Comments for Catbox 45
here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a
substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.
44 Edited and 43 FINALLY edited
Do you have a local battered women's shelter or domestic violence counselors that you can contact to join a support group, and or utilize their 1-800# or obtain a sponsor. I have my mother to call during this difficult time she only lives around the corner. Just hearing her voice and her saying "Lisa, your going to be okay." made all the difference in the world. I also highly recommend the hotlines but they usually won't talk to you if your husband is in the house. But, get on the phone with someone to work it out or calm yourself down. It really helps. Stay strong for your son. Your right it is frightening for him to see you loose control. It's okay for him to see you feeling emotions and being human. Just reach out for help until you learn to process these feelings.
My son felt this need to protect me and felt powerless against his father. I had to tell him that I am capable of taking care of myself. Sometimes I need help or don't know how but that it was not his job to protect or make me feel better. I can do it.
I don't want to say that I know exactly how you feel. I have done the something similar after I came out of my FOG or denial....I started becoming aware of what he was doing. Then my body would start shaking and trembling. I was overcome with fear. I also started feeling a rush of adrenaline in my legs, and my ears felt full. I called my mom and told her to come right over. I said, "Oh, my god I am here again." I meant in my childhood when my mother left her abusive boyfriend one night. My body remembered the incident that I had blocked out. I knew I was in danger with my husband. He was acting really psychotic at the time. I remembered the terror and he was holding a gun up to her head. He said, "I can do anything I want and there's nothing you can do about it." My husband just said those same exact words and I just fell apart. I realized again that he did not love me that he was controlling me through fear. I was horrified. My mom calmed me down. I felt better just having her around to play with my kids while I finished dinner. I know that feeling boy. It's like you can't move you are frozen in fear.
I read a great book called "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker. It explains how you should listen to your body and intuition that gives you warning signals that this person is not safe.
I was so disconnected from my feelings and Self that I had numbed out. I could not feel anything. Then it's like I woke up one day with this awareness and feelings that I felt would overwhelm me. I thought I would literally loose it and go crazy but now that I have learned how to process those feelings it's not so overwhelming. I still have sudden bursts of feelings. Especially with my husband. I am so hurt and for some reason no matter what he does it makes me feel sad. The tears just pour out. I am getting better and feel much calmer now.
In fact, one time after an EMDR when my husband was still sleeping in my bed after he lost it and beat my dog. I was still in and out of denial. He had said he would go to therapy so I had forgiven him (too soon). My body would tremble and shake when he came close to me. I was bewildered. I kept just shaking. He could see the terror but could not figure out why I was so upset. He would want to comfort me. I would instantly say "No, I need to go." I knew I needed space. My body was able to feel before my mind. I just did not know how to connect it or process it.
So, just listen to your body. God really does give you a gift of only being handed what you can handle. Your body does have the ability to protect itself. Just learn how to turn and "face the monster" Fear. Learn how to stay with it and talk yourself through it. It does get easier Becky. Yes...
BTW at the time when my mother was leaving her abusive alcoholic boyfriend she was very young and emotionally unavailable. She did not know how to comfort me or was not capable of doing it because she was in so much pain. It was such a healing experience for us this year to have her stand up to my grandmother when I pressed charges against my uncle for molesting me. When I came out of the denial and was experiencing these same feelings after accepting that my husband was an alcoholic and abusive. I was overwhelmed. She wasn't emotionally available for me during my childhood but she was there for me now. She came over and hugged me that evening until I could calm myself down. It has just healed this part of me. She told me all the things I wished I could have been told as a child. I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity. It allowed me to feel safe again.
It's just good to know that you are not alone Becky. There are very wonderful people out there that can help you when you need them. So make that call to the hotlines, sponsors, and shelter. Keep those numbers handy. I have used them. It's comforting just to hear someone on the other line tell you "You are going to be okay." Someday you will just know it too!
Thank you for the feedback and advice. I can't tell you enough how helpful this site has been. I have printed out your comments and tips to soak it all in. I really appreciate it :) And I appreciate your letting me know! Thanks.
Please don't let them upset you. I think it is sad they are like that but let them fall into the hole they are building for themselves...If they want to feed off of all sorts of silly and imagined stuff then they don't even attack this site - they just use the name of it to hang what is in their imagination on......giggle - I thought the ramblings there just went from the sublime to the totally ridiculous. Becky, it is just some people fooling around - anyone with a particle of common sense is likely to say "why if this is a safe place is it full of people behaving so badly/stupidly - you probably understand why I said what I did to our mutual friend on another board and why I was so worried for that friend...I think your post there this morning was very wise....I didn't want to tell the whole story there...
Dear V. I don't actually think Mousie has or ever had any intention of behaving well...I may be wrong...I just hope if I am and Dr Irene was, Mousie can see that it was her own behaviour that produced the result it did....sometimes adults forget that they need a little discipline at times....How can I explain this? Well, say I went to a restaurant and thought as I was paying I should get rip roaring drunk.....they would (I hope!) throw me out ...and because I am human (no I am not a puppet...) I would be, probably very angry - probably I would also feel ashamed and embarrassed - I might even if I came to my senses, apologise. I wouldn't however demand to be let back in the next time I felt like eating out. if I had been banned I would accept that.....the only person I could really blame would be myself; but if I let my anger overrule I might decide - I will eat there anyway and finding myself banned I might start to act out....but the restaurant owners decision would be the one that stood in the light of what they felt or saw....I rather think that Mousie's abuse of this site is premeditated and deliberate- she actually has a site of her own somewhere that is a parody of the catbox - or so she says......Why would Dr Irene trust the apology of someone whose abuse precedes the current situation.
And as I am off on a roll here...and annoyed my friend Becky has been upset...Jeannie needs to understand that if she puts a site into the over 18 section then many people will assume that they wish to go no further as they don't wish to read pornography....BUT that said NOBODY on this site has said that her site is pornographic. I believe that an assumption was made that if the site is over 18, it is pornographic. Needless to say, it's clearly not. NOBODY on this site has said that anyone on that site is "bad." Not true. We've put them down and it's time to stop. They are behaving poorly and if they really want a site to behave poorly on at least that keeps things free elsewhere - If it wasn't us they are on about they would find another sit/topic and do the same......
Jeannie I know you will read this and I know you will be angry. I repeat what I have said already...sometimes you can do people a disservice by enabling poor behaviour...What worries me most is that I think you are now getting your own credibility undermined.... Please don't go here. Anybody looking at Jeannie's comments on that site can see she acts as a unifier and a moderator. I have no problem with Jeannie's posts anywhere, though I can't say that about some of the others who have been just awful! I rather think that a rather cryptic post on Bravenet this morning is because someone saw your site. I know you have common sense at times as I have seen it when you post on the boards; you could be a leader, but just now although you don't seem to see it you have become a follower...How exactly do you think somebody who does a web search as they are being abused and finds your site is going to feel when they read the message board? If it was me I would think I had found a board where I could be as abusive as I liked...by all means have that kind of board if that is what you think the world needs ; but so think about the impact it could have.....Sad, as it is a nice site otherwise...... Look, different strokes for different folks. I demand more self-control for posting here. But you have to start somewhere. Jeannie's site provides a forum that works for them. I won't enable codependent or yukky behavior, but I remember a social worker I once worked with who did. The most difficult people responded to her, and she really helped them. You see, there is no right or wrong, it is what is right or wrong for you.
About Mousie and her feeling abused....Mousie, I have had some similar experiences to you and yes I have seen abuse in the mental health system - I worked in a hospital where it was awful and upsetting - ever seen geriatric old ladies booted in the backside? I have....ever had keys dangling at your side to let the chosen few out for the day...with a job description to keep the rest locked inside - I have....ever met loopy psychiatrists or seen wards controlled by a mad charge nurse. I have....I have also been on the other side now...yeah when I was ill last year I met the good and the bad....in my hometown they were wonderful. In another town I learnt that all the abuse and power stuff I saw years ago is alive and well and kicking - and yes it makes me angry too. BUT one thing life has taught me is that you shouldn't tar everyone with the same brush ---I do like Dr I and she has said things that if another person said that, I would be FURIOUS but I have recently had a run in with a family therapist I dislike intensely....the thing is, why should I assume that Dr Irene and this therapist are the same - I would rather take people on their own merits. What I think Mousie, is that your anger at the way you have been treated is hampering your own growth...you have a wonderful sense of humour that devoid of the anger could be really great - yeah I did see all that stuff about bands and yeah ....out of interest I have been reading....
You will have to reply to me on Jeannie's site. I guess!
I am not trying to "save" Mousie. I had been hoping that we could ignore this lot and they would go away; but sometimes things are better in the open. My apologies to any cat box readers if this drives them nuts! And if all this I have said should have been kept to myself and disrupts the catbox too much I take full responsibility for my actions in advance....from Jay who is feeling like a moppet this morning but definitely nobody's puppet.
As to how your husband leaves you feeling...
Jay's continued post.....
Giggle...I went back to catbox 43 and found one of MY posts deleted.. oops must have crossed the boundaries there You also had a section of your first post on this page deleted because dearest Jay, you blasted two people. Not OK. ...can I be a role model in this....I think it shows Dr Irene has a good clear idea of what is and isn't acceptable for this site - yeah there is that kind of "ouch" feeling but I am not going to run off and start a hate campaign - why should I? it was one post and if I felt really strongly I still want to say what I have to say I can choose to maybe email the person I was speaking to anyway. They aren't going to die if they don't have MY wisdom!.......if I wanted to say 'here hang on a cotton picking minute..." I would email Dr Irene and say so ....I actually think it was providential it happened and illustrates a point.....heh I am MUCH more annoyed at Dr Irene's saying I hate cats.....Trubble???? I wasn't sure if you hate them or if you fear them. I know you have no interest in owning a bunch! I really don't....here TROUT>>>>lots of it and come to see me again soon. Fake mommy definitely has it wrong on that one. Are you mad about the tinned cat food and the bath? Trubble what GAVE you been telling Fakemommy? The truth. For a change. Giggle. BTW, what's up with you? You're awfully loose today...
