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Comments to Stuck In Anger

Comments to Stuck In Anger

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos, copyrite.gif (84 bytes) 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, March 28, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, First and foremost thank you and bless you for your site....I read your site daily and look forward to every bit of new information. Thank you.

I think of the validation stage as when you realize it isn't about you - it's about what happened to you, and the cause of your problem now is more about the wrong perception you had of the situation when you thought it was about you - when it really wasn't. You can blame the other person...and get a measure of relief from that....or you can understand the dynamics of the situation and correct your perception of it....which requires a search for the truth. I never really understood "the truth will set you free" Until I found the truth and it did in fact set me free. One does get stuck in this stage if they use the "blame game"-that takes care of the past (not really) but you don't take care of the present until you begin to take responsibility for all the things you did when you were under the influence of a misperception.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

S1

Thank you Doctor for a clarification of a question I didn't know I had. As a school teacher I am becoming more and more aware of how in schools we do not teach methods of dealing with anger ..to children or anyone else. Of course, as teachers we shouldn't HAVE to be teaching children this...but then...we are having to do a lot of the parenting jobs parents have given up.

Any way.. thanks again. :)

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

S1

My husband and I are in counseling and he is a choirboy there. Although the counselor assures me she has a handle on our situation and what's been going on (I do think she might), I am verbal and honest about things with her and frequently cry in the sessions because of my pent up frustration and anger. Because of that we have spent a lot of time discussing my need of his approval, etc. and how my self-esteem depends on how he treats me. Since we have focused on this, and he has been such an active listener there (something he doesn't do outside of there), I feel he has been given new ammunition against me, and my anger is not only not decreasing but escalating. I have to say, however, I have learned from the counseling and from your web page, not to "go at it" with him at all any more. I do state my concerns or what I want and leave it at that. I have to say this has given me the confidence to know that it is not my fault at all that he is attacking me. I am concerned about the counseling though, since she wants to focus on it from a "positive" perspective, more like how we can talk to each other, instead of story telling about what we did to each other. And I feel like just once he should be confronted and challenged about his anger and what he does to me. I am frustrated about him and frustrated about the counseling. Your counseling needs to focus first and foremost on stopping the abuse. Everything else comes next. Bring up your feelings with your counselor.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

S1

Many of us in these abusive situations were unfortunately, taught to be TOO NICE. Asserting ourselves not to take abuse almost seems unnatural...but we must know that it's wrong or we wouldn't be here reading at this website. Let's all help one another to re-affirm that WE DON'T DESERVE ABUSE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE or FORM...we need to hear that a lot now because we didn't hear enough about our self worth when we were children. I promise to help remind you if you do the same for me!!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

S1

I get confused about this co-dependent anger stuff. My old boyfriend (the abuser) was stuck in his anger. He was a "dry drunk" and was always mad at the world. I WASN'T allowed to be angry about anything or even have an opinion without him FLIPPING out and RAGING at me and cursing me and calling me names. I was left feeling perplexed and not knowing "what" I felt like. But looking back it was true - he had me CONVINCED that I was the cause of his behavior! I became a part of his false reality and he was hiding behind my wall of strength for a year and a half. He claimed that if it weren't for me, he wouldn't have acted like that. If I kept believing him, I would have ended up with a broken nose for sure. TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT and don't let anyone blame you for his behavior...ever. Because I guarantee you that he has the mind of an infant who cannot take responsibility for ANYTHING. Good luck everyone.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

S1

O.K., so what do I do with the anger? I can see I've been "stuck" for a while, and I'm ready to come out of that particular place, but he still can say something that devastates me, even though I thought I wasn't "engaging" him. We were having a discussion last night, and leaving, he made a sarcastic, mean, untrue statement about my family. Yes, he pushed my buttons, all right. Start by disengaging. Who cares what he thinks! I'm so tired of all the anger. I went to him later, and told him that the statement was what I had been talking about that I no longer find acceptable in our relationship. He said that he was sorry, but then justified it by saying that he said it because he was hurt by what I have been telling him lately about his anger (how very typical). He always manages to turn it around and say that I'm the abuser and get angry and yell at him all the time. This is untrue! I have been angry, but I truly feel that it is in response to him and in self-defense. He's just so good at arguing and I'm not good at it at all! I don't have a lot of money (again, typical, huh?) so which one of the books do you recommend I read. Patricia Evan's The Verbally Abusive Relationship . But, all the books should be at your library too.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

S1

Oops! I pushed the wrong button! I was asking about which of the mentioned books would be good to start with, to learn how not to get sucked into an argument and how to not take these purely mean and exaggerated statements he makes to heart. I am in the middle of "Boundaries: When to say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life" by Cloud and Townsend. Another great book.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2000

S1

I find with myself that I am very aware of abuse and I even have studied the "why" of why he acts this way - but it still does not help. I have set boundaries and for a while he was responding very positively to them. He was also on medication so that calmed him. I changed my reaction to his action. Then I noticed when he was tired, overworked or just in a bad mood that he would resort back to his old ways like there was never ANY HEADWAY! How very frustrating. Like all the same garbage through the years rushing back without a chance of any healing. It is then that I came to the decision that he will never change and if he is not going to get intense therapy to relearn everything - then we were a cross in the road. He would always respond abusively no matter how hard I changed. Sure I could not "accept" this but it taxes the nerves if he is still there abusing no matter how hard you "ignore" it. Yes. His voice still echoes in the background with criticism and negative anger. But I know all that and yet I still remain here trying to scramble for hope for the future. Why? Why do I stay as well knowing that it will not get better. I am waiting for a burst of energy to come pick me up and leave with my head held high. Maybe deep down inside I am afraid of the whole scene of it all. Packing up and marching out with the kids. Sleeping where I am unfamiliar. Driving the kids back and forth to school. Having them look to me for the reason why I made them leave their friends. I guess I have trouble with even "good" change. There is something that holds me back from marching out of this torture and I honestly do not know why. I hope some day I do because the consequences are horrific.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2000

S1

This is for the lady above whose husband is a choirboy. I think it's necessary to pinpoint what's wrong with these counseling sessions and what may not be wrong with them, but it seems to me your bottom line is that you're being expected to do the work of changing while your husband isn't.

Up to a point it may be natural if you start feeling more angry rather than less to begin with, since you're slowly getting in touch with anger that you've been holding back for a long time. However, that clearly isn't all that's going on.

The counseling seems to have helped you in some ways, and I see nothing wrong in itself with the way you've been encouraged to express yourself there; but as you said, you feel this has given your husband "new ammunition against you." Have you found this fear to be justified by subsequent events? That's to say, has your husband actually used any of this "ammunition" against you? If he listens "actively" during the sessions, does he seem to be listening sympathetically--or malevolently, say? If you get angry about something during a session, does he criticize you afterwards for being angry?

A normal person would only see cause to sympathize with most of what you expressed--about how your self esteem depends on his approval, and so on--but I realize that some abusers can twist even this: into an "excuse" to call you a "crybaby," for instance. Many abusers seem to hate what they interpret as "weakness" in others, because they hate the weakness in themselves that they dare not express. Does you husband use any of this "ammunition" in this way? If so, joint counseling can't feel like an entirely safe space for you.

Or is it only that you fear he might use it in this way? That's the fear of being vulnerable; and fear can certainly lead to more anger.

But even if it's no more than a fear, I still see another kind of problem behind it. The abuser was typically abused in his (or her) own past, and ought to deal with his own anger toward the person or people who originally abused him. Instead, he takes it out on others, inevitably making them angry in turn. That's to say, he dumps his anger on others and leaves them to deal with it. If you're expressing all the anger in counseling while your husband is sitting quietly by, that may be helping you in one way--but in another way it's like a continuation of what's been happening between the two of you all along. He's still leaving you to "deal with all the anger," including his own. Does counseling seem to you in some ways like "more of the same"? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if you feel angry about this as well.

