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

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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Reality Check

Comments for Reality Check

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: Sunday, August 06, 2000

S1

She's not truly pathetic, some of us don't learn about just "verbal abuse" for 10 years or more. By then it is so difficult to leave, because the brainwashing and manipulation is now believed by you. I went back time and time again. Stupid. Run, if you go back again, you may never get away again. Remember, verbal abuse can become physical.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 06, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene asked for a reality check.

Let me share mine. I have been married for 15 years to a man that I dated for a year and lived with for two years before we got married. I have been with him for 18 years. I knew, absolutely knew, from shortly after the time we started to live together that it was the wrong thing for me.

But there was a part of me that just couldn't give up. I look at it now and I still don't really understand what contributed to the frame of mind that I should stick it out.

I'll tell you the worst parts. My father died unexpectedly; my husband was out of the country on an extended work assignment when it happened. The kids were 16 months and 6 years old. My husband's employer flew him back for the funeral and gave him five days of funeral leave. He told me he couldn't stay any longer or else all of the extra money he was earning overseas would have to be paid back.

The real issue was that he would have to use his vacation. And I found out later his employer was going to let him for go the rest of the assignment with very little financial risk. So I was left to deal with the sudden death of my father in another state with two children by myself.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 06, 2000

S1

story above con't. (oops, that submit button is awfully close to the down arrow on the scroll bar.)

Zoom a few more years. Our oldest son is 11 years old. Making suicide threats. Has an "anger management problem" as the school liked to call it. Has a raging fit at school and screams in front of the entire 6th grade that he hates his teacher as much as he hates his father. Of course, according to his father, this is my fault. Every thing would

I take my son and myself to the psychologist the insurance would pay for. My husband agrees, because after all, we are the ones who have the problems. The psychologist makes good progress with my son. Some with me. Unfortunately, I don't think he really understood emotional abuse. I am too sensitive to things my husband says, it is wrong of me to intervene when my husband is disciplining our son, even if I think it is inappropriate. That I am afraid to leave my children alone with their father is a sign that I have trust issues (regardless of the fact that I always returned to mayhem. Kids locking themselves in the bathroom screaming etc.)

And my husband, who went 1 time, says that everything would be fine if I would just keep the house cleaner, park my car in the right place and make the kids listen better.

Zoom another year and a half. I am still trying to hang in there. I still think that if I do the right things my husband's behavior will change. It has been 15 years of marriage and for 12 of them I have been on the fence about staying. But I don't have anything concrete that I feel like justifies leaving.

I have my first mammogram at age 40. It comes back with an abnormality. I am assured it is benign but I need to see a breast surgeon. I see him, the identified spot is surely benign, but there is another spot that he is quite concerned about. He has the mammogram read by another radiologist. The radiologist thinks that this other spot is a probable malignancy. I leave the office three hours after with a lumpectomy scheduled for the next week.

I call my husband at work to tell him the news and so he can clear his calendar. He won't talk to me because he has a meeting to go to. He is supposed to call me back. He doesn't. He comes home three hours later. I am a wreck. I am trying not to cry in front of my kids. He walks in the door and within in three minutes has the kids crying and in their rooms. Then he comes and finds me and wants to know what the he** is going on, where is dinner and why haven't the kids cleaned up their mess? The doctor had just told me that I probably had BREAST CANCER! And he was worried about his dinner!

Later that evening he decided to take the time to look at his calendar so he could put my surgery on it. He wanted to know exactly how the whole surgery thing was going to be scheduled. Could he drop me off for the surgery and just come by to pick me up when I was done. He had a meeting he needed to go to.

I knew that night that whether I had 6 months or 6 years to live, I needed to get myself and my children out. He was destroying all of us. Fortunately I did not have breast cancer. But I sure had a cold hard wakeup call.

I am working towards leaving and am almost there. I have found an excellent psychologist, and my church friends and minister have been wonderfully supportive. After working part time for years, I have a full time job, and am adjusting. I am almost ready to make the leap. I am still afraid. I don't know what it is that keeps me here. However, in the last few weeks, I have finally realized that I don't deserve to be treated like this. My kids don't deserve this. And we will survive just fine. I think within a few weeks I will be able to lay down the ultimatum that he either truly participates in family counseling or he leaves. Maybe in a few weeks, it will just be that he leaves.

Don't spend the next 15 years doing this. Don't have kids and then watch them be destroyed by walking on eggshells all the time. (btw, that child with the "anger management problem" really has a generalized anxiety disorder. Very common in victims of abuse) Don't have kids with this guy and then let them grow up to be the target of his anger.

The longer it goes on, the deeper you get and the harder it is to crawl back. I can't tell you how dark it is after 15 years of denial. Much darker than it is after 5 years of denial. I can't tell you how heartbreaking it is to have a child ask you how come they couldn't be one of the kids that have a nice daddy.

Listen to yourself first. And then, with Dr Irene or somebody else, work on your issues until you actually trust yourself. And then work on your issues until you can actually believe that you don't deserve to be treated like this. That volatile relationships aren't romantic, they are unhealthy. That the guy you are with is really the kind of guy you would want to be your children's father.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 06, 2000

S1

You are in a good situation right now because you are out and have not had children with this man. My husband is just the same..... How would you feel a few years from now when your son, as mine did at 10 years old, is riding in the car, is in a good mood and out of no where turns to you and says..."Mom, with all the men in the world, why the heck would you pick Daddy?". OR when he is afraid of a movie and you tell him "Don't worry...doesn't Mommy always protect you?" and he looks at you square in the eyes and says "No, you could move us to Grandma's away from Daddy and you don't". That is the day I did and let me tell you....I still think of that day and feel guilty because it was many years too late. Had I not listened to the same responses many years ago before I married him from family and friends, I wouldn't be where I am today. Sometimes I think that to make myself feel more valuable I had to "win" this man that was so unattainable and unhappy. Surely I would be able to make him change and then when I do...what would that say about me? But there is no way to win even if you marry them. You lose everything. Your life, your soul, your zest for life and worse yet your children's happiness which these innocent little ones deserve. So think twice before you go back to someone like this. You invested many more years and I guarantee you will write the same letter I just wrote 10 years from now!

 B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

I don't know about you, but when I was a little girl I read a lot of fairy tales. You know the kind where the beautiful, young damsel is being treated so unfairly by the wicked step mother or some other evil character, and the handsome prince rides up on his white steed to rescue her from the life she hates. He kisses her and they live happily ever after. I also watched a lot of those 1960's TV shows as a young girl where the mom was baking the chocolate chip cookies, and everyone felt loved and listened to. I didn't grow up materially poor as you mentioned you did, but like you I grew up with an addict in the home, and I those TV shows and fairly tales were what I wanted my life to be. I wasn't so much concerned with having the limo or the big house, but I desperately wanted to be loved and feel safe.

I can't speak for you, but in my case I continued to go back over and over again because I wanted that life I had read about and watched on TV so much. I was determined that I was going to be having it with my husband, even though it was quite clear that he was incapable of providing love, safety, or the stable and normal life that I had not gotten as a child growing up in a chaotic alcoholic home. Could it be that you continue on with this thing, even though in your head you know that he can't provide you with what you need, because you are trying to find in him what you didn't get as a child? Just as I dreamed of having the stable and safe family, you were poor and someone who had money and material possessions to give you may have been something you hoped for as a little girl growing up in poverty. Since you also grew up in a home with addiction, you probably also wanted someone to love and accept you. Let's face it, love and acceptance are in short supply in an alcoholic/addict home whether there is money in it or not. Could it be that you are clinging to the fantasy of what you would like this relationship with him to be instead of looking at it for what it really is? I know I did this with my abusive ex husband for years. Just recently I finally threw away a ratty old pool that had been sitting on my back porch for at least the past 3 years. It belonged to my ex husband. It took me a long time to finally move it to the trash because it was a symbol of him and the life I had hoped to have with him. Even then it took me awhile to allow the trash men to haul it away. It has been that way with many things connected with my ex husband, and I am coming to believe it is because getting rid of those symbols are part of getting rid of the hopes and dreams I had with him. Each time it has been hard and painful, because even though I did love him, it was the life that I dreamed of as that little girl in the lonely alcoholic home that I am mourning the most. Could it be that you are not able to let him go from your life because you can't bare to let go of the dreams you had of a relationship as a child?

We have a saying in Al-Anon, "Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results." I did this for many years with my ex husband, and it seems like you are doing it with your guy. Maybe it is time to begin mourning the loss of the hopes and dreams you had for this relationship, and then it may be easier to let him go once and for all. I am in the process of doing this myself day by day and bit by bit. I realize that the perfect TV family, and the handsome knight on the white horse aren't real, but being loved and safe in a home with people who care about me and love me is a possibility. It is just not possible with my ex husband. It hurts. It makes me sad sometimes, but it is just the way it is. You may still have some of the material things you didn't get as a little girl, but you can't have them with this man. It hurts. You are sad, but it is just the way it is.

I wish you luck on your journey to finding you.

Sandy

P.S. This long narrow box is very hard to reread and edit, so if I left something out while typing I hope you were still able to get the gist of what I was trying to say.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

I feel the same way. Maybe nobody will ever get through to either of us. It's mostly that I miss him... What is it for you?

I have been venting on family and friends, talking talking, and getting therapy, but nothing seems to change the way I feel. What the hell's wrong with me? I think. Why do I love someone who'd do this to me? But then when he calls I feel differently...Maybe they're sociopathic. (Maybe just my H...can't speak for yours.) His leaving has hurt me more than years of verbal degradation. Sometimes I can't believe it. I just wish he were here...then when he's here, I remember where and who he was with earlier in the day, or wonder about it (he has quite a history of other women) and I lose it again, nag and ask questions till he loses his temper. Why do we do this to ourselves? I really feel for you. I know you want to hear something from him and you're not quite sure what. "You're right." "I was wrong to hurt you." "You're the only one I love." "Your feelings are the most important thing to me." "I have missed you." "You make me so happy." "I'm sorry." Does that help any? I know that these are the things I'm waiting for... jg

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

Well, just a quickie. I found this website last week and quickly became a junkie... see my email "end it now" in the yak section. Since last week, I've read 2 books by Evans on verbal abuse (See Book Shelf) and broke up with my boyfriend yesterday. Needing a little affirmation, I came here first thing before starting work. 

