How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board Archives

The CatBox Archives

Stories Archives


Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Covert Abuse Thanks

Covert Abuse Thanks

August 10, 2000

Dear Dr. Irene,

Please don't use my real name, ok?

I just read the interactive story about Covert Abuse. Thank you sooooo much.  Even though my therapists (yes, multiple over a dozen years of hell) agreed that I was in a difficult marriage (understatement of the year), I was in the dark about verbal and emotional abuse until just about a month before I left my nearly 20 year marriage.  When someone finally listened to me and pointed out my husband's abusive behavior, I knew that I could never get through to him and left.

However, there are still times when I wonder, "Was it all in my head"?.  Your list of covert abuse behaviors is my soon-to-be-ex in a nutshell.  Add in controlling, isolating, minimizing and withdrawing just for good measure. Yuk!

No one saw the "at home" person, except me.  I'll never again doubt my own perceptions.  It'll take some more time to get over nearly 20 years of being diminished, but I am beginning to believe that I will be able to function in the real world someday.  I am growing less fearful, less confused, less "crazy" as each day passes.  I may always need medication (antidepressant, anti-anxiety) but at least I'm not trying to "get better" in the very situation that drove me crazy in the first place. Yippeee!

To think it took me this long to figure out that it wasn't all my fault.  I am a very quiet person; I don't have a lot of needs.  But I know now that respect is more than something I want; respect is something I will insist on receiving, first of all from myself.

Thank you again for posting the covert abuse behaviors.  I needed that ego boost today!

Dear NoName,
I'm so glad the site helps you. Thank you for letting me know. It feels really good.
I would never publish a name or email address without express or written permission from the writer. Almost all names you see are fake.
You are on track now!
My warmest wishes to you - and to SK, who contributed the bulk of the article.

, Dr. Irene