Comments for Catbox 11

Comments for Catbox 11

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 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

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B1: Submit


Hi Asha, B. here, with just a quick note.

First, thanks for the compliments. I guess I'm good at giving advice to OTHERS... :-)

You say: "Yes, I agree that we all benefit from everyone's therapy. That's why I don't understand Lynn's therapist wanting Dan to cut all ties with the site."

Lynn, too:

My own personal opinion is, that she has ego and control problems of her own, which she dumps on her clients. Yes, I heard Dr. Irene trying to justify her with saying it's a the way some therapists work. Well they work like that because they work with a theory that does not SEE the control and coercion, and legitimizes (sp?) a hierarchy between therapist and "patient": I am the therapist, I am superior, I am like your parent, I tell you what to do and you do as I say!

It's all right for a therapist to have problems too, but not to help the clients from this place in him or her! That's why what Lynn told us about her made me think Lynn did good not to go to her. Dan, on the other hand, is looking for a. a good way out of therapy while still seeming to work... and b. a controlling mommy, so this therapist is great for him... (She was BOTHERED by the fact he does not see his mother? and tried to MAKE him see it her way???? PPPPLLLLEEEEEAASE! Dr. Irene, I just think she's not doing her job right, and her school of thought should be in the same place as other stupid and corrupt medicine).

Lynn, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not so sure what I said about Dan is "on the mark", but that's what I think about the therapist.

B., who is much behind on the posts and running.

B1: Submit


Hi cat box, B. again,

First, Dr. Irene, can you please erase one of my double posts? I got a "failure" message from the site so I submitted again, but then saw 2! Done. By *Me* MommyB.

Hi Michelle. I don't know what to say to your questions, but I think you best start with reading all the articles by Dr. Irene on the site. They really help a lot to "get the point" and see where you are.

Theressa, I agree with your view about GOD, and about criminals as sick people.

Lynn, what to do? I think that waiting for Dan to fix what he did wrong while you are there and suffer is a bit like cutting your nose to spite your face: it's a sort of revenge on Dan, but you are the one who is suffering from it NOW! And who knows how and when he fixes it!

So, maybe ask yourself: what do I LYNN want now? Then take care of YOURSELF and fix what YOU NEED without caring about Dan.

Then you can let it go, or you can tell him later: "you did xxx and it was bad. I don't want it to happen again", or you can ask him to RE-DO it better, or you can "charge it to his account" if it was the result of his messing up: not necessarily with money but with something else you want: "Dan, you messed up on my bicycle shed, and xxx happened and it cost me a lot of damage. I felt very bad about that, and it caused me a lot of physical trouble. I would feel compensated if you did xxxx within the next xxx hours for me".

You can also offer a choice between a number of things he might do for you. But you have to say exactly what and within what time. Agreeing and then making you wait for 3 months for the compensation is NOT payment!

That's what I think, but you know I may be wrong. Dr. Irene does not correct my advice, but I don't know if it's because of the new policy or because I'm such a genius at giving advice in her eyes!!! FakeMommy thinks you're real smart, that's why.

Wanted to tell you, that my therapist said, that this site is like a support group therapy. She wanted me to go to a group therapy but I was afraid.

In the past I told her I get stressed among people. I do. I lose my focus. She brought to my attention that I have a need to be listened to and understood. But only last week I got it: I am so stressed because I waste a lot of my energy on HIDING my need to be listened to and understood, HIDING my need to be hugged (we all seem to get to the hug issue...), hiding my need to be loved, hiding my fear that I am not and cannot ever be loved, listened to, understood and valued. Hugs for MommyB!

At therapy I cry most of the time. I learned from my shiatsu sessions to detect when I am "running away" from the issue. So I know now, that when I cry I am in touch with MY TRUTH. When I am "light" and "cool" and "humorous" and "strong" and "together" - I am acting acting acting. What stress! What a total waste of energy!

I cannot yet sit with a group of people and CRY in front of them. I don't exactly know why (after all, they're all like me, why should I be afraid), but I can't. And as long as I can't, it's no use to me to go to such a "real live" group therapy.

I feel I have to get connected with my truths. All of them. And they are so hard and painful and weak and needy (yes, Asha, that's why I hate these too. But look how much it costs me to fight this side!). But they are like a jungle you are supposed to walk through in order to get out on the other side. I know I can do it. I won't die in it! There is another side and this is a movie with a "good end" if you see it through!

Did you ever feel that way too? Meow=yes.

Love to all of you, B.

B1: Submit


No cats in the catbox today? I think we must all be out hunting mice with Trubble! Hey, we're into fishing! Still, maybe everyone is feeling o.k. More crazy making behaviour today but I weathered it and feel on top so that is good.

Lynn I have been trying to come up with a loosely based on our experiences story line! Not having a job just now, and waiting for cheques means lots of time and I have decided to use it well for once.

I have come to the conclusion that what I want moved never will be unless I do it. If it is any comfort when our radiator leaked my husband refused to get it mended and it was only done when his mother came to stay and I wasn't there. Sometimes I leave things just to see if they will EVER get picked up! Answer: no. But I may be as bad on reflection! Just looked at a picture I know was crooked last Christmas!

Boo hoo, Quack Quack is a great way of venting so I am going to use it too.

I haven't really got much to say, I just thought it looked lonely in box 11! love Jay Boo hoo, meow meow... 

B1: Submit


Good Morning Dear Cat Box and Dog House,

New post and I didn't want it to sound so gloomy, but. The stages I've been through are kind of like hurt, tired, bewildered. This turned to cynical, hard-bitten and distrustful. I'm even wondering if security is just fear? Fear of cleaning my own cat boxes?

Guess I'll get this out of my system and hopefully move on to a positive one if I can. I suspect the last one would be indifference and that would be pretty final.

I sometimes feel that Dan is intelligent enough to know that there is something wrong and that there is a problem. I hope he's intelligent enough to do something about it! Follow through at least. RealMommy, why do you think that Daddy Dan will change so fast? It's a back and forth and he'll spend way too much time back cuz he doesn't notice he's there. So, FakeMommy says you should pay him much less mind and listen to MommyB's good advice.

About the term co dependence: Most co's are constructive. That's why it seems like a strange word to me. It might be more like the blindness of love.

Okay, enough gloom and doom. I don't know what to say positive today. I hope this gets it out of my system though and I can start thinking constructive or at least disengaging.

I do have an appropriate quote though. "Divorce: A marriage where the groom gives the bride away." by Eva Gabor, 1953.

Have a great Sunday. It's cold but sunny here and that should cheer me up in a couple of minutes. Love All, Lynn 

B1: Submit


Dear Cat Box again,

Lynn here. The posts are after the "commercial" on # eleven so I didn't see them. Sorry.

First about Dan. The 1st therapist was the one who was so concerned about his mother. The new one about the cat box. The thing in her favor on that is she tries to work in 4 to 6 sessions. I reread her intro. I think she is a hard core realist and shoots from the hip and quick. Maybe she found out that she is successful this way.

After the posts I'm thinking that may explain my gloomy attitude. I'm going to have to keep my mouth shut and see if Dan reschedules or if this is another technique. He got a letter from her the other day. I told him about it and he said to open it as it was probably his share of the payment. I opened it and his insurance won't cover it! Then he never mentioned it again. Time will tell. I know I have to disengage and not force him to go. I think I've just heard so many excuses that if I hear one more I'm not going to disengage, I'm going to throw up! That's where I feel 5 years of excuses have gotten me. Cynical and distrustful. Dan should find out what the problem is. Maybe they don't like the therapist's degree and they'll cover another provider?

Hurray though. A good vacuuming and a little bit of ironing and my house is looking quite livable. Even shiny in places. The cat boxes are even clean and I'm feeling ready for the onslaught Tuesday. I feel much more in control of my life with a clean house.

So time to do that ironing. Thanks for the support guys and sorry I didn't see these before I posted. I'm feeling better already. (((HUGS)))

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit


Whoops. I got confused by the big space! Nearly messed all the posts!!! I thought mine didn't go through. B I can't do anything but cry in therapy any more either. Guess that it shows we really are able to feel!

Lynn you sound a bit like I was feeling yesterday. Hope the day got better. It is ever so cold here too. I am trying to get the courage up to go out in it and really feel like crawling up into a ball.

I had this weird dream last night, I dreamt I was at the top of really tall ladder and clinging onto a really high beam. Someone else got down without the ladder, but I was petrified and they belittled me for it and wanted me to wait although I was terrified.

Does anyone know what heights and ladders mean in dreams. I rarely remember mine so I wondered if this was about codependence.

Is it my mind coming to terms with the fact that I am moving out of danger (from being codependent and a victim. But scared of the changes. I did get down the ladder after making the person in the dream move the ladder to me.

I wonder, will I be stronger for the dream?

I never really got into looking at my dreams before.

My son has just given me an interpretation. 'Out of the mouths of babes!" Being in a dangerous place like that means I feel I am in a dangerous place and can't get out as someone is too selfish to let me.......He has poached the book on dreams I bought the other day... Meow! What a smart kid!

I hope he hasn't worked out this might be his Father!

He has...........

I am just so fed up of trying to protect my son from what is obvious. Last night his father locked himself away for 2 hours as I said the wrong thing. I just find it so hard it was more important to let himself do that than spend the evening as planned with our son.

Maybe he took time out and I am being unfair, but it is getting so no one is allowed to speak or have an opinion that isn't his. Yuk.

I wonder if aromatherapy would help. I have a lot of oils and herbs so I think I am going to light something soothing for tonight and see if he is any better and less touchy.

That said, I've felt a bit grouchy myself today. Still pining for my daughter, but I know I need to leave it longer.

On the parent thing. I felt like that for years with my dad and then when all the trouble with my daughter started, I found him different. I think I still would need to be careful not to allow myself to be dominated or crushed; but they are better now. Have been since I was ill.

I just hope people aren't pussyfooting around me in the fear I will end up back in hospital. There are days it would be tempting to give in and allow depression to take over still. Don't you dare!

Days too when I just want to give in and stop being my own person and let him take me over again; but then that is a large part of why I was so ill.

Lynn I like your definition.

Love, Jay

B1: Submit


Dear Cat Box,

Lynn again, boo hoo, quack quack. Am I in a state. I see that Dr. Irene and Trubble "blue penciled" # 10, but I'm not going to read them until I get this out! My neighbor just asked to borrow a staple gun. I found only the electric one, no staples for any. She had to go to the store and buy staples. Then she couldn't get it loaded. She came over with her thumb bleeding. I just stabbed my index finger and still can't load it. Right staples. Must be that the gun has a bent staple in it.

I went through Dan's tool closet. He has the whole pantry. It is a pile of JUNK! Everything scattered here and there and a mess. I HATE LIVING LIKE THIS!!!

I want to go get a 90 gallon bucket and throw everything in it, including the chain saw and put the whole mess out in the yard! I'm venting, of course, but I'd love to. I truly would. It is frustrating...

I don't need total organization, but I hate this utter confusion. I hate living half done. You are letting the anxiety the disarray creates get to you. Deal with it instead! Dan couldn't imagine how the mouse got in. Instead of installing baseboards and filling in holes and cracks, he'll spend the next three months scratching his something trying to figure how the mouse got in! Duh! Who cares?? I could show him at least 44 places where the mouse could have got in. Let's figure out the exact one. RealMommy is pmsing?

Horrible, horrible and horrible. And stupid, stupid and stupid. Not him, ME! For being stupid enough to live like this. Meow=Yes

There. That feels better. And it's sure a lot better than going out and having too many Marguerites, which (the witch) I'd love to do right now. Wouldn't help. Not because it wouldn't be right, but because there isn't enough Tequila in town to make this feel any better. How about a cat-hug?

Jay, I'll go see if I have a dream book that mentions ladders.

Thanks, and disregard. I'm just talking to myself and Trubble. Yeah RealMommy. It's not worth it to let all this catbox stuff get to you!

I think this is the difference now that Dan isn't posting. Don't you and Daddy Dan talk? Or even write? I'm also thinking I need therapy worse than Dan to figure out why I live like this. I think poor white trash is an attitude and I'm remembering my/our old High School fairy tale song. "Someday my prince will come. Someday I'll find the bum." Good thing he's out of town. It wouldn't be fun to be here with me today. And as my last nasty thought...... if we get engaged before we marry, do we disengage before we divorce? Giggle!

Thanks for giving me a place to do this Dr.Irene. It beats the ulcers and nervous stomach.

Love to all of you and I hope you are having a better day than I have worked myself into. Lynn FakeMommy said to tell you she's real happy you see YOU did it. Gee (scratch, scratch), I thought it was Daddy Dan.




Dear Jay,

I wasn't done. There is moisture under the kitchen sink. At least I can find the plumbing tools. They are all over my bathroom floor. hehehe. I gotta laugh! Hehehehe! Did ya also find the wrench in the bag of litter?

Ladders from The Dreamer's Dictionary: Although a ladder dream follows the general rule that up is good and down is not, its meaning is greatly modified by the other elements, details and action. For instance if, in your dream you were climbing a very high one and reached the top, the predicted achievement will be greater than if the ladder was of medium height or low. If a rung of the ladder broke under you, you may not attain your greatest ambition but you will achieve financial security. etc.

Mostly good stuff.

The meaning of your Dreams says ascending one portends good. If you fall, not so good, if coming down, not good at all.

The Complete Dream Book: The ladder is a sign of advancement. To dream of having trouble Trubble adjusting a ladder against a house indicates marital upsets. (Now there's an understatement). RealMommy, you spelled my name wrong. But, if it makes you feel better, please dream of me adjusting a latter against a house, and make it mean good stuff. Please, only a little ladder, OK?

