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Comments for Relationships! Ugh!

Comments:  Relationships! Ugh!

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 1998-2003. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

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B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 21, 2003

S1

Hi Dr Irene, Thanks for your quick response, I really appreciate it. :0) You asked me what the other therapists have said to me. I have to be honest, each time I went to see a therapist, I would go to maybe 2 visits and give up. But, from the few visits I had with each of them they basically all said they same thing, that I have low self-esteem. OK. They asked me what did I see when I looked in the mirror, and when looking in the mirror, did I see myself as being beautiful. One therapist asked me to draw circles and each circle represented a sibling in my family. Sounds like someone with a family therapy/ systems theory orientation. He said the same thing that you said, that I didn’t get the attention that I craved when I was younger because my Mom had her hands full with 6 kids (WE ARE ALL ONE YEAR APART! Ouch! ). By the time she got to me, I’m number 5, she was tired. (giggles :) ). Being around my nieces and nephews made me realize how hard it must have been for my Mom, and I give my Mom a lot of credit! Good! But at the same time it hurt to be called stupid and skin and bones, whether or not she meant it in a hurtful way. Absolutely correct. So, even though she didn't mean it, she was abusive toward you. And abuse hurts.  I think my Mom and I have a much better relationship now that I’m an Adult. I love both my parents very much, I think that did a great job coming to this country with no education and didn’t speak the English language. Wow! Even more stress for the family to handle. Also, you don't say what country your family came from, but there are effects in growing up first generation in this country. Maybe you'll mention that later. Regardless, this adds more stress to the family and the children. It is also likely that while your parental relationship is better now, you are still not terribly adept at handling her current abusive comments. It's also likely that you are not expert at not buying into her (or other people's) comments.

I have some healing to do, and part of the healing is letting go of my past. Yes. Your past is part of you and will always be. But you don't have to drag around some of the thoughts and feelings you learned growing up that are hurtful. This is what people commonly refer to as "baggage."

I think you are right in saying that I don’t trust that a therapist is “the” therapist who is capable of knowing all they need to know to deal with me. Dr. Irene I’m learning a lot about myself, with your website and corresponding with you. I just want to thank you again and of course God for your website. I’ve noticed that I have a bad habit of asking for different opinions, like I have to get approval for what ever it is that I’m planning to do, example: going to therapy, going back to school, etc. I'm very happy you've become mindful of your tendency to do that. Before you can change anything, including that tendency, you have to notice you do it!  Asking around is typical behavior by the way in people who don't trust their own Self. Your goal: to develop the self-esteem to allow you to trust your senses and feelings - even if others disagree. Even if in hindsight you find you were "wrong." Another thing, I know, I need to change is when making plans. Example: going to a movie. When that day comes, I change my mind and say that I don’t want to go, I find myself doing that a lot! I’m definitely looking for a therapist, none of my friends have ever been in therapy, so they can’t help me out in that department. But they have suggested that I talk to our Pastor and see if he has any recommendations. That's a good idea. I also have a recommendation. The next time you find yourself breaking a movie or other date, don't.  Force yourself to carry out your plans. The purpose of this is to begin to get a sense of what is going on inside you that you break dates. Pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling during and after the date. A great way to do this is to write the other person a letter you will never send them. Just start writing. Writing is essentially an exercise in mindfulness. Did you not want to go in the first place? Did you agree to something you'd rather not do? Are you angry towards the person you made the date with (even for what you may consider a "dumb" reason)?

Now, a short version of my anger spiel: anger is not a bad thing. Like your other senses, anger is a signal from God that gives you information about yourself, and is part of your internal rudder. Feeling angry is very different from mis-behaving angrily. There are excellent assertive technique to use when angry that will get your point across powerfully and politely. I'm going on about anger a bit because you talk about loving your parents, but you don't talk about also being very angry with them for what they put you through. Your goal here would be to love them as well as be angry with them if they step on your toes today. You would be aware of your early anger and would have let it go. All this without guilt. If you're not aware of and comfortable with your anger towards them, you are likely not to be with others either. So you may break a date.

