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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Comments for Catbox 34

Comments for Catbox 34

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Back to Catbox 33          33 edited!


Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here,

Thank you for your support and kindness on the issue involving my parents. Yes!! Exactly!! It was an atmosphere in my household growing up to sweep everything bad and dirty under the rug - don't give it a name, because it no longer exists. And I haven't been at that place in almost 30 years with my dad. It hurt BIG TIME to live it again, however, I handled it like I should have. Going to ACA/CODA the whole gamut of therapy helped. I feel bad for my mom who continued to apologize for him. That was very, very codependent.

My "mean" spirit came out while my courtship with Dr. Psycho. That's why we fought all the time. I knew that the issues were manifested through HIS own childhood crap - I dared him a couple of times to challenge him on his words. Irrational behavior, crazymaking, you name it - I saw it - all over again - just like living with my dad. The only difference was that my anger did come out with Dr. Psycho, eventually, which polarized us even more. My anger, finally, after over 30 years, came out on Sunday with my dad. Do I feel empowered about it? No, I HAD to do it though. I love him very much (my dad) and for the sake of his health, and for his loved ones, I wish he would get sober. Do I feel angry about what happened? Not anymore. Just a certain sadness and sorrow about the entire situation. I feel a certain resignation about it, and a certain relief. I will always and forever love my dad. We've always been close. The Dr. Psycho's in my life have come and gone. I just hope I don't have any more!!!!!! I see the red flags in potential partner's a lot quicker these days. So, I am just enjoying being with close friends and myself. I'm in no hurry!!

Hugs, Sharon

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Theressa, In answer to your other question:

...been a reader since 1994, where I get some of Z good stuff! I get a lot here too!

Tim B.

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

To Laurie

It really sounds like you do still love your husband. I don't know if the anxiety and abuse are linked, but all I can say is that you should be grateful that he is getting help. My husband did not want to get help and he still is saying that it was all me!!!! I still love him, but until he realizes what he is and gets help I will never even think of going back to him. I don't know if this helps you, but what you were told of one day at a time is the absolute truth. We must all live our lives one day at a time. We all need to make the best of every day we live. This site is great, although I used other means to deal with my situation I do come and read a lot for support. I know how it feels to love someone and be abused by him. It will take time for both of you to heal and change, but we must all remember that love can get us through anything. Abuse is a learned behavior and if he wants to change and has owned up to his behavior then that is a very positive sign for both of you and for your children. Hope this helped you. Hugs!!!


Tuesday, May 08, 2001


One last thought before I go to my Coda meeting. Re: your sister.

As you establish healthy boundaries, TRUST that they will be tested! People will treat me the way I ALLOW them to. It appears to me that sis' came armed with F.O.G.-ers in both fists. It's called "passing the hot potato". My kids are my responsibility to feed when they are with me unless someone else has made a CLEAR offer to provide for their nourishment on an outing. When I began to act in ways that were caring for myself, I heard the word "selfish" preceded by "YOU ARE SO" nauseam. It's like me sitting here at this keyboard, hitting as many buttons as possible until I get the reaction out of you that I'm looking for. When I stopped reacting in ways that were expected...Oh Boy!!!

Mo' power to ya!

Tim B.

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Dear Katie,

Have we been dating the same guy?? No, seriously, what you ask about is part of a script. He's blaming his illness and anger-that-has-nothing-whatsoever-to-do-with-you on you. Do NOT buy it! There is no excuse for abuse!



Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Hi Cats,

I've been doing some remedial reading on Catbox 32. I joined Jay's Yahoo group, Not Therapy But Help,! Another American born with a computer in her mouth... or is that a silver mouse, Trubble? Meow Mix. Trout. Salmon.  

Theressa, you must think I have a very cavalier attitude toward sex. I hope I haven't offended you! I was reading your post about your partner's totally silly snit with the late food, and how it spun out of control into him intimating that he only was in the relationship for sex... did I get that right? Very churlish of him, I think. Even with my cavalier attitude, if I thought someone was only interested in sex, I would either 1) drop his status down so that I was only using HIM for sex, Giggle! or 2) break up with him. I think that the balance is the important thing. I don't think it's wrong to have a strictly sexual relationship. It's only when one person is in the position of desiring more or wanting more meaning and the other person doesn't, that things get hurtful and out of whack. But the person who wants more has a responsibility to themselves to make sure their soul gets what it needs, which is someone who wants *them* and not just sex.

My experience has been that there is a difference between what men say they are doing and thinking and what they really feel and/or want and/or do. For the partner, it just goes back to being true to yourself and let the other pieces and people fall into place behind that, or blow away. It seems to me that you are learning to be true to yourself and we are all watching your process! It's great!!

Love, Perdida

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

OH WOW, I just sent a big reply to myself and it got deleted. OH CRUMBS!!

Hi All, It Theressa.

To sum up what my rather long post said: "I realise that when I take up responsibilities that belong to others I stop them learning."

This is what my partner did to me, he kept on taking responsibility for me. It wasn't until I realised myself that I wasn't benefiting when he wasn't around to pick up the pieces that I grew.


The only thing that bothers me is when Children are involved. It seemed mean on them. I had thought after, that maybe it wouldn't have been such a pain to go and let her make them lunch.

Though isn't this people pleasing again?? Me being unconvinced, vs. starving the kids?

What do you think TIM B?

Thanks Theressa

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Hi everyone It's Tina. Theressa I read your post about what happen with your sisters. I just want to say to you that you did the right thing by placing responsibility where it belongs. Expect the back lash from that action. I get the impression that there is a long history of your sister not taking responsibility and having lots of enablers around to prevent her from taking responsibility. Those that are enablers do so because it is their choice. You on the other hand chose not to be. You have that right. Sister or no sister. I know this is hard because you feel like you stand alone and no one understands and you also feel like the bad guy. Well feeling like the bad guy is exactly what keeps people in the enabling mode. You are not alone and you are not the bad guy. You did the right thing.

Marji: I read your post about the mail thing with your husband. I am so sorry that you had to experience that with him. That is such abuse to you. Like someone else wrote in the post give your kind acts to someone who appreciates your kindness. Stick to your guns and get rid of this man. He only wants to hurt you in any way he can. You are not his punching bag.

Sharon: I read your post about the casino incident with your parents. What a day! Now you have learned not to put your self in that position with your father again. I know you love your father. But reality is reality. Your father is an alcoholic and he is not going to think about anyone else's well being and safety as long as he is drinking and not in recovery. You have to think about your own well being and safety. Your mother has that choice also. Take care you. There is only one of you. It doesn't mean that you stop loving him. All the anger in the world will not change him or the course of this disease. This disease has no boundaries. But you can stop this disease dead in its tracks when it comes your way by setting boundaries for yourself. Take good care of yourself.

Now for as little update on what has been going on with me. As some of your know my husband filed for divorce and I counter filed. My husband is flipping out. I am struggling with breaking my pattern of enabling behavior with him. Let me tell you it is hard. He wants to get back together and go to marriage counseling. He yelled yesterday on the phone, I WANT TO COME HOME! I hear this as I want your to take care of me. I need you to take care of me. I need you to take responsibility for my stuff like you always have. This is to painful for me. He told me I was mean, I didn't know how to love, that I am just like my mother. There is a little voice inside of me that confirms what he says. It says, you are mean and no you don't know how to love, and yes you are like your mother who are you kidding? I feel like I am doing war with this voice inside. Fighting to keep on the road that I am on. The road of self preservation. It's hard to break patterns. Especially patterns that you have been following all your life. I want my husband to get drug therapy. He denies the use of drugs. Then he'll say you act like I do them everyday. It's crazy. I can't change my husband. I wish with all my heart that I could and we could live happily ever after. He has called with anger, tears, frustration, blame etc. It's hard for me to listen to this. I don't want to hurt him or cause him pain. I feel guilty for this. I try to fight the guilt. I don't always win. I get depressed and all the progress I've made I feel sometimes like I take ten steps backward because the guilt over whelms me. I go to bed and sleep. I feel depressed and hopeless. I feel like just calling him and telling him to come back because I can't stand it. But something inside says DON'T DO THAT. IT'S ONLY GOING TO BE WORSE. AND YOU WON'T BE HAPPY. Anyway that is the latest with me. I have to go to work now. Take good care of your selves everyone. Tina

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Dear AJ eeeeeeek No email. My computer has had a breakdown and seems to have spent the night turning itself on and off! End result is that is will now only go into one user base and I can get into the internet but not search!

So it is just as well the catbox is working. Apart from the fact I haven't booked a hotel yet all is well with Saturday. I have your email and unless I hear otherwise assume the arrangement can tell them or not as I am not even sure this will go through.

In case it does. I am ? have been feeling very low. Jake's latest effort at control involved not giving me a back door key! I have lost mine and only wanted to get a new one cut. I felt OK until I discovered it is the kind you can't just get cut from the number and so I can now either replace the locks or lump it. Except I have asked his father to make it a condition that I can get in and out both front and back when he buys the house.

The really silly thing is he seems to be afraid I will lock him out yet HE has the mortise key. I have come to the conclusion he is really unwell as he is making these daft decisions.

I can't get to read the catbox! I tried this morning and it took ages and seems to be my computer's fault again...Hehe heh Haven't got a cat so I will blame it on the computer Dr Irene..

Anyway, I know Theressa put a long post for me and I am so frustrated as I have been unable to see it.

And I wanted to reply to lots of people. I guess I will have to wait. Hopefully Jake will sort this out tonight. Weird isn't it? He does the really silly key junk and then if I ask him to fix the computer he always will. It is as if he will only allow the parts of his life he is sure of to function. I am realising I am the healthier one of the two of us! How did I spend all those years with the thought it was the other way round?

Anyway I can climb in through the bathroom window! Jay


Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Dear AJ eeeeeeek No email. My computer has had a breakdown and seems to have spent the night turning itself on and off! End result is that is will now only go into one user base and I can get into the internet but not search!

So it is just as well the catbox is working. Apart from the fact I haven't booked a hotel yet all is well with Saturday. I have your email and unless I hear otherwise assume the arrangement can tell them or not as I am not even sure this will go through.

In case it does. I am ? have been feeling very low. Jake's latest effort at control involved not giving me a back door key! I have lost mine and only wanted to get a new one cut. I felt OK until I discovered it is the kind you can't just get cut from the number and so I can now either replace the locks or lump it. Except I have asked his father to make it a condition that I can get in and out both front and back when he buys the house.

The really silly thing is he seems to be afraid I will lock him out yet HE has the mortise key. I have come to the conclusion he is really unwell as he is making these daft decisions.

I can't get to read the catbox! I tried this morning and it took ages and seems to be my computer's fault again...Hehe heh Haven't got a cat so I will blame it on the computer Dr Irene..

Anyway, I know Theressa put a long post for me and I am so frustrated as I have been unable to see it.