Sounds Okey dokey if you are successful. Even eventually. The rungs are like stepping stones I would guess. Maybe a general "Hang in There." (with a great typo. No N in hang. I guess I'm the hag today:). Yeah RealMommy. You're misspelling everything today! Actually, it's "Hug."

Enough from Swami Mommy. I have to go check out the leak. The dog did it.

Love, Lynn Hugs, *Me*


B1: Submit


Wow! if Dr Irene wanted to blow my mind she just did and put my poem up properly. That was a lovely end to a tough day. I have never been' 'published ' before and I write a lot. A friend keeps telling me I have got creative as creativity comes out of pain. You write very well. Thank you again!

Lynn, Thanks for all the stuff about the ladders. I am still trying to figure my dream out. But maybe as I know I can't tell my husband about the poem (obviously) I also know he would not acknowledge it. I, *Me* thinks he should read it.

I am sorry you are having a rough day. In the catbox no mess allowed?? Put all the tools in the doghouse and let Dan live there! Giggle!

Actually I did laugh a bit. My husband won't do DIY at all unless it is a shelf or desk for him and I am hopeless at decorating but have to do it anyway. My daughter is brilliant at it. When we are speaking again I want some help to get the kitchen looking better.

We can NEVER find the right tools for anything. And we are both so messy. My gripe is I like things to look nice and they never do. I will start tomorrow...............

As for under the sink - neither of us noticed the dishwasher I am not allowed to use as he disapproves of it was leaking and had flooded and wrecked the shelves! Cool. As long as he does the dishes!

I suppose in our case, the inability to be practical is something we have in common!

Dr Irene, I am sure my son will want to be a psychologist someday. He has human nature all worked out. If women are upset (I mean his mother) he comes over and gives a shoulder massage. he also has a brilliant phrase for preventing adults involving him in what he feels is not for him. "I prefer to leave that to the grown ups to sort out." He is one wise kid. I think that is a good phrase to give to any kid to use.

He does have a catlike quality. Sort of cuddly. And he is always himself. No pretences.

He doesn't deserve the hassle of all his parents are going through. But it sounds like he's learning his lessons well...

Lynn, it was a boo hoo, quack quack day! But at least ducks stay afloat. I haven't been on the marguerites but I do feel a bit punch drunk without the alcohol tonight.

Probably because I avoided the Sunday argument for the second week running.

Lynn, Do you mean things from your kitchen are in Dan's tool bag? I think there may be a hammer in our cutlery drawer!

Love, Jay

B1: Submit


Dear Dr. Irene and Trubble,

Hi the Cat Box. Lynn again, considerably cooled down. See, it does good to vent, and I tightened a few knobs and thingies and no more drip. RealMommy "fixed" the dog?

One more chuckle first. Years ago when Dan's mother verbally assaulted me, she said she knew what it was with Danny. I was only after one thing. Fantasizing today I'd like to call her and ask what that one thing could possibly be. 

OK serious now. I like that Dr. I, about Dan checking on stuff that needs done around here before he leaves. And asking, too. I did mention that his chain saw was in the yard. I'm extremely owly (YUM yum, Trubble) today. And Trubble, you are always welcome here. I meant you had to bring your own bromo (not a broom typo) seltzer for the mice. And as for the Gypsy father of you know who, do you expect me to kiss and tell??? Yes!!!

I think my biggest beef today was/is Dan comes home and beats himself up (or else plays poor baby Dan) because he didn't do all this stuff and how bad he feels because he left me in the lurch. He can't feel half as bad as I do today. And I wasn't the least bit lurched. I did it all myself and I'm glad I know how. Now if he wants to beat himself up he'll have to do it solo. "Excellent" says FakeMommy.

Oh, and the funniest one. Dozen's of stray cats around here. Neighbor feeds them. Introduced me to one the other day. Named the nickname of my late H. Said he didn't know where the name came from. It just suited the cat. Oh, Boy. Is that a message from somewhere or what?

Ok Trubble. Trout. Lobster, Crab and Calamari. Melted butter and catnip garnishes. I'll try and behave myself. And come visit anytime. Come stay if you want to. It's about time for Christmas and Santa knows you've been good. Yeah! Tell RealMommy. Besides, it's all Dan's fault why I disappeared. Daddy Dan was supposed to come look for me. I left clues at the hatchery.

Love and disengage.


PS. Yes, I would fall off the broomstick if I were top heavy :) Glad to be me. I just have to chill out a bit today.

B1: Submit


Just need to make a statement: I'm tired of being treated like I'm over-stepping my bounds by asking for change. I'm tired of him not "getting it."

I want to cry and scream, but that won't change anything. And he won't hear me, anyway.

I hate it when I feel hopeless like this. Those fear of abandonment buttons are really being pushed today.

Sorry for the downer; I guess I just need to know that someone hears me.

Becky   We hear ya loud and clear Becky!

B1: Submit


Dear Jay.

Wow, how nice about the poem. We both must have been posting together. I just posted and then went and took a hot bath with Melba Rounds and Garlic Dip for an appetizer with my coke. I had sweet Marguerite thoughts, tho....

Dear Becky, I hear you loud and clear. If I could figure it out I'd tell you what worked. I don't have a clue.

Only solution. I'm going back to my Alfred Hitchcock movies and finish my ironing. I think I'll at least feel better if I stay organized. I'm casual on the outside (with cats and dogs I have to be). Yeah. On the inside I like stuff in order. I even lie my spices in alphabetical order. Compulsive, huh?  I'm not asking that his tools be in order. I'd just like to be able to find a hammer without remembering where he used it last.

My opinion still stands on the Prez. Call it a tie and let them preside together. One could rule on odd days and the other on even.

Goodnight guys, I hear Alfred calling.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Dear all. If English, hope you are warm and dry. If from the U.S hope you get a coalition soon and HAPPY THANKSGIVING - I just found out it was from Dr Irene's homepage. Thanks!

This is where you all eat parched corn? and turkey. If you eat turkey on thanksgiving what do you get at Christmas? I presume trouble gets Trout both times!

Lynn. The food in the bath is something I will add to my list of good things to do. I would probably drop it in like I do my books though!

Becky, I hear you too. Guess we all have had a rough time at present. Maybe it is the pain of change.

Lynn about the ladder dream, so it was marital upsets and I got up to a high place and despite being derided got down safely. I needed the deriding person to put the ladder where I could get down safely.

So I am changing and I need my husband to change? To be really safe he has to touch the ladder too? Has to move more into the same way of thinking but it is scary being at the top of the ladder. But I can get down on my own. The other person in the dream didn't want to move the ladder and only did that grudgingly.

But they did move the ladder. I hope he will!

Dr. Irene. Is this right? My depression was like everything was so painful I couldn't bear the hurt and I frustrated the psychs as I would only talk about how worried I was about others or describe events. I don't know that you frustrated those who wanted to help you; I do know you frustrated yourself! I wanted badly not to feel and I did everything I could not to feel. Now that I am feeling my own pain should I be by rights able to overcome the depression? I haven't felt long term depressed for about 2 months now and I do get depressed feelings but I can manage them. When you allow yourself to know what's going on in your life, you are in a position of strength; you can do something about it.

So is the denial of feelings a major reason why some people get long term depression? I know there are chemical aspects as well as I know my serotonin levels were low. But I don't feel scared about stopping the meds (I will do so responsibly this time!). Don't stop the meds until your doctors tell you to. You may want to never stop the meds! I am reluctant to comment broadly on why some people get long term depression. I do think that wanting to shut your eyes to the very real and difficult issues in your life did not make them go away. Things only got worse. 

My husband does do the dishes. But I feel it is more of a control issue with him. I would prefer if we did turn and turn about given that the dishwasher is defunct. But he wouldn't hear of it. What he decides is what he decides! Nice to be a pampered lady, but it is NOT what I want to be. I want to be an equal human cat in this world!

Who is Alfred? I wish I could find the marmite without a mammoth hunt. (Marmite is yeast extract in case this doesn't translate.)

It is a jam day but I don't think I have any jam!

Jam and cream....on crumpets. Dr Irene if you do a search there are whole websites about crumpets. Sort of muffin like with holes in and essential that you have lots and lots of butter and real English Breakfast tea. My favorite food - crumpets!

Love Jay


B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Hi, B. here!

Trubble, I just LOVE cat hugs! You can hug me any time, if you can endure the flight... I know plenty of fish restaurants by the sea!!! (psspsspss, come little kitty, psspsspss...)

Good news here: finally my H met with his therapist. Also, a breakthrough:

A few days ago we met with his parents. His father touched him in a way that always irritates him (H said to me: "it's a button only he pushes!" I said: "That's exactly our job! To pull all the buttons in!") and H hit him with his elbow. I didn't see that. H told me, very upset: "why did I hit him?" I was very glad H is starting to recognize and acknowledge and become willing to bring up his anger towards his dad.

H loves his dad. Dad is really kind, loving, crazy about his sons and granddaughters, will do everything for the family and more, so he feels he has no right to say any bad word about him and he got pretty abusive towards me when I pointed out to him that his dad was also extremely controlling, humiliating and abusive in a million ways. I also tell him - at the same time - that his dad is also very hurt, very stressed out, very afraid. H is starting to come to terms with all that, is starting to be willing to SEE, and I think it's a good thing for us.

It's very difficult for both abusers and co-dependents to get it, that you can love someone - but still not let him do things to you that you don't like. Or that someone can be "abusive and controlling" (bad guy) but also (seen from a compassionate and rational angle) - hurt and scared!

H was afraid, I think, that being angry at his dad also means he does not love him. I try to show him there's no either-or here. I love his dad too, but that does not mean I can't see he hurt my H a great deal and still does. I can be angry with his dad for his controlling, insensitive and yucky behaviours - but see them for what they are: acts of a hurt little boy who is scared and over-responsibly and knows no better than to do what was done to him. I can see my parents this way too. And be angry at them. And I love my dad.

However, I am not sure I love my mom. I don't know the answer to that. I don't know how to know this. 

Love to you all, hope what I said helps someone. I sure feel helped when I read all your posts! B.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Dear Cat Box, and especially Trubble Darling. (That was our real last Gypsy name My name is Trubble Darling! Yippeee! Thank Cat that I don't have to take on FakeMommy's last name!),

6 AM, but I had enough sleep and slept good. Jay, you figured out the ladder, I think, but why can't you adjust it yourself and make sure of the safety? True story, this. I climbed a number of ladders in one of my incarnations. With a bunch of healthy guys who tried to help me be the best I could be. Fact: Women's enter of gravity is different from men's and for safety we need the ladder pulled out a little more at the base to give us better balance.

Alfred is Alfred Hitchcock. Good Ironing movies.

To the rest and thanks, Did I get it????? My biggest beef with Dan's daughter and grandkids. I got so tired of "raising" them. I mean teaching them hygiene, manners, all the stuff mommy's and daddy's are "suppose to do." Bingo! I'm sick of Dan needing to be told to pick up his toys. Pretty sicko in thought when I am the good or bad controlling mommy all day and want to be the mature wanton sexy seductive wifey at night. I can't change rolls that quick. I'd like to be mature wifey ALL the time and thought of and respected as such at all times. I'll be 54 on the 16th and I raised my kids. I don't want to have to "raise" somebody else's. And when I'm raising my mate and teaching him and discipline my mate the thoughts of seductive nights go by the wayside. So, RealMommy, stop being mommy.

A bit compulsive? To say the least. I found the dream books because they were right where they were suppose to be. I have the biographies in alphabitical order, too. True crime in order by author's and hard backs in there own categories. Reference books where I can think of something at 2 AM and go get the book where I know the answer is in the dark and put my hands right on it. Compulsive or organized. If you saw how casually I keep house, Trubble, you would know that there has to be organization somewhere. My sister keeps an immaculate house but her cupboards and closets look like Dagwood's. Mom must have taught us each one or the other. To me, it's just as easy to put things back where they belong as to put them anywhere. Of course, we could always leave them where we used them last and then the good mommy could remember where we left them and tell us where they were at all times.

If it sounds like I'm angry or mad at Dan, I'm not. I'm angry at myself for slipping into the mommy roll. Yippeee! Except it's OK to stay in mommy role with *Me* and LOCO, and the rest of the bats and trolls. I don't think I have much respect for him, either. I'm not his good mommy. I don't want to be and I resent being put in this position. As long as RealMommy realizes that only RealMommy puts herself there... I can't make his life all better. I can only make mine all better and that I intend to do.

Over simplified, Just like dogs and cats. I need an alpha male in my life.

End of today's reevaluation. He'll be home tomorrow and ..... Dr. Irene, The therapist said insurance would take other degrees of therapists. Same old priorities in order thing. If we can afford to smoke can we not afford the new therapist? Huh? You mean they won't accept her credentials, but they will accept those of other types of providers, I think... It ain't cheap feeding the menagerie around here either. (Except for the mouse who is eating all the spilled bird seed).

As for my dad. He is really a wonderful man. He has tons of good qualities He just persists in being a controlling bully and I find that part of him unacceptable and refuse to play those games with him.

Do Dan and I talk? NO! Not about the stuff that counts to me. I have written him. I've tried talking on the phone. Face to face even. The most conversation Dan and I have had about serious stuff was here on the cat box. Dan's MO: Convince me I am wrong; Change the subject; Correct my thinking; Argue with "my logic"; Do the complete opposite; Do "exactly" what I request, to extremes; Do disrespectfully in front of me; Do housework; Pout, gloom or pretend or do something else because he "thought that's what I 'really' meant;" Last, but I sure he has more tricks up his sleeve I haven't seen yet, is request that we go to bed and he'll give me a romp I'll never forget and everything will magically be all better. FakeMommy suggests you get a notebook and start writing to him there as you used to on this board.