Maybe you're breaking dates because you don't feel "good" enough, or that you'll have to work hard to please or entertain the other person when you're not in the mood.

These are just a few reasons why you may do what you do. Your job at this point is to start exploring what is going on inside of you. You can't fix something unless you know where the problem is, assuming there is a problem.

My last relationship with Gregg wasn’t a good one. :0( But, I’m glad that I went out with Gregg, it lead me to your website and I broke the cycle of chasing after someone that doesn’t want me. Good! Gregg ended up being abusive, but being in that relationship with him made me take a real good look at myself, and wanting answers as to why? I feel, ultimately it’s going to be ME who has to do the changing, it’s all about loving yourself as a person, if you don’t love yourself, than how can you possibly love someone else. Yes. I'll say it a little differently: if you don't love yourself, you are likely to put up with too much junk from other (and get quietly angry too); you are likely to feel insecure and need reassurance - because you don't believe you are lovable. And the reality is that you are! I know, I have some work ahead of me, but I know thanks to you, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. God Bless You… Faith

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 24, 2003

S1

Dr. Irene; Thanks, I think you're right, I just have to keep looking for a therapist that I feel comfortable with. But it gets a little discouraging because, I've called a couple of therapists and they said that they are not accepting new patients. Faith Ask to be put on their waiting list. Call again a few weeks later. Many times a prospective client has to call at the right time to get an appointment too, the right time being when someone else is finished, etc.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 24, 2003

S1

My husband had started with a therapist which eventually we saw together. My husband's family of origin sounds somewhat similar to yours--lots of ridicule, no real closeness, lots of scapegoating/blaming of others, only one sister was given lots of power/entitlement...and altho it doesn't sound true, this sister who was 2 years younger than my husband, would fondle him. He was an extremely shy kid/adolescent. This took place when he was about 12-14. So in our marriage, you can imagine the pent up anger he has which he acts out on me every so often--mostly verbal stuff. The frequency is less now, but the episodes are more intense and any learning that took place along the way seems thrown out when he is mad. So, the therapist, believed his distortions. She had started delving into his family and then stopped. He even distorted how he presented himself once when we were in a session and I flew off the handle. (I know, big mistake.) Anyway from then on, in his individual sessions, this therapist would tell my husband, as he reports, that I was a big part of the problem. Mind you, I have "issues" myself, but my husband could never really get how I would take responsibility for them, apologize when necessary and then try and change my behavior--something no one in his family of origin would ever do--it was always someone else who "made" them mad, hurt, etc. Anyway, my point is that one should try and not take it personally and keep your cool, especially during therapy--otherwise, the focus may get off the person who needs it and then be directed at you. My husband now sees a therapist who is willing to look at the pain of his childhood that has never been resolved. Even tho, it never went to the level of physical abuse, for someone like my husband who has a very sensitive nature, a covert, emotionally inappropriate family can be devastating. I like Burney too--the inner child stuff is so important for my husband. Because of this lack of trust with his family, and the lack of intimacy--my husband almost seems "resistant" to therapy. He often says it isn't "working". It almost sounds like he's blaming the therapist. He has trouble trusting anyone, more/less a therapist. Sounds like he's having a hard time taking responsibility for himself.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 24, 2003

S1

Hi Dr. Irene, I have just begun a process in the past few months of steady confrontation with my strong willed mother. I have reached a compromise on her part for the first time but now find myself stalled in my next step. In an attempt to induce guilt or some reaction from me by accusing me of elder abuse, I calmly left her home. Now her feeble attempt to ask me to go out shopping ended with a reply to call my sister (whom she has even more limited contact with.) I can add more details. Thank you for your help, anon.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2003

S1

I have gotten some invaluable information from Robert Burney's website. I also have his book, "Codependence: Dance of the Wounded Souls  " Wonderful book! He discovered via his website that he does phone counseling. I have pre-purchased four 1-1/2 hour sessions with him, which are extremely reasonably priced. My first phone consultation with him was this past Sunday. I immediately felt better. He offers very immediate, practical guidance that I am able to start using right away. And, boy, did I need it for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend! I'm flying back to Minnesota to spend it with my family... I have been seeing a great counselor for the past 2 years approximately. I credit him with bringing to my attention that was I was experiencing in my marriage was verbal and emotional abuse. He is the one who had me read Patricia Evans' book. It's tough to find a counselor you can really feel comfortable with and connect with right away. But once you find the right one, you will know, and will have been worth the effort. Best wishes to you. 'dsz' from the Catbox  Thanks dsz.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2003