And I wanted to reply to lots of people. I guess I will have to wait. Hopefully Jake will sort this out tonight. Weird isn't it? He does the really silly key junk and then if I ask him to fix the computer he always will. It is as if he will only allow the parts of his life he is sure of to function. I am realising I am the healthier one of the two of us! How did I spend all those years with the thought it was the other way round?

Anyway I can climb in through the bathroom window! Jay


Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Katie: Oh, yes, they almost ALWAYS say they wouldn't do or say the things they do if you weren't the way you are. My first husband said that, and now, my second husband. If you buy into it, you will quickly begin to believe that there is something wrong with you and it really is your fault. DON'T, DON'T buy into it. If any of us were powerful enough to cause other people to act a certain way, we would certainly use that power to cause them to treat us with respect and compassion. There is NO excuse for verbal/mental/emotional/sexual/spiritual or physical abuse, no matter what the victim has said or done to "deserve" it. One of the buttons my current husband has pushed is "Did you act this way with your first husband - no wonder that relationship failed!" And it's so convincing, because most people find it incredible that I would have "coincidentally" married TWO abusers... even I find it hard to believe and I understand the dynamics of abusive relationships and the abused victim syndrome. But that doubt sticks with me and sometimes makes me wonder if it really is my fault and I've pushed these men to their irrational behavior. That's why this board, therapy and strong, wise confidantes are so important, to help keep us centered so we don't forget and don't buy into their brainwashing techniques.... IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! Good luck! Marji

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Dear Jay,

The arrangement stands, and I will try to be there as early as possible (if you get my mail, you will read the rest there). Everything ok here, finally got some sun and I just found out my being so tired was not because of stress, but because I have some kind of allergy. I could not breath properly and so had a lack of sleep and oxygen. Got medication and am feeling much better: sleeping sound and no need to continually wipe my eyes!! Sometimes life is less complicated then you think. C. finally bought his car (without my money, cause he felt I would not really feel good about it, and I am actually happy he did not take me up on my offer) and is as happy as anything. He's still sweet and actually says sorry when I confront him with bad behaviour. He strat mewing (or barking) a little, but stops and more often than not apologizes after a while. My biggest problem right now is this Portugal thing. C is going there to find out if living there will be possible and will stay for a while. So far, so good. But he finally asked me to come with him and I sort of feel pulled into decision I am not at all ready to make. I am ok with things as they are now. I now how to handle things, I am learning to handle myself better and not to bounce of of him too much, but I am by no means ready to go live with him in a country neither of us no, where we would be totally depended on each other. So I know right now I do not want to go, not unless I know I can find a job and lost of other things. Yet, still I talk with him abit maybe getting a house there. I world like to live somewhere warm and sunny, but I am afraid to leave familiar people places and friends. Yet I am not sure whether I am just fearing the unknown, or whether it is distrust of C. I now, would this have happened a year ago, I would have jumped from joy that he would have me. Not so now. I cannot really put my finger on it. It feels like he is pressuring me, but I do not know why he would do that. Well, I just try to teel what I feel, where I see problems as far as I am concerned and wait and see what will happen. but it feels like just when things start to settle, he manages to sti them up again. Maybe that is what is giving me this uneasy feeling....

Anyway, the kitties are soooo sweet. They start to play and tear everything to pieces. And Trubble, sorry to say, but your little brother is a bit retarded..... his sisters are much faster in discovering where to food is. He still only wants his mamma. Does this sound familiar? ;-) No, not funny, I actually think there is a bit too much male bashing going on of late, or am I being oversensitive. maybe it is cause I really try to work things out with C. and all this trow then out stuff, makes me feel unsure.....

Theresa, I think you were absolutely right about this thing with your sister. Don't feel guilty. Had she asked you in advance you would probably have said no. So now she just pulled 'swallow or choke on it' on you and that is her problem. You took care of Melissa, whihc is your prime responsibility, and if you would have given [art of Melissa's food to your sisters children, that would have been not taking care of her. I think you put a boundary and sure your sister resisted, but that's her problem.

Everybody else, take care. Asha, I hop they will get you telephone abuser and do something about it. It must be scary. Love to all, AJ

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Asha here

I am feeling really emotional today. Just realized that when I read Dr. Irene's responses to me I am touched to tears - what does that say about my thinking? That I don't "deserve" any help from anyone? I think there is a little child part inside me that I need to really look after. My giving to others helps me feel good, but I wonder if I don't give myself the support and encouragement I need.

Also, in regard to some of the "blue pencil" - I do realize now that I was "fixing" Steve so that *I* could feel better, though I was not aware of this, and thought it was for his own good. I still haven't got my mind completely wrapped around this, but it makes sense. I do feel bad when I have no comfort to give - like the person will break or something (and it will be my fault?). I know that's irrational, but I need to look at this because it comes up a lot. For now I will just look at my own "unsafe" feelings as they come up.

I wasn't going to post this, because it's a legal matter, but you are my support group and this is a major issue for me. Just as I have been letting go of "fixing", the universe draws me in to be once again "responsible" for Steve's life.

Yesterday I was subpoenaed by Steve's x as a witness to his latest court hearing (regarding her wanting him to accrue a debt to her). I was asked to bring copies of his company balance sheets and that's all I know. (I do his books, but I'm no accountant! I just use a software program and didn't even know what a balance sheet was until yesterday.)

I can make all sorts of assumptions, like maybe she thinks I'm hiding money for him, "punishment", intimidation etc etc, but in reality I do not know why she has subpoenaed me. I've done all that I can do - left messages with hers and Steve's lawyers to get some sort of explanation. (Steve's lawyer is apparently not available to talk until the day before court!). I also called a legal help program which charges a nominal fee for legal advice, but was told that Steve's or her lawyer are the only sources of help since they are the only ones familiar with the case.

My first reaction was anger. I have always treated her well, and this creates a new tension that did not exist before between her and I (there were lots of other tensions, but not between her and I). I also realize that because she and Steve don't communicate well, she probably has no idea of the reality about what has gone on and is going on in our business (we are actually 2 sole proprietors who work in affiliation).

But it bugs me that no-one asked me whatever it is they are now concerned about before court and nothing was mentioned during their counseling sessions. The sudden court subpoenaed is a big surprise. The court date is next Friday.

I am somewhat intimidated because of my weakness in the area of bookkeeping. I'm afraid I will be put into a position of explaining things like "balance sheets" that I don't clearly understand. Everything is above board and there is nothing hidden or skewed in any way. My fear however is that I will be nervous and that my nerves will create suspicion about his books.

I really hate being put in this position!! First I need to get some of the facts straight about what they want from me, but her lawyer does not have to call me back, and Steve's lawyer apparently is too busy. I am very angry and my first reaction is wanting to resist this.

But perhaps I can try to turn this around in some way and use it as an opportunity to face my fears. It means I do have to take time off work (which irritates me as well), but I will go through Steve's books again and make sure that I can remember as much as possible about what I have input over the past 3 years. I will make an appointment with an accountant so that I understand balance sheets more. And, I will come up with a list of every possible question that I think they may ask me. As much as I hate guessing games, if I can't get info from either lawyer I have no other choice but to speculate what they want me to "witness". 

I could also tell the court that I am not an accountant or bookkeeper so I am limited in how technical my explanations will be. I actually hate bookkeeping! It's a real "button" for me. So she's got me where it really hurts.

I am trying to stay centered but I am so angry at her! Still, there is a lesson to be learned I think, even though I didn't choose to sign up for the course!

Maybe I can try to make this an opportunity to exercise empowerment. Maybe I can drop my expectations that I will be "perfect" and not get nervous in court, and just prepare myself as much as I am able to and not worry about what anyone thinks and leave the outcome to the powers that be.

What is most difficult in this situation is that if I "mess up" in some way - like forget something or get nervous, I could influence the court's decision, and I hate that responsibility. Suddenly, I again feel over responsible for Steve's life. (Not Steve's fault though)

I am surprised that Steve's x would go to these lengths for money that Steve doesn't have. And I'm very angry that she is involving me in court, though she asked me nothing previous to this during their mediation process.

Okay, I'm in the process of a reaction - I know that. I'll try to calm down and just do what needs doing. I think it's okay that I feel angry though. I don't know how I couldn't be.

Thanks for listening - send me good thoughts!


Wednesday, May 09, 2001


I was once told " Tim, you'd kill for second best." Point being, I was an expert at taking on UNEARNED guilt and shame. As a child, I received countless messages that I somehow bore the burden of the dysfunction in my family system. Today, I am able to recognize that the ROLE I took on in my family was that of SCAPEGOAT. This is what happens in alcoholic families and other families where addictions ( substance or process) are present. It also occurs where there is mental illness. I was also a fixer/caretaker/rescuer. People like me get and stay REALLY ANGRY until we enter recovery. Unfortunately, this ANGER spilled over into ALL my relationships. I now get to own this stuff and behave appropriately. I need people in my life who demonstrate for me healthy communication, parenting and a host of other responses and behaviors that I did not possess. I learn here, as well as other places, how others solve their problems with kindness, patience, tolerance, compassion and empathy tempered with self-respect and love.

The best question I have learned to ask is:" How (do) did you do that?"...and, I get the gift...and so it is for Theressa.


Tim B.

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Hello all. Just wanted to post and say hi and thanks.

Tomorrow will be my second therapy appointment. I look forward to it actually. I have some things to get off of my chest. Also, I have started reading one of the books that my therapist highly recommended, "I don't want to talk about it" by Terrence real. Excellent book thus far, it has really opened my eyes to my feelings, what exactly I am feeling, the anger, fear, and loneliness. Now, I can go to my therapist with things to tell him, I think that this will help him to help me. This way he doesn't have to pry this out of me. I really noticed how my controlling my wife over the five years we have been together made a difference in my feelings. If I can keep her from doing something I don't have to fear what could happen (that probably wouldn't). She has never given me cause to not trust her so why don't I? Why do I have to control her? Because I don't trust her. Why don't I trust her? Because I have never made myself vulnerable to the types of situations which would allow me to build a trust in her. If I gave her the chance to go out and do something I always felt like she would, but she wouldn't. None the less, I controlled her from doing it, even if that sometimes meant verbally and/or emotionally abusing her. I am afraid to be without her and that is a problem. It helps to cause me to control her, abuse her (verbally and emotionally), and fight with her. I have lots to talk about and a whole lot more to learn about myself but I feel I am making the right decisions now. I can be emotional and in touch with my feelings, I will be.

Thanks again all for all of your support.

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

That last post was from me, Computer Nerd!

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Hi everyone,

Anne here. I've been around, just not posting much. Things are weird and too long to get into right now, but I just wanted to pop in and say "hello".

E.G.., your wife sounds a lot like my husband. I wish I knew something to tell you, but it seems that just when I've figured it all out I get turned around again! Have you sought any kind of professional help? Would your wife be willing to browse through this site?

