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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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For Kate McCoy please. I wish I could move on.

Customer Question

For Kate McCoy please. At last I have some peace. Weekends are bad for me and I feel guilty for the children bc I can't make the effort to do much. I think I'm too old to be self harming, should know better, a mother and RN. I've been 'cutting' for a year now, always hidden, nobody except my GP, Psych and therapist know. I couldn't tell them for many months. I had to write to my therapist and GP, couldn't say the words I felt too shameful. My therapist brings it up when I'm least expecting it, when she knows I'm not too tied up, but it always sends me into a spin and a curtain comes down so that I can't find any thoughts to express my feelings about it. My thoughts of self harm have been consuming me lately, and I have had a whole string of subtle ways planned. I don’t know what the trigger for the heightened thoughts are, but some of the methods would have landed me in ED- I wanted to be there, but not so that anyone would know that I'd self harmed. So far I have self managed. Last year I was anorexic, I lost a stone and looked terrible. Then I started on Mirtazapine and put the stone back on. I felt bad, but looked better. Now I've reduced the Mirt, (Psychs orders) and I'm eating little again, on and off the scales, calorie counting (I've never done this before, just been happy with the way I am) and going down slowly. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting along just fine, making small improvements week by week, then suddenly I feel like I don't want to do this anymore, and I can't see into the future, there is a big black void, and I'm nowhere to be seen. I have been suicidal, wanted to drive my car fast off the motorway. I was lucky to survive a high speed motorway crash 2 years ago when my husband fell asleep at the wheel. I have PTSD, long term effects of severe cervical  whiplash, thoracic vertebral damage and facial scarring, and am so troubled by images of the accident (though I was asleep at the time) when I am driving on the motorway that I sometimes have an overwhelming need to drive off the motorway into the valleys, a split second and it would be over. I just want to stop all these thoughts, they are getting in my way. Nothing is getting done properly, I'm trying to sort myself out but keep falling back. What is the best way to move on?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hello, it's good to talk with you again.

 

I would definitely confirm the PTSD diagnosis you have. You have been through several serious traumas, enough to cause post traumatic stress. The self harm is a symptom of the lack of control you have over your life and the circumstances you are caught up in. The anorexia is also about the lack of control.

 

What both of these issues represent is something in you that feels lost and unable to stop the trauma happening to you. What needs to happen is for you to develop that part of yourself that gives you some sense of control and that allows you to feel you have permission to assert yourself. Right now, that part of you is saying you want out but you are not worthy. By allowing this part of yourself to grow stronger and come out, you can start to pull yourself away from the trauma and gain more control over your life.

 

Now, as they say, easier said than done! But in your case, I'm not sure that is true. You are strong, and amazingly so. You have survived what normally puts most people under. You have symptoms for your ordeals, but you also are strong enough and insightful enough to seek help and keep trying. That is a sign of incredible strength.

 

You can start to move on by learning as much as you can about PTSD and domestic abuse survivors. The more resources you have to pull on, the better you will be able to fortify yourself to face the obstacles and overcome them. The amount of support you have right now is wonderful, but you could also add more. Support groups are a good start. Join ones for domestic abuse and PTSD. Read books about both topics. Learning what you can about them can help you gain insight and find solutions. If you need some resources, I can help with that part.

 

The suicidal feelings you have are related to the self harm, PTSD and the general overwhelming nature of your situation. It would be natural to want out of a situation like you are going through. But what I mentioned above holds true- finding the strength within yourself should be the focus that helps pull you out and makes it easier to face your situation. Understand that you are worthy, loved and a good person. You deserve peace in your life. You are not a target for someone else's hate and rage, but a worthy person who is strong. If you keep your focus on developing that part of yourself, you should be well on your way to recovery.

 

Let me know what you think,

Kate

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,
Thank you so much. Things are a lot clearer to me now. I struggle with the strength, get myself in a muddle so easily, have firm plans in place to help me move on, then I get tipped up and they are all in pieces again. It takes so much effort to put them back together again that sometimes I feel I can't be bothered. That's where I am now. I do feel I'm not worthy, that I must ensure everyone else s happiness before my own, and asserting myself against my husband is almost impossible, but I am working on that with my therapist. I am not allowed to speak up for myself, voice my opinions, he is so self centered and talks me down if I want to say anything.... he is also passive aggressive and controls us all with his unpleasant ways. He has 'stolen my voice' and rendered me selectively mute.

I have a recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and although I have been in pain and incredibly fatigued for more than 2 years (the RTA may have been the trigger) it is something else I have to come to terms with. I had to battle to get the dx and had been told it was psycho-somatic. Now I have the dx I am offered nothing new- I had already changed to Cymbalta- and my pain is uncontrolled. I am in a constant cycle of GP visits, being struck dumb and not saying what I need, and not feeling better.

I start a new job on a busy surgical ward in one week, initially part of my recovery plan (to go back to work) but I now find it is another anxiety that I don't need at the moment. It is only for 3 days a week but I don't know how I will cope with that and make the right moves for my future. My children are suffering bc I don't have the energy for them and my husband just doesn't offer them anything. I know what I must do, I have the key to the cottage next door now, but don't know where I can find the strength for the next step. Every bump in the road seems like a mountain to climb, and I have to keep stopping to catch my breath, will myself on, push, push, I've run out of push.

