over and over again. Did you read and reread the book I sent?

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene:

Now the situation is with my son. He has been in a lot of trouble and I have helped him many times. I told him I wanted him to pay me back and he said he would. He is getting ready to graduate and I am very pleased. I am trying to save my house and I thought he would work and help me with the payments here. He said he wants to leave with a friend. I can understand he wants his own life, so I accept that I must sell the house.

Here is the rub. He has lived here and I have cared for him. I ask that he only clean up his stuff. The place is a mess and he does very little. I come home to my stove filthy, the microwave is stained yellow because he burned popcorn and stuff is everywhere. The place is piled with my stuff from moving, so I try to be understanding. Why?

I told him I need your help to get the house ready to sell. He gets angry and says, "What? It looks OK." It is a mess.

I'm stressed from dealing with Sky and the huge disappointment of what Sky promised and lied about. I told my son, "I have helped you and it was my gift to do so. I am asking for your help now. Will you help me?" He says yea I will move out.

Dr. Irene, I think I am in much worse shape than I originally thought. I get angry with my son (he's 20) and say, "You used me and it is OK for me to help you, but now I need you and you're going to leave and let me clean up the mess." 

This is not appropriate response to my son. I think I need to ask him specifically for what exactly I need, and if he responds, then he does. However, I believe by leaving me with this mess he has established a precedent for the future. When he needs me, I may be busy. When he needs help, I consider every request. Maybe I need to just start saying "no." 

I have worked for the last two years, done without, spent almost all my money to give him a chance to finish high school. He is graduating this Saturday. When I was upset, crying and telling him how disappointed I was he said to me, "Look Mom, you wanted me to walk in graduation and I am. What more do you want?" Yuck. Maybe I misunderstood. It sounds like his showing up to graduate is his favor to me. His mere presence is enough to call us even. I think you need to tell you son that his walking in graduation is wonderful and that his graduating is for him. Also tell him that right now you need his financial help. Be clear and don't use guilt trips. Tell him it will benefit his future if you can keep your home.

I need to deal with my caretaking controller here. I gave him gifts. I asked for what I wanted from him in return. I think I do expect him to come and help me when I need him, and he resents this. I am scared and sad. I feel very needy and I have no one to count on. Would you care to comment based on what you know of me why my life is such a mess?

It seems like I make people angry. It seems like I give and when it is my turn there isn't a turn. What do I need to do differently. Stop giving if your giving is accompanied by the expectation that others will give when you need. Start taking care of yourself. Stop doing without. Love Faith. Do not give when giving constitutes skin off your back. 

This relationship isn't just with Sky. You're right. It is with everyone. I don't know how to be there for someone, or let them be there for me. I feel like I need to come through for my sons. Come through for your sons when you can. It is clear that you have come through recently even when you have not been able to; yet you did. Don't! Your kids are old enough to help you. And when I need them, they are too busy or angry when I ask for their help.

Thanks for giving me a place to seek your advice. It helps me to have positive input and a healthy opinion to gain awareness.

An update with Sky. For the last 6 days Sky has been the most wonderful I have ever known. He has really tried and I can see that. He loves you and he means well. He is trying.

He asked me to make appointments when I wanted to talk over anything with him. I asked for an appointment and he would say "later." I was waiting for him to tell me now is the time. Ask him for a specific day and time. Remind him the appointment was his idea.

Yesterday morning I said, "I am worried about my house. I want to know what you will do to help me; and if you want to live somewhere else, where will that be? I have pets and I need to make a place for them." I told him I was afraid and I was unsure of how to proceed. I said it calm and quietly. I was speaking about myself and my feelings. Good.

He started it right then and there. He said, "Is this an appointment?"  "No, not really," I responded. He said I can't listen to all this criticism. I said, "Why are you starting to yell at me?"  He just kept escalating until he got his keys and left. Before he left, I said, "Just like clockwork. I need you and you create a fight and leave."  I told him my observation. I think Sky feels a great deal of pressure to fix things for you; he wants to but probably  overwhelms himself with what he thinks he should do for you - and, I bet, he then becomes resentful. Which, I also bet, he hates himself for. He can't bring himself to do anything but get out from the pressure. Ask him.

People that treat Sky with contempt - he gives the world to win their approval. People like me who love, value and give to him, he shows contempt. He feels powerless to help you; he hates what he perceives as your weakness. He admires the strength of those who treat him poorly.