Your email and helped me confirm I made the right decision. Sad but true, I'm very glad my relationship did not end up as yours has. At the same time, we are alike in that we have the ability to change things, no one else will. I've done it and am rebuilding. Now you have the ability to take some action to save your self esteem and the rest of your life. Don't ever forget that you are still young, you are extremely smart, and are always in control. You bet!

Grace  

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

You said it yourself- "I am still having this drama with this man." You are getting off on the excitement the drama of never knowing what will be next. Seething with anger about his slights and negligence, cowering with fear and overwhelming horror about his outbursts (or yours), climbing to the top of Mt. Pity when he does just exactly what you expect in abusing you. You are a drama junkie. If it's not this clown, it will be the next person who can evoke in you these very strong emotions. Get some real drama in your life by focusing on people with real problems. "How will that family I met in the homeless shelter get the kids to school?" instead of "will he be pleased or angry about my new shoes?" Look to yourself to provide your self esteem and excitement.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

I was there and know how confusing and embarrassing it is. I felt so stuck!! The financial was a momentary pull for me too. I had helped him build a multi-million dollar business and I had to walk away with nothing except some of his debt. Very difficult, but well worth the price for sanity.

I knew the key was to love myself completely, so I started taking little steps forward to learn this. I read everything I could about building myself back up. I worked out every day. I made myself go out and have fun with family and friends. Gradually, I began to love myself enough, and became honest with myself enough about the abuse, that I could no longer stay.

It was well worth the pain of withdrawal to get to this point. I wish you lots of peace and love. You can do this!

Suzanne

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

Please please please consider attending both Al Anon Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meetings. It seems like you need to work on your codependency with this guy and your addiction to him. You're addicted to the drama of it and unless you get in a group who understands exactly how you feel, you'll never get out of it. You'll be in my prayers - good luck!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

"...and got this huge pit in my stomach thinking it is Saturday night and he is probably out with someone....."

Dr. Irene:

This one is a BIG issue for a lot of us. How exactly do you deal with that feeling? Especially on weekends and holidays - the pit gets very huge indeed. Being with another person yourself can be an effective diversion, but what if you don't really want to be with another person (separation is different from divorce, etc). And should you really be using people in this way anyway? If you don't want to be with another person, you should not be. Stay with friends or family; feel the sadness; don't beat yourself up, be good to yourself.

I had a priest tell me that I should reflect on some "more appropriate" alternatives (than you know what) to replace the lost physicality and intimacy during our separation. Absolutely correct. You are selling out if you are with another person and you are there just so you are not alone. You don't need a warm body.

What exactly are some "more appropriate" alternatives? Do any of them come close to compensating for what you lost? As above, family and friends. Go "home" whatever that is to you. There are times in life that don't work. You can make the best of the worst of them...

PJM

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

I've been reading about this same issue this weekend as it seems we all get stuck in this same place and cause ourselves endless agony. I know I have here lately. I came across a pretty good book that discussed the ambivalence we all feel to one degree or another regarding the go/stay issue or the even worse of getting out and then going back. Especially going back based on words, not deeds. The author basically said it was this internal debate that takes place, one part of us wanting out and one part wanting to stay. While emotional and painful, the tug of war remains intellectual and hypothetical until one part "wins" and a decision is made. The issues running through our minds/bodies/feelings during the debate suddenly become real. And, the part that lost the debate (in yours and my case, the part that wanted to "work it out") becomes stronger, the consequences of the decision loom larger and there is a tremendous temptation to renege. In addition, the ex is pulling out all stops to woo us back with, once again, words not deeds. But our pain is soo great, we have a tendency to believe those darned words!! It's your responsibility to yourself to not allow yourself to be lulled by false promises...

Some perspective the author added was that this mental back-and-forth is common to any circumstance where a tough decision is being made. Heck, I remember doing it when I bought my Nissan and wondering if I should have bought a Toyota (I keep my cars for ages, so purchasing one is a major deal to me). And, a car purchase isn't even in the same league as what we have been facing in our lives with an abuser.

Anyway, the author gave this perspective....if the other part (the stay) had won, the part of you that wanted to leave would be looming just as large.

In other words, you're going to have some pain...or as this guy says "transitional discomfort", it will pass if you give it time. If you try to alleviate the pain by going back with him, you will still be in pain, but it will be despondency about being back in a bad relationship. And, IMHO, this back and forth crap does absolutely nothing for my self-esteem. Actually, it wrecks havoc with mine.

My s/o who is a AAA member (alcoholic, abusive, adulterer) also has a pattern of contacting me about every 30 days. Just accept the fact that he is a weak person, having a moment of weakness and try to ignore it. Recognize that they will say anything, but it is their deeds that truly count.

Can you just allow yourself to feel some pain right now, get some "there there's" from good people in your life, and avoid any contact with him. I think if you do, in about 6 months all will be better and you will be breathing a sigh of relief.

By the way, being bushwacked by an abuser can happen to anyone: Yep. But "everyone" doesn't hang out too long... I was 45 when "Mr. Wonderful" came into my life. I have two degrees, a great career and support/love from several close friends and family. I spent the next 4.5 years while I lived with this guy scratching my head over the entire as you say "drama" of it all. I've said many a time, we all have starring roles in a really bad 3 act play...Act I...too good to be true, Act II.....the drama begins, Act III....you can't get rid of them. End...sure you can.

Take care

Betty

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 07, 2000

S1

Stop wasting your time with what might have been and be aware of the same qualities in other men you choose to rely upon for self worth.

  B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 08, 2000

S1

I hope that you will be able to hear what it is that I am saying. I have recently gotten myself out of a relationship that sounds similar to yours. That is the first thing you need to know: the dynamic you describe is not special or unique. It is instead the worst kind of common.

Try asking yourself what possible basis in reality there is for your feeling that the relationship is "magical" or "special" or "meant to be?" Is love to you some gifts or lavish times, poetry and romance plus the heightened drama of tormented toing and froing? Or is it that someone will love you without conditions and for yourself? Is it someone who will take care of you when you are sick or at your worst?

Never mind him for a while. I suspect you have an incredible amount of love to give. It is now time to turn all of your love back onto yourself. Start thinking of yourself as the object of your greatest affection. Find out who you are: you need to find out what your needs are before you will be able to see that Mr. Three Engagement Rings is not meeting them.

First I thought that my Mr. Wonderful was very deep and stormy and romantic. It was from him that I got the notion that we were "meant to be." But it was me who put all of the effort into making this happen. He also had several other women he was doing a similar thing with. Through a lot of getting to know myself and lots of therapy I can now see that my ex is not special or deep anything, but a pig.

It is YOU who are special. Get out of this relationship NOW!

Lisa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 08, 2000

S1

Hey Everybody! You need to learn to LOVE YOURSELF and ENJOY being alone - then you won't be as concerned about letting go of rotten people who mistreat you! Excellent advice.  I've had a history of abusive relationships and finally ended the last one which was my "grand finale" and there's NO turning back. I also had a wake-up call and it really banged some sense into me! I've re-gained so much independence (I say that because I always had it in me but it just got lost) that I don't even feel like dating! I love the time I have with myself and doing my own thing, i.e., working-out (I now teach yoga), finding a new job, getting my Masters, decorating, trying a new restaurant, being with family and friends, etc., etc. YOU CAN DO it! I've had so many offers and don't even want to date...it's just time for me now and it's great!! You can do it...believe me most of these abusers need you a lot more than you need them. That's why they always come lurking around again. You need to be head strong - cut it off completely with no ties if possible (I understand some of you have children). Refuse to participate in the games...they can only win a game that two people are playing!!!! Be smart and smooth - get help and get out!! I did and I feel good! :)

LHW

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 09, 2000

S1

Kristen, Minus the rings, cars, and gold, I can identify with you very much. I went back and read your original story posted on this site and remember it gave me shivers the first time I read it 4 months ago. I don't know what to say - I am struggling too, knowing it would probably only get worse but slow to get over such a relationship. In your first story you referred to addiction to drugs - it really is an addiction isn't it? Nothing else like it and hard to believe we can go on without. Just when we think maybe we are making progress, the temptation to go back is there, For me, its not necessarily that Dr. Irene is not getting through. Its something that seems even harder than learning a new athletic feat. You can watch it on video, know and memorize what your body is supposed to do. Still, coordinating your movement, timing, confidence is hard work and practice.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 09, 2000

S1

Hi, You sound so much like someone I know. I get to listen about how bad it is and how she has decided he really isn't for her and I hear about all the positive goals she has for her future. Then I don't hear from her for a while, then I do and she has done a complete 180 turn around, almost forgetting about the things she said before. They are trying to make things work again and he this and he that and we this and we that and I think "but what about you?" "Where have YOU gone again" I hear the denial between her positivity, but I don't say anything any more because I have realized that sometimes things have to get bad enough and enough times before a person is really ready to say "ENOUGH", and mean it. My suggestion is to keep doing the best you can and stay in touch with this board and keep reading and educating yourself and one day when the time is right you will know what you have to do. Jenna.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 09, 2000

S1

LHW:

Wouldn't you have to admit that enjoying your own company is easier for the rejecting woman than the rejected man?

Once she gets rid of the abusive man, the woman is on a fun journey to find out what she likes about herself, what hobbies she might like, what kind of cereal she would like to buy, whether or not to get a new boyfriend (if not already cheating on the husband). I experienced this joy of self discovery when I left home many years ago and found that kind of thing out myself. (I have to note that that kind of thrill actually wears out in about two or three months. Once you find out you like fig Newton's there is not a lot of thrill when you buy them the next time.)