Similarly, I don't see anything wrong in and of itself with the counselor's focus on a positive perspective. Some counselors do get bogged down in the past, going over it again and again, recycling old hurts and resentments ad nauseam, and working up more anger than is good for anyone--when the whole object of counseling should be to change attitudes, feelings, and behaviors in the present and for the future. But has your husband's behavior changed at all? What I seem to be hearing from you is this counselor is focusing on what you can do to change your behavior--which has helped you as far as it goes--but not on what your husband can do to change his.

If this is really so, it's another way in which counseling must seem like "more of the same." The abuser sends the message that whatever is wrong, it's always "your fault" and something that you need to change, never something he needs to change. Are you getting the same message out of counseling? If so, you must feel that the counselor is in league with the abuser, and no wonder you're angry. It's something you should at least talk with the counselor about, maybe in a session on your own; but if this is really what's happening, and she won't address your husband's behavior adequately, then you don't need a clock to tell you it's time for a new counselor!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2000

S1

Where does one go for intensive anger management training? How does depression and chemical imbalances effect anger management?

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2000

S1

To the above question, I know the wellness center in both our local hospitals have anger management courses that run all day for weeks. It is covered for the most part under insurance but if not insured it is very expensive. I just saw the other day that the rock singer, Tommy Lee was told to go there by the court because of spousal abuse and he was very resentful. After going through it he said he found it very, very helpful for both him and his family. Besides him I did not hear of any personal results from it but it is suppose to be very effective. Our therapist highly suggested a few years back for my husband but as per usual....he wouldn't go. Typical!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2000

S1

Anger management skills give the recovering victim the personal power to do something about their anger, so they don't have to get stuck in the semblance of power validation and blame offer.

WHAT????? Peggy That's correct. Many, though not all, victims have tremendous rage, especially once they start coming out of denial. These people need to learn impulse control skills and assertion skills.

 B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2000

S1

My observation, (strictly based on my experience with my particular abuser, is that there is no sense in providing the (divorced) abuser any of your emotions, since everything is fodder for their attacks. As long as the abuser is unrepentant, and I mean by that they are not interested in change and they still consider you "the problem", then, just like in Dragnet, "anything you say can and will be used against you."

So, yeah, I need to get a handle on my anger, and set appropriate boundaries, etc., but the abuser will do what abusers do...twist, manipulate, and create his/her own reality where we are the reason they are abusive.

"Tex"   Yep. The man's got it.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2000

S1

My opinion about why I have personally been stuck in anger is: After I had come to the last straw and told my abusive husband that things REALLY had to change or I was leaving and I REALLY stuck to my guns with him, he started to change. As a matter of fact he's changed very much and all for the better. He was abusive to me for three years without let-up prior to this. My anger developed gradually until I was in rage. The problem as I see it now is that I am still angry because I want some payback for what he did to me (even though I know it can't happen!) and I feel stuck in my anger! Sometimes I don't want to let go of my anger. Sometimes I am afraid that if I let myself get "un-angry" I will become a pushover again! You know, there really is a middle of the road! Maybe it needs to "run its course"? I just don't know how long a "course" should be - it's not healthy to stay angry for too long. Also, I think that it's harder to let go of the anger when the abuser is still in one's life. Yes. -Thank you  My question: Are you still angry because he is still doing stuff to you? More subtle stuff; stuff you don't recognize as abuse yet? Check it out...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 02, 2000

S1

Your comments really hit home for me. Yes my anger (rage) has really been getting in the way of things, and yes, it sometimes pops up days after it should have, and sometimes not at all. The kicker is that when I finally expressed it, my resident abuser changed her tune (about 180 degrees worth) and became a relatively pleasant, considerate as opposed to her usual self-centered , nagging , demanding state. And not until I expressed it did I get any respite from it! Do I ever have trouble with anger. But I'm working on it. Regards, Hal Yippee!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 05, 2000

S1

I'll never stop being angry, I hate this bastard

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 05, 2000

S1

Wow - read the posts - Wow. Been there, done that, still doing it!!! It's hard to accept that someone who loves me would talk to me that way. Boy, do I understand the intense anger. I used to "bounce of the wall for weeks" after some of the things that we said/done/ignored to me.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 05, 2000

S1

Wow - read the posts - Wow. Been there, done that, still doing it!!! I can't change my abuser; but I CAN change the way I respond to it (the abuse) and not let MY anger destroy me. No, it doesn't make it hurt less and it's not always 100% effective. It's plain ole hard to understand why someone who loves me would act this way toward me. It's taken me 17 years of intense pain, hurt, anger, major depression, the works, to finally (within last year and half been on way to major recovery) get it. IT'S REALLY NOT ME, IT'S HIS PROBLEM!!! Wow - what an enlightment! Found a great book "THE ANGER WORKBOOK" by Les Carter, Ph.D. Frank Minirth, M.D. Of course, take what applies to you (remember you can't change that other person and remember there is a reason for your anger and it can be good for you . Anger is OK. (Don't read the book and think you're going to change your partner). I still have major decisions to make re my children, work, home, etc., but I am learning how now to let this abuse control my life. Yeah, I know it probably means I may have to take the children and leave the relationship and while I may forgive him for not knowing any better (and not getting help), I will NEVER FORGET. I am no longer letting this take me down, I AM BECOMING A STRONGER PERSON because of this . It's far from over but I AM becoming stronger. IT's HIS PROBLEM, NOT MINE. I pray that each of you will find hope and strength to overcome this.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 07, 2000

S1

I scanned through REAL QUICK...I have passed the staying in control..I took a stand..many previous physically abusive relationships, finally found someone "not physically abusive"..went to merely emotionally-mentally-verbally abusive..didn't realize until recently,married someone 10 years younger..someone else who seemed to "NEED"me..4 years down the line..only resulted in disaster..I had-had enough..let me explain a little further..got married..almost immediate..went on Prozac..let me tell you, it covered the pain..then,I don't know what happened (I feel myself heating up in anger as I write this)I woke up one morning calling it quits on the Prozac..my heart, my mind,my soul hurt so badly that only a shrink could understand..enough was enough,he pushed me too far..kept getting in my face..now,to make a long story SO short,I HIT HIM..now,I am in the process of being the plaintiff, and the defendent..I have 2 children,one from a physically abusive relationship, now one from verbally abusive..MAD? ANGRY? Beyond belief..and you know what? I CALLED THE POLICE..he has been gone only 11 days..it has been hell..sheer hell..I was pushed above and beyond..I know someone can relate to this because I know, I can't be the only one. I have always lived my life for someone else..and now,I am not alone, for I have 2 beautiful,loving children,BUT,I feel so alone,so hurt,so ANGRY and not at him,I am angry w/ME..I feel like I just keep bumping into walls..let me tell you..these walls hurt..I need to talk..I can see outside in the way of someone who is being abused..physical/emotional..but I failed myself...I am about numb,I am beyond angry..I stayed in control for 6 years..how'd I end up here again??I don't feel I need help..I need to be heard..I hurt,I just hurt..now,my trust has failed..now I trust no-one..so,those of you who don't know why you stay..or those who don't know why you left..I am here to tell you,I understand from both sides..and it still doesn't amount to very much...BUT,when one closes one door..another one opens..I feel like I have been on stilts..walking on ice..but I am doing it..everyday I try not to look back..but everyday I get angrier and angrier..especially when my youngest asks when Papa is coming home..all i can do is reassure his Papa's love for him and that Papa is working..where do I go from here?And how do I hold me??How do I remain strong??There has never been someone to hold me,I hurt, I am angry and I have read so much..but my heart thinks now,I could have been stronger because this one was "merely"verbally-mentally abusive"how did I get here after all that I thought I achieved?? ANGRY??Beyond belief.....Rebecca

