Comments for Catbox 16

Comments for Catbox 16

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   Copyright© 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
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000


Steve here.

I don't mean to put you on pedestal Irene. I just believe you have helped me very much. For that I can't help but be thankful. Thanks Steve. Please let me help you even more...

Irene (to Asha) -re: Lawyer indicating Steve's emotional development is on par with his kids: "Actually, I don't think Lurking Lawyer's analogy is a bad one."

Well...if you agree with her...hmm...

You are saying my emotional development level is the same as my kids.

That's quite broad-sweeping, and general - enough to mean almost anything. Therefore, of not much use in a therapeutic sense.

So, in a sense, it doesn't feel at all like most of your stuff Irene. There are many more harsh things you say to/about me which may appear more hurtful, but yet have great value to me, and help me grow. This, doesn't seem to have value. Too general, and "label-intensive". I can't find any growth in this. Steve, the content of the comment is not untrue. My consensus with it is not a zinger and is certainly not intended to get you defensive, though I knew it probably would. I have to commend you for bringing your objections up here so calmly. 

The emotional development thing is exactly what you are working on! Think: Nobody would expect a kid not to react emotionally to stuff like this, but the expectations for an adult are different. To relate it to the stuff I tried to explain to you on the last page, Lurking Lawyer made some observations. Not that it matters, but I detected no zinger in any of her comments. Cut and dry, straight-talking, this is how this lady sees the world. (Pretty healthy, I think.) I agreed with her observations. I hesitated before throwing in my editorial

If you apply the same steps I outlined for you regarding your relationship with Asha to LL's opinion (and my consensus), you would simply agree or disagree with the opinion. It would not be experienced as threatening (More correct: You would not create a threatening experience.) because you are secure in the self, do not need consensus, you are OK with being not OK. 

In other words, it really doesn't matter.  There is no / little ego-involvement, simply an interest in the truth and in doing the best for the higher Self.

If you agreed with the opinion or aspects of it, you would simply begin to work on those pieces. If you didn't agree, you wouldn't because there is nothing to work on. If you were crystal clear on this stuff, you would likely agree with the content - because overall, it is true.

To see you agree with it, and defend it, leaves me perplexed.  Steve This is about detachment, disengagement, freedom. High level stuff. The stuff of personal power, self-control, and inner serenity. No one can hurt you here, because you are untouchable. You know. There is no effort, no defense on your part because it is not necessary, nor would it even occur to you. 

This is one aspect of the essence of what Buddha taught: Live and let live, do the best for the Self, ego is meaningless...  It is the essence of why I keep saying I am on no one's "side,"  what I mean when I say I am on the side of each person's higher Self. This is why I don't side /agree with either (sorry for use of the words) "victim" or "abuser" and why I get into "trouble" with both from time to time. (Did you see the last letter who is upset with me? Gives me way too much power!) This state of inner peace and unshakeable sense of self is difficult to achieve, as you can see. It is too easy to get lost defending the ego, etc. But, there is no other way out as far as I am concerned; this is the place to spend one's life striving for and becoming better and better at. 

From Canto 12: "160. The self is the master of the self. Who else can that master be? With the self fully subdued, one obtains the sublime refuge which is very difficult to achieve."

Do you understand now Steve? By the way, there is nothing here that you can't do.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000


Hi Lynn

Hehe - if the seatbelt thing works for you, then do what gets results (if there is no mutually better way for the 2 of you). I just asked because I think lots of couples (including me) experience similar situations and I wondered from Dan's point of view if there was another way that would "work" for you, that he wouldn't feel angry about. I ask for my own sake.

I knew I could call you honey, that's why I did. I wasn't messin' with you. :)

love you lots


p.s. I'd also rather be killed outright than maimed and mutilated (and Dan, I know that wasn't your intention). :)

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000


Hi, Jay here. I really hope I don't offend anyone. The anger grew like a mushroom cloud and exploded like a volcano. I just seem to have so much of it in me. And if God is meant to store tears in a bottle he better change to buckets fast! Everything turned black and painful. And I managed to pass beyond reason into what I suppose is pure grief.

I wish I knew what this is all about as I am fine now. It just seems to take small triggers to lose control. I suppose I could really be depressed and need something to help things look better: but I so much want not to have any more drugs or see any more doctors. They might decide I really am mad and to be honest in the last 24 hours I would have agreed.

Or it could be the Paxil withdrawal still.

The family session was AWFUL mainly as I just couldn't seem to stop shouting. As if my voice was stuck in one mode. My husband has tried to be nice and I can't be nice back. It is just that he is also so B....awkward too and I can't seem to be tolerant.

I wish to God he Would post here. It would probably be therapeutic for him just now as living with me must be hell. He is clear.. Does love me: doesn't want a divorce. Bought me some Christmas baubles (he has forgotten he doesn't believe in Christmas trees? )

I think I just have one huge fear of making things up. One huge fear that if I do I will get really hurt again. He is trying but he won't talk and in the end someone and it will have to me has to break the cycle. I WISH I COULD STOP LOVING HIM but I can't. I want the part of him that used to be.

The truth of it is that it has been hell this year for both of us. It can't be easy to have had a suicidal wife and my daughter as she is for him and I just can't seem to understand care that he does give that is not words. I have never thought he bought things out of a sense of guilt.

I married him in rescue mode. I thought he would stay friendless in his university room if I didn't. He was so shy and gentle. I think I was a whirlwind in his life as I wanted to go out and got him to.

He was always so principled. I would have lived with him like a shot: but he did things despite a hippy image the old fashioned way. For him it has always been important to do the right and serious thing.

Life has always been so dammed serious. Yet he still wears long hair and hippy clothes. I want to be the wild hippy. But I am less able to wear the clothes now.

I guess in all the grief I am missing me. I hate not having the part of myself he liked. I hate this perpetual grief. Sure as eggs is eggs my daughter is going to make Christmas really painful. She managed to really make my birthday hell.

I am so tired of the pain......

So tired of tears.

I hate this emotional roller coaster.

I will never ever go to the family therapist again. I always though it was something I could cope with but I have changed into something fragile I never used to be - I found her insensitive.

I can't reconcile the two halves of my husband and half of me is desperate to find the good part of the relationship again and the other half terrified of the difficult half. We used to be so strong together despite the way he is.

My mother in law says he has never ever put me down to her. But he has to my own parents. he won't ever help me with things I am in difficulty in but he has been shopping and cooking. He acknowledged my son needs special things from me.

He is sure I am ill. In all reality I have had more than my pound of flesh from him.

If only I could forgive him. I can't.

In all of this I still managed to do a lot today.

Maybe life's events have sent us both crazy and we are going to get better.

This is more rubbish. please ignore. love Jay


B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000


This is not Jay's husband. It is Jay trying to think what he would post. I will call him Jake.

I do love my wife and I don't want a divorce. She has been ill and now is not the right time to make those decisions. I do want peace and I can't handle all this shouting. I want a peaceful coexistence and independence but eventually I want to be with Jay. I have said I will try and be more empathic but I NEED SPACE. How can you take it? I do care. I do think she is not well. What do you think is wrong with her? I do eventually want her and our daughter to be friends. I am not proud of hurting her but she has hurt me now.  Ouchhh! 

I am a shy person. I do not find going out easy. I do all the housework almost as far as the kitchen is concerned and I make a lot of the meals and go shopping.

I haven't cut my hair as it and my beard are a part of me now, like a limb.

Love, not Jake

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Hi all the Honey's in the Cat Box. Lynn Honey here and I told Dan tonight he could call me honey again. Is that progress or what? What a Honey!

Actually, I got rather defensive and was going to post and decided he (Steve) doesn't need me at bat for him. OK, I get the message and I hear you all. I think Steve may (this I don't know) act immature at times, but I never thought he was. Just guarded and ... well, whatever. Anyhow, no need for me to get my nose into it now. Why not Lynn? I'm not sure if I'm more bothered by the silence on the board, or that you chose to comment on the immaturity thing - an ego thing! - when there was sooo much more to my posts.  Nevertheless, while I regard the immaturity as peripheral, I recognize you are not alone in feeling I attacked Steve. This saddens me greatly since attack Steve is about the last thing I want to do. Clearly, either I didn't communicate well enough, or, I made an error in thinking Steve - and the board - can handle this. (Well, I'm not so sure about the board, but I think Steve can handle this - after he has had time to think.)  Meanwhile, I'm glad you feel supportive of him.  I sincerely hope you, and others out there,  not refrain from going to bat for Steve for fear of offending me. That would just make things double-awful. 

This is for all of us and I don't know if its correct thinking or not, but Dan and I had a few go-rounds last night, He definitely won the fight, but a pretty hollow victory it was. I get the first class award for disengage, too. Congrats! I let him think it out (or didn't care if he did or not) and he apologized tonight. Not one of those, "If you felt that way I'm sorry," one's either. Then we had a good talk and a few laughs and here we are with at least a talking type of communication going on. 

This kinda relates to Jay's last post and the comment about really loving her H. I look back and honestly, I don't really love Dan when he gets in one of his righteous, never been wrong, it's all my fault and I'll do anything I want moods. In fact I don't even like him.

So what's the big deal here? I think we (I) can make ourselves crazy trying to make things work out. I finally suggested to Dan that maybe he should try starting over and doing the "courting" all over again. Remember and for the new ones, our first date was our last date. He seduced me and we've lived together ever since.

Back to the story. I'd really like to be picked up by Dan again. Then wooed and won. He's still the guy of choice, but some of the crap he has pulled lately he would never have tried while (or if) we were dating. And I would never have put up with it. So why now???

I kinda feel like he has to start all over again to win me. This seems silly, but right now I am not ready to wait for him to "change" and meanwhile keep cooking, cleaning and washing clothes and dishes. I'd die of old age before that happened. So don't say you are going to change and expect a little honey bed partner either. I need some effort and he is making some. I've noticed myself changing with this, too.

I go back to my original post and Dan is and can be so silver tongued that if he spent half as much time doing as he did talking about doing it, we would have been done and over with this by now.

Well, last night his gift of gab was plum ridiculous sounding to me and although I didn't laugh (outside) I just couldn't be bothered with anymore smooth talking. We both laughed about it tonight.

I also made a pretty true statement a bunch of pages back that if you engage before marriage, do you disengage before divorce. So true. I won't spend the rest of my life disengaged just for the peace of mind because I can't leave the bum. I don't want a relationship like that and won't stay in one for long. To get his attention OK, but I want a relationship between two adults who are both wrong at times and both make mis"teaks" and the next day don't give a darn and don't have to fight to the finish to prove they are right.

I guess we could spend the next 30 years or so doing this and then what? I know I need more.

Long babbly again, but I think I am glad Dan has agreed to get actively involved in the relationship and not just talk about going to do so... 

Speaking of PMSey, you should have heard me when I had the headaches. I said to Dan if I kept up the barking he'd have to get me a dog license. I was and couldn't stop. Different kind of bark I guess, because he knew that none of it was directed at him.  Everyone got it equally. Glad I was still under the bed.

Love to you all and we'll see. I'm wondering if I started dating him tomorrow how it would turn out? Changes are harder I think when we live together.

Food for thought here, huh, Trubble, honey? You bet FakeHoneyMommy!

Hi, Jake, I like it! I do wish he'd read it.

Dr. Irene. You'll have to kick Trubble and LOCO off the pedestal. Actually, they kicked me off. Crash!!!!

I do love you all and I wish us all luck. The guys in the dog house, too.



B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Dr. Irene (the other honey, or is that allowed with a doctor?) How about HoneyDoc?

I think we all know you care (or at least I do). And I think only those who make you out to be Superhuman will take offense, for any length of time, to any perceived "attacks". 

Since you were the one to mention silence on the board/fear of offending you there was one thing I did want to mention. Not about the Steve stuff, but about the "yukky reader comment" (who said some negative stuff about Dr. I's supposed "big ego") - I think you meant the comment was yukky, not the reader, right? Neither. I don't think the reader or the comment per se is yukky. What is yukky (i.e., sad and disempowering) is that the reader buys into his or her irrational underlying thinking process. That irrational underlying thinking governs the readers thoughts, feelings and behavior. This person thinks they have to remain silent for fear they will be blasted or whatever else it is they are afraid of. They have essentially put themselves behind bars. Ouchhh!

Rephrased: The reader feels helpless and out of control and doesn't realize that the only reason s/he feels helpless and out of control is because s/he chooses to feel that way!  Because the reader is mistakenly convinced that the size of my ego is a factor in whether or not s/he can open their mouth. The reader therefore blames me (i.e., gives me their power) for his or her inability to speak! The Ouchhh! is that the reader is creating his or her own pain but thinks that the yukkiness comes from outside (me)! 

Another rephrase: The reader feels helpless and is trying to make me responsible for his or her feelings of helplessness, when in fact the reader is creating his or her own yukkiness. I have zero to do with it! 

The significance of all this: Not taking responsibility for the self, giving away your personal power and learning not to do same is what this site is all about and is what I am trying to teach all my readers not to do because it messes with your life. The reality is that reader can "say" whatever s/he wants. The worse thing I am likely to do is disagree and perhaps point out why. I don't come zooming out of cyberspace to chop off the hand that typed rotten things about either me or the size of my ego. 

More: What the reader is making themselves afraid of is how they are going to make themselves feel if I say something that I see as truthful, which they are probably defending against seeing because it is experienced as an Ouchhh! 

My big ego: Has anybody noticed that I haven't defended the size of my ego, or taken the letter as personally offensive, or not printed it because it pointed out a "fault", etc., etc.? This is exactly the lesson I am trying to teach.

