January 29, 2000
Dear Dr. Irene,
Iíve written to you before, the last time was about 3 months ago - I am now 7 months (going on 8)
of being free from my abuser. Well, free in terms of being subjected
to active abusive, but Iím still working on that baggage Iím lugging
around with me - the load gets lighter every day though!
I wish I could share a happy ending story with all of my
"friends" here at your web site - a story that tells the
world how my husband "woke up" or decided to get help, etc. etc.
but that is not the case for my situation. However, my story
IS going to have a happy ending, I am making sure of that! After
all, I am writing the book myself, and how it ends is up to ME. You bet!
Two nights ago, I had a telephone conversation with my ex-husband.
Our divorce was final on Jan. 24, just a few days ago. He called my
cell phone and this was only our 2nd conversation weíve had over these
last 7 months since separating. I wonít re-cap what my PAST was
like with him, you already have a healthy sampling of what is behind me
from my previous email I sent in a few months ago.
It was very unsettling speaking with my X the other night - however, it
was very good medicine for me, as I realized once again how horribly
twisted his way of processing the world around him still is --- he has not
gotten any better over this period of me being absent from his life.
In fact, he seems worse. In reality, heís probably just the same
as he ever was, I am just much more healthy so his behavior seems worse to
me, now that Iím not around it anymore.
Iím going to share a few bits of our conversation we had the other night
- keep in mind this is after over 7 months of essentially zero
communication with each other!
He told me he wanted to be my friend, he misses my companionship, he
wishes I was there for him to share with me what is going on in his life.
He said he does not want to "get back together" but doesnít
understand how I can just "walk away" from all the years we
spent together. He had been drinking also, he wasnít totally drunk
but he was under the influence. He made no inquiry into what I would
like - it was all about him and his wants and his desires. Yes!
I explained to him that friendship is based on love and trust and respect
and that he had killed and destroyed all those tender feelings I once had
for him. I told him that we could not be friends. I told him
that I didnít keep company with people like him anymore. I told
him that he was mean to me, and that he had turned into a cruel monster
and that I became very afraid of him. I didnít shout, cry, or
insult - I did get a little wound up, and did find myself slipping back a
time or two into defending myself against his wacky statements, but I
caught myself pretty well and mostly just listened to his ramblings.
Hereís some more of our conversation:
He told me the only reason I supported and encouraged his interest in
painting was so that I could get him out of the house at night so that I
could go out to bars without him (this is crazy! I went out twice
over the course of his 3 month class to meet our mutual friends - who
called and invited me out - and I called his cell phone to meet me
after class when I did go out to see our friends!) I didnít even
bother trying to tell him that encouraging your partnerís hobbies or
interests is an expression of love and caring. I would have been
wasting my time. If I had any sort of fun without him, that
was a bad thing......and turning my loving supporting attitude towards his
interests into a self-serving motivation is what he was so good at - I
guess these people just canít believe that another person really DOES
care about them, huh? They canít accept love - so they dream up
wacky scenarios in their head to make our love into something ugly.
Itís funny because itís so ridiculous, but it really is sad too, these
people are cheating themselves out of lifeís wonderful joys of mutual
loving and caring for one another. Exactly.
When I told him he was mean to me, he said "Well, at the end I was,
but thatís because I wasnít getting what I needed from you."
Oh this was so good to hear! Iím in the right place!!!! Away
from this person! Heís still dreaming up reasons why his abuse was
He was calling me from a bar - and someone in the background said
something to him. He offered the phone to this person, a stranger to
me - and he told them, "here, you want to say Hi?".
Howís that for disrespect? Offering a perfect stranger the phone
in the middle of our conversation.....yeah, letís be friends - NOT!
He was putting on a bit of a show I think, for his bar-people audience.
This made me angry and I told him I was going to hang up the phone if he
put a stranger on the line. Grrrrrrr! Good
for you! Boy, have you got smart lately!
He told me that he wasnít going to have another relationship with anyone
unless he was the "premiere focus in their life" --- "if
Iím not the first priority in their life, then they can kiss my @ss"
--- I donít think this reference he made needs any commentary - itís
very clear he is still codependent and just as sick as he ever was....... He's going to try his same broken strategy again...
He also made sure to tell me how much sex he is getting these days, and
how other women pay attention to him and he makes them happy and he feels
special. He said he loves his new single life and all itís
freedom. He still does not have a place to live. He lives in
motels and out of his truck. He is moving to Europe in a few months
too, for a 3-year job as an ex-patriot. He has not kept
in touch much at all with any of our old friends or his son either - just
superficial contact now and then.
I told him that he is self-medicating himself with sex and alcohol.
I told him that he is surrounding himself with constant stimulation and
all new people, new places, new everything because it provides him with a
distraction from what is really going on in his life. I told him
that he is not fooling anyone except himself. Poor guy - but, he is an adult and he is in charge of his
life. We all know he's the only one who can choose a saner path.
I told him that there was no way I could be "friends" with him -
not after all that I had put up with. His response was "what
about all the crap I put up with"? (!!) I
told him that I was never going to allow anyone to abuse me again, as long
as I live. His response was "I am not going to be abused
either".....CLASSIC stuff - this is what Judge G. calls "echoing"!
Geez Dr. Irene, how long does it take for these abusers to get a CLUE? Too many never, ever do. They stubbornly keep up the same
old routine over and over and over... I am so unsettled in one way
after hearing his same old stuff, but I am also relieved because I know I
am *finally* going in the right direction, doing whatís good for me!
My future is bright and itís exciting to think about what I will do with
my life. I just have to get done with taxes with my abuser, then I
am 100% legally FREE - so, wish me luck that this last little bit of
business goes smoothly! It will. Itís
been a rough road, this recovery stuff! But I wouldnít go back for
anything, and my life is no longer clouded by abuse (*smile* well just the
after-affects, but thatís fading too!) Yes.
Now Viv, look
out for the overly-attentive, overly-nice man who rushes into your life
and - with little basis - proclaims his love. There's a good chance this
is your new, replacement control freak. These people have antennae for
sweet, give-other-the-benefit-of-the-doubt people, like yourself. They are
totally wonderful early on because their own underlying (irrational)
expectations lead them to feel that they have found the answer to their
plight: they found a person who will make them feel good, take care of
and love the unique individual you are, give yourself the benefit
of the doubt, know you deserve to go after what you want, pay
attention to your anger - and you will be fixing the insecurities that got
you into this mess to begin with. Find a guy - who, if he were a girl -
would over time become your best friend. Somebody you know is there for
you, can take "no" for an answer, puts your wishes first,
and is not me-me-me-oriented. You won't have to explain this stuff to that
person. You deserve no less than you give!
Thank you so very much Dr. Irene -
this site is helping so many people and I visit here nearly every day.
Peace and love to you and yours,
And Thank You
PS to Dr. Irene - I am shocked at how widespread this type of abuse is in
our society - the more I learn about it and share with people in REAL
life, not just on the internet, the more I realize how common it is!
Yes! It blows my mind too!!! Honest! If there
is any organization / fund / etc. place where I can volunteer time or
donate a small amount of money, let me know if you get the chance. .Iíd
like to be able to give back a little bit, and help other people get
educated on how to reclaim their lives and stop giving themselves away to
abusive people. Do that by teaching your child to be
whole. Do that by giving him a loving step-dad one day.