Doc, I've been reading through the narcissist pages and found them very interesting. A lot of it rings true, not all, but a lot. I have been seeing a therapist 2-3 times a month for a couple of months now. As I told her about my situation, she actually mentioned the word "narcissism" in relation to my husband! She also said something that really helped clear up a lot of confusion for me, and I wanted to share it with all of you. She said that abusers will take a bit of truth about their partners, something they both know to be true, and use it to define their partners in ways that are completely untrue. For instance, I know I am not the greatest housekeeper in the world. Therefore, no matter how much I improve, there will always be instances where I have been less than perfect to negate the improvement. I hope I'm saying this right, because it made so much sense to me when she said it.

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well!

Trubble, do you make house calls? For trout? :) For L O T S of Fresh Trout.



Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Oops! I meant to say "narcissism", not "narcissism"!


Thursday, May 10, 2001

Hi all, I am reading what I can, but flipping back and forth between posting to the catbox is taking forever...

Sharon, I am sorry things have got so difficult with your parents.


My computer is still playing up and so I will have to communicate with AJ through the catbox again. again! Giggle. I will arrive at the port at about 10.30 but I will need to find a hotel. I think you can usually arrange that through the port. I can get the same day Hovercraft if there is a problem. (We are meeting up in Belgium).

I feel so frustrated as it still takes ages to get to read the posts. The button/scroller thing on my computer keeps sticking.

I did see Anne is posting though. HI Anne. And. Perdida I will let you in to my group! Giggle. That is if my computer lets me in!!

Asha, I think we cry from relief when we read the blue pencil.

Things became very clear to me yesterday. Jake has HUGE trust issues and to realise that they were not just about me helped.

I have also started to realise how passive aggressive I am to HIM. But I think it will be better now I have realised I can have a life that includes Jake but is not exclusively with him.

I went to one of my writers groups last night. It ended up as being me and 5 men. This was interesting. I think males are actually more democratic! I am SURE they were waiting for me to lead it as the leader wasn't there and so I didn't. It took AGES to get started and then I couldn't believe how seriously everyone took the subject of writing about an escalator! What I noticed though, that like Jake would have done, they all stood around waiting for things to happen to them,. I was the one who sorted out the space to be in and the coffee. It was a really interesting insight into male psychology.

Also good for me to realise I can hold my own in the world and not need to hide behind Jake. I think I got terrified by his time in an important University post.

The other REALLY good thing is the biggest reason I have been down was that my daughter suddenly went strange on me about 3 weeks ago and hadn't been in touch since,

To my amazement I met her in the bookshop with her boyfriend. She immediately produced a book she had bought for me and then she wanted hugs and it turned out she doesn't have a mobile at all and hadn't as I thought, blocked mine.....I think my hair is about to be sacrificed again in the interests of mother/daughter relationship........Anything to keep the channels of communication open.

So I know now she acts out big time when I draw the boundaries: but I don't need to be afraid to draw them.

I don't find it so easy with Jake.......



Thursday, May 10, 2001


That is great.

I to had to throw out the models I had learnt and learn fresh ones, that weren't dysfunctional. I am still working on these.

The biggest think for me right now is cognition. Projecting my not good enough feelings on to Melissa for instance.

The times I tried so hard to get that poor little girl to not mess up incase her daddy noticed, and "I looked flawed." Or someone else noticed. I have had enough people yelling from the side to put me down. They all wanted to fix me.

Well slowly I am learning to do things for me. NOT to please them. I am learning a lot about my thought patterns and cognition, how I project my feelings on to Melissa.

The other week I noticed a big lesson. Melissa's father commented on me asking her to do an easy task. I told him I didn't see a problem with her doing it, THEN events took a turn for the worse. Melissa tried to join in. (ESCALATOR), she tried to side with her daddy, get into his good books I expect.

She said "Next she'll be asking...." I said "Now you just keep out of this." (in a somewhat annoyed tone). Her father said "Let her finish." I was bubbling inside. I wasn't going to have a 7 years old sniring at me.

I told her father. You think it is funny do you, encouraging her to speak to me like this.

(what I noticed is if my partner seems not to be right, he wages a war. Since I showed there was nothing wrong with me asking Melissa to do an easy task. THOUGH he wasn't going to let me WIN as he saw it)

Melissa finished her sentence. As I bubbled with anger. she said "next she'd be asking me to do xxxxxx."

I left it there, or did I? Feeling frustrated and angry still. Next my partner put his feet on my coffee table. This wound me up. In his house you daren't do that. It appears he has one set of standards for his house, which he makes sure I know about, but another for mine.

He wouldn't dream of not cleaning the microwave out at his house, but he left mine. His excuse, you don't clean it. (more bouncing off)

He shuffled in the seat, and complained that he couldn't spread his feet out. He pushed the table up close to the fire. I said "watch it that will burn." He tutted. I said "how come in my house you do these things, but not in yours". He didn't reply. He sat for a short time, and then got up and said "I'm going out." He went out. The next day he came around as if nothing had happened.

My concern is me projecting on to Melissa though. Because many times I displace my anger, or my feelings of inadequacy on to her. She seems to side with her daddy.

Tim any ideas how I can sort this out, so I don't displace my anger on to her?

Thanks Theressa

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Hi All,

I need some insight?? I've tried to identify this in my journal but I am stuck.

My feelings of hurt and feeling unimportant, and angry, and uncared for are very real. They are my feelings and I own them. However, I am finding it hard to deal with them.

Here goes: On Monday my partner announced he had planned to go to the pub to watch the football with the lads. He said "Are you going to phone your sisters and see what they are doing with the kids?" I at first felt annoyed about the fact that he is off to the pub but I am expected to do family stuff. THAT FIGURES!

Anyway I decided to let it be and go out with my sister's. YOU all know about this, so I won't go on about it.

Anyway my partner said "I won't be long, I'll be back about 5pm." And off he went, and off I went.

When I got home from the park Melissa fell asleep and I had a headache. My partner did come home at 5pm. AND like he always says to me "RING and inform me so I can make my own plans, if you aren't able to get home."

Though he didn't ring. (DOUBLE STANDARDS), I should ring, and inform him so he can make plans without me he doesn't have to it seems.

Anyway I tested his cell phone asking him when he'd be home. He phoned me and said "Oh the match didn't start until 7pm. My friend got mixed up so I stayed in the pub anyway I am having a good time. I will be staying at your house tonight, see you soon."

Then my partner got home, in a great mood. He sat down, and said "It was a good laugh, our Tracy came in a few times, and had a couple of half's. AND Dot, Tony's missus came in. They asked where you were, I told them you had Melissa so you'd not be able to get out at such short notice."

I felt angry at this, (YES I know everyone, my therapist and everyone else keeps telling me I am Melissa's mom, but it doesn't alter these feelings.) The feelings of frustration I feel. I have looked around for a child minder to mind her at short notice, but without success. There are people who are teenagers who are too young, and Melissa's daddy wouldn't have them. AND from a legal point of view neither would I.

The others over 16 years old are all out partying. SO the option Dr Irene suggested of me getting my partner to pay for half of the child minding fees wouldn't help.

My feelings were strong. I was angry firstly that the other wives seem to be in the pub. The majority of their children are grown up. One of them Tracy my partner's sister has an older daughter who is 14 years old. She minds her son.

So they don't have any problems going out whenever they want to. NOR does my partner come to think of it!! (sorry for this vent)

WHEN I venture into my feelings further I came up with this:

It boils down to me being second best to his friends. Where is my evidence for this: Well I have asked for four months now would he help me with a cupboard. I HAVEN'T NAGGED, it just seemed each time he was going to do the lads asked him to go to the pub. OR THEY needed his help.

On Monday he promised for the hundredth time to do the cupboard, then told me sorry I forgot I arranged to go to the pub. (THE cupboard isn't the issue. I have decided if he doesn't do it soon, I will just ask someone else.)

The issue is the priorities with this partner of mine. His friend on Monday rang and said "I need you to come and help me put in my car stereo." He was off to help straight away, a month ago his friend needed him to fix a stereo indoors. He again was there straight away.

SO top and bottom of it, I am not as important to him as his friends. He must keep them happy. ME good old reliable me is always there to come back to.

WHAT frustrates me more, is the many things he asks me to do, like post letters, fill out forms, pick things up for him etc. I do when promised.

I am confused somewhat how the pub incident and the cupboard fit together.

However, I think it lies in the fact that HE COMES FIRST, HE FRIEND COMES SECOND, and goodness knows where I come on the list of priorities.

Then there are my angry feelings about him going to the pub. What are they about? Anger perhaps, that yet again he comes first.

I know it goes deep, it isn't just about him going out! I think it is about the fact that his friends' treat their wives as important to them. They try to please them and care for them.

I don't get this, do I?

Thanks for listening to me angry and mixed up. Any insight would help!!

Take care Theressa

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Dear All and Trubble,

I have just been speaking to one of the parenting group organizers, of the group I recently attended. He had some interesting things to say to me, I wanted to share:

He said "Theressa I think there is little wrong with your parenting style. Yes you need to mean what you say and say what you mean, but that is an improvement. It doesn't mean you are a bad mother, in fact you are a good mother, who works on improving. Theressa good parent is one who can admit she needs to improve, and learns from her mistakes. ONE who isn't ridged and one who doesn't change the rules to suit themselves. I would say without passing judgment that you appear to have progressed much further than your partner in parenting skills. I feel the issue isn't with your parenting as much as it is a relationship CONTROL issue. Your partner shoots you down, to gain CONTROL.

In the incident with Melissa and you asking her to do a task, this is evident. It was perfectly reasonable to ask her to do this task. Though her father didn't agree and felt you were cruel since she was ill. Obviously she wasn't too ill otherwise she wouldn't have completed the task, she would have said I can't mommy. SO because her father didn't agree, he was going to control you into his way of thinking. HE WANTED TO WIN, he wanted to control."

What do you all think?

Thanks Theressa

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Hi again, it's jay .

Dear Theressa, Your parenting group organizer is RIGHT!

Dear Asha, I think it is important to remember that solicitors seem to talk their clients into stuff they may not always ideally agree with . I went to one about something yesterday and she was absolutely on the side of working in my best interests, but the thing is that there was trust on the part of both parties... I kind of came away feeling really angry and suspicious: but then I calmed down and thought that all was OK. I can trust and that I can explain what my solicitor said to do to the other person..

I am puzzled. This morning Jake said " I can't promise I will never divorce you." I felt relieved. I think it is just that he is not being unclear any more and this feels better. He is SOOOO angry and I don't think it is me at all.

Dr Irene, I have decided I will do the housework I wish to!  I will choose to take back some of the responsibility. if Jake can't cope with the changes that is his problem. But then again, will we get into a control issue if I do this? Isn't it already a control issue?

And if he tells me green peppers, leeks, asparagus, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, onions etc are junk food then I will know he is nuts or hallucinating.

have to get off the computer as HumanKatKid won't give me chocolate if I don't. Serious chocoholics here! Jay


Thursday, May 10, 2001


1. Throw away the score card. ( It contributes to the anger, keeping the focus OVER THERE, creating images of incoming mortar shells.)