The man, in contrast, is left a burnt out shell wondering why his whole world collapsed and what did he do wrong and what can he do to put it right, especially with his spouse. (Judging by the posts I guess not much, he shouldn't bother.) He doesn't have the luxury of a wonderful journey of self exploration because (a) he was probably indulging himself in all of his hobbies and desires anyway, usually to the detriment of his relationship with his spouse and kids, and (b) nothing is much fun anymore because you are totally preoccupied with "fixing" your relationship.

Anyway, I wish I could do what you are doing because God knows I have a lot of free time at the moment.

PJM

Come on Kristin, start writing. You said you would... By the way gang, Kristin, who is a victim in this relationship is excellent at dishing it out to those weaker than she. (But, she is more victim than abuser, though she doubts that at times.) Right Kristin?

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 09, 2000

S1

Kristen,

There was this wolf who was terribly hungry and would keep killing livestock at these peoples farm. One day in the winter, that hungry wolf came around looking for another meal and instead found a piece of meat right there! It was frozen though, but because the wolf was so hungry, the wolf kept licking it and licking it. The wolf would feel pain every now and them but because of the cold he grew numb to it. Soon the wolf could taste the blood and kept licking it etc.. The wolf died, and this is why. The fed-up farmer got a piece of meat and stuck a knife in the middle of it. He then let the meat freeze overnight and put it at a familiar place where the wolf comes. The wolf kept cutting his tongue but he sooo wanted the meat, (the guy) he kept saying well "maybe a little more" and now there is no more wolf.

There's nothing like freedom and being content after loving yourself and being set free from bondage. Stop giving him power over you even when he's not around he still controls you. Aren't you tired of that? Aren't you tired of the torment in your mind all the times day and night, or feeling no peace in your heart, even when you see couples walking or talking together? When you go out, don't you want to not have to think about "him" and what he's doing? Spiritually what is happening in your life is more than what the eye can see, but I won't go too far into that because it might rub you the wrong way if you don't believe. I myself after hitting rock bottom, got tired of it, and I worked on me, and now I am set free not from the "universe" but from the Lord who created me and had always planned for me to have an abundant life! All I had to do is put it all in His hands because He loves me, and He loves you more than anyone ever will and anyone ever could, and doesn't want to see us suffer, or put anyone else before Him. When we don't get our priorities straight, we allow things in our lives that don't belong, and soon there is no more you.

 

Yours in Christ Jesus, ~L

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

In Patricia Evans book, Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out, one victim lists several myths. One of the myths about victims is their "addiction to drama, or excitement." And that's all it is, a myth.

Victims like Kristen haven't learned to break out of the abuse cycle. Keep working at it, Kristen. Eventually you'll break the cycle. And you won't even have to be abusive to guys who are actually nice to you.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

I'm doing the same thing. It's so hard to leave. The thing that I hold on to is more the security he offers than anything else (even though I'm more than capable myself...I make great money and own my own home...etc, he is able to provide a lifestyle I never thought possible). He's so intelligent and sometimes I make excuses for him that he's thinking on such a high level that of course I'm going to provoke him because I'm not thinking on the same height as him. He's so dynamic and can move mountains in a day...whereas, my life will remain the same for 20 years. The way I really feel is that I'm selling my soul to be with him. The price of all the things he brings to my life is the cost of my sanity and happiness. He used to become extremely abusive when I would see my family and friends and told me that they were all bad and that if I wanted to be with him I needed to choose. So, I chose my family and friends, yet he came back saying he'd thought about his actions and knew they were wrong. So, I thought I could be myself and friendly with people and visit my family...yet, I could sense that things were only temporary. So, I've stopped telling him where I'm going and what I'm doing...I sneak time to be with family and friends. I never tell him about the wonderful moments I spend with my mother. He'll never share in my true happiness. When we are together and doing things without outside influences, he's wonderful and everything I ever dreamed of. When anything from the outside is introduced, it's hell. Also, when he tells me to do something a certain way and I don't follow his instructions, I see his face turning red and I know that he's about to explode. Things can be going really well and I never know what is going to trigger his anger. He degrades me and makes me feel stupid and tells me to get out and live my pathetic life of ignorance without him. So, why do I put up with it? I don't know. I feel like I won't meet the man of my dreams. I can't do everything I want to without him...although, deep down I know this is not true. I don't want to marry him. I don't want to be with him. I don't want to be addicted to this relationship. How do I stop? I don't believe in God, so please don't offer me any religious help. Reading this posting and all the responses really hits home that I shouldn't be in this relationship. I don't want to have children and let them experience this degrading behaviour.

How do I leave and stay gone and get my self esteem back? Can I still accomplish all that I want to without him? You always act in ways that enhance your integrity; never, ever compromise it. Integrity is food for the soul.

I wish you the best and hope that you stay away. I know how hard it is. I've been doing this for 2 and a half years. I don't want to waste any more time.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

I am doing this anonymously, hopefully, I don't need any trouble in my life, but I was in a marriage that lasted 7 years, with a person that was like this man that is being discussed, and believe me, IT DOESN'T GET BETTER, IT ONLY GETS WORSE! LISTEN!!!! He might change for a short while, but when his behavior starts getting the way it used to be, it only gets worse and worse. Don't answer his calls, don't give him an inch, and tell him that you will get a restraining order if he gives you any trouble! EVERYBODY knows that verbal abuse eventually ends up being physical abuse, and the most dangerous time in an abused spouse's life is when she stands up for herself and gets the divorce or annulment, whichever the case may be. DON'T LET HIM GET TO YOU AGAIN!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

Go ahead...post it....Id love to read it

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

If a person is not at the place in their lives where they are strong enough to leave, they should at least do EVERYTHING they can do to learn about surviving while keeping their soul in tact.

First off, I'd be reading every post on this website under abuse and co-dependency. That alone will turn some kind of a light on, I hope. You will then be more aware of how these people work your mind over or take your mind away, which ever comes first. I think that once a person can see how abusers work covertly and overtly, some of the abuse is minimized. Let's face it, much of what they do is making us question ourselves, our worth and our sanity. Once we realize this is just a technique and isn't based in reality they lose their power immediately.

Then use some common sense in getting a plan together concerning money, networks of people etc. and bring what goes on behind closed doors into the light. A plan of action is called for. The little things all add up to give you power. In the original post, if he gives a five or ten carat diamond,,,,bonus, think of the money you have when you sell it to a jeweler. Then, how about remembering what's important in life,, you won't find "things" on that list. Life is simple, just enjoy it, love people, help others and educate yourself. Yeah.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, August 11, 2000

S1

Hello - The young ladies should go look in the mirror. (And the young men.) See the sparkle in your eyes. Take a deep breath and release it slowly. You are the most beautiful person in the world. Smile, it uses less muscles and prevents wrinkles. I am a 52-year-old mother of four daughters (ages 21,17,14,13). I have a son who is 24 and a law enforcement officer who deals with domestic violence, but does not know it exists in his mother's home. I have been married for 32 years. My husband is a drunk and an emotional and physical abuser. Yuk. He refuses to admit he has a problem. He is surrounded by his family who supports his theory that I am "crazy;" I have been hospitalized for mental illness, and am now seeing a psychiatrist for medication for bipolar disorder. 

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. I feel that my moods are directly connected to his abuse. My doctor is not sure. My view: You are biologically predisposed to bipolar disorder. The stress of your marriage is enough to potentiate the disorder. Right now I have a case in family court for domestic violence and in municipal court for assault and terrorist threats. He got drunk Saturday night, beat me, (left bruises that do not show on police photos because he "didn't hit me that hard"), and screamed at me 'I WILL kill you." I got out of the house with my 17-year daughter, who he also physically and verbally abuses. Ugh. You don't need this.

My husband of 32 years abused me less, then started taking it out on my daughters. They do not want to go to therapy. I have No proof of the problem. Your task is to become less of a victim; start thinking a little more like him. Think: tape recorder, memo-writing, etc. Now my husband shows up at family court with his lawyer and they are going to prove I am "CRAZY". This is abuse and handicapped discrimination. I am mentally ill and under the care of a doctor who says, with my medication, I need less stress and more sleep. My four daughters are beautiful, independent women and I am going to be strong in this for myself and them. Good! 

My family is not near or supportive. I am on my own in this. Not alone. Never forget the Guy Upstairs... Our county has some help from the women's center, but again - funding is low. Before this gets too long. Do not stay in a relationship that makes you feel a lesser person. God loves you because you are special. You too. A man in you life does not have to be God, but a man in your life does need to treat you as one of God's special creatures. Would you stay in a burning house ? How bad does the fire have to be before you know it is time to get out ? If anyone wants to write to me I freely give my email address and will try to respond. I work full time. Our public library offers free internet access so I use it when I can. My address is short48@hotmail.com.  Take care and God bless you with the strength and courage you need to get out of a house that is on fire. Nancy  Hang in there. You have to.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2000

S1

Well, I would like to thank everyone for their feedback. It has helped me. However, I am sicker than I thought. I woke up at 5:30 am feeling like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. Chemical problems, no doubt thanks to your biology and childhood abuse. Doesn't make you "sick." Just chemically whacked. He called me Monday at 1:00 am, 4 days early to "wish me wonderful birthday." The reason he was calling early he said was because he was going away and wouldn't tell me where he was going. I KNOW IT IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS!!! Now I have been having nothing but anxiety attacks. I hate that I am letting someone have this much power. I try to stay occupied and for the most part it works. I am powerless and there is nothing I could due to change this. Have you gone to an EA meeting? By the way, I'm very happy you are posting! I know I should be grateful and this is a probably a blessing in disguise. But............ I don't! I am tired and annoyed with myself. I know that I am not myself. I am usually an outgoing fun to be around type of person. Lately, I have been a depressed empty shell. IT IS PATHETIC. When Irene told me of this e-mail board it didn't phase me. I wasn't against it because I had nothing to lose. I am shocked to how many times a day I sign to read the feedback. I would like again to thank everyone for their comments. It is amazing how strangers who share a common bond are able to help one another. Thanks again Kristen. See, lots of people care...