Sky will listen to his ex-wife for 2 hours abuse us and he will not give me 5 minutes.

Anyway, he stayed in the house screaming at the top of his lungs for 30 minutes. He broke the door lock and cussed and called me names. (Name calling is new.) You put up with this?

Then he left and stayed gone for a long time. He comes back and says, "Get out." I am blown about by every wind. Sky starts a fight, he escalates it until he leaves, and then when he gets back he tells me to get out. I came there this morning to get some clothes, and he had chains on the doors so I couldn't get in. He had locks on his desk I'm guessing to change them so I can't get in. I would distance so far from him if I were you, he would have to literally hire a detective to find me...

Two days ago he held me in his arms and told me he never loved anyone like he loves me. Today I am locked out and he will not talk to me. He didn't apologize to me. If I tried to talk to him he just kept saying to give it a rest. If I was going to be there, he was going to leave. Sky started it and now he rejects me? He wants me to leave him alone? It is crazymaking. Faith, stop telling him what he's doing. Stop telling him to knock it off. This does not work with Sky. Just pull away. Far, far away.

I am not going back for any more. He does this over and over. If there is a next time I'm going to be unavailable to him. No more insanity. About time.

He isn't going to help me or be good to me. Why are they afraid to be close to someone? Because.

This sounds more like insanity than abuse. Sometimes the line is thin. In your experience what makes these people do what they do. Faith, you are asking for a dissertation... Regardless, stop questioning why it is and begin accepting that it is. And, act accordingly.

I have read two different opinions.

First one is they were mistreated and for so long that they identified with the abuser and so now they don't have any compassion because they were mistreated. Correct.

Second is they are spoiled and babied and expect the same of the adult world. Also correct.

It would be helpful for me to hear more about how they think and what might have happened to make them who they are today. Have you looked at the Abuser Pages?

Sky is without compassion for anyone. He will do things for me, but it feels like a manipulation. As long as I am the perfect mother/woman and happy, he is fine. If I need anything or have any upset, he gets more upset until it becomes the end battle. I think Faith, he feels unable to save you and he thinks it is his job to do so. Anyway, stop wasting space in your head with him. You have enough real issues of your own to deal with.

I liked your information about how abusers don't like "weakness," however if you show strength they fight harder.

I told Sky when I met him that I have lived a hard life; I need kindness like I need air. He said, "me too." I think you are both products of abusive homes.

The he proceeded to create every kind of fight and upset he could. Yes.

Do these people like to create fighting. What is the payoff? No payoff. Just relief from obligation and pressure for Sky, I think.

Sky has done this twice now. Re-union followed by a week of pure bliss, and then hell. Once I ask for anything he will destroy everything. 

I wonder about what this type of thinking respects. I see him chasing after angry hostile people and giving to them. While someone who could love him he ignores. Yes. Stop trying to figure him out. He makes no sense. Just do what you must for Faith. 

Thank you for your attention, listening and kindness. 

Faith

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, June 04, 2000

S1

Dear Faith,

I blew it. I think you got that three percent from me, from something I didn't remember correctly from this or some other site. Maybe I knew I wasn't remembering it right and was being overly generous. Gee, I just don't know. Please forgive me. That 3% is still stuck in there, so "compulsively", I will have to go find it now!

I agree with the doctor. Let go. It isn't a question of wasting a relationship any more, but about wasting your life and your sanity.

Hugs, Sarah 2

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 05, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene:

Sky had a temper fit last Sunday and I gathered up and left. Since then he is ignoring me. He acts like we had a little fight and I overreacted. Let it go Faith. You don't need this junk.

Same old crap different day. I guess I was hoping he would think I had value and make an effort. He sits in that apartment and sleeps all day or sits at his computer for 14 hours at a time. His problem.

I'm amazed at how much I miss him. I wonder what kind of thinking he has that he can completely ignore me and not give a damm. Don't presuppose you know what's in his head.

I am losing my house. Even if I can stop it, I can't afford to pay the mortgage. My son lives here and he just takes. Can you get a boarder? I have allowed that because he was trying to finish high school. It feels bad to not have anyone to lean on for help. It feels very alone. Yes.

I never met anyone without an ounce of compassion. Sky is void of compassion. He can rage and hurt me but he was just upset. If I make a comment he will dwell on it for days. He has compassion Faith. But, when his rough spots are exposed, he loses sight of everything but his present mood.

