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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

I Left

I Left...

From: Doreen
Sent: Saturday, August 28, 1999 10:53 PM
Subject: I left.....

Dear Dr. Irene -

How happy I was when I found your website.  How little people out there know about or understand verbal abuse and the damaging effects it leaves on those who have been abused.  In reading some of the stories, I can so totally relate to these women.  Been the whole route of leaving and him promising things would be different if I came back.  I truly loved the man I thought I married and since I wanted to make the marriage work, I came back.  By the grace of God, I'm not institutionalized.  

Dear Doreen,
Thank you for sharing your story. Perhaps your words will help restore sanity to another victim...
Please look for my comments within your text:

He was so devious, he tried to have me committed as being crazy.  I had never been around his kind of behavior so didn't know what I was dealing with.  I too read the book "Abusive Relationships" - what an eye opener.  Before reading it, the things he was accusing me of, I'd think to myself --- did I do that???  I don't think I did.  I didn't understand the 'projection' sickness part of this. For those who don't understand "projection," it is when an individual who is guilty of a particular act or way of thinking or behaving, accuses another person of doing same!  When projection is severe, it can be delusional. The individual usually doesn't realize they are projecting their stuff onto the other person, though in milder forms its hard to say when they don't see it vs. when they won't fess up. Projection is related to paranoia and anger.  

I'm not kidding when I say he was devious - he was going around behind my back spreading lies about me, calling the police, etc.  I was totally amazed at what this man was/is capable of.  At one point, he even had my own parents convinced I was nuts.  He did it in such a way that he played on their fears and like he was so concerned about my well-being.

His was a sudden change.  When we were dating, I noticed he had some control issues but I could put him in his place and he would apologize and laugh at himself for even doing it.  He turned on me as the enemy about 2 months after his father died suddenly.  I mean it was an overnight change.  One day I was his best friend --- the next, I was the enemy.  He has NEVER been the person I first knew and fell in love with since - it's like something went haywire in his brain.  Is this a common thing????
I don't know how common such a radical switch is, but the temporal proximity leaves no doubt in my mind that it was related to his dad's death.  Abuse stuff usually evolves over time. Your husband probably had the predisposition and was sent over the edge by his dad's sudden death. Something did go haywire in his brain. Literally. Sounds as though he may have suffered some sort of "nervous breakdown." Don't start guilting yourself about leaving a sick person, etc. I've never met anyone so out of control that they've lost their free will, even during my days in the local State Mental Hospital.

Well, our divorce was final on Monday, August 23.  I grieve the death of what I thought we had and the person that was good to me, but he is definitely still as sick now as he was when he first went off the deep end.  I'd like to tell other women that there are worse things than being lonely ----- get a dog. 
I have two and they're great companions - they never put me down - I know what kind of a mood they'll be in when I get home from work and they're not going around poisoning people about me.  It's so much better than living with Collin the way he turned out.  I think I'm going to start going to Al-anon and another support group because I realize the damage he did is worse than I at first thought. 
Great idea. You need to process this whole thing.
I realize I am going to need some support to get back to the old Doreen - this kind of damage is devastating!!!!! 
Yes! Now you will question yourself... how, why, etc. Go through this process. Listen to your internal voice. You can only learn and grow stronger and closer to yourself and to your Maker.
I'm determined though that I am going to get my old self back - my self esteem and all the rest.  I am a Christian, so I lean heavily on my Heavenly Father - He has seen me through so much.

Thanks for listening, and I would appreciate any feedback you could give me - on the questions I asked and anything else.

God bless,

And you too, -Dr. Irene