S1

Dr. Irene, Hi! I am struggling with the words verbal abuse. I was talking with a friend about my spouse and she said these words to me. I initially thought no way, it's not that bad. But, she started talking to me about what SHE thought was verbal abuse and it is definitely a match. What exactly is verbal abuse? How do you know if you are a victim and not just overreacting and being accusatory? Please help me with this if you can!!!! Allison  Look here.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 26, 2003

S1

A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world: everyone you meet is your mirror. - Ken Keyes, Jr. Great quote. Thank you. It's now at the top of the Relationships - Ugh page! It's funny - I've always been known as the "peace maker" - I hate to fight. But here I am in the fourth month of my third marriage and its like someone flipped a switch - who is this man? So I came looking for answers, and I'm finding out - could be he's the narcissist; could be I'm the co-dependent, or maybe even the controlling caretaker or both. I feel sick inside. I have been down this path over and over and wonder why - now I know. All I have to do is figure out - what to do next. What is so bad is this - I cant bail out on my marriage yet - not without giving it all I've got - not in a sick way, but in learning be responsible just for me - not to be affected by what's done or said, and not to try and fix it. Is it ever possible to work things out with someone who is narcissistic? I will keep on coming here until I've got some answers. I am really grateful to hear the truth - even though its nearly unbearable.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 27, 2003

S1

Hello Dr. Irene, Could you help me to understand eating and codependency. I am not able (at this time) to make good choices about food. Feelings come, and I run to food. Sexual abuse and verbal abuse are in my past. I have been in therapy and have had some spiritual healing as well. I'm still not wanting to take responsibility for my own eating. I ask a lot of friends what they are doing to control their weight. I tend to spend a lot of money on products. Sometimes I lose and then I gain it all back. My mother and all my brothers and sisters are overweight as well (obese, 70 lbs over and more). Can you give me some insight? Look here.

Dear Faith and readers, I'll be  back next week. Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving to all! Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 29, 2003

S1

November 28, 2003 I would be equally comfortable referring to your issues as "low self esteem", lack of "personal power", mild post traumatic stress disorder, lack of "assertion skills" and the like. One more big one: "Trust". Hello, I'm Denise and the statement above unfortunately describes me...to say the least! :( Now my question is: Once a person's "Self-Esteem", "Personal Power", "Self-Respect", and "Trust" in others are gone...(due to many years of abuse, of all kinds)...How do they get them back??? :( First time here. Denise Well Denise, start reading the site!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 29, 2003