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2000

S1

Dear Kristen, I just read your latest post. I know about those anxiety attacks. I still have them 3 months after breaking up, so I don't know the answer. Try an antidepressant drug; talk to your doc. No sense suffering. I had them before too - when he lied about where he was or who with. What your ex just did about the early birthday call is just mean and insensitive. If he told the truth, sure you would hurt, but it would serve to help you disengage. YES! i.e.. He tells you he has met someone else and is going on a trip with her, but still cares for you as a friend and wants to wish you a happy birthday. Be strong in your struggle to get over him and please post any revelations you have if you have them!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2000

S1

I just read your latest post as well.

Hang in there. Maybe if you can't yet tell yourself you don't deserve to be treated like this (and believe it - I think believing it is the hard part), you can imagine all of us out here gently reminding you of it whenever your feeling a little crazy. :) :) :)

You had the courage to move out. You have the courage to stay away. This ain't easy. It is hard work and it is not fun! So treat yourself with some compassion. You deserve it. :)

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2000

S1

This note is for Kristin:

I am in exactly the same situation you are, only my boyfriend doesn't want to get married. At first, I was very depressed about this. Now, I'm grateful. I have been bolstering myself to end this relationship and have been getting lots of support from my friends and family.

My boyfriend is very good in the gift-giving department, smart and has a great job. And he is just soaring with his career. I could be a fantastic "trophy-wife" if I stuck by him. My mother always told me it was just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as it is a poor one. Ha! Now, I just want to be alone.

Being alone will mean complete responsibility for my life. No one to blame anything on but myself, no one to give credit to but myself (and God). And it's great! You sound so smart, witty and like such a neat person (she is), I can't think but how you deserve so much more than what you are getting. Your email on worrying about who your husband is dating? Instead of feeling envy, try to feel pity for the next person in line for his abuse. Smart lady. Easier said than done, don't I know, because part of my problem is the feeling that someone else will be able to do right in the relationship what I couldn't. Which is to keep him happy. But you know what? The next one is going to have a lot of grief ahead of her.

Well, I have rambled long enough and hope that at least some of this helps. Nice rambling.

 B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 13, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene, I am that wonderful, beautiful, talented young woman's sister Hi! and I know she's gonna be ok. She has more strength then she unlocks and soon it will unlock itself as long as she continues to hang in there. She knows what she's worth she may not see it now but to me she's worth the world and then some. And, she's real lucky to have you. And she knows that big time. You guys really just have each other; I'm glad you're tight. You take care too. Thanks for posting.

TTS

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 14, 2000

S1

Kristin DARLING ... I wrote to Dr Irene several months ago - she headed my story Broken Engagement Saved This Lady's Sanity" or something similar. I went through a short burst (for a year) of exactly what you are going through. The love, the engagement, the car, the gifts, THE EMOTIONAL ABUSE, etc. etc. It was NOT love, it was TOTAL CONTROL. This man does not love you, he loves himself. You are simply a reflection of the perfect woman he has inside his OWN head, and guess what?? Because you're a human being, you will NEVER be able to live up to his projected 'fantasy woman'. Nobody can live up to anyone's fantasy. Give it up. Stop NOW. Save yourself a lot of angst, pain and suffering, get some help, and learn to sit with your own uncomfortable feelings. I've done it and its bloody hard work. But six months after my little near disaster I'm thriving, and I know I will never have to go down that road again with ANYONE. Since my relationship broke down I have found out I almost married a drug addict. Yes. He hid it from me very well. He takes something injectible on a regular basis - don't know what and I don't care. I'm just very very grateful, and believe I am an extremely lucky girl to have taken the strong stand that I did. Remember - this is NOT love you're feeling for this man. It's need. And he is not able to love you or ANYONE else. Good luck Kristin and keep hanging around here!!

Lee XXX  Dear Lee/Laura, Glad you are doing well! You really understand the angry guy's projection stuff - and got smart in the process. Maybe Kristin's too young. She's still playing along with Romeo, who can't seem to decide if he loves her or hates her, though he seems to love to torture her. Yuk. You know, he's really a nice guy deep down, but his free will took him to Hell; he seems to have sold his soul to the Devil...   

Hey Kristin: You there? I know you are. Whacha got to say for yourself woman? 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 17, 2000

S1

I don't really know what to say for myself. I want to be in a place of indifference. I don't want to want him anymore. It is very clear he loves to torture me. Do I love to be tortured? I don't think so it doesn't feel good. Yet I continue to allow it. I really want help; I do not want to continue this. I want happiness sooooo BAD!!!!

I feel so bad at the way he has sold his soul... I know there is nothing I can do about it. Well... you don't have to join in and sell your soul too...  He has potential to be awesome and great. I see that in him. However, he needs to be willing and he is not! He does nice things and then looks at me with disgust. I identify so much with the people who made comments yet I feel like I am the only one not getting better..

I am rambling, and I am very scared and confused.... Nothing to be confused about. You have to stop acting out of emotion. Start behaving according to what your body tells you. If your body tells you it doesn't feel good to be around him, stop being around him! Great and awful body feelings don't equal OK. Awful is awful. Get hold of yourself; hear your body; do what it's telling you to do.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 17, 2000

S1

Kristin, when you are ready, you'll be ready. We can talk your ear off. Only you can make decisions for yourself. Correct.

You'll probably only stop when the pain and suffering you feel while being with him is greater than the pain you feel when missing him.

Is there anything that he gives you or does for you that you cannot bring to your life yourself. We all hurt with losses throughout our lives. And, as women, we heal. Let other women catch you and nurture you as you heal.

I don't want you to stay with him. And, it could be that you haven't learned (or fully gotten) the lesson you need to learn yet about how great you really are and that you deserve the best and everything you want. That is a hard lesson...because once you see your value, you won't be able to go back, because you are worth too much for someone to not treat you as you deserve.

A friend told me recently that you are in the relationship you feel you deserve.

What do you feel you deserve?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 17, 2000

S1

Kristin, perhaps you need to be kicked a bit harder before you get it. Not that you haven't already been kicked to the point of bleeding - perhaps a few limbs need to be broken before you finally wake up. I know I'm sounding harsh here, but I feel its necessary. There's one important thing I've learned through my own process - and that is, there is NO WAY I have any control whatsoever over anyone else's actions, moods, or perceptions of me. ABSOLUTELY NONE. When you actually 'get' that, it's extremely freeing. The energy that once went into the angst of 'why he's doing this and that', is finally freed up - to be utilized for getting control of your OWN LIFE. That's all we've got. Control over our own lives. Not anyone else's. Stop thinking about him. START THINKING ABOUT YOU.

Lee XXX  Thanks Lee.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 19, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 19, 2000

S1

No man, no money, no title, no gifts, no perks and nothing is worth letting someone abuse you. Get a grip, girlfriend! Stop playing with this jerk and get a REAL man. REAL man by MY definition is one who actually cares for someone other than himself and is willing to put himself on the line for her. If you start thinking about how wonderful that would feel, you would realize that you're wasting your time and thoughts on that loser. It doesn't matter how much money a man has because having his love (notice that I didn't say being his target) is worth more than all the diamonds and gold in the world. Trust me, I've been there and done that, both of them!

Connie

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 21, 2000

S1

I must clear something up.... He is not a loser or a horrible monster. He gives what he is capable of. Which ain't much. I personally want more and that doesn't make his behavior acceptable!!! I am not in love with him for his money! In the early stages of our relationship I thought that is how you showed love.. He has his own issues as do I. I do not want to sound like I am running to his rescue, I just feel people are being a little harsh. Kristen: people are not being harsh as in against you. They are trying to help you disengage. Nobody said he's a bad guy. Everybody essentially said if you are being treated badly, do yourself a favor and get out. They are trying to support you in every which way!

There is my story, his story and the truth is probably someplace in the middle. Except you have me there, witnessing it. You've always had a problem with your "abuse" of him; that is, after he's pushed and pushed and pushed (horribly) and you finally engage and act out. Feel guilty if you want, but feel guilty over your own misbehavior; not that you are being too hard on him since you're so awful. Yes, you can be awful, but you are not even close to him in abuse percentage in this relationship. This is even though I know you can be downright abusive elsewhere.

This page helped me more than I ever thought it could. I look forward to reading everyday. I am grateful to all of you. I know that I am addicted to this man. I just can't bash him.... I don't know if anybody understands I don't even know if I do. But I had to say this.... Thanks again........ Kristen  I'm glad you're not bashing him or anybody else. Can you please tell everybody why it is you're feeling better these days? 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2000

S1

I suggest reading "Obsessive Love " (when it hurts too much to let go) by Dr. Susan Forward and Craig Buck. Excellent.  There's a technique in here that sounds kinda dumb but, it actually worked for me. Every time you catch yourself thinking about him, envision a big red "X". Then force yourself to think about something else. It takes about two weeks to get the habit going but, you'll notice your not thinking about him as much by then. It's all about bad habits folks... I also sent her to Susan Peabody's on line article and suggested she get her very helpful book, Addiction to Love : Overcoming Obsession and Dependency in Relationships. 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2000

S1

I am twenty three, smart, beautiful, and loved by everyone except the guy who abused me for two years. He left me after sucking the life out of me and I can't seem to get it back because I still want him. I call him all the time begging him to come back to me. I try to stop myself, but when I miss him or I get that ugly feeling in my gut I call. I have no advice but I would really like to talk to you because I can relate. My email address is andreakunselman@hotmail.com  I think you need to get an eval for an antidepressant too. Very, very important. Kristin: please reply here. 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 24, 2000

S1

I am going through something similar, so I can not advise. My situation is worse because I have 4 kids too. I didn't even know I was being abused. I thought it was normal to be pushed around, smacked, yelled at, etc if I made him angry. Neither did Kristin. She thought she deserved it cuz she was so "bad." All I know is that I felt sad all the time. One day while watching a TV program about abuse, I said, "Hey that happens to me. " Glad you saw that show! I started to notice a pattern or when I felt my worst. I have discussed this problem with him and we are seeking counseling, but I am not sure it will work. I just want to feel good again, but I don't want my kids to suffer. He is a good dad. Ask your doc about an antidepressant too. Most victims - and abusive people - are excellent candidates.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 24, 2000