How I feel about my big ego: I don't have one, even though I do (though it is no bigger or smaller now than before); either way, I don't give it much thought because it really doesn't matter. The point is that I am not identified with my ego.  If somebody blasts the size of my ego, I am OK with being blasted. I can understand how the reader can feel my ego is too big; I can understand the reader's intimidation, though it saddens me. I would like the reader to take their power so they are not intimidated, but I can't do that for them. That the reader thinks my ego is bigger than it was before is of no consequence to me, but I know it is of consequence to them. I know this individual does not understand personal responsibility, and that is sad. 

On Validation: This reader's letter, how they feel, their intimidation, how what they see as my big ego affects them, etc. is all about them - and has absolutely nothing to do with me - because I have no real power over them. Though, since I am given the power to validate, I could validate more. And I do when I have to - but I use validation sparingly since it is no more than a form of manipulation I use to help people past hurdles in their lessons. I'm pretty clear, I think, in pointing out that validation is invaluable early on, but later in recovery, validation is just a  place to get stuck in - for "victims" as well as "abusers" by the way.  Can you see how powerful validation is - and in the "wrong" hands has the potential to be very destructive? If you need validation, you have opened yourself up to being manipulated by anybody who knows how to massage your ego! Yikes!

How this relates to Steve and everybody else out there:  I am asking Steve, the reader, and the others out there, to consider doing the same thing I'm doing: Essentially, to stop bouncing off other people, giving them the power to hurt you, or to require them to (codependently) behave a certain way in order to protect your feelings by massaging your ego.    

I didn't want this to be interpreted as more defensiveness on my part by mentioning/asking about it. I also didn't feel the need to come to *your* defense, because the comment just simply doesn't fit IMO.  Thanks Asha for cluing me in on what's going on out there. I had assumed that my comments to the reader were understood. I guess only in my head. This is not the first, or the last time, I will live in the clouds. I will email the writer of that letter to come take a look at this explanation too.

All this is extremely important stuff. Please, do not hesitate to ask questions, Asha and everybody else who has any. In fact, this is so important, it got it's own board. Please go here.

I like to read some of the yukky stuff too, because it's just as real as the inspirational stuff. Maybe because everyone has the potential for growth IMO, and even some of the most defensive, angry dialogues can end up as great learning experiences (I know some of mine have anyway). I'm glad you posted it.

I still think you're great Dr I (ego and all - :) hehe) Dr. HoneyEgo. Perfect! (Now you have something to call me when Trubble or I call you AkAsha!  By the way, thanks for the validation Asha. Giggle. There's nothing wrong with validation, as long as you don't need it!  Signed, Dr. FakeHoneyEgo's mom.


B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Hi Guys and DocHoney, Lynn Honey here,

Somewhere in this I may have read something wrong, but I got the impression that Steve was called "immature" he was behaved in an immature manner in the example with the kids and that DocHoney agreed with the comment I did. My impression was/is that Steve may act immature at times (who doesn't?) but where I got defensive was "labeling him." If that wasn't the case it was in my interpretation. There was no intention to "label" him. Given the info posted, LL pointed out something about his behavior that he may want to take a look at. I agree. That's all. No zinger intended.

Steve, not in defense of you, more in friendship, I seem to understand you. What you are saying and what you are trying to say and what you mean when you say things. I've never tried to analyze this, except to say I see a lot of you in me.

This gets confusing because I used to think it was male vs. female in presentation of what's wrong with our relationships. For reason still crazy to me I understand you a lot better than I do Dan and yet I empathize with Asha because I think I know what she wants and expects.  

Crazy, too, because I can't straighten out my own life, let alone yours.

I do have an interesting dream to relate. Woke me UP!!! Disaster of some sorts as we were up on a mountain top (we live over a mile high to start with) and there were huge black clouds overhead and once they cleared I was in a seat on a bus and I can describe the seats and the bus and my two SIL's were in the seat behind me and I turned around and said, "By the way, did you know that I'm pregnant." (With a cat, no doubt!)

Dream, ha! Nightmare. But a significant dream nonetheless, hey DocHoney?

At 54 and I had a hysterectomy at 27. Black clouds gone and a new life beginning??? Hey, I'll go for that!

My advice to Steve because is what I want Dan to do: Start over. From scratch. With Asha of course. Somewhere and somehow I got mired in the swamp of where we were and where we are with the dishes, dirty laundry, dishes, "hoovering" and even sex. In the middle of this I can't fix anything. Start over and start again. I have too much garbage here in the middle. It's time to take the trash out. Giggle!

Hi the rest of you and Happy Trails. We have a New Year coming up and God Bless Us All. And I still have to give Kudos to Dan and Steve. They may both be immature jerks now that is character assassination! and nerds :) more! , yet they are trying as we all are.... That makes them both heroes. I really don't think this is easy for "males." Or females. Or any other type of human, including human cats.



B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Dr I

I think you make good points about how we interpret criticism, personal attacks etc. There's no doubt that validation feels good, but it's definitely good not to require it for our own self-approval. A life without validation would be tough, but that's not likely to happen. Most of us put far too much weight in how others see us, I think.

I mentioned the title "yukky reader comment" first because of the word "yukky" Glad we cleared that one up, I hope anyway., and also because I thought his/her (attack?) mention about ego had some similarity to the comments about emotional maturity/immaturity. Yes. That's what I pointed out too. There are differences in the authors intentions, but I can't know for sure whether the "Voice in the Desert" had good or bad intentions. It really doesn't matter, at least to me. For example he/she may be familiar with someone on the board and felt he/she was protecting that person by "enlightening" you I doubt it. The letter was way too hostile.  (with stuff I totally disagree with, as I said earlier). There was also no way I could know the intentions of the Lurking Lawyer (to "side" with me? to offer straight feedback to Steve? Yes. LL is a very straight woman. But, intentions don't really matter... etc etc) and I didn't want to encourage any of the "siding" stuff, because even if it momentarily feels good to my ego, I feel it overall does more damage than good. (Though agreed, if we could "be the Buddha" this damage could not occur.) Something to aspire to...  When you said "yukky reader's comments" I initially thought you were referring to how you experienced his/her comments. I understand now that's not the case. Right. But, the letter came at just the right time to illustrate that Steve need not take offense at being called "immature." I don't need take offense to being accused of having a "big ego." That was the point for the person on the receiving end. For the person on the giving end, the point was: Why are you giving me so much power that you are afraid to speak? And, why do you think you will be freer to speak if I codepend with your buttons? As long as you have buttons, you are open to manipulation! That is the yuk!

I just felt that the "Voice in the Desert" would be less open to your comments when he/she read the title, and I think there is an opportunity to instead draw this person in (even if it's unlikely). Same thing with the emotional maturity comment (though Steve can handle it). You're right. By the way, I changed it.

A more neutral title - "disgruntled reader's comment?" or something like that?

Thanks Honey Doc and special welcome to her mom.


B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Dear JayHoney,

I haven't forgotten you. In fact I think I see and feel a lot more than you are telling. I just have to relate my experiences with our old therapist. I had one of those screaming, crying hysterical therapy sessions where I couldn't take any more. What I got??? "Poor Dan, how do you think he feels being torn like this?" Lynn, if you react and make such a spectacle of yourself, you look like the nut - and she'll never help Dan with his passive-aggressive stuff. One of the major reasons to control that temper Honey. Today I think Poor Dan my sweet young something and she can take her poor Dan and live with him for a while. Very bad therapy for me. I do prefer Dr. Irene's way and I do prefer the direct "cognitive" style.

At the time I was too distressed and down to think about poor Dan and poor Lynn; was a mess. All I got was anger and resentment. It's taken me a long time to recover from her "therapy." I'm not saying it was wrong or bad, but it wasn't for me. I was in it to get us a better relationship, not to pity Dan because he had a crappy abusive upbringing. Even if the therapist knows abuse, how can she help but not react to screaming and crying? I would take the session and focus on your misbehavior too. Duh...

Dear Dr. IreneHoney,

Moral of your posts maybe, and simplified. Dan and I were in a bar one night and this guy "hated" me because I was from a certain town. Dan got mad and was going to take him outside.

My reaction? Dumb! Who cares. This guy had a lot of reasons he could have used for not liking me, but because I lived somewhere??? Indeed. I thought this was so silly and Dan's reaction. Well, I thought it should have been "who cares?" The guys real reason.... In high school he went to the town for sports and got beat up. Like this is my fault? Giggle...

Anyhow, I hear ya' DocHoney. Steve must, too as he seems to have handled this better than some of us. I think this might be friendship though. I feel the same about Dan. I call him lots of things, but I sure get offended if anyone else does!

Jay, why can't you still wear your hippie clothes? I still wear what I want. My son called yesterday and was in shorts. It was 7 above there. I laughed. It was 8 below here and I was in shorts, too. Still am today. Well, that explains everything: The woman has great legs, and, that's why Dan insists on calling her "Honey."

Talk to you all later,

Love, LynnHoney

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Hello Dr. Irene,

I have decided that there is no hope for my relationship with my husband. The house is in my name and the main issue for me is daycare for our three year old daughter. Money is also a big issue. Daycare is $155. a week and a divorce will cost $2,000.

My husband is unable to work a forty hour week due to his multiple physical ailments some documented (asthma & obesity) some not (chronic fatigue). I could probably get myself to toss him out except that he has no source of money, and there is always some reason he can't stay with friends (dog dander, mold whatever). I guess I don't want to be the bad guy and toss him in the street. I would not like the kind of person who would do that.

He has convinced himself that I am the cause of his life's bad turns. He has given his all to me and I am getting ready to unload my responsibility to him. He thinks I should have gotten him on disability.

I have been in a relationship with this man for 26 years. How can I get over this inability to cut him off? --------------Thanks  Hi. Please look here for how to access advise options.


SteveHoney, where are you?


B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and the rest of the family, Hello DanHoney!

First off, I would like to comment on the remark that Steve was acting immaturely. So do I at times Us two and three. , as a matter of fact, there are days that I feel and act younger than my age, days that I feel and act my age and days that I feel and act older than my age so I see nothing wrong with Steve occasionally doing the same. As you all know Steve and I push each other's buttons on occasion so this isn't saying that I am siding with him or defending his actions just saying that there are some things that he is entitled to. If I could re-do this exchange, I would have been more specific that Steve is not immature as in blanket statement, but that Steve's behavior in that situation seemed immature to me.

I went to the therapist Thursday and asked her about my family's relevancy and she said that it was so she would know who I was talking about and where they fit in. Also asked her about short /long term memory and she said that it was one of the signs of depression. Interesting, to me, I thought that it was a result of all the booze that I ingested in my younger days. During the session, she also brought up the nonexistence (symbolically) of my boundaries. I also told her about your expression of disengage, Dr I, and though she hadn't heard it used that way she did like it and agreed with it. I think your therapist is trained in a systemic family approach. My use of "disengage" comes from the 12-step codependency model. 

I also made a comment about how when I was working I smoked less than when I was home - as a matter of fact, while I was gone for the two weeks last month, I managed to make a pack last two or two and a half days. She asked me why, I have to think on that one, it was like a homework assignment. Let us know what you come up with.

Dr Irene, I know that you said that you would make no therapeutic explanations but I need your insight on this please. I have been working on the couples book, as we posted earlier, and in exercise 2 it says to remember your earliest home and the significant people who were there. You then have to confront them on what you felt were unfair or mistreatments which they inflicted on you. I can remember the house, no problem and the people who were influential, but can't remember any of their failings where I am concerned. The above isn't exact, but paraphrased. Is this normal (for me and others like me)? It's typical not to remember stuff like this when there has been abuse. If you are having difficulty remembering some of the stuff your mom and dad did to you, just turn back to earlier Catbox pages. That should jog your memory! This exercise has to do with our Imago. 

Lynn has posted about our little misunderstanding the other night. I have to admit that I did become indignant and that my actions were intolerable. I also realize that I was making her responsible for my reactions. You both bounce off each other big time. Good that you see it.

She also asked me to think back to our first year together, and if there would be anything that we should have done that we didn't. We should have gotten to know each other better before we made a commitment to each other. This statement (Lynn's) is very true, as she said last night, and I agree the romance has left our relationship. Can we get it back? Why not?  I don't know but I'm willing to try. We have made a date for later in the month, which barring unforeseen events like big fires, no doubt! , I plan to keep. I know that I have gotten complacent with our lives. You have a habit of getting complacent with your own life. Not a good habit. Lynn asked me if staying home and watching movies or watching her do her thing was fulfilling for me. At times it is, then there are times that I have to admit that I would like to do things, but with bars and casinos the only entertainment in this town, nights out can be very repetitive. 

There are two or three high class eateries in town, but I don't like paying through the nose for food that I can't pronounce, let alone say that I would like or enjoy.

The big city doesn't offer much more, although they do have plays and concerts once in awhile - but then we have to drive down there and in the winter the road can be very slippery. And it may be a sign of old age, but I don't like driving on those types of roads after dark. I think it's a sign of sanity Dan. Especially when the road is full of big city returnees, who have been skiing all day and have to get home before the evening news. Also when Lynn can't see when we're traveling, she feels that I can't either. (She has told me this.) She's a back-seat driver. She could probably learn to relax, with a little effort, if you would totally stop speeding and tailgating. 

I haven't posted to any of you personally as I am still trying to catch up on the posts, 16, sheesh, but my thoughts are with you.


I don't know if you are sending vibes to LOCO or not, but during these last few days he has been extra loving and actually leaving the tree alone, so if you are, Thank you and an extra rainbow for you. Actually FakeHoneyDaddyDan, LOCO's been sending me vibes. I'm out from under the bed and it's OK that you are my fake daddy.



B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Dear Cat Box,

I am going to try to keep "me" anonymous in this post, but it is something I would like to post for someone here and share a similar experience.

My daughter was molested by a male "friend" of mine when she was 5 or 6. I'm so sorry... I had terrible depression and horrible thoughts about myself for "letting" this happen.