S1

Narconon-Canadia, OK- Rehab Facility. Mentally and Physically abused. I have a documented story w/ Medical Records show the bruises from the beatings. I received BLACK Dianetics. I ran away, only to be brought back by the cult. They drugged me up. I have supplied my story to OPRAH and STATE Attorneys Office in OK. This REHAB is a CULT that abuses its innocent drug addicts/STUDENTS. I was suppose to be in WD for 2 to 3 Days but spent 7 days because I fought the system and finally won by using REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY. I want my story to be heard so that no more innocent children get abuse or killed like Lisa McPherson. I also met with KEN DANDER in FL last week to find out the best possible to handle this situation. I want to get this story on every show or headline news station. I have financial resources available and I plan on placing a FULL-page ad in the New York Times stating my story. May you find GOD in your lives because I did after 37 years and I am going to be protected by him and pursue the Church of Scientology to expose this CULT and its SATANIC METHODS. Date: November 28, 2003 To: Governor Edmondson of OK. From: Michael Pappas RE: Narconon/Church of Scientology My name is Michael Pappas and I was sent to Narconon in Canada, OK after attempting suicide on 10/23/03. I am self employed and opened up my own Manufactures Representative Firm 8 years ago. I have (2) BS in engineering. Approximately two years ago, I started using Drugs and Gambling. I got tried of this type of life style and attempted suicide by swallowing 150 sleeping pills. (Documented: St. Joseph Hospital in MI) By the way of God, I somehow survived after 8 days in the hospital including 2 days in ICU. My parents did some research on REHAB facilities and decided to send me to Narconon , not knowing or informed that they were affiliate in any way with the Church of Scientology and the methods of L.Ron Hubbard. I was exposed to severe mental and physical abuse (I have pictures and Medical records to prove it) repetitive tasking exercise, numerous amounts of pills and drink concoctive and the brainwashing techniques. I should of stayed in Withdrawal only for 2 to 3 days, but since I decided to runaway I became the Poster Child for those who elected to runaway and spent 7 days in WD/Lockdown. I began documenting my full experience at NARCONON while I was there. I think that you understand where I am coming from. I also met with KEN DANDER last week in FL to discuss my case. FYI his number is 813-289-3858. He mentioned to me that the entire political system is afraid of these bastards and will not take your case. They have too much power and no attorneys have wanted to deal with Scientology. Ken has stood up to them and has been fighting the McPhearson Case for 7 years. (I was exposed to Black Dianetics as well) I sure hope that I can find a law firm who is will to stand up and fight for the rights that we all deserve and that no other individual will have to get exposed to this CULT. Please respond ASAP, I need the help. Facts that make your case particularly difficult: CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY/NARCONON- THESE FOUR WORDS ARE PLENTY. I am looking to prevent this type of abuse in the future. All of the “students” that attend Narconon are being physically and mentally abused. I do not want any more victims to be swallowed up by this cult. Also they tried to steal $20K for the services they rendered. If I was the states attorney general, I would exhaust every single resource to make sure that this operation would be terminated and eliminated for my home state and the rest of the country. I also planning on contacting OPRAH and 20/20 to try and get this exposed. I hope that you reply ASAP, so I can find out if you are going to support me in trying to eliminated the Narconon Experience. >>>>>>>>>>> PLEASE HELP OUR CAUSE>>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.narconon-exposed.org Sincerely, Michael P  President of DTG Home #   Email mgpappas@yahoo.com  Michael, I deleted most of your contact info for your own protection, but I did leave your email address up. For what it's worth, Narcanon is not ususally associated with the Scientology screwballs. I'm sorry the Narcanon chapter you went to was. Good luck to you.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 01, 2003

S1

Hi Dr Irene, It’s Faith; I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. You asked me what country my parents were from; they both were born in Italy. My favorite European country! I’m happy to report that I found a therapist Yippeeee!!!; I had my first appointment with her over the weekend. I did all the talking and I didn’t get any feedback from her. She is likely psychodynamically oriented, so she will wait for you to come up with the goods. She did ask me what I wanted to come out of therapy. I said, to break my pattern. I know that I have to definitely work on trusting myself more instead of asking for different opinions, and if I do make the wrong decision, at least I know that I made that decision on my own. I know it comes down to having low self-esteem, but how do you work on your self-esteem anyway? You eventually realize that there is nothing not to love! That you are as good and whole as any other human being on God's Green Earth. And that is the truth!  God doesn't make mistakes, does He?

Thanks for the suggestion on writing things down. I actually have a date set up for Wednesday and I’m already starting to second-guess myself as to why I said yes. (Why not say "Yes"? Why second guess yourself would be my question!) When I make the plans, I’m really excited to go. It’s before I have to do what ever I planned on doing. I start to get all stressed out and anxious over it. Ah ha! Bad thinking habits I think.  I think, that I break dates with men, and find it hard to get close to men that care for me because I feel like I’m not “good” enough, I guess, that goes back to low self esteem. Why are you making up their minds for them? Why not grant them the free will God granted them? (Who made you judge and jury anyway?) I think you are also mistaken. You are good enough! If God made you, you are wonderful! (Otherwise, God is really messing up, isn't He?) But, it doesn't matter if I know that (even though I never met you!) It matters that you get to know that. Dr. Irene, I have a lot of exploring to do, but I’m going to take your suggestion and force myself to go, and to write things down. Good. I have forced myself to go in the past and I end up having a good time. :)

You asked me about anger. Maybe at one time in my life I was angry towards my parents and my brother. Now, that I have God in my life, I’m not angry with them because I forgave them. Forgive, but don't forget. I’m glad you mentioned anger because I do find it hard to express my anger with certain situations, without feeling guilty. Read When I say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith  and Don't Say Yes When You Want to Say No  by Jean Baer and Herbert Fensterheim. Your guilt is an irrational emotion and there is little if any logic or sense behind it. Check it out!