He could come here and help me sell the house, but he is going to let me sink. I guess it is a big dose of reality for me to realize that I have no one to lean on but myself. It is even harder to realize that someone you could love would enjoy watching you hurt and suffer. Faith: We are born alone and we die alone. The only person you can truly always count on - if you're lucky - is yourself. Also, don't assume he enjoys watching you suffer. It is more likely that he can't see his nose beyond the thick of his "stuff."

The most beautiful thing Sky gave to me was a carat diamond ring. I have always wanted a diamond ring like this. I thought when I got the ring, I would get the love that would go with something so expensive and beautiful. I didn't. I am going tomorrow to the jewelers who sold Sky the ring. I am going to ask them for the money back. It is very hard to do this because I guess I still hold out a hope that this man would come through, and I know in my heart he is not going to come through or be my friend. When I asked Sky if he wanted the ring back, he said, "It is your gift." This is a $6,000 ring. It is so confusing to me Sky doesn't do most of the abuser's stuff. He just is cruel, blaming and secretive. Once the ring goes back, it is over. For good. No turning back. A part of me feels like I should give him some of the money. First, save your house. He hasn't worked for a year and even though he has a Masters Degree, he can't get a job anywhere. I wonder if he corrects people like he does me. My son said, "Mom, he just looks like a jerk." Ouchhh... Are you saying this because you know he will probably read your posts?

Sky does look like a jerk at times. My grandmother used to say what is on the inside comes out on the face as we get older. He likes to see people suffer. He just sits back and watches. I always wondered why he never let himself be open or need anyone; now I understand.

I want to e-mail his first ex-wife and see if she will talk to me. I need validation that Sky is who I see him to be. There is no doubt he treats those he loves badly. His family feels so sorry for him. It is poor Sky this and poor Sky that. Sky has never told them I'm gone. He doesn't tell anything. They think he is such a gentle and kind man and just gets these vicious women who use him. If they only knew. It is not my job to tell them. 

I told Sky the cruelest thing he could do was ignore me, and he is doing it all the time. It is also the most effective for making me walk away from him. Go Faith...

I was always confused on how to deal with Sky. If I am real and answer honestly, he uses it to hurt me and mistreat me. If I was evasive and secretive, he would blame me for creating distance between us. No winning Faith. I wish now I would have never told him anything. I never met anyone who was completely without compassion for another - and Sky is. He is an empty shell of a human being. I don't know why he mowed the grass and did the few things he did. Sky doesn't appear to operate on the logic plane of this planet. Faith, one last time: Sky is not ordinarily a cold, horrible person. Sky behaves like a cold, horrible person when his own stuff gets in his way. Unfortunately, he's got more than his share of stuff.

I saw on listbot where someone was quoting from a book about avoidance addicts and love addicts. I wonder which I am. Maybe the book you're sending me will tell more about the difference. You are a primarily a codependent type who gives and gives and gives, at your own expense. You don't understand why other people don't respond in kind.

I don't feel like a love addict I just feel like someone who loves an abuser.

I think about what Harville Hendrix says in his Imago Therapy. He said we need the other to heal. That healing can not be done alone. We need the other to mirror for us and complete us. I read so much that is in conflict, it becomes confusing. He contends that it is through getting our original needs met that we become whole. I hope I can heal alone because I'm going to get to do just that. The Hendrix stuff is great (Getting The Love You Want: A Guide For Couples), but it assumes there is a more equal balance of power. That is not the case in an abusive relationship.

As I learned what was happening and starting setting boundaries, our relationship when down hill very fast. I am surprised how fast. Sky would try at times, and by the time he would try, I would be so angry, I couldn't receive it. He says it was my anger and behavior that made the difference. He told me once his ex-wife's words had no meaning. She would say anything to get him. I think that is true about him too. He will do anything to get me. You are both very hurt and very angry. You are both hurting each other. It is time to stop.

He said he will go to counseling, and I don't have enough energy to pick up the phone and call someone. I don't have any insurance coverage and his will not cover. It seems pointless to go now.

You told Sky in your notes to him that if he wasn't too angry. What, if he wasn't too angry? What happens if he is too angry? He will be a jerk and blame everyone until they walk away. 

It is strange: I don't see him for days and he is so cruel to me. I guess he misses his abuse fix.

I'm just rambling. I'm sad and lost and when I'm sad and lost it helps to ramble. You are sad and lost and hurt and angry and rambling... Faith, think about helping yourself. Please talk to your internist about an antidepressant; it may make a world of difference.