Cynical realization by Lynn who is thinking that some old dogs won't learn new tricks.

Have a good day guys. I'm going to...... Vacuum, finish the ironing and take my birthday neighbor to lunch and listen to some great country twang twangs on the juke box.

Boo, Hoo, quack quack Meow, Meow, and Jay's son, me thinks you are wise beyond your years. In 4 words you said eleven pages worth of introspection.

Love, Lynn

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Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


PS. Lynn again. In case anyone thinks we "have it all together" remember, we're being cyber shrunk by a cat! Maybe we should pay double for Trubble :) Double Trout!

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Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Recipe for Cat Box Marguerite's

1 Jigger of Mexican Tuna Juice, 1 Jigger of Lobster Bisque, 1 Jigger of Fresh Lime Juice

Blend with ice cubes. Salt Rim of Glass. Garnish with Catnip

Drink slowly in a hot bubble bath scented with Lavender and Catnip while reading poetry by Jay.

Submitted with love by LOCO

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Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Hi All,

Lynn Missy isn't able to come to the computer, but she is sure learning off her mommy healthier ways that she's learning from all of you here.

Asha I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, for helping me understand about HELPING only when asked LOL. This was a biggy thing for me to learn. I bought my sis a book about parenting, on Friday she was telling me she didn't like parenting out of books, LOL glad i hadn't given it to her yet!!! the book I'd bought, anyway I want to eventually be an educational psychologist or a professional helper so the book will do for my future career. I was livid inside when she told me she didn't like parenting from books. WELL I felt angry, miserable, disappointed and sad, and furious. How does she think one can learn new ways if not off others or out of books, eh??? Well I decided on my own in my alone time that this was a boundary, me trying to fix and rescue others, YIPPEEE a revelation!! I decided to keep the book as I said above and see the lesson. AND also to know deep inside that well the ideas from the parenting book worked for me so it doesn't matter what she thinks about me learning from books.

On Friday on the way home from work my mobile rang. Its was my X though I was driving and so I couldn't talk, the phone rang off. I meant to ring him back. I got to my nan's where I was going after work to collect some stuff. I tried to ring him at home, cuz I don't think it's fair to use someone else phone ringing a cell phone, its a wee bit expensive, anyway he wasn't home. The weather was cold, so the call box was out of my way. I got to my mom's to pick up Missy as I say below:

I also learned a hard lesson Friday, I was a wee bit late, yeah a wee bit, cos Missy wasn't ready when I went to pick her up. Then she had a mini tantrum in the car and wouldn't get out of it. Just 10 minutes later I was able to hug her out of the car. Then he dad turned up. She was out in a flash. [needs his approval big time at the moment!!!, always did before so what's the difference accept it!!]

Into the house, I know now that my X was annoyed that I didn't answer my cell phone as I said above, whilst I was on my way home in my car going to my Nan's. Though he didn't say anything about the phone call. As soon as we got in the door, he said. "YOUR always late, I don't know why I bother". I said "We were late cuz..... " Just then MISSY butted in and said "Not my fault, cuz..." Her dad cut her off and said "Your mother was speaking, go to bed, your interrupting again, BED" She went off crying, then she came back into the kitchen [DARING EH!!!!] she stood quietly, I said "It was my fault I am MISSY's mommy so it was my fault we were late". In ACTUAL fact it was just one of those things but I wasn't gonna let him carry on yelling at MISSY so I took his blaming. I said "Look I can do what I like." He said "I've had a f***ing nuff of your attitude I am off". And off he went. Missy yelling and crying at the window, I got a hold of her and told her it wasn't her fault he was in a bad mood. I said He loves you very much, his love is like mine love for you, it like glue it stays in mommy and daddy's heart what ever MISSY does. She said "Okay mommy, then I hugged and held her for a time and then I asked her what would she like to do?" She went off to draw a picture. On Saturday her daddy didn't come and she asked me to ring him. I made a MISTAKE, I said no you ring him, I am not, running after tantrums!!!!

I am confused here???? I am told by my therapist not to run after tantrums, cuz I used to and end up apologizing and explaining. I now find it hard to know whether I should EXPLAIN?? or not??? about me not being able to ring. ANY IDEAS???

Anyway he wasn't in.

Sunday i planned our day out, and packed our stuff in the car. Just before we were going, before we got our coats on, her daddy, my x. Arrived, MISSY was made up. [I was a good parent and didn't say a word to her about the other day] She ran to open the door and she hugged him. He told me about his new car and a couple of other things, then he said "come on Missy are you ready to come out with me." [He usually takes her every second Sunday, I was just glad he turned up for MISSY sake!!!] Anyway Missy looked at me, I said "Yes she's ready." Missy looked again and then said "But mom what about my wellington boots and going to nan...." I said "No bother you want to spend it with your dad, that's fine, he has missed you and so it okay go and enjoy yourself" She smiled and hugged me. [GLAD I learned this and would you guess out of a book, so good behaviour, how can we get it out of a book LOL in my sis opinion] I went to the bathroom just before they went MISSY and her dad, I didn't feel so good, a little overwhelmed so I shouted from the bathroom what time will you be back, they told me 6.00pm.

They came back at 6.10pm, I didn't say anything my X didn't stop, I asked did she enjoy herself. She said YES I said Good and left it at that. [want her to know its okay to be happy and enjoy being with her daddy]

I don't know if I've done right but when speaking to MISSY on Friday about her daddy I said "He just didn't learn like me and you how to be angry and fed up without storming off, we are lucky we did learn, he is hurting and feels sad that is why he stormed off." What do you all think???

I did an excellent exercise from the Manipulatio, FOG book I 've been reading, you visualise yourself giving everything to your abuser, I visualized a fairytale, where I was a princess and he was a villager. He came to me begging me to help him out. He'd been mean to me for a long time and I saw him begging and pleading with me. I sat in my fairytale seeing all he'd done to me. I told him in the end in a big strong, firm assertive voice, NO I can't take you back and help you get saved.

This was a big step, I visualized me powerful and in control of myself, big STEP I'd say !!!

Anyway I want to share this with you from Robert Burney: It is very insightful take a look, if you would like to.

All my love, I can see us all growing.

Love Theressa

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Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Spring & Nurturing

by Robert Burney M.A.

"By the way, the hardest part of unconditional Love is accepting wherever we are at in the moment no matter how uncomfortable. The hardest part of acceptance is not the difficulty of allowing others their process (although Lord knows that can be very hard); it is allowing ourselves our own process without shame and judgment.

I can do that now most of the time. I know now that when it feels like crap it is not punishment, it is not because I am bad or wrong or defective. . . What I know now is that when it feels like shit that means that I am being fertilized to help me grow."

Codependence: Dance of the Wounded Souls


Spring is the time of birth and rebirth of new beginnings. And all new beginnings need nurturing.

This is true not only in nature but also for people who are involved in the very natural process that is healing and recovery. The Spiritual path is our natural path, is the reason we are here in these bodies on this planet. And in order to walk a Spiritual path, it is necessary to reprogram the mental perspectives of life that we learned growing up in Spiritually hostile, shame-based society.

Perhaps the first, and certainly the most nurturing, thing we do when starting to walk a Spiritual path is to start seeing life in a growth context - that is to start realizing that life events are lessons, opportunities for growth, not punishment because we screwed up or are unworthy.

We are Spiritual beings having a human experience not weak, shameful creatures who are here being punished or tested for worthiness. We are part of/an extension of an ALL-Powerful, Unconditionally Loving

God-Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit, and we are here on Earth going to boarding school not condemned to prison. The sooner that we can start awakening to that Truth, the sooner we can start treating ourselves in more nurturing, Loving ways.

The natural healing process like nature itself regularly serves up new beginnings. We do not reach a state of being that is "happily ever after." We are continuously changing and growing. We keep getting new lessons/opportunities for growth. Which is a real pain in the derriere sometimes but is still better than the alternative, which is to not grow and get stuck repeating the same lessons over and over again.

This human experience is a process that involves inherent conflict between the continuously changing nature of life and the human ego's need to survive. In order to insure survival (which is the ego's appointed task) the human ego needs to define things. What is food? What is friend or enemy? Who am I and how do I relate to them? What can hurt me and what brings me pleasure? It also learned that it is healthy to have a fear of the unknown (it was important to check an unknown cave for saber toothed tigers before strolling into it.) As a result, the ego fears change and craves security and stability. But because life is constantly changing, security and stability can only be temporary.

The way it works is that the ego's definitions put us in a box - this is who I am and how I relate to them - and the life process keeps breaking up our box. Every time our box breaks we have to let go of some of our ego-definitions in order to grow. The time when we break out of the box is the time we are the most scared and confused - because we have just had to surrender some of our old definitions and we do not know yet what is going to replace them - and the time we most need to nurture ourselves. But because we were taught that if we are doing it "right" we shouldn't be confused or scared, that is the time when we beat ourselves up the most. We are the least nurturing to ourselves when we are growing the most, at the time of a new beginning.

Those times when we feel like we are "falling apart," "losing it," going to pieces," are the times when we are growing. In a little while (little is a relative term, how fast we recover depends on how much we are judging ourselves, the more we are shaming and abusing ourselves the longer it takes) we start to get a feel for our new expanded psychic environment. We find some new definitions and built ourselves a bigger box. We start to feel safe and secure again.

We have grown and broadened our horizons and it feels like we are finally "getting it together." We get comfortable with the new dimension of consciousness we have entered. That is when it is time to break out of the box again - to fall apart, let go, process some more issues.

The more we understand that this is the way the process works; the easier it becomes to not judge and shame ourselves; the more capacity we have to Love and nurture ourselves. Life is constantly changing. There are always going to be endings and new beginnings. There is always going to be grief and pain and anger about what we have to let go of, and fear of what is to come. It is not because we are bad or wrong or shameful. It is just the way the game works.

So there is good news and bad news. The good news is that a New Age has dawned in human consciousness and that we now have tools, knowledge, and access to healing energy and Spiritual guidance that has never before been available. We are discovering the rules of the game that we have been playing for thousands of years by rules that don't work.

The bad news is that it's a stupid game - or at least it feels like it some of the time. The more we understand that it is a game, that this is just boarding school, the easier it becomes to nurture ourselves by not shaming and judging ourselves. We are going to get to go home. We don't have to earn it - that's what Unconditional Love means.

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Date: Monday, November 13, 2000



This guy has helped me such a lot, I think I should share his wisdom. He told me this morning that this, that I should share. Please let him know what you posted and where; it's a lot of material and it is copyrighted. OK? Also, if you send the url you got the above from, I will hyperlink it. Thanks.

LYNN perhaps this is for me and YOU!!! LOL

We must ACCEPT that we may never be able to change others to be the way we want, life is about choices and we have to let them choose, we have to let them be ready and at the right stage to WAKE up and if awake, when to move on TO the next STEP!!!! Otherwise we will be hitting a great stone wall of disappointment!!!

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Dear Theressa,

Thanks so much. Sometimes here I feel that love isn't so unconditional. This is another of the ones I see Dan doing. If I love him I'll love him the way he is. Last nights phone call was the deciding factor for me. He spent 15 minutes telling me how he got paint on his work pants and got the paint out and on and on and who cares????? Like good mommy was going to be happy because he cleaned his mess up? No how are things or whatever. Just seemed he needed pats for being a good boy and I'm saving pats for the critters. Diversion. I've had enough diversion. Hey RealMommy, why didn't you tell him! Something like, "Dan, I'm happy you are cleaning up your messes, but please don't forget about being my adult partner who cares about how my day and my messes went too..." Rather than complain here, why not ask for what you want?

As for your H. Can you try and answer his accusations in one word? This turns it back at them. Why should you have to explain where you were and when or why? Sorry, whoops, gee, and huh are pretty good. Pardon works, too, but no sarcasm. Just one word softly. Even just "driving" period.

Asha's absolutely right about who we can change. That's why stick to cats and dogs. Dan is the one I have to learn not to try to change and I liked the post from Tree on Dr. Irene's board. When Dan says he "was" going to go to therapist I'll have to answer like her and say "okay." I think what she actually asked H was "what he intended to do about it?"

I'm into a Rhett Butler mode. Right now I don't give a damn, my dear. He can make some changes or not. I know I can't stay without some. The heat and the pressure is what gets me down. I think we could have had this behind us if he would have put as much effort into fix as he has into pretending he "was" going to.

B, too, thanks and the rest of you, too. I'm not going to read the posts when Dan is home anymore. If he wants to he can all by himself. Doesn't mean I'm not here. I'm just going to be selective about my healing and let him do his.

I'm thinking of all of you and I love you lot's. Isn't Trubble great, too? ^_^ "Trubble Darling" 

Talk to you all tonight.



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Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Lynn again. And don't you love the term "horndog" ?????? :)

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000




A Beautiful poem passed on to me by someone who cares about the Human Spirit...


There must be a wonderful morning somewhere A dawn lit by justice and judgment is fair A place where a helping hand is always held out An ear that will listen stands poised and devout.

A place you can go when your heart needs attending A place where a spirit gets healing and mending A place where loves fire burns bright day and night And in from the cold you may warm by its light.

There must be a wonderful evening somewhere Where the sun finally sets on pain and despair Where the coming of night is not filled with grief And comforting sleep brings you joyful relief.