I had to forgive myself, because I didn't let it happen. I didn't know; I was young, uneducated in the ways of some people in this world, and really had some tough years with her as an adult - until she confessed to me that she always thought I knew and didn't do anything about it. This wasn't so and I told her. It was real tough for me to talk about, but I felt she asked so she deserved the truth. Yes.

I thankfully knew some policemen and they had him thrown in jail for something else (these were the days when this was kept silent) and yes(!) - they set him up to be arrested. We were then put in protective custody until he was sent to prison and I've never seen him since. And I hope you and your kid never have to lay eyes on him again.

The morality of his jail term isn't important to this story. At the time it was thought that this was the best way to protect the child.  

Once my daughter learned what really happened, and not what she thought I let happen, we were able to forgive and get on with our lives. A lot of therapy for her, too.

Now for the reason, because it seems these things are here to teach us something. Twice since then there have been instances of child abuse where I was able to actively intercede and do something about it. I'm glad I did and glad I was able to and would do it again. Yes...

The reason I'm telling this is because for me the fault wasn't in me because it happened the first time. The fault now would be if I knew and let it go for any reason. I can't nor would I excuse this type of behavior for anyone.

The hardest thing I ever did in this lifetime is forgive myself. But, thankfully you did. A lot of good it would have done your daughter or anybody else in your life for you to be walking around with a dark cloud over your head. I think I will carry scars from this forever, but if the expensive lesson helped the two children I was able to help later, that must have been the reason this happen to us. 

Dr. Irene, if I left anything out, please help me with the wording. I appreciate your help and for being here for all of us.

Thanks,  ME  Thank you for telling us this. It is a wonderful story that shows how  truth and forgiving the self releases us.  


B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000



I really relate to what you and Lynn are saying about getting to know each other better. When Steve and I got involved things were so chaotic that I don't feel we stepped back properly in order to see if we were choosing to be together for healthy reasons. This is what I feel we are doing now. I had often wondered, what if I had made different choices at the beginning of the relationship - and then I realized that it's never too late to make those choices. We are, in a way, back to square 1, but I know for myself, I'm in it with my eyes wide open (and I hope he is too) - which I think is a good thing.

Steve and I didn't go through a peaceful "courting" stage - it was filled with a lot of family turmoil. I'd like for him to get to know me, the me that *I* want to be, better. I'd like to have time to do fun things with him, which we never did much, having started a new business and working long hours, and all the family junk that was going on.

<<when Lynn can't see when we're traveling, she feels that I can't either. (She has told me this) >>

I have to laugh at this. When Steve drives, I'm constantly braking in the passenger seat. When I drive he hangs on to the dashboard whenever I come to a stop. Methinks our "control" buttons are showing. :)  I confess. Me too with my hubby. But, I've been good. Only one low scream in the last few months. Giggle.


you said: <<Glad we cleared that one up, I hope anyway>>

Yes I think we've hacked it death now. Unless of course someone has something else to say. But I enjoyed the process. :)  Same here. Thanks Asha. 


B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Dear ME Thank you so much for your post. I am glad it has worked out between you and your daughter and in your case the guy got caught.

The worst bit is accepting the child you were meant to have is not the child you have and that part of the process seems to be to blame the person closest who invariably was unable to keep the child safe. 

I will forgive myself. In my case I will also forgive God. (If you can do such a thing. I trusted him in the situation.) Good!

I think it just takes time.

Thanks so much for sharing. Not easy to do. I know.

love jay. (Who is going to do some separate posts as her computer keeps freezing up and destroying what she writes!) Sending some warm wishes your way Jay...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Dear Jay,

Dr. Irene has my permission to tell you where the post came from (in case you didn't guess). In case you didn't guess... Doc won't break confidence without written and hand signed permission. But, she will swap email addresses if two clearly identified requests come in!

I just wanted you to know that we are not alone and I do care about you and what's been happening. I think it affects everything for years to come.



B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000


Dear EverbodyHoney,

Lynn Snookums here. Where did he ever get Snookums? Who cares! Don't ya love it! Headache cure! I seldom leave the house and so I don't notice, but we have had a bad valve on the gas stove for years. I went out to the kitchen to start dinner and I felt like I was hit in the head with a brick. Bingo! Gas leak. Pukey sick and dizzy. Oh boy...

Dan turned off the gas for now and I'm feeling better already. But, and a funny "but." This happened to us once before and we had a vent plug up in a rental. I was sick for about 3 weeks and had a headache that wouldn't go away. Found out what it was and - funny, Dan's mother figured out what was wrong with me! "ALL those CATS were breathing ALL the oxygen and I wasn't getting any and hence I got sooooo sick. So that's what's been wrong all these years TrubbleHoneyGrrrrrrr......

Suzy, I haven't forgotten you. Good luck and I'm happy for you.

Hi Jay. Hi Asha. Hi Becky. Astrid, pop in and say hello once in a while. AJ, sounds like you are doing OK. LL, sis, doncha love it?

Hi to all the rest and Dan and Steve, get on those white horses and get with the program, will ya? Your damsels in distress dropped our hankies and we're ready. Giggle!  Good thing Gloria Steinem doesn't hang around these pages...

Love to all of you,


B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000


Dear Cat Box,

This is from Lynn Honey and I'm going to go shopping tomorrow and I got the giggles tonight and please, please, will someone talk to Dan. He's here with me and laughing with me so I guess this is fair play. GiggleHoney!

Last night I told Dan I needed more romance in our relationship. He thought about this a bit, got up and looked at the calendar and asked me what I was doing a week from Tuesday? Would I like to go out to dinner and whatever?

Then I read his posts. He agrees we need more romance and we all get a road report, a dining guide and a theatrical review.

Dan, Dan, and Dan! I think I could prance around here in tassels and you'd think I'd taken up aerobics. Lynn, Lynn, and Lynn! If ye wants more romance in your life, bring romance to your life! Yes dear: YOU! 

Okay, okay. He heard me and he is here laughing, too, but ....

Love you all and I guess I'll go out to dinner a week from Tuesday and see what happens. It's probably a good thing we started living together on the first date because he might have not asked me out for the second date yet. And what would you guys do if you didn't complain about each other? We'd have no funny posts! Thank you both for being who you are...

I love ya' Dan,


Ps. LynnHoney, on the shopping trip, Trubble suggests you pick up some catnip. He swears it's better than Viagra.  


B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000


Dear Lynn,

<<< I won't spend the rest of my life disengaged just for the peace of mind because I can't leave the bum. I don't want a relationship like that and won't stay in one for long. To get his attention OK, but I want a relationship between two adults who are both wrong at times and both make mis"teaks" and the next day don't give a darn and don't have to fight to the finish to prove they are right.>>

That's just how I feel right know. I don't really know how to handle it. I feel peaceful, we are not fighting, but there is no fire, no real emotional intimacy and I do feel that this peacefulness is not enough in the end. We are sort of ‘dating', as in not living together, but seeing each other on weekends on a sort of lets see what happens basis. I think I need more than this, but am not quite sure about what it is I need and where to start to make changes. Maybe I am frustrated, cause I feel this peacefulness has more to do with avoiding conflicts, than with healthy interaction. We never used to have conflicts, but I remember where that got us.....But also I do not want to pick an argument, just for the sake of having an argument.

I will be leaving next Sunday and he is going to bring me to the airport, and take care of the cats, part of the time (his own offer). As I said before, he is generally sweet, but he doesn't even call me honey !!!! :-)

Dear Jay,

I do hope you are feeling better, and somehow I am glad you are going to give your h. a change. Him buying ornaments for the tree at least shows he tries IMO. Don't expect too much, neither from him, nor from yourself. And as for the therapist, would it be an idea to call her and see her once without your h., to give you the possibility to talk freely about your view of the situation? Just to see, if maybe she deserves a second change too.... Hope your Holidays will be oke and your daughter will not give you too much trouble.

Love to all the rest of you


B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000


And on those yucky days when he makes you feel like you are overreacting and going crazy..........remember you've got his game

YOU GO GIRL....... YOU GO GIRL........ YOU GO GIRL......... YOU GO GIRL.......... YOU GO GIRL........... YOU GO GIRL............  Giggle!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000


Well. my goodness. My "go girl" comment was for LW....and her awesome display of the perceptive powers........:o). When I went to read the comments, it appears as if there is a new soap opera.....Cat Boxes are our lives.........any help with who all the characters are?? How about a short story about the last 15 pages?? CatBox 101 soon to be available online as a 3 credit course... LOL.....anyway, go girl.....hehehoho


B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000


Dear Trubble, B. here.

Yes, I'm your real mommy and you're my long lost real cat!!!! MommyBHoney!!!! (hug hug, kiss kiss)

But don't think I'm so perfect! I am human, I make mistakes, I can be angry and mean too. It is very difficult for me to admit to that (I always need to be such a good girl...), but I am learning to do that. Well that's OK MommyBHoney. You be as angry and mean as you want. But, not with your TrubbleHoneyCat. Never, ever!

Dr. Irene, What you tell Steve, that he should learn to accept his own faults, is true for me too. Me too! (Just ask your long-lost son - or even my hubbyHoney!)

I see something very interesting: It does not matter many times who is 'labeled" NDO or NEO. Many times I, who can be called "a co dependent victim in recovery" (he he he), see I am similar to some "abuser", and we both need to learn the same thing. YES! The lessons are the same. The order of the lessons may be different. Like, sometimes I see myself in Steve, sometimes in Asha. Sometimes what I do wrong is what Dan does, whereas Lynn in that situation does not act like me, sometimes the other way round. 

I find it really enlightening. It proves that being "victim" or "abuser" does not mean a different set of behaviours for each "type". No fixed roles. Yes and no, depending on the couple. 

And BTW, Dr. I, if you don't mind some validation, I did understand all the points you were trying to make with the reader who created a monster from you and called it your "ego". Hey, I never said I minded validation. I just am not terribly swayed (i.e., manipulated) by it and I don't need it. I do like it.

Also, about being immature: I would say that whenever I am not with my SELF, I am immature. Me too. All my behaviours, feelings, thoughts etc. that need re-programming are those of a 4-7 year old girl. When I engage I am 5. Oh, I'm more mature than you are; probably 7-8. When I feel used (instead of not doing anything that will make me feel used later!) I am probably 3. When I am reacting violently to a real or perceived hurt I am no more than 7.  Giggle!

So what?

This is where I got stuck back then. It is my job to "raise" mySELF now and bring all my dysfunctional parts to my true age. Yep. Everybody owes that much to themSelf, I think.

I said it before: I want to be a wise person one day. Right now I am still an immature child much of the time. I think the Eastern guys had it right. They figure it takes a whole bunch of life times to become wise...

Well, at least it helps my looks! LOL!!!! Yippee on your self-confidence! Good think you're catching me on a good day. Just think, if I were 7 and angry, I'd call you "narcissistic." Giggle! Thanks B. And thanks especially for volunteering to be Trubble's mom. He's so happpyyyy!

love and hugs, B.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000


Dear B

I wonder what gets us stuck in those particular young ages in our emotional reactions. Maybe Dr I can comment. Is it that we didn't get certain things for our emotional development at those particular times? I.e., if my reaction is that of a 4 year old to something, does it mean that after age 4 I didn't receive the stimulus or nurturing I needed to react effectively in that emotional area? Lots of different twists in explaining this stuff; you're talking a dissertation in the split / factioned pseudo-science of psychology - and I think there is value in just about all the positions. Also, add genetics to the mix. Social learning theory is my explanation of choice (do a search!), though development is so multi-faceted that different schools of thought simply emphasize different aspects. Basically, kids learn from watching their parents "model" adult behavior. Kids also respond to parental expectations. They learn according to how they are treated and the expectations and limits placed on them (limits in childhood result in self-control in adulthood). Firm but fair limits help kids feel safe. Kids learn emotional trust when their caretaker is responsive to their inner state rather than when the caretaker is  neglectful of the child or impinging upon the child (imposing the parent's stuff on the kid with no regard for whether or not the kid wants it.). Treat a kid like a shoddy possession or extension of yourself, and you're asking for trubble. Lay too much adult responsibility on a kid (by not doing your parental job or being an unpredictable or otherwise un-OK parent), and the child learns to watch out for you. Stressed kids need to develop a strategy to help them survive childhood. These strategies in adulthood are generally non-productive. On the other hand, treat a kid respectfully, like a valued and  separate entity, and you're maximizing the probability for that kid's emotional success in the adult world. 

An interesting comparison is that the average adult's drawing capabilities don't go beyond the skills they learn between around 7 and 10 years old. In the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" she talks about how that skill (and drawing *is* a skill, not only an inherent talent) generally stops developing at that age. This because of various pressures (being teased about "bad" drawings, pressure to do more "important" things). I just wonder if it's similar with emotional development - that if we don't receive the "training" and have appropriate role models we get stuck in that emotional age for some of our reactions.  Yep.

Hello Laura. Haha. Dr. I - maybe the submission title page needs an update. Explain please. You're always brimming with good ideas and I'm listening.. And remember - no-one can "make" you feel anything. ;) Except maybe a yukky mommy and daddy...


B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Hi Catbox family,

I need some input: (RON is my therapist)

In therapy last night I found some things confusing, and this maybe why?

My therapist has said all along "Theressa you need to stand up to your X and let him know that your home is your castle and defend it, if you want to clean or not clean FINE, if he starts in your home then its okay for you to say OUT. But don't just remain silent when he is trying to control you speak up."

I replied: "Okay Ron but Dr Irene says that we shouldn't engage, we should not need to defend our position as engaging demeans us and we are worthy no matter what others say." No Theressa. You are not engaging to defend yourself. or for the sake of engaging. You are standing up for yourself., defending your space! Listen to Ron. From what you've posted, it's pretty clear this guy is sharp as a tack. Also for the record, your therapist always supercedes what I say. Your therapist knows you best. There is much more room for miscommunication in this type of forum than in one on one therapy.