I do find myself getting really stressed and angry over silly things. Like for instance my nieces and nephews, I have no patience for them sometimes, I try and control myself because they aren’t my children, but sometimes I can’t! Example: If I find my nephew playing with the DVD player, and he knows he’s not suppose to, or if they are fighting over toys, and with each other, I’ll yell at them to stop! Boudary problems... Unless it's your DVD player, you have no business there. And, you were a kid: you know yelling at them to stop doesn't work! A wonderful book for you - written from a Christian perspective - is Cloud & Townsend's  Boundaries: When to say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life . And when I think about it, I feel like it’s not my place to tell him…. You bet. Trust your gut. Thanks again Dr. Irene. God Bless  God bless you too! I'll be back next week. Tell me how it's going with the therapist and what went on in your head during the date. Dr. Irene, 12/3.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 09, 2003

S1

Hi Dr. Irene. It’s Faith. Hi Faith! Did you enjoy all the snow we got over the weekend :0) The trees looked so beautiful. I am weird; I LOVE the winter... Last week, I stated that I was going to force myself to go out on this date I had agreed to go on it was set for a Wednesday. Well, the guy I set the date up with was suppose to call me and never did. So, I didn’t have to force myself after all. (giggles) I didn’t end up going to therapy because of all the snow. My therapist called to cancel, so we set something up for next weekend. Thanks for the suggestion on the books; I purchased them yesterday. Hey, we all deserve down time!

Gregg called me over the weekend. A couple of months ago, I called him looking for my birth certificate. I had left it in his apartment, but didn’t remember where, so he called me letting me know that he found it, and some other important papers, and asked me if I wanted to go pick it up. I end up going to pick the birth certificate up yesterday; he asked me if I wanted to go to the movies. I treated him to the movies, and he treated me to dinner. He didn’t ask me to treat him, I offered. He mentioned that his brother is getting married, I know Gregg really wants to get married one day, so I said, "Don’t worry, your day will come." He said how about you? I said, "Well I need to work on some of my issues," Gregg said, "Yea, you do have some issues," rolling his eyes. I hate when he does that. Anyhow, I said I joined a website and told “you” (Dr. Irene) what was going on with me, and my last relationship with him. He said, "What did she say?" I told him the truth, that I have issues, and he said what did the Dr. say about me. I said, she said you have issues too. Well….. he didn’t like that, of course. He said tell your Dr. that my major in school was “Psychology” and it’s a bunch of BullSh**. Giggle! He's kind of defensive. The reason being defensive doesn't work is that it prevents you from recognizing that some of your ways don't work. Gregg said that psychologists only want your money and most psychologists need to see a psychologist for themselves. He said that the only person that could change something about yourself is “you”. Well, I agree with him totally on this last one.  I told him, of course that is true, but some people do need to seek out a counselor and it does work! Because counselors help you begin to think differently. Dr. Irene, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, But I’ll say it anyway! I care about Gregg a lot, but reading your website about abusive husbands and boyfriends makes me want to stay away from him!