Becky , when you feel like you describe try breathing in 5 and out 11 it really helps. Please do be careful though - you could still get support from a DV shelter even if you don't move out.
I am not feeling at peace, I am feeling confused in my relationship. We've been dating for 8 months - going very slowly. I've been applying my new recovery behaviors - setting boundaries, trying to be honest, going slow, taking care of myself... The man I'm dating is kind, creative, handsome...
When I set boundaries , he says I'm being mean or grunts at me. He wants my time (which I have very little of free), but does nothing to help me out. Occasionally he'll bring dinner, if I ask. If I cook, I also clean - which I've said I don't think is right. He isn't on time, and is having trouble at work because of it; he went to strip bars when married and thinks that all men watch porno or ask a million questions about past relationships - in great detail. His house has been too messy for me to come over for 7 months... :(
I feel as though I have spent the past 6 months setting boundaries and I'm tired. I've withdrawn emotionally and that really makes him feel bad. I don't want to hurt him! He's not interested in counseling and I'm not going to push it. Do not. But do go yourself.
But he is a good-hearted, kind, honest man so I feel confused and bad that I have withdrawn. I'm not sure what to do next - I'm tired of being patient.... Because this man is "kind, creative, handsome..." and whatever else he is, you don't want to give up the dream. Despite the fact that he has difficulty with your setting boundaries ("My Way or No Way") or helping you. Not to mention the sex and love addiction stuff. I'm sure he can be wonderful. But, isn't your body talking to you?
Re: A button - in fun, being outrageous, enjoying life
I have another button to work on maybe you can help me work it out.
I find it uncomfortable in public. in what way? Well others seem to be able to act a bit daft and others laugh. They might do something outrageous and everyone will laugh, such as dance oddly.
They might do things otherwise in another setting seen as childish.
Well here is my issue: In a normal conversation I was telling a colleague that I had ordered sandwiches to be sent to the main office. Then I said "I did this so Jan wouldn't panic tomorrow."
I did this blushing and feeling silly. Like being witty felt uncomfortable. As I said this in a joking manner.
I used to do this when I was a child. I think perhaps this was me trying to get approval and be witty at the same time.
It is as if my child side is not allowed out without feeling anxious. If I say silly witty things or act witty in any way I feel anxious. I have always felt anxious when people are looking at me such as when I would have to stand on the stage at school and read etc. Then I hope you're taking every single opportunity that comes your way to be in a position where people are looking at you. Be silly; be yourself. And let the anxiety pass through you...
Also I used to be told by my ex and others that I didn't think before I spoke so lots of gobbledy gooch came out.
A friend said "Theressa you just don't think first whether it will sound stupid or not. Some things are funny, but other things you say make you seem thick." Oh Theressa, so what? I'm often the only one who laughs at my jokes - they really can be loose. But, so what? I'm laughing and my blood pressure is dropping...
This pushed a button. Last week I was speaking to my sister-in-law she told me she was going to "Fu-Fu's" It is a nightclub owned by a transvestite. It is a good night out.
Anyway I most people I know have been there on hen nights. I said "Oh are you going for a hen night" She said "Don't be stupid, you don't have to go on a hen night to go there." She said it Smirking as if to say daft b*tch.
This happens allot. I end up feeling kicked in the stomach. As if I can never say anything right. Button button!
I just want to be able to be okay in these situations and have fun.
Thanks for listening Theressa
I can relate to what you said. Sometimes I have felt I didn't fit in because I wasn't as" witty" as some of my friends. I've worried about what people thought of me. Since I've learned to be more comfortable with myself, and understand the love God has for me, I've worried less. I am who I am - kind, loving, honest, strong. I have a lot to offer, and I don't have to be "witty" or please everyone around me.
I enjoy reading your posts, and see the humor and insight in your posts. I think you express yourself very well. Yes, she does. She has a real knack. The "not fitting in" or "kick in the tummy" part is what each of you bring to the situation...
You know, I think I just realized what's been feeding into some of my "irrational guilt". Some of this Alanon literature I read everyday! It really doesn't broach the subject of verbal abuse, rages, and physical abuse too well. It's always ignore, detach, est. didn't give him "harsh words," as I understand alcoholism and know they feel badly (hmmm...that's where I always "rationalized" the behavior.. e.g. he doesn't know what he's doing Now you know: if it hurts you, it doesn't matter.), and he sure as hell didn't hit "his bottom" by me even doing that!
Sometimes they make it sound like a magic cure all. Oh well, guess this is where "I take what I need, and leave the rest". For the record, there is little to no recognition of abuse phenomena in the 12-Step literature. I'm amazed since addiction is about being abusive...
For whatever it's worth....
Kevin has been goon almost 2 weeks. Yesterday way the 4th, I was hoping he would come see the kids. I really thought he would be different with our children. When he was divorced from his first wife, he never saw his son or called or anything. But because he was adopted, I thought that he didn't feel connected. Now I know that's the kind of father he is. I'm bothered by something else. He took the boat, his motorcycle, then came and got my little sports car he gave me for my birthday. He took back a gift? Whose name is the car registered in? He wants the checkbook back and the ATM. I hope your name is on some of this stuff... Then he tells me that his son from his first marriage is going to come this weekend and stay with me for the rest of the summer. Really? I'm very upset about that. But if I say anything, he will do something dirty because I have children from my first marriage living with me. I want to call the ex wife and tell her that Kevin does not live here and I'm not going to be the babysitter. I'll ask my counselor what to do. It would be different if I got along with my stepson. Or the ex wife. But this is the whole reason Kevin and I fought in the early stages of our marriage. Because he would tell me when I was going to watch his son. I had no choice in the matter. Let me know what you think. I think you're letting yourself be held hostage - and you don't need to be.
People drink for a reason. Problems covered up by alcohol can resurface; get to the root of the problem. Get out of the role of being an alcoholic's spouse. Realize that your partner is actively back in the marriage. Start talking — give your feelings a voice again. Be specific about what you want. Participate as partners in a life plan that excites both of you.
Dear Suzanne, Maybe it is time to move on and find a better man?
Dear Heidi- that is just not on - he takes stuff away and then dumps his son on you, I think you have to put your foot down and say no.
Dear Theressa, the one who once introduced herself as "I am X and my skirt is on inside out (I had just realised it was!) on a course I took....I think it is about not being self conscious any more- and not letting people put you down. Just be you ...which is I guess what you are saying. guess it just will come with the increased sense of the Self that you are finding.. She's hitting a new, more subtle layer of same 'ol, same 'ol. She'll get through it.
Oh crumbs I have just discovered I have two distinct halves to my personality and they are not integrated and where do you go with that? There is the very together Jay and the messed up Jay - but the one always hides the other and I spend a lot of my life- except in the catbox trying to hide the one behind the other and get so upset when messed up Jay shows up in together Jay's space...... .how do I integrate the two halves of my own personality? Should I try to lose /messed up Jay - or should it be that there are all those parts of me in one person...crumbs it is hard to describe this. it is about never letting the one part of my personality intrude on the other...freaky stuff - Jay Accept all parts of you, even those parts you don't like. Accept what is, pay attention, notice stuff and try to not react/ act out. Watch the integration happen...
Good morning, Kitties!
I should not have looked at Jeannie's board at 2:00 a.m., especially when I was feeling fragile and upset anyway! I made the mistake of taking their remarks personally. In the light of day I see things more clearly. I'm not upset anymore. Yippeee!
Dr. I, I do NOT want to be like Hillary--LOL! Giggle! I can't think of a thing that I have now that makes being disrespected and abused worth it. I could say that lack of financial independence keeps me here, and that's true. Yes. Cold reality. But I don't have that much financial security with him anyway. My son will finish his 2 year degree next year then probably transfer. Once he's on his own and not so dependent, my options will open up. I can move to another place if need be. I am choosing not to disrupt his life with a move right now.
Thanks, LisaMM for your support and encouragement. It means so much! I am suffering battle fatigue, I think! I am determined to take care of myself, however; even if he has no concern for me, I do. Right now we are in a battle over what to do with things of mine that are in a room in his rental property. I have books, filing cabinets full of papers, an antique table and chairs, etc. etc. I don't want them exposed to mildew, mice and moths. There is no room for them in the house; as it is, more things of mine are stored in a garage over there, and I'm not happy about that either.
Anyway, he is calling me a "B" because I'm upset that I'm being evicted with no concern about my "crap" as he calls it. I have news for him: my things WILL be taken care of properly. I will not have my 1000.00 table and chairs that my ex and I bought put in a shed where he stores lumber and does his sawing!
It's almost 11:00 a.m. and I've had nothing to eat, so better go take care of myself.
I'm still very very upset and feel like a panic attack is waiting in the wings, but awareness is half the battle: if I know what I'm feeling, I can deal with it. Don't fear the fear. The more you can accept the feelings of anxiety, the quicker they will pass. Pay attention to the anxiety's message...
Have a good day, all-----
It's Suzanne again. I've been chatting with my codependency support group and am getting a better perspective on this relationship. I hate it when the old codependent thinking causes me to get confused. I have tried; it's not working, I have to look honestly at his behavior and my reactions - it's not working - period.