SO this is why I've been getting into such a mess! Confusion!! How can one stand up for themselves but not engage??? Easy. You tell the person what you have to say (e.g., "GET OUT!) without defending yourself or giving too many explanations. ("Why should I leave?" "Because I asked you to." "You are rude and cruel." "Yes. Now please leave.")

Finally I want to ask about payoffs, B or Asha maybe you can help since you two seem further on in recovery than me. I have trouble with PAYOFFS, okay I'll explain - I will do xxxx for my sister even if it is inconvenient. WHY? because her husband helps me with the heavy stuff (the things I find hard) so if I say I can't do xxx then they won't help me. Further my sister and her husband are not good with money, they borrow and can't pay back. This is hard since I can't afford to lose money.

So if I borrow money to my sister I know I won't get it back OKAY, though her husband helps me with odd jobs how can I manage if they don't help me, My therapist said I shouldn't do things for pay offs, THOUGH how can I get help if I need it otherwise? 

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Dear Asha, Thanks for reminding me of the 'Right side of the Brain" book.

I do think that if we have a traumatic event we become emotionally stuck at that age. I think that my daughter is stuck like that emotionally as she reacts very like a six year old a lot of the time which is when she was abused.

Sometimes I forget that there were two adults role modeling in my family. I am not the only one to get things wrong with her.

Jake's persistent refusal to face reality and crazy making stuff comes out in my daughter more at present than my emotional overbalance.

It is important to remember they also pick up the good in you. That parents are not the only role models. Friends can do lots of damage too.

What I don't get is how my son is so very different! Guess we made les mistakes with him. He is a genuine sweetie and will make some girl VERY happy someday.

One thing I could say is my daughter was not treated like a shoddy possession. Not by me. However, Jake has been treating me like that..........

And my daughter (I am too tired to tell the story has just had me over a barrel again......I am too mad to tell the story just even madder with myself for being classically codependent. Having been abused accused and lied at (at least she was speaking) I then fall into going out in the night as she is distressed about a drunk driving boyfriend and wants me to drive her round with car and mobile untile that became inconvenient and she found another boy to do that for her. This on a day when the doctor has been out to see me and I am really depressed. ......WHY AM I SUCH AN IDIOT?

Of course the phone was put down this morning. And guess whose son had to tell whose husband I was in hospital last night....He had locked himself away and doesn't answer the phone. Locks himself away to sleep when we are not here!

Ironic. Now they are not keen on having me in hospital......I ended up here again at 4 in the morning depressed and weepy.....

The doctor gave me some homeopathic stuff to try. Ignatia and Sepia.

The Ignatia is supposed to stop the weepiness and the Sepia? I have forgotten.....Just you can't drink Coffee and she didn't want me to use aromatherapy stuff at the same time. Does anyone know about homeopathy? Seems all my G.P' s practice are keener on it than conventional medicine.. You can get it on the National Health. I believe Prince Charles likes s it...

Actually this practice is REALLY unusual. I will let you know if the stuff works. It had better she had given me a prescription I will have to pay £18 for. 1 and a half dollars to the pound.

"Jake" is ignoring me. The hospital wanted to contact him and I am sure they don't believe he really locks himself up at night and can't hear the phone but that is what he does.

My real problem with the therapist is she asked me to think how I could give him more space.........He takes it all and gives me nothing.

Yeah I am pretty mad at him. and my daughter . Mostly angry with myself.

However he did take a booklet on depression to read yesterday. Wow, it has taken me nine months to get him to do this. Only did it because he talked to the doctor. Something in here about even the dogs lock the crumbs,,,,I should be grateful he did it at last as this is a man who is into serious denial about just about everything.

He is ignoring me as he hasn't got a clue what to do. Also it is probably logical to ignore me as I am so angry with him........

Dear Me yes please Dr Irene please pass my email address on. I have longed for someone who could properly identify with how I feel for years.

Dear Lynn. I do still wear my hippy clothes, Just I don't wear EXACTLY the same style of clothing I did when I first met Jake at 18.

Dear Jake.

I guess you are ignoring me as it is probably safer to do so at present.

But I can promise you whatever it is it is not manic depression.

That is you as usual thinking the very worst of me.

Also, when are you going to see a therapist for you. You will say this is abusing you but I think it is time you sought help for you.

Deliberately withholding information about our daughter???????I think that is abusive to me and at least I acknowledge my anger and say sorry.

Of course you won't post here. It would mean you have to look at yourself. It is the only thing i find helpful so I am sure you will say no on principle.

All I want is for you to say sorry to me..........

I looked at my rings today. All of them memories of lovely times with you.

If you do happen to look in, please try to read some of my previous posts......You have made assumptions......

Give me a loan of your claws Trubble. What I need is a scratching post. Dr Irene is going to say I am outside myself again but actually what is inside is still an enormous desire to hurt like I have been hurt. What I need is to sharpen my claws and find a non-human non-animal tree to vent all I feel on.  Better make sure it's a non-plant tree too...

Jake I use humor to cover the anger. If you had a sense of humor it would help.

Yes I do want to change them and I know I can only change me........

I wish the healthy human cat son was home to play with. He is the one person in the family I don't feel angry with. (Yes I know wrong motivation..........) Got to get rid of the anger for his sake and the depression.

And for my own. But in that order.

A.J. I think I am going to ask if there is a different family therapist. I think it is me but I don't trust the one we have. 

Dear jay

I think I am in danger from you.

I love you

I will not discuss anything with you except with someone else there

I don't want a divorce. I am not having anything to do with it.

You are controlling me.......

Do you want me to make dinner?

I am not interested in what you do.

I will not get involved in helping you learn to write computer programs not even a small helping hand although I am a programmer and taught myself. Not even to get you started.

I don't think you have the aptitude.

Even if there are instructions for kids. You wont be able to do it.

love Jake.

Dear jake

You are controlling me.

(Round and round we go. Dr Irene I am his victim because he will never ever break the cycle. You are his victim because you won't break the cycle.  Is he enjoying it or just a lost soul? He is lost, yet there is some satisfaction in "winning." Remember clawing the tree?

Sorry everyone this is yet another boring vent.



B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Dan. I just realized. In her original post Lynn calls you smooth, subtle and condescending. If you were maybe you could explain what goes on in Jake's mind.

Lynn I mean he still wears the same clothes. I mean I can't wear quite such wild stuff as I once did. (I liked very wild stuff). I've never worn a short skirt in all my adult life. Hated having to dress up in jackets etc. for work...Wish I had a figure for shorts but I really do look odd in them. (I have looked pregnant whether or not I am and no matter what I weigh since about 14.) Sort of nice face but pity about the figure and I get sick of being asked when the baby is due! Sometimes I am tempted to give a date. Pregnant and the size of me looked like twins for definite. Even had the midwife concerned. Exercise doesn't help. My mother is just the same. Only worse. At least she doesn't get asked when the baby is due any more.

love Jay.

I will get used to calling people Honey in time. Honeys all.


B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Dear Dr. Irene, Catbox and everybody Honey,

Lynn here, that's LW, Laura. We seemed to have lost some of our aka's. We need Jay to give you the synopsis. I'd make it sound like Erma Bombeck in the Cat Box and we do take it more serious than I can make it sound. Jay is our Cat Box writer.

I wasn't going to rehash my disengage because it was all so silly, but Theresa, I find it really hard to disengage with Dan. But the words and everything were worthy of a 1 credit extension class.

Dan started a sarcastic comment to me. He stopped, but I said what? (If we were healthy he could have just said "sorry" and that would have been the end. Instead he crossed is arms turned around and said to me, "well when we've done this before 'you ALWAYS.'" Then I said lets go home and he said see now you are mad. (I have to bag he quotes). We get home and he says, Just answer me this. I want to clear it in my own head. Why did you get mad this time and not before? I reply that maybe I was angry before. (Meanwhile I turn on the TV to work on the web. He then tries It's always been funny to you before. I said OK. It wasn't this time. He is leaving the room between every exchange. He comes in and tries another one. Well I'm sorry if you feel that way. Don't feel sorry for how I feel. then I get Fine, I apologized and FINE, It'll never happen again. I said OK.

Enough, all kitty litter (used). I just agreed with his comments and got super wrapped up in family trees. After my first few I answered in one word or less. This went on for over an hour. He would go gather new ammunition and come back and try again. He finally said he was going to bed. I said ok. He came back and said he wasn't walking out on the conversation, he really had to go to bed. OK. In case the third was the charm he came out again and said goodnight. OK again.

The next night he apologized. We talked and he agreed he was acting like a twit. "I" was the factor in this one. I truly didn't care. This isn't/hasn't been easy for me to learn or to do. If he asks I tell him how I feel and why. This doesn't work.

So Theressa and Jay and AJ, We have to learn it's ok to have a messy house, pg shape and learn to like ourselves and then when the con is on we can agree. Theressa, when he says the house is messy, can you just look around and agree? Shrug your shoulders. Really what's it to him? This all sounds rude to me, but that has to be my childhood. BTW I love it about the age levels. And learning to grow up. That's why my preference is John Bradshaw. He just tells it like it is. He's very understandable to me.

Is it Jay who asked about Holistic medicine? It would be my choice. One example. An older friend had emphysema and she started and I think she got about 10 extra years of life. She was even off of oxygen for a number of years (during the day). I myself would love a lifetime supply of valium. Then I'd have no problems (even if I did I wouldn't notice). But that's not living. It's just being alive with a crutch. Don't get me wrong. Wouldn't it be silly not to take antibiotics when we need them or some such. I mean we can either get actively in our own life (just us) or be drug induced forever. But as for the holistic well being and eating healthier, etc. I don't think it hurts. PS Jay, I'm glad you found someone to talk to.

Dear B, you sounded down. AJ, you sound resigned. Asha and Steve, howdy and Becky and Astrid, long time no hear. I hope you are well.

Dr. Irene, Somewhere way back when and I can tell you the day and event that our lives changed. I'm not blameless, but some of the events since then weren't productive to a relationship continuing. Can we flunk Cat Box 101? I hope not. I'd hate to have to go through this all again. I want to move on to Real Life 101. And as Dan says to me, "May God grant me patience, and please hurry!" Somewhere way back when I drifted out of romantic when his mom called me some names. I asked Dan what he felt and he didn't reply. Just shrugged it of. Even a, "Honey, I never felt that way about you," would have helped. Nothing. I guess I figured he felt that way, too. This has to do with "romance". Dan is much more romantic in that sense than I am. I was trying not to be so crude and say, "Honey, lets go to bed and ........." Tonight, not a week from Tuesday. This is my baggage methinks. Yes LynnHoney. Because you carry around the loss of romance with you every day. So his mom succeeded after all. You gave her what she wants. When are you going to take it back?

Let's take a closer look: 

Your take: Mom calls you yukky names. You ask Dan for support of sorts. He remains quiet. You assume he agrees with mom or something yukky like that.

My take: Mom calls you yukky names. You ask Dan for support of sorts. He remains quiet. Having a sense of Dan I think two things are probably going on for him: 

1. He is stuck between a rock and a hard place, and you put him there by asking him for support. Either he "sides" with you or with mom. Either way, he's stuck with the guilties. Yet mom induces more guilt than you could dish out in a lifetime - plus he lives with you. More "good" reasons to be mad with you.. 

2. For whatever reason, Dan probably did something to please you that he didn't really want to do, and,  it never occurred to him to say, "No" since he wasn't even aware he did something he didn't want to do. Or maybe you recently told him how he messed something else up again, and he knows you're right.. Or something like that. Anyway, unbeknownst to Dan, Dan is mad with you. 

So,  you ask for support, and Dan says nothing: thus effectively expressing his momentary anger passive-aggressively (a sin of omission).

Therefore, assuming he agrees with his mom's name-calling is incorrect. All these years you've given her your romance -  for nothing!

Assuming Dan's negative emotions typically operate beneath his awareness, assuming guilt keeps him from not doing things he doesn't want to do, etc. is characteristic of Dan's style and is likely a much more correct assumption. Knowing this, you know not to take his silence personally because it's about him and not you. So you disengage and not let his silence bother you, keeping your romance on ice for later.

I rest my case.

Love to you all and great posts. I'll get back to you later.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Dear Jay,

who cares if you look pregnant in shorts? If they are comfortable, wear them. I really hate this being done to us women, we always heave to look our best and somehow it does not seem to apply to men. They can have bellies big enough for twins and no one seems to care. But oh my, if we have them, without a baby inside!!!! And the stupid shaving your legs and pulling the hairs away from your upper lip and painting the rest of your hair.... Where C. comes from, most women even take away their pubic hair. We have to look sexy and beautiful all the time, no matter what the cost and how painful it is sometimes. It can really really get me up the wall that this does not seem to go for men. No wonder woman tend to be so much more insecure then men and so much more into people pleasing. I really feel ugly when I have too much hair on my legs. But hey, it's still Me. But it's hard to not go for the continuous pressure of advertising and husbands :-). Sorry Jay, I wanted to write something uplifting and went straight into venting..... Making a bunch of inaccurate assumptions too. This is not about men and women. This is not about being done to. It is about what you allow to be done to yourself.

One more try......

Dear Jay, I am sorry about your H. locking himself in. Talking about emotional age....I used to hide when I was angry at my mother as a child. Could not think of any other way. Guess I wanted her to worry and show she cared. What'd you think, could that be what Jake is doing? Just tell him to come out of the closet and have a meal. I am sorry to hear you had to go to the hospital once more. I was wondering, if you feel like that, would it be at all possible to stay a little while with you church friends who helped you pray for the house? Just to get a bit of good vibes to wallow in.... I hope you will be able to find another therapists that can help you more. I understand it is hard to work with one that is so biased.