A place where the sunset is apt to reflect A day without malice, without disrespect A place where the only tears shed, are for joy And a heart is not battered and bounced like a toy.

There must be a wonderful day somewhere In a place filled with love and a great need to care A place where the burdens of conflict are lifted Where love is a skill and all lovers are gifted.

Where daily are spoken the words that support And every mistake is not met with retort A place where the land has not soaked up the blood Where honor and truth are not cast in the mud.

A Place where the children are not left alone Where Sisters and Brothers may come to atone Where homeless and helpless don't cower in fright Where the hearts and the minds of the world can unite.

So you set on a journey to seek out this land With compass and map and a vision so grand To find peace and comfort in a world thats so new Where waters are crystal and skies are so blue.

With showers that cleanse and winds that refresh Where the spirit is fed and not just the flesh But search as you may, what you'll find to be true That it can not be found, till it's found within you.

~ Author Unknown

Wanted to share this with all of my catbox family, the place where nurture is and our natural selves can grow.

Love Theressa Thank you Theressa!

PS thank you all of you for helping me along on my journey, I never felt so alive, and Yet I have so far to go.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Dear Lynn, AJ here,

Thanks for your post on my Mom problem. You are probably right and I probably will really have to do something about this. But how, I can find the motivation an energy (though sometimes barely!) to work on my problems where they are concerning C., but I just don't feel up to do something about mom, yet. For now I'll just stop trying to defend myself to my sister and try not to want her validate my anger. Still a little out of sorts though.

I am with you all the way as to the mommy versus seductive wifey part. It really had me up in the curtains when C. did that. Like he couldn't handle anything and I had to tell him what to do every time and be mature and understand and be his mommy. I really hate that (but of course, nice little me played the role anyway....:)) I can understand your wanting an Alpha male. Know something? I am not quite sure whether they actually exist in the human species..... Btw, why do you listen to Dan rattling on about paint on his trousers for 15 minutes anyway? Wishing you all the best for Tuesday: you can handle it, you'll see!!

Dear B. I am so glad about your H's breakthrough! Won't be all roses, but who cares. At least you know now he can and did make a start. That's really great. As to loving your mother or not, I cannot figure that out. I sometimes think I really hate mine. I think the problem with mothers is that there is sooo much obligation coming in, there simply is no room for love anymore. I am also much ,more of a father's child. But he died when I was 18, so that's easy to say now (at 42)

Dear Theressa I have a question about this weekend. You said you let Missy go with her Dad, and I had the impression that actually you where planning something together. Something you had looked forward too, but you let your H. take her way just without notice. Maybe misunderstood, but if that's the way it happened, I think you also should take care not to let that happen to often. I know you would do it for Missy, but even so... It's like a little too close to sacrificing your own needs, I feel.

C. and me are getting on together quite nicely. After I told him I had not felt welcome the last time I came to see him, he went out of his way to welcome me this time. He was really very sweet and loving and it felt great. At one time he said something like sweetheart of mine. And I said sweetheart ok, but of mine.... He sighed and said: I wish you would just for once be proud to ‘belong' with me. I was a bit confused and I said, ok, I am proud to be wih you, but also scared. I am not quite sure whether it was a nice thing to say or not. I have been so busy with defending myself and be Myself, that being someone's whatever, makes me jump. I am sure though he really meant it in a nice way and I wonder, was I abusive to give him an answer like this. I really actually like being ‘his' sweetheart.

Another thing, I mentioned, that I might want to buy a new car, some nice old timer. Today he phoned me to tell the garage man called him for a certain car , but he himself already bought a new car, so he thought I might be interested. Nice thought, but why does it make me angry? I almost feel like now I have to buy the car, cause he likes it. And I know that's not why he called, but it really feels like some kind of pressure. Am I growing oversensitive? I deceided I might go and look the car over and then decide whether I like it or not and wether I might want to buy it. I don't have to do anything right no, do I? It's one of the things that makes me angry again. I don't think I am right to blame him, but it still feels like some kind of interference because I cannot simply say: Ok, I said I might want to buy a new car, but I don't think I want it right now. I just can't do that and I haven't a clue why not.

Love to all of you and see you later


B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


Good evening all!

I'm vegging for awhile before I prepare lessons for tomorrow. This is going to be a hectic week, so I've decided to steal all the down time I can!

Lynn, I know that I've talked before about how much i identify with your situation--living with things half-done all the time. It amazes me that it took so long for me to figure this out: if I ask him to clear the mess off the kitchen table, or to look through the papers in a timely manner, and he doesn't, I can take care of it myself! I've started doing this with the newspapers. I told him (after they'd piled up for 2 weeks AGAIN) that at the end on 1 week, I was going to put them in the bag for recycling--and I did! He was a bit miffed when he had to dig through the bag for the papers, but I didn't react, just reminded him of what I'd said, and went back to watching TV. So far, he's been good about not letting them pile up unread, but now he piles them BESIDE the bag--won't put them in when he's through. Puh-leeze! I raised two children--I don't want another!

Anyway, I understand now, that I never pushed him on these things because I was afraid to. He has a way of trying to intimidate me into backing down. For example, i put a basket on the counter and told him that all the bills were going to go in there instead of in a pile at his place at the table, where they get mixed in with all of his other clutter and get misplaced. He informed me that if i did that, he would not be able to "find" them, and thus would "forget" to pay them. Uh huh--right! (I could pay them, if I had the money. My "joint checking" account contains money i earn only. The other he puts money into, and I hardly ever know where it is, so I wouldn't have access to it. I can't afford to pay all the bills in addition to what i do pay for).

I am tired, though, of not having enough room at the table to eat, and am very close to imposing the one week rule again--after one week, bills go into the basket, other stuff into a box. I think of it this way: he has several places in the house that he clutters up; he can let the rest of us have the table. fair enough?

And if he gets mad, thinks I'm being uppity? Too bad. Right now, i'm thinking what have I got to lose? With every day that passes, my delusions are dropping away, one by one. Inch by inch I'm coming out of denial. If he wants to divorce me because I want some control over my living space, I'm better off anyway.

All of this sounds very brave, but I know I'll waver. That's okay, though. What matters is that I'm finally figuring this out: I DO have the right to be treated with respect and to have at least some of my wishes honored! I'm not being unreasonable in wanting this!

Gee-it took only 40+ years to figure that out! Maybe, if I work hard at it, I'll discover the purpose of the Sphinx before i die!

Oh-- a note of interest to our UK friends: we attended a symphony concert Saturday night (I was given free tickets--Mozart--yummy!). We had a guest conductor from the UK. I'm not sure how or why our little town of 30,000 was so honored, but he did a fine job, and complimented us on our theatre. It's one of those that goes way back to vaudeville days-- very ornate, balcony, the works.

Lynn, I like your idea of presidential job sharing: talk about checks and balances! I'm about ready to have them draw straws!

Till later, everyone!


B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000



That last "tactic" that you mentioned is one of my big pet peeves as well (the "good sex will fix it all" one). Um, right. Take some of the sensitivity and creativity he's willing to show me there and take it out of bed and DO something with it, and then I'd feel like I was actually loved, and more importantly respected. *shakes head* Not to mention the willingness to communicate, to ask me what *I* want and then NOT do the exact opposite or just generally shoot down my ideas.

I guess if it doesn't have immediate pleasure as a payoff, it's not worth putting that kind of effort into. Or something.

I read the Ask the Doc board and a lot of it sounds way too familiar. "Well, I'm sure we can come to some compromise." Yes, IF I do all the compromising and he makes a token effort or none at all. Or tries to use sex to fix everything!

Also to Lynn, there are moments that you and Dan remind me vaguely of my parents. Our house was a fixer-upper (my small late-model used car cost more than the selling price of the house when they bought it; admittedly this is after 20 years of inflation but still). It's been "under construction" my whole life. One summer when we thought Dad might get around to putting the siding on the front of the house (it's a real eyesore without), he instead spent digging a large tree stump out of the front yard! I know this is one of the major reasons Mom decided she couldn't live with him. It's very understandable. And yet there is cluttered up junk everywhere. Dad is passive-aggressive, huh? 

Grr. Tonight was going to be serious-cleaning night (I'm getting a temporary new housemate later this week), but I can't because I need to throw things out and someone has been filling my garbage can. I think there's some kind of symbolism in that. We don't need other people filling our garbage cans with their garbage -- we can fill them up well ourselves. But better to reduce and recycle so as not to make so much garbage, right? :)

I spent about four hours on the phone with Dad this weekend. I had forgotten how much alike we are. I think that for every statewide or national race, we voted the exact same ticket. (Normally he doesn't tell, but he brought it up for some reason.) And he was amused by the auditors at my job, as well. Dad teaches accounting despite originally being an English major, and now here I am in grad school for English but I somehow keep ending up working in places where financial knowledge is useful (never mind that my co-workers don't seem to HAVE it...ok, I'll be polite, but it gets to me).

OK, I feel a little better now. Except I'm dizzy for some unidentified reason. I think maybe it's time to get away from the computer a bit before I finish my essay for class. Mmm, nice hot shower with Body Shop Satsuma bath gel...:)   

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000


OK. The bad mood has returned in full force. This is insane.

Apparently L thinks he's working on himself. How?

By doing more drugs (apparently opium's been added to the list, and he would've tried ecstasy if he had had the cash handy for it) and changing his outward appearance and buying new clothes. Kinda funny from mister jeans and t-shirt. This constitutes opening his mind to new experiences, something I used to express a wish he'd do more of...but NOT LIKE THIS!

Well well well, be careful what you wish for.

This is absolutely insane. I can't believe I even had this conversation. Apparently my objections to his drug use make me a "f'ing control freak." If I'm such a "f'ing control freak" why does he want me back? 

*sigh* Sigh...

This is nuts. I am not dealing with a rational human being here. Right. So why are you still dealing with him?

I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to drive the 30 miles to his dorm and have it out with him face to face. I want to pretend he never existed. But I just type. Good. Cuz having it out won't fix him, at least for longer than 30 seconds.

I'm scared. I don't know why. But I am really really scared now.

I need a hug. A real one from a real human being who is here and who isn't obsessed with New Experiences. So, I'll shoo Trubble away for now and suggest that you get out there and find one.

I'm shaking almost too hard to type this. I can't cry. I wish I could. I always could before.

I so do not need this right now. I have too much else to do. I want to call in sick to work tomorrow. I can't afford to. Every hour I put in counts right now. I want to go to bed. I have a project that still isn't quite finished and is due tomorrow. It has to get done. It will.

I want to call someone local who could be here soon. C doesn't have a car and I don't think I'm in any state to drive. My other three closest friends that are local don't have cars either. My chosen brother is three states away and probably at work. So I type. Keep typing.

I was so proud of myself, I was feeling better today and doing so well and actually enjoying being completely alone (I haven't even seen much of C lately and that seems to be off the table until both of us get our heads in better order). 

I shouldn't let him get to me like this. But that hurt. Especially since he signed off instant messenger with "truth hurts, doesn't it?" as a follow up to the "f'ing control freak" bit. Why are you letting this person get to you so? What is your own advice to yourself?

Yes, there were points (even before this whole drug mess started) that I was being controlling, even abusive, but I recognized it, I went searching for this site, I seriously tried to work on it. I tried to take responsibility for my own part of this mess. Didn't always do as good a job as I would have liked, but at least I was trying! Good.

Maybe he was too. Maybe he really thinks he is. But I'm not happy with the decisions he's made. And if he thinks so little of my feelings as this..... I'm more concerned with how little YOU think of your feelings. Why do you continue trying to reform this guy? If he's into drugs and you're not, why are you still around? 

I can't afford to break down right now. I have too much at stake. I need to do well in this class, better than I've been doing. I need to make things better on my job. I'm scared of getting fired for perceived incompetence or for not getting along with my co-workers, and I CANNOT afford to be out of work. I have two organizations that I hold leadership roles in, and I need to fulfill my responsibilities to them. I don't have time to be crazy. And you will. What makes you crazy is that you choose to stay involved with L and your futile attempts to change him or somehow get him to give you what you want. Like getting blood from a rock.

I don't have time to permit L to drive me crazy. I don't want to go on that trip with him, or the other kind. *giggle* Giggle...

Laughing in the face of madness.... 


B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000


Hi all. Asha here.

Theressa - I agree with your therapist about not running after tantrums and I understand what he means. I used to do the same but now instead I let him own his own problems and realize that I don't have to "tantrum" along with him.

It's like little kids - if the tantrum doesn't achieve anything, then after awhile, why bother? If it's up to him to resume contact after he's "misbehaved", then eventually maybe he'll see that acting out just makes things more difficult for him in the long run. I hope your daughter doesn't resume where you left off (calling him after a tantrum). It must be really hard for her, and I think you've been great explaining that her daddy does love her and it's just his mood.

Why do you think you felt so mad when your sister said she didn't like learning from books? Do you think she could be acting defensively and maybe interpreting your suggestions as a criticism of her parenting skills? A man I once worked with gave me some unwanted personal criticism which I didn't find very constructive. I told him so, and the next day he told me that his mistake was in not asking me if I wanted his feedback. If you ask someone if they would be interested in your feedback on a given subject, 9 times out of 10 they will want it. But you still are giving them the right to say "no". Sometimes people just aren't in the mood for it, and that's okay.

<<I don't know if I've done right but when speaking to MISSY on Friday about her daddy I said "He just didn't learn like me and you how to be angry and fed up without storming off, we are lucky we did learn, he is hurting and feels sad that is why he stormed off." What do you all think??? >> I think that's excellent!