Now I have to figure out the best way to let go without causing unnecessary damage. Thanks, Suzanne Then don't worry about causing unnecessary damage.
This concept was difficult for me to understand at first. I am starting to understand it. What they are trying to do is get you to take care of yourself. Detach and allow the alcoholic to start feeling the consequences of his actions on his own. Yes. And ALANON helps the partner with their guilt so they stop bailing their addict out. My husband will come in and provoke me into a fight just before he was to go out drinking. Hehehehe. Then when I bit the bait he would have his reason or excuse to go do what he wanted. He would then blame me for his choices. Predictable stuff. If I do not take his provoking and actions personally, then I do not bite the bait. He is left holding the responsibility of his choice to drink. They need a reason to rationalize what they choose to do. I fell for this over and over. When you stop engaging, then when he chooses to drink, you know it's not your fault. You protect yourself. It becomes easier to do as you begin to realize that his behavior and choices have nothing to do with you. If your partner chooses to drink, it's never ever your fault, no matter whether you engaged - no matter what you did! Not engaging simply keeps you in your boundaries and prevents unnecessary grief on your part.
In fact, just yesterday my husband came over gave my son a check for the movies. He instantly started to provoke me into engaging with him. I refused to bite the bait. I would just tell him. I can not allow you to hurt me any longer. I will not allow you to blame me for what you choose to do. I just went on like a broken record. He was absolutely furious. He left then called me on the phone for another attempt. I said, "Greg I am sorry..."and repeated the statement. He could not engage me. I simply left off saying "I wish you would have taken responsibility for your actions." I hung up.
When he showed up that evening he was left holding his "stuff" and grappling with the feelings. He had chosen to spend the day with his "friend" instead of his children. He showed up 2 hours late. He left my son waiting and wondering. He had promised to bring him some fireworks. He was cheating (had spent a night or 2 at a hotel) this last couple of weeks saying he had done all he could do. He knew this was not true. He could not blame me. I would not prove to be the crazy wife and feed his fire. Meanwhile, he drank like a fish. He appeared uncomfortable because all of our neighbors were out with their families doing fireworks. They hugged me and accepted me. Some had come forward to say "We knew you were not crazy, we were wondering how long you were going to put up with his irresponsible behavior." He has been telling me for months they don't believe me and they think this or that....It did not matter. They can think what they think....They all treated me with respect and dignity. Meanwhile, his actions spoke louder than his words.
I am hoping this gets easier for me. I am in the process of accepting reality and realizing his actions have nothing to do with me too.
I hope that helps L. Alanon does take time to soak in. It's a different process of thinking. We are changing our patterns of thinking so it's uncomfortable at first. Just keep working on those steps. I am there too. I know. It feels like they are speaking a different language at times.
I thought of something. It's like when I was a teenager. My parents had a station wagon with the side paneling. I could not understand at the time why anyone would want a car like that. I never thought I would want a car like that until I had kids. I have a mini van. I never thought I would be driving a mini van but hey it works. It's much more comfortable. They had the experience to know what works.
I am in a relationship since January 1st, on March 30 I found out that he had lied about having a woman pregnant. I asked him to leave the studio we were sharing, but after he so sweetly begged to come back, I gave in. After that he has had a number of anger incidents. In three of them he pushed me and bullied me; the last time he threatened to have some one bit me up outside of my work. Ugh. Unacceptable. I ask myself if he is the victim or the abuser because when all begun I would fight back with all my strength (which is almost nulle) but I even used my teeth and my nails. After a few times I felt guilty and I promised myself not to fight back again, but find my way out of the relationship. I am afraid to fall in the codependent category for that would seem much harder for me to get out. It doesn't matter who is abuser / victim. Good for you that you stopped fighting.
Yes, he is the most wonderful man when he is in that good mood, but so evil when he gets angry. He loves to touch my privates anytime, anywhere, many times I had to slam the brakes while driving since that seems to be his favorite time to be touching me all over. Not OK. If I stop and put the emergency lights on, he blames me and accuses me of been a very bad driver, he even says that he would write to DMV so that they can take my driver's license away. What am I, an abuser or a victim?
Confused You are very confused... Get yourself away from him. Look here too. I think you certainly will answer "yes" to more than just a few.
I guess I needed that 2nd cup of coffee as I didn't explain myself too well-LOL!
I understand the concepts of Alanon, and believe me, a lot of their concepts got me the strength to get me where I am today, which is my recovery, which like anything, is always a "work in progress".
However, even another Alanon friend and I were chatting about how some of the literature is a bit sugar-coated at times.
If you look in "One Day at a Time in Alanon", for example, June 27th is a bit unrealistic. Like the line "I never knew what to do about them (children) when my husband came home drunk and disorderly. I felt they should be shielded from violence, yet overprotection wouldn't be good for them".
Hello?! Drunk and disorderly is different than violence and/or verbal abuse! Kinda sounds like June Cleaver saying ignore your father kids, he loves you, but he's drunk and being disorderly right now, so you and the Beaver go out and play-LOL!
Clearly this isn't the case when you are dealing with a verbally abusive alcoholic, who can also get physical.
It's almost like this person is somewhat in denial about the effects of this behavior on herself, and her children. Again, this was a discussion between myself and another, not fact.
On a positive note, I agree with what it says about compassion, and it does say "I didn't want to influence them against their father; I knew he loved them, and they him". Okay, I agree with this one, and still practice it, even though my STBX is no longer in our home.
Attitude on the family's side is important, but if the alcoholic is out of control, throwing their world into chaos, this page of reading just isn't realistic.
When I started detaching from his stuff 5 years ago, I felt a lot of disappointment and failure that while I was feeling better and handling things differently, the positive results weren't being produced on his end due to his denial that he even had a problem, and had traumatized his children with the irrational, hurtful behavior.
There is still loads of stuff one can learn from Alanon, however, all I was trying to express was that it would be good if they updated some of their literature to have better examples of more extreme behaviors on the alcoholic's part.
I am now thankfully at the point that I can look in the mirror and know I did everything I could to save our marriage. He made his choice not to, and I've accepted that. I still pray for his recovery, but realize 100% it's out of my hands.
Again, more good in Alanon than not. But like anything, it has strengths and weaknesses, as it doesn't address the more extreme situations.
Nuff' commentary on my part. Thanks!
Is it too late for Mousie to make friends with your cat? Mousie doesn't hate you personally. Mousie cannot change the way she writes, but if I promise not to mention any cats or litterboxes and not post to your site would that be okay? Mousie would like to stop the war without the catbox changing the stormshelter and without the stormshelter changing the catbox. Mousie doesn't think any of us are bad, we're just all upset. But we should just let you do your site the way you do and let Jeannie do her site the way she does. We can coexist peacefully I think. Mousie will make no more catbox cracks (but everything else is fair game). If Mousie can stifle her big mouth, anybody can. Giggle! Well that was the message that Mousie attempted to send. I would like to add that Dr Irene's cat is no longer snarling. It's quite pleasant looking in it's little box. Mousie does like Dr Irene's artwork. Dear Mousie, Trubble deserves every shot he gets since he's so good at being bad! (But the rest of us can do without the shots.) You are welcome to post, you can even be angry. The challenge here is what you do with your anger. You say you can't change the way you write. Rubbish! Not only can you change the way you write, you can change the way you think, if you want to! And that's what the CatBox is about. Trubble sends catnip and purrs.
To the Catbox crew: I have posted both on Dr. Irene's site and Jeannie's site...I have received great support from both and from all of the people on both sites. I know that Jeannie and others (myself included) talked a lot about this site on the message boards over there (enough to cause others to want to come here and look)... I also know that this site helped me a lot along with a couple of others who post on Jeannie's site. No one ever posted anything negative about Dr. Irene’s site over there until now… Jeannie’s message board does have a different style than over here…it is much more *light*. Here we work through our issues…sometimes it doesn’t make us happy…sometimes it makes us angry to hear stuff…sometimes it hurts us…but over there it is more of friendly support…we vent, we laugh, we cry, sometimes we work through stuff, but most of the time we just help each other snap out of whatever mood we are in or whatever is wrong with us and we enjoy each others company. I was surprised at how big this all grew from just Mousie posting… One post, which was just of a different style — almost started a war! I am not going to take sides on this…. I love all of the people on both sites…and both sites have helped me greatly, but I do think this got out of hand. Jeannie’s site is not as bad as some have made it out to be. We have a good time…we enjoy each others company…we may not focus purely on *abuse* or what issues we may be dealing with…but sometimes the greatest medicine can just be to get away from it all, even if just briefly, and to enjoy yourselves…and I think that is what we do on Jeannie’s site (just my opinion) but on the other hand if we need it, we are there for each other too. Dr. Irene’s site is great for actually dealing with *abuse* issues…working through them…learning how to cope and what to do…and also for support. I think both sites have positives (and negatives). All of the sudden I felt this entire thing turn into lets bash the other's site… Uncontrolled anger is so destructive! There was some really hateful stuff written here and over there and I hate that because, like I said, I love both sites…. I guess I just wanted to write this to say that I think both sites have their good parts and their bad parts…and it just depends on your style and your personal preferences…please don’t judge either site just because of what has been going on lately and please don’t judge the people (especially Jeannie….who has helped many people, myself included, a great deal) just because they may post over there or vice versa and because of what has happened lately…. Now, I just hope, I didn’t make anyone angry with this post….. Thank you.
Hi catbox/fellow seekers....