2. Repeat after me, " It is not so much the events, as it is MY INTERPRETATION of them, that is causing me distress, frustration, anxiety, ANGER, etc."

3. On projection: Theressa is aware she is doing it. Now, go to the source, THE PROJECTOR, the film machine in our heads. Paper, time for Step 10. See my post several cat boxes back. This will reveal Theressa's part. Anger possibly covering FEAR?

Tim's 2 greatest fears, and chief activator of my shortcomings: I will lose something I already possess, I will fail to get something I have demanded.

4. See: story about the child who hid food under the bed.

5. Take appropriate ACTION...continue to GROW.

My daughter Ally has taught me more than I could possibly imagine!!!


Tim B.

Friday, May 11, 2001

Dear Asha,

I am so sorry about all the problems, and I tend to get angry at the injustice of it. Can you be held accountable for his fiancés, even if you filled his bookkeeping files? Has she the right to do this? It sounds very unjust to me. I think you are doing right to prepare yourself, though part of me feels something like why should you have to do this, it is none of your business to know about balance sheets and things like that. What does Steve say about this? (Steve?)

Did you get any news about the telephone harasser?

I hope that you will be able to keep seeing things in perspective. Steve's x problems with him not having money are her problems,. And sure, they hurt you too, but they cannot alter what you are inside. I think you should refuse to let it make you unsure about your bookkeeping skills. Did you ever tell anyone you wher great at bookkeeping. You are not a professional bookkeeper. So what...

Hope you are doing ok for the rest, and hope you still find time for ‘a rest'. Will be thinking of you. Take care, hugs.



I get the feeling time and time again, your anger at a lot of things is not so much anger at what happens, but almost an anger at the world: things should not be as they are. Children should not need so much attention, etc. Do not get me wrong, I totally understand you are angry, I by no means want to suggest you do not love Melissa and do not want to care for her. But I think it is something we all have, this frustration in things we simply cannot change, yet we keep fighting them. What if your partner had died, you would have to take care of Melissa on you own too. Would you have been angry then? Did you even read the story on this site about not wanting the sky to be blue (Dr. I. can you help me with that one and put a link on it? Thank you. ) I think that is what a huge part of your anger is about.

Jay, take care, do not eat to much chocolate or the boat will sink. :-) Do you still want to divorce Jake or are you just happy cause you feel he is more honest now then he was before?

Lots of love to all of you, take care and hugs.

Love AJ

Friday, May 11, 2001

Hi all, Jay here.

Theressa, reading AJ's last comment to you did strike a bit of a chord with me. I think now that I would want to go beck to the days when my daughter was younger just because we were all happier then and it was precious. Even the bad bit where Jake left me to find a house alone with her in a pushchair and then refused to let us unpack until he had finished writing his thesis.

Jake did get better with the kids as they got older and he could relate to them more.

I just realised that after we moved I got strong and put my foot sown about a lot and it worked. I don't know why I stopped setting the boundaries.  

AJ I don't want a divorce. I just want peace, if that makes any sense. I would prefer not to be alone for the rest of my life and I would like Jake in the good times back. I am more and more convinced he is acting out of enormous stress. Is that making excuses for him? Not necessarily. The trick is to limit how much junk you will put up with regardless of why Other is acting out.

Yesterday was so much better and I did do some housework and today I have given Jake the box of veg and he will have to use it over the weekend! We actually had a family meal round the table and it was nice to find we were talking,

Just the idea of being away for a night or two is so good.

But I just realised it is not just Jake I don't set boundaries with. Hehehe The lady whose son I teach wanted me to correct an essay and she was supposed to give it to me yesterday. She hadn't even got it written up, and somehow I now have made this ridiculous arrangement that I will correct it while I am away. HOW and WHY have I done this to myself? I have determined that if she doesn't get it to me by the time I said I am leaving, but I can't see why I felt so obligated to do this. An auto pilot reaction: guilt and over responsibility. Same thing Asha was doing with Steve. And AJ. And lots of overly responsible codependents...

Somehow I undermine what is in MY best interests. Which is to get away for a break. Please tell me someone why I do this? Who cares why. Now that you know you do it, you can STOP it.

I am always doing this, Talk about codependent behaviour.

I should ring her and say that I can't do it.

But knowing me I won't. "Rats," to quote someone you know...

I am frightened of saying "No" to people. The fix: Learn how to say no. Just do it!

No wonder Jake can control so easily....


So I guess I just have to pick myself up and start believing that the world won't fall in when I say no., It so often has though! The only world you can worry about is your own...

Inside I still suffer from that most awful anger. Things happened anyone would be angry about but I wish I could put them completely behind me and lose the memories. Not just with Jake....Most of the time it is like an intense feeling in my hands as if they are clenched into a fist even when they are not. Sometimes I even wake up in the night angry. Notice what specifically you are angry at.

The only sensible thing seems to be to keep working on it. But I wish it would all go and the memories were not so vivid.

Oh well at least I don't feel angry with HumanKatKid! God's gift is a child who just has you falling on the floor laughing most days! jAY

Friday, May 11, 2001

P.S Theressa, I think you should tell your partner that in your house you have the right to have things as YOU want and that includes respecting your wishes for clean microwaves etc. I think you would have more respect from him if you did this (Says she who can't seem to sort her own stuff!) Jay But, codependents are marvelous at fixing others!

Friday, May 11, 2001

Dear AJ

Yes - apparently I *can* be held accountable for Steve's finances, according to his and her lawyer, because we have more than an arm's length affiliation. If you can be held accountable, why don't you have your own lawyer?

Subpoena, in Latin, apparently means "under penalty". So I must be there.

I spoke to both lawyers. Steve's lawyer doesn't really seem to care about the case. The lawyer's receptionist said that he was working on a "really important" case and wouldn't be able to talk to me or Steve until the day before court! I said that that wasn't good enough and kicked up some fuss, and he did finally call me back.

Steve seems to just put up with it. I cannot. I think it is unacceptable for a lawyer to be relatively unconcerned about any case, regardless of how small it is in his/her mind. From my conversation with him, it doesn't appear he's that interested in much in depth information so I think Steve will be on his own in this trial basically. *At least* he called *me* back (but when Steve phoned again, he insisted that he did not have time to talk with him until the day before the trial). He only called me back because I kicked up a fuss with the receptionist. She was not very happy with me, but I find her reasoning about other "more important" cases unacceptable, personally.

His x has a lot of power when it comes to family court, in my biased opinion. First because she is a woman, and he is a man. Second because her job deals with all the intricacies of the court system, so she is very familiar with how it works. Third, and most importantly, she has the kids (not by Steve's choice). I'm sure in her mind she feels justified in what she is doing, but personally I don't think it is for the sake of the kids at all.

This is just venting because in reality none of this is even my business. I've been drawn into this situation however, and now I have to deal with it. The gross part is she could take Steve to court and subpoena me every year as long as I remain affiliated with Steve's company. This doesn't serve her long term goal of getting Steve on track financially, but it seems like she doesn't really care, because apparently the court can have him accrue a debt and that's what she wants. I understand her position of wanting more money, but I don't think that these types of stresses honestly serve the children or even her best. Just my opinion. Sounds as though she's out for blood. 

I have been really upset - not eating or sleeping well, but I have stopped resisting the fact that I have been ordered to get involved, and am putting my energy towards getting all the paperwork together. If I'm going to do this, I *am* going to be prepared. I have asked a friend to make sense of balance sheets and financial statements so I don't look like a fool when presenting them.

I am trying to see this like a public speaking/improvisation exercise, rather than being intimidated by the formality of court. I will do what I can to prepare myself for this exercise, and try not to worry about the outcome. It's OK to feel intimidated. It's OK if others sense your intimidation. There is no shame in feeling intimidated. It is just a feeling that is.

Steve is doing his own books now, but the x could still involve me in future court proceedings because of our business relationship. I guess I somehow feel attacked because I don't feel I deserve the scrutiny. There's nothing hidden or skewed though and I really have no reason to feel defensive.

As for the telephone harasser, the call trace didn't work though the police said he did feel there could be some connection to the wallet incident.

Thanks for the support AJ.



You could be right about the solicitors. I spoke to her lawyer and he really had a lot of things misconstrued. In a way it was a relief to me, because his concerns are unfounded, and I know I will have no problem responding to that. I just hope my nerves don't get in the way, because when I'm upset my voice shakes, my heart pumps a mile a minute and my whole body twists into a knot. I don't know how I'll deal with *that*. Just let your body do it. Accept it. You have the right to shake, twist and pump.

Solicitors do have their own biases too whether they intend to be objective or not.


Another thing I have recently realized is that *all* abusers are victims first. Yes. They were the victims of their parents / caretakers. That was a bit of a revelation. For example in the power balance between Steve and his x, she has all the power now. She has a decent job, knowledge of the court system, and she has the kids - she has nothing to lose. So she can harass Steve endlessly if she wants to. She was once a victim herself (horrific family problems) and I think she has become the abuser in her current relationship with Steve. The roles often shift. 

I can't wait for all of this to be over. Wish me strength! Strength!



Friday, May 11, 2001

I wanted to share this with you all, it is what I have written in my journal. My tutor said last week in my psychology class. If you want to increase your self esteem write down the qualities you see in another that you want. And then plan to get them. Well here is a letter to ME! From me to the me I want to become and how I will get there!!

Here goes:

Dear Theressa (becoming),

I admire your ability to do what you want to do. I see you living your life and making choices that are right for you. You inform others and give them choices. You concentrate on your EFFORTS and not on the outcome. You concentrate on what is most important to your own path.

You take an interest in others and ask them questions, but you don't offer advice unless asked. Nor do you comment on their behaviour unless asked.

You let others choose how they live their lives. And allow them to see your example. You make requests and accept the answer given even if the answer is No. You then look at your sane options. You change your path if you can't get the support, and no it just wasn't meant to be. You don't complain or try to convince others.

You are self disciplined and know you deserve the best. You take risks and know you can trust your thoughts and feelings. You have no regrets over your choices, nor do you let others try to change your mind with guilt or regrets.

You set boundaries if others try to put you down in front of others. Especially if it is in front of a child.

If you know it isn't a putdown, you are happy to hear what everyone has to say for there is a lesson in every event.

You see your strengths and accept your weaknesses. You ask for support for the things you cannot do.

You live your life and bring into it what you want, by acting to put it there.

I admire you.

All my love Theressa (now)

Friday, May 11, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here.

WoW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Am I feeling good, great, fantastic, ever so healthy this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just got rid of 'him' forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I am not even telling myself "stay strong Sharon" or any other affirmations to stay on my own side. I AM ON MY OWN SIDE.

Dr. Psycho started again this week with his crazymaking, rude, sarcastic, abusive ways again. And I blew him out of the water!!!!!!