Theressa, something else that you might try that helps me, is mentally sending your X good wish thoughts when he acts out. What I mean is, when he storms off in a temper tantrum and you feel "what a JERK!", instead change that to a little prayer or affirmation for him that instead says something like, "I wish you healing. I see you treating others the way you hope to be treated." and then let it go. I often do this and it leaves a much more peaceful feeling than "you IDIOT". (though I'm not *always* able to do this at first :)

AJ: If you are 42, then "big sister" and "foster parent" are out for me - you'll have to be *my* big sister. That's what I love about these boards. We are all so ageless. I might be a 78 year old man for all any of you really know. And, no telling what *Me* is!

Maybe you are upset about C's call about the car because you have trouble saying "no". This is something I realized about myself. A friend once told me that when she called to ask me to do something and I couldn't, I would act like I felt really terrible, and she didn't understand why I did this. I thought about it a lot and stopped doing it. I realized that (like B) when I put *my* needs first I felt guilty about it. So when someone asks something of you, you feel you have to oblige whether it's what you want or not. Then there's a feeling of being controlled. Could that be what it is?

Astrid - I think it would help you to disengage from L. *Me*Owww*! This is I think what Steve meant by giving 100 and expecting 0. I think you're still expecting stuff from him and he can't deliver. Of course you need to expect stuff from your partner in a *healthy* relationship, but I think you're disappointing yourself to expect anything back from him right now, especially around the drug issue.


Hope all's well with everyone else. I'm feeling a bit down, but don't feel much like talking. Same old, same old. Same problems. Same solutions. I think I know the routine. Just wanted to say hi to everyone, and hope you all had a great weekend.

Asha Hi to Steve from *Me* and the Fake one.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000


Hi Asha,

MAYBE your just meant to do nothing and wait, remember in time of chaos, THE FERTILIZER is just being spread ready for GROWTH. The key is to wait and when the fertilizer is finished the answers will COME to you. JUST a thought, maybe it will help you??

Also in the fertilizing stage the key is SELF CARE, nurturing, we sometimes do the opposite which we need to change, we beat ourselves up and curse ourselves and judge and putdown, this is wrong, we need to self care and see this just as a time to stop acting long enough to let the fertilizer stage get over and self care.

Remember there is a time to sow and a time to wait for the harvest.

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000


Hi AJ,

When my X picked up Missy the reason I didn't go MAD is it was his week, it is just I thought he'd not come cuz of his moodiness. SO I planned something just in case he didn't come.

Also I find it hard to say NO don't phone dad let him come to you, to MISSY. She just wants to give him her love and ask for it back. I don't want my feelings and anger clouding her relationship with her daddy. THIS is why I hear you when you say she shouldn't buy into his tantrums but ISN'T it right for me to allow her to ring him whenever she wants to???

And Lynn and all of you HI. I like the using one word technique, that is in my parenting book, never linked it to using it with my X, though I have used lots of other ideas on him since he acts like a hurt child maybe I thought I should treat him like a I'd treat a child.

Anyway a BIG bucket of HUGS for Lynn who sounds frustrated and fed up of waiting, learn PATIENCE if you want to stay, remember you call the shots in your life. If you are feeling down maybe it is time to detach a little, what do you think?? I know how you feel, cuz for so long this is why I gave up and got out. Though DAN may feel a little over whelmed without the boards backing so maybe he has slipped a little. TRY telling him you think he has been working real hard. AND leave it at that. Encouragement is better than praise. If you can see his stopping as JUST for a breather maybe this will help. REMEMBER EVERYTHING HAPPENS JUST AS IT SHOULD DO. SO MAYBE GOD IS LETTING DAN HAVE A NAP FROM FIXING HIMSELF. Just my thoughts.

TO ALL OF YOU THANKS A MILLION for being here and helping me. Theressa


B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000



Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm fine. Just feel tired of similar old patterns coming up. I know what to do about it. Sometimes I just get weary of it all. I think I just need to take some time alone.

<<THIS is why I hear you when you say she shouldn't buy into his tantrums but ISN'T it right for me to allow her to ring him whenever she wants to???>>

Something tells me that you should go with your gut on this one. I think it's really good you are not letting your feelings cloud Missy's relationship with her dad. I think you're also right to let her make her own choices about when to call her dad. I think you are probably better off putting your energy towards teaching her about reacting to other peoples moods (but not during the middle of one) and still give her the freedom to phone when she chooses. This way she's not being controlled by you and she has the opportunity to learn on her own.

take care

Asha Prrrrr to you Mommy AkAsha

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000


Hi All,

I need some help and some one to sound me out on this:

Communication problem!!!!!

Last night after therapy I went to my sister to pick up MISSY. Her dad agreed with me the other week that if he finished early enough he'd pick up MISSY from my sister's house. Anyway I went to my sisters and she said "You X has taken her." I got home and said "I went to Cath house to pick up MISSY but she said You'd taken her." THEN CAME SOMETHING THAT MADE ME ANGRY: He replied "OH so why didn't you ring as agreed"

I said "I don't remember agreeing, anyway there was no where to phone from."

He replied " I mean why on earth do you think I bought you a cell phone, so you could ring from wherever you are." [TRUTH is I had no credit on the phone, though I didn't mention this cos I felt a lecture would take place IS this people pleasing or what??]

Is it petty to be bothered that he expects me to ring him when he picks MISSY up, I mean why can't he ring me, AM I JUST BEING PETTY???

Does this happen to any of you, YOU do something like forget to get CREDIT for your phone, and you spouse/X whoever treats you like a child and says NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY!!! How would you respond?? THIS DRIVES ME NUTS. I WANT TO BE ABLE TO DO WHAT THE HELL I LIKE WITHOUT BEING TOLD I SHOULD DO XXX."

On Sunday my X said "Theressa is the brakes on your car alright now?" I said "NO". [My X sold me this car!!! No its not wired LOL] It was sold as a deal for some money owed to me. Anyway, He said "Get your keys for us, I'll test drive it and see what is wrong with it." I went off to get the key however, I couldn't find them. I was looking and he looked at me with that look that says "Hurry up, I am helping you out, don't make me WAIT, I am too important". Usually I'd rush around in the past looking for them frantically I mean I mustn't make him wait, him being so important. Anyway I looked for them at my own pace. He said "Forget it, sort it yourself. " WHY ASK TO HELP SOMEONE IF YOU'D NO INTENTION OF HELPING, CUZ YOU MAKE IT SO IRRITATING FOR THE ONE YOUR HELPING BY GIVING LOOKS TO MAKE THEM JUMP WHEN YOU SAY "HOW HIGH"???

Vent over!!!!

Sometimes I wish I could just say "SHUT THE F***UP I'll do what I want to do!!! My counselor said "IT sounds tempting." He is sure right. Though this would be passive-aggressive wouldn't it??? No. Just plain old aggressive. 

How do you not be passive-aggressive and say "SHUT THE F***UP?????" Any healthy alternatives please????  

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000


Dear Theressa,

I have that one down pat. Look him square in the eye, look beyond his eyeballs and think it! Then turn away and not say anything. Giggle!

Hi the rest of you. I posted 2 last night and erased them on purpose. Tooooo down.

I had major anxiety attacks all night long. I truly can't take anymore. I reread one and it sounded like a suicide note. Not at all. I think I gave up and was doing okay and knowing today it's going to start all over is depressing.

I did read you all though and I'm thinking of you and thanks for being here. Lynn: Are you this upset over Dan? Are you giving Dan this much power over your life? Just because he is not delivering what you want? (And making a mess in the process...) Why do this to you?

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2000


Dear all, AJ here.

Theressa, I think it's fine you don't let your one feelings get in the way with the way Missy relates to her Dad. I just thought you gave up your weekend in favor of her Dad without prior notice, so that's why I was a bit worried.

As to your phone problem... What's it to him if you forgot to credit your phone. You are human, you can tell him, ok you are right, but I forgot to credit the phone and just leave it at that, or even I had no credit. End of story. You are entitled to make your own choices or mistakes anytime. It's not a communication problem, I think. It's him trying to tell you what to do. Just as with the car. He says he wants to help, but only at his convenience. That's not helping out, that's controlling. You might have said (easier said than done, I know!): I would love it if you could help me, can we make an appointment. That would have given you the time to prepare your self.

As for the Shut the F*%k up. I don't think its passive aggressive, it's angry. You might just try to tell him what you want instead of getting angry at listening to what he wants. You could say something like: it's none of you business I think. Or thanks for your concern, I will fix it myself.

I think at this stage in your relationship you might be better of getting help from other people and not from your X. Cause he might see your accepting his help as a sign you can't do things on your own, and that might give him an excuse to try to control you. Don't buy into that. get help elsewhere.

Lynn, I hope you are feeling better. Sending you lots of love, hugs and purrrs

Asha, same there. I know the feeling. Sometimes you just get sooo tired of having to be alert all the time, of having to be wise and mature and growing and watching out for bad behaviour and old patterns. It easier when you are on your own not to fall back into those patterns. But then, you learn by confrontation I think. I promised myself a little holiday. C. and me are going away for the weekend and I am not going to think about how to act all the time. I would get nuts if I saw him every day right now. About the car I think you are right. It's a bit like Theressa's X. He wants to help, but only in his own way. I think I can let it slip though, and just try to follow my own path. I just got this compulsive feeling of having to buy that car because he said he liked it. Well if he does, and I don't he can buy it himself!!

Love to all of you, take care. And, Steve, I am missing you. Have you gotten scared now that Dan is gone???


B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2000


Dear all, I haven't read the posts. Just thought I would check in before the day starts.

Seems it is the week for off loading difficulties about parents. Horrible scene with my own mother yesterday and I feel too stressed by it to talk. I just realised there is no good for looking for what she can't give.. Feel so in need of mothering but she doesn't know how.

Daughter being totally obnoxious too. I have had enough and to make it worse coming off the tablets went wrong and I spent the last couple of days in a dreadful state. Maybe I am locked into the stupid things forever. So I am not posting until the state goes as it is all just negative which I know is not really me. Hope this waffle isn't too weird as I feel totally weird! love, Jay/

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2000


Dear Cat Box Bunch,

Lynn here with a quick post and I haven't been able to read the posts. I'm not going to turn the TV on when Dan is here.

Great homecoming (for me). The other night was the clincher. I went out, had too much fun, drank too much booze and generally had a wonderful time. Felt good, had fun and was just plain childish and loved every minute of it. 

Decided I could learn to like single life again and told Dan so. Amorous of course when he hit the door. SBU, Asha, so I just said no way! There would be changes and changes soon, like by Thursday, my 54th, or else I was going to disengage. Disengage to me is synonymous with bye-bye. Once I don't care what he says and does, I no longer will care what he says and does. In fact if he woke up when I was gone I'd be twice as angry.

Boom, boom and crash. He called and made an appointment to go to therapist, hauled in wood and generally did all sorts of stuff he's been neglecting. 

It really depressed me the other night, but when I got to the decision of I refuse to live like this anymore, I got firm and strong and will not take one more excuse or explanation.

What a change. Things are glorious, I even like him and then I did you know what. There has to be rewards for good behavior, too.Double Yippeee! Trubble & LOCO

Anyhow, He has 3 days off, is also working on the tub and things are good. I just wanted to post that I'm here and thinking of you and will read when I get a chance.

Thanks a lot and love to all of you. See Trubble, you are right.

Dear Dr. Irene, Instead of disengage, I gave him the facts. Period. Firm and I meant every word. Enough stuff. I WILL NOT take anymore. Now let's work this out or quit trying. It's worked well for 2 days. I'm not even nagging. I meant it, though. Wish us luck and I'll be back soon. Thank you, too. You said "NO WAY!" The three of us wish you guys luck.



B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2000



I think you *are* disengaging. I think disengaging comes when you sort of don't care anymore how things turn out and you decide that it's time to get on with life.

I had a couple of interesting dreams. One about moving to a new apartment with hardwood floors. I was excited about the change. I was in school and finding that I had taken on too many classes and had been missing some. I realized in the dream that I had taken on extra classes and it was quite okay to drop some of them, and I was relieved. Maybe I need to drop some things in my life that are feeling burdensome. Maybe you do.

I also had a great adventure dream last night. I was in a Hollywood style adventure plot. An evil guy was after me. This sounds really morbid, but I had found a skin in his home and discovered it was human. gross, huh? Anyway, I went through an urban maze of mega-shops to a hotel where I and some of the other cast of characters from my dream were staying. Then I was outside, and I knew this evil guy was starting to move in on me. A friendly woman, who knew the situation, told me to hop on the back of her jeep and we went through the woods over roots, fallen trees, mud and all sorts of other obstacles. I was amazed at how this jeep pushed ahead. When we were almost as far as we could get - there was the evil guy who had arrived at where we were headed just as we were getting there. However, we disregarded him and kept driving. Eventually he just disappeared. Yah! At the end of the story, someone was talking about religion and how, though they were not religious themselves, they saw how spirituality helped in the outcome of this event. Oh, and the finale - hehe. The Osmond brothers sang a barbershop style tune - Marie sang too but she was kind of out of sync with the rest of them. In the dream I thought she probably didn't have much experience singing with them, as most of her singing career she sang alone.

Interpretation, anyone? Or was it something I ate? Burp! Dreams are very personal and have levels of meaning. One level is to tell you where your psyche is right now. Is Steve the evil guy?


B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Hi all, B. here.

Lynn, haven't read you last posts yet, but i get the impression you are emotionally stressed and can't get out of some loop involved with Dan. I send some healing thoughts your way, to help you find your center again. Maybe you should read your own original cat box!

AJ, I loved your recent advice for Theressa! Great advice. Asha, the same!