Sorry about all this extra info. I can't explain my need to have someone with me every day. During the week I am OK bc I have my therapist, but weekends I just fall to bits. But it's Sunday today- you should be having the day off.

Thank you for listening. I have followed up all your abuse links from last week, they are very helpful and I will go through them again and copy and paste bits I want to keep for when (if) I see a lawyer. I haven't looked into any support groups yet- I went to Alanon for a few weeks before Christmas, but spent the whole time in tears and not speaking, so it made me feel inadequate. I will google local PTSD support groups later. My Psychiatrist wants me to attend a pattern changing course at Womens Aid (SAFE), but I haven't wanted to admit the need til now.

Thank you Kate.
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Although you may not believe it, it sounds like you are making a lot of progress. You are thinking everything through in a healthy and progressive way. There is a lot on your plate and adding a job to it is tough, but it is also healthy. If you feel you want to stick with it, work can offer you a way to boost your confidence, give yourself an income (and control over that income), and provide a way to move up in the future. The key is finding out if this is the time for you to need all of that in your life. I think if you are moving ahead and some of your issues start to get addressed, you may be alright with the job. Right now, you are just at the beginning of working it all through so it's going to be overwhelming.

 

I am sorry to hear about the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. You did not need one more thing on top of all that you already have to deal with. Can you consult with other professionals in your field for ways to handle your illness? When confronted with something like this, sometimes it is helpful to talk to people who are more understanding and more at your level, like other nurses, who may not only easier to talk with, but sometimes have better ideas on how to handle such things that doctors don't have.

 

Have you tried writing down how you feel? Like in a diary? Talking it all out is great, but everyone is different so finding ways to express yourself that work for you can be therapeutic in itself. Some people use art, others writing, and still others use music or spending time in the kitchen. People often refer to it as their "therapy" because it feels expressive and helpful to them. If you don't already have something you do like this, think about what makes you feel that time passes quickly and that you enjoy when you do have time to do what you want to do.

 

You mentioned not being able to be there for the kids as much as you'd like. Is there some way that you and the kids could get away for a night? Maybe go to a hotel that has a pool and hang out. Or visit a family member you feel comfortable with. Even just an afternoon walking in the woods with a picnic can make a big difference to your emotional wellbeing and give you time with the kids. Water also helps. If you are near the sea, a lake or even just a creek, water is very therapeutic. It would give you a change of scenery and the kids a chance to get out some of their stresses as well.

 

Remember to take one day at a time. Sometimes, when it's very bad, take one hour at a time. You are moving ahead and things will change someday soon. This is a growing period for you so it seems like nothing is happening. But it is. I can see it just from our work together and I'm sure the other people you are working with can see it as well. Find some time today to take a deep breath and sit. Think about something else besides what you have to do. And plan some time away, even if you have beg and borrow. It might be the best therapy of all. And keep in mind that what you are doing to get yourself better is good for your kids as well. They find comfort and strength in a parent who is able to overcome and find a better way. You are a good role model for them.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate,

You are so good for me. Thank you. Such good sense. I am told I'm getting better. My therapist is very encouraging. I really wasn't well last year, I know - too many crisis moments, less now.

The job planning has been a long time coming, I had to retrain after being out for 3 years, and the job is on the back of my ward placement. They wanted me to come back and work for them, - I should be pleased, feel good, but instead I feel worried- I didn't feel I wanted to commit to a contract not knowing how I would manage, but how could I justify not taking the job when they are so hard to come by in the NHS. And it's all part of my plan to escape- yes, control of income, improve self worth.... So things have happened rather faster than I feel ready for. Yes, overwhelming, scary.

When I was on the wards I spoke to the pain nurse specialist who was full of knowledge. I didn't have my diagnosis then, but I will try to speak with her again. I know I will have to spend a lot more time resting once I get to work, so my days will be eaten up with trying to recover in time for the next shift. Sigh.

I have been journaling for a while, I am utterly useless at expressing myself verbally, so it really helps to write it all down.I have written reams and reams.I have also been on the waiting list for creative therapy- still no word after 8 months! NHS!!! I shall be better before they call me for assessment (can but hope) My best therapy is spending time with the dogs, walking in the fields when I have the energy. I have also been planning how to decorate my room (since moving out of 'our'room) as a half way house. So I've been doing a bit of painting and bought myself some nice peaceful things (plants, lava lamp) and am looking for some stencils that I can decorate the walls with. I feel better in my room, but my husband is not happy. hey ho.

I love being by water, especially in motion. That's what I must do, I do need a night or 2 away, with my children. That will be so good. I want to do that. I hope I will. I worry about the children and their stresses, but that's another story altogether.

I think my therapy right now is to go and pull up some weeds. My husband has been out drinking since lunchtime and I don't expect him back til late. Then he's going away again tomorrow :). Just me and the kids again. I am trying to be a good role model, I want to do my best for them, always.