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 08, 2000

S1

I have a boyfriend who is often (inappropriately) very angry, but denies it. I have seen a counselor several times. She believes I am codependemt. After reading some books and checking out this site, I agree. She also has suggested that he is Bipolar. I hesit

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 08, 2000

S1

--behindbluiz

I always thought that the freedom I would have as an adult would make all the stress of being a youngster go away...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 09, 2000

S1

I think victims shy away from conflict. I think conflict can be healthy sometimes becasue it can promote growth and change. Conflict can be scary because victims have to stand up for themselves. I think victims, like me, fear that others may not like them anymore if they do and they'll will be alone. I think victims feel they lack the clarity of thought to win because the abusive situation happens so quickly and without warning. I also think victims would due a lot better for themselves if they only had a little time to prepare for the attack. The other thing is that conflict is tiring. When you are worn down from abuse you just want some peace and rest. You'll back down because your don't have the energy to put up with the abusers games right now. It's emotionally exhausting. I think these are the main reasons abusers enjoy abusing. Yes, I said "enjoy". I think abusers enjoy abuse because it makes them feel powerful and confident, not weak like they see the victim. The victim rarely verbally or physically fights back, so there isn't any motivation to stop. I think abusers only respect/fear someone who has power. Power enough to hurt them emotionally, physically or financially. (example..they fear the police even though they tell the victim they don't.) From your postings I wonder the success rate of abusers and counseling. It seems that they go to counseling as part of the abuse. Much like a convict "finding" religion to get early parole. I think they go to show the victim how wrong they are about them, not because they really want to change. That way they can reinforce the confusion and helplessness on the victim. From the postings it seems the abusers never take to heart what they use, but instead use the knowledge to help break through the victim's weak boundaries that counseling has started to rebuild. It seems a common theme was to go to counseling and then accuse the victim of being abusive. These are probably not right for this section, but just some random thoughts after reading this.

Mike

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 09, 2000

S1

Anger is a part on emotional abuse. I had it. Only i knew I was angry and why but it didn't hit me til I got rid of my abuser. I was stuck in it for months. It does take time to get over something like that. The longer you have been abused the worse it is. At least it was for me. I had no one that understood me so I had to deal with it myself. I hope no one has to go throught what I had to.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2000

S1

Oh my gosh! This sounds so much like how I feel right now. I'm so angry with him I feel like I HATE him. It's been a long twelve years and three kids later... I've finally decided I can't live with his hateful words anymore. I've heard what a bad cook, bad housekeeper, the most selfish mother, I'm hateful & totally selfish, .... and then he tells me that I shouldn't take it personally... what am I suppose to do? He was talking to ME. He says he doesn't remember saying these things & needs to remember the context in which they were said... I had uneasy feelings way back before the wedding but put them down to pre-wedding jitters... It hasn't always been bad but I realized from the honeymoon that I couldn't tell him my feelings. And any mistakes I make are totally unexplainable and would never be forgotten. My father's wife sent me your website and this is the first opportunity I've had to really explore it. Can't believe how much this article sounds like me & how I feel. I don't think I know how to handle my anger... I just want to get away from him. R.B. Spokane, WA

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 14, 2000

S1

I am extremely confused in that I seem to be always be making demands upon my spouse about lack of communication of feelings and lack of physical affection. His answer to me is that he never complains about anything I do, so why am I constantly complaining about his behaviour or lack of it? I feel guilty because I feel I am too demanding and/or that I am making unreasonable demands upon him and that is why he always reacts in anger, defensiveness and sometimes violent behavior (striking inanimate objects). I used to react in anger and once resorted to hitting him. He promptly left the house, took the children and called the police. I have not let myself become angry again but feel I am allowed no feelings where he has full rein with his. Can you help me sort this out please?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene: Desperate because of a foully abusive Easter weekend for my children (aged 5 & 8) and myself, I felt nowhere to turn. My husband is upstairs watching television, and has already come down to ask what I'm doing on the computer (--I hit the "disconnect" button when I heard him coming, but he's still demanding answers). I was UTTERLY ASTONISHED by your website--it made me cry. I am a highly educated, cultured, world-travelled person with a desperate, poisonous, ugly secret--I have been chronically, systematically verabally and emotionally abused by my husband of 20 years for the last 9 years--since I was pregnant with our first daughter. I have lived this lie and carried this burden alone for so long, I can't believe that others suffer so similarly. It is at once an extraordinary relief to know that I'm not alone and a great sadness that others suffer this excruciating form of pain that is so invisible--and that we are taught by those who inflict it is all our fault because we're "failures." Of course, I must leave now because I fear retribution. Thank you for being there--so much you say applies to me. In genuine fright at being "discovered," I sign off. I will visit again at my office. Now I know I'm not alone--it's incredible.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2000

S1

I must be codependent because I go from feeling angry to guilty over and over again day after day. I am divorcing my husband because he was verbally abusive, always ignoring me, never speaking to me or going anywhere with me, I thought he hated me. I actually asked for the divorce and left him thinking in the back of my mind that he would realize the error of his ways but he just found another girlfriend. He made my life miserable for years, I walked on egg shells trying not to make him angry (it never worked), tried to be competent and independent to get his attention and approval (never worked), and now we are through. Still I can't stop thinking about him. I really don't love him, we had an awful marriage and I don't want him back. We never had fun together. Why can't I get this man off my mind and move on with my life. I have some good friends and a good job and nice kids. Why should I think about this man who made my life miserable for so long? I am seeing a counselor who says I refuse to let go and she is right, but what do I do about it?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2000

S1

Hi DR Irene:

Your site is so vast, with a tremendous wealth of insightful information and tips, I appreciate so much that it is available to people like myself since I am still recovering! What a Godsend.

If I have overlooked this, please excuse me considering it is such a large site, but I can't find much on Support VS. Enabling. Is there a link here to something I missed, if not then when you have the time would you consider posting something on said?

I am referring more to victims here, how one can be supportive to a victim without enabling or encouraging the self-destructive behavior when a victim is acting out, for example? I am not always certain how to respond when a victim asks for advice or input or feedback.

I want to be able to acknowledge or affirm their hardships and frustration without trying to fix them (I have to work on keeping those Codependent buttons from showing!) but likewise I do not want to come across as overtly insensitive. Any tips on how to approach this matter? Thanks :)

Terri

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2000

S1

Well, I am just learning that the relationship that I have with my mother is one of emotional abuse. My mother had me at the age 17 and was unable to do a lot of things in her life due to having a child. She now wants me to live her life for her and I can't and won't. She becomes very angry when I try to make decisions for myself that are not what she agrees with. I have found myself trying to be the perfect daughter, but still being unapprieciated. I am 18 and I finally realize that it doesn't matter what I do she is always going to be angry with me about something I had no control over. She screams and cusses at me. She humiliates me in public over little things. She gets angry whenever I'm in her presence. I try to be her friend but I am always rejected. I don't have many friends, I don't go anywhere, and I never participate in any school activities. The only interest I seem to have is doing my hair. I now realize that it is because of my low self esteem. They don't have much advice for mother/daughter relationships. My solution is to get away and not have a relationship with her because I'm tired of being hurt. She treats her boyfriend the same way, but he is still in the denial stage where he will do anything to make her happy. I can relate to a lot of the things on this site.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 02, 2000