Thanks,

Faith

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 07, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene,

Thank you for answering my last two posts.

I think I am depressed, too. I have ADD not the hyper kind the sleepy kind (just unfocsed). I got some St. John's Wort to try. Do you know what might be a good dosage?

I have been going to get my things from Sky's place and when Sky turns jerk I just walk out. I don't give him anything or take the bait. Actually, I managed for 3 visits. Then I come there and he is really sick. So Faith to the rescue.

I am noticing that I am cruel to Sky when I am angry. I am just frustrated and say things I don't know. Sky is right about that I do attribuite things to him. I am working on talking about myself. Like instead of Sky likes to watch me suffer. I say, I am suffering and Sky is not responding to my requests. Being cruel is wrong. Period. It is not right for me to do reguardless of what he does or does not do. I just don't want to be cruel to anyone. I am angry. I'm sitting with angry I can't tell what it is saying yet. Part of it is saying I'm fed up with giving. Part of it is saying poor me because I didn't get loved as a child and now as an adult I don't know how to create love either. Part of me is angry that Sky made agreements he didn't keep and lied to me so much. Part of me is angry that my life doesn't work out. I see others and they want someone, build a relationship, have a life and love eachother. No it isn't perfect but it is possible and it is available to them. I'm angry that I really love Sky and no matter what Ido it is not going to create love with him. I can't no matter how hard I try to make a life with him.

I'm really sad too. I didn't know anyone who loved you would treat you like this. I guess I have been protected from real life. What a painful awareness. I am leary of anyone now. I think what do they want. I have always been like a puppy dog trusing and open and tail wagging. Now I look at someone and think what is your deal. It is sad and I'm not sure how to rebuild trust. I guess I'll jump off that bridge when I get there.

He has disappointed me and let me down. I think you have a very good observation when you said he wants to help then feels overwhelmed and resentful. Sky recently said he thinks everyone should be independent. Yes, he is right. What a hard lesson for me. You think I should ask him if he feels resentful? Ok, he usually doesn't answer.

It is strange that through Sky's abuse I have learned and accomplished many things.

I couldn't control myself when I met Sky and I have about 90% control now. Sky would tell me if I would only control myself he would love me and be good to me. So I learned. He found another behavior for me to do.

I couldn't have managed one day without someone and I am so fed up with his endless complaints about me and blame I stay alone for days at a time.

Sky very early in our relationship would pervoke me and I was not aware of what he was doing. He would push me and abuse me until I would start fighting back and then he said if you stop when I say stop I will love you Faith and be good to you. I learned to stop and control myself and he found another behavior for me to do. However, stopping myself helps to calm me.

I would allow Sky to do anything to me. I am sad that I was so unaware of how to control my space. I would tolerate him picking and blaming and telling me how everything was my fault. I would cry and try to explain. I have been on the floor sobbing more in the last 2 years than in my entire life. One day I started fighting back and saying what about your behavior and Sky told me off and got his keys and left. Anytime I try to discuss anything with him he deflects the words and feelings and blames me and walks out. However, I learned that if someone is treating you in a way don't like, walk.

Actually, being with Sky and watching him respond to me has taught me a great deal about boundries. Sky keeps everyone and everything away. He has shown me how to push someone away and how to intimitate someone. I don't use them but I know how. Before Sky I didn't know how to stand up for myself at all.

Sky said I didn't listen. So I learned how to listen better. Sky said I interrupt him. So I am learning how to not interrupt and focus on the person. Sky said I ask questions and then ask more questions before I allow him to answer. Yes, my mind races faster than he can talk and I am aware of it and catch myself. Sky said I don't ask for what I want and I can ask. He doesn't respond and I learned how to ask.

I said Sky likes power of abusive people and that might be true about me, too. I have always hung out with people who could cut you to ribbons with words. Maybe it is power by association?

I am the type of person that if you tell me something I will look at myself. Sky will say Faith you are doing ________ fill in the blank. I will think about it and if I can see a connection I will say Yes, I do that I'm sorry. I remember the first time I did this for Sky he dropped his jaw. After that he would spend hours telling me how wrong I was or some tid bit that I needed to "see". I finally said Sky give it a rest your looking for things to get me to admit. Was this behavior where I admit flaws wrong, Dr. Irene? If I admit something it helps me to accept that about myself. Sky rode it like a cowboy at a rodeo.