As for the homeopathic medicine, I know a lot of people who use it for various ailments, including depression, and I think it is overall beneficial. I also heard really good result from all kinds of herbal tea's like St John's wort (often mentioned here) and Lemon Balm.

A question, is there any possibility your depression is related to the time of the year and the shortage of sunlight? For me even going to a solarium helps, but I hear really great things about light therapy. If you are more prone to depression in winter then summer, maybe you can give it a try?

Theressa: <<My therapist said I shouldn't do things for pay offs, THOUGH how can I get help if I need it otherwise? >>

You'll get help, just because you are a nice person and people like you and love you. You can do things for other people too, things you want to do, not things you do just because you need something back. It does not work that way and will easily leave you filled with resentment if the people you ‘do things for' don't help you back the way you expected. I think either you make a clear bargain like: I'll help you paint the living room this weekend, if you will help me do the garden next week'. Or you do things for people just because you like doing them and don't expect anything back. I think both ways are ok.

Hope it helps.

Take care all of you sweeties, honeys and kitties. I love you all.


B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Honey-Steve! Lurking Lawyer here. My words were strong, because I'm used to dealing with fellow cut-throat, vicious animals we call divorce attorneys. Nice folks, all, We get along swimmingly. (No shark analogies, please!) My sharp comments could have been, and were, misunderstood. In the particular interaction that was described (and not by you, but someone very angry with you, it seems, I take that into consideration) regarding the boys and who should carry the dog's leash on your walk-well, in that particular situation, your conduct was similar to one making decisions at a kid's gut level, described neatly by Dr. I-honey. Just that one interaction! Your beautifully worded posts tell me, no, let me conclude, that you express yourself in a mature manner rarely achieved by many adults. I did not intend to simply say "He's all immature, neener, neener." No one is always anything. At times, everybody is less than fully mature and Buddha-like. 

I laughed at myself, wrapping my brother's Christmas present last night. (Closest in age, we always vied for Mom's attention, and he ALWAYS won, as it seemed to me at age six). In a fit of frustration over the ribbon, I tore the entire wrapping paper to bits. And we haven't lived under the same roof in thirty-five years! I NOTICED what I was doing and feeling, felt silly and remembered how much I really like my brother (well, now) and wrapped again, less elaborately. Oh well! Forgive and forget. I had to forgive myself for returning to age six and harming his present. So I acted really immature at that one time last night. I was pretty mature in many other interactions that day, too. That is what makes up all human, imperfect, and normal. We ALL screw up. Forgive yourself for not being perfect all the time. Forgive your partner for not being perfect. Make a list in your mind of the things you like about her, energy or quick wit or commitment (caveat- do not include "The way she MAKES me feel...". that is a "You" thing, not a "her" thing, you chose your own feelings :) ), then go over the list when you feel like pushing buttons and doing the old dance. 

I must say that you, Steve, and Dan give the most invaluable input here. And, indeed, I am sure there is more to the dog-leash interaction that Asha conveyed, and I'm pretty sure you remember it a bit differently that she. It seemed that the boys just squabble all the time in "family" situations, because they always have, and that is what mom and dad model as normal behavior. I'll bet they can cooperate just fine at school and other venues, because cooperation is modeled and rewarded there. The trick is to manipulate them both into cooperating in the presence of mom and/or dad. And there's a loaded word - manipulate. But we all try to manipulate and persuade others, consciously or otherwise. It's a lawyer's job to persuade. That is manipulation. A preacher also persuades, a teacher, and even- possibly- Dr. I- honey! Who me? Must be the cat.

I'm glad to read your input here, I enjoy reading your posts. I benefit by relating Asha's stories with yours, and try to conclude the "truth" that goes like a thread between the two. Truth, like justice, is subjective, and what is true, or just, for one person may not be at all true or just to another. And, what does it matter if I am just a jerk and think your are simply all immature, all the time? I'd be flat wrong, and stupid, and why should you care about what a flat wrong, stupid person thinks? He was mad with me since I said he was "immature" rather than practicing what I preach and talking about about a display of immature behaviorWhat may happen is that people jump to the wrong conclusions with partial information, without the whole story. People can be wrong in their conclusions. Don't get mad about what other people are believing. Even me! You can't control other's thoughts, anyway. You can only control your own thoughts. You make your reality, so make it a nice one where people are normal and make mistakes. Don't live in a world where people have power over you with their emotions, and you believe that are motivated solely by "what will this do to Steve?". As Dad always said, "Consider the source". Can you forgive my thoughtless words? And mine.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Hi Cat Box, B. here,

Lynn, I was not down, quite the contrary, I was feeling humorous. Jay, you are not an "idiot", you are just human, so you are not perfect. I like reading the "Jake" lines you write for him, because it helps you see him in a less demonic way. Yes. However, the problem with that is too much focus on him Yes! : you want his validation, you want him to do this and that, to behave in a way you want, etc. Dr. I and others already told you that. Why not try focusing instead on questions such as: What do I, Jay, want? How do I envision my life? What would make me happy, that I can do for myself? Or, when someone does something you don't like, sit and think: what did I not like about it? Why? What are my feelings? Where do they come from? Can I change my feelings about that something? Etc. Theressa, I agree with what AJ said, concerning payoffs. You already sound angry about the fact that they don't pay back what you loan them. So I guess you pay for their services! I also hear what you say about them: that if you will refuse to do something you do not want to do (set a boundary), that is, if you will refuse to sacrifice again for her - they will "get back at you" or "punish you" for that, by refusing to do what you request - since they, too, so you hint, sacrifice for YOU (do things they don't want to do, just because they want to keep on using you). That is totally unhealthy, especially for you. Yep. 

You need to learn right now to set boundaries, instead of sacrificing yourself, fearing others' disapproval etc. When you let yourself be USED, you feel bad. You feel violated. Your Self loses, your integrity suffers. You have to listen carefully to your body whenever someone asks you to do anything for them. Your sister wants money from you and you don't want to give her because she does not return it? Say sorry, I can't loan any money right now. Don't explain at all. If they say "but we need it", you say, sorry, I have no money to lend right now. Don't tell them it's because they never give it back and you're not rich. Just say, sorry, I can't. They'll either figure it out or not. You do not owe them any explanations. Yeah. Be confident in your decision. Agree only to those things that are really OK with you, otherwise you'll just be angry with her. When you need something from her, ask her. She has the right to say NO too. You have nothing to lose, they might say yes. If they say "no, because you didn't do xxxx for us when we asked you to", you will say, "each person has a right to say yes or no to a request. I asked for your help, but I don't want you to sacrifice for me". And leave it. I am sure you have many talents. Why not put an ad up at the neighborhood or at a local newspaper: "Need help with heavy and handyman jobs, can do yyyyy in return"? Maybe others will give you more ideas. But stop selling yourself out. You suffer from it. Love, B. P.S. lots of Salmon and caresses for Trubble!  Hello RealMommyBHoney. I love you. You are the bestest! You are so smart and you take good care of *Me* Your RealSonCanTrubbleHoney

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Hi guys,

Lynn back. One of those lazy days and I can't seem to get motivated, so I'm going to quit trying. I just talked to my very fat heavy PG daughter and this is for you Jay. Simply tell everyone you just had your baby and aren't back to your pre-weight. Then when they ask how old your baby is, tell them 17. hehehe heheheh

The leg shaving is a biggie for me. If I don't I look like I have furry knee socks on. Hey, wait a minute there FakeMommyHoney! What's wrong with furry knee socks anyway? I think they're the best. Just more proof that you're a FakeMommy.  Maybe that's why I can wear shorts when it's 8 below. And as for overweight, I'm not over weight, I'm just too short for my weight. Dan is too tall for his as he always looks hungry.

I loved your letter LL. I grew up with glamour girls for mothers, aunts and friends of. My aunt is 92 and I haven't seen her in years, but I'll bet she still puts a "little blond rinse" in her hair.

Just a little story of beauty and glamour. I was painting one day and had to run to town for a quick something. I had my hair in curlers, spotted holey jeans and no makeup. I stopped at a bar for a quick snort and honestly, I got so much attention that it didn't make sense. If I got all gussied up, nobody would buy me a drink. Looking like something the cat dragged in I had guys all over me. Go figure. Hey FakeMommy, it wasn't you they were interested in. It was the cat. So there.

My daughter had a good one for me, too. If I wanted a little romance from Dan I should have just sat on his lap and stuck my tongue in his mouth. What she was saying is that subtle and finesse aren't in my vocabulary and when I try it it doesn't come off. Truthfully, if I wanted to boff, I should have just said so and not expected Dan to translate. Aren't we funnyurry creatures? HumansCats I mean. Hahahahah! 

I've given the story of my dad. Well today we got a prepared ham from him. Sheesh!

Now Jay, hear me loud and clear. You are beautiful. Count your good points. I loved your post AJ. I never wore shorts in public until the first time I went to the Pacific ocean. At the beach there were women so comfortable with their bodies that they wore bikinis and on some of them you couldn't see the bikinis for the excess. After that I wear shorts when I want and when I feel like it. If anyone doesn't like my legs, it's their problem and they don't have to look at them.

As for dyed hair, I can't get that pretty gray fast enough and I deserve a few gray hairs. I frost mine because I like the aging mature look. You just want furry stripes, like me. Heheheh.

Now at least I'd better go wash a dish or two. Send your H here Theressa. I'll educate him fast.

Hi B. I thought you sounded a bit down.... Glad you aren't. I think of you as the boards alternate shrink and I don't want you to lose it. Yeah. She's a RealMommy.

Love, Lynn

Dr. I, I've been debating and I think I'd better get this out before it grows. Dan framed in the 4th corner of my tub yesterday so I could put the marlite on. The corner 2 X 4 is so far crooked that it is about an inch out further at the bottom than the top. Biggie here as this happens ALL the time. Same scenario. He spends hours doing something (that he knows how to do right). Then I come home and he asks how I like it? It's not that I don't, but this is so far out of whack that I can't even cover it with trim. I truly think he does this on purpose. More likely unconsciously on purpose. Ask him to try and figure out what he's mad at. Or, if he even wanted to do the job... No fight this time, but here we go again. Can you move the 2X4 back? Like no appreciation, but not so. I appreciate it greatly, but why not do it right the first time.

This is hugely noticeable. It's "supposed" to be. Usually it goes into, "see, I can't do anything right" or "I can never please you." Not true. Correct. Strange something going on when he does this. Like he goes out of his way to do it wrong on purpose. (If that makes sense?) Purrrfect sense. He knows I'll ask him to do it over. He knows the right way to do this.

Passive-aggressive????? I'd bet Trubble on it. This really confuses me. I don't want to get back on this Merry Go Round. SOS big time. I realize this is his thing, but how do I respond. I can't cover this one, it has to be redone. I'm not asking about him. I want to know what I'm suppose to do. I'm not a perfectionist (well, most of the times), but to me it's like hanging a cupboard door upside down or backwards and saying, "there, how do you like it?" I can't say it's fine. Say nothing. Then, when he asks you what you think, ask him what he thinks. Don't argue or disagree with whatever he says. Do ask him if he wanted to do the job or if there's anything else he's angry with. Then quickly tell him not to answer - yet. Ask him to think about it and tell you later, if he wants.

Enough of this. And thanks for all the input. Santa's going to be extra good to you and Trubble this year. And Trubble, the mouse is back and well. He walked over the paw of one of the cats and the cat didn't even notice. What a crazy house.

Steve, this is your fault. Ever since the dog in bed postings the floor dog has been sleeping on the bed. Between us with her head on a pillow. Dogs can't be this smart. 

Love, Lynn again

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000


Hmmm... I wonder if my husband and I have a good relationship with the Healthy Human Cat (Kid is going to be a psychologist at this rate) as he is into the same kind of music. He has spent the evening loudly playing Peter Tosh....loves Bob Marley and the Grateful dead. Is a Jimi Hendrix fan. Definitely not a spice Girls or whatever the lates is fan. Just as long as he stops winding me up by shouting Free the Weed in Public........! No it's o.k we are not drug takers: just born in a particular musical era.

They don't want me in hospital.. have offered some support. Apparently although I hadn't thought of this, it is precisely as Jake would start being caring if I was in hospital...... 

Weirdly I feel loads better after knowing there is somewhere to go as most friends work in the daytime. Or maybe the Sepia worked! I still don't know what it is for!

Probably the regular reggae beat has a therapeutic effect. I haven't listened to it for years.

Also really weird but evidence of a God. A friend gave me a tape of prayers and music. This is normally one of my pet Christian hates - sugary stuff. But this one I put in the car and keep getting in and hearing just the 'right' words. Just where the tape stopped when I did but so appropriate!

dear AJ I have just worked out IMO! yes actually, why did he by the baubles - just right for a little optical fiber tree I found for £2.50 looked like it cost what it did until the baubles were on now really looks special.....

He does have a case for feeling I am ungrateful. If only I could take his actions as the words he can't hear. Trouble is I get to thinking like this and then he hurts again. Because you hang too much on what he says or does. Stop!

Talking to the Psych (I think!) today she managed to press a few buttons as the more I told her the family therapy wouldn't work and how upsetting I found it, she kept saying the next appointment the nurse......I kept saying I am NOT going. Then she hit the nail on the head... the whole thing recreates what goes on for me and then although I didn't tell her this, I thought it is a bit like I am a wounded animal and scratch out in defense. 

I am a bit unclear who you are Laura. But funnily enough, I do think that our posts are a bit book like and possibly we need a cat box family tree. It is a bit confusing if you come here new as so many things have long threads!