Theressa, from reading your latest posts I think I see a real change. From helplessness to taking the power. From too much focus on X to "what do I Theressa want" and how to handle things. You seem to be so much more "your own person". Great!

I had a weird week. I connected with so many things. I finally saw my greatest fear and found out I was 6 at the time and it was a monster. Worse! The monster turned out to be my father! Have you seen Twin Peeks, with the Satan coming out of that "just regular" man?


B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Hi, all.

Jay here and back to her normal and hopefully sane self! DO NOT ever forget to take seroxat (peroxitine, paxil) is the moral. Giggle! Still feeling everything but now in a balanced way.

Asha I mist search son's room for the dream book. I never thought dreams were terribly important before now but I have the impression they are as I now find my ladder dream inspiring.

Lynn you sound in control. Made me think how nice it would be to ring a friend and get a bottle of wine in and have a good old gossip. We will do this to celebrate the end of s terrible thing for English schools called OFSTED finishing with her preschool. (A kind of dreaded inspection for schools and the most stressful thing ever done to teachers and most unhelpful thing ever done for schools in my opinion. Only Theressa will understand this I guess!

Anyhow now I am back to normal, I seem to have worked out that I can stay here and that I can except for Sundays arrange the house so me and my husband can both do our own thing for a bit. I think more than anything it is space we both desperately need. I can't think what family has had more stress than ours in the last 2 years and maybe I need to let in the idea that we are both so stressed we can't see the woods for the trees. Not that I am making excuses for either of us. (You can only make them for yourself! hehehe)

At least my son has calmed down a bit. He was a bit hyperactive. Now he seems o.k again. If only my daughter would get out of her present mood. I know from experience this will take a few weeks.

At least nobody is going to be able to hurt me any more as I am way past that! Ack thank goodness to feeling strong. Moral take the stupid tablets and get some sleep.

Dr Irene if I showed him my poem he would say I was verbally abusing him. He says this of everything I write if it refers to us. He can think whatever he wants. Pay no mind. I may do so just to see if my point is proved. We are not talking here about someone who gives the sort of response people expect to anything.

Steve? are you still out there? Jean?

Love to you all Jay - who is back to organizing her own little cat box how she wants it. (catbox in this instance =brain)!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000



Sorry about the copywriting!!! I just wanted to help my catbox family. I thought it would be okay as long as I named the author, which I did. Though here is the link to the poem and also I will write and let Robert know. Thanks Theressa!

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Hi All,

Glad Lynn you're feeling much better and Jay you sound strong also today.

I feel tired, and weary.

I am going home now to spend some much needed time with the love of my life [MISSY my darling daughter] who is driving me NUTS on occasions, but also is the only person who can make me smile even at her [child pain in the butt behaviour LOL] so see ya all tomorrow.

Asha you sound like you need some hugs I am sending HUGSx10000000 to you.

Hi to Dan, and Steve not seen you on here much, hope you return soon.

Love to you all and peace Theressa


B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Dear Lynn:


Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you Happy birthday dear Ly-ynn

Happy Birthday to you!!  Happy Birthday to RealMommy!

love Asha

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Hi Theressa

Thanks for the hugs. I will take all 10000000 of them gratefully.

Jay - I loved your poem. I think that it speaks of the confusion about covert abuse because it seems so 'unreal' at times. That's what makes it so dangerous.

B - I enjoy your posts. It sounds like you are discovering lots about yourself. Keep us up to date. 'Kay?

Hi everybody else. Gotta get some work done.

love to all


B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Dear Lynn, Happy Birthday from here also. Hope it will be a nice one and the start of a new and better life!!!!! Lots of love, hugs and good wishes on the occasion. Tell Dan, we'll still keep an eye on the progress, so not to mess up! Yeah!

Dear Astrid Hope you are feeling better since your last post and that you got your project finished project. I can imagine how bad it must have felt, feeling so down and no one within reach. Alas for the times a neighbor was still a neighbor. I do hope the venting en typing helped a little. We cannot hug you or be with you, but we listen, be sure of that!!

Dear Jay, glad you are a little better now. Getting of medicine can be quite heavy, they say. Maybe it's not yet time. I read some old posts and your husband locking himself in reminded me of a story a friend told me. Her husband goes and comes without too much notices and hasn't been home for maybe 4 years and hardly contacted her. She lives in a country where divorce for women is not an easy thing, so she just stays married. He came over a month or two ago and moved right in again. Slept in her bed (she moved to the spare room) , demanded food, drink and attention. When she finally had enough and told him she wanted her own room back, he started sulking and refused to come to breakfast: he ate dry biscuits in his own room. We really had a good laugh about that. That's the only sane answer I think to this kind of behaviour. Don't let him get at you. You are stronger now!!! Keep up the morale.

Dear Asha, Why can't you be my foster mom or big sister. Who cares I am older than you are. I'll be yours and you'll be mine. Ok? OK. Me too! I think you are right about the agelessness of the board. Unfortunately sexless ness is harder, though Lynn gave it a good try in her post to David about the gender issue. But it is nice that we are all the same, no finances, no education, no race. Who cares anyway. But in real live it sometimes much harder not to give into the automatic distinction, is it not? At least here we can try not to let it matter, and I love it.

I am going away for a weekend with C. It's his Birthday, and I am going with love and hope and knowing that no matter what, in the end all will be well, for both of us. And as we keep growing and learning, I know all will be well for each and everyone of us, no matter how hard it seems at times. Lots of love and hugs to all of you. See you next week.


B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Hello everyone,

I hope it is ok if I post here- I'm a newcomer. Welcome from *Me* Trubble. You can hug me and give me Trout and Salomon, fresh only. I have read most of the articles & stories on the Doc's site, and have been sooo grateful for it! For so long I wondered why my husband seemed to dislike me so much. I know people mean well when they say how wonderful he is, but lately when I hear that I just want to scream! In fact, I feel like screaming quite often! I have tried so many times to have rational, open & calm discussions with him, but to no avail. It always comes back to something I have done, or not done. He takes no responsibility for his own bad behavior. Unfortunately, the more I read & learn about these types of relationships, the less likely it is that I will continue with things the way they are. He won't go to counseling, but I am going to go as soon as I can afford it. Too much has happened to be able to tell all of it, but here are a few things: 

The Silent Treatment

The almost constant questioning of my motives

Telling me what I should or should not be doing, then getting offended when I don't take his (usually un-asked for) advice

Withholding affection, appreciation, etc.

Being cold to me if I am hurt or sick

Showing no remorse when he has said something or acted in a way that has hurt me

Here's something curious: The few times lately that I have been brave enough to tell him his behavior is abusive, he has neither denied nor confirmed it. It's almost like he did not hear it. I have also told him that I am not responsible for his behavior, and he has had nothing to say to that. I Just realized how much space I have taken up! Sorry about that. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks, Trubble & everyone! And, you're welcome to take up lots and lots more space!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Hi everyone. I forgot to sign my post. I am the "newcomer" who hoped it was alright for me to be there. For catbox purposes, I'll use my middle name: Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2000


Dear Cat Box,

Lynn here, and what a great Birthday. Dan is out right now so I am peeking quick and posting quicker. Just had a funny (to me) tale to relate.

We were watching movies last night and watched "The Music Man." Shirley Jones (Marion the librarian) started singing "Dream of now, dream of then. Dream of a love song that might have been." Oh, boy. I started with the silent tears and couldn't quit. Dan "noticed" but didn't know what to say or do (I guess), so he did nothing. I didn't care! For the first time. It could have been a great love song, but not if I'm singing alone.

Actually he's been great. Maybe ME is shining through again. Not us. And no wimp, either. He's just acting rather normal, even if he doesn't know what to say to me. Feels good on my end.

I still can't disengage, but I (may be the same thing) don't care what the outcome is anymore. By CAT, I think she's got it!  It used to be so important to me that we made it work. I simply don't care any longer and it has given me a boost. I think it shows and he knows or feels it, too.

Whatever, whatever. Happy birthday, too, and wish me luck. Whatever the outcome.

Happy Birthday to Trubble, too. When is yours, Darling?? Every Day. Salmon is a good gift.

So if disengage is don't give a damn, call me Rhett Butler. It sure feels good from this end. Now if I can keep it up. FakeMommy says you'd better or else.

Thanks all and love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000


Hi DR Irene,

Here is a e-mail from Robert (author of Dance with the Wounded Souls) in response to me asking his permission to post the poem I posted the other day.

No problem Theressa. I never thought of the article as a poem. Thanks for spreading the word. Robert Robert is a cool guy. I didn't think he'd mind, but with so much copy, I think we had to notify him.


Hi Robert,

I need to do two things, one is inform you and the other apologize.

Firstly I copied a poem on to a posting board for co-dependent friends on Dr Irene's boards, the poem was Spring and nurturing off your http://www.joy2u& board. Here is where I posted it: Dr Irene told me to be upfront and honest about the fact that I was not aware that I should have asked your permission. She said to tell you and if you wanted it removed she would do so.

Finally she has made sure there is a link to your joy2u&me document where the original is.

I hope this is okay with you please let me know if you want this poem removed, it is not on her main site only on her board though it is your choice if you want it removing.

Further in future I will ask your permission before copying any material from your site.

Thanks Theressa

Dr Irene I hope this helps remedy the situation.  Thanks again to you and Robert.

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000




Stop apologizing for posting long posts, you've not seen mine and Lynn's sometimes LOL. (Only joking, Lynn.)

Don't expect your partner/husband/pain the bottom (whatever name you like to call him) to admit his faults, or flaws, even if he knows of them, he may not know what else to do. It takes great courage to want to face our flaws. To replace past coping skills and relearn new ones to replace them. YOU know much hard work it is to change, and you know how many times we all slip us and revert back to the old patterns.

Instead keep up controlling you instead of trying to educate him. YOUR job is to stop the ABUSE not to fix him. By not being defensive, when he says you've done xxxxxx, you are owning your own worth. When he criticizes you etc Say that is your opinion (say no more or NO less)

Instead of being angry when he won't help you, go and cool off, then decide what is in your control. E.g., he might not move his dishes, so either leave them (never tidy up after someone else's tantrum!!!!) or you can pile them up at one end of the kitchen and keep your own dishes for yourself.

Don't ACT out by doing things for revenge. Like burning his food on purpose, or doing anything in revenge.

Don't try to explain, apologize or defend anything you do, JUST say that is your opinion.

If he lectures say "I don't want to hear your lecture, I will leave the room if you continue to lecture me." (Then leave if he continues without a word.)

The same for you, don't lecture him, or yell. Tell yourself its not your responsibility to sort him, or his behaviour and do as I say above choose to control yourself.

REMEMBER your responsibility is: Your feelings about his behaviour (Go do something constructive, take a bath, read a book, do a hand massage = constructive SELF CARE, eating chocolate isn't constructive cuz it is disrespecting your body if you eat too much, since you open yourself up to bulimia etc. Excessive shopping isn't constructive as it gets you deep into debt), your also responsible for your behaviour. So ask in a honest way without yelling or raising your voice for what you want, if you feel angry at his response. (Leave the room, go and cool off and then decide what you can do to control you and deal with the situation)

Your responsible for your ideas, opinions, thoughts, (Don't explain them or apologize for them, you have a right to have them.)

Though remember your partner is responsible for his feelings about your behaviour (THIS is not an excuse for disrespect or poor behaviour, cuz when you misbehavior you disrespect thy self,) You are not responsible for correcting your partner's perceptions or the way he sees things, or his opinions or ideas.

I hope this helps. Love Theressa


B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000


Hi Lynn,



LOVE, Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000



B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000


Hi All,

I need some validation, someone to hear my feelings, and maybe some solutions:

I have abandonment issues!! As a child I remember my mom saying I can't cope anymore. I've had enough of you, your always naughty. I wasn't but this was cuz I tried real hard not to displease people, if I did I'd plan a surprise to get them to love me again. Well as you can imagine she did what most of our parents did generalized, used absolutes and punishment. Go a way, go to bed, she sometimes spanked me. [I am not talking of beating me here though!!!] I remember sitting in front of my dressing table thinking I hate you and wiping wet on to my sore leg where a red mark was. Then I'd think if only I'd not done xxxx (usually something normal for a child of my age), I'd want them to still love me so I would sort out a surprise for them. They'd be glad and I'd feel loved. After all no one told me that it was just a mistake. I just wanted attention, or was hurt, or angry, or felt controlled. I always felt controlled. "Don't do this, don't do that, stop crying, be quiet, button it, swallow it, stop being mard, or mardy mardy look at her being mard. And punishment, you not having x now, your a bad girl, you shouldn't be so naughty. What am I going to do with you. I can't cope you drive me mad, YELLING, and yelling, why do you do this to me. Your a very naughty girl for doing that. Such and such child doesn't behave like that. If only you would do x."

All these things go around in my head. I know how destructive they are. I am trying very hard to work at not doing these to my daughter using Positive discipline books.

It is no wonder given what most of us experience that we're either counter dependent or co-dependent (people pleasers). We were all only childern though, manipulators YES but children do what works. If a tantrum gets me an ice cream why not? If lying stops me getting punished why not? I am such a bad person so why not? They only love me if I am good so I must be good (approval junkie).

I know why I am the way I am!!! I am working at changing the things I do and say to myself about mistakes, etc, I am teaching and training to not do these things to my little girl.

However, I still have to work on my abandonment issues. Here is what is happening currently to me.