It all started when he promised to take me out for my birthday (which is sat. may 12). He told me that a romantic dinner was 'out' but we could go to a sleazy bar and drink, etc. then he suggested that I could do certain suggestive things with him for 4 hours. In other words, 4 hours of sex with him. It got weirder and weirder as the days wore on. My flags were up! Then he got even more weird. And I'm talking bizarre weird. He was bizarre on the phone last night. Abusive and just plain weird. Asked me 'well, what else would you like for your birthday', and I'd bring up ideas and the conversation just didn't feel quite sincere. I don't think he had any intentions of taking me ANYWHERE - he kept trying to provoke a fight with me. Then he called me VERY LATE last night and hung up. I did a star 69 this morning and it was him. I asked him why he called me so late? He said "well, it could have been someone else calling from my house". Again, weird and bizarre. Communicating with him just got weirder. So, I said this - "The bottom line is this - your recent behavior towards me is unacceptable. You got abusive last night in front of your friends while talking on the phone with me. This is unacceptable behavior. I want NOTHING MORE to do with you. You are a disturbed individual. Find someone else for a new plug in!!" All of this time he was talking over me - mocking me in a coy voice - ooooh Sharon's now verbal abusive". So, I don't think he even heard would I said. So, I emailed him when I got in telling him "in case you didn't get my clear message this morning - I want nothing more to do with you - and that he has been acting out inappropriate and I have had ENOUGH." Through my email, I projected out my anger!!!!! And the best thing of all is that I feel it!!!!!! And the other good thing is that I'm not scared of how I feel!!!!!!! And another good thing is that I don't feel the need to say to myself "hang in there Sharon! Don't back slide Sharon." I have never, ever felt like this towards him before!!!!!! This is new for me!!!!!!!! I am finally at the opposite side of the street now and turned the corner!!!!!!! I feel freedom, and I'm not scared of feeling that I may go back!!!!!! I don't have to go back!!! No more rationalizing his behaviors! No more denial! No more "wanting friendship", thinking about how to keep contact for ANYTHING. The bottom line is I DON'T CARE ABOUT HIS WELL BEING AT ALL. And that's exactly what I wrote in my email. I DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO DR. PSYCHO ANYMORE.

God, I am so full of emotion right now. My birthday is tomorrow and I truly think that the Holy Spirit is giving me a gift here. This is the birthday present that I wanted to give myself months ago. Well, I GOT IT!!!!!!!!

Love, hugs and kisses to you all.

Sharon Happy Birthday Sharon!

Friday, May 11, 2001


That IS the Theressa that is emerging!


Keep the birthday present...and Happy Birthday.



Tim B.

Saturday, May 12, 2001

If a farts in a so-called church ;then he will sit in own pew.

Sunday, May 13, 2001

Good Morning everyone! Happy Mothers Day to all you Mom's!

I have three sons one is in Florida with his father the other is not speaking to me because I told him the abuse of his girlfriend was wrong and my other son is coming today with his wife and children. He can be abusive to his wife also. But I've made up my mind I am not sitting here today listening to it and not saying anything. I can't stand it and I don't want to be around it. I have tried to stay out of their problems. But when I sit and don't anything when they start their bickering and abuse of each other I feel like I am approving of it. I hate it. Sometimes I feel like telling him off. They just keep it up with no regard for me sitting there listening to it. I wonder to myself who does he think he is? The king. It reminds me to much of my own abusive marriage.

It's funny when you begin to focus on abuse in your own relationship you begin to see the patterns you have been following with others in your life. They run parallel to each other. When you stand up for yourself and begin to hold the man accountable for his actions toward you, you start doing it with others also. You can see the abuse of yourself so clearly. This has been the case for me. I just would like to be treated better and be loved and respected by the people in my family.

My half sister has not spoken to me in over a month. All because I was drawing her attention to something she did that was disrespectful to me. My youngest half sister is pregnant. My other sister assumed that I would help put on a baby shower for her. Well my sister did not include me really only in the parts she wanted to. She bought the invitations and sent them out. My daughter law called RSVP for the shower. I had no idea that my sister had put my name down for the RSVP person. I didn't even know the date or time of the shower. I didn't even get an invitation. Well I was very hurt and upset. I called my sister and attempted to explain my feelings to her. I told her she had taken advantage of me and that I felt very disrespected. Something new for her to hear from me. Well she started yelling and bringing up all this other stuff that had nothing to do with what I was saying about the current issue. She hung up on me. Another abusive and disrespectful move.

A week went by until she called and she wanted the count for the rsvp. I gave it to her. She says I know you really didn't want to do it but I need to have the count. I stopped her right there and said its not that I didn't want to do it , you never asked me you just assumed I would do it. I reminded her again that I didn't even know the date or time of the shower much less get an invitation. That hurts. Oh and top of that my name was on the invitation as being hostess with her for the shower. What part in the shower was I going to have. What she decided to give me. Well we talked for a long time and I thought we had turned over a new leaf with each other.

On Easter Sunday my son's girlfriend tell me that my sister went and told her about our fight and conversation. She told her that she called me and asked me what crawled up my ass. I was extremely hurt over this. It ruined my whole Easter. I was suppose to go to her house after my dinner with my sons. I didn't go. I was to upset and hurt. I wasn't going to go and be a hypocrite and smile and pretend everything was alright. So I didn't go. I spoke to my sister a week later and talked to her about going to my son's girlfriend and talking to her about me the way she she. Well she freaked out on me. The yelling thing again. The last thing she said to me was "You get your ass in your car and drive over here right now. We're going to fight this thing out. I am so sick of you" and with that she hung up on me. I haven't heard from her since.

The shower day came for my other sister and I bought her a gift and brought it to her house with a card telling her I was sorry I couldn't come to the shower and I hoped that she had a lovely day. I explained that the reason was between my other sister and I and it had nothing to do with her. My other sister has gone and told everyone in the family her side of the story. Meanwhile I have not discussed it with anyone.

Two days after the shower I got a thank you card in the mail from the sister who is pregnant. Telling me how it bothered her the whole day that I wasn't there. That's life is to short to hold a grudge like my other sister and I are doing. She hopes we can resolve our differences soon. Now I am being accused of holding a grudge. The only thing that I am doing is standing up for myself and protecting myself from further abuse. Now no one is talking to me. Not my mother either. My family of organ has been emotionally abusing me for years. I finally have the courage to stand up and say no more. But now I am an outcast. The black sheep. It hurts. It hurts deep.

My husband keeps calling with his emotional abuse. I feel like I just can't take anymore. It is so lonely. I feel so unloved. I cry a lot and go to sleep when ever I can. I know this is depression. I stand alone. I keep asking my self what is wrong with me. There has to be something wrong with me. If there wasn't anything wrong with me why then am I alone. I am trying to so hard to stop the cycle of abuse in my life. But I am doing it all alone. I go to see a counselor once a week and then to the support group for abused women. Then I come home alone. And stay alone. No friends no nothing. I know I probably sound like I am feeling sorry for myself and I probably am. I am just hurting. I am sorry. I would appreciate some advice and encouragement from anyone who might be able to give it. Thank you. Love to all Tina

Sunday, May 13, 2001

Dear Kitty, I have been in a relationship with a married man for 7 yrs. now. He claims he does not love his wife and I am the soul mate he has been searching for all his life ..we are both nearly 40yrs old and I have broken out of 2 abusive relationships and he is living with his wife in total hell. although I refuse to have relations with him until he makes a decision on who he wants we have not seen each other in private since January). we were friends first.. yrs. ago and we have a strong physical and emotional attachment. Now we talk everyday and I see him for lunch once a week and we have managed to stay good friends. I am wondering by talking to him daily and seeing him once a week for lunch if I am doing him an injustice and making it easier for him not to face the music ..meaning he needs to stay and be happy or get out. take his time to heal and decide if we are what he wants. I have no hope at this point. that we will end up together and that reality ..I have faced. but somehow we have such a magnet force that keeps us in touch and I do Love him dearly. And I feel that I need to stop all communication with him and let him (find himself) without my input, help, support. because this is something I have nothing to do with. Am I right? Do we fight for what we may be able to have ? or do we let it go and if it comes back to you, it's yours. Signed, Tiger

Sunday, May 13, 2001

Hey, Theressa, I'm proud of you! That was a tough moral decision you had to make about that picnic, and I say you called it right.

It had to be tough with all that emotional pressure on you. Some people will hide behind children and use them to manipulate you. "Oh, Theressa, how can you let the poor little babies starve, you're such a terrible person!" It's highly manipulative precisely because it is so powerful. It's hitting you over the head with a great club of guilt, and expecting you to buckle at the knees and cave in. Well, good for you for not caving in! :)

And it's a dirty trick on the kids, because it's our job as Big People to look after Little People--not to use them as shields to hide our inadequacies behind, or as weapons to hit other Big People over the head with. That's dumping on children. Too many people do it, like your sister.

It was a tough decision because there were no win-win solutions for everybody, when your sister hadn't allowed for that. Your mother lost out with the food, because unlike you, she wouldn't put her foot down. If she had, that would have been unfair on the kids, who did nothing to deserve being deprived of a meal. So it's all Hobson's Choice. But you have got to look after yourSelf. You've got a big responsibility to get to your job, to earn money to look after your own daughter (and model caring behavior to her). Apart from that, what if you had been able to drive to your mother's anyway and also to your job, "running on fumes" as we say here--yet *worrying* all the time about running out of fuel? Why should you put that stress on yourself when it's the last thing you need right now?

So what if your sister's kids hadn't had the picnic food they expected? That wouldn't have been fair to them, but it wasn't going to kill them. They'd survive; no need to get the violins out. I hope they'd realize whose fault that was, in spite of your sister's protestations. You've got to look to the long term; and moral questions usually are about the long term, not the short term. If your sister got pulled up short that way more often, instead of being "rescued" by your mom, she might start getting her act together. At least you gave her a forty-minute walk, and time to think. And if she hadn't done that, and her kids had to go hungry, I know that's not fair on them, which is sad; but if they've got a mother who's irresponsible and manipulative, that's going to give them problems anyway, and the equally sad fact is that you can't do much about it. Feeding them on one picnic wasn't going to make any difference. And what would be the use of giving away your sick daughter's food to feed children who are healthy? Why should you model lack of provision and protection to your own daughter as well? Can two weak mothers be better than one strong one?

If your sister can't afford beer *and* food for her own children, with a husband working as well, maybe she should get a job, even part time. My mother worked full time when she needed to, though she never even drank. And you need that job.

All this family stuff, it's tough too. If you're struggling--successfully, I will say--to establish stronger boundaries, it's your family that taught you weak boundaries in the first place. And they're not bad people, not at all; they're very normal in a lot of ways. They're human; they're well worth loving. I can feel the warmth of the good intentions there, which you have as well. They're just "normal" in some ways you can't afford to be. So now you're working to get away from those failings, to do better still; but you're bravely on your own. Some of them will collude together to try to draw you back into their pattern, to keep you "like them," warts and all. Somebody once said that humans are like crabs. If we dump a load of crabs in a bucket, and one crab tries to climb out and escape, then instead of following suit, all the other crabs will try to pull him back. It takes a very determined crab to escape. Still, it's better for one crab to escape than none.