S1

I, too, am trying to figure out a way to deal with my anger. My husband and I have had codependency problems from the onset of our relationship of 5 years. Our son recently had a birthday for which he received gifts from the family. I was diligent in sending thank you's to everyone except one family member whom my husband specifically asked me to pay special attention to. When his mother called wondering if our son received the gifts from this family member, he knew that I had not sent a thank you to them. He went on to act extremely disappointed and said that my reasons for not sending the thank you were just excuses and that nothing I said could help the situation. I became hugely resentful and acted extremely inappropriately by saying his family shouldn't send presents if all they care about is the thank you, etc, etc. Once I calmed down, I offered to write one right then because I had picked up thank you cards that very day. He would not accept my offer and only said he would take care of it since it obviously wasn't important to me to begin with. I even put one in the mailbox anyway and he took it out. I was eaten up with rage--I hated myself for not getting the card out sooner because I knew it was important to him--I hated him for putting me on the cross for something I didn't intentionally do to hurt anyone--and I hated his family for making him feel like such a loser for not sending one thank you card within the "appropriate" amount of time (they've done this before). The truth is, I do let things (sometimes important things) slide, but I don't think I do it more than anyone else considering all I'm responsible for. My husband seems to be over it though. He even said that the fight was partly his fault because he should've just let it go and not mentioned the thank you. We ended up sending the card I wrote. However, I still resent the whole situation and feel like dirt while my husband pretty much got what he wanted out the deal--a thank you card sent. I wish I knew how to rise above the pettiness.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 15, 2000

S1

Do you think saying, "I'm feeling uncomfortable right now I don't know if I'm feeling angry or scared, or even why I'm feeling that....but I want to talk about what's going on when you are comfortable exploring that with me," or would the abuser simply say, "That's stupid," again?

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

If validation is not 'empowerment' (it does feel good, or vindicating) then what is it?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 24, 2000

S1

Wow, yes, exactly. I hate him. Every day that he sin't actively changing and letting me know it, is another day of total rage and fire at him and the things he did to me. I can love him when he is actively seeking my forgiveness, I can forgive him one day, but if he walks away without that effort I truly think I will carry this hate around with me forever...I can't bear to see him happy without me, like he's off the hook for years of abuse. I try to believe in karma and hope that he'll come around, but it just makes me angrier when he doesn't... When does this end?

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene; This is my second time to write to you. The last being around this time last year when I left my verbal abuser after l9 years of married. I talked about how happy and peaceful my children and I were. But the year has been a struggle for me. My children have turned into well rounded, funny happy kids. I find myself stuck somewhere in the middle...I am up one day and down the next. I feel angry and sad.. Why can't I move on and not dwell on him and what he is doing? He has seen his boys a total of 33 hours since last Aug. He pick and chooses when he decides to come see them. Never for more than 2 hours at a time. I am seeing a wonderful therapist, just started this past month. She is helping me regain myself esteem and I was doing wonderful. Then I had a terrible set back when I ran into my ex's live in girlfriend (whom I had never seen) while have a mammogram....Man,, I just fell apart after we realized who each other was. All I said to her was to never call my house or try to call my children (whom she has never met) ever again. This person has been harrassing me lately. So I fell apart after see her and I cannot get the sadness out of my heart. I keep wondering is he treating her better than he ever treated me? Does he do the things for her that I always dreamed about? I'm just so mad that at 40 I have to start over and I'm also so frightened...These were suppose to be the years of reward of working so hard. I'm tired of being sad and crying over this man that treated me so horrible. I have been having dreams of the good times we had. (These were few and far between, but they were there) He was not always abusive, it came and went. I think did I act to soon? Even though we had been to counseling twice....Stupid...I wonder how he can move on so easily with his life and not give a thought or care to what he left behind or lost? I can not get any validation from him on how wrong he was to me...I want that. But my therapist says he will never admit it. I just want to feel normal again! I use to be able to push back the abuse and act happy anyway. I can't even do that now. My friends and family are tired of hearing me moan and cry over all of this, so I suffer in silence and only with my therapist. My question is, will I ever stop caring about him or our past? See this is what shocks me when I filed for divorce, I never dreamed I would feel so lonely and miss him. I also found out that one day he was suppose to pick up the boys and he called to say he was going to be late because he was sick, (this was New Years day) we were not divorce at this time, but was in the process...that the reason he was late because he was laid up in bed with his bimbo all day! I have many unanswered questions that I would love an answer to from him,, but there is no way he will ever give me that satisfaction. How do u move on when u can't seem to find closure. Any help would be wonderful. Marla Hitt

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 28, 2000

S1

I am coming to terms with being verbally abused in a 23 year marriage. I have gotten through much denial and have tired to access anger. It doesn't seem to be there or I just won't allow myself to be/feel angry. Any suggestions?

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 06, 2001

S1

I had some dealings with a doctor and now feel after many months and now reading from this site that he may be a verbal and emotional abuser. I had surgery and after the surgery found that the doctor would not respond when I mentioned pain, answered other questions with one word and basically showed no empathy at all or concern for me whatsoever. He just seemed to be waiting for the time period to end so that he could release me from his care. This was in stark contrast to his behavior before the surgery when he seemed friendly and answered whatever questions I had. However, he always treated me better when the technician was in the room. He smiled, said hello and asked me to come back if I was still having problems later. But when I did that he first of all made sure we were alone in the room and then obviously lied that nothing could be done, laughed or made light of my concerned comments about the problems I was still having and finished the appt. with an icy silence when I asked when I should return. I had a lot of anger for months because of the lack of support and encouragement (the surgery had a long recovery time of 15-16 months) and even depression where I would cry because of the lack of concern the doctor had had for me. Finally, I acted out and called the office and said some inappropriate things to the receptionist and it got back to the doctor. After that my mother had a surgery by this same doctor and I took her to the appt. He was overly nice to her and I (he acted like a different person). After her series of appt. I went back to have some simple procedure and while he did it, he was very rude and uncommunicative to me. I realized then that all that friendliness during my mother's appt. was made up so that he would not lose the job. Doesn't this sound like I have gone through verbal and emotional abuse by the doctor? I can hardly believe that a skilled and professional person would act this way.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 14, 2001

S1

When I point out subtle provocations in an effort to break the pattern, am I being abusive? I always say, "When you do/say .... I FEEL ...." This always results in my partner going into a rage. He says these statements of how I feel mean I am BLAMING him. To handle his anger, I can only hang up on him, or leave the house, because it won't stop until he "runs down."

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 18, 2001

S1

Dr. Irene,

Anger and boundaries were major factors in my experience with an abusive person, but there also seems to be another element I can't resolve. She demanded that someone would nuture her, would give unconditionally, would make it their responsibility for her happiness. Though this seems to me a boundary problem, it led to her use of anger to achieve her goals; she would throw tantrums and it seemed that anger was a method to accomplish her objectives. Anger seems to have been the instrument of her choice, but her governing need was for perfect love. I wonder what could have been done to point her the way to help her take responsibility for her self, and in so doing, dissolve the anger (or it this taking responsibility for her situation?). I have read Suzette Elgin's book and it is excellent for forstalling a scene, but it doesn't cure what appears to be the underlying problem.