Lynn. LOL. "Jake' is a software engineer and designs a program for writing web pages. I have just discovered that actually I could write the whole thing in Appleworks and it will translate it into HTML. His program is better but I could have done the whole thing alone....

Still haven't worked out how to write a programme but I understand more each day! Lynn my parents and sister did out our family tree and traced us back to King Arthur.. also discovered she and her husband's family got inter married once before way back. I haven't the heart to tell her just about everyone is probably related to King Arthur. (The one who burnt the cakes).

Dan are my hero for agreeing you acted like a twit...Jake would NEVER admit to that.

Lynn I agree about the looking good bit....I think though it is a long time since I tried to look good for anyone but me......Another thing about Jake I assume he doesn't care what I look like....but he does....Too much. What all the computer stuff is really about is I have this feeling he would respect me more if he knew I could do something he does....(Oh dear I can see the blue pencil here! Heheheh! Quiz: What does the blue pencil have to say? But I always have felt inferior despite degrees and a really good career track record.

Probably it is because I feel I will never work again which is actually stupid as I can write my own courses. (I have done). Actually I wondered about talking to the hospital art therapist about whether I could maybe do a play for adults course I wrote (involves play dough and a lot of other touchy feely stuff) for free to get my confidence back at some point and give a bit back. I did a version of the course a while back with some travelers.

Get me back.......

I don't know why I assume people who liked what I did before think I wouldn't be capable of doing it again. It is mostly me feeling about myself...Meanwhile I am writing loads...

Honey Doc I just read about not empowering peoples insults to us - at least that is how I think it is...about being immature...B I loved your post. I think I am permanently 2!!!! just now. 

Lynn it tied in I had never thought "Jake" shut himself away because he was emotionally immature. Poor guy. So he isn't doing it because of me but because of him. !!! It is his stuff and not mine unless I make it so. I think she's got it! He has said in the past he doesn't want to act old. hates any mention of middle age.....

The thing is I liked a this when his best friend was alive and they looked so daft together. Found it endearing then (not the locking away bit.) Where and when did it all start to irritate me?

I think about the time J died. Also his attitude with my daughter. He still can't see he needs to have a bit of parental authority at times and that led to him condoning violence... At least he thought he wasn't but he does. Like the other day my son threw a comb at me...not in anger just for some reason he chucked the comb across and it hurt. Jake said it wasn't a heavy comb...NOT aware that the point is don't throw this at me. Can't "hurt" the kids' feelings... His reasoning although actually it did hurt was it can't have hurt as it wasn't a heavy object....Not that the action itself was inappropriate.

All I wanted was for him to back me up and he still can't see how he didn't. (This was not a malicious thing on my son's behalf more he was in thoughtless mode).

There is something of ages and stages in here,. Children don't think like adults and I do remember a conversation with someone about how some adults do get stuck. Saw it a lot when I was training childcare students that intellectually some had got stuck at a child's level and were hard to teach as they couldn't handle the concepts I was trying to teach.

I suppose we should all read or re read Daniel Goleman's 'Emotional Intelligence." I wonder what the average emotional IQ of the CatBox inhabitants is! Trubble you would score high. I know.

I think though there is a difference between the intelligence and the ability to act. I do very well on those test your emotional IQ tests and then mess up my own emotional well being. They should measure what you do in reality and not what you think. Quite sure Jake would probably score 100%!

Good grief B .. I portray he guy as demonic! I suppose in some ways some days I am so mad at him I do and I am not going to excuse the hurts. I will manage to forgive them eventually. He does act badly. 

o.k so do I. Good! But what I really want IS Jake to be nice to me and care again. I really do want him to see how hurtful he has been as then I think I could feel safe again which is also what I want..  No Can Do. Out Side The Self...

At the risk of sounding nuts when Jay got depressed the real Jay disappeared. It got worse in all the troubles with my daughter and I think for Jay to know what she is and what she really thinks and wants is taking longer than Jay would like. The only positive emotion I would want to keep from this whole year is that I don't think that now I could be judgmental of any other person on planet earth....

Which makes me I am judging Jake continually. But if I let go will I keep on being abused? I feel it is catch 22. At the root of it an immense fear of the control tactics. What is inside Jay is just plain fear. Yes. Jake too. You will begin to take care of yourself when you stop this focus around Jake. 

Have to end and post the rest tomorrow as er well....we have a creepy crawly in the hair scare or does the healthy human cat just want stroking!??? (I swear this is the real reason sometimes!) love Jay  Meow!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2000



Thanks Dr Irene for clarifying this for me. BOUNDARIES are an area my therapist says I need to work on. I need to say No, No and No at stages so that it never needs to get to ANGRY displays. Tall order, but you clarified it for me. I also have to monitor my anger. IT gets way out of control far too easily. I need to fix me before I can role model for MISSY. Yes.

So my task for the Christmas breaks from RON is: I must not do any task for a pay off. I must only do the task if it doesn't go over my boundaries, (My time allocated for necessary things that need doing, my energy.) I can only share what is left over to do tasks for others, and I can trade also with others.

My second task is to DEFEND myself. Always.

AJ thanks you really clarified the payoff thing for me.

AJ I would like to ask you a question: At one point I was told by my X and others that I need to choose what I defend. My X said I seem to defend everything like I am on alert defensive if he comments about anything. SO WHERE AM I GOING WRONG? When I am told I am too nice though when I do defend I am told I am being defensive, Can you clarify what I should aim for?

I asked sometime ago about this, how do I defend myself and yet not alienate everyone like not be disrespectful. LIKE when used the example of helping work colleagues. ONE of my other colleagues said "Theressa your problem is your too nice, your one of LIFE's VICTIMS. There is just no telling you." I said "Yeah but if I never help I'll lose my job." He Said "whatever, you are just too nice."

This made me feel very low, what can I do, Am I suppose to work as a team and help others or NOT? Don't mix apples and oranges. Be a team player, be nice. But any time anybody is disrespectful to you, ask them to rephrase their sentence, tell them you can't hear them when they speak so LOUD, etc. Just don't let anyone treat you rudely.

Thanks AJ I hope you reply Theressa


B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2000


Dear All,

I also realise I am angry a lot because of things I do that I could easily sort out, if I knew how? Yesterday my car went dead, so I got all angry. Missy (my daughter) started saying Mommy maybe you didn't put petrol in. (Of course I had petrol in) though the child was only trying to be helpful. I said "RIGHT OKAY leave me alone now cuz I am feeling angry at the car so please leave me I don't want to snap at you." She didn't leave me, she went on are you sure you didn't leave the petrol empty. I said "SHUT UP, just leave me alone." BUT mommy aren't you sure. I could feel by body boiling up. I said "I asked you leave me alone, so do it."

Then I rang my mom, I said "Mommy I can't get the car started. I need you to come and get MISSY." My mom said "How do you expect me to get there you bring her." I said "NO, I can't or for goodness sake I am gonna be late again." My mom said "That isn't my fault". I said "I never said it was, look I've had a F**king nuff" She said "Don't swear at me." (I wasn't swearing at her, I was just angry) I felt so annoyed and frustrated.

I decided to take Missy straight to school and see if the teacher would watch her until school started. Just then my mom rang me on my cell phone. "What are you doing, will you tell work your car is broken." I was feeling angry and tense. She was firing all these questions, the truth was I didn't know what I wasn't gonna do. Then she went on "Will you be getting a bus? which one? will I be picking Missy up?" I said "Mom I have to go." (I felt so angry inside, I couldn't speak to her, I felt so frustrated). I said "I have to go bye".

Missy said "Is it my fault" I said "No but you could of got ready quicker and then we'd have had more time." (THIS WAS VERY BAD ME BLAMING A SIX YEAR OLD, AFTER ALL HOW IS SHE TO BLAME FOR THE CAR GOING DEAD!!)  

Dr Irene or anyone else, AJ perhaps or B or Lynn.

Thanks Theressa

(It is hard being honest but I guess its the only way I can recover)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2000


Hi All,

My X said I am very ANGRY towards him. He is always commenting on different things. The other night he said "THAT FOOD STINKS". I reacted and said "Well no one is forcing you to sit there" He said "I hope your not serious cuz if you are. I've had it with your anger, you seem to always angry at me. I don't know why?"

What I need to ask maybe Dr Irene is I have lots of anger and if my X comments on anything I am highly sensitive. How can I handle my anger appropriately? Without displacing it on him in this way?

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2000


Dear Theressa,

<<AJ I would like to ask you a question: At one point I was told by my X and others that I need to choose what I defend. My X said I seem to defend everything like I am on alert defensive if he comments about anything. SO WHERE AM I GOING WRONG? When I am told I am too nice though when I do defend I am told I am being defensive, Can you clarify what I should aim for?>>

Wow, I am flattered! I am not sure I am the one to clarify, but I'll give it a try anyway. IMO you need to stand up only for things that really mean something to you. For instance, if someone does not like the colour of your new sweater, so what, no need to defend,. You like it, or maybe just bought it because it was cheap, your choice. Who cares. Not everyone has to like it. But, if someone says Missy is just a stupid little girl who hits other children and never will be any good, you take a stand and defend her. Not engaging, not picking a fight. You just say, that may be your opinion, but I know she is a sweet little girl, even if she behaves in a bad manner sometimes. Don't engage, just state clearly that you don't agree and then leave it. If you tend to be defensive all the time it might easily be interpreted as aggressive (and it is very tiring for yourself also :-)).

I think you will have to try to learn that it is not necessary that other people agree with you on everything (like the colour of your sweater). Their opinion is theirs and you give it way too much power if you are defensive over something like that.

As for the being nice, now that's something we could all talk about for ages I think. It is hard to know when to ‘be nice' and when not to. I think ‘being nice' is not what you should aim for, being civil, respectful, is. If you are nice, just to be nice, you will find yourself wondering what you have to do to be nice all the time. Cause nice means a lot of different things at different times to different people. You will never be able to ‘be nice' to everyone. So you better start being nice to yourSelf. At least you know what ‘nice' means for you...... One more thing, helping and ‘being nice' might be perceived as controlling very easily. You ‘know' what other people want, and you are ‘nice' and do it for them. But, maybe they do not want it.....

Hope this makes sense. About your X saying this food stinks. I think you are totally right in answering him as you did. The statement itself is NOT angry, it is setting a boundary. Who needs visitors to make comments like that. He is the one that is angry. Maybe you were too, I don't know, it depends on the manner in which you spoke, but certainly the words sound oke to me. Me too.

Theressa, take care, and I wish you all the strength with your homework for the Christmas holidays :-). You'll get there, be sure of that!!! You're ok, even if you get angry and yell. You are honest in seeing it, and you will learn to cope with the anger. And don't get awed by your X!! Love

AJ B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2000


Becky, here:

Not much to say; just want to pop in and let you know that I am getting through the days. The snow and cold really get to me, though; endlessly gray days and bitter cold depress me a bit.

After being really nasty, my husband is "good" again. I don't think he is doing anything to ensure that he stays that way, however.

I have noticed that since I stopped giving him books and stuff off the internet to read, that I feel much less pressured. I guess I don't feel so responsible for him anymore. it's still hard: every time I find a good article on abuse, I want to print it and give it to him, but I don't give in to the temptation. If he wants to see these things he will ask, or better yet find them himself.

I think the last straw was a month or so ago. I read him a letter written by a woman married to an abuser. It was very eloquent and touching, and described my feelings exactly. He responded by saying that the woman seemed to be making fun of her husband (not at all--I don't know how he could say that!). He expressed no sympathy at all; he wasn't touched. He became defensive...

I don't know what I was hoping for. perhaps I thought that hearing someone else describe her experiences would bring some sort of insight, as well as show him that this whole thing is not all in my head--it's real. He does not need to validate your experience. Focus instead on calmly asking him to knock it off if he's acting un-OK towards you.

Anyway, bit by bit, day by day, I learn to let go. I have my hands full handling my own issues.

I suppose it will take awhile for the Celexa to work. I'm on a low dose for now. I have good and bad moments. I was reluctant to go on meds, in part, because I was afraid he'd use it against me, like he's used the depression and anxiety I've had as "proof" of how messed up I am. He can't use anything against you that you don't buy into. You need to get more OK with being human and having human problems. But I decided that I had to take care of myself, do what's best for myself.

Stay warm, everyone.......


B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2000


Happy Holidays all! (Whichever you celebrate)

Sorry I've been scarce of late. Mandatory overtime at work and a nasty problem on an e-mail list I moderate, that seems to have finally straightened itself out (for now). Welcome back Astrid.

Jay, I hear you on "the part of him that used to be." Over the past few weeks or so, I was able to realize something -- I don't miss L as he is now at all. On occasion, I miss two things: one is the person I fell in love with (which may or may not be the person he "was"; aspects may have been illusion all along, but in either case it is definitely not the person he's being right now). The other was The Dream. L was the first person I started to plan a future with beyond either extreme hypotheticals or very short-term plans.

I am so glad it's over now, though. If I did get to finish my degree, I'm sure that dealing with the melodrama that our relationship became would force me to do it much more slowly than otherwise. And now that school is priority one, and it's obvious to the people in my life, anyone who wants to get involved with me will understand that I don't have time or patience to do the melodrama junk again. :P

Which brings me to...after a stretch of time apart (partially from circumstance and having stuff to do, partially from needing space to think things out), C and I have reconnected over the past week. All along, C's flower has been on my nightstand next to my alarm clock and always makes me smile. I get sentimental over the strangest things...:) But anyway...we started talking again, and he said something about thinking he might want to start dating again (C also had a very nasty breakup not too long ago; I never liked C's ex but tried to talk myself out of that as jealousy on my part, but after what happened, I think my instincts were right). He gave some particulars about what he thought he could and couldn't deal with, and I wasn't sure if he was hinting or I just asked, "Well, would you consider me?" and he said he liked that idea. :) So we went to dinner tonight, same restaurant as usual, and talked a lot, and he came with me when I ran a few holiday errands, and we came back here for a bit. The cats were very happy to see him (little-sister cat in particular has always loved C), and we sat together on the couch playing with the cats and continued to sit there curled up together after the cats decided they'd had enough of people. I've missed that. I'm not sure where this is going, and making sure it goes slowly, and I'm really not worried. :) I am happy.  :)


B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000


Hi all. Asha here.