If your partner wouldn't support you either, I could ask "how much support can you expect from an abuser anyway?" But I don't want to be cynical, though I will ask why he couldn't at least stick up for his own wife, the way you stuck up for your own daughter. There is more to it, because in his mind as well as others', I know there's room for a legitimate difference of opinion about how you chose to handle this. I know he's not a monster, and among his good points he does have a genuine sense of responsibility. That includes the notion that "you should take care of family"--extended family as well--particularly with material provision when it's needed. But he will keep picking on you, and while this is pure speculation on my part, considering the way he was abandoned by his mother for a time, I wonder how far his response to you was colored by seeing you as a "mother figure abandoning children in need"? Instead of seeing what you were really doing: acting as a mother by looking after your own.

Hey, we can't look after everybody! But that was his opinion, and you shouldn't be afraid to stick to your own, because nobody else can live your life for you. Only you can do that. As for those kids, if you can't feed them all the time, which isn't your job anyway, you can still do other things for them like setting them an example. If there are some things their own mother isn't modeling for them, then you're giving them a better model to choose from. One day they'll probably be proud of their Auntie Theressa. If they aren't already, that is!

Take care of yourSelf! And I hope you had a happy Mother's Day a few weeks back, but it's Mother's Day here today, so I hope you have a good one too! :)

Love, Gordon

Sunday, May 13, 2001

Hi Marji,

Oh boy, wasn't that a rotten experience out there in that parking lot? It just goes to show that "no good deed goes unpunished." At least, that's true when we're dealing with abusers.

Frightening, too. I'm sorry you got hurt. At least you kept your head all the way through, and got out of it as best you could. You're competent. I wish you better luck avoiding all such nasty stuff in the future.

As big a deal as all this was, I wanted to write to you about what might seem to some like a trivial detail; anyway, I didn't notice any comment on it so far. Your little cell phone with its "poor broken face." That hooked a memory of something. It was nothing that happened to me personally; it was some story I read as a child. It was about a kid who got jealous and smashed a clock that another kid got as a prize. And I remember thinking at the time: "What a shame!" Not just "poor kid," but "poor clock" as well. It was a beautiful clock; what a pity to destroy it. And a clock has a "face" too, of course.

So you might feel it's "strange" that most of your feelings were centered around your cell phone; but it isn't. It's *normal*. The trouble is that many people, especially today, lean too exclusively on the idea that "people are more important than objects." "It's only an object; it can be replaced"--which is more true in today's economy than it ever was in history. And that's all very well as far as it goes; but what about the importance of objects to people themselves? Some people will go so far as to invalidate the very genuine feelings we have about objects. Early in childhood, if we're lucky, we develop "people attachments," and we also develop "object attachments"--to a favorite toy, for instance. Both are important to establishing lasting feelings of trust and security. Usually too we personify these things; that "favorite toy" is likely to be a stuffed animal. Mine was called Blackie. I've still got him somewhere. I always thought of him as a dog, but I'm honestly not sure if he was meant to be a sheep originally. I could never tell because for as long as I can remember, poor old Blackie was always so shapeless from being hugged to death when I was two or three. That's so funny! :)

A clock isn't very huggable, but it can be beautiful and valuable. Also, we often say things like "time is our enemy," or talk about "racing against the clock." But it's never the clock we're racing against. It's Time itself. A clock is our friend. By keeping us on track, it can help us win the race. Sometimes too, Time itself is on our side.

You may have scraped your hand, but that's not a big deal in itself. We cut our hands all the time by accident, and think little of it afterwards. What was a big deal was the circumstances in which it happened. That was very frightening. Besides, our hands take care of themselves; if it's only a scrape they heal up quickly. But what about a cell phone with its little broken face? It was more than an object, more even than a face. It was voices as well. It was your own voice, being heard loudly at a distance, especially if you called out for help when there was nobody with you. It was the voices of your friends and other helpers in your ear, reassuring you, even when they couldn't be standing next to you. In an emergency it could be a lifeline of attachment. It wasn't just any face; it was a face watching over you. Are diamonds really a girl's best friend? Diamonds can wink at you, but can they do all that as well? At a very difficult time in your life, your little cell phone was your friend. No wonder you mourned it.

And I don't know if this is true, but if it so happens that you've been beset by "abusers" of one kind or another for much of your life, as some people have, who won't let you keep any*thing* of your own that belongs to you, but kept taking it away from you, then this was just one more instance of violating you in the same way, one more punch on the same bruised spot. That would hurt all the more. But even if that isn't the case, your feelings are still normal.

Some people will, as you know, discount these feelings. Some elderly people may be devastated by the death of their cat. Some of their so-called "friends" will say "It was only a cat; why don't they get over it?" Can't you just hear Kittycat and Trubble bristling at that idea? :) The cat may have been their only companion for years. How could they *not* feel that loss?

Now in spite of what anybody says, I think some people *can* be "too sensitive" to certain trivial things that happen to them; too sensitive for their own good, anyway. But not something like this. And even when something is trivial in and of itself, if it seems important to you, it's important to understand what it means to you, which can't be trivial at all. Far from it. You'll get a new cell phone, if you haven't already; and if you needed to grieve over this one a little, that's natural and right. But don't lose that much sensitivity. I'm glad you've preserved it; that's another form of self-caring. After whatever you've been through, it means you're still functioning well. Good luck with all the other junk you'll have to deal with. You'll get through it and put it behind you. Do take care! And I hope you have a happy Mother's Day! :)

Love, Gordon

Sunday, May 13, 2001

crumbs, the CatBox gets bigger and the posts get longer. I just wanted to say that I try to read but I am just unable to keep up so I am confining most replies to the older catbox members unless I have anything specific to say for now. I feel mean saying this but I don't know how else to do this!

Asha, I hope I am right about the solicitor. I find even the ones on my side pretty tricky! Takes every ounce of assertiveness to ensure I am not talked into stuff I don't want to do. and I have one of the best solicitors in town! I guess in the end they have to make their money and they get worried about covering their backs.

But I do think it unreasonable that they are paid the same amount per hour by everyone and then count the smaller cases as a lesser priority. I think Steve would be within his tights to file a complaint or change solicitors.

You handle it so well though, Lots better than you probably think/

it IS possible Steve's wife is mad at the world and you. After all you are still the woman he is involved with now.

Sharon, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And give yourself the best present ever by STAYING AWAY from Dr Psycho FOR GOOD!

Theressa, you sound like you are really getting it together. I think your sister was way out of line on the food thing. Children generally do NOT starve inn the park between dinner and tea time even if NOT fed, Your priority was Melissa. Had you all been dying of starvation then it might be different.

But you are not and your sister was just manipulative.

No essay turned up for me to edit so that was ok and I have had a lovely time with AJ.. It is so good to meet someone else with 2 heads. The only hiccup for me was a really funny incident which has absolutely nothing to do with abuse. I got to the port really late and couldn't find my hotel. I gave up a around midnight and booked myself into the nearest place I could see that looked open . I did think it was a bit shabby. The guy said he couldn't give a wake up call and even more bizarrely he couldn't provide a clock as the previous visitors had broken them all. Then the key wouldn't work in the door of a room with the most hideous wallpaper ever seen.

So I got moved to another room and I was so tired that I ignored the cracked sink and cistern.

The alarm on the clock that was finally found was broken and GIGGLE about 5am I picked up the clock and ...dropped it!

So now they have NO clocks at all?

Then by 6 I had had enough, especially as it was dawning on me how very run down the place was and how the wallpaper was unbearable....

On my way out I met a postman and asked him the time and explained about the lack of clocks (I can't wear watches). The postman laughed and explained it was no longer a hotel: it was a refugee hostel.

Si I stayed the night in a refugee hostel and then traveled first class on the ferry! Leave it to Jay!


AJ is lovely and she was looking very peaceful and happy and it was great to see her again.

Trubble you have been turned into a stuffed toy. We saw you in Brugges! No way AuntieJay! That really was me - making sure you two stayed out of trubble!

love, Jay


Monday, May 14, 2001

"Love your neighbor AS yourself, not MORE THAN yourself."

Monday, May 14, 2001

Hi all, Asha here

I really need some advice.

Steve's x showed some apprehension (to Steve) on the weekend about going to court. (Maybe it's hitting her that this may hurt *her* also? Don't know)

Whenever we spoke before all this, she was nice to me (or at least pretended to be).

She never once made mention of her suspicions about my "hiding" Steve's money (totally unfounded, and untrue) when she and Steve were in mediation.

I think if she knew the real situation from my point of view, she would have second thoughts about court.

If I spoke to her on the phone I know I would need to be grounded and not try to "justify" or demand or manipulate her in any way: just simply state my point of view and leave her with her choices.

In her mind I think she has distorted the situation and made me into some sort of scam artist that is helping Steve to stash money (which doesn't exist).

What do you think, should I phone her before court, or is that enabling her negative stuff? (again, I know it couldn't be an angry, or defensive call, just expressing my thoughts about what she is doing)

I think Steve just wants to go to court so she can stop threatening him about it...

What would you do? Nothing  until I got a handle on my fear. 

Court is Friday, so I to decide asap.

thanks for any input.


Monday, May 14, 2001

Asha, Each of us knows our own truth. Speak it when in court and if called to present evidence and/or testify. It has been my experience that people who shout the loudest about what someone else is doing or not doing, are usually doing so in an effort to ignore their "side of the street". Walk towards the FEAR, embrace it, TELL the truth and trust the Big Guy....and, NO, don't call this woman.

Been there,

Tim B. 

Monday, May 14, 2001

Hey cats,

Asha - Legally, DON'T call Steve's ex. ANYTHING you say to her could come back at you in court, mangled to your disadvantage. If she is having second thoughts or some repentant flash of clarity, let her. Let her bring it out in court and let HER suffer. Just go in with your clear clean books in a nice conservative outfit, and let the case be dismissed! She's just harassing you because Steve cares about you - someone else said that too and I completely agree.

Jay and AJ, I am purple with jealousy that you are getting together on the *Continent*. That is so chic. Can't you come to Rio de Janeiro once in a while? Jay I'm so happy that the essay didn't appear. I was going to suggest that you call the lady and say what you told us: that you had accepted a perfectly ridiculous assignment when you were going out of town, OOOPS! Sorry, NO CAN DO! OOOPS!