Any thoughts? Ben O.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001

S1

This past week, only days prior to finding this incredible site, I found myself standing in my kitchen and for the umtenth time, being confronted by my husband who is always upset, frustrated, angry, infuriated a/o cruel . Without ANY forethought and only a sense that I'd had enough, I responded to his first invitation to argue with, "I'm not going to discuss that with you". Frankly, I don't know who was more taken aback by my comment, he or I. Having caught him off guard, it took only seconds before he tried again. I responded in the same manner, "I'm not going to discuss that with you. For each effort that followed, he became more abrasive, more argumentative, more defiant, clearly doing everything in his power to provoke a fight. I must have repeated those few words 100 times if not more and finally, with continued persistence and complete refusal to be drawn into yet another evening of (what I call) "cross-abuse", he retreated to another room in the house. I can't tell you, after days, months, years of non-stop battling, how freeing this experience felt. He actually left me alone!!! Certainly aware that he did so not out of respect but rather because he realized that he was NOT going to "win"....I couldn't have cared less. Since that night, I have remained on this same track and for the first time in ages, I feel as if I've regained at least SOME sense of control.....not over HIM but rather over myself. My motivation? No longer was I able to look myself in the mirror! Feeling that I was turning into my WORST nightmare.....HIM.....SOMEthing HAD to change for not only was I begnning to hate him, I was beginning to hate myself. I have a great deal of reading still to do on this site and I look forward to gaining as much knowledge as I can. I'm tired of feeling....of living with anger....his AND my own. With or without him.....I am so ready....so prepared for change.....that I'll do ANYthing! Life is so short.....far TOO short! Ha! Only moments ago he approached me....asking while I was writing this.....if I "wanted to talk". I simply stated, "No thankyou" and he actually walked away. AHHH! Peace and Quiet! Looks like I'll be able to continue on my current course....learning to look after ME! Thankyou....thankyou.....thankyou Dr. Irene! Wendy R. Ontario/Canada

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 05, 2001

S1

Yes, I can relate to this. I was in an abusive 18-month relationship with an abuser. It was my first experience; at first I didn't know I was being abused. There was sarcasm, jokes at my expense, then covert stuff, like manipulation, mindgames, crazymaking behavior. As time went on, I realized the pattern, the cycle of domestic violence. It seemed that when I would make a statement in my defense, his verbal snips would escalate. After reading some books, it became clear to me that I was in a toxic relationship - I was a partner of an abuser. However, I was hooked in, it was wierd. Then we would break up, re-unite, break up, and continued for another year, I would start to get angry during the break ups because I realized that I was not verbal enough with his abuse when we were together. I would be angry and send him emails "rehashing" out the relationship. I would write out my feelings about how I felt towards him - feelings that I couldn't share in person - it was not safe - but it was safe doing it to him in writing. Now he is the victim - I'm the villain - and he's the victim because I shared with him how horrible I felt when he was abusing me. Now I ask myself how things would have been had I stood up to him more when things were happening between us. Can't cry over spilled milk. We broke up and its been 22 days since our last blow out. I miss him - though I am "fighting it" because I realize he is not healthy - I am in therapy - and do believe that I will meet my challenge here and not weaken to see him. I can relate to this anger issue. Yes, I sure can! But yet, I was the one who was abused.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 12, 2001

S1

Yes, I know anger all to well. I try to read the books and keep my cool, but when I am told all the dirty names in the book, I just loose it and he wins again...tell me, what makes a man or woman use that kind of dirty language?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 12, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 27, 2001

S1

sorry I think I pressed submit and I didnt' mean to. But yeah.. she does the worst things to me.. and I try to get away but she'll call me or make up new s/n's. I have wasted so many tears and I am so tired of getting hurt. Yeah I try to "ignore her" but it doesnt always work that way. People just dont understand. But I guess I just needed to vent.. because she just crushed me again a couple hours ago. Thanks for listening

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2001

S1

Today, my husband said "I needed help and that I needed to be hospitalized in a mental health facility.... He said I was the abuser, I am 150 lbs and this man is 350 lbs, he said he would take away my son if I didn't get help, I am a good person, I don't go out, drink, I take care of my child...

My spouse is a nurse, I put him through school, and this is how he repays me. His first wife is a prostiitute and she was running a whore house in their home when they were married, he treated her like a fricking queen. I am trapped between a rock and a hard place, I think he is having an affair, he always throws it up in my face that all his nurse friends are married to nurses and they have it made. He said I deserved to have the crap kicked out of me. The cops won't bust him because they know him from taking care of fellow policemen shot in the line of duty, I am beginning to really hate him. He said I earned nothing so everything is his.

screw him

any advice?????? i WON'T GIVE MY HOUSE OR HALF OUR ASSETS, IT'S NOT FAIR. TRAPPED AND ALONE IN PHILLY.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2001

S1

Today, my husband said "I needed help and that I needed to be hospitalized in a mental health facility.... He said I was the abuser, I am 150 lbs and this man is 350 lbs, he said he would take away my son if I didn't get help, I am a good person, I don't go out, drink, I take care of my child...

My spouse is a nurse, I put him through school, and this is how he repays me. His first wife is a prostiitute and she was running a whore house in their home when they were married, he treated her like a fricking queen. I am trapped between a rock and a hard place, I think he is having an affair, he always throws it up in my face that all his nurse friends are married to nurses and they have it made. He said I deserved to have the crap kicked out of me. The cops won't bust him because they know him from taking care of fellow policemen shot in the line of duty, I am beginning to really hate him. He said I earned nothing so everything is his.

screw him

any advice?????? i WON'T GIVE MY HOUSE OR HALF OUR ASSETS, IT'S NOT FAIR. TRAPPED AND ALONE IN PHILLY.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2001

S1

Today, my husband said "I needed help and that I needed to be hospitalized in a mental health facility.... He said I was the abuser, I am 150 lbs and this man is 350 lbs, he said he would take away my son if I didn't get help, I am a good person, I don't go out, drink, I take care of my child...

My spouse is a nurse, I put him through school, and this is how he repays me. His first wife is a prostiitute and she was running a whore house in their home when they were married, he treated her like a fricking queen. I am trapped between a rock and a hard place, I think he is having an affair, he always throws it up in my face that all his nurse friends are married to nurses and they have it made. He said I deserved to have the crap kicked out of me. The cops won't bust him because they know him from taking care of fellow policemen shot in the line of duty, I am beginning to really hate him. He said I earned nothing so everything is his.

screw him

any advice?????? i WON'T GIVE MY HOUSE OR HALF OUR ASSETS, IT'S NOT FAIR. TRAPPED AND ALONE IN PHILLY.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 08, 2001

S1

I think this advice is great. I am from a verbally abusive relationship and have 2 young children and this information helped me alot. Expecially in deciding what I am going to do with my life. Thanks Alot.....

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2001

S1

All of this sounds so good, but even when I do something a book or web page recommends, It always back fires. My spouce simply doesn't respond in any logical way. If I don't let my spouse provoke me, my spouse will "up the anty" until I am in tears and shaking. If I confront my spouse, He will always find a way to cut me down. The only way I can avoid this is to try and plan everything perfectly in advance. When I manage not to screw up, I can have a day of peace. But this leaves me as a nervous wreck, under the surface, all of the time. ONce a fight starts, the only thing I can do is agree with my spouse, over and over and over again, until my spouse is convinces that I am contrite and beaten down. I want to beleive that there is an answer, but I just don't beleive that this type of problem has a solution. I certainly can't see my spouse coming to me to work on this at some point in the future. My spouse will not even recognize that a problem exists at any level, other than with me. Furthermore, my spouse "hedges his bets" by saying all the right things (e.g. I know I have a temper. I know that I may be culturally differenct than you, but, but, but...) This way my spouse puts forth this false humility like a weapon, so I really look bad. Finally, there is the "You are alsways defensive, prideful, etc." I really wish there was a way out of this, but in my case, (and I have to believe that I am not alone) there is no answer.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 04, 2001

S1

I was just wondering how you can tell if your relationship is over or not. How can you tell if the reason they are not there for you is because they don't care about you anymore or if there is a way that you can save the relationship before someone gets hurt.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 29, 2001

S1

I feel stuck too and struggle with what to do with my anger. Problem is, when my spouse verbally knocks me, I can't seem to respond right away. I need to process and selftalk, realize I'm angry and feel frustrated that I'm stuck. To revisit the situation later with my spouse seems petty and childish, which of course he validates by denying there was any disrespect or "wrong" on his part. I have racked my brain to see if I am being overly sensitive, but having learned to trust my gut, I know this isn't the way a mutually respectful relationship should be.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 04, 2002