I understand your question about payoffs and I think the ego does a great job of justifying them even though they are clearly bad for the Self.

I like what B suggested – you could offer to pay your sister and her husband for the actual work that they do for you, and AJ’s suggestion of making clear, bargains that are agreed upon.

<<Am I suppose to work as a team and help others or NOT?>> I think the problem with this question is the “suppose to”. It’s not an external “rule”, it’s an internal guideline – at least that’s how I see it.

I think a lot of it has to do with distinguishing the Self from the ego. If you “work as a team” and get mad if you don’t get a certain payoff, then you aren’t giving from the Self. Ask yourself how it feels inside for you to offer this “help” – check in with yourself and ask if you are doing it with a “payoff” in mind. If you are, then it’s not giving of the Self.

Be sensitive about whether others want the help, as in “may I offer you a suggestion?” and be prepared to accept “no” gracefully, if that’s given.

Also if you want something, rather than work something out as a Payoff, why not be clear with yourself about what it is you want, and work out ways you can get those things, without manipulating others. If I am clear with myself about what I want, I find I am much clearer to others about what I want. (no whining, guilting etc.)

As for the car thing and Missy – so you made some mistakes. You can’t replay those moments, so instead why not review them and think what you could do differently next time. What you could do for now is tell Missy you are sorry, and tell her specifically what you said that wasn’t right. Same to your mom. When you apologize, the worst case scenario is that the person you apologize to may not accept the apology (this sometimes happens when the same mistake gets repeated a lot). If you really are sorry though, and are working (as you are) on changing these mistakes, you will at least know for yourself that you did the highest thing.

Responding finally to your last post, you probably are angry at your X, sounds like he’s also very angry, but I think your response about the food was mature, if it was delivered in a non-confrontational tone. Your X will mostly likely get angrier and try to provoke you more as you learn *not* to be provoked. Let him think whatever he thinks. Just work on your own reactions to him. He’ll probably test you lots. It’s okay to feel angry, but you don’t need to act on it, nor do you need to explain it to him.


AJ & Lynn

Speaking of shaving legs etc - did you know that shaving for women only got popular in the 20’s, as a result of ad campaigns by the razor companies who promoted it as more “hygienic”? Personally, I don’t do it. I admit that if I’m somewhere where that’s going to be a problem, I’ll wear pants or a long skirt, but I think I’m okay the way I am, body hair and all. I wish this were more acceptable in society for women, but overall I feel that if people judge me it’s their problem. If the norm is unhealthy (i.e. having to look a certain way), and none of us break out of it, then we’re just perpetuating the dysfunction. BTW shaving is fine, if you like that for *yourself* IMO.

And what’s wrong with furry knee socks anyway Lynn. Actually I have a sort of bulged out spot on a vein in my leg that can be seen even if I’m wearing tights (to anyone who cares to look *that* closely) A co-worker mentioned it one day to me, and I feigned shock and said “you mean *you* don’t have one?” We all laughed and I still have a bulge in my leg. But frankly what does it matter. I could describe other problem body parts that change as I get older, but why waste the energy.


Lurking Lawyer

I loved your story about wrapping your brother’s Xmas present.

I also liked your comments. The key is, I think, what the Honeydoc mentioned - the difference between “acting” and “being” any particular way. The idea that Steve “was” immature, rather than “acted” that way, was what I was uncomfortable with, because I believe we all *do* have choices. I understand now that that’s not what you meant. I also don’t want to defend misbehavior of any kind, whether it be from Steve, myself or anyone else, and I think at first, Dr. I thought that was what I was doing. I plead guilty. The point that you both made about creating our own realities, rather than bouncing off of the realities of others, is one that I totally support and believe in, and I probably didn’t make that very clear either. (It’s harder to live it consistently than to understand how it’s supposed to work though) Even today, I dealt with a snarky lady in a bookstore and though I was civil to her, I momentarily bounced off her “yukky” stuff after I left the store (not by acting any certain way, just by feeling yukky myself). Maybe one day, I will be able to observe with detachment and feel okay with virtually everything – this is the goal, anyway. BuddhAsha


Becky – nice to hear from you. I posted you awhile back on Catbox 15 – hope you saw it.

Astrid – what a nice post. I’m glad to hear things are going well.

hello Jay, Lynn and anyone I've missed.

Hugs everyone.



B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000



Great change. I like it. Well done!

B.  Thank you RealMommy. My very own RealMommy! *smile*  And, it was all my idea too. And I did all the writing. Don't let them fool you. None of my FakeMommies helped. So there. Your Trubble 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000


Hi All AND Hi Trubble,

Trubble have you got some nice salmon for Christmas day or do you prefer nut roast, maybe Doc will give you the left over turkey, do cats eat turkey. Only with Tuna Stuffing.

Thanks all for the advice, I am sure glad I cleared up what not engaging meant, I think my therapist also tried to explain this.

Dr Irene my therapist thinks you're great, he says that you are one sweet lady for giving up so much time. He also thinks the books you offer are great. The Fog one especially. He said though I must stop doing things for payoffs and if it feels yukky, I have to sit with my feelings. I think your therapist is pretty cool too. I need to be sure as said here what I get when, I ask for a favour if I ask and they say Don't pay. (Maybe I will anyway so I may as well pay in the first place)

Have to go and make some sandwiches for MISSY is off to another party.

Love Theressa


B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000


Hi all, B. here.

For those who don't know me, I have my own board at

Lynn, I am flattered by your compliment, but really, I don't consider myself as good as Dr. Irene. I am only learning myself! NO! RealMommyB you are ten times better than yukky FakeMommyDoc! At least. Maybe even a zillion times better. Nicer too.

Theressa, you got good advice from Jay and more. Just wanted to add: I feel the same. I find myself full of anger all of a sudden and "holding myself" to not snap at my daughter, also telling her please be quiet now.

I have an idea, that both your daughter and your mother reacted with a. obvious worry and distress, and b. questioning you. You could not take the hint of criticism. Also, you worried too much yourself. You can learn these lines, for the next time: "I feel very worried right now and distressed. I see you are, too. What can we do to first calm down?"

Also, you can tell your daughter what you think, she has a right to be included: Yes, there is petrol, the car just broke down.

You reacted to her questions as if you were a little girl yourself, criticized by her mother that she did not do something right so the car broke down.

With your mother, the same: she just "spilled" her worry on you. You can tell her "I know you are concerned for me, I do feel distressed about that. I would appreciate it if you could help me".

But also, realize that her questions, again, make you feel criticized and blamed, and that makes you doubly angry.

Learn to tell yourself all the time: it's not my fault. These things happen. I can't do everything.

Is it so terrible if you're late? After all, your car broke down! It's like an accident!

Love, B. See how good *My* RealMommy is? She's just the best!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000


Dear Everybody Honey,

This is Honey from the message Yak board. I've been reading the Cat Box since first finding HoneyDoc's site in August. It took me about 2 months to start posting on the message yak board (couldn't seem to whip up the courage - you know, those pesky codependent self-esteem issues) and I chose the name "Honey" for several reasons. Here, in the east coast city where I live, it is a favorite expression used by many including store clerks, waitresses, etc who call patrons "Hon" or "Honey". Also, my first car was a Datsun B210 HoneyBee. Although I have never posted here (sadly, my husband turned out to be a fakeDan and a fakeSteve so posting seemed more appropriate on the message yak board), I usually keep up to date on the Catbox exchanges and have learned much, lots and loads!!!

But now, everyone in the Catbox has become a Honey. So I'm wondering how I should post - as HoneyYak (as in Honey from the Yak board?) or if I keep just Honey, would that be too confusing? Yes. You'll fit in just fine. Giggle. 

Love and hugs to all and Happy Holidays!!! From "Just Honey for now without a prefix or suffix." How about HoneyHon? Yeah! By the way Honey or HoneyHon, which Yak board are people posting to most these days? 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000


Hi all, Sadheart here,

Ahhhh Xmas is just around the corner and yesterday my "darling hubby" <sarcastic> decided to wake me up with a rage. He was angry with me about a guy that I dated while we were separated for 8 months. He was raging and angry. I tried my best to remain calm at 5:30am. He kept escalating and screaming until our 6yr old woke up and was begging us to stop the fighting. I asked DH to please leave and he screamed at my son "Daddy is leaving forever.. Yuk. Mommy and Daddy are getting a DIVORCE!"

What a lovely memory for my son to have for Xmases to come. :(

He is now remorseful. What he doesn't seem to understand is that his words are like punches and cannot be taken back.

I am making a promise to myself to NEVER allow someone to treat me the way I have been treated. I deserve so much more than this, and so does my son. For the new year I am looking forward to peace.

I am willing to accept 1/4 of the customary child support just so that I do not have to hear about how "I have taken everything from him." I will make do. Don't you dare! Take what is fair. You're going to hear it anyway.

Hugs to all.


B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000


Dear Honey's in the Catbox. My computer is having a nervous breakdown, or rather I have done some really daft things playing round with the controls. If emails don't get answered or I don't post it is because I have managed to do things only the Healthy Human Cat Kid can sort! A CatKid! Cool!  Have to wait until he feels he want to as he is so into this new thing with his guitar and being a teenager and Bob Marley CatKid's got good taste..., that he is not having a lot of time right now. Has dyed his hair red in places. Preferred green when I was young... Giggle! Since when did 12 and 13 year olds get interested in acupuncture? Someone's mother is an acupuncturist and has taught her son some things...Just as long as he doesn't start asking to stick needles in me!

This is a great day as we actually had Jake laughing and joking and generally joining in being the maddest family in Pizza Hut like we used to be. I don't know why. Enjoy!

The Ignatia does stop weepiness definitely. Still unsure about the Sepia. But I do feel a lot better on it. And a bit more in control of my own life, Will wrote the rest tomorrow if I can as I think the computer is due to freeze again. love JayHoney

 B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000


Asha-honey here


To your question - "RealHoney" maybe...? HoneyYak is good too. Or just Honey.

Then we could call you honey-Honey when we want to be affectionate. :)

(do you notice how that word starts to look weird when you write it too many times?)




I don't know what more to say, but I'll send you good thoughts. Your H is in a lot of pain.

Take care of yourself.


B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000


Dear all,

Seems like everybody is taking a holiday already. Very quiet in the Catbox. Welcome Honey-honey. Good to share, isn't it? Sadheart, sorry your H. is behaving like this. I do hope you will be able to sort things out. Are you going for a divorce? I do not remember.

Jay, great, all of you laughing and being happy together. Keep it up, and who knows your daughter might even want to join in. Seriously, I am happy for you. Yeah! At least you know again that good thing Are possible, you now the feeling of feeling good again and that is so important IMO. If you feel down, you tend to forget that it is even possible to feel good. Hope there will be lots more moments like this in the next year to come (and the years after :-)).

Theressa, The only thing I could say about how to react non-defensively to small things is to constantly ask yourself: is this really important, do I really care and tell yourself that it does not matter that people do not agree with you on all, or even most things. It is ok for people to be different. I confess, I am having a hard time with that too, especially with C. But I find it helps to tell myself he is his own person with his own thoughts and mindset and that is ok. He does not have to agree with me on everything. Of course this is a bi different as I am viewing hi still as a possible life partner. As for other people, I tend to care less and less. I like the validation of other people, but do not need it as much anymore. But for C...... ah, that's still a very different peace of cake :-). I am confident I can learn that too. And I am also confident you can learn no to give so much power to other people's opinions.

I had a nice session with my therapist yesterday. Talking about not being able to say no to C. And about constantly feeling I have to be nice and interesting and responsible for an evening and be ok with it. And she says, you must be exhausted after an evening like that. To be honest I am. I can only keep up, because after seeing him, I am ‘free' for a couple of days and I can recoup. Stupid. You are supposed to relax with your partner, not work all the time. She made me see again how much energy I put into this, and how hard I find it to talk to C. about the thing that bother me. Like he is talking about going to Africa for a holiday and I have very mixed feelings about that. I think it is great, and a very nice opportunity to be able to go there with friends. I do want him to do new things, but I also feel left out. I wanted to do these exciting things with him, and share the memories. She pointed out that it is almost as if I do not allow myself these feelings. I think I ‘should' be ok with his going, and that's it. But it is good to realise that you can have very mixed feelings concerning certain issues and that all of them are valid.

She also pointed out, that I met C. at every opportunity, because I was avoiding the feeling that he is building a life of his own. Part of me wants that, cause I see it is the only way we can ever have a healthy relationship, but part of me feels really threatened and want him to be a template of me with no own thought or ambitions, and certainly not a life that does not include me in all aspects.

I really like her and am very happy I had the courage to quit with the other one (big step for me at the time). So all and all it's like the AXE, up and down, but the general way is up.

I am not sure whether I will be able to post again before I leave (Sunday) so I am wishing all of you here and now very beautiful, peaceful and happy holidays and one heck of a new year!!!!! And thanks once again, all of you here and Dr. I. and Trubble extra special for all the support and laughs and tears together. We'll make it, one way or the other, and we'll help others make it to, so eventually we will have a more healthy, beautiful world.

Love to all. And love to you...

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000


Oops, that was me, AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000





LOVE THERESSA Thank you Theressa! Peace, love, harmony and good wishes to you and yours too. 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000


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

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Hello FakeDaddyDan!