I am proud of myself because I stopped asking him for help. I stopped talking about anything. It is my butt and my blisters no matter who said I will help. I am knee deep and too bad.

It's strange a part of me is torn up and a part of me must be in denial because I feel like it's ok.

The doctor's son (who is also a doctor) told me today that his dad is leaving our office. He has two locations and the son will be taking over. This is going to happen in January. So after 7 years of giving my best it is over. Oh, well.

I wonder what the lesson is to have so many areas of my life turned upside down at once. I must be very good at managing because as I write this I feel the fear but I'm somehow detached.

I just spent the last two days with Sky. He has terrible flu that may be more. He laid around for 5 days and when I went there the place was a mess and he was out of food and looked like ghost.

So I went to the store, cleaned up the place and took him to the doctor. He was ok for awhile and then after we got back from the doctor and he got some medicine down he started with me again.

Sky is smart and clever. Sky's focus is now on problem areas I have that are real. I know if Sky is yelling to say stop it and go. But if I am doing something that is a problem behavior I don't know how to respond. If he can find something I will acknowledge he will repeat himself 10 times. It is anoying. I don't know what to say. So I mirror him and validate him.

We were laying on the bed and he was talking about his ex (the one with the little boy) and her first marriage. He was relating some fact and I jump in and say did they live here? He corrects me and says I was just about to tell you before you interrupted. I turned around and started reading the paper. He proceeded to explain to me my problem with interrupting with guesses. I do this and it is been an impulse problem. I feel embarrassed and I say stop correcting me and abusing me. He then wants to counter my feeling. Am I abusing you? I think about it and answer I feel frustrated when I forget myself and jump in with questions. I feel embarrassed that you make an issue of it. Then he says I ask you a question Am I abusing you and you answer with that. I say to him why don't you tell me how you want the answer. Like Faith it is a yes or no answer. How would you respond?

Then I say to Sky you talk very slow ( I sometimes wonder if it is intentional) and I talk fast. It is just my style like talking slow is your style. I'm not wrong nor are you wrong for speaking slowly. Sky will pause as high as 2-3 minutes while he is talking. I can't hold on for the information so I jump in. Actually, when Sky starts to talk to people who know him they roll they're eyes and make moaning sounds.

I say I accept your habits that are not like me why can't you accept my habits.

Then he says I can't allow something as negative and rude as interrupting, popping questions and all you do Faith to go past. I would only encourage you to get away with it in the future.

I say Sky you have seen me work on these behaviors many times and be successful. Why do you think I am not trying when I forget?

Sky doesn't acknowledge anything but perfection and when I can do it perfect he just goes to the next thing on his list.

I said I need your acceptance. I would like you to look at me and think gee Faith really tries and she struggles with these areas.

Sky acts like I am to be perfect and anything he doesn't like he will harp on until I perfect it which I can change and usually do. No matter how much I have given him his focus is on what I have left to do. This is about control isn't it? What would you say to him?

He demands I ask for imago process while he jumps me anytime or anywhere? What would you say to him.

I say Sky you are to do process as well. He says these are my feelings and your just criticizing me!

I hear you tell me over and over just walk away. Do you now feel it is hopeless?

What is Sky doing that you keep telling me to walk away?

If you tell someone I feel abused and they just keep going it is pointless?

I told Sky I have problems and it is very difficult for me to do as you ask. I really try to give you conversation like you like it. I don't like it that way. I am doing this to create a bridge with you. Why can't you accept me when I make mistakes? He started yelling and getting really angry.

At one point he was so angry he was spitting out the words. It isn't hard for you it is just hard for me. I said how would you know that?

I asked him why does it appear to make you so angry when I make a mistake or have trouble remembering?

He settled down and started being nice for awhile.

Here is the hook.

I am terrified to be alone. I get confused when sometimes Sky settles down and gets what I'm trying to convey. He is loving to me and wonderful once in awhile. I have to accept I can't have him.

I gather from what you are saying to me that you think I'm handling Sky in the wrong fashion?

How would you handle him?

You said (your funny too) he would have to get a dectective to find you. You would just disappear and be gone from his life?

Leaving at first got his attention now he is getting used to being alone and I think he is ok with it.

I think about counseling and I'm not sure. Do you think counseling would help us? He seems so resistant to do anything except point out my flaws.

So ends another chapter of "As the Stomach Turns".

To clarify:

You would be gone. Sky is hopeless and it is time to stop. I am handling him wrong and different would be better or nothing would be better?