S1

Hi Dr. Irene. I just read this e-mail that Kristin sent you and I felt as if I was reading about myself. Ok, so I haven't gotten the rings but they sure have been dangles in front of me every time I have tried to leave. Honestly, to tell you my story would really be repeating Kristin's so I'll save you the time. Reading this e-mail and seeing it in black and white just gave me one more day of strength. I was beginning to feel week this evening and give in to his promises and narcissistic behavior, but you helped. Kristin, keep people around you that will constantly remind you of what this man has done to you. It is easy for people like us to be easily swayed and go back to our comfort zone (however painful it may be). There is so much more to life than being miserable. I too am not out of the woods yet, but I am continuing the fight!! Michelle You bet. You may want to talk to your doc too Michelle... Best adjunct in the world to psychotherapy... Hope you're getting help, by the way. Hang in there.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 28, 2000

S1

basically she keeps going back with him and nothing changes so i think this man will never change and she can not change him and that is the bottom line.shes got to understand theses kind of men never change unless the men themselves admit they have a problem and want to change. that is my honest opinion

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 28, 2000

S1

give back ... as a childhood taker , today learning how to give back is a blessing in disguise especially if it's to the extent of volunteer . Our lives are precious , the time not replaceable , but to give one's time for a worthy cause grounds us to a past that was too scarce in giving . For reality check I would recommend the United Way local volunteer directory . Have fun and 'forget ' that past clinging dynamic .

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2000

S1

This is for Kristin. I am not a doctor but I have been in destructive relationships all my life. I have thouht about my motives alot. I feel at least for me that it goes back to my childhood. I draw verbal abusers because they remind me of my parents. I was always trying to get my parents to love me and accept me. I had and to a great extent still have low self esteem. These men represent my parents. I can never get them to love me as an equal or approve of me.I hang on too long trying to win their love. You ( and I ) are playing a losing game. We have to love ourselves enough to know that we deserve to be loved. We don't deserve to be treated with abuse. Its getting to that point that takes work. I have to work on it every day. Like practicing a foreign language and to speak it without an accent. Sometimes it feels like too much work but if you don't do it nothing will change.I'm still working at it and I'm not young anymore. I wish there were computers and web sites like this when I was young but there is no time like the present. Good luck Nicole

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000

S1

It takes some longer than others, but it sounds like your moving in the right directions. Time is a healer.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000

S1

Wow! I am in the same boat. My heart and mind just aren't in the same place, either. My abuser and I broke up mid-July after I found his personal ad in the newspaper. He has been "taunting" this idea to me the last 3-4 months saying that I should look in the newspaper for his ad and then I would ask "Did you really put one in?" and he would then say "What do you think?" as if I were to believe that he would NEVER do such a thing since we supposedly were monogamous. Anyway, I did find the ad and immediately broke up with him and needless to say - the last 6 weeks have been hard. I drive by his house,and do REALLY stupid things. I'm actually acting like I'm "lovesick" for him - but God, I too, am really an educated and wise person. Why do I behave this way?

Well my friends. In spite of it all, I have been doing my homework. I have invested in many books and therapy. I have read both books by Patricia Evans on verbal abuse, and also "Men who hate women and the women who love them", as well as many other books. I have my favorites! I read these books when its just me (who else!) after I am nestled in bed with my night light on. I feel alone, but I also don't. There's something to be said about being alone at night when you look outside and its dark, you have your nightlight on, and its just you plumped up on your bed pillows reading these insightful books. I feel the connection to my past; I actually embraced it, I find the parts in the book that I profoundly relate to, and actually REMEMBER how "he" made me feel when he invalidated me, discounted me, trivalized me, put me down, mocked me, all of the horrible "crazy" behavior. I read and then I feel and then I internalize my love for MYSELF - self-talk about how I truly am a lover of life, I am worthy of love, deserving of so much more. I talk about setting goals for myself, also. This is helping me complete MYSELF back to a whole person again. And I have been doing this every night for about the last 4 weeks. Its now my favorite time of the day. Very spiritual experience for me. SDorsey@calstrs.ca.gov

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene:

I so understand Kristin! It's me! I've been at it for about 1 1/2 years! Who knew I wasn't the only woman involved in a sick relationship! Lisa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000

S1

You'll leave when you're ready. I think we all hope you are "ready" soon. It doesn't get any easier if you stay longer - it just keeps hurting. Get good help (GOOD counselling and group therapy at your local women's shelter) and move on. There is a life after him. It can be very good. You are worth it.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 04, 2000

S1

Unfortunately, I can relate to her confussion totally. There are times when there is no other conclusion but to leave this man, yet as you get it together to do so, you begin to see him as a victim, and think that one of the posative acts you can do is to help this person with thier life. You don't realize at this point in time, that by helping him, you are hurting yourself. Sometimes, this line gets erassed for me too. I know how you feel. I need some one to grab me by the hand, pull me out of the relationship, and keep on going . . . never letting go of my hand. Otherwise, if they let go of my hand, I simply snuggle back in . . . deeper and deeper each time. I know that no one else can make a decission for us, but . . . ???

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

S1

Kristin,

I've been obsessed with a very bad man for the past six months. Compared to your 5 yrs, I'm afraid I may be in for the same long road of hurt. I know I'm a very beautiful young woman and I'm very intelligent. Unfortunately when it comes to love I sell myself short too often. His name is, Richard. The first time I got to know him, he coerced me to sleep with him. I felt so flattered that a man wanted me that badly. Deep down I was afraid I'd feel regret in the morning. Well, he was wonderful in the days to follow, he called me two, three times a day. I've never had that, never thought someone could care about me so much. He wanted to be with me everyday and we were making love constantly. It was very wild and passionate. He made me feel like a goddess. Then he started getting possessive, interogating me on what I did when I wasn't with him. Asking how many men I'd been with and how many men- coworkers,friends,acquaintances- I had in my life and who they were. I thought at first, how sweet, he only wanted me to himself. Then he started calling me a slut and a whore whenever I had been around another human being who happened to be male. He started throwing fits of rage and verbal abuse over delusional situations involving me and other men- anyone he could literally imagine. I stopped going out with my friends. He made me feel like I was doing it, I had made him angry, because I put myself in a situation in which another man could approach me. I felt ashamed for being beautiful and even friendly to other people. I started loathing myself. Somewhere in all of this I quit my job so I could spend more time with him and I convinced myself it was for the better. Everything was meant to be and he was the one for me. No other man has ever made me feel as high as he has. I haven't talked to him for a week and a half now. I just called this morning but thank god he wasn't home. I stay up late at night thinking he'll drive by to check on my like he use to. I have started seeing someone new but my heart is like ice. I don't know if I'm rebounding and being unfair to this very nice man I've started dating. I feel guilt towards everything. I'm jogging and excercising but I feel shame for taking care of myself when Richard is obviously suffering in his own self pity and destruction. Somedays I just stay in bed reading self help books and trying not to think about him. I'm addicted, I fantasize about him sexually still. I can only think about him touching me and making love to me. I feel so much shame if it were anyone else- even in my mind. I can't guarantee I won't go back to him. I miss him so much. I hate myself for this. Surely after 5yrs, you can give me some idea of what to expect next. Maybe we can help each other out of this. I know about recycling and relapsing patterns but I still do it. Obviously, so have you but your poor heart must know more since you've been through this cycle so many times before.

Anna

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

S1

Hey Kristin, what's happening with you now? I just had the greatest, yet terrible revelation today that i thought could help you (not to mention me-it's nice to tell people who understand what is happening). I too fell in love with an abuser and after a time, left him. I still felt like I loved him though and after reading Bill's story of recovery, I decided to give him the opportunity to help himself and confronted him with his abuse. To my great surprise and joy, he admitted it, apologized, held me, was sick,thanked me, said he would read the P. Evans book and go to a therapy session with me. That was Saturday. Today, Wednesday, he told me that he has discovered that he is in love with a girl that he has physically spent all of a week with and that he's interested in learning more about abuse, but that he's really busy. He is so serene and can't wait to see the girl and tell her she's the one. My stomach told me ouch, but I found myself looking at him and thinking how sad and delusional he is (and I must admit, I felt a little bit of disgust). He will always find an excuse to avoid his pain and any behavior change that results from it. I think the same is true of your man. The really cool part is that we don't have to do the same! Yay! When that sick feeling hit my stomach, I felt it and let it be instead of pushing it back down inside myself and all of a sudden, there was my rational mind. I felt that pain and it didn't come out in tears or a sarcastic, biting comment but rather in an acceptance of reality. And the most amazing part is that I can already feel that pain subsiding with each bit that disappears bringing a feeling of relief and serenity.

I have been reading all the posts on this site for a while and when I read of a success story or a breakthrough that someone has made, I cried for them and for myself, knowing that if so many other people could do it then so could I. I feel like I finally made a breakthough today and wanted you to know that if I can do it, so can you. I can't wait to hear about it! M.

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Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

i sm exactly just like you its is now friday and i am doing "my own" thing and the thought of him being with someone, the thought of me being with him and the thought of me NOT being with him make me physically ill. i know what i have to do, and i think i will have to allow myself to get angry to force myself to forget about him and move on, but i still miss the good times and wish that the other areas in which we were unhealthy, could have been better. it makes me soooo sad, and then i get so angry at myself, the most angry with myself, but with him for more reasons. i guess i have to wait until i am "offended" enough, by his mistreatment of me,nad my allowance of it, until i can move on, and truthfully, i have a feeling i will be shocked afterward that i was so blind---i think you will to. JaxMo3@aol.com

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Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2000

S1

I'm waiting for this to die in me. This missing him, the way I can still feel him in my soul. I'm so sad all the time. I'm doing my own thing the best I can, but everything still seems so dull without him. I feel inspired when I read the posts in here. I do get disgusted when I see him now and then and I don't know why I have such an obsession. I'll have an incredible day and suddenly something will bring the reality of his existence into my own world and I'm crushed again. I know I don't want the man he is now. I remind myself that I miss who he pretended to be and that seems to take the bite out of missing him. I know I'm waiting for the real Mr.Right. He's out there somewhere.

