January 2, 2000
Thank you, Thank you.
It is really hard to keep my focus when "he" is playing the
concerned, innocent role. He is such a consummate actor, I think he
really believes that he is the victim. He very well may. I
understand that is typical. Yes. Predictable. Unusual when it doesn't
happen. And I read the P.
Evans book you require of your patients. I wonder if I detached
so long ago that things have been obscured. Some of the things rang
true, but not the confusion and hurt felt be the partner that was
described repeatedly. I guess that could be because of my childhood detachment.
I do remember my mother lashing out viciously...vaguely. But the
coolness and repulsion I felt for my mother came early, by 8 years old. Children (and adults) detach emotionally to protect
themselves from traumatic situations - to survive. This works somewhat for
kids, who don't have the power or resources to exercise options.
Unfortunately, in adulthood, detachment no longer works. It keeps you
emotionally blunted, but in a place where you are unable to change those
things you need to do something about.
Ms. Evans did describe a visualization used to cope with things. For
a long time during a tirade, I meditated on a duck with raindrops sliding
off of it during a rain shower. I was the duck and the ugly words
were the raindrops. They were not able to penetrate to my skin,
shielded as I was by silken feathers. That helped me remain to
calm many, many, many times. I would alternate between that and chanting
in my thoughts on how I hated him, phasing every sort of denunciation for
him that I could think of. But never out loud, or the lecture would
turn into a battering. I was conditioned very well. (I am still marveling
at how these suppressed things are welling up, even as I write.) I was
able to make the words "fade" from me. I really can't
remember much of the content of his "lecturing". Guess I
was pretty successful in tuning him out! I guess he
was pretty successful in inflicting pain.
YES, sex was a controlling ploy. And he was/is addicted to sex, pouting
and sulking if I don't "spend time with him" before going about
my own pursuits. I would hear about "how I could make time for
everything else but him".... And I had also found that I
could turn the Mr. Hyde back into Dr. Jeckle if I could distract him by
Doctor, you don't know (I am
just remembering) the loathing and disgust I felt inside of me while
my body was engaged in gratifying him. It destroyed any affections I
had for him. But I felt that I was stuck, believing his threats to
harm my extended family, believing his threats that I could never get away
from him. And so I made the best of the situation, tried to
content myself with raising my children, working, involving myself in my
faith. My faith gave me the courage to set up limits on the
battering. I drew the line, and he realized that he had to stop.
But the damage from the abuse runs deep into my soul. Of course it does. Sounds like there is way too much water
under the bridge.
One thing that outrages me right now ( I sobbed when this memory rushed
back at me while reading about domestic violence a few days ago): at one
point he had told me not to deflect his blows. Oh,
my God! I don't remember what he threatened, but I was supposed to
take his slaps without putting my hands up to protect myself. As
though I were a child getting a spanking. But I suppose that there
are worse things that have been endured. I am so
glad you found the strength to put a stop to his horrible abuse. No wonder
you are having such a hard time: you want to trust him, but you don't (nor
should you!). Don't even entertain trusting Mr. Wonderful - not for a
long, long while in any case - and not unless he gets treatment. Your
husband has not changed. He is just trying to manipulate his way back into
your heart and home. Pay attention inside. Do not confuse guilt or wanting
him to be OK or his behaving OK for a little while as his being OK. Your
husband sounds pretty disturbed and is probably in need of treatment. Here is a promise: Even if you give
him a really, really hard time and he stays good for a long time, just
when you start to trust him again, he will revert back to control.
My next efforts will be delve into the info you have compiled for us about
sex addictions. I trust that I might find more to help me there.
There is no doubt that he was prone to addictive behavior, chemically.
And that would dovetail with my codependent issues far to nicely!! I don't have much on sex-addiction treatment on the
site. Basically, the treatment consists of no sex at all,
self-imposed or otherwise. The purpose of this is to help the individual
gain some mastery over what runs him (or her) and to focus on dealing
with the real frustrations that are otherwise dumped into the sexual
arena. Similar idea as abstinence is to alcoholism. Get the sex
addiction info, but don't spend too much time on what he has to do.
You have to focus on you. You haven't done that up to now, and
that's why you found you are not in such a great place. Get into the habit
of taking good care of Rhoda first!
I think that the following may be of interest to some of the readers,
especially those that build their faith around the Bible. There is a
passage concerning marital relations and "rendering the marriage
due". This passage in no way refers to a sick, perverse
relationship. I didn't discern that my relationship was as sick as
it was, did not permit myself to discern that I was being demeaned.
Our creator NEVER requires of anyone to turn over their body to be used in
such a way as I let mine be used. There is to be love and
respect, always. But from within the abuse, the victim cannot perceive
the sanctity of their own being, twisted as their concept of love
can be. Myself being the case in point. I hope that my sharing
this will help prevent someone else from misapplying that passage to their
relationship. Very well said. I can't think of a religion
or philosophy that doesn't essentially say the same thing!
I hope that the deep gratitude on my part and what others have expressed
provide you with the rewards that you so deserve for providing this outlet
and fountain of encouragement for so many of us. Yes, very much so...
Thank you again! Rhoda :) And
thank you! Dr. Irene
Rhoda's February 21
interactive My Story