Theressa, that dang cupboard was an issue when I started posting. Weren't you going to get some hunky guy to fix it for you, a friend who had offered? Your partner's behavior is not okay. He IS putting his friends first. He is even putting his friends before his own child. This is not a good message for Melissa. She might not get it now, but she will get it pretty soon. I would have been steamed about the pub thing too - but not because I couldn't g, because you "are Melissa's mom" and everything etc etc. But why did he have to blab ad nauseum about how all the other wives were asking where you were? Did he deliberately want to torture you and say "nyah nyah you couldn't go to the pub and I could"? If I were you, and of course I understand that I am not, I would be asking myself if having a "present" father for Melissa was worth the effort. If I were in your shoes, I would 1) NOT count on the guy for help raising or caring for Melissa and 2) essentially sever all but the most casual ties with him. He is NOT treating you right, Theressa. He is making you feel like you are a bad mom and he is not helping ease your life. He is just like your sisters. You are still with him because the feelings are FAMILIAR, because you grew up with siblings who made you feel the same way. I don't agree with Tim (was it Tim??) that you are keeping score. I think you are being treated poorly, very poorly. It's not possible for you to organize yourself efficiently with someone like your partner pulling you back down. It seems to me that your therapist has said the same thing or something similar. I am sorry I am being harsh, maybe. It's just that you are trying so hard and growing so fast and so well, and this guy is holding you back.

Sharon, you crossed the bridge. You're on the other side! Yippee! Congratulations! How many exclamation marks were there in your post, anyway??

Not much new here in Brazil except I never saw a Mother's Day like the one that just went by yesterday. It's like a cult! I hope all the moms had great days! In other news, my laptop is going out well before its time, and it's making me cross. I will have to buy a new laptop in the US, I am afraid. It's getting too hard to read the Catbox! (and the New York Times and the Boston Globe and the Washington I get any research done...)

Love, Perdida

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

No awful people just awful behaviour. Self discipline is the solution.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001


Thank you for your post about my "poor broken cell-phone." The fact that someone understands and relates to my feelings means so much. Tears came to my eyes as I read your message. I do have a new cell phone now, and the city is going to try to make him pay me for the replacement, but the violence done can never be paid for. He came to get some of his stuff from my house on Sunday (accompanied by the police, of course) and even as they stood there, he told me how he was going to have his day in court and get even. Later, they thanked me for not responding to him or getting into a shouting match with him and wished me luck.

Thanks for caring enough to read that long post and responding to it - I read everyone's posts here, but don't always have something worthwhile to offer. Yours was very poignant to me...


Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here; Thanks for all your kudos about the emotional shedding of Dr. Psycho! Weird but true -- I even had a physical reaction of shedding him. My body felt toxic for a few days there as I was detoxing -- I actually felt like I had the flu or something, and I lost 2 lbs. or so. It was weird. I don't feel toxic anymore and my skin and eyes look better. Emotionally and *other feelings*, there is indifference. I could care less about his well being. I can't believe I was soooo in love with this man - and he was so bizarre, unhealthy and very, very, very, very strange. That's the only descriptive term I can come up with to describe my experience in knowing him. He was truly THE most bizarre human being I've ever met. I realize I have a ways to go, but I am around that corner!

Hugs, Sharon

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

To the Doc, and everyone...

Pardon me whilst I pat myself on the back, but I finally found the strength to tell my abusive ex that I did not wish to see her. Funny, now that she's gotten rid of me, and no longer has control of my whereabouts, that suddenly I am the recipient of late-night phone calls, asking where I've been, if I do things "alone", etc. Lately she's been calling, and hinting that she'd like to see me, though not before making sure I know that she hasn't anything better to do...and then waiting for me to ask *her* if she'll drop by. (She would never, ever put herself in as humble a position as to actually ASK if she could see me...) I simply said I didn't think it was in my best interest to see her. And that was that.

Of course, I had to deal with some residual, unearned guilt; "oh no, I've rejected her", but all I have to do is think of all past put-downs, belittling, insults, "jokes" at my expense (alone and in front of my friends), the lies, the manipulations, and my task seems much easier. I grew tired of trying to be a friend to her, when she wasn't even attempting to be a friend to me. Admittedly, I was one of the ones who tolerated outrageous, inexcusable behavior in the name of love, something I will never do again, though I was in the trap of waiting around for the sweet, charming person she used to be to reappear. I no longer call, pursue, explain, coddle, or try to "understand"; I simply know it's not healthy for me to be around the master of MeMeMe. It's taken this long for me to realize that the only time she ever showed me warmth or affection was when my foot was out the door. And I took it hook, line, and sinker every time because I was longing to see the "early" personality that was nothing but a manipulative facade. This site has been a great tool in helping me remember I still had my power. Onto some real human relating...

Power to the people back home, XX.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Hi All, My situation is a textbook example of a verbally abusive relationship. Almost everything that I read says "get out, get out, get out". What can I do if I want to try to save my marriage. I love my husband very much. I don't know if I am ready to leave until I have exhausted every possible avenue for living a happy life with him. I allow him to yell at me often, belittle me, call me names, (like I said, classic textbook example). What can I do to deal with this and still try to make it work. I will leave as a last resort. I guess I am not angry enough yet. I have a one year old little girl who absolutely adores her daddy (could be a big problem later down the road). I hate to disrupt her life by moving. He has threatened to take her and leave and I will never find either of them if I try to leave. I'm at my wits end and feel like I am going crazy sometimes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Hi All,

I am in a dilemma. And need some advice:

It is about Affection-bonding:

For most of my life I've heard "Don't mard her/him they will get soft and not be able to take care of themselves". THUS, I worked out all my problems on my own, without any adult support.

My partner says the above phrase whenever our little girl hurts herself.

My sister said to me the other day "Theressa you are cruel why do you not comfort your daughter when she is hurt".

Well I don't want Melissa to grow up unable to take care of herself. I know the inflictions of this from my own issues. Though I don't want her to grow up unloved and lacking in affection.

We hug when she is going to bed and I tuck her in. We hug when she is leaving or I am leaving one another, to go some place. I hug her in the day when we sit together and read.

This isn't the dilemma. The dilemma is should I cuddle a child who is hurt? Absolutely! Will it stop them from being able to take care of themselves when they grow up?? You actually teach her to comfort herself when you cuddle her!

I find this affection things difficult to understand. Since no one did this for me. I was told to wipe my eyes and get up.

I have been studying child psychology. It seems affection bonding is important. It suggests showing affection for: rejection, hurt, sadness, just for comfort, when you are both happy to see each other.

My daughter and I speak on the phone everyday. I always greet her with delight. I greet her with delight every evening when i go to pick her up after work.

Though its the hurt, sadness, rejection etc. I am unsure how to handle.

BOTH me and my partner aren't good role models in this area. Since we both had to sort things out on our own. I support my daughter and listen to her. I ask her questions so she work things out. THOUGH what about hugging, comforting.

What I am trying to say is will a child who is hugged when hurt not grow up to take care of herself?

Thanks this is hard for me Theressa

Wednesday, May 16, 2001


My mommy taught me to clean my teeth and she taught me to bathe. She taught me to change my clothes everyday. She taught me good manners such as please and thank you.

She taught me to go to school everyday. She taught me to eat good food.

She didn't know about boundaries, nor did she know much about affection cuz her mommy was never affectionate, and still isn't, you see my grandmothers parent weren't affectionate to her. She was never taught to manage her anger.

Though she was taught to people please and be nice and never say NO. (she passed these traits on to me and my sisters)

She was taught to put up for the sake of her marriage, dispite everything.

She has changed alot my mom in the past few years. She has learnt to put herself first, to take care of herself.

She still lacks anger management skills, as she acts passive-aggressive. She finds guilt hard like myself.

She looks after my own little darling Melissa whilst I am at work.

My mom is an imperfect mommy and there is lots she never taught me because she never knew about them.

She never disciplined me about being tidy. My room was like a bomb sight. My mom always came and tidied it for me. The house was always spotless, not a dirty mug in sight. The windows always sparkled.

I am okay with my imperfect mommy. I love you mom.

I just wish I could reach out and hug you. I thought that you were never affectionate but I do remember some times you were, or at least I think you were. When you'd give my sore knees, or hurt fingers magic kisses.

Though when I needed you to help me sort things out when I was confussed you weren't there for me. I know my father took ill when I was eleven years old.

I don't blame you. I know you couldn't help it. You would smack me and it hurt for being naughty. Though you never stopped my sister from ruining all my stuff.

Though I love you still. I am just not sure how to get close to you.

I know you did the best you could, with the skills you have.

Love your little girl Theressa

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

The Serenity Prayer

(full text)



GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living ONE DAY AT A TIME; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

Reinhold Neibuhr-1926   Incredibly wise stuff...

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

The poster who says all the texts books say is go, go get out,

Look at these links and learn the lessons you need to learn, as we all have here in catbox. It takes time, but it is worth it.

Keep coming here for support.

Links to teach you the skills:


And these links will explain what you are Co-dependent, take care of others morethan yourself.

Take care, and know we've all felt empty like you do, you can overcome this. Also getting a good therapist who understands abuse  is a god send.


Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Hi All,

GOSH all I've recently been learning I've read a thousand times on Dr Irene's site and it is only recently I was able to put it in to practice.

Has this happened to lots of you? GOSH it takes practice. Practice practice practice practice!

Take care Theressa

Wednesday, May 16, 2001


I was recently given a copy of "Breaking The Silence" by Mariette Hartley. Her Grandfather, John B. Watson said: " Mother love is a dangerous instrument." This kind kind of distorted thinking played itself out in Mariette's life though her parents. The results can only be described as chilling. In chapter two of her book, she tells what her Grandfather believed about raising children.

I have had the pleasure of hearing Mariettes' story on more than one occasion. I have watched her grow over the last seven years. I have personally spoken with her. She has told how she struggles with her own children as a result of John Watson's " poisonous pedology". I have learned from her. She has put The Serenity Prayer into practice, changing the things she can.

Tim B.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Catbox Vent:

Most notable abusive exchange of the week:

Y: I don't think it would be a good idea for me to see you at this time. I'm hurt and I need to take care of myself for a while. Z: OK, whatever you say, A**HOLE!!! Y: Hey! Don't talk to me that way. Z: God, you just take everything all wrong! Every time you react like that, you're only hurting yourself.


Anyone care to analyze?

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

To Tina,

You sound like you are on the right track for yourself. I'm sorry you feel so alone, but things will get better! Keep reading & going to the counselor. You are growing and changing, and alot of times that is extremely difficult for those close to you to accept, especially those with abusive tendencies. Take care of yourself. When your sons and daughters in law start going at it in front of you, remember that it is your right to simply leave. Or, if it is your house, you can calmly ask THEM to leave. As for your sister, it sounds like a little distance between the two of you is best for now. Once again, you don't have to listen to any abuse! If she starts that again, hang up. You may tell her why you are ending the conversation or not, whatever works for you. By calmly ending the conversation each and every time the verbal abuse starts you are taking care of you. Do it enough times and she'll start to feel pretty stupid for yelling at a dial tone!



P.S.-Trubble, I have no idea why you are so upset! With mine it's usually because the food bowl is looking like it's going to be empty at some point!  :(

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Dear Theressa,

I think when people are hurting is when they most need a hug. I don't think people grow up unable to help themselves if they are hugged when in distressed: in fact I feel it is the most needed time.



