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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Rhoda

Comments for Rhoda

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

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos  Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

S1

Gosh, what a nice letter!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

S1

Wow-so much like my own story! It took many months for me to figure this one out-that wanting the companionship of the other, was NOT the same as NEEDING it? Knowing what I was feeling, why, and that it was normal, that took time-to discern the truth of the matter. I still tend to over analyze my feelings-to some degree, I think that's good-it keeps me out of those same old muddy waters, when dealing with other people in my life. (I don't do what I always did, and therefore don't get what I always got...love that little saying!!) Having a hungry heart is part and parcel of being human- we are designed that way. It took my husband ( sigh-still a newlywed!) to show me the wisdom in letting go of emotional "control". I can love-and receive love, too- and still be "okay". Loving is NOT codependency...I could go on and on, but, I won't! "...I know there is a balance point. I see it, every time I swing past it..." (quote from John Mellencamp) Peace-Dawn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

S1

I played push and pull with an abusive man for 4 1/4 years. There were always promises for change, but then there were excuses of why he couldn't fully commit. I have thought about selling out and staying with him, but the cost is toooo high. I am 37 and have 1 son. I long so much for a partner for me and a wonderful role-model for my son. I pray it will happen, and I'm working on myself in the meantime.

I have a question as I start dating again. I have always moved quickly in the beginning of a relationship. How is this related to my co-dependency and how is it a "red flag" for future problems? This is a whole article Suzanne, one I have on my when-I-get-to list. Advice: Just slow down!

Have a blessed day, Suzanne

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2000

S1

Thank you, Dr. Irene:

Your kindness and wisdom pierces straight through to the heart. But, then, you do get lots of practice!

So I have re-read my writings a gazillion times and then your commentary another gazillion. I have wept, cringed and fought the emotions. Then the message that it is okay to feel the hurt made me sob. It is such a strong tendency to want the joys, but without the sorrows to endure. I am grieving the intimacy that I had tasted and perhaps exaggerated in my mind with my friend. I tried writing him, saying that it is time to turn the page... He called me immediately after he read my letter. He still professes to care and that he would have never began the relationship with me if he didn't mean for it to develop. Of course I want everything instantly, I must admit. But the most important thing is not that anything develops with him, but that I understand my own needs. In that respect, this situation is a necessary learning for me.

Recovery comes in stages, huh? Sure do wish it would come in smaller doses!!!!

Take care, Rhoda

p.s. Your encouragement was just what I needed to get deeper into myself.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2000

S1

Suzanne:

Please print off the info that Doc has posted under the Mindset of the Codependant and the Family Perspective mentioned in the above letter. After you have read it a few times ask yourself the question about moving too quickly again. It is really hard to listen to a quiet voice unless you stand still for it.....God knows that is the lesson I am struggling with.

Best wishes, Rhoda

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2000

S1

Comment on advice to Rhoda and previous posts: Dr. Irene advises Rhoda to: "Do not give the store away. Do not sell out for a warm body or a promise. Make yourself "expensive." Expect to spend time alone. Feel the loneliness and use the time to explore yourself. Expect a full partner who cares for you as you care for him. Love yourself enough to demand what you want... And you may get it. " What would you say to those of us who not only do not give the store away - we put the "Closed" sign in the window and spend several years, including vacation time, doing a store-wide inventory? This is the predominant tendency in me. Do I give up the title of "codependent" and call my self a "recluse" instead?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 01, 2000

S1

For "recluse"... I,too, have a tendency to "close up" now. That is something I have been struggling with, off and on, with my husband (not my abuser). I even remember the day I made the decision to NOT let anyone else in, to not let anyone hurt me, ever again. It was quite frightening,at the time, to know that I had put up the "off limits" sign. I don't think I had ever done that before, with anyone. Prior to that, I let ANYONE in! So, now in my relationship, I am slowly decreasing the arc of swinging back and forth, past the balance point of boundaries. It is a cycle of awareness,acceptance, and then acting on the skills I have learned. Not easy, by any means, but it does get less difficult...I think that, after all the years I spent in abusive relationships, it is sometimes hard for me to discern when the problem lies within my SELF, and my reactions to others, and when the issue is the other person's. As for being reclusive, what do you gain by it? (From your post, you sound a bit frustrated by your continued aloneness.) I know my reclusive period was very beneficial to me. I got to know my SELF, very intimately. It was a wonderful time in my life, one that I still think was necessary for me to grow. It helped me to put into words what I wanted and needed in my relationships with others. I had a firm footing to start from, when I was ready to go back out into the world. But, I also knew deep down that I did not want it to last forever- I had much I wanted to share with others, parts of my SELF that I desired to share with others. I was ready to love, to really participate in life, to be a part of that grand play called life.I guess it all depends on what you use it for- are YOU ready to rejoin the dance? If not, then keep looking inward, to your SELF, for what is holding you back. Is it that you need to work on something specific? Or, is it fear? Fear can be a powerful tool for change, I found that out myself. Moving past it is a huge step of courage! I was afraid to start another relationship, after my last abusive one. I DID NOT want to "pick the same guy", yet again. But, I strapped on my tool kit of new skills, reviewed my list of wnats/needs, my boundaries checklist, and stepped past my fear. I'm glad I did...I don't know that any of this will help. I come from a 12 step background, and I hold very tightly to the concept of telling my story, without giving advice. THis is my story-what worked for me. Maybe it will work for you too; if not, take what you can use, and leave the rest. Peace-Dawn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 01, 2000