Anna

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Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2000

S1

I jst got back on line and read the posts....thanks for the support....

Well, a little update. I am much better, i don't know how it happened but it did so i won't question it. I don't even think i want to be with him.... I love him and think about him often. I beleive i am the reason this has ended for good. However, that is neither here nor there. I have been alone for several months now which is really a big step for me.. Cause i can act out and hurt other people just to get out of myself.... I know if i want a happy healthy relationship i need to do certain things so that is what i am trying to do. He has taught me alot about myself and i am grateful for my relationship with him. Believe it or not he is an awesome guy just sick.. like me.... and 2 sickies don't make a wellie. I wish it did... I have to say although i can feel lonely at times this is the best i have ever felt about myself. I think i may have a little self esteem... you know what we only have to go through the end ONCE!!!! Why we choose to do it several times is beyond me. I can't even say i wouldn't go back. I don't "THINK" i want to but i also have not been given the oppurtunity i kind of treat him like a drug I STAY AWAY cause i never know when i might "pick him up" Well, i feel a little better and for that i am grateful. About a month ago i thought i would die without him.... Thanks again

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Date: Sunday, October 22, 2000

S1

Kristen, I read and hear and reflect my own life just a different scenario. I say it is obvious to me what you need to do but I know that it is obvious to me I am paralyzed and in the same situation. I have 4 children, no income, and no tools for my own self control. I am an easy target for a manipulator. I met my H when I had once again fallen into a trap to gain approval of a friend who could care less about me. I had given up on myself probably when I was about 5. I have had no boundaries or abilities to see clearly abusive people. I second guess all my thoughts and choices. Consequently I attach my self to controllers. I see I am the child living in an adult body but not breaking through to own my adulthood. I am pushing really hard to own my thoughts and stake my claim who I am and not be pushed or manipulated. My doubt is my own worst enemy. I am in computer school and I sent out my first resume'. My goal is to stay focused on myself and "growing up", getting marketable and living in my mind as an independent thinker. I am interviewing therapists and searching for the right combination for me. My verbal abuser has retreated and backed off his mean words that I confronted daily for 2 months. He stopped. Whoah! But now I deal with his ignoring, and leaving for work long hours, and very little communication. I see now that it will never be what I wanted. I am trying to improve my personal life and let go in my mind of the love addiction of an incapable loving person. He looks wonderful to the world. Most people think I am nuts for not being happy. My dearest closest friends know I deserve happiness. Kristen, try hard to keep your life focused on you. Teri

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Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000

S1

It seems that a lot of us are in the same situation, but I know that to me it feels like I am so stupid, how can I keep going back to someone who does such horrible things?? And I know my family must think I am totally insane. I get to the point where I feel I amnot taking this anymore, this is crazy, he is crazy and I leave. The very next day I am a basket case, I am shaking, sick at my stomach, can't sleep, can't stop crying, wanting him to say he did not mean anything and he will change, but knowing that he always says that and he does not change. how do I keep myself from feeling like I have to have him in my life??? I am financially independent so it is not that, that keep s me with him. I feel like it does not have to be this way between us, if only he would just stop calling me names and degrading me and threating me and criticizing my family and so on. So, last night I went back and after I fell asleep he came and was hugging on me and saying how sorry he was and he did not mean the mean things he said to me and how much he loves me and he hoped I remembered it in the morning. Well, I do rememebr but how long will he remember??? I guess we are on the honeymoon era now, I just hope that it lasts. He makes me feel like the fights we get into are ALL my fault because I nag, or accuse. But he can do the exact same thing to me and I am suppose to just take it. Why can't he see how much he hurts me and if he reaaly loves me, stop hurting me. I know I need help but I just can't give him up.

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Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000

S1

Hi Kristen,

I know exactly what your feeling. WOW. It's amazing that were not alone. I have been in an abusive situation for a year now and finally woke up, I mean really woke up a few weeks ago. I picked up a book called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship", you've probaly read it but it as really helped me see the light. It's in our power to truley live a happy, healthy life. These type of men do not, I said do not deserve us. Like you, I have stepped back and forth with my ex and have sometimes thought I was crazy and so did my friends and family, but let me tell you, I am so releived to know that there is a better quality life out there. It's just that you have to have some will-power. I try and ask my high power for strength everyday and I also use affirmations alll around my house that say, "I deserve a healthy relationship" and so forth. It really does help. I also will not allow myself to talk with my ex. I hang up on him any time he calls. No contact. I am also out meeting with new people and while I out there, I am having a very positive attitude that I want to be with/around healthy people. We have choices. We have to take control of our lives. No one will do it for us. Life is to short. I am sure you have so many good/admirable qualities that someone else would cherish. I am trying to stay light on my feet for a while without having to have someone. I also think if you try and do more for your self - hobbies, goals, whatever it is, it will help you stay away from the abuse. You can have anything you want today, remember it's your choice. You can do it!!!!!!!

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Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000

S1

Hi Kristen,

I know exactly what your feeling. WOW. It's amazing that were not alone. I have been in an abusive situation for a year now and finally woke up, I mean really woke up a few weeks ago. I picked up a book called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship", you've probaly read it but it as really helped me see the light. It's in our power to truley live a happy, healthy life. These type of men do not, I said do not deserve us. Like you, I have stepped back and forth with my ex and have sometimes thought I was crazy and so did my friends and family, but let me tell you, I am so releived to know that there is a better quality life out there. It's just that you have to have some will-power. I try and ask my high power for strength everyday and I also use affirmations alll around my house that say, "I deserve a healthy relationship" and so forth. It really does help. I also will not allow myself to talk with my ex. I hang up on him any time he calls. No contact. I am also out meeting with new people and while I out there, I am having a very positive attitude that I want to be with/around healthy people. We have choices. We have to take control of our lives. No one will do it for us. Life is to short. I am sure you have so many good/admirable qualities that someone else would cherish. I am trying to stay light on my feet for a while without having to have someone. I also think if you try and do more for your self - hobbies, goals, whatever it is, it will help you stay away from the abuse. You can have anything you want today, remember it's your choice. You can do it!!!!!!! I wish you the absolute BEST! :)

Healing myself in Folsom, Ca.

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Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000

S1

You are addicted to this man. Join ALANON or CODA to work on addition and what can be done about it (ALANON sounds like it is not for working with addictions but they realize the codependent is addicted to making the realtionship with the significant other work, not matter how abusive that person is. So you are addicted to him and to making it work (just my humble opinion)

Sandra

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Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000

S1

Yes I do have a comment for Kristen, even though I feel I am in no position to. Your story is my story. I met a guy almost two years ago and it was wonderful in the beginning and he swept me off my feet. Then the verbal and physical abuse started. All my friends saw a big change in me and what he was doing to me. He had a very bad reputation as of how he treated girls . He told me I was different and how that was the past he should not be judged because he is different now. My best friend told me a year ago that he is like a drug to me and I am addicted and what going to happen is I am going to be left with no one in the end. She was right! We no longer speak after a tragic accident that happened to him. I'll try to explain without going into too much detail. I have had many bruises in the past from him and my best friend said she cannot continue to see me being abused she has to break all ties with me because it is hurting her too bad. On her 30th birthday party I wanted to surprise her and take her a gift. Another girlfriend and I went to eat first and then went by her party. My boyfriend followed us in his car because he knew alot of people that where going to be there and thought it would be no big deal . I told my friend I was with I did not feel good about it. I walked in and he was a ways behind me andshe said"What is he doing here, I want him to leave he is not welcome." I said I completely understand we will go. She said you are not going anywhere I want you here, just not him. She noticed I had a blackeye (which I tried to cover up & thought I did ) that he had done three days before that. I had my friend I was with go tell him it was best that he leave and I would come by his house in just a little bit. He then was walking to his car to leave and a group of guys followed him and throwing stuff at him. It was dark and I could not really see too much what was going on.( I am running out of room, I am going to submit and write again.)

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Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000

S1

About 15 minutes went by and my girlfriend and I where fixing to leave and then 5 guys came walking by us COVERED in blood. I went hysterical! We ran to the car to leave to go to his house. We called him on the way and he could barely talk. We then called 911, they said an ambulance was already on its way . A neighbor had called. To make a long story short. He almost died. He was beat by the 5 guys with a hammer , golf club and a steel rod. He had skull injuries and had surgery all night that night. My friend did not want this to happen, in fact she did not even know these guys that did it. He and his family blame me for being friends with someone and going to her party knowing she did not like him. This has affected so many lives. They have only made two arrest so far and the trial starts late December. I will be called back to testify because only my friend and I saw these guys come back with blood on them. Now I struggle with the guilt, could I have done something? Was it my fault? From my understanding these guys where in college and just over heard someone say that he had hit his girlfriend and given her a blackeye and they had been drinking and they followed him home . It just started when my friend was asking the people whos house it was at to ask him to leave. Anyway, the abuse has gotten worse since the accident and I keep begging him to be nice to me. I cannot break away. My life has been in constant turmoil since I met him and I CANNOT continue to go on. Your story helps me . What if I would of married him? I feelhe has so much anger , he would definetely hurt me worse now. He did go to rehab for drugs and alchohol a few weeks ago, but the anger is still there. I have got to get some type of help because it controls my life. I have no desire to live anymore and cannot see an end in sight. I just cannot see me ever having the strength to break away completely. I look at your story and it seems so easy to just say"Look what he is doing to you, you need to just walk away and dont allow this" but why cant I? I am in the process of trying to go to some co-deopendency therapy in Buena Vista Colorado. I wish you would check into something like this. I am trying to go December 4th for five days. It would be good if you could go when I go. I wish I had a magic wand to take away the pain, but I dont. I think once I do get away I would never be able to atlk to him again, in fear I would do what you did . Go Back. Love yourself more than this relationship. It is clearly unhealthy! If you want to write to me please do. Kacy2821@aol.com

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Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000

S1

Hi Kristin; I can honestly tell you from my experiences that you will move on. It just takes time and for every one the amount of time varies. I know from my experiences that you will meet someone knew and say to yourself, "...and I worried and obsessed over the "ex" so much." But you have to be honest with yourself, Listen to your gutt instincts, that little voice inside your head makes alot of sense. Don't jump into any knew relationships just yet. Work on yourself, do the things you always wanted, go to collage (professional growth), go on trips with friends be adventurous. If you meet someone knew and I know you will take your time. If he rushes you, run like the wind!!!!! If he loves you, will waite Look at the people this person is friends with, they often are great indicators to the type of person you are with and this persons history! What really helps me, when I am feeling low, is my family who is very supportive, good friends and working out especially. Not only do you feel good after a good workout at the gym, I find you tend to think more clearly and the bonus is you look good as well! Anyways, I hope this helps. Good luck!