Did I get it?

Thank you,

Faith

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 10, 2000

S1

Faith, The best way to handle any relationship or situation for that matter is NOT to be afraid of loss. The best and only way is to say what you mean and mean what you say. I have been married to my husband for 13 years (with him 18). I have reacted to his unacceptable treatment by screaming, crying and throwing tantrums. I am 42 years old now and can you believe I was behaving that way? Well, I felt I wasn't being heard. I would articulate my grievances logically and intelligently repeatedly over the years. He would pretend that he agreed with me but he would subsequently revert to his old pattern. All that was left in me were feelings of profound rage and futility. I knew that my rage was what he desperately needed in order to control me. Yet, I couldn't control my rage any longer. An incident occurred that finally got me to jump into "action" and "action"is the key word. You can talk until the cows come home but what is the point of saying "I DON'T ACCEPT THIS!" if your actions say the opposite? Say what you mean, mean what you say and then ACT accordingly. And don't be afraid to follow through. I have finally done this in my relationship with my husband. I had hit rock bottom. I have convinced myself that I have NOTHING to lose but myself. My actions are screaming louder than I ever could and what my actions are saying is this: "I WON'T ACCEPT THIS. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. I WON'T TOLERATE THIS EVER AGAIN. NO MORE! I DESERVE THE BEST AND I WON'T ACCEPT ANYTHING LESS!" My rage has vanished, I feel good about myself. My husband is just about on his knees. He knows that I am aware that regardless of the outcome of our situation, I'll be the winner either way! DON'T COMPROMISE! Not when it comes to your self-worth. If he can't see your value then by all means, he can blast off!

Cynthia QueenofScreem@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, June 11, 2000

S1

Faith, Lose the "Sky" but keep the "Faith". It's that simple. QueenofScreem@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 19, 2000

S1

Faith, I too, am having a hard time letting go, but I love myself and my little boy. My sons father is not able to see his son unsupervised, so he chooses not to see him. This hurts us both deeply and my spirit is feeling broken. It has been many months, I am still recovering,I do not know if I can ever trust again and it seems as if all I do is run from my feelings. I am going to keep talking about it until I work it out.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2000

S1

I am looking for a poem to read at a special service for our minister who is leaving. We plan to release some balloons and would like a poem to read at this time. Please send me any poems you think would be appropriate to me at mcolborne@mnsi.net. Thanks

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 22, 2000

S1

One must learn to live with themselves, to love themselves before they can expect others to. Sounds like his problem not yours. Also sounds like he doesn't want to put the work into a relationship that it will take. You do, but do YOU want to make this relationship or do you want the BOTH of you to make this relationship? Writing's on the wall............

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 14, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, I've been involved in a relationship with a person who does not know what she wants and keeps me on an emotional rollarcoaster. I love her to death but I cannot take this emotional ride anymore... everytime I pull away she reaches out and then when I come back she pulls away and goes back with her ex. Any words on how to let go of this bad relationship...

signed "REALLY SAD"

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 14, 2000

S1

Faith, Sky is who he is, you know what he's all about. And you must know by now that people don't change just because you think they should or you want them to. What you need to decide is if you want to live the rest of your life with Sky, accept him for who he is, and quite trying to get your own way with him. He is not responsible for your happiness hun, YOU are. Ane if there's a situation in your life you're unhappy with, it's up to you to take the bull by the horn , stop whining, and change it! These aren't just words to share with you, they come from experience, I lived with an abusive man for 15 yrs., and the one thing I can promise you, is if you settle, and think things will get better, you'll only be hurting yourself and wasting alot of your time. Good luck.0

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 08, 2002

S1

dear faith, i have been accused of being abusive, and know that i am. i want to be fixed. i have gone to a couple different counselors, one being a christian counselor. i am on paxil and amitrypteline i take before bed. i see a clinical psychologist bout once a month. i must still be looking in the wrong direction.... nothing is helping me. i have hurt EVERYBODY around me. i HATE it!!!!!!(hmmm that one emotion i in touch with) i would love if my victim would go to counseling with me. but appearantly i am the ONLY one with a problem. i am sooo glad i found this place. this has provided me with more info about my own behaviors, than anywhere else i have been. i can't make anybody want me, work with me, or expect anything from them. i am so hurting and confused right now all i can do is TRY to help me help myself. i don't even know if this will post but i hope it does. i wish you healing:) pokey