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

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Comments for Victim's Anger

Comments for Victim's Anger

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.
Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos, Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at



B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 26, 2000


It sounds trite, but learn to love yourself. You can only give and receive love if you love yourself. You sound like a terrific person. Think positive, count your assets and blessings.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2000



I tried to summit my question I couldn't but, I do it this way if it's no problem . it doesn't have to do anything with this letter. Q: could it be possible that verbal abuse can come from the father without him not even knowing it? Could it be how he was treated in his childhood? My dads mother left him when he was 1yr. old, he came from a poor family, he started working at a very young age, not that much love basically he group up alone. Is that why he verbal abuses me? Could it be because what he went through in his childhood or growing up?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 09, 2000


Yes. Please consider going to CODA meetings. They are wonderful, only cost what you are able to pay (I am paying $1 a meeting for the moment), and you can speak or not speak. It is not a counseling session in terms of people giving and receiving feedback. People simple speak about whatever they want to, for a few minutes, and then the next person speaks, and so on around the room. They have a web site where you can learn more about it. I was skeptical at first, because I wasn't sure that I was co-dependent. But I quickly found out that I am, and go religiously 2 times a week. It has been invaluable. That coupled with reading books and this website and done a world of good for me. I am hoping to get into therapy asap. Please take Dr. Irene's advice and get professional help. It is not weak or pathetic to get professional help -- it is brave and courageous and SMART. You are worthy of the expense and of the growth it will help you gain. And for the record, I just want to add that I admire you immensely for your ability to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror, and face your music. That is a brave and honorable person, worthy of admiration and respect. Please also know that a crucial ingredient, if you are comfortable, is your spiritual self. Don't ignore this -- for there you will find immense, true, unconditional love like you have never known it before. I am so excited for you. You seem to be starting a new and very healthy chapter in your life, and although the going will be painful at times, the growth peace and joy you will find from it will be incredibly worthwhile. You have my admiration and respect and caring. Ann in Baltimore.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 10, 2000


This is Alice. Things have been going pretty well. Tonight I encountered a situation where I had to sit back with my feelings and ask myself some hard questions. I didn't react. I'd like to share and perhaps receive some feedback.

We're moving. I have a bed on order that I was hoping would be here before the movers. It won't. My old bed I gave away. I'm sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. This is fine, except I don't want to do this in the new home. I'm fearful of creepy crawlers in desert country. When I said this to my spouse, he said there won't be any critters. Immediately, I was aware of the usual emotional arousal. So, I left the room and began thinking about why this was upsetting me. He came in and told me I should know he wouldn't let me sleep on the floor. Then I feel even more bad.

I am aware of two things. I was supposed to read his mind, or the very least, not doubt him. Why couldn't I have said to myself, "Oh, he won't let me sleep on the floor." I recalled as a child, I was constantly told "I should," or "You know I love you," and things like this, but I wasn't told directly, "I love you."

So now I not only feel my original feeling and my sharing it was ignored, I was also supposed to mind read, and that I am the "bad" guy again for having doubted him.

When I first told him I was afraid to sleep on the floor, and after he'd sarcastically said there won't be any bugs, I went on to say, well, then if he's comfortable with that, how about he sleep on the floor and I take his bed. I never raised my voice, or got nasty. But I did feel the tears coming on and that's when I left the room.

I see it as me trying to take care of myself. Yet, being told by verbal omission that I should just grow up and sleep on the floor. And then to not "know" he wouldn't let me sleep on the floor.

I'm trying here, but there's more to it than I can understand. I really don't believe it's all me. But guess it is. I'm a wimp. I shouldn't be afraid. I'm supposed to know he wouldn't let me sleep on the floor. I should have kept my mouth shut and bite the bullet. My fears....feelings don't count for much.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2000


Oh, how many times have I said, "I'm a wimp?"