However, hard I try I still feel abandonment issues if I am Standing up for myself, and trying to control me and set boundaries on what I will accept. I fear not being able to do things and YES I know people have said others can help but here is what I feel "I look around me and think, who'd put up the curtain rail, x is busy, xxx can't, xxx says no." Then I am left with no one to ask. I can't ring a man out every time a minor job needs doing I can't afford to. SO as for the curtain rails it appears no one else to ask only X. I can learn these skills. Probably. Though as Robert (dance of the wounded souls) said the point is the things we really aren't great at and we want to look okay or are for highly skilled people we do need help. THOUGH WHAT IF THERE IS NO ONE TO HELP??

I have emotional stability I know I can stop abuse. Though I can't fix up curtain rails and this is a problem. IT isn't gonna go away. Don't rely on him people say, OKAY so how'd I fix the jobs I can't do, cuz they need highly skilled person I can't afford to pay. THEN WHAT??

Further my friend. She has been my friend for the past I'd say 15 years maybe more. She has lots of friends she goes out drinking with, though I am her oldest friend. She is busy alot of the time. She works shifts. The trouble is I also have a busy life, though I am left feeling, that my life is full of work, my degree, my child but no outside stuff. I end up thinking I should have a social life, I do want a social life even though at times its hard, cuz of childminding etc.

I end up feeling angry at my friend, that she must not care since she is too busy to return my call, after a few calls, separate times. Say I might ring this week, and then not until next week, eventually after a few calls she rings me back. In fact yesterday I rang her in the morning, she rang my mobile though I wasn't available at work so I tried to ring her when I got home. This morning when I got in to work she'd left a message on my answering machine. Though she'd left it yesterday so YES she returned my call and tried hard to get in touch with me. She asked me how come I didn't get her message. I said "I don't know the answer phone only just seems to have passed it on to me."

The problem here is why? do I feel so desperate and angry when she isn't available??? How can I stop feeling so bad, so needy??

It is hard to share and be honest, but I know here is safe no judgment and lots of validation. Thanks for listening. If you do read this thanks, I know its long so I'll leave to whoever reads it to choose if they want to.

Hope someone replies.

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000


Dear Theressa,

I think it took a lot for you to share all you did in your post.

I am qualified by profession to comment on the parenting issues as I have even run parenting programmes in the past and taught childcare for ages. I had to stop when I got so ill and my own family fell to bits. But that doesn't negate all my experience.

I think that our parents lacked a lot of training in childrearing that we have been able to access and there is a lot more research done now than there ever was on the effects of spanking etc.

So our parents were probably at a disadvantage. They couldn't break the cycle of what they knew as there was little to tell them what to do to raise their children positively and even when my daughter was small people were still openly advocating smacking and not realizing the impact of negative remarks the on self esteem of a child.

So it is no wonder we grew up as we did. The other day my mother justified what was actual physical abuse with "everyone hit their child in those days."

Society has fortunately changed. The difficulty is there are people who cannot afford to let go of what they thought was right. So our parents go on justifying.

There is one very clear impression I am getting about Theressa. It is that she is breaking the pattern and pretty much on track in the way she brings up her daughter.

I know you spend time with her. I am sure you do this each day. In my experience it is spending time with children that helps to encourage positive behaviour.

I have a good idea you give your daughter genuine praise.

You realize what happens between you and Missy's father will affect her and you try hard not to give her a negative image of her father.

In other words, there is a lot you are doing RIGHT. So there is some validation. of YOU as a mother. A GOOD mother.

I think that rejected feeling is one we have to train our minds to overcome. I get the same feeling with my friends sometime. Feel inexplicably rejected when they don't return my calls and totally forget I am not the only one in their life. I have learnt now that they often think about me when I am mot there and try to go through a sort of dialogue in my head when I feel rejected. One that ends up with me realizing they may not have returned my call as at that moment in time they could not do so.

All the things you share about abandonment ring so true for me. The comparisons, the removal, the put downs. I think we respond as we do as we are still replaying the childhood feelings we have. It is a matter of learning that in the here and now that because someone doesn't respond to us as and when we want to it is not the same as when we were a child. A matter of changing the thought process. I think this takes energy and time to do and doesn't happen overnight.

You seem to have a lot about you and to have a lot going for you. One thing I can say is that as children get older then they do need you still in different ways, but you do get more time.

To get out now, I wonder if there is a babysitters co op where you live? Or could you start one?

As for not being able to fix things. And the expense. I live with a person who seems programmed to be unable to fix anything and I am not good at this myself. I have to usually, learn or nothing gets done as I want it. I wonder if in your case you could justify asking X on the grounds that it is making the environment good and homely for his daughter? I don't know about that but an idea for thinking differently.

Dear Asha,

If you get an interpretation for your dream it would be interesting to know. I don't think I had one. I did but then I realised I was thinking about Astrid's ex. How and where is Steve?

AJ I hope your weekend away goes well and thanks for the story. It does strike some bells here.

Weirdly although this week has been the pits I have been feeling warmer towards my husband. One thing that happened was that I stood up to him and got a logical response. We were supposed to set an agenda together for family therapy and agreed we would write our own and then exchange them and work from that. I gave him mine and he said he had his but wouldn't give it to me. That made me really mad but I vented on the message board instead. I said I wouldn't carry on like that. Anyway now he IS going to give me his agenda. (His excuse was he had it in note form; but that is not what he said first time round. I bet he Looked on the message boards. I asked people to vote if this was crazy making behaviour or not! Also, to my surprise he paid for the therapist last week for me.

I said I wouldn't go back to family therapy without the agenda' Come to think of it the therapist wouldn't have us back unless we set it. My estimation of that woman went up wen she refused to engage with him.

Lynn, I hope Dan is still passing muster.

Dear Anne,

WELCOME we all take up a lot of space here at times so take up as much as you need! I believe what you say about the treatment you get and I am saying that because if you are anything like me you need to hear someone say just that.

My husband refused therapy for many years. I think we are still going as he hopes to sort me out. Hopefully the therapist will sort BOTH of us out!

I find therapy on my own really helpful as it is one place where I can offload without all the trappings and thoughts friends who know us both have. My only regret is DR Irene doesn't live in England.

I just wondered, but is your husband extremely intelligent? I am gaining the impression that covert abusers usually are. (Mine is )

Anyway someone else has already said a lot of what else I could say so enjoy the CATBOX

And a really odd question but if you read catbox 8-11 you will understand this. Does your husband insist on doing the laundry?

(Lynn and I have husbands who do. I am still trying to write a story called controlled by laundry!)

Love to all and hugs to all, Jay.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000


Hi everyone,

Theressa- thanks for the warm welcome. I hope, as I get to know you all, that I can offer support & perhaps even help.


My husband, though not college educated, IS of above average intelligence. He does not insist on doing the laundry, though. He has always insisted, however, that HE do all the driving when we go on trips. If I do drive, I am usually so tense & nervous that it's not worth it. He'll find some kind of fault. He's like that with a lot of things- only HE can do it right.

I am working on setting up boundaries & have promised myself that I will keep a journal, so that when things are "good" (meaning, usually, that he is getting what he wants) I won't be lulled into letting down my guard. It is hard to change these patterns, though, as I'm sure you all know. Things are somewhat peaceful now, so it's easy to think it's all in my head. But it's like one of those paintings with the hidden image- once you've seen the image, you can't UNsee it. You know?

Dr. Irene says that sometimes these people will "reinvent" reality to suit their own view of it. He has done that a few times. He also once said to me, "The only reason you want counseling is because you are doubting yourself. I don't need it because I never doubt myself." Give me a break.

Bye for now,


B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2000



I understand the feeling of powerless when there are household things that you don't have the skill or the money to look after properly. I get overwhelmed by the same things sometimes. But it probably is a matter of attitude. I have a wonderful neighbor who lives alone and is a real do-it-yourselfer. What she can't do herself she is always on the lookout for skilled younger workers who don't charge much or she will do trades - she'll do something for somebody in return for their help. I think there are lots of ways of getting things done if you look at it from the right frame of mind. It's more difficult if you don't have family or close friends nearby. In the city where I used to live I had a family away from my family - close friends who would help out whenever they could, and I would do the same in return. You could even put an ad in your local newspaper for 'work exchanges' or if you can get a group together sometimes you can do work parties, rotating from one home to the next to do whatever needs doing. I've thought of doing this myself sometimes, I would just have to muster up the energy to get a group together. But anything can be done IMO (in my opinion) if you have the motivation to carry it through.

As for your friend that doesn't call you back sometimes, don't forget that she has needs and boundaries of her own that probably conflict with what you want at times. Maybe you need a larger circle of friends? (BTW (by the way), did you read David's post to you, asking if you wanted to try to meet up with him?)



Hello. I think I do understand my dream. I think I just feel that some of the negativity surrounding my relationship has been burdensome and I need to somehow lighten the load. I also think that the "evil guy" that I was driving away from (with some help - maybe Dr I and this site?) was the negativity that has been a theme in my relationship with Steve. I think the woman who spoke about how spirituality helped in the final outcome (having driven past the evil guy of the dream) was telling me what I believe to be true - that for a good outcome I will need to stay strong and look to a higher purpose.

You asked how and where Steve is. I don't know right now. Don't know if he reads the catbox posts because I don't ask him about this anymore. I am uncomfortable with some of his behavior lately. He was taking a nap last weekend and I woke him up and asked him if we could get some (previously planned) activities underway. He didn't seem enthusiastic, so I told him that I could go ahead with them alone if he preferred. Then he asked "do you want to push me off the couch?" because I was sitting next to him and I guess he was insinuating that he was unable to get up because I was in his way. I was unhappy with that reaction, and mentioned it later, but got no apology, so I don't know if he is sorry. I also was uncomfortable with a certain negative tone he had towards me on and off last week. He had been short with me, and last week when I had driven him home he seemed to be giving me the silent treatment. When we spent some time with his kids on the weekend, he said that he felt like he was being "led around" all day. It just seems like if he's not in control, he feels out of control. So, he's holing up again. Let him. Pull away too.

We have an issue about my dog, too. My dog used to sleep on my bed with me before I met Steve. I know that this is disgusting to some people, but I found it very comforting. Anyway, after Steve moved out I let the dog sleep on the bed again. (Some history - when Steve first moved in the dog slept outside at first. I didn't like this, but compromised for Steve. Eventually the dog ended up sleeping downstairs because he was getting loose and running all over the neighborhood. This was a compromise by Steve.)

The dog is not allowed to sleep on the bed when Steve is here. Steve would also prefer that the dog sleep downstairs. But the dog ends up whining at the door when that happens, and I don't like it, so my compromise is to let the dog sleep on the floor upstairs. I know that Steve doesn't like this much, and we haven't come up with a solution we are both happy with. Anyway, the day he felt "led around," Steve stayed over and he was playing with the dog on the bed when I came in the room. I jumped in bed and played with the dog too, then motioned the dog to lay on the floor. The dog went on the floor. Then I mentioned my discomfort about the "do you want to push me off the couch" incident, and Steve said that there were things I had said and done that he wasn't happy about either, though he wouldn't say what. So we lay in our far corners, and I guess the dog figured - "hey, a free spot" and jumped up onto the bed again. I was very weary of our arguing and I decided to do nothing, rather than leap up and make the dog jump down. So then Steve said I'd probably rather sleep with the dog than him. I said "probably" - I guess that's passive aggressive, but it was such a dumb thing for him to say, I didn't know how to react. I suppose in retrospect, had I been thinking straight, I could have said "That's probably how you feel" or something more neutral. Yeah. Sometimes the words just don't come. No kidding! So he got up and told me to have a nice night with the dog and then drove back to his apartment. I didn't try to stop him in any way. Since that time, last weekend, I haven't felt close to him. Sounds like whatever was on his mind was going to precipitate one of these push-away incidents. 

Another incident bothered me last week. Several weeks ago Steve had shown me a satirical article about a political party that I somewhat support (not that I particularly support any of them). I read it, thought it was funny, and told him to pass it on to my parents so they could enjoy it. On Weds. I found something *I* thought was funny about a political party that he sort of supports. I passed it on to him. His reaction was to tell me that it was a lie (I guess he was referring to some of what the article was poking fun at) and said he wasn't sure why I thought he would enjoy anything from the pro-xxx (the political party I semi-support) media. Then he went on to call them a "buncha pinko's" followed by a smiley emotion. Somehow the smiley made far less impact than the other stuff he wrote. He called later and I didn't answer because I was angry. Later he called again and I did answer. I told him I thought what he wrote was ignorant (I know this is not impartial, but then neither is the word "pinko.") and he said that he guessed there was nothing he could do. I just said I guessed not either and that was the end of the conversation. There is another communication going on, an undercurrent. That's what all this is really about.

I realize that there are many, many areas that we would need to deal with to make this relationship work, and I don't at this moment feel a commitment from Steve about doing the work. So I have to back off. I still feel that there are plenty of control issues around his kids, and I'm still not comfortable that these are being dealt with. His kids have not had the best of circumstances in life so far and I think they are going to be a handful if their role models are not in a healthy state of mind. This is maybe the burden I'm realizing exists - and why a passionate commitment from Steve to healthy behavior is so essential for me to remain in the relationship. A commitment to health should be essential with or without extra stuff.

So that's where I'm at at the moment. I don't know if some of this is really a values/lifestyle difference or if it's just plain old dysfunction dysfunction, and I guess it doesn't matter. No, it doesn't. I know that what's happened over the past week definitely felt yukky to me, and the only healthy choice right now for me, is to detach. Yes.

By the way Jay, Steve is an extremely intelligent guy as well. Creative and talented too.



I hope you have/had a wonderful time.


Welcome Anne and hello to everybody else. Have a great weekend.