But, I was surprised yesterday because Gregg finally admitted that he did things in our relationship that were wrong That's good., but he feels like I did more. I feel he really needs to see someone because Gregg was molested when he was 10 years old by his Uncle (who was Gay and died of Aids) Oh no! and his father was “very abusive” and “very controlling” Ouch! Poor kid. That’s why I think he has such an issue when it comes to me seeing anyone that is Male. He tells me I don’t want anyone to molest you. This is very controlling of him. It's fine for him to have his insecurities and his hang-ups, but it's not OK to impose them on you. It hurts me because he doesn’t feel like he has a problem. I wish with all my heart, that he would see it! I know that I have issues to work on for myself, and I plan on doing that…. Thank God! But it really makes me sad when I hear that it’s very rare for an abusive partner to change. It scares me knowing that the verbal abuse turns into physical abuse. I tried to talk to him about one of the arguments we used to have. I said Gregg; don’t you think it’s silly of you to want me to call you every time I step away from my desk? Controlling; designed to quell his insecurities. NOT OK! He said No, because he would do the same for me. That's his prerogative, but does not obligate you to do same. And he has, done that in the past. I said, I wish, I could program your brain. I wish, I could program my own brain (giggles) Ciao Dr Irene, God Bless….

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2003

S1

Hi Dr. Irene, This is Faith, I feel like once again, I’m doing the same thing. I know, you said that I need to get my head together and I’m trying, with therapy, and setting goals for myself but yesterday, I called Gregg and asked him if I could stop by. I ended up going to the store and seeing a DVD movie that was on sale and picked it up for him. I also saw this really cute Teddy Bear that I thought he would like and picked that up for him as well. You're feeling lonely. I gave Gregg the gifts and he thanked me for them. He asked me if I wanted to hang out with him and at first I said No, but changed my mind and said yes. Gregg needed to take a ride to pick some tickets up and asked me if I would go with him. On the way there, Gregg was saying how much I hurt him. I promised him that I would give it another try and changed my mind; I did that to him “four” times. So, I said, why did I do that to you? Do you think that I did that because I don’t care or love you? I was scared, I didn’t like your temper, I didn’t like that you were controlling. I was hoping he would admit to something but he didn’t. Gregg said that what I did to him was a lot worse than how he was verbally abusive to me, that he never turned his back on me, like I did to him. And I'm sure from his perspective he didn't. Problem is for the relationship to work, his perspective always needs to be your perspective. Since you are two different people, that can never happen. He brought up the fact that I went to a Bar with my sister-in-law and I promised him that I would never go to a bar. He has no business asking you to make such promises and you were wrong to try and dispel his insecurities by agreeing. I apologized for that over and over again. I said that I shouldn’t have went because I did promise him that I wouldn’t go. Gregg said that he could never forgive me for that. Wow! If he can't forgive you for that, can you imagine what would happen if you ever made a more "serious" mistake? Like defy him with your children if you think his view is restrictive or hurtful to them? Like defy him because he decided one of your good friends is a bad influence and should no longer be your friend? Etc. He also said that if we were married he would have gotten a bat and hit me with it. Totally unacceptable. He’s said things like that to me in the past, one time he said, if we were married and I cheated on him, he would put 2 bullet wholes in my head, and my family would find me flowing in the river. This can't even be said in jest. Think about it, look at how he thinks: What he perceives as betrayal (whether or not it really is) is automatically met with violent thoughts on his part. Not OK. I brought this up to him and he says that he was only kidding with me. No joke. Indicative of his thoughts. He also said, that he wasn’t being controlling, the fact that he wanted me to see only female Dr’s was because he didn’t want any other man touching me. Of course he doesn't see this as controlling. He's just doing what he thinks is in your best interests. He is the one who needs to deal with these issues rather than expecting you to mitigate his insecurities by going along with it.

Gregg says that I need to go on with my life, just like he has gone on with his. He says that he doesn’t understand why I keep bringing these things up! I said, I brought it up because he keeps saying that he’s lost all trust in woman because of me and that I really hurt him. He is constantly on the lookout for betrayal. Seek and ye shall find. He won't find a woman he cares about who will never "betray" him. The really confusing thing is, a part of me doesn’t want to let go, and a part of me does want to let go. This is one of those times you need to leave your heart out of it and go with your head. What is in your best interests: letting him go or not letting him go? Gregg ended up not picking up the tickets because his friend wasn’t going to be around, on the way home he asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner, I said No, and than he asked me if I would give him a massage, I said No. Gregg asked me to call him when I got home, I did. He said that he misses me, and that he doesn’t want to lead me on. He just wants to be friends. Dr. Irene, I should be happy that he just wants to be friends, and he has someone else in his life, why does it hurt so much. You are lonely and his attention feels good. It feels good to be so "wanted" and "cared about" (i.e., control can feel like love). If there was another guy in your life you really liked, you would not be so susceptible. Does this go back to having low self-esteem? In part. Needed to chase the person who should have met your needs but didn't. And my other questions, do I need to start setting up boundaries for myself? Yes. And how long is it going to take for me to break this crazy pattern? Or is that a silly question, because that one is up to me. Yep. You've got to see it clearly and then consciously prevent yourself from engaging with him - because you know where it's going - and it's not where you want to go. Thanks so much for your help – Faith. PS: God Bless God bless you too Faith. See ya next week for the last time on this forum. Doc