I very much appreciate your comments, Dr. Irene, I truly do not have a site that would qualify for what it has been called... It is about abuse and how to identify and escape from it. Other than one picture of me that shows a tiny bit too much leg, there is not much that could be called pornographic. I felt, when setting up the site, that we might discuss topics too adult for children, so I put an over 18 warning on it. That's all. So many people here have been my friends and my supporters over the last couple of years, I was very surprised that I and my site have been "demolished" so easily... I've never tried to compete or to anything else where your site has been concerned. I really appreciate your support as far as my right to run my site as I like. I've always told everyone (my and your posters) that you and I both, have the absolute right to decide how we run our sites. Our rules are our rules... If you choose not to have a Mousie as a poster here, that is absolutely your right, just as it is my right to retain her as my friend and poster. Mousie is a dear friend and not quite the 'different one" everyone thinks she is.... She has gone through so much, including an abusive marriage that would make a lot of you absolutely cringe in terror if you had to deal with it. But, see...that takes some getting to know her....
In any case, thanks for being my friends and not condemning me, no matter what you heard my site was about (read some of the stuff there, you'll learn differently)... I love you and will always, no matter what....
Stormy... Thank you Stormy/Jeannie. You provide a valuable forum. I think the two sites compliment one another, so I'm glad to put this behind us...
Wow – lots to chew on in the catbox lately.
I think I learned from Sharon that it’s best to express what I’m thinking if I want things clarified, so at risk of being “wrong,” there are some things I either don’t understand or don’t agree with in your comments Dr. Irene Why would you assume you might be "wrong?" To appease me since you think it's not OK to disagree with me? (and BTW thanks! There was a lot I found helpful, but that’s not what I’m going to ask about here).
First, I disagree that I was over-reacting about the dog. I was “concerned”, which I think was appropriate. I am really afraid of taking on stuff that isn’t mine to fix. I was picking up on your anxiety - which you admit to here. No matter.
*However*, I could have been more straightforward instead of trying to “mind-read” – just asking “do you want me to call the vet?”, rather than talking about my feelings, or trying to get some clue about Steve’s thoughts etc. YES! Saying what is on your mind is taking care of you. The rest is trying to anticipate Steve or verbalize your feelings/worries/anxieties about the situation so Steve could take care of you. Steve wasn’t saying much and I didn’t know if he was feeling choked about the dog and just couldn’t talk about it... if he was worried about vet bills... taking time to think about what I said to him... angry with me... I just didn’t know. It doesn't matter what he is. If you want to know, ask. If he doesn't want to talk, so be it. I told him I would pay for a vet if he wanted, because I thought money might be his concern. Still he said nothing. At some point I started feeling a negative vibe but I didn’t know what was bugging Steve. Just thinking now that I could have just plain asked “what’s bothering you?” My “technique” for communication was obviously lacking quite a bit, but my feeling was *concern*. I don’t think I was over-reactive at that point. I think you were more than "concerned." "Anxious" seems appropriate. Otherwise, why would you go so out of your way to "help" Steve by anticipating what his problems might be? You're out of your boundaries because your help was not solicited.
I *did* over-react after the “walk-outs”. I had surpassed frustration and annoyance by that time and I had truly reached my anger boiling point.
I think it would have been unnecessarily harsh for Steve to say “please drop it”. That sort of reaction assumes that I was harping at him in the first place. That's your assumption. Assuming an appropriate tone of voice and body language, "Just drop it" means "Just drop it." I think. Anyway, don't get stuck on the wording. The point is to get you to get out of his space. It would seem a little unfair if that was the first comment he made when I had no clue he felt that way. STOP! It doesn't matter that you had no clue how he felt! You know now. Don't assume you somehow messed up by not knowing how he felt or that he was obligated to communicate how he felt to you. This is the situation you had to accept: Steve was quiet and you didn't know why. It's not important to know why either. If it is, let him tell you. His responsibility. Sure, it would end the conversation, but I think there is a more effective way to communicate, if harmony is still the objective. Harmony is not the objective, at least not mine, though harmony would be a likely outcome. I see the objective as acceptance of what is. There was nothing you needed to do about Steve and his dog...
Another thing - I have a real button about Steve’s thinking I’m “punishing” him – this because I used to examine myself to death over what I might be “doing” to him to "make" him feel that way. I have to detach myself from these thoughts, or I start to feel like a nut-case. Denial won't help Asha; we're all nut cases anyway. It feels punitive to the other person. Think of it this way, if you and Steve were fighting and he needed a time out, would you rather he storm out the door yelling, leave in dead silence, or calmly say something like, "I'm really worked up right now and don't want to say something dumb or hurtful. We'll talk later when I'm more centered." When you take your space, be aware of the non-verbal communication...
Being misunderstood is one of my biggest buttons, and the one I think I need to examine most! I should thank Steve because perhaps that is exactly what he is here to teach me about! I think your tendency to do do do is a major contributor to your being misunderstood. You convey an anxiety over a situation that is not yours, when the person having the situation is not necessarily anxious. You need to work on "not doing." Other people will interpret your do do doing as controlling, though all you are really trying to do is take care of your own anxiety... (I really don't expect you to get all this now. Bookmark and refer back.)
This part is confusing to me:
I said: <<My new pattern is to remain somewhat distant, and expect little from him. Then I am not disappointed.>> Dr I said << But still mildly punitive. Why not instead simply accept what he offers? Can you accept what is without attaching so many expectations?>>
I'm *not* trying to punish Steve. I am still grieving the loss of the relationship (and perhaps not totally into acceptance yet) and with that grief comes my anger at the things I had/have no control over. I don’t know how to just get over it. It seems like a process. (Any tips on how to do this would be greatly appreciated!) It is a process. "Not doing" is the best tip I can give you. You simply have to cope with/ deal/ tolerate the discomfort without doing anything about it, as uncomfortable as that may initially seem. Read . Wherever You Go, There You Are : Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life . It’s so much easier to accept ‘what is’ from a safe distance. How else can I protect myself? (not a rhetorical question either BTW.) I know. You "protect" yourself by tolerating what is. Unless Steve is chasing you with a bat, there is nothing unsafe in reality. The unsafety is in your head. By paying attention to it and doing nothing about it, you learn to cope with it. Then you don't feel unsafe nearly as much as you do now.
I am doing my best to let the anger go when it comes to me, but distancing seems a better option than to “explain” and “fix” – yuck, I hate to even think about that. Doing nothing is even better. Plus I often forget about my boundaries, since us “super-humans” aren’t supposed to need any (this is my thinking not Steve’s). Giggle! Maybe I need to be more aware of exactly where I *want* my boundaries in the first place, instead of realizing it after the fact. If you simply pay attention to your body, eventually your body will tell you where your boundaries are (vs. where you "want" them to be).
"I think also I get surprised at what is because I forget, or don't know that it is that way. This is about anxiety again; the unexpected/ unknown is somehow "dangerous." Again, do nothing and you begin to desensitize. The one expectation that is the hardest for me to let go of is the desire to be understood. You will be in time if you do all this. Right now, all that is conveyed is pressure that the other person understand now...
p.s. I laughed when I read the part for Mel about holding up the sign. It would probably be so humorous that nobody could stay mad. Maybe just giving the peace sign would work for me? :) Try it! Then give him time...
A tip about being witty. Don't "try" so hard. That may have been what your friend was trying to say in her not-so-tactful way. Worry less about what others want to hear, and don't force yourself to "be" any particular way. If you are feeling nervous, then you are probably caring too much about what others think. The less you "try" the more you will find your own unique communication style, which doesn't have to be "witty".
A lot of people appreciate being "heard" even more than they do wit. Asking people questions about themselves can open doors, and sometimes not saying a thing - just smiling or showing appreciation for what others say means more than wit.
If you have nothing to say, just listen - good listeners are far more rare than witty people!
take care Theressa
Dear whoever it was I 'blasted' yesterday. If you saw that post before Dr Irene deleted it , I apologise.
Oh help!!!!!! I am putting my suet pudding like feet in it a lot lately.... Giggle! Will you please allow yourself to be human. You blew it, that's all.
Just realizing that what I don't like about the idea that I'm "punishing" Steve is that it implies that I want to hurt Steve or that I want to see him hurting.
That's not at all what I want. I just want to protect *myself* from being hurt and I'm not very good at doing that.
It's all the hurt that causes these problems to begin with. Yes.
I wish Steve's punishment, wherever it comes from, to end. And I wish my own hurt to heal. Yes. And, Steve's punishment comes from Steve and your own hurt comes from you...
How does one heal the inner feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem?
This is the core issue of the human experience. Low self-esteem or lack of self-worth is not merely a psychological or sociological problem. It is the circumstance with which all humans struggle. The question is not whether all humans have it, but how they respond. Most people reach outward to rearrange their circumstances—by getting a bigger house, new clothing, a new partner, a new job or any of the other many, many things that individuals do to make themselves feel more important, lovable and safe. This is the pursuit of external power—the ability to manipulate and control. The spiritual path requires that you look inward to find the deepest roots of this painful experience and heal it. That is the pursuit of authentic power. The pursuit of authentic power is now the evolutionary path of the human species. The pursuit of external power now produces only destruction and violence. The creation of authentic power requires emotional awareness and responsible choice. Your soul wants harmony, cooperation and reverence for life. When you become an individual who hungers for these things, and strives naturally to create them wherever possible, I assure you that thoughts of inadequacy and lack of self-worth will be replaced by joy, gratitude and the experience of a meaningful, fulfilling life. This is the experience of authentic power. Authentic power is the only cure for lack of self-worth. Bingo!
Please let me say I do not wish to judge anyone for their religious/spiritual beliefs!