S1

I just know I need help. I have been the victim my whole life, I have dealt with childhood pain, and been counseled and I still go to the bottom of Hell when something goes wrong in a relationship. The last one, my boyfriend just walked off and began dating someone else, telling me on the phone he was not ready for commitment, he has now 8 mts later married this woman after backing out of that a few times. When he hurt me like this I could not do anything but retreat. With betrayal I go into a devastation, have suicidal thoughts and guilt. I don't know how to express my anger or what I have a right to be angry about. He had talked continously about marriage to me, we looked at houses, he wanted me to quit my job, but then the next day he would be talking another way and since he had only been widowed a little while I thought he needed time and never pushed it. I am sick of being who I am. This is not the firt time something like this has happened to me. I am not clingy, I know I don't push people away. I try to take things carefully, giving space for someone to be themself but nothing ever works. Everyone says, I did not need this man. He had affairs on his wife and wanted to continue seeing me when he started seeing this woman but I said no. They say he will continue having affairs in this marriage too, but because of my victim mentality that I battle with I see myself as the looser here and wonder how these women get these men to marry them. I was married 10 yrs to a man like that, but he was such a mess I could not compare that with these more normal although not so normal men, I have met since then. This woman has a lot of money and he even told me that things were important to him and maybe he could find everything with one person. Then he would know they wasn't doing anything because he wasn't doing anything". (he meant cheating) I would give anything to have the last conversation I had with him on tape, so I could play it back and my mind would quit twisting it. He sounded like he wanted to change, yet in the same conversation he said he wanted to see me and " look in my big brown eyes". That he had missed me so bad he couldn't stand it, but yet was going to continue seeing her. I almost fell for it but something inside came out of me and I told him I was not going to be led on. I left the things he had at my house on his proch when I new he would not be home and that was that. I hear about his life because there is a connection at work and it has been painful, very much so at times. See I was one of the people he had an affair with 10 yrs ago, and I loved him so much but the guilt was more than I could stand so I left it after 18 mts. When his wife died and he came back in my life, I thought I had been blessed to have in back. I hoped we could have the intimacy that we had before with comittment. He kept putting up walls between us so we could not get as close again. I didn't know that he had other affairs until after we broke up this last time. He had made a point at the beginning of our last relationship to say he had not because it hurt too much when I left him. I know it did because I was hearing about that too. He liked to went crazy for awhile. I just could not be a home wrecker. Do you think that this man will cheat on this woman too? This has been the biggest dissapointment of my life, I never found the intimacy with anyone else that I had with him and I am scared I won't. There had been a void in every other relationship since, something missing that I really thought God had given me back when we got back together. It is not easy for me because I don't trust everyone. Right now I feel like I can't ever do this again. I feel like I have reached the end of my rope. I have to change something. I don't believe in love anymore. I have fought against relationships that are just for convenience or arrangements, but I really don't believe now that there are any others. I just feel so empty. And feeling like the victim, I don't understand how as my christian friends say God has saved you from a life of misery with him. I have to wonder why did he not save her from it then. She is supposed to be a Christian also or at least she goes to Church. Well it helped me to write all of this I just wish I had some answers.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 04, 2002

S1

I just know I need help. I have been the victim my whole life, I have dealt with childhood pain, and been counseled and I still go to the bottom of Hell when something goes wrong in a relationship. The last one, my boyfriend just walked off and began dating someone else, telling me on the phone he was not ready for commitment, he has now 8 mts later married this woman after backing out of that a few times. When he hurt me like this I could not do anything but retreat. With betrayal I go into a devastation, have suicidal thoughts and guilt. I don't know how to express my anger or what I have a right to be angry about. He had talked continously about marriage to me, we looked at houses, he wanted me to quit my job, but then the next day he would be talking another way and since he had only been widowed a little while I thought he needed time and never pushed it. I am sick of being who I am. This is not the firt time something like this has happened to me. I am not clingy, I know I don't push people away. I try to take things carefully, giving space for someone to be themself but nothing ever works. Everyone says, I did not need this man. He had affairs on his wife and wanted to continue seeing me when he started seeing this woman but I said no. They say he will continue having affairs in this marriage too, but because of my victim mentality that I battle with I see myself as the looser here and wonder how these women get these men to marry them. I was married 10 yrs to a man like that, but he was such a mess I could not compare that with these more normal although not so normal men, I have met since then. This woman has a lot of money and he even told me that things were important to him and maybe he could find everything with one person. Then he would know they wasn't doing anything because he wasn't doing anything". (he meant cheating) I would give anything to have the last conversation I had with him on tape, so I could play it back and my mind would quit twisting it. He sounded like he wanted to change, yet in the same conversation he said he wanted to see me and " look in my big brown eyes". That he had missed me so bad he couldn't stand it, but yet was going to continue seeing her. I almost fell for it but something inside came out of me and I told him I was not going to be led on. I left the things he had at my house on his proch when I new he would not be home and that was that. I hear about his life because there is a connection at work and it has been painful, very much so at times. See I was one of the people he had an affair with 10 yrs ago, and I loved him so much but the guilt was more than I could stand so I left it after 18 mts. When his wife died and he came back in my life, I thought I had been blessed to have in back. I hoped we could have the intimacy that we had before with comittment. He kept putting up walls between us so we could not get as close again. I didn't know that he had other affairs until after we broke up this last time. He had made a point at the beginning of our last relationship to say he had not because it hurt too much when I left him. I know it did because I was hearing about that too. He liked to went crazy for awhile. I just could not be a home wrecker. Do you think that this man will cheat on this woman too? This has been the biggest dissapointment of my life, I never found the intimacy with anyone else that I had with him and I am scared I won't. There had been a void in every other relationship since, something missing that I really thought God had given me back when we got back together. It is not easy for me because I don't trust everyone. Right now I feel like I can't ever do this again. I feel like I have reached the end of my rope. I have to change something. I don't believe in love anymore. I have fought against relationships that are just for convenience or arrangements, but I really don't believe now that there are any others. I just feel so empty. And feeling like the victim, I don't understand how as my christian friends say God has saved you from a life of misery with him. I have to wonder why did he not save her from it then. She is supposed to be a Christian also or at least she goes to Church. Well it helped me to write all of this I just wish I had some answers.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 04, 2002

S1

I just know I need help. I have been the victim my whole life, I have dealt with childhood pain, and been counseled and I still go to the bottom of Hell when something goes wrong in a relationship. The last one, my boyfriend just walked off and began dating someone else, telling me on the phone he was not ready for commitment, he has now 8 mts later married this woman after backing out of that a few times. When he hurt me like this I could not do anything but retreat. With betrayal I go into a devastation, have suicidal thoughts and guilt. I don't know how to express my anger or what I have a right to be angry about. He had talked continously about marriage to me, we looked at houses, he wanted me to quit my job, but then the next day he would be talking another way and since he had only been widowed a little while I thought he needed time and never pushed it. I am sick of being who I am. This is not the firt time something like this has happened to me. I am not clingy, I know I don't push people away. I try to take things carefully, giving space for someone to be themself but nothing ever works. Everyone says, I did not need this man. He had affairs on his wife and wanted to continue seeing me when he started seeing this woman but I said no. They say he will continue having affairs in this marriage too, but because of my victim mentality that I battle with I see myself as the looser here and wonder how these women get these men to marry them. I was married 10 yrs to a man like that, but he was such a mess I could not compare that with these more normal although not so normal men, I have met since then. This woman has a lot of money and he even told me that things were important to him and maybe he could find everything with one person. Then he would know they wasn't doing anything because he wasn't doing anything". (he meant cheating) I would give anything to have the last conversation I had with him on tape, so I could play it back and my mind would quit twisting it. He sounded like he wanted to change, yet in the same conversation he said he wanted to see me and " look in my big brown eyes". That he had missed me so bad he couldn't stand it, but yet was going to continue seeing her. I almost fell for it but something inside came out of me and I told him I was not going to be led on. I left the things he had at my house on his proch when I new he would not be home and that was that. I hear about his life because there is a connection at work and it has been painful, very much so at times. See I was one of the people he had an affair with 10 yrs ago, and I loved him so much but the guilt was more than I could stand so I left it after 18 mts. When his wife died and he came back in my life, I thought I had been blessed to have in back. I hoped we could have the intimacy that we had before with comittment. He kept putting up walls between us so we could not get as close again. I didn't know that he had other affairs until after we broke up this last time. He had made a point at the beginning of our last relationship to say he had not because it hurt too much when I left him. I know it did because I was hearing about that too. He liked to went crazy for awhile. I just could not be a home wrecker. Do you think that this man will cheat on this woman too? This has been the biggest dissapointment of my life, I never found the intimacy with anyone else that I had with him and I am scared I won't. There had been a void in every other relationship since, something missing that I really thought God had given me back when we got back together. It is not easy for me because I don't trust everyone. Right now I feel like I can't ever do this again. I feel like I have reached the end of my rope. I have to change something. I don't believe in love anymore. I have fought against relationships that are just for convenience or arrangements, but I really don't believe now that there are any others. I just feel so empty. And feeling like the victim, I don't understand how as my christian friends say God has saved you from a life of misery with him. I have to wonder why did he not save her from it then. She is supposed to be a Christian also or at least she goes to Church. Well it helped me to write all of this I just wish I had some answers.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 04, 2002