S1

a P.S. for "recluse"-check out the Townsend/ Cloud books listed on the codependent section of the site-I think you may find some helpful reading there...Peace-Dawn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 01, 2000

S1

Being a recluse helped me heal. I needed the time for myself. I didn't pressure myself with any time limits for recovery. Move at your own speed.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 03, 2000

S1

Thanks Dawn, for the feedback on my earlier post. I'm not sure what you mean by this: "I am slowly decreasing the arc of swinging back and forth, past the balance point of boundaries. It is a cycle of awareness,acceptance, and then acting on the skills I have learned."

You also said "after all the years I spent in abusive relationships, it is sometimes hard for me to discern when the problem lies within my SELF, and my reactions to others, and when the issue is the other person's." I have not spent a lot of years in abusive relationships compared to many, I gather... but this really baffles me. I understand now that I shouldn't automatically accept blame from an abuser. And I understand too that I need to take responsibility for me. Practically though - What does this mean in a real situation? I'm frustrated because I understand these ideas but I am really not sure how to apply them. Maybe I can't figure it out without having a relationship to "practice" in? You asked"As for being reclusive, what do you gain by it?". I doubt that I gain much. I hope that I am healing, but mainly it is avoidance/fear of pain. I admire you, and Rhoda for somehow not only recognizing abuse and codependency, and getting out of bad relationships if necessary, but now it seems like that is the easy part. I think now I could recognize an abusive situation sooner and get out of it. But I feel like I don't know how to do something different, ie. I know how to be alone, I know how to be abused, and I know how to leave a relationship. What I don't know is - how do people have a healthy relationship? I guess that is what Rhoda is trying to figure out too. Can I learn anything about that alone, or is it only found by trial and error in dating?

Thanks. "the recluse"

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 03, 2000

S1

I think I was unclear above. I read that both Rhoda and Dawn have a conviction that a healthy relationship is possible (is happening, in Dawn's case). How does this develope?

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 03, 2000

S1

Dear "Recluse":

Yes, I am trying to find the path to a healthy relationship. I think that I will focus on the friends that I already have, enrich those relationships and try to distract myself from the romantic needs that are enveloping me. In my wanderings on the site I read that it may only be after we are whole and content with who we are that we will attract the right partner. That kind of makes sense. It is a twist on the adage that you will get hit on by other guys when you are with someone, but when you are looking for someone you feel like a leper because no one is even looking at you twice. A friend mentioned that to me last night. We figure is must have to do with the confidence in your self that you have when with someone that seems irresistable to others. So, I am wondering if I can reach that confidence in myself, by myself. Perhaps in that way the right relationship will happen. I dunno, but I am going to try it that way for a while.

Best Wishes, Rhoda

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 03, 2000

S1

For "recluse"...let's see if I can explain in a way that is useful...the best way to do it, is how I "stumbled" across it? And how I followed up on it, after having this major revelation! *smiles*The following is from a book of daily meditations ( 12 step), and it REALLY hit me just what "healthy" is. (June 23rd daily meditation)"...TRUSTING OTHERS....But does trust require that we be blind ot other people's motives or, indeed, to our own? NOT AT ALL (emphasis added); this would be folly. Most certainly, we should assess the capacity for harm as well as the capability for good in every person that we would trust. Such a private inventory can reveal the degree of confidence we should extend in any given situation. (quoted from 'As Bill Sees It, p. 144)..." "...I am NOT a victim of others, but rather, a victim of MY expectations, choices and dishonesty. When I expect others to be what I(!!) want them to be (i.e., "expecting" a dishonest person NOT to lie to me, or "expecting" a known gossip NOT to go behind my back, or "expecting" someone who has hit me in the past NOT to; OR even better in this case- "expecting" someone to hurt me who has always been kind to me and never hurt me...), and not who they are, when they fail to meet my expectations, I am hurt. When MY choices are based on self-centeredness, I find I am lonely and distrustful. I gain confidence in myself, however, when I practice honesty in ALL of my affairs. When I search MY motives, and am honest and trusting, I am AWARE of the capacity for harm in situations and CAN avoid those that are harmful...". Okay-whew! So, what did all this translate into, for me? Trusting my SELF, and my higher power, that's it in a nutshell. Being courageous, and applying the skills I learned, to have a healthy relationship. Admitting my mistakes, apologizing without shame and allowing myself to LEARN from them ! And for the next leg, I picked up a copy of "Feel the Fear, and DO It Anyway!", by Susan Jeffers. ( A WEALTH of "how to" in that book!!) But, I was well prepared,too, by my time alone I REALLY recommend getting to know one's self, before EVER stepping into the love/relationship realm.And NOT out of fear- it just, well, made sense to me! How could I offer my self to someone else, if I didn't even know what that was?!?!? *LOL* And I knew what I wanted-knew it was pretty high standard, too. But, my husband and I had that conversation, very early on-what I wanted, and that if he was not willing to give that to me, that it would be better to not even get anything started. And I was comfortable, being alone, single, if that didn't come into my life. I don't know if this helps...I STRONGLY reccomend Susan Jeffers book, and I think you will find that a great starting point! TRUST YOURSELF- if you are not ready, don't get into a relationship. If you are ready,( and to me, that means knowing the "what" of a relationship-what YOU want and need-DESERVE) then start looking at the "how", and know that the who, and when, will happen.Peace-Dawn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 03, 2000