Though, I have some difficulty with the church's view of the two forces: God and the devil. So things are either caused by GOD or by the devil. Well for a long time I bought into this concept, though I can no longer believe this if I am to grow. If I hold the devil responsible each time I make mistakes then how am I to grow? Good thing God gave you free will kiddo...
I believe the devil is a fitman of our imaginations. I believe we are here to grow and become more improved versions as the generations come and go. WE make mistakes, we sometimes choose to learn from them and change our behaviours, our children learn from us and so on, in time they teach their children. (AS we always say I'm not doing that it didn't work when my mother did it so I am doing the opposite)
Since the Enlightenment in 16th century when people stopped fantasising and challenged the church's control over the people, Science helped us to understand our world a little more. I think life isn't about two competing forces. I heard my partner say yesterday, "I don't want to be cremated since it is fire and seems too similar to hell. What Christian would want to go in the fire?" In the past he said he'd be cremated, now he has changed his mind. He said "from nature I came and to nature I should return."
It got me thinking about what I was taught in my catholic family and school. THE bad ones go to hell and the good ones go to heaven. SO who are the bad ones, aren't we all sinful?? Don't we all make mistakes?? Okay some of us work on our mistakes and learn the lessons!! Though we continue making mistakes until we died, don't we??
SO does that mean all the murders, rapists, pedophiles, terrorists, child abusers etc GO TO HELL?? Since these people are emotionally sick can they be held responsible for centuries, generations of SICKNESS??
So if they are Emotionally sick, do we take pity on them? After all aren't all of us on this site emotionally sick in one way or another.
(I am not comparing anyone here with a rapist etc, but do you see the argument???) Yes, but you've made so many assumptions, you're off on a tangent...
So if we excuse them, then are the shop lifters who come from povertised backgrounds therefore, know it is easier to steal than it is to try to get a decent job after lack of discipline, schooling, no teaching of skills we need to be truthful. We use survival mechanisms.
So THESE too are lacking emotionally sick in a way.
THEN we are left with those who just make mistakes, so do we throw them in hell? For being human?? (Just the ones you don't like. Giggle! According to Trubble, all dogs belong in Hell. )
SO who then is going to hell??? Who is worthy of heaven?? Aren't we all worthwhile, even those who are emotionally sick??
AND finally we all know the process is we get better and pass on our emotional health, since some of this sickness is centuries, generations old. Such as co-dependency: my grandmother, my mother, then me, Melissa all have it. If I heal some Melissa will be less sick, if she heals some her children maybe less sick etc, etc.
So who do we send to hell? The first generation for making mistakes and being dysfunctional and using poor coping methods?? OR the second, or the third right up to the present day???
We are all 50% of each of our parents, therefore we have in us a bit of each genearation before us don't we?? So who can we punish??
MAYBE the truth is no one gets punished in the way we believe such as going to HELL!!! Maybe we keep getting the lessons, and the pain until we listen and learn and grow. ONE day in my childhood a person said to me "HELL IS ON EARTH" I believe they were right!!!
The hell is the pain we suffer as we keep attracting the lessons. That is certainly a good metaphor.
OTHER things have progressed, so why wouldn't we. The universe has changed many times over the years, and yes at different levels has reverted back to the same ol' same ol'.
Take care Theressa
Hi all...Kathy here
Theressa - to reply to your last post about who is going to heaven and who is going to hell, I think God offers all of us forgiveness for our sins (we are all sinners) and those who can't accept his forgiveness are truly in hell...and I think this is before or after death.
Jay - how are you? Hope you're doing well today.
I have just realized how relaxed and free I feel since my daughter left home. I feel almost like a new person. I have come to realize that she too was verbally and sometimes physically abusive towards me. It was all about control with her. And I didn't have my boundaries well in place so she walked all over me. She still doesn't accept responsibility for her actions and blames me for a lot of her problems. Ooops, no longer my problem to deal with. She is considered an adult in the US and though I'm sorry that I wasn't able to help her, she will have to figure things out for herself. As we all have to.
Amazing how just as I was writing this, her (former) counselor called. She reminded me that I did everything I could to help her and that I shouldn't beat myself up for her problems. (See that? God at work again!!!) :)
I'm still considering whether to stay involved with my boyfriend. Much thought and thinking going on...I notice things more and more that I don't like....how he is constantly critical and I can't stand his comments...how I am irritated when he is at my house. I will think on this a bit more and hopefully come to some kind of conclusion soon. Pay attention to your body...
Hope everyone is doing well today out there in cyberland.
What a marvelous site! What good taste! A friend suggested I come to this site and I can identify with so much of it. Thank you so much for providing it for me!! I've been struggling with a verbal/emotional abuser for 20+ years, although I didn't recognize it for what it was until about 7 years ago. I thought there was something wrong with me because I was afraid to get close to him. And this avoidance only perpetuated his verbal/emotional behavior. (Name calling, insulting, threatening, put-downs, public embarrassments, etc.) I didn't realize it was HIM who had the problem until he threatened to hit me. When I first confronted him regarding his behavior, he chafed against it…but then he apologized, and, because I was a “newbie” to the whole thing, I gave in. (He promised he wouldn’t do it anymore.) We had a honeymoon relationship for a few months and then he started abusing me again. Again, not being alert, I retreated…then came more anger…then the light bulb went on again…the confrontation…the repentance…the forgiveness….the honeymoon. It’s been a definite pattern for seven years. Each time I’ve confronted him, the time between “repentance and forgiveness” has been longer. The last two times, I actually moved out of the bedroom (“suspended the marriage” as he put it). During one of these “suspensions” he cheated on me (one night stand). YUK! He confessed, but also confessed to several one-night-stands he had several years before. Needless to say, I was devastated. After a brief separation, I took him back. (He’s quite a charmer and I have no backbone.) Since then, his “abuse” has changed. He doesn’t blurt out names or directly insult me…for example, he’ll say, “Are you really qualified to read those self-help books?” Or he’ll say, “People don’t know what you’re really like.” Another thing he says: “You always have to have a problem with someone.” “I bet there’s a lot of women who would like to have me as a husband.” “I hate to tell you this, but you’re a sick person.” (I take antidepressant medication for depression/anxiety.) If I try to talk to him about a situation, and he feels defensive about it, he’ll ask me if I’ve been taking my medicine. He also says I’m “a phony,” and I “put on airs.” These statements may not affect other people, but they really hurt me. (He says, “I could say the same thing to 100 people and it wouldn’t bother THEM!”) This last time when I confronted him, he asked our sons if they agreed with my “accusations.” They both said yes and that they felt he treated them the same way. His response: “Well, I guess 3 people can’t be wrong.” He then came to me, in a business-like manner, and apologized and said now he understands completely why I’ve avoided him, retreated from him, withdrew from him all these years. I told him he needed to go to counseling (we’re in different bedrooms again). He agreed. That was a month ago. He hasn’t gone yet. I asked him why he hasn’t gone yet. He said because his work has kept him too busy. I’m getting a strong message from that, being that our relationship isn’t important enough to him. What do you think?
My questions are: Am I justified in labeling his behavior verbally abusive? Yes. Everyone else’s situations seem to be so much worse. I keep thinking that I’m just too sensitive (he’s also accused me of that.) No. Listen to your body; you've got plenty you should be sensitive about! What am I doing wrong since this situation is no better after 7 years (at least for me)? Could you give me some advice on where to go from here? Keep posting, keep reading, and pay attention to your body. Sincerely, toni
I agree those who keep beating themselves up OR keep doing the same old suffer painfully and YES this is hell.
As for your boyfriend. Do you remember Asha's post yesterday, it spoke loudly to me.
ALL ATTACK IS SELF ATTACK. SO Kathy what your boyfriend criticises you for, maybe you need to question your thoughts on this issue.
Do you feel it is not okay to do xxxxx. When you are straight in your head that it is okay or not okay, they you can choose to change it, it is no longer a button and you no longer feel criticised.
Like my weight issue, I am still needing to shed 1/2 a stone (7 lb's) but i see how much progress I've made. It used to be an issue my weight for ME and my partner.
The other week he commented on my weight. I said "In honesty it isn't an issue for me anymore." He didn't mention it again.
Take care Theressa
I have found that in the catbox lots of times people misunderstand each other but there is an overall spirit of acceptance (except for what's perceived as blame or abuse).
I hope this doesn't offend you, but your first posts reminded me a bit of an old friend of mine who used to push me to the limit, as if to say "*Now* do you still like me?" The nicer I'd be, the harder she would push.
Anyway I liked your last message - your integrity showed through - but I disagree that you "can't" change the way you write. If you don't want to that's okay, but we can *all* find more effective ways to communicate - myself included.
I am recognising my control dramas, and know they are all linked to attention seeking in one form or another. I feel anxious during these times.
Though I recognised a key time when I felt confident and positive. This turns out to be the time at Christmas when I was with the guy I met then.
I thought it was a horrid time, though today I looked back on it in a more positive light. Firstly I learnt from that episode that I need to check out my expectations. Secondly I learnt all in one episode how guilty I felt for meeting my needs.
I see it was my expectations that set me up to resent this guy. He never once told me we were committed, he made no promises. Infact it was myself that said "Oh we are adults, why not". So he took the why not. I am not self blaming myself just recognising my role.
I now understand what RON was talking about the positive aspects of the episode. I for once in my life appreciated my needs, I met short term my needs, I enjoyed the time we had together, I appreciated the sensations, the touching and the thrill that went through my body. I felt my feelings, I felt relaxed and comfortable, in control.
This person gave me attention, made me see I was worth talking about, he listened tentively. He returned pleasure for pleasure, give and take.
Now I am not idolising this guy at all! What I see now though is the pleasure and the joy I got from this episode.