Hi Faith, I guess you're finished with feedback. I wish you the best for the coming Holiday Season and New Year. Doc. Dec 19.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 26, 2003

S1

Hi! I am just reading you, having gotten here through a series of links starting with Google and passive aggression. I just want to say, yes, I had problems beginning therapy. I first looked for a therapist after my brother committed suicide (lots of depression in the family), and I had to go through maybe 4 or 5. At first when I felt insecure I didnt understand why I was dissatisfied with my therapy... the therapist was mostly "yes, tell me more", with very little input or insight. I realized that I already talk alot to friends, I wanted something more meaty. It was through reading self-help books, and going to several therapists I found unhelpful that I decided what I wanted in a therapist, and started actively asking about their approach and discussing what i wanted (mostly I want homework that I can do between appointments so I feel I make discoveries and insight about myself, which I can then bounce off the therapist during the hour once a week, and also specific behavioural modification suggestions to deal with what I find as problem spots in my life... ie specifically offering only ONE OR TWO sentences about what is up with me, and then waiting to see the listener's response and see if they ask for more info, instead of me just blathering on while they listen)... So I wanted to say to Faith that it is normal to be unclear what you want from a therapist at first, and it is through educating yourself through trial and error, and reading, that you can become a good consumer to find the therapist who seems to really help you make progress in your life. Thanks! wench77

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Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2003

S1

when i began thereapy, i nevere said a word for 2 years, i dont know why, i just could not say anything...alli could do was shrug, my shoulders...or answer by the shake/nod of my head...i could not speak tothem...at all...i was just wondering...is something wrong with me for not being able to??

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Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2003

S1

oh sorry i wrote the last thing, my name is jess, sorry about that again.

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Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2003

S1

Hi! Wench77, this is Faith. Thanks for your response. I decided to fire my therapist for the reason of her having very little input or insight. She would just listen, maybe say a thing or two that I already new. I felt like she wasn't really listening to what I was saying. Thanks again for your response, I know what to look for. I actually like Dr. Irene, because she gives you some insight, the rest is up to you. Sorry to hear about the loss of your brother that must of been really hard on you and your family. God Bless You! Faith...

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Date: Friday, January 02, 2004