B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2000


Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and the rest of the cat box family,

I'm back, but haven't read any of the posts. #11, wow, a lot must have happened while I was away. Yippeee! DaddyDan is back!

I got back into town Tues but couldn't decide whether to post or not. I made another appointment with the new therapist for next Wed. I'm looking forward to it with apprehension and excitement. Apprehension because I know that I'm going to have to relive things which I have blocked out concerning my childhood and excitement because she may be able to show me how to help myself. I am going to make it as I am laid off for a couple of months. I will get called for a day or two once in a while, but not full time work. 

While I was gone, I'm sure Lynn told you, a mouse got in. Pretty smart mouse as he got into the one room where we don't let the cats into as that's where we keep the birds. Before I left I started to put Lynn's new tub in and I'm fairly certain that he got in through the sewer drain hole. I'm having to build a sub floor for the tub as I don't think that the floor in there would support it when full of water.

When I got back, Lynn seemed upset and she was, she then told me why. I believe that she has posted that I have a tendency to use my tools and not put them away Yep! , well that's true, but I did just throw everything hither and yon in my tool cupboard, and so consequently the mess. I don't know why, I just did. This was only one of the reasons, she told me that I had acted very irresponsible with a couple of other items also. I promised not to make any "therapeutic" type comments, so I won't.

The job out of town was interesting as I've not done anything like that before. I had to use the skills that I have learned in order to do the job. It felt pretty good as we weren't just spinning our wheels to get something done. We were told what to do and were left alone to accomplish it, no micromanaging.

Lynn also told me that I was falling back to my old style, since I had quit posting. I thought that I had been changing and was continuing, but that's what I get for thinking. To tell the truth, I really feel that I'm in a dilemma because when I'm not conversing here, I feel like I'm turning my back on everyone, including Lynn, but I also like this new therapist and would like to give her a chance. 

I don't know if Lynn told you, but we got my sister's death certificate and the newspaper articles from that day. It has seemed to help as I now know that I couldn't have done anything for her. Lynn had told me that, but that little doubt was still in the back of my mind. Perhaps it still is but I do know that it doesn't affect me like it did.

Lynn also has told me about some of the events in everyone's lives, and I have to give a big pat on the back to Becky.

I read Buddha while I was gone, and feel that I can associate with a lot of the ideas in the book. A lot explains how I presently feel, have felt and wished to feel. Enlightening but still enough to get one to start looking at what they expect and want from life. I had no idea that this man, Buddha, had such a resource and knowledge of things which pertain to today's lifestyles and thoughts.

The other night we watched The Music Man, and afterward Lynn left the room sniffling as she had started to cry during it. Stupid me, I never asked what was wrong, tried to hold her or anything just sat like a bump on the proverbial log. The next day we talked and she asked me why I didn't ask or offer a hug or anything, I didn't have an answer and still don't. She has said that I'm more romantic than she, but if true, I think that I would have done something. You mad at her DaddyDan?

Well enough of my rambling.



B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2000


Dear Dan

It's really nice to hear from you again and it sounds like your out of town job went well.

Dan, it sounds to me like you have been changing positively. I can only speak from my own experience, but sometimes the "victim" of verbal or other abuse relationship is at the end of their rope by the time the "abuser" starts to make changes, and just doesn't have much encouragement to offer. But don't let that discourage you. If you continue the work and the self development, and you are sincerely committed to it, Lynn will see that over time. Just do it for you; don't do it to please anybody else.

As for your dilemma of feeling you are turning your back on Lynn and the catbox - I think you need to decide what feels healthy to *you*. Personally I like to post because it clarifies my feelings and it's a somewhat "safe" place; better in my opinion than private notes back and forth because there are others reading. This way "misbehavior" doesn't get overlooked on either side. Without thinking about the opinions of Lynn, us at the catbox, or your therapist, what feels right to *you*? Sometimes I think that people, in desperation to hang on to a relationship, make choices based on pleasing others and then the choices end up being wrong, because they weren't your choices to begin with!

Anyway Dan, just wanted to say that I'm glad to hear from you. You do sound like you are doing the work. I think the trick is that when you make a mistake, go back and look at what went wrong - don't overlook it because you feel bad. Look at the mistake, decide what you best can do *now* to repair it and then try to not repeat it. Remember the saying: "the only mistake is the one from which you learn nothing".

take care


B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2000


Dear Anne.

How I relate to what you say about your husband. I think the journal idea is brilliant. I may copy you.

I just had my husband's version of the family therapy agenda given to me. My husband has certainly managed to reinvent reality to suit himself! Exorcisms????????Whose???????I am not aware of trying to exorcise anyone so does he think I need exorcising? Or himself?

He leaves his own actions out of controlling behaviour and covert abuse is limited in his eyes to withholding , put downs and devaluing.

I think I will just let him send it in with my corrections and let the therapist know that I did that as I was so fed up with the whole thing.

Or I will retype the thing myself and give him a copy saying I have sent it but he can send an amended one if he wants.

I am just too mad........

And guess what it all comes over so I am the one with the problem.

Dr Irene when the wife says IN family therapy that she wants the word "responsibility" used rather than "blame," how then can the husband write in an agenda that he believes his wife focuses on blame? Easy. That's what he thinks.

At least the therapist has that on record!

Sorry this is turning into my own vent, Anne.

What I wanted to do was empathize with you!

On the intelligence thing. I have this theory that the more educated people are more likely to use covert abuse although all people are capable of all kinds. Just that the more intelligent someone is the more subtle they can get. I am sure there is a research question in there for someone. This got discussed recently on the message boards and quite a few women there said their husbands had college degrees

I guess I have to set some boundaries for myself and get them into writing so I can stick to them.

Just now I feel like playing my husband at his own game and refusing to go to therapy and making up all these stupid things that I insist have to be done some dumb way just for the sake of it and completely taking over some parts of the house and not letting them be changed.

I could also start insisting that we don't have processed cheese and that all the pizza bases are made from scratch. Or maybe I could develop an obsession with the dumb wishing and insist something is washed exactly to my specification every day. I could boil tea towels which we don't use for example. Or maybe I could insist that I have a night when MY friends come round regardless of whether he is in or not and burn incense in every room and start to scrub the kitchen with a toothbrush and arrange everything in regimental order and insist we all eat watercress with every meal and have a special spoon for every saucepan and generally also be a pain in the neck for everyone! These are NOT my true intentions. Just a fantasy as I couldn't keep the pace up anyway! But boy did it feel good to plan.

Asha I am glad you understood your dream. I think there is a lot in dreams and I am going to really look into it now I am stuck at home.

Correction, now I have the opportunity to be at home. Got to be positive about this.

One thing I do wonder is if the interpretations are about some art therapy I went to when I was ill. I always thought an art therapist interpreted for you, but the one I went to wanted our own interpretations. I drew a lot of things that were easy to interpret, I found and it was really therapeutic. One of the best things I got to do was to be given on a day I felt really angry, a huge piece of paper to throw paint at. I certainly made a mess but it was therapeutic and we all ended up laughing at the change from anger to playfulness!

Asha I think you should ask Steve what the matter is.

One thing that worries me is the lack op guys posting in the catbox and maybe he does feel left out. After all we are all having problems with males so it might be a bit daunting. If only Dan was posting too.

Steve, please do post again!

I don't like dogs in the house myself so I can sympathize with Steve on that one, but Asha isn't it YOUR house? Your dog?

Also I think that Steve might be overreacting to the dog comment. I can't help thinking that you gave the reply most of us would give to that. But he was also trying hard not to engage?

I think that the political argument is far more significant. I guess the test of the relationship is do you want a relationship with someone even if they dislike your political views as we are in a sense what we believe.

Like me you don't seem to say you subscribe to a political party in a wholehearted way. But do you mind of your views are not taken seriously?

A while ago Steve wrote in a post i think was directed to me about how you put boundaries in place and that made a difference so backing off now does sound like a good idea.

I think you are right about the kids too. The last thing they need is an on/off relationship. So detaching does sound good for now.

And guess what my husband is highly intelligent and creative etc. too.

Dr Irene please comment on this. Is there any research on the link?

Oh wow Dan, I just scrolled down and you ARE back!

Dan, can't you tell the therapist how you feel about the catbox.

Also, if this helps. The worst thing my husband does to me is NOT walk over and give me a hug if I am upset. I think loads of our arguments wouldn't happen if he had the sense to do this. (TAKE THE HINT!)

I think the best thing Lynn ever did for you was to get your sister's death certificate. I am glad that helped.

Dan if she won't look at the site could you just print a couple of things off to show the therapist?

I seem to have been typing for ages. This is what comes of having a day off and sleeping through it you get to be a night bird with time to spare.

Trubble, I am researching which cat to get. I live by a main road so it has to be a house cat. Have some of your cousins been at the goldfish in the garden again?

Love, Jay.


B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2000


Hi everyone. I'm still here.

Dan, it's good to see you post again. :)

Happy belated, Lynn. Welcome aboard Anne.

Been thinking of David on Buddha and some of the things he's said. And recent experience I've had. Thursday night, just when I was about ready to block L's username from instant messenger, he started talking to me, apologized for "yelling" at me, said he realized that his drug habit was alienating not only me, but C (he considers C a chosen brother) and some other friends of his who don't use, and that he was willing to make changes in his life for my sake as well as his own. And that he hoped that when he was done I would be able to see again in him what made us fall in love, and to come back.

Four, even three, months ago, I'd have been one of the happiest women alive to "hear" (see, really) those words. But it might be too little, too late. After all, he was attacking me just a few days before for what I had said about his drug use. I certainly have to see more change, in actions not just words. Then again, C used to be someone I considered too immature to take seriously. But he grew up and changed quite a bit, so it's certainly within the realm of possibility that L could do likewise.

I wouldn't promise him anything. I told him it's possible that I might find someone else, or he might, long before he was done, or that the person he ends up becoming just might not be compatible with me, not because he's a bad person but because we're just not compatible. We've been sort of Dharma-and-Greg-like from the beginning, and I don't think we could "start over" as such. (Anyone else see the episode where they decided to try dating like a normal couple for a while, only to have it be a disaster?) I think that's what's prompting me to keep the door open a little. If it was possible for us to bridge those differences to the degree we did, maybe there is something worth saving.

Spent last evening on campus with him, playing the game we have "shared custody" of (bought together) but that lives on his computer since mine isn't quite powerful enough to run it. At least we still have the Sims. :)

This is where everything gets tricky of course. I think that remembering David and his efforts to win back his wife, and remembering couples on here that are trying to work things out, caused me to be more receptive to L's "I want you back and I'm trying to change so you can be happy with me" than I otherwise would have been. But I certainly don't want to give the store away here! What he said was all very nice but will he follow through? We'll see. And what if he does follow through, but I still don't feel right about taking him back? Well, then he's the recipient of a new, improved person he likes better.

Probably irrelevant at this point. I'd like to believe and trust, but it isn't there. He says he wants to fix that; I'll believe it when I see it. Good attitude. (Neither of) You deserve no less!

At least the project got done and work is going marginally better. :)


B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2000


Hello Jay

Sounds like you've had a rough day. It sounds like you felt your husband was starting to come to terms with some things, and it was a shock to you to read his agenda. Just stay strong and give yourself credit for all the work you've been doing. No matter what your husband chooses in the end, this work that you are doing will not go to waste.

Right now I'm less interested in finding out what the matter is with Steve, than being fully aware of my own feelings. I spent a lot of time in the past concerned about his feelings and disregarding mine. I'm starting to let myself feel freely now. I feel it's his choice whether to decide to share his thoughts and concerns with me, and it's also his choice how to behave - I have no control over that. Now I'm spending energy on what I do have control over - me!

Yes Jay, it's my house and my dog. But if we were living together we would have to work out compromises in this area. When I first met Steve I feel that I compromised too much about the dog, and now I really hesitate to compromise too quickly on issues that are important to me. When I think back to before I met Steve, when I rented out rooms, I always made it clear that my house was a "dog friendly" house to whoever was considering the room. I knew that if they were uncomfortable with that then we wouldn't be a good match, roommate-wise. I ended up with roommates that were similar to me in this way. So I wonder, if it was so important with my roommates, when did it become less important with Steve? I guess I really wanted him in my life because I did compromise more than I was comfortable with, with the dog. In the beginning I just felt that we could work out solutions that we could both be happy with. Now I just don't know.

I don't think it is Steve's particular political views that concern me as much as the *reasons* for the views, and the suspicion about the other political party. Maybe he could say the same about me - if I'm a "pinko" then I would tend to find a "redneck" political group fairly offensive. Deep down I believe that this isn't about politics, but about Steve and my different realities. While I'm uncomfortable with the word "realities" given the baggage the Evans stuff gives it, I agree. I don't know how couples can solve these types of differences if they are polarized by their opposing belief systems. The differences and opposing belief systems are further polarized by the underlying relational control battle.

Yes, with the problems between Steve, me and their mom, the kids haven't seen much stability in the relationships of their adult role models. I like to be around the kids, but I'm not sure if I should be around them right now because my relationship with Steve is so unstable. Maybe I need to back right out of their lives. I don't know if this is fair to them or not, and if I do stay away from them, should I try to explain it to them somehow? It must be so confusing to them. I don't know what would even be appropriate to tell them since things are so on and off right now, and I don't want to say anything that comes off as negative about their dad. Depends on how old the kids are, but you don't have to be negative about their dad regardless. Something along the lines of "I love you guys and I want you to know that whether I see you lots or not."

Send your good thoughts and prayers my way, kay? I'll do the same back.


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