It's OK to have the feelings you had. And you're right. It isn't all you, how could it be? In essence he was saying, "You are afraid of nothing." Well, in the desert there are scary bugs and you are moving into a new house and you have every right to say to your spouse, "I'm scared of the bugs." Maybe you were even asking him in a round about way to be caring of you. And maybe by not reacting the way you normally would, by disengaging and not fighting, you gave him a different cue. That different cue caused him to come to you and say, "I won't let you sleep on the floor." Isn't that a little more like he's being caring of you? I think there are many good signs here. I don't know if this is the relationship you want forever, but at the very least this may be a signal that you broke your old pattern of behavior and got a response that is perhaps more like what you have been looking for. Have hope. It looks to me like you have good reason to hope.

In my experience, calling myself names makes everything worse. If you're a wimp, I am too. I am deathly terrified of the kinds of bugs they have in the desert! I don't know why you think you are a wimp, but it sounds to me like you are a survivor. Survivors are not wimps.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 05, 2000


this is all ok if you are in a relationship! I am a 53 year old woman -I have escaped all my abusive relationships - now I am alone and still abusing me - I do not know how to in Australia

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 12, 2001



Dear Dr. Irene:

I am relate somewhat with what Alice is saying here. I've been writing in the "catbox" for the last few days about my relationship with my boyfriend of 18 months, wherein the last year, he was showing signs of verbal and emotional abuse.

It was very overt at first(you're fat, not my type, etc.), then, it became, bizarre, subtle and covert. I started asking questions about "why" he could say such a thing to me. He would respond "I don't do "why" questions." It just kept getting worse and worse.

His crazymaking behavior, invalidations, discounting and minimizing me, was starting to provoke me into an anger and rage. Though I did not rage at him, nor show my anger - directly towards him. I became quiet and withdrawn. Like walking on egg shells. Then once I'd get fed up and break up with him, all of my rage and anger would come out a day or two later. I would send him emails detailing how he made me feel, long motifs about "how could you have treated me this way", and on and on. My emails became more abusive as time went on, though we'd get back together. We broke up at least 10 times within the last year. And everytime we would get back together, his verbal abuse and aloof behavior towards me got worse and worse. And then the cycle began, and my emails from hell became more emotionally damaging. So, I do and did take responsibility for these emails, I do take responsibility for talking to his friends about him, but I did not start this behavior towards him first. He began with his slight sarcasm in our very early days, and then the abuse began with a life of its own. He has never apologized for his severe abuse towards me - he claims that his toxic mouth has been well-accepted by men and women alike all of his life, and nobody but me has ever thought of him abusive. However, he's never been with a women longer than a few months, he's 52 years old and claims he's a man with "broken toys everywhere". Every book I've read regarding verbal abusive relationships fits him to a tee (Patricia Evans, etc.). Yet, he still twists everything around that I'm the abuser. Let me add here too that he has his Ph.D. in psychology and is an unlicensed psychologist, though not sure if that counts for anything, other than the fact that he threw that in my face "that he's only a psychologist, so how can I possibly be wrong - that you're the bad one and I'm the good one."

Anyway, I am hoping I ended it for good with this man. Last Tuesday night I walked out of his house stating "I can't do this anymore." It took alot of strength. I realize time heals most wounds, however, I'm not sure if emotional abuse ever heals all the way. I only know that I have taken my own inventory in this situation, and tried to convey to him that we needed to communicate more on a healthier level, suggested counseling, twisted myself in a pretzel to accomodate his emotional and sexual desires, and basically be the most loving woman I would possibly be. And still fell on deaf ears. Still got the abuse from him. So....I walked out of his house, because I realize I can't fix "it."

The hard part will be to stay away. The chemistry between us is intoxicating. He lives in my neighborhood. We shop at the same grocery store. We have some of the same friends now. We like the same restaurants.

I plan on Monday to go back to my support group which specializes in this kind of abuse.

God grant me the strength to let go of this mess, and move on and find someone who I can have a healthy relationship with!

Thank you for letting me share.