The one thing I remember from my own childhood was the longing for a parent to hug me when I was hurting. Guess our parents all got brought up with Truby King philosophy.

I also think that Northerners tend to be less huggy by nature than southerners. I lived further North than you for a bit and I do remember people being "very no nonsense and no mollycoddling." I may be totally off track and making assumptions here.

.To the poster wanting analysis of the comment of the week. I guess that hurt. Try not engaging. Analyzing probably will just make you feel worse about it.

Giggle. I went to the HUman Givens Seminar today and attempted to tell Jake about it and also to explain a bit of solutions based therapy. He asked if it was a cult!

However I came back feeling very positive. It was a really good day and then I realised something after Jake made that remark. He cannot bear to see me happy! I can be calm and he is ok. I can be doing and he is ok. But excited and enthusiastic, no. :(

He got slightly drawn in and then kind of bottled out and walked away. THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. Somewhere along the way laughter and happiness have become something he doesn't allow himself. :(  Is he depressed?

Sometimes I think that something happened that literally froze his emotions. I guess I can't fix him and it is codependent to try to. So some of his ways are not so much abusive as the product of being very damaged and so I think I feel a little more compassion.

Also something said at the seminar today helped. It was that some men show their love by doing and never do see the point of saying " I love you." Yes.

So maybe all this housework stuff is because he literally can't do the verbal stuff and the difficulty is a male/female thing . If so, this means that I can let him be and accept it and the power struggle is broken? Let him be and do as you will - and the power struggle is broken.

I feel positive . I think it is the result of doing something completely in tune with what I want to do and for me. Yippeee!



Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Dear Irene, I wrote you back on march 18 2001. Well there's much more to this tail then I would ever be able to seems the more i learn the less i wont to know! it seems that my partner "connie" and her behavior out side our home was not all that was going on. my children have only recently told me mom has had a steady stream of male friends coming to our home wile i worked, i am outraged that our children have been subject to this behavior not only did this person abuse, use and manipulate me but my children as well!! i am at this time trying to normalize the mess connie left wile she continues to threaten harass and have these friend of hers stalk my home i have discovered a 250.000 dollar life insurance policy with my signature forged to it !!!!i don't know what else she may have out there on my life but with all the other criminal acts she has performed ,i have great concern for my well being i have been in contact with all the appropriate authorities, but because im male get little response. Tim  Ouchhhh!

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Hi All,

Jay, try to get hold of the book, 7 languages of love. This speaks about different ways people try to show love. It is usually the way they felt comfort when they were children. My husband thought teaching me was loving. THOUGH the criticism was what crushed me. AND never measuring up.

I've come along way now, I know that I have to DO to have self respect. THAT DO is for me!!!

I now realise I will make mistakes.

Last night and in fact for the past month things have been rocky. GEEZ they've been rocky for years!!!

Anyway IN my partners rule book. YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE MISTAKES, and disappoint him unless you want telling straight.

No honestly. He has been behaving very well for weeks. He has informed me when things I have been doing have annoyed him, THAT IS OKAY NO PROBLEM. I've saw his viewpoint and sometimes he has been correct.

Though other times he isn't specific about his expectations and then lets it bottle up and then lets me have it. Passive-aggressive I know.

Last night I walked into his house. Melissa was there with him. He said "Theressa you spilt some crumbs over the floor near the bin from your weetabix." I said "Okay". He said "I thought I'd leave them to you, since people usually learn their lesson so they don't do it again." I said "It was an accident, so why would it teach me a lesson. It wasn't done on purpose." He said "I know".

I went to the toilet and he did his usual thing. He needs to keep on about it, but uses humour. AND he does this with Melissa. They both shouted in a joking tone. "DO IT, clean it DO IT NOW. and they kept chanting." I told them to shut up. In a joking tone. (THIS ANNOYS ME THOUGH, the need to keep going on even in a joking manner about things I've done. AS IF THEY ARE A BIG DEAL!!

I was just washing my hands when I heard him going on about something else. He said "I've had enough of you two leaving my house like a shithole."

THIS IS WHERE I ENGAGED. I walked up to him in a joking way. I said "We don't always leave your house a mess". He said "I don't have much time as it is Theressa and yet you leave a sink full of pots. You always do it."

This is not true, may have been in the past but not in the present. So this always was uncalled for. I ENGAGED. I said "No!, that cup, that cup, that cup and that glass were not mine. AND I had my evening meal at home so only that cup and that cup are mine. AND I only left them because I didn't want to make noise this morning and wake you."

He said "Any excuse, you just are too damn lazy, any one would think a girl your age could look after herself, your lazy, you don't take care of your life. You need to sort your head out Theressa your a grown woman."

I said "I am not listening to you treat me this way, I am getting my stuff. come on Melissa."

Melissa said "mommy I need to finish my yoghurt."

I went upstairs and collected all my stuff.

When I came down stairs, My partner asked me for the key to his house. And gave me mine back.

Then he said "Theressa do me a favour go off with Ron, your counsellor I am sure you'll be very happy together. CUZ I don't need your bullshit I've got enough to cope with. I've put up with your poor behaviour for eight years. I don't need it anymore. Maybe one day you'll change but you haven't changed much. I don't know what that stupid counsellor is doing for you only making you worse."

With that I left his house. Melissa was crying. I hugged her, and told her things are gonna be okay, he is in a bad mood. He still loves you. Cry if you need to darling. And i held her in my arms, just like I did when he left last time.

SO I THINK maybe I have shown her affection.

SO TODAY my head is spinning. Now TIM B, I know why I avoid standing up for myself! It is because if he causes a conflict and walks out. I usually ring him as normal and let it go. "Yesterdays news so to speak".

Though with my partner it is a different cattle of fish altogether. Because it was me who said "i am not having you treat me this way. And I got my stuff to go." THIS is not okay with him. IF i show him I can make my decision to not put up with this. THEN HE IS GONNA MAKE ME PAY.

He won't let it go. He can't let things go after conflict, I have to go to him or else that is it. STUBBORN! One set of rules for him, cuz he is allowed to at crazy. BUT ME, no I must be a saint!!

So if I mess up and leave = we are through


If he messes up and leaves = I usually go and make contact first, since I am so understanding YUK!

SO God only knows what will happen next?????????

Take care Theressa


Thursday, May 17, 2001

Theressa, hugs, My email is messed up again or iI would email you. I can' write more now. There is some fairly awful stuff going on at this end too (Jake's nephew has a brain tumor and operation is today, we just heard, ) . I will send you my hotmail address as I can still access that. Jay

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Hi Jay,

Sorry about Jake's nephew. I guess this is about having to sort out our own yard and so not having the energy to look at others yards or advise right now.

This is okay Jay.

I hope Jake's nephew is okay. Maybe it might get you and Jake working together though?

Take care Theressa

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Solutions also are: Agree with the true part of the criticism. e.g You always leave the dishes

"Yes I leave them in the morning, if it bothers you I will wash them before I go to work".


Jane please, will you put the newspaper on the window sill for me.

Father: can't you see she is ill. You shouldn't ask her to do that.


Eventually though each of us ask to discuss this poor behaviour of constant criticism with our partners' and if it doesn't stop then we have to decide whether we can continue to disfuss the situation or leave the relationship.

Take care Theressa

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Hi All,

I know now why I am not spontaneously affection. IT is because of my fear. With my daughter her father always comments and criticizes me. WELL IT IS TIME I SAID "I am doing what I think is best."

As for my partner dependent on what mood he is in I fear rejection. Though I guess sometimes you have to face your fears and risk being rejected.

I feel angry that I am expected to anticipate his moods. I know I need to do things because I feel like it.

Obviously I don't, who would when they receive rejection. Oh well life goes on.

Take care Theressa

Thursday, May 17, 2001


I was told by someone I respect that: " Rejection is God's protection". It took me about 3 years to get IT! Rejection is about the person DOING the rejecting. I have heard " YOU haven't changed!" It hurts. I have heard "YOU always" and "YOU never". OUCH!!! I CAN choose to buy into this nonsense, or say to myself, " that's interesting, and not REACT. Criticism is unwanted and is also about the person DOING the criticizing ( let me draw attention to myself, since you're unable to walk on water ,I'll tell ya how to do it). Simply put, with a heap of thanks to Chuck C.: " THE ONLY REASON SOMEONE TEARS ME DOWN, IS TO BUILD THEMSELVES UP, AND WHEN I KNOW THAT, NO ONE CAN HURT ME."

Now, since it is Theressa who seems to allow these actions be held unaccountable, what would be a loving CONTRARY course of action FOR Theressa?

And...I'm certain that the Theressa who is writing these posts today, IS NOT the same Theressa of eight years ago. Who is REALLY feeling threatened by Theressa's GROWTH?


Stay the course and a big hug,

Tim B.

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Hi guys,

This is Anne and I'm having one heck of a bad day. I don't really know what's wrong, just feeling confused and terribly irritated. Well, I actually DO know what's wrong (same thing that's been wrong all along) but lately it's been seeming worse and worse. We have had many talks, but I don't feel that they have gotten us anywhere. We still do that circular thing--I say "I want you to stop acting so ugly, giving me the silent treatment, etc." and he says "But the reason I act that way is because you do or don't do so and so". He has agreed to therapy, but I don't even know if it's worth the time and money (he has told me that if it's going to cost him money he won't go). Well, guess he's not worth your time/money either. The truth is, I'm tired of the whole thing. Tired of thinking about it, worrying about it. I know I won't leave until it's time, that much I have decided. My question is, how will I know absolutely? Ugh. Are you waiting to see it in  Skywriting? What if now is the time and I'm just not seeing it? As much as I have learned this past year or so since I found this site, there is a part of me that thinks his hostility is justified--that if I were only better in the areas he says I'm lacking things would work out. Nope. That is a very hard idea to get rid of!

I know I have not contributed much to this board, but I would really appreciate some feedback on this!



Thursday, May 17, 2001

Dear all, Sharon here, Jay, I'm sorry to hear about the nephew. I hope the operation turns out OK. My prayers with you and your family.

Theresa, I'm sorry your partner is acting out and projecting out some junk. It sounds like to me that there are issues with him and your therapist, Ron. It also sounds like you are the one trying to keep and maintain the relationship by pursuing for 'resolve' after there is an issue/conflict but that he can behave how he wishes without consequence, but you have to maintain ideal or else you get punished. I've been there with Dr. Psycho. It made me sick to think that I would be verbally attacked but then I would go back and try and make nice. If I spoke my opinion, I was punished with crazymaking. Your partner was also crazymaking by talking about you and your therapist. Sounds like you have tried sticking up for yourself and 'sticking it out' for your daughter's sake. You're in a tough spot. Tonight I'm going to read some stuff and hopefully I'll be able to give you some insight; not just support. You've been there for me in the past, so hopefully, I will be able to there for you. Hang in there, kiddo! Tim B. had some good things to follow.

Hugs, Sharon

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