S1

I just know I need help. I have been the victim my whole life, I have dealt with childhood pain, and been counseled and I still go to the bottom of Hell when something goes wrong in a relationship. The last one, my boyfriend just walked off and began dating someone else, telling me on the phone he was not ready for commitment, he has now 8 mts later married this woman after backing out of that a few times. When he hurt me like this I could not do anything but retreat. With betrayal I go into a devastation, have suicidal thoughts and guilt. I don't know how to express my anger or what I have a right to be angry about. He had talked continously about marriage to me, we looked at houses, he wanted me to quit my job, but then the next day he would be talking another way and since he had only been widowed a little while I thought he needed time and never pushed it. I am sick of being who I am. This is not the firt time something like this has happened to me. I am not clingy, I know I don't push people away. I try to take things carefully, giving space for someone to be themself but nothing ever works. Everyone says, I did not need this man. He had affairs on his wife and wanted to continue seeing me when he started seeing this woman but I said no. They say he will continue having affairs in this marriage too, but because of my victim mentality that I battle with I see myself as the looser here and wonder how these women get these men to marry them. I was married 10 yrs to a man like that, but he was such a mess I could not compare that with these more normal although not so normal men, I have met since then. This woman has a lot of money and he even told me that things were important to him and maybe he could find everything with one person. Then he would know they wasn't doing anything because he wasn't doing anything". (he meant cheating) I would give anything to have the last conversation I had with him on tape, so I could play it back and my mind would quit twisting it. He sounded like he wanted to change, yet in the same conversation he said he wanted to see me and " look in my big brown eyes". That he had missed me so bad he couldn't stand it, but yet was going to continue seeing her. I almost fell for it but something inside came out of me and I told him I was not going to be led on. I left the things he had at my house on his proch when I new he would not be home and that was that. I hear about his life because there is a connection at work and it has been painful, very much so at times. See I was one of the people he had an affair with 10 yrs ago, and I loved him so much but the guilt was more than I could stand so I left it after 18 mts. When his wife died and he came back in my life, I thought I had been blessed to have in back. I hoped we could have the intimacy that we had before with comittment. He kept putting up walls between us so we could not get as close again. I didn't know that he had other affairs until after we broke up this last time. He had made a point at the beginning of our last relationship to say he had not because it hurt too much when I left him. I know it did because I was hearing about that too. He liked to went crazy for awhile. I just could not be a home wrecker. Do you think that this man will cheat on this woman too? This has been the biggest dissapointment of my life, I never found the intimacy with anyone else that I had with him and I am scared I won't. There had been a void in every other relationship since, something missing that I really thought God had given me back when we got back together. It is not easy for me because I don't trust everyone. Right now I feel like I can't ever do this again. I feel like I have reached the end of my rope. I have to change something. I don't believe in love anymore. I have fought against relationships that are just for convenience or arrangements, but I really don't believe now that there are any others. I just feel so empty. And feeling like the victim, I don't understand how as my christian friends say God has saved you from a life of misery with him. I have to wonder why did he not save her from it then. She is supposed to be a Christian also or at least she goes to Church. Well it helped me to write all of this I just wish I had some answers.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2002

S1

Fear is the primary hindrance, fear that what he's been saying is true that you are , useless, stupid, unemployable, that you will lose your children, that you will fail. If you have no friends, family, or status then you are alone and have no one to turn to. If he controls everything, what can you do, where can you go, how will you survive. The more you tell people the more they turn away from you, you are the crazy one, he looks so good why would anyone believe you or even help you, the more alone you are. All the time your child is suffering emotionally and becoming more and more like the abuser. Even if you escape he will find you and take your children away, cause you to lose your job or any small hope you may have held onto. There is no hope - only day by day survival.. You are even afraid he will find this and retaliate in some underhand way.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2002

S1

Fear is the primary hindrance, fear that what he's been saying is true that you are , useless, stupid, unemployable, that you will lose your children, that you will fail. If you have no friends, family, or status then you are alone and have no one to turn to. If he controls everything, what can you do, where can you go, how will you survive. The more you tell people the more they turn away from you, you are the crazy one, he looks so good why would anyone believe you or even help you, the more alone you are. All the time your child is suffering emotionally and becoming more and more like the abuser. Even if you escape he will find you and take your children away, cause you to lose your job or any small hope you may have held onto. There is no hope - only day by day survival.. You are even afraid he will find this and retaliate in some underhand way.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2002

S1

Fear is the primary hindrance, fear that what he's been saying is true that you are , useless, stupid, unemployable, that you will lose your children, that you will fail. If you have no friends, family, or status then you are alone and have no one to turn to. If he controls everything, what can you do, where can you go, how will you survive. The more you tell people the more they turn away from you, you are the crazy one, he looks so good why would anyone believe you or even help you, the more alone you are. All the time your child is suffering emotionally and becoming more and more like the abuser. Even if you escape he will find you and take your children away, cause you to lose your job or any small hope you may have held onto. There is no hope - only day by day survival.. You are even afraid he will find this and retaliate in some underhand way.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2002

S1

""After all, they have a stake in denying their anger, especially when their anger is directed towards the person upon whom they depend for self-esteem supplies. Therefore, denial gets in the way of awareness."" That's it!!!! When I entered into a business relationship with my therapist, I didn't realize how dependent on him I was. I was angry at him for not showing up at appointments, for telling me my mood swings were a "broadway production", and a host of other little covert acts of aggression. I thought this man was super-intelligent, was a world traveller, and so wise. The therapy was complicated and I wasn't "getting it." So, the work was going to be continuation of therapy - I would promote his lectures and learn what the heck he was talking about. My husband (who is wonderful), didn't like to travel or go into NYC, and this work would take me there. Me and my doc went to two conferences together and dinner in NYC. He had done lectures in Europe and at medical colleges and had lots of contacts for big weekend seminars. I could possibly stand to makes lots of money, while helping lots of people. I would be part of his social circle - lot's of interesting people all over the world - and on top of it all, he was my doctor - a naturopath who could deal with physical, psychological and emotional problems. I could not be angry at him because if he didn't like it and dumped me, what would happen to me? No job, no doc, no social life, no future, back to small-town USA, dead-end job, depression (I'll never figure it out), health problems. I justified and explained away his weird behavior until he screamed at me that I was the one with the problems. It took that for me to wake up but it came as relief - that I didn't have to be the one to decide to quit the relationship. It still took a long time to be angry. The more I learn what he should have known as a therapist, the angrier I get.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

