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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!

Breaking Point, Part 2

Breaking Point, Part 2

Read Rhoda's First Letter and Poem first

January 2,  2000

Thank you, Thank you. 

It is really hard to keep my focus when "he" is playing the concerned, innocent role.  He is such a consummate actor, I think he really believes that he is the victim. He very well may. I understand that is typical. Yes. Predictable. Unusual when it doesn't happen.  And I read the P. Evans book you require of your patients.   I wonder if I detached so long ago that things have been obscured.  Some of the things rang true, but not the confusion and hurt felt be the partner that was described repeatedly.  I guess that could be because of my childhood detachment.  I do remember my mother lashing out viciously...vaguely.  But the coolness and repulsion I felt for my mother came early, by 8 years old. Children (and adults) detach emotionally to protect themselves from traumatic situations - to survive. This works somewhat for kids, who don't have the power or resources to exercise options. Unfortunately, in adulthood, detachment no longer works. It keeps you emotionally blunted, but in a place where you are unable to change those things you need to do something about.

Ms. Evans did describe a visualization used to cope with things.  For a long time during a tirade, I meditated on a duck with raindrops sliding off of it during a rain shower.  I was the duck and the ugly words were the raindrops. They were not able to penetrate to my skin, shielded as I was by  silken feathers.  That helped me remain to calm many, many, many times. I would alternate between that and chanting in my thoughts on how I hated him, phasing every sort of denunciation for him that I could think of.  But never out loud, or the lecture would turn into a battering. I was conditioned very well.  (I am still marveling at how these suppressed things are welling up, even as I write.) I was able to make the words "fade" from me.  I really can't remember much of the content of his "lecturing".  Guess I was pretty successful in tuning him out! I guess he was pretty successful in inflicting pain.

YES, sex was a controlling ploy. And he was/is addicted to sex, pouting and sulking if I don't "spend time with him" before going about my own pursuits.  I would hear about "how I could make time for everything else but him"....  And I had also  found that I could turn the Mr. Hyde back into Dr. Jeckle if I could distract him by sexual attentions. 

Doctor, you don't know  (I am just remembering)  the loathing and disgust I felt inside of me while my body was engaged in gratifying him.  It destroyed any affections I had for him.  But I felt that I was stuck, believing his threats to harm my extended family, believing his threats that I could never get away from him.  And so I made the best of the situation,  tried to content myself with raising my children, working, involving myself in my faith.  My faith gave me the courage to set up limits on the battering.  I drew the line, and he realized that he had to stop.  But the damage from the abuse runs deep into my soul. Of course it does. Sounds like there is way too much water under the bridge.

One thing that outrages me right now ( I sobbed when this memory rushed back at me while reading about domestic violence a few days ago): at one point he had told me not to deflect his blows. Oh, my God! I don't remember what he threatened, but I was supposed to take his slaps without putting my hands up to protect myself.  As though I were a child getting a spanking.  But I suppose that there are worse things that have been endured. I am so glad you found the strength to put a stop to his horrible abuse. No wonder you are having such a hard time: you want to trust him, but you don't (nor should you!). Don't even entertain trusting Mr. Wonderful - not for a long, long while in any case - and not unless he gets treatment. Your husband has not changed. He is just trying to manipulate his way back into your heart and home. Pay attention inside. Do not confuse guilt or wanting him to be OK or his behaving OK for a little while as his being OK. Your husband sounds pretty disturbed and is probably in need of treatment.  Here is a promise: Even if you give him a really, really hard time and he stays good for a long time, just when you start to trust him again, he will revert back to control

My next efforts will be delve into the info you have compiled for us about sex addictions.  I trust that I might find more to help me there.  There is no doubt that he was prone to addictive behavior, chemically.  And that would dovetail with my codependent issues far to nicely!! I don't have much on sex-addiction treatment on the site. Basically, the treatment consists of no sex at all, self-imposed or otherwise. The purpose of this is to help the individual gain some mastery over what runs him (or her) and to focus on dealing with the real frustrations that are otherwise dumped into the sexual arena.  Similar idea as abstinence is to alcoholism. Get the sex addiction info, but don't spend too much time on what he has to do. You  have to focus on you. You haven't done that up to now, and that's why you found you are not in such a great place. Get into the habit of taking good care of Rhoda first!

I think that the following may be of interest to some of the readers, especially those that build their faith around the Bible.  There is a passage concerning marital relations and "rendering the marriage due".  This passage in no way refers to a sick, perverse relationship.  I didn't discern that my relationship was as sick as it was, did not permit myself to discern that I was being demeaned.  Our creator NEVER requires of anyone to turn over their body to be used in such a way as I let mine be used.  There is to be love and respect, always.  But from within the abuse, the victim cannot perceive the sanctity of their own being,  twisted as their concept of love can be. Myself being the case in point.  I hope that my sharing this will help prevent someone else from misapplying that passage to their relationship. Very well said. I can't think of a religion or philosophy that doesn't essentially say the same thing! 

I hope that the deep gratitude on my part and what others have expressed provide you with the rewards that you so deserve for providing this outlet and fountain of encouragement for so many of us. Yes, very much so...

Thank you again!   Rhoda :)  And thank you!   Dr. Irene

Rhoda's second poem, Winter

Rhoda's February 21 interactive My Story