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Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

S1

I'm 21 and I've been friends with this guy for a year that I recently got involved with. He was engaged and out of state for 5 months, but we talked every day. He made me a whole bunch of promises over the phone, he said he'd move back down here to be with me. That whole time he was so sweet and supportive and wonderful. As soon as I saw him in person again he was completely obnoxious and horrible. I can't think of anything that I like about him anymore and I feel lied to. I feel stupid and I feel betrayed. He's only been horrible to me for three days, but that's been more than enough. I had to deal with my father being horrible to me all my life and I never felt like I could do anything about it. I've decided that I want to be around a man that is really just a good wonderful person. He's not just good to me cos that doesn't last. He just has a wonderful personality. I have a really hard time believing that he's out there. I seem to only meet the guys that are like my father, charming at first, then horrible. I am taking this break-up with this guy one step at a time. Today, if he calls me, I am not going to answer the phone. I will be very proud of myself for doing just that. I thought I loved him, I thought he loved me, but it's not love, cos love is gentle and honest and kind. I want to feel happy when I'm with someone. I want to feel relaxed and safe. Kristin, I really liked your story. I'm glad I read it cos it made me realize how hard it is to break away from a person that you are so used to. The way he treats you is probably so comfortable to you in a way. I am still trying to figure out why wonderful kind intelligent women and men go for such terrible partners. aren't we supposed to be attracted to someone who is are equal? What is up with that? I don't get it.

I hope you keep fighting for who you are, cos I know I will.

Andrea

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Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2000

S1

well, untill she knows that she is beauitful, talented, and fantastic, you will never get through! Low self esteem is the reason we stay to begin with. And if we went into the relationship with any at all, after 5 years of this. I am sure she has none left!

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Date: Saturday, January 20, 2001

S1

Dear Kirstin,

if the agony of his abuse and horror of his tyranny are more than compensated for by the material comfort that he provides, then i urge you to stay with him.

ziggy

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Date: Wednesday, March 07, 2001

S1

Kristen certainly sounds like a beautiful, caring person and quite an inciteful, intelligent one too. It sounds like Kristen needs to find more things to do that make herself happy. I wonder if she's dating other people. Not everyone out there is an abuser. Maybe she would feel less lonely if she found more things that make herself happy whether she was by herself, with friends or another guy. Diana

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Date: Wednesday, March 07, 2001

S1

Kristen certainly sounds like a beautiful, caring person and quite an inciteful, intelligent one too. It sounds like Kristen needs to find more things to do that make herself happy. I wonder if she's dating other people. Not everyone out there is an abuser. Maybe she would feel less lonely if she found more things that make herself happy whether she was by herself, with friends or another guy. Diana

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Date: Thursday, June 21, 2001

S1

Gee whiz, folks... Can you go easy on her a little bit? I've been reading the posts to this interesting story, and people are writing in: "You're a drama junkie", "you're getting off on his drama", "your codependency is pathetic", "you need to join Sex Addicts Anonymous"....come on, people!!! I think she might beniefit more from empathy, encouragement, and understanding, rather than trying to convince her she's messed up beyond repair and needs to join some 12-step cult....or are you lecturing yourselves????

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Date: Saturday, July 07, 2001

S1

One thing that i can tell you is that all the advice in the world isn't going to help you. You really need to see it yourself. You need to realize that he won't change and that every time you go back to him is going to kill your spirit a little more.

I know exactly how you feel and i haven't been any wiser. I got married 3 years ago and I'm still with my husband even though i know that it's unhealthy for me and that he won't change. In the beginning, things were wonderful. He didn't have a lot of money so he couldn't afford expensive gifts, but he would always do things for me to show me that he cared. I wish they could have stayed that way.

Our problems started about 2 years ago. He cheated on me and when i found out about it I was going to leave him, but i didn't. I decided to forgive him and give him one more chance. Our problems continued after that. He was still being verbally abusive to me and one night after one of our fights I overdosed on some pills. I am not trying to blame him for my actions; for those I take full responsiblity. At the time I just wanted the pain to stop. But it didn't.

A year later I became pregnant; it was very unexpected. As much as I wanted to keep the child, I had an abortion because he said that he wasn't ready to be a father. I later discovered that at the time he had been cheating on me again and I wasn't as quick to forgive him, but i still did. And that's my stupidity. I know this man will never be able to be honest and stay faithful to me and yet i refuse to let him go. I can't possibly trust him anymore and lately i've been feeling really sick. I have stomach cramps that won't go away and i'm constantly nauseous. I really wish now that i never would have met him.

Kristen, I am hoping that soon I will have the strength to leave him. I'm sure you can see by my story, like I can, that I shouldn't be with this man. I am just beginning to realize that I deserve better than this.

I'll be praying for you.

Lainie

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Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2001

S1

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Date: Sunday, August 19, 2001

S1

I don't believe she's really in love with him. She is in love with the the illusion he sold her. Real love isn't a bigger and bigger engagement ring. And God help you if you fall for "he needs me". Don't feel flattered by that. If someone needs you, you better be there all the time, every hour, every day for that person. So far, God is the only one who can keep that up. What about your needs? They will not get met because you gave them up..completly to him. I know, I'm leaving this situation your in and I have 2 kids. Get angry! Think of how he's played with your head and your heart. They always know how to manipulate people. I'm wondering how I could have been so stupid! And this is an incredible waste of time in my life, and he doesn't deserve it and neither does yours. Go fall in love again....this time with yourself and demand that you are loved in kind...the way you do.

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Date: Friday, October 26, 2001

S1

I don't know that any words I can write will actually make any difference but here goes. My second marriage of 9 years has just gone down the tubes, the first marriage lasted 13 years. the first husband was a wife beater as well as a verbal abuser, number 2 is an exceptionally clever and cunning verbal abuser and has been violent on one occassion to me and on several occassions to the children from my first marriage. I married the second time round only 18 months after splitting with the first husband. I am an intelligent woman, I am in the finaly year of my law degree and have 5 children in total. yes I miss my husband incredibly, achingly for the sex which was always exceptional and certainly nt something I was used too, and for the habitual walking on eggshells thing. My husband works nights 4 times a week and those evenings were the best of every week because I got to be myself for a while. I thought my own thoughts and made my own decisions without criticism and constant put downs. since I started the degree I have even found that I am beginning to like myself and that I am not this awful person he says I am! the thing that helps me the most with this heartache is looking at my children and knowing that I still have time to show them a different way, hearing them in their conflicts and their hurt and showing them that violence is not an option, that everyone's feelings are to be respected - not just their own, and that showing them that loving someone does not have to hurt or involve controlling someone. that is the pain that I live with and I do feel angry at myself for having taking so long to discover all of this. My future ex-husband naturally is hating my new found confidence and keeps applying all the pressure he can think of. from my more healthier perspective, I can see all his anger, mind games and abuse as a thwarted child who is not getting what he wants. Yes I am very scared at times. the phone rings or someone knocks on the door and I quake in my boots. he is so determined to get hos own way that he would have me committed and all of us thrown out on the streets - he is certainly trying too!! But he is also beginning to realise that I have regained a litle self respect and integrity so his control is now limited. On a psychological note, I would have to say these angry men sound very similar to people who are have narcissitic personality disorder, which can be treated but is not usually successful. Read the tell tale signs of these people - the basic signs of most abusers, take time to really know the person you are with and if you have even the slightest gut feeling that something is not right - then keep on walking and walk away very fast - do not EVER look back OR EVER GO back. Better to be on your own and learn to love yourself better than be in the hell that becomes a drug which helps you to destroy yourself.