The confident girl who walked into the bedroom and enjoyed herself, without judgment during those hours. (It was only later I beat myself up emotionally with guilt.)
AND guilt for what, my choices are my choices, nothing to feel guilty about. Who is to judge me, only myself!! It was my expectations that I didn't take seriously and share them that was the only think I should feel guilty for, AND that guilt is serves only the purpose of "letting me know I need to take care of myself, and serve me in my choices".
The girl who wasn't self conscious.
Now how did I do this? That was the lesson I learnt!!
I talked to myself and in doing this I talked myself out of my anxiety. I told myself it was okay to enjoy myself, to have fun, to appreciate touch, and to feel. To have my needs met.
I told myself my needs were worth meeting.
SO I focused outwards on enjoying the sensations, having fun etc instead of judging myself and worrying about how I looked, how I was behaving etc.
I was conscious of the experience (THAT IS THE KEY) Instead of being self conscious of how I was performing.
I know that my expectations of this dream were of wanting more, like a starved child wants food. Though this was my neediness, my need to have my dream of a person who loved me.
Now I have this dream, I love me!
Take care Theressa
Please delete the multiple posts concerning Hell etc. There were problems posting and it posted too many times. Done. You don't have to convince me that we're on the server from Hell...
I understand that you wanted to express how you see things. I don't however think the catbox is a suitable place for a theological debate. If you want to talk about it, then Dr Irene has my permission to give you my email address. Huh? You two have each other's addresses... I don't actually believe a lot of the stuff you say in the way you are attributing to me Huh? and I think if I answer you here it will detract from the real purpose of the catbox. Jay
Oh no.....Theressa ......please ...I thought better of posting that and it has gone through.. sorry it sounded really sharp...oh dear I think we are all going nuts with multiple posts today. Breakthrough New Research: Multiple posts cause nuttiness. Giggle!
Please could you separate out what I say from what a conglomerate of 'they' says....my words are my own and should not be confused with what others think. If you read my post more accurately you will see that it is not as hostile as you perceived it to be.....
Oh help - I think I will stop posting for today... Giggle! You have a position and then have second thoughts...
Where are you AJ????? Vacuuming.
July 6, 2001
This is my story:
About six years ago my Dad passed away. I knew that he was sick, so I quit my job and moved North to be with him. He had ALS, but actually died one night in which he was necessitated, and lived for a week on a machine. At which point, my family decided to let him go. I have always felt a little guilty that I did not spent every moment with him. I miss him so much. Two years later, I moved back South and got my old job back. I was happy to be around all my work friends again. I was still having some days where I thought about my Dad. I then met this guy, I did not like him much at first, but he was so persistent, and I felt that we almost had a connection as his Mother had died of Cancer and a brother of Aids. I thought that he surely would know what he wanted out of life after such a set back, as I surely did after Dad passed. Anyway he started hanging out with me more and more, staying at my place on a regular basis, as he lived one hour away. We spent Thanksgiving and X-mas together. I liked having someone to share things with, but I found myself a little wound-up and I quit my exercise routine. That February, he moved in my small one bedroom apartment. It was okay, but I remember feeling very crowded. Then, it started we went out to a bar and he kept looking at another woman. Did not make me feel good, but when I said something, it was all in my head. When I went with him to where he used to live, we went to a bar, in which we ran into an old girlfriend, it made me mad that he did not introduce me, but instead he got mad at me for being mad at him. We got in constant fights, sometimes I'm not even sure what over. Instead of making the situation better, he would go on and on and on, and we would never come to a resolution. Anyway, I caught him lying a couple of times, he came home drunk a couple of times. At this point, I was feeling lonely, even though we were together, I was crying almost everyday, and I did not know why. I felt like I had to do everything around the house. We moved into a two bedroom, thinking more space would be good, but it did not help. I always felt like he was doing stuff behind my back, but then he made me believe it was all my problem. About one year after we had lived together, I met a new guy at work. I really liked him and felt that if I did not try starting something with him, I would always regret not trying. So, I broke up with the one I was living with, and told him to move out. We did stay friends, and he still wanted to get back together. Anyway, it did not work out with the second guy by his choice, I on the other hand really liked him and he treated me like a queen. I then went back to the first one, at which point, he had met someone that he was hanging out with as friends. That Fall, I had bought my own place, and he moved back in with me. The fights started again almost non-stop. He blamed me for ruining his x-mas's, he blamed me for not liking his hobbies, he blamed me for not being able to go anywhere, he got mad at me for not wearing a dress, he got mad at me for not doing things he wanted to do. I got mad at small things, like hangers on the glass coffee table, and leaving the door open, where as the cat could get out. He went on a vacation by himself, as I had taken one with my Mom a couple of months previous. He called to let my know that he was going to the beach and hanging out with another woman. He then came home with pictures of her in her bikini. I told him to throw them, he did ,only to find out months later that he got reprints - this whole thing really hurt me. I started to withdraw from wanting to do anything with him. Almost everything I told him I did not want to go. I had a friend visit for the weekend, when I took her to the airport one Sunday morning and came home, he was gone. We did get together a few times after this, and here I sat across from this person, I felt like I did not even know this person. He said we would stay friends. Then he started hanging out with that so called friend that he was hanging out with before he moved back in to my place. Now three months later, they are living together. Sometimes I really miss him. I blame myself for a lot of the stuff. I try and dissect, why I always felt so bad when I was with him. What do you make of all this?
Feeling better all the time!
Oh no! Theressa ..I didn't think it was you the first time round and forgot about that when I posted above - I thought that the end of the first post was a name! Oh DEAR>>>>hugs anyway. jay
OK Dr Irene, and anyone else, About the BIG stuff - have I got this right that I am trying still to fix Jake? I really don't think I can make him do anything; but is that what is happening? My mother has always told me about my husband and children that I must "make' them do this or that and all my life I have wondered what she meant - I never could understand it : but she sure could 'make; me do stuff when I was young. I thought I had spent my life avoiding that kind of power and have just realised that I was trying to 'fix;' in a different way.
Sort of more subtly. Just not leaving things be or him as he was/is. Excellent observation.
Also I seem to self sabotage. If it happens to me and it is good, I seem to undermine it ,, If it is going well I suddenly panic and find something wrong..... OK. Panic, find something wrong, and don't do a darned thing about it except pay attention to and tolerate the yukky feelings. Instead of tolerating /coping, you get impulsive and act out / react - and mess things up. I can't put it better than the two unintegrated parts of me fight with me.
Asha, I didn't actually see you were 'punishing' Steve either. That made me wonder if I do the same thing and don't pick up on it. Most of us do that and don't pick it up.
Kathy, Hi, Your post gave me some comfort - keep on keeping on.
Everyone else, Hi, I am thinking of you and taking down time to sort me out. Love, Jay
Hi folks. I love this site. I have been reading and learning and finally sent doc a note of my own. I'd like to send a note to all of you too. For me, it really helps to bounce things off people... to hear that my thinking is not weird. I don't know why I need that, but I lack confidence in my gut feelings.
If someone is really nice 90% of the time, but gets really mean when they're mad or annoyed, is that something you would consider basic "human imperfection"? I am intimidated by his anger, and if he hurts my feelings and I try to tell him (nicely), if he thinks he did something wrong, he'll be OK. If he doesn't, he is mean... sarcastic, telling me I am ridiculous and he might even walk out and say he doesn't want to waste his time.
It takes me a week or so to recover from some of these things, and then we're not as close. I remain tentative. He notices the little bit of distance and gets frustrated.
Idea.... Although it is no excuse whatsoever for sarcasm and mean comments, it sounds like he does care about your feelings. At least when he agrees with you, and likely even when he doesn't. Perhaps a) he becomes frustrated when you are hurt, or maybe because he feels blamed, or that your hurt is based on misperceptions or fears and he feels helpless to help you. He than lashes out in an inappropriate manner. Or b) he feels ashamed of himself for hurting you, frustrated that he can't get it right, angry that you are always pointing out his inadequacies. He then lashes out in an inappropriate manner. In other words, who knows what really the other person is going through. I'm sure not even you and your partner are always aware of the dynamics. It is also possible that him saying this is ridiculous and not wanting to waste time discussing it is a good thing. Good for him for recognizing when to call it off. Calling it ridiculous could be taken as an insult, but also that he just thinks its ridiculous to waste time arguing and if that is his opinion than that should be respected. Also, I'm not sure what the norm is but to me a certain percentage of bad behavior is to be expected as human inadequacy. Oh, and about the frustration over you distancing, that is understandable. As long as he respects that you need some distance, I think it is preferable to indifference that you've pulled inside for a bit. But no one should be mean and sarcastic, that is/can be contagious.
Just some ideas...Mel
Yay, Theressa! You're getting good. I liked hearing that you are okay with taking care of yourself by seeing that other man. I guess I've made no secret of the fact that I think this is good medicine!
Whatup, Jay? Don't stay away too long.
My ex emailed me from Colorado to inform me that he is on his way back. (Yeah, and...?) Thanked me again for the hiking boots I gave him some Christmas, which he used while traveling. I was having this brief email friendship with him after my feelings confused me when I saw him, and in this week that he has been gone my feelings have reverted to where they were BEFORE I saw him. Now I am more than ambivalent about continuing the email friendship or any other contact because I KNOW he hasn't changed anything. I wish I could stop seeing him as doing his crippled best with what he has, what he has learned, and what he has grown up with. Feeling sorry for him is such a trap.
I promise to read all my posts since Catbox 19 when I started. Any other help would be much appreciated!