S1

yep. I think Im on the down slide of the anger now. I found myself doing stupid, wierd, self destuctive things, and crying, crying, crying. I am so, so tired of being angry. I started to feel like a child in a temper tantrum that last so long I wanted to throw up. Sick of the anger. I started to deal with My issues and reading selfhelp books that help Me to grow rather than trying to understand his sickness.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 21, 2002

S1

Dr. Irene, I am someone not quite sure which 'label' I fit: recovering victim, controller, or just plain old codependent-(so many wonderful choices *sigh*). I have a question regarding whether or not the behavior of walking away/leaving the home of my boyfriend vs. staying at the apartment instead of leaving, but just not talking to him because I know it will escalate into a screaming match (screaming instigated by him) despite how hard I try to remain calm and use 'I' statements is considered abusive. If I leave his house or just tell him I'm not talking to him after being called names, etc. am I contributing to the perpetuation of 'our cycle'? And if I am what is the correct response to this situation? Having grown up in domestic violence and worked hard to overcome my own codependency (sure I slip now and then), I cringe everytime we start to argue bc I don't know the best most healthiest way to react. I am getting mixed messages after reading several of your articles and posts. Thanks D

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 08, 2002

S1

The anger remains, and the forgiveness..well. I can't go there yet. My story is pretty awful , however not as bad as some others I have read about. Controlling Anger against the perpetrator is incredibly difficult. My VA was also physically abusive. I started fighting back, and not until then did he see the depth of my rage. I hospitalized him with a brain hemorhhage, and the abuse thereafter was the same along with the guilt trips. And now, after 9 months apart, he has finally seen the "light". Supposedly he is a "changed " person. But... is it worth it? To even to begin to hope is too unrealistic, you all know the cycle, and the game. Am I now just a prize? The same garbage to continue? I am beyond rational thought anymore, the smallest thing bring the rage to the surface. Am I the crazy one? Am I the one who cannot LOVE? I don;t believe it, but am constantly accused of it. I am terrified. I just don't know what to expect or what to hope for.... should I just run for the hills and stay lost? Or am I only running from myself?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 02, 2003

S1

Excellent!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 08, 2003

S1

I'm angry that I still attract abusers! I'm 30 and have been emotionally abused for yonks now. My mother is the first culprit. My work colleagues next up. There were 5. And then the most significant one was my ex boyfriend. Naturally I grew up with strong resilience to abuse. But I'm angry because I keep attracting these types although I should know better. I'll spare you details for now but I'd like to mention how I rid myself of them. There is not one way but several methods, depending on your realtionship with the abuser, respect and circumstances. With my mother I spent years talking to her. It will not cure her tomorrow but let me say things are getting better as she understands our feelings and is more confident. With her, I used the kindness tactic. She after all in such insecurity, gave birth to and raised me. She deserves my respect even when she's been so horrid to me during my growing years when I needed her support most. With much patience she is now convinced I still love her despite where she thinks she is lacking and how she has wronged me. With my ex colleagues I used the I-don't-care technique. With one of the colleagues I gave her a smogasboard of her own poison after my vain attempts to be nice etc. She became much worse off & left me alone eventually, but part of me still feels sorry for being so cruel to a mental case who couldn't catch up with reality. With my ex boyfriend, an extreme case of emotional & sexual abuse, I've tried all techniques, being nice cos I loved him, being kind, and trying to reason with him. I felt really angry with this one because he made most of my deficiencies up. We could not see eye to eye. He found fault in everything about me. Yet he was charming and sometimes there for me when I was upset. I got fed up of his contradicting attitude and ignored him next. But he would just come crawling back once I left him to his own devices. He was the worst yet I felt strange and angry I was drawn to him. So lately at the turn of the new year I decided to get rid of him eating my life away. I ran him down just as he constantly put me down. I deliberately laughed at him saying he didn't make sense to me anymore. I made him feel worse. Then unplugged. I assigned 'no-tone' to his name on my mobile phone directory. I filter his emails to Trash, and relocated. Basically I cut off all communication channels. Happier, I have not looked back. Tia

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 12, 2003

S1

I know I have gotten into the anger stage and this is what is ironic: I get mad at the people who say I should just drop the anger, I was the person who chose to stay. (Possibly I am very firmly stuck in the anger stage. I have a feeling I will be here for a while. I'm just going to go with it this time though.) I didn't stay in abusive relationship because it seemed like fun. I hated it. I stayed as long as I did (15 years) partly because I was raised to be codependent, and when I asked my family who were the last resources I was down to for help, I got the worst advice of my life. My family (including my siblings) lied to me about stuff, hid the truth, knew what I was going through but actively chose to ignore what was happening to me. If I asked for help, they found a zillion ways to say no. (Later they told me they didn't want to be responsible for me). They also told me not to talk to anyone else about my bad relationship. Just suck it up, etc. And now they say I haven't got the right to get mad! About the way my ex treated me! They say I have to forgive him and move on with my life! To me this suggests that my feelings don't matter!! In fact, I can't remember if they ever did matter to them. Maybe a good topic for another article, Dr. Irene. How our family of origin is not always the best source of help - it is sometimes a source of the worst advice you can possibly get. A book, the web, and three therapists have done more for me that my family of origin ever did. * But I do want to add this - at the same time, when I am not feeling angry, I am the happiest I have ever been in my whole life!! The world seems to be a safer and better place!! There are more nice people out there than I can shake a stick at and I have found I have a knack for finding them!! * PS Thanks for your site, and God Bless

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 12, 2003

S1

Rebecca: I read your post above and I want you to know that I was in the same exact really painful hurting place not too long ago myself. But it does get better, day by day, you learn to live again!!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 08, 2003

S1

Very good. I am almost 60 and still dealing with my 33 year old son. A good part of the time I am in control, (emotionally) but I still enable him. The co-dependency has become much more suttle over the years and I still find myself in uncomfortable situations almost before I realize it. I stopped making his alcoholism the total focus of my life a long time ago, but it continues to be very disruptive to the whole family. Thanks for the forum to get a bit of this off my chest. bettyeattheinn@hotmail.com

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 08, 2003

S1

Very good. I am almost 60 and still dealing with my 33 year old son. A good part of the time I am in control, (emotionally) but I still enable him. The co-dependency has become much more suttle over the years and I still find myself in uncomfortable situations almost before I realize it. I stopped making his alcoholism the total focus of my life a long time ago, but it continues to be very disruptive to the whole family. Thanks for the forum to get a bit of this off my chest. bettyeattheinn@hotmail.com

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2003

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 18, 2003

S1

Im in a relationship where my partner was mentally and physically abused by his ex-wife. He is brainwashed into believing he is no good with anything he does, any relationship, anything sexual. He is now in the anger stage, and is unfortunately taking it out on me,by saying nasty remarks about my car, the music I like, my home, and then sexually, (even though he says he loves me) he calls me a slut, wants to smack me sometimes, other times, he won't make love properly - saying that he just wants oral sex. Then other times, he rubs himself until he is hard, then forces my head down on him for oral sex, but he doesn't do this gently. Im trying to help him, but its starting to drain me, and Im finding it hard to copy. I wonder why, when he has been so abused, that he is taking out his anger on me.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2003

S1

Hi my name is Christina I'm currently stuck in the anger stage as you say. I'm a recovering alcoholic and working on the 12 steps on my 4th step the thing is i've always turned my anger inward because i wasn't allowed to voice it or any other emotion growing up i'm 24 now and have been sexually abused by my parents growing i think i don't feel i have a right to be angry w/them but doing my 4th step i'm feeling that anger towards them and not myself but its go inward again i don't understand but what you have written here makes some sense to me thank you