S1

And yet ANOTHERp.s. for "recluse"...BALANCE! In my recovery, I discovered that I swung between two extremes in just about everything-trusting too much, then not enough; being too afraid, then foolishly too daring; too frugal, then too extravagant; being too prudish, then too sexual...on and on, ad nauseum! So, in my relationship(s), I have learned to narrow down that arc, especially with boundaries. I can have my boundaries, AND let other people make mistakes, without "chomping" their heads off when they trespass. And I can be wrong, and admit it, when I step over into their space,too. So-the arc is narrower, and I have more balance in my life. I can "let" people be angry with me, without being terrified of that-and I can be angry at others, and not have my usual anxiety attacks over it...I think that is the one thing about recovery that is an inheret danger. The misuse of anger? Getting stuck in the anger and distrust...*just my opinion*. Hope you find all my blathering useful...it sounds to me like you are ready to take some more steps on your path, and I lIKE to hear it! Peace-Dawn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 03, 2000

S1

Dawn: I thank you for sharing of yourself. I really need the reinforcment of this kind. There is so much I need to learn, still, about myself. Is there a more open forum to take advantage of what Dr. Irene termed advanced recovery? I would appreciate any leads that I can take advantage of at my convienence.

Thanks again, Rhoda

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, June 04, 2000

S1

Rhoda- the open forum(s) I chose were 12 step groups...I would recommend either ACoA, or CoDA ( Adult Children of Alcoholics, or Codependents Anonymous). Depending on the area you live in, there should be a group or meeting close by. I usually preferred ACoA meetings-they are intensely focused on the person, rather than the the alcohol or alcoholic in the person's life. I found genuine healing, though, only by taking responsibility for MY thoughts, words and actions. The group will not "do" it for you? And from reading your posts, you have REALLY come a long way, girl!! It isn't easy, to do this recovery stuff...much easier is the path of remaining a "victim", so give yourself kudos for getting this far! You are doing SSOO well, and just by recognizing the deep need you have for companionship, and that YOU want to get a healthier perspective on it, well, it speaks VOLUMES about your progress! If you'd like, feel free to email me. Let me know, and I will send you my email addy- I get genuinely excited, when I hear about others' progress- just sharing it with them, and knowing that we "trudge the road of happy destiny", together, makes it ( my recovery) so much more worthwhile! Peace to you-Dawn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, June 04, 2000

S1

Dawn and Rhoda - Thank you both for your kind suggestions. I am going to print them out and read them again, and get the Susan Jeffers book that Dawn mentioned. Rhoda, I know what you mean when you said that sometimes when you are not "with someone" its as if you're a leper. Maybe part of the push and pull phenomena that Dr. Irene talks about? ie. those people who only want you when they think they can't have you. "the recluse"

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 05, 2000

S1

Dawn:

I would enjoy emailing you directly. Thank you. I have too much going on right now to try and make any group meetings. I work evenings, so the local ones I looked into are not an option because of the times that they meet. I feel that interactions such as these posts may fill the immediate needs I have in my recovery. I really was thinking of a group similiar to the ones on this site, the "ouch", but hoping to narrow it down to the stage of recovery I am in.

Thank you, Rhoda

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 05, 2000

S1

Hi Rhoda-email me at my yahoo account; the addy is lovesrose@yahoo.com. I use that one the most, so I will pick it up within a day or so of receiving a message from you. If you have time, just send me a quick note, and we can go from there! Hope to hear from you soon!(Also,if "the recluse" would care to, the invitation is open to you, too!) Peace-Dawn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 12, 2000

S1

Rhonda & Dr. Irene,

I was so touched by Rhonda's post and blown away with her knowledge of herself. You are truly an intelligent and wonderful woman who can see into her own heart.