I'm glad everyone is happy and friendly again. Smoothing things over is very Brazilian. (Tim, is "B" for "Brazil"?) Stormy, I'm sorry I called your site "X-rated". I made an assumption based on the over-18 restriction and some language, but I can see that it's a way to hang loose among friends. If anyone wrote anything bad about me, I didn't go over there and read it!! Hah! Never read the reviews!
I've almost finished my Kafka book, and I can really see how someone might turn into a gigantic bug if they weren't careful.
Oh no...now I really know I am round the bend and up the pole! Of course Theressa and I have each other's email addresses! When I wrote that post I didn't originally think I was talking to Theressa and then I realised I was and I am not sure how I managed to post the post with that still in....I think it is the heat. (It is just sooooooo hot.) jay
Re: "I understand that you wanted to express how you see things. I don't however think the catbox is a suitable place for a theological debate. If you want to talk about it, then Dr Irene has my permission to give you my email address. Huh? You two have each other's addresses... I don't actually believe a lot of the stuff you say in the way you are attributing to me Huh? and I think if I answer you here it will detract from the real purpose of the catbox. Jay "
Dear Theressa. Having recovered from yesterday's temporary insanity....I don't think it is as simple as God and the Devil. I see things rather differently. I think I have free will to choose between right and wrong. I think that you align yourself with either the good or the bad guy on the basis of how you choose to act and then there are consequences.
I don't think we are JUST a product of out parents - to me that means we would have no choice at all. I think that what we are genetically predisposes us to act, but everyone has a spirit uniquely theirs and a conscience. I think those come separate from what out family made us.
Otherwise why try to do better.
I don't believe in your concept of God and hell. I believe that if someone does something bad they have chosen hell but it they repent then forgiveness is extended to even the most evil person - I think there is a point at which you can push God too far but that is by choice. God never forces anything on us including heaven.
We are all sinners and I do believe the traditional doctrine that Christ died for sinners.- it has always worked for me and when I tried not to let it I found that I shut out the best part of my life....
I also think we can create hell for ourselves on earth by our actions but also that others can contribute to that hell.
I used not to believe in hell and I can't tell you what hell really is. I do know that when my daughter revealed how she had been abused I went from being someone who would forgive everyone to someone who would have literally killed on sight (fortunately I do not remember what the person looked like ) and I would not wish to meet him in heaven....but the judgment on any life - even his is not mine to give.
I don't worry about who goes to hell or not because I am not going to play God. I think each of us knows inside where we are headed ....My religion tells me I am forgiven and not headed there and my own judgment tells me without that I like everyone else might be. That if if we are all sinners...
Something I once heard - it is actually a Sufi thing but it helped me....If you knew how much God loved you, you would not pass judgment on others - at least that was the jist of it ...it was about God loving us so much more than we loved ourselves that our human judgment on who is worthy of heaven and hell is useless.....In the end, we will never know who is really destined for where as only God can see the secrets of the heart. Jesus said: "not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven." (I can never remember where to quote scriptures from) so I wouldn't want to set myself up against God and pass judgment on another person. I can only tell them the good news I have that there is a way out if they are aware of their own destiny.
Oh crumbs.......I am better at showing God by loving people in more practical ways and I don't think that I am the best example of a good Christian ( tooo much of the real me in the catbox now!)
But that is just it. ....God's love is dependent on me loving and following and not on my good works.....
I have personal responsibility for my own life and making choices...or how can we ever see what is wrong and change?
Oh dear I am no good at this stuff unless I am talking about my own experience for my own growth.....love, Jay
I didn't get brought up with a Catholic view and got 'converted' to Christianity and although it is not appropriate here if you want to you can read my testimony in GHU. I was about the most reluctant convert there was but I can say that about 99% of my Christian walk has had to do with learning to believe that God actually loves me.
Doc said: "OK. Panic, find something wrong, and don't do a darned thing about it except pay attention to and tolerate the yukky feelings. Instead of tolerating /coping, you get impulsive and act out / react - and mess things up. "
Oh dear, now I know................the more I have thought about this the more I think that this is the key and I am not sure where it leaves me. No, that isn't true.....it leaves me with thinking that maybe I have made life more difficult and complicated than it ever need have been and thinking that this is actually the root of all my problems - not an abusive relationship as such, but not dealing with the yucky feelings in the right way....... If i had held on to my feelings more and not acted out I am not so sure the relationship would have become half as abusive......not that I am excusing Jake his part; just acknowledging mine. I do not like to feel bad....yet actually the end result of the impulsive behaviour is it gets twice as bad and I feel even worse....it ties in with what the Christian counselor was saying last week as well- it was about 'coming out of the comfort zone' He was saying something it is like we get addicted to our own bad situations and unhappiness so we attract more.....it gets to be a comfort things are wrong so we keep there....(at least dear pastor and T if you do read this site - as I suspect you will, that is what I think you were saying). If the situation is bad, I do make it worse because I do (much though I hate to admit it) make things worse by acting out impulsively.
In fact sometimes I have said something and been surprised that the other person has said back as if it is worse than I meant.......
How un self caring of me.........
And of course this is not what you meet in the 'together Jay" part......because 'together Jay " comes across as very different and then when the going gets tough ...messed up, self sabotaging Jay usually takes over.....
Like Jake makes the toast. I immediately thought he was controlling me in doing this. So I acted out (on a message board?. ) The yucky feeling I couldn't tolerate is "I am being controlled - I don't trust him and inch. So reacting to get rid of the yucky feeling I start to complain and I don't think I am innocent of some really nasty remarks and at times (well about a lot of stuff - I don't think and do speak....I have said some awful stuff to relieve my own yukky feelings...) But if I had sat on them maybe I would see the toast differently. Bingo! For starters you'd realize he CAN'T control you... (And so what even if he's trying to. He still can't!)
I think I just had my lesson there - Jake didn't make me any toast this morning and I was worried as at the same time a letter came that would have been upsetting for him and me- related to when I spoke to the DV people (it basically said 'no further action." ) So I was nervous that the toast absence was related to that...in the end I couldn't resist asking and he said he would make me the toast if I wanted and did......
So if he was controlling it can't be about the toast? Maybe the toast is a kind act and I have misjudged him. Maybe it is the one caring act left he does but also shows that just a little bit he cares still for me??????
Maybe he also has a different agenda with our daughter - maybe he is respecting her wishes so that he knows he can keep the channels of communication open - he tried to make peace once before and that ended up in her refusing to speak to him as well for several days. At least he never believed the lies others said ; he had his own (wrong version) of events....but he was never maybe as bad as some people could have been????????
But maybe I have been so lost in my own yucky feelings - and yes he has been abusive.....but I would call it 50/50 - It does hurt he seems to blame me 100% which made me act out....but maybe things like the toast say " i do not blame you 100% ????? I do think he has problems but what I am trying to say is maybe my impulsive reactions cloud things and make the situation worse.....
He did make the toast and I thanked him and said I appreciated it. He came downstairs from playing his guitar to do so.....I think he would have been perfectly within his rights to stay there and say 'no'.
Oh dear Dr Irene is right this is big and I think I do need time to think about it......... Good! When you stop being so darned impulsive and start "doing nothing" with those initial yukky feelings, you won't be creating all these problems!
Dear Perdida - Kafka is bad for you. Try Terry Pratchet's earlier books and a cafe latte which I would have with you if you were nearer. I will have one in Borders later and think of you...I think you need to decide if you want your ex in your life or not and then make the boundaries really clear to him........
Dear Mousie, It is too complicated to go through life not speaking about cats. Thank you for trying to make amends. If you do have stuff you need to say or get help with you want to post here in the way outlined for this site then I will be happy to support you.. You can change the way you write because you clearly can write and writers can change their style - it is one of the things they make you practice on a writing course ...you could try an experiment and see if you like the reaction....I am sorry if you were in such a horrible relationship.
Dear Theressa, i think yesterday you were the victim of my impulsively acting out in the way I reacted to your post.
I think I really do need a bit of down time to sort me out now! jay
Hello Trubble Mousie thanks you for the catnip. Did you know catnip is very good for the ego? Once when Mousie's husband was taking a nap, Mousie put some catnip between his toes and he felt very important when he woke up and saw the cat kissing his feet.
Mousie, that was funny. I'm sure Trubble can relate to what a signal honor it is to have a cat kiss one's feet! Yow! Hey! Just where is this cat? I get tired of licking *My* own cute little paws...
You got the issue smack dab in its ambivalent little heart. I am NOT pro-active with my relationships at all! I always wait and see what a man offers and decide whether it's interesting or not - not even whether I want him or not, but how "interesting" it is. It's partly because I can amuse myself just fine even if I am lonely sometimes, or engage in bad habits when I'm by myself that I don't have when I am living with other people. Do I have some work to do on this? Giggle!
Another book is here waiting for me to read it, and maybe I will also read The Dance of Anger before the ex communicates again - I don't HAVE to see him or even answer the emails. I can always go with what he said, that there was no chance of getting back together! Without asking me if that was what I really wanted or if I even cared - there's only sort of half a communication going on between us at these important times - two different realities like Evans describes. Also, it will be more comfortable for him to stay away than confront his abusive behavior, which is the prerequisite for any discussion of reconciliation. And that's what I took him to be saying to me the last time I saw him : He is totally "normal" and I am the one with the problem because I don't like abusive behavior. So I think, why go there at all?
Anyway, if he is just a friend, I go for years without seeing some of my best friends due to the size of the geographical world. I don't even know if I want to be a friend either. I guess I don't really know much. Plus, now I have made other friends in this very fun town, not to mention my friends in Brazil to whom I will soon return, and I am busier than I was when I saw him 2 weeks ago. Everything has changed except my ambivalence and my passivity! Guess I will work on those!