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Date: Thursday, December 20, 2001

S1

Hello There, I am going through the same thing. Everytime I feel like calling my 'Joe' I just envision myself beating a dead horse. You and your maginary lover boy will always live on Dante's first level of hell. As will I if I choose too. You really must get a life. I am not trying to be mean just teling it how it is. Start kickboxing or yoga. But for the love of god stay away from him. Learn to appreciate and respect yourself. Do not be anybodys doormat. Sincerely, Catherine

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Date: Thursday, December 20, 2001

S1

Hello There, I am going through the same thing. Everytime I feel like calling my 'Joe' I just envision myself beating a dead horse. You and your maginary lover boy will always live on Dante's first level of hell. As will I if I choose too. You really must get a life. I am not trying to be mean just teling it how it is. Start kickboxing or yoga. But for the love of god stay away from him. Learn to appreciate and respect yourself. Do not be anybodys doormat. Sincerely, Catherine

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Date: Thursday, December 20, 2001

S1

Hello There, I am going through the same thing. Everytime I feel like calling my 'Joe' I just envision myself beating a dead horse. You and your maginary lover boy will always live on Dante's first level of hell. As will I if I choose too. You really must get a life. I am not trying to be mean just teling it how it is. Start kickboxing or yoga. But for the love of god stay away from him. Learn to appreciate and respect yourself. Do not be anybodys doormat. Sincerely, Catherine

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Date: Thursday, December 20, 2001

S1

Hello There, I am going through the same thing. Everytime I feel like calling my 'Joe' I just envision myself beating a dead horse. You and your maginary lover boy will always live on Dante's first level of hell. As will I if I choose too. You really must get a life. I am not trying to be mean just teling it how it is. Start kickboxing or yoga. But for the love of god stay away from him. Learn to appreciate and respect yourself. Do not be anybodys doormat. Sincerely, Catherine

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Date: Thursday, December 20, 2001

S1

Hello There, I am going through the same thing. Everytime I feel like calling my 'Joe' I just envision myself beating a dead horse. You and your maginary lover boy will always live on Dante's first level of hell. As will I if I choose too. You really must get a life. I am not trying to be mean just teling it how it is. Start kickboxing or yoga. But for the love of god stay away from him. Learn to appreciate and respect yourself. Do not be anybodys doormat. Sincerely, Catherine

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Date: Thursday, January 03, 2002

S1

Kristin...Your story sounds so much like mine, in a strange way it's comforting to know that I am NOT alone in this situation nor crazy. I also moved out and have my own apartment and for the first time in my life am decorating it exactly how I want because it is mine and mine only! It's quite liberating. There are times when he calls I am tempted to answer the phone but remind myself of the misery that follows. It's hard but I know we deserve more in life. Stay in there Kristen, you can do it!

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Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2002

S1

I think its me...... :( Having one of those real, REAL bad days thinking that things can change....I know they wont.

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Date: Sunday, September 01, 2002

S1

ahh, deep breaths it sounds sso familiar....i finally broke up with my boyfriend after he got mad at me for falling asleep at the beach instead of making mad passionate love to him. This was the first trip we had been on alone in 6 months because i work most of the time now and i got tired of having to pay for most of the trips....he would pay some, but my car, my gas, my company credit card...because he had not gotten back on his feet since his divorce. IN FA

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Date: Saturday, October 12, 2002

S1

I read this email, and I am flabergasted that someone is going through emotionally almost the exact same situation. I am just now going through the process of discovering that I am "suffering" from codependency. Rationally, I know that both Kristen and I should not be with the men that we are with. We deserve and need healthy relationships that are supportive not destructive, but it is, as Kristen said, like we need that fix. The man I am experiencing problems with is emotionally, physically, and verbally abusive. But, I still "love" him...I put love in quotations because...I am not so sure it is love anymore. I am starting to think it is a gap he ONCE filled in my life (he no longer does, in fact now he brings me down) but I keep striving for that subtle control...that feeling that he wanted me and I was the only one that made him happy...I do not think that is love. Both Kristen and I need to work on ourselves and our dependency. It almost if we are spending our time WAITING to see what the outcome with be with Pete and Steve. I am not interested in anyone else,(only him...not even my friends) and that is what I was viewing as the problem...now I realize that is good because what I need to work on would just be carried over to the next relationship. I just want Kristen to ask herself, if she has noticed that she is not "herself" as much...does she find herself not expressing her needs or desires because she wants to aviod a fight. Does she feel satisfied most of the time or does she base her satisfaction on when things are going decent with Pete? I, obviously, dont know Kristen, but I can tell that she is an intelligent women in an unfortunate situation, and it seems as if she is searching. I think she is doing the right thing by trying to escape from her attachment to Pete. No one else can do it but her. My advice to her is to build her self-confidence, and to truly examine her situation, ask herself if she really loves him as a person, ask herself if she deserves better, ask herself what it is about Pete that holds her...is it Pete or how Pete used to make her feel/or makes her feel when they are temporarily getting along? I am learning now that: another person should not determine how you feel on a consistent basis. I think Kristen needs to set boundaries with herself, whether Pete remains in her life or not, and set aside a time to just have "Kristen time", doing things for herself because she does deserve it..whatever HER interest may be...I wish her the best.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 17, 2002

S1

I went through this with my ex-husband. He begged for me to return again, I held my ground, realizing he would never change. How many second chances does a person get? Eventually, he remarried, had a child by his second wife, went through alcohol detox and "recovery", went to a psychiatrist upon his wife's insistance. Started meds, and was "good" for 6 months, until it was time to follow up with psych for his med renewal. He stated he was "not going to be on meds the rest of his life" and refused to go. His wife left with their daughter, and after about a year he killed himself. That caused emotional problems, obviously, with everyone involved. My advice to you is... GET AWAY AS FAR AND AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!! The bottom line is he will destroy you if you return. Have you been happy for those 5 years? If he has this much control over you and you are this unhappy when you are apart, and you are much more unhappy when you are with him, then you know what the answer is. The problem with the verbal abuse is that it so often becomes physical abuse and sometimes even murder or murder/suicide. The other problem is that it leaves scars that take a long time to heal. I still give myself "pep talks" to assure myself I am not stupid, ugly, selfish, inconsiderate, etc. after 15 years of being away from him. What is most important is that you survive. You can only do that if you cut all ties immediately, and continue to get counseling to repair the damage he has already caused.

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Date: Sunday, November 10, 2002

S1

If Kristen is out there and she reads this site anymore I would like to tell her how wonderful she is and how happy she would make a "normal" guy in a relationship. Although I only met Kristen once I can say that I am her friend. I have spoken to her on the phone about her situation many times and I used to email her even more frequently. I have lost touch with her for the past year although I did try to email her once again recently. She even hooked me up with someone after my relationship ended. The person was wonderful but I was not ready for a relationship at the time in spite of my foolish actions with that friend of hers. (We went out a couple of times. I did not do anything mean to her.) Kristen, I went through my garbage with Yolanda and I am now done. I stayed away from her for awhile and she is now pregnant and remarried to her first husband. I know that you knew this would happen. You warned me when I told you that I would be marrying this woman. What I need to say is that you helped me so much in my life and I just want to know you are okay. I don't know where you are in your life at this point but I hope it is not with "him" because he is not for you. I know that there is someone out there who is good for you. When we last spoke you told me that there was another man in your life. I hope he appreciates you as he should. I hope you are with someone who is decent and kind. You are special, beautiful, full of life, morally sound, kind and incredibly funny. You met me once and you met my daughter once but you made such an impact with her because you were so wonderful. Please write to this site and give us an update on your situation. I hope that God blesses you now and forever. "J"

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 12, 2002

S1

Wow, I'm new to this board, but this situation reminds me so much of my first relationship. The break-up lasted longer than the relationship did! There were a lot of different stages to getting over it, but one of the lasting aids was a book by Susan Forward, called Obsessive Love. Also, I LOVE Albert Ellis's books on Anger. I think it helps explain a little bit why we put up with verbal abuse - because we are often masters at blocking off anger at the abuser's actions. Because we can get inside their head, we can understand their expectations of us. They demand that we are perfect, selfless, etc. - and we agree! Often they are just saying out loud what we say inwardly to ourselves. And part of what we are in love with is that they have this image of us. That they see us as perfect - or as capable of perfection.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2003

S1

Dear Kristen... I, too, am a co-dependent person. I come from a very abusive background which took a toll on my self-esteem. I think.."I can help, let me help, I can fix him..." and he comes from a very abusive background which has caused intense anger that he is in denial about and uses all kinds of bandaids (such as alcohol, pot, women) to try to kill the pain of a father who was never there emotionally for him. He hates his father. It is so sad. And the shell he has built around his heart is so hard and calloused from years of pushing the hurt back down time and again. I truly love this man, but he has hurt me so deeply time and again. I feel I'm not worthy for anyone better...I make excuses for him and believe his silly stories...and justify his womanizing behavior. The handwriting is on the wall about him. But the bottom line is how I look at myself and the degree of how much I think of myself is the degree of how much abuse I'll take from this (or any other man). But I've found that there is another Truth of this situation. There is God. There is how He sees me and what His Bible says about me. That is the Truth of all truths. In Psalm 139, God says "I have formed you in the womb...You are Mine..." and "I have written your name on the palms of My hands." And "Whoever touches you, touches the apple of My eye." This is God speaking about me...about you as you receive His gift of love, His Son Jesus, into your heart to rescue me and you from the punishment of sin. His love is what we need to connect to because no one loves us more than He does..."He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Blessings, strength and grace to you, Kristen...God Almighty, Creator of the universe loves you with an everlasting love,,,lay your heart down before Him and He will carry you....talk to Him and let His heart guide you in His precious love. Find yourself a Bible and read in the Psalms of His love for you. You will be made into a new-thinking acting person and He'll give purpose to your life. Jeremiah 29:11 in the Bible says "For I know the plans I have for you...not for destruction but for hope and a future." May His peace that passes all understanding keep you and bless you...your friend, Genny

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Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2003

S1

I have read everything Dr. Irene has posted about Kristin/Pete. I am Very intrigued because I have been going through a sitiuation that is, in many ways, similar (for 8 years now)...nothing has changed for me except....My family and friends are giving up on me because I seem hopeless. They are angry because they feel there is an easy fix to it all....just "be tough and leave". BUt I still go back everytime he calls. I don't feel anyone can understand...this is the love of my life. I don't want to let go of the feeling I have for him (when everything is "good"). However, I want to run when everthing is "bad". I know that I can no longer be a victim...I am the only one with the power...I know Kristin realizes this too. No one can tell us....we have to know and hold the strength. But we need to know how.....I am still trying to figure out why I answer his calls, and let him come over when he wants to, tell him he can move in with me, I love him, I don't want him to leave me alone, I am not better off without him, etc.....

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Date: Thursday, May 22, 2003

S1

I don't know what to say to this wonderful, beautiful, talented young woman, because I'm HER, only it is years later, and I'm stuck again, in another unfulfilling relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 21, 2003

S1

i can only imagine how you must be feeling. you musn't give up in your life. i believe everything has its purpose. all events happen for certain reasons even if they're painful. keep your soul alive. the most important thing is hope. the hope that there is always alight at the end of the tunnell. i wish you only the very best of luck for the future. my thoughts are with you, sincerely sharla