We all have hungry hearts, especially now because we have been starved for so long!!!! It is easy for us to get excited about the first person who fills some of the empty space and clicks with us. An analogy that is good is this: you give a starving person a saltine cracker, to them it tastes like filet minion. If you give them enough to sate their hungry stomach, it becomes just a cracker and they want something better. Once we get to know ourselves again and feel people out, make friends, get to know what our wants and needs are we will probably go through many saltines to find our filet minion! Through that time we will hopefully learn to love and trust ourselves amid the healing and exploration. We all need to take our time!

Hugs, Rhoda!

DJ

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 24, 2000

S1

Thank you Rhonda - your writing on the hungry heart spoke truth and life to me. Usually I feel totally alone in this battle. Gob bless you. You ae a strong woman and have deeply inspired me. SherryLynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 26, 2000

S1

Dr Irene,

I feel greatly for Rhoda, and feel that feeling alone is the most frightening thing one can feel.

I have a question maybe you could answer for me and the rest of us co-dependents, or recovering co-dependents.

Dr Irene why when someone begins to be horrible to us, after recovery do we still at times find it easier and less frightening to be passive? Why is sometimes so painful to let an abuser leave?

My Husband said he is leaving, why when he is like Jackel and Hyde with me for instance he will be play fighting and then he'll stop play fighting, but one never knows when the playing ends and it turns into something real. He says its my attitude that when he goes on at me I should say anything back to him. (I know I shouldn't but sometimes I am so angry that he can treat me so and control me)

He said he is leaving, though I feel so sad. I should be relieved, but I know of the debt and struggling that lies ahead, and so does he, since he is trying his best to break me. He has spent seven years blaming me for anything that happens to him, from him working long hours, to him being sick.

I've read boundary books, co-dependency books, lots of others of your reading list. Though still I am so affraid and hurt when he says he is leaving.

I can't imagine life without him. I know he is on an abusers cycle nice for a while, then things decline again.

I've done self love, etc, inner child healing, though I still feel so bothered.

When things go okay I feel so secure. Though at times things are so insecure.

My husband will buy me things, or borrow me money, or give me money, he expects me to say thank you and be so appreciative. I do lots for him though its never enough.

How can I handle all of this turmoil?

Why in all other cases I've read on your website, do the victims be able to persuade the abuser to go to counselling. What if the abuser is the one who wants to leave? Then the threat is gone isn't it? Really there is nothing to battle with?

I hope you reply as I don't know where else to turn.

My e-mail is:26THER@altavista.co.uk

May God Bless you Doc.

Love Ther

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

S1

Rhoda. I have recently been/still am in the place of wanting to begin with someone new, before I'm sure I'm ready. My guy-friend, too, has asked me to relax a bit, and expressed his want to back off a little, not to take it too far right now... maybe he's not ready. I know that I can be capable of flourishing on my own, and I know you can too. Maybe this gentle support and connection you feel from this guy comes from his knowledge of where you're at- maybe because he's been there, or is there, too? You need to take time to blossom for yourself. Allow others to do the same if they express a need to, and maybe your hearts can connect in their own right time. This is just what I keep telling myself, it's helped. I feel like if I am being told by someone who cares about me, that they think I might need distance (especially someone who has NOT tried to control this, but welcomes my phone calls and returns them, and respects my need to decide on my own) I'm trying to take the distance and use it for myself. When he's ready for me, he'll ap[proach me, and if it's right for me at that time, I'll reciprocate. No sooner. Waiting sucks, but not if you have something interesting and constructive to do to pass the time... Let your friend have his space, and preserve your own. I'm gonna try too!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, August 18, 2000

S1

I'm looking for a copy of "Auto biography in 5 chapters"........the one about falling in holes in the sidewalk, then taking a different street. Any help would be appreciated. I think it was printed in Beatties, Co Dependent No More

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 20, 2001

S1

I just want to say congratulations for this site. I am not for this country, but i have to say thank you god because this way i found out that i being in abusive relationship. I feel so sorry my english is not the best and it will be very helpful if foreing people could read this wonderful site. (spanis) again congratulations Sandra

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 20, 2001

S1

I just want to say congratulations for this site. I am not for this country, but i have to say thank you god because this way i found out that i being in abusive relationship. I feel so sorry my english is not the best and it will be very helpful if foreing people could read this wonderful site. (spanis) again congratulations Sandra

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 06, 2002

S1

WHERE ARE THERE CODEPENDENCY ISSUES IN THE bITHERE CERTAINLY HAS BEEN ALOT OF MONEY MADE ON THIS PYSCHOBABBLE STUFF