I think I will jump on the religion bandwagon and do a little stirring - I think that any organized religion that doesn't honor women as Persons, that doesn't forward and protect their interests, their autonomy, and their dignity, that puts women down because of their sexuality, calling them evil temptations, denying them birth control, making them cover their beauty and genius rather than hold MEN accountable for their behavior, is a bad, irresponsible, and unethical religion for any self-respecting woman. Cynical me - that seems to be most of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim faiths. I am very close to God but you won't find me participating with my heart in a patriarchal church, except socially. God is always wherever we are.
Evil Temptation Perdida
Dear-Perdida, My- computer- keyboard -has- had -a -very -bad -accident- so -I-can -only- answer -you -like -this -until -I -work -out -the -function-keys.-Iwas-worried-the-whole-thing-was-broken.-Perdida-in-the-church- I-go-to-now-I-feel -I-am- really -respected. I-go- to -an- evangelical -type- church- and- they- are- great .I- don't -think -that -it -is- God's- fault= -when- women- don't -take -their-power. Goshthissureishar donthehands. Iwillbebacktonormalsooon Ihope!!!!!!!jay---This isalsoatestpostoseehowmuchdamageisdone. Did Trubble spill TroutJuice on the keyboard?
Well, it's always interesting to see other formats on the Box!
I am sorry, I feel like my last post was way too polemical and appears disrespectful. There are as many truths as there are people, and just because I have my truth that I am comfortable with doesn't mean I don't respect others' truths. None of us have the real answer anyway; that comes when we die? Maybe? And meet whoever is out there? Hey Perdida, you are entitled your opinion! You and Jay (and lots more, I'm sure) both have a position then find it too strong. Either you're posting while working yourself up, and/or you have second thoughts because you don't want to "hurt" anybody...
Dear Dr. Irene and all
<<<Why would you assume you might be "wrong?" To appease me since you think it's not OK to disagree with me?>>>
No – because I want you to “understand” me so that I don’t have to reprimand myself and that makes me like myself better. :) This is of course the thing I get all wrapped up over to my own detriment. Hmmm... I wonder what would happen if you assumed nobody understood - as an exercise for a week or so...
<<< I think you were more than "concerned." "Anxious" seems appropriate. Otherwise, why would you go so out of your way to "help" Steve by anticipating what his problems might be? You're out of your boundaries because your help was not solicited.>>>
I wasn’t trying to help Steve. This was about *me*, and about my concern about the dog. I was concerned about helping the *dog*, and about dealing with my own feelings/anxieties/concerns about the dog. I wasn’t trying to fix something for Steve. Same difference. Anxiety / doing for / etc. is always about making you comfortable... What I meant was that yes there was anxiety but not “out of control” anxiety at that point. The problem was that to do anything about my own feelings and my concerns about the dog, I needed to talk to Steve about it. Here is your goal: You don't need to talk to Steve despite your feelings and concerns about the dog. Can you think about learning to tolerate doing nothing? At that point I was still looking after the dog, so I do feel it was appropriate to talk about it. (but my method – trying to mind read - wasn’t effective) You miss the point. It's not your dog. You were out of your boundaries.
I think I was out of my boundaries looking after the dog in the first place and that’s perhaps where the problem began... No. You can look out for the dog and know when to step back...
I think what you are saying about the “drop it” stuff is that it would have been better to communicate that he didn’t want to talk about it. I still think there are better ways to say that though. Whatever. I'm not recommending "drop it" per se. Just that he find a way he's comfortable with to relay "stop" to you. And, it would be your job to hear him.
<<< Denial won't help Asha; we're all nut cases anyway.>>>
What is it with this “denial” thing anyway? I may be *unaware* (and sure, even a nut case), but there is nothing I *know* I should be doing or being that I’m not trying to work on. Saying “you are in denial” is sorta like someone saying “you are ignorant”. I don’t find it helpful or meaningful. “In denial” of..... ? (hmm... are you testing my preoccupation with wanting to be understood... ?) No. Just responding to your statement:
"Another thing - I have a real button about Steve’s thinking I’m “punishing” him – this because I used to examine myself to death over what I might be “doing” to him to "make" him feel that way. I have to detach myself from these thoughts, or I start to feel like a nut-case. Denial won't help Asha; we're all nut cases anyway. " I may have misunderstood you. My point was that you don't have to "stuff" this stuff / put it away to feel OK. If you learn to tolerate it, it will be just one little part of the mix of feelings.
I know that stuff I do *feels* punitive to Steve, but here’s the thing: I don’t want to focus on how I’m “punishing” Steve, because then my focus goes back to “what can I do to make *him* act differently, and that leads to “fixing”, “manipulating”, “controlling” etc. I don’t want to be responsible for his feelings. The more I focus on how I “punish” him, which isn’t my intent, the more focused I become on *his* feelings, and trying to control “his* behavior, instead of focusing on the source of my *own* behavior (*my* feelings) and thinking of effective ways to deal with it and interact with him to make things better for *me*. Maybe you are saying the same thing, but this is how I need to frame it. Sounds good to me.
<<<Think of it this way, if you and Steve were fighting and he needed a time out, would you rather he storm out the door yelling, leave in dead silence, or calmly say something like, "I'm really worked up right now and don't want to say something dumb or hurtful. We'll talk later when I'm more centered." >>>
Yes – makes sense. I know that I *am* still angry at Steve, and it’s hard for me to deal with him at times, but sometimes we have to deal with each other anyway regardless of what modes we are in. What I *can* control is my involvement with the personal stuff – like looking after the dog. I can back off from those kinds of things to give myself more of the space I need to get over the accumulative yukky stuff. Also, if I *am* angry with him, I can try not to *act* angry, at least. Maybe that’s what I need to do. Yes. Also, try to realize the stuff I suggest are goals. You're not being criticized for not doing these things now. Food for thought in terms of a direction to consider.
Thanks – and if you still don’t “understand” how I feel about the denial stuff then gosh darn it I’ll just sit here and “do nothing” and let you think whatever you think. Giggle! OK! I'll take you up on that! I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!!
Acceptance... yes. That feels better already.
p.s. Theressa – I believe that hell is something we create for ourselves – here on earth, and probably in the afterlife. (heaven too)
Let me try a post - I have decided (per Jay's advice, I have made myself a decision) that I don't want the ex in my life, even as a friend, because he thinks his behavior is normal and I can't relate to or respect a person like that. Plus, what I really feel is SORRY for him, and that is not a good basis for a friendship. I just wrote an email saying that I had been confused but that I had made a mistake trying to be friends because I don't agree that his behavior (outlining 4 of the most egregious things, like biting me) is at all normal, and that I felt sorry for him for trying to make himself believe that it is. Plus the rest that I just explained. All very matter of fact, like the time 2 weeks ago when I calmly said I couldn't drop everything and be with someone who yells at me all the time. When you come down to it, it's all very rational and irrefutable. Yes. And it's up to you not to let your empathic feelings for his pain get in your way!
But what a lot of down time figuring it out! Geez, I have work to do! There goes the bravado again. I read Emotional Blackmail today.
Hope this goes through. PS, I haven't sent the email yet; I am sleeping on it to read it again tomorrow. Good. When in doubt, sit on it. (Besides, you know what you have to do. It doesn't matter whether or not you announce it to him.)
.and.anger.clouds. the.judgment.....I.don't.think.we.always.have.to.agree.here.in.the.catbox...I.think.we.need.to.keep.open.to. being.wrong....maybe.the.worst.enemy.we.have.is.defensiveness....I.don't.mean.you.are.defensive...I.am.just.thinking.that .through.in.a.general.way......
picture.at.all...... .Ar ,least.not.until.we.have.sorted.out.own.stuff.
then.it.will.be .given. again.in.another.form.....
with.hell... at .least.my. very.blurred.concept.of.it.
.listen.to .the.lesson . and.then.become.blind.and.deaf.and.can't.see.the.exit.......I.think..jay
Just thinking isn’t how what we “love” in a partner is really just how they serve our needs best? I guess that can be seem like a “good” thing or a “bad” thing depending on whether you are the one replacing a lost partner, or the one being replaced. Maybe what makes it difficult about being “replaced” is that what we thought we “made” that partner feel, actually had nothing to do with us.
Jay - yes that's exactly what I meant - put the focus on *me*. If my experience feels like anger or hurt, then I don't think it's useful to concentrate on how I "punish" because it brings me back to the other person's feelings instead of my own. It brings you back there - because you let it. In other words, you are out of control here, though you need not be. (See how deeply this self-control / self-direction stuff runs?) I realize now you are trying to "do it" any way you can, and that's fine. I'm asking you to think about where you can take it. I'm just trying to get *myself* clear about this. But as you said, we don't always have to agree.
I do know people who get a sort of sick pleasure out of punishing others and I do honestly *try* not to be that way. Anger can have a way of doing that without you knowing it, I think. Still, there are other times, when I might say or do something which is positive or neutral and Steve may experience it as something negative. *That* is the stuff that I really don't want to get all wrapped up in. Once you learn to stay centered, you won't get wrapped up in junk like this. Right now, too many stimuli set you off in OtherLand.
I guess I don't really want to repeat the lesson so to speak, if I can help it. This incident probably seems trivial, but it's a significant event for me because some inner limit really has been reached.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Also Jay what I meant that what we make of *any* experience can be heaven or hell - but maybe heaven or hell aren't the right words for some people. I see it more like perspective or attitude. We take our circumstances and by our response to them create good or bad, and that can be taken to both extremes.