Welcome to any new comers.

It's been really quite some time since I posted and have just glanced at the posts so I'm unable to give any thoughts as to what's happening.

Lynn and I went out the other night, just a spur of the moment idea for me. I had been helping a neighbor who had developed a leak in his water lines. A leak is not really what it was, it was more a gusher. Anyway, after working with him and showing him what to do, I felt like taking Lynn out and spending some time with her.

When we got home, Lynn started to tell me of some things which she felt about our relationship. and we continued it the next morning. I misinterpreted her romance statement, and I admit that I thought she meant dinner and a few drinks, etc.

One of the things which has bugged her, and she has told me in the past, is that I didn't give her any reassurances that I disagreed with my mother's calling her names. I agree that I never but then I didn't realize that by not saying so, that to Lynn, I agreed. I have always felt that what your mate or significant other thought of you was what counted and not what other people said. It's nice when you are given a compliment by fellow workers or others whom you deal with, but what the important person in your life feels counts more. See, FakeMommyDoc was wrong. She thought you were angry. Ha! I don't always tell Lynn this, I have and do tell her that I'm with the person and where I want to be. "Lynn, PLEASE hear this!" Yeah FakeMommyLynnDoc2, hear FakeDaddy. I think he really means it. And, he's not even angry!

Lynn also asked about my post of my feelings of this Christmas, asking what about the last 11. I have always enjoyed the season with her, but it was more vicariously, enjoying it because she did, this year it's more personal.

I didn't make my counseling session yesterday, I started out and blew the fan belts in the car, Came home, got new ones and Lynn, and we went and put them on. This was an easy job, but Lynn's help really made it easier. It was about 16 above with a wind and I don't have metric tools, but we accomplished it faster than I could have alone. Lynn has helped me with car repairs before, as I've said earlier, she's a very talented lady. We know! 

We got a present from my daughter, and we opened it already. It was pictures of her and the granddaughters. The best present she could have sent, I feel, as we don't have any recent pictures of them. I also feel that things between us are starting to patch up.


DanHoney. Happy Holidays to you FakeDaddy. I still love you anyway. Just not as much. Hehehehehe!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000


Jay here.


I am going to be home so if anyone is feeling a need to post it won't be that busy here. Giggle!

Sadheart hugs and prayers.              Thanks Jay! And regards to Jake.

Yes gang: Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy New Year, and a Wonderful Whatever-Else-You-Celebrate!  Love and KatKisses, Trubble & the Doc.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 23, 2000


I hope everyone here has a peaceful holiday with love, laughter and good times.

Trubble, you have been so naughty, I wonder if there will be anything at all in your stocking! You are so cute, though, I'm sure that Kitty Claus will bring you some catnip toys and maybe a bit of salmon, anyway! (I would let you come here to live, but I have it on good authority that my son is getting a fish tank for Christmas--too risky, sorry)!

Becky    Hisssss.... FakeBeckyMommyHoney.....

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 23, 2000


Dear HoneyDoc and the rest of the HolidayHoneys,

So glad you asked the question about the Yak board - At the beginning of December, everyone switched from the Bravenet forum back to the Olde board. The biggest complaint about Bravenet was that it didn't keep threads for longer than 48 hours or so and the threads seemed to dislodge from the original after about 24-36 hours.

However, while everyone switched, there have been two main concerns about the Olde board - first, the original message thread is posted in its entirety on the Olde Board but with Bravenet only the subject/title of the thread was posted. This made for easy reading and access to threads of interest on Bravenet. However, now, on the Olde board, one has to scroll down forever to get older posts - well, you know, sort of like the Catbox after a couple of days!!! :)  Yeah...

Second, apparently the security of posters is better on Bravenet and we have lost a couple of people posting because in the Olde Board the isp (sp)??? can be traced (Hey, I can turn on a computer, log onto AOL and send email but this other stuff...???!!! :) ) OK, just back from boards. I fixed this on both of them. No more IP addresses on the InsideTheWeb boards!

So, in summary, the posters would like to have some of the Olde message board - such as keeping threads together longer but liked the easy readability and access to threads, and the security of the newer board. (And the jury was still out, if I remember correctly, about the fancy butterflies and froggy things.)

Also, personally, I liked when a new thread had the little "New" sign posted beside it. Mostly, though, posters wanted to stay together which ever board was up because there is so much really good support, advice and love there!!!! Both Jay and Sadheart post there a lot so they may have other suggestions. Anybody else know of a board to use? I guess for now, both of them will stay up. Thanks.

Also, to AJ and everyone, thanks for the welcome. Yes, it is great to have found this place for love and support and to work out issues that others have and are working on also. Funny thing, in the beginning, when I first found this site, I just wanted to read about the abuse and the abuser and now, I'm almost entirely focused on codependency issues - my stuff!!! Really amazing!!! Yippeee! OK, I do slip up from time to time and play the olde tapes or should I say, play in the ye olde cat box :) but the focus is different and at least, the awareness is there.

Happy Holidays, again - I just love all the little Honeys here!!! Love and Hugs, HoneyHon

PS. I have a question about the Yukky comment re: validation but I'll post that in that box.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 23, 2000


Asha here

Dear Trubble

What a talented cat! I betcha *you* wrote all those articles that your fakemommy takes credit for too! ;) Hey, how did you know? (Better not tell her though. She might get mad at you.)


Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and peaceful holiday. I'll be back around the 27th and I'll miss you guys!

Take care, and be well.


Asha  :)

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 23, 2000


Just a thought for the Day


I've decide to Marry myself and promise to never leave:)

That is unless I start abusing myself lol

Peace Kim Giggle... Do you have a premarital?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 24, 2000


I love your site and I feel like maybe you have been sitting in on my current relationship. I would like to as thought that you left out one thing about abusers...DO they hate your friends and accuse them of trying to corrupt you?  Often. When they feel your friends / family are somehow opposed to "their way," there is often an attempt to discredit these people or otherwise pull you away from them.

 B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 24, 2000


Dear Dr. Me and my husband have a 3 year old son together. He is constantly yelling at him for one thing or another. At the dinner table he yells at him to eat all the way thru it! The poor kid is just a slow eater. He also sucks his thumb and I chose to ignore it and it will go away. My husband sees it and yells at him to take it out of his mouth all the time. The other day, my son came to me and said, "mommy, I want daddy to move away". It broke my heart!! Am I crazy to think this is a form of abuse? T  No!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 24, 2000


Dear person with a 3 year old/ I am not the doc but have worked with a lot of parents.

You would be surprised how often I heard this story. Yes  it is a form of abuse to do what your husband is doing.: but it usually results from having gained in life too high expectations of a child's behaviour. This in itself is very common.

Can you get your husband to go with you to a parenting programme where you live as this might help as then he might be able to understand his unrealistic expectations.

The yelling is what is really abusive and it will not make a kid eat dinner. Though the yelling is likely to keep your son sucking his thumb longer...

Logically don't a lot of us choke up and not want to eat if someone is yelling. What will result is that the three year old may well dig his heels in and get even slower. Try pointing out to your husband that he may be making the problem worse and your kid slower by shouting.

Try a compromise. Ask your husband not to shout and decide an a (reasonably long) time for your son to eat his dinner. Take it away when the time is up unless he is actually eating. Do not give big portions. Have second or even third helpings available instead. That way the mealtime is not so prolonged and your son is "enabled" to be quicker.

It is amazing (to digress) how many parents expect their kid to eat huge portions and then wonder why they are having problems with eating.

If all else fails try to have meals alone with your son for a bit. Dawdling over a meal is a very normal thing for a 3 year old to do but the more the parent gets bothered the more you get into difficulties which then spill over into other areas.

Kids almost never starve themselves to death by not eating.

Unless you can get your husband to learn a bit about child development then the thumb sucking is harder to stop him yelling for. You could point out that very few adults suck their thumbs (in public!) and that this kind of behaviour usually disappears of its own accord about school age. You could also suggest to your husband that instead of shouting he uses some distraction like playing with his son with some activity that requires using hands if it bothers him so much.

Hopefully then they get a better relationship together anyway as giving time in play does a lot to help where parents have a difficult relationship with their child.

Your husband does need the message that the constant shouting is damaging = emotional abuse. This kind of issue almost always comes up on parenting progrmmes.

Also try to get him to read Carolyn Webster-Stratton's 'The Incredible Years.' This is based on the parenting programmes she designed. They are the best researched.

jay   Thanks Jay.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 24, 2000


Yeah, Happy everything, guys!

And Dr. Irene, let me add that for Muslims it's the Ramadan right now (almost ending), the month of fasting. Hey, sounds like a good way to shed a few pounds! 

Love and hugs,

Missing Trubble here, B. Yeah RealMommyBHoney. I miss you too...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 24, 2000


The human cat kid (this suits him so well) has told me about a conversation with Jake: It seems Jake tries to be nice about my writing and everything else I do and then forgets to be. He knows he is negative and this is unhelpful . The wrong words come out of his mouth!! This is very true. It is the result of poor impulse control habits and probably a bunch of yukky underlying thinking he can fix.

I wish he could say it to me; that is the biggest honesty about himself I heard this year....

I know this is 'outside the self stuff but it is important as this makes me think I really should give him more of a chance. 

Dan got it in one of his posts. I think they should teach them in them schools that women people and human cats want words as well as actions!

Jake doesn't post as he says this is a public web site. But now he thinks it is o.k for me which is a step forward. Cool.

Some days I wonder how I am filtering stuff because of the depression. Did you check out The Feeling Good Handbook? It's full of lots of good stuff, including, if memory serves me correctly, depression quizzes that let you diagnose it and fix it...

But knowing the above (that Jake knows he can get it wrong) helps???? For goodness sake Jake. Say them to me. Jay  Don't you think he knew your son would tell you? Telling you face to face is hard for him Jay; it's likely he feels shameful or otherwise yukky that he didn't do something right. He'll be able to tell you when he better understands that it's OK to mess up. Meanwhile, it sounds as though Jake is thinking about stuff. That's great!

Jay thanks for the ecard. I tried to send a "thank you" but it was undeliverable!

OK, I think I hear Santa rolling down the chimney...   Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2001


Dr. Irene

I haven't seen this problem addressed in all the months I have been here. This isn't about verbal abuse of adults, this about verbal and emotional abuse by an adult to a child age five.

I have tried to talk to this mother, leave information and everything else I can do but being I'm an outsider just watching I now feel helpless. Today, was a prime example.

This little girl was on the phone talking to me, when suddenly her voice gets upset and I ask her what's wrong. She says "I hate it when my mom does that." I said "does what?" She says, "if I do something wrong or do anything she laughs at me." I've seen it happen, it's not a nice laugh it's a cruel sneery taunt.

I said "well, could you just tell her that makes you upset?" She said "no, she won't listen and she keeps doing it, could YOU ask her not to do that anymore?" I said "okay." She hands the phone to her mother and I repeat our conversation (this isn't the first time I've heard this complaint,) Bad move, she turned to the little girl, yelled at her for whining to me, told me to mind my own business and if (little girl) is going to tell me what goes on in their house, she is going to make sure we never talk to each other again. I say "you should be glad that she feels safe to just vent her upset feelings and maybe you COULD look at what you do." She said she wasn't going to look at anything but stopping our conversations from this day forward.

As far as I'm concerned it is just classic behaviour of an abuser to try and isolate and keep secret what goes on. I have gone to her husband, the girl's father) about the verbal screaming, laughing and all other things I've seen but he denies that his wife would ever do it. He of course, works twelve hours a day and so she keeps it well hidden from him. What can I do, is this verbal tirading and humiliating, child abuse? OR am I being over critical?

After I get hung up on. I just feel sick all day and this plagues me as to what this little girl is going to deal with this unhappy mother of hers, I personally think this mother is bi-polar. She has admitted to me a couple of years ago that she knows she has a big rage problem but makes sure she always says she's sorry. I said to her "instead of saying you are sorry, why don't you get some help dealing with how to handle the problem before it gets out of hand?" I'm beside myself with worry. What is right in this situation? PLease help. I'm not the only one that is aware of what is going on here. No physical abuse, but daily verbal and emotional abuse.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001


I married when I was 16 yrs old, 4 months pregnant. We have been married for almost 25 yrs. I have been reading things on emotional abuse and realize that I am a victim of it. I kind of knew this already, but I have felt the need to read up on it anyway. He has always been a big part of my life, the father to our 2 daughters, but I feel the need to move on in my life, I no longer feel any love or desire to be with him. These feelings also have been for a very long time. I left him about 6 years ago for a month. When I left, it was for a month, promises of finding a job and holding on to it were made to me, and not to say the things that were being said soon were broken. I had a really good job waiting tables, had friends there, worked there for 8 yrs. I was paying all the bills and groceries, etc. The resentment of my working and the verbal abuse became worse, accusations of me having an affair which was not true, I have always been faithful. I took it another year and I left again. I wanted to be civil about visitation rights on our 5 year old, but when I let her go home with him, he decided that she did not need to be around me and would not let me see my daughter. For 8 wks, I had no contact with her, missed her 5th Christmas and so I finally went back begging to do anything just to be with her. I quit my job, dropped my friends and am just living for my daughter Now, I have found somebody that I am interested in, but am too afraid of the damage this would inflict on my daughter, who is now 10 yrs. old. Don't get me wrong, she loves her father, he loves us, but I can find no love in mine for him. I recently took an income tax class, with his permission, and did very well in it, they would have hired me, but I canceled the interview because I knew it would cause strife with him and me having to work nights some of the time. I do clean houses for a living now and he still does not hold a steady job down. When I try to discuss this with him, he tells me that the Lord will provide and that I have no faith about it.Yes, the bills do get paid most of the time by him, but there are times when I have to pay them to keep the utilities on or get groceries. Please if you have any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

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