S1

Hi Faith First of all I want to say that you are beautiful no matter your size or your looks, it just does not matter. You are beautiful. I'm really sorry to hear about what happened, especially with your brother. I can only imagine what a nightmare that must have been and would still be for you. I agree with Dr Irene that the good thing, if there can be any good in it at all (good is probably the wrong word) but... it is that he did admit it and that he apologised for it and that you were both children and could not know better. It wont take the full pain away but it does mean that he at least thought about what he'd done and regrets it - I pray that he regrets it for a long life-time. That doesn't ameliorate anything of course, it was a terrible and devastating thing, but believe me, if he had any sense of guilt, it is a big plus. So many people go along committing gross offences and not for a minute owning up to them, ever, or in some cases even realising that it is a crime. Hang in there Faith. It is also good to know that your siblings were disgusted at what your dad did to your mom. Like Dr Irene says, that is a really good sign. I am from a family, with only one brother who I love but where nothing ever gets owned up to and I'm the scapegoat. Like Dr Irene said, if your bunch was wholey disfunctional, nobody would dare imply dissatisfaction towards Dad. Sadly that's the way it is in my family. No-one has ever disagreed with anything he's done (except me...) and it can leave you feeling, as I do now, with nobody, absolutely nobody on your side. I'm in my mid 30s and that last fact, that the perpertrators get away constantly with things, is so very undermining. Oh it's great for the onlookers and participants if they can escape and remain as onlookers, but for the victim.. it can be really hard to see any way forward. The good thing about counsellors, like Dr Irene says, is that you really can find one that you feel most comfortable with, even if it takes time, and they will give you the trust you need. Truley. In fact the counsellor I had a while back when I fell into depression after my dad's "antics" got too much for me, did turn out to be someone I could talk to and was probably the only person I could trust. She is probably the only person I've trusted in a long, long time. There is no vested emotional interest in the family politics and so on, and they can see, given the right person, just what's going on. Seeing that cousnsellor really gave me freedom for some time afterwards and I would say to you, do keep trying, it is worth it. (In my case, my situation is starting to get on top of me because I have tried to keep up the momentum in my family with the hopes that things would change... but they don't always unless you make big decisions yourself about moving on. I haven't done that but I do want to.. and a good counsellor can really help.) I wish you lots of luck and lots of love. There are lots of people out here I imagine who are dealing with this stuff and who would encourage you to seek advice. I have to get back to telling myself the same thing, particularly as I know it's true, but you can get into a bit of a sense of false security by leaving it too long when you're in this kind of family situation. They can be tricky these families... Don't leave it too long Faith, you are beautful and you have a lot to offer. Happy New Year XXXXX Maggie. (a quick aside to Dr Irene - what you do is amazing and a godsend ! there is nowhere else like this that I know of that the whole world can access when these issues threaten us in this way. Thank you so much most sincerely. There is a bit of a glitch with accessing the catbox - Ive been trying for some months now and cant get through. The catbox is another wonderful place to meet up with people experiencing similar problems and I pray that any glitches will be fixed as it is a real life-line.... with love, Maggie

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Date: Monday, January 12, 2004

S1

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Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2004

S1

Yes, I had problem starting therapy because I was waiting for someone else to tell me it was ok to do it. The first therapist I went to he was good but I had a problem with opening up to him and being really honest. I never had a male figure to look up to and my husband had abused me verbally, mentally and emotionally. I'm back to counseling but I'm seeing a lady which I can talk to her. Which may not be good for me.

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Date: Sunday, January 25, 2004

S1

I just love your web sight. It has helped me so much. Just yesterday I was told he was going to get a piece of card board and write idoit close the garage door. I forgot to close it yesterday and an hour after I got home we went to church and that is what he said to me. It just goes on and on, everyday of mylife. Today he demanded sex, even thought I said my leg is hurt, he kows I have been going to the doctor. I can't take it one more minute, I have been in therapy and I just can't face a divorce as my kids 17 and 23 would take it hard.  B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 04, 2005

S1

Hello. I am not sure where to begin or what to write but I think I have come to realize today that I am suffering from an emotional breakdown. I am married, no children (by choice, husband has a child from a previous marriage). At first my husbands use of porn was an issue for me and I wasn't quite ready to just accept this as part of my life with him. Looking back I would have reacted differently....been stronger and made it clear that it held no place in our marriage. But instead, I got angry and distant and he continued to use it, along with phone sex, and it was a real let down. That was a little over four years ago. I have had no desire to bond with his family, friends, and daughter because after spending the first year of our marriage trying to find my place, with his "other" interests, I could not find it in my heart to put myself on the line and give of my time to the things that I knew were important to him. I felt like I was being used and all the time I was giving to him and his family and daughter was being rewarded with my lying in bed while he tried to sneak looking at porn. I knew this was not going to go over well with me. I found it to be a real slap in the face. I understand many guys and even women look at porn, but it just did not sit right with me and everything started becomming bigger then they really were. The reason I come here today is because I need help. My therapist of 3 years is sweet and talanted but I am just not coming to the answers that I need in order to either progress forward with this marriag or work my out of it. I don't want to punish him any longer, as I punish myself in the interim. I am now finding myself low in energy and lacking lust for life. Any advice would be appreciated. Kim