Thank you Kate
R

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You are very welcome, Rose! I love hearing about all the changes you have made to make your life better. I feel good just reading about them.

 

I hope you have a good week. I'm here anytime you want to talk.

 

Kate

 

PS if the JA system prompts you to accept this reply, just ignore it. I am not sure how to get around it.

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

Thanks! I hope you had a nice Sunday with your family. I am feeling hopeful that I may be able to enjoy this summer with my children, last summer was so awful....

 

I am accepting, bc you are worth it

 

Have a good week too

R

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just wanted to add that I am feeling much more positive this morning, and that I owe my new strength and insight to you- I am blessed to have you and your words in my head. Smile R

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

I can't thank you enough for your wonderful feedback. Though I would gladly help you regardless, it is heartwarming to know that our work together has made a difference to you.

 

It is said that although a counselor helps, it is the person in therapy that does all the work. And you deserve the credit for how well you are doing. I could give you the best advice in the world but unless you are willing to do something with it, it means nothing. So kudos to you for how far you have come. I have no doubt you will accomplish whatever you set your mind to!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate,

I like to give credit where it's due.

Thank you for your encouragement.

Namaste,

Rose

PS Sorry about the feedback, I pressed enter by mistake- can you delete it? It's meant to say 'Has given me strength, and insight into my situation, and caring advice on how best to move forward'
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You're welcome!

 

JA won't allow us to remove our own feedback (it would be too tempting to do so when someone isn't so nice!) but I assumed that the feedback just got cut off. Thanks for letting me know what you did say. It's very kind.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,
How are you? I'm having an upside down day today, I'm like my computer when it hasn't shut down properly. I see my therapist via skype, she lives -7hours in Mountain Time zone (US) (I'm GMT), so we meet at 8pm my time when my husband goes out. Last night her internet connection crashed while I was all tied up in a knot, and I couldn't get started again, couldn't speak, once she'd got it fixed after 45mins. It was late, 10pm. The downside of modern technology. I thought I'd be OK, but I had a difficult night, my body kept jumping about and waking me up.
We were talking about the extreme anxiety I feel when I go to see my GP, and how I cannot ever not cry, and when I come out the tears just flow and flow. About how inadequate I feel when I try to talk to her, to tell her what I need, that I can't speak sentences, that I just get stuck and get into a cycle of trying to tell her, being told to 'spit it out,' getting tied up, worrying about the time I'm taking, and that I am utterly pathetic and weak.
I have had many many drs visits for the last 21/2 years, I almost gave up trying to be heard, I'd be sent on my way with 'there's nothing wrong with you, what are you worried about? If you had cancer you'd be dead by now.' But I was in pain and I was getting nowhere. Then I was just a wreck. I have had such a battle. I know why I can't cope with GP appointments, but I've still got to go. All I wanted was some pain relief so that I could go back to work next week and not have to have my pain on my mind all the time.
Sorry Kate, Just needed to talk to you. Hope you don't mind.

R
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, It's good to hear from you! You are not bothering me at all. I am glad you contacted me.

 

I am sorry to hear that you are not getting a good response from your GP. It does not sound like she understands how you feel or she does not want to understand. Some doctors are like that, they only want to hear the facts, give you an answer, and go on to the next person. It is a matter of personality and preferences. It doesn't mean they are not good doctors, just different.

 

It also is possible that you have white coat syndrome, which is very common. Some people have a very hard time talking to doctors because of the prestige and higher rank in society that doctors have. It triggers our insecurities and makes us stumble over ourselves in fear of looking like a fool. And some doctors take advantage of this and treat their patients as if they are annoyed with them. Again, it is about the individual doctor and how they view their jobs and therefore their patients. It has nothing to do with who you are.

 

You can try going in to see your doctor prepared to deal with her as she is. Make a list of symptoms and stick to it. Be direct, look her in the eye and don't back down. It doesn't mean that you have to be nasty, just direct. Doctors are people too and do the same things we all do. Keep in mind that you are paying for this doctors time so it's up to you how you use it. The doctor needs to be reminded of that as well.

 

Have you thought about changing your GP? It's not easy after so long, but you may be able to find someone who is more willing to work with you. Sometimes you don't realize how much better it can be until you try.

 

Most of all, remember that you are a wonderful person and that many people love you for who you are. No one can make you feel less than that. You just need practice remembering that and bringing it out when you deal with others.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Kate, it's nice to hear from you, nice to talk to you.

Does not finishing a therapy session, being cut off while deeply tied up in emotions, cause the mind to be so muddled up? I guess it does, maybe like cutting short a hypnotherapy session. I don't usually feel so unsettled the day after, and she is always careful to make sure I'm stable before we sign off.

I've thought about changing my GP, just today, but she knows every nitty gritty intimate detail of my long journey, though she has made it much longer and more arduous than necessary. I know some-one new can read all about me, and there is another female Dr who I wish I had started out with, but I'd feel bad (!!) switching now. And she was worried about me last year, and she does care. I just don't think she understands fibromyalgia.

But, thinking about it, I must be getting better at seeing her, bc last year I would send her an email before seeing her to say what I wanted to say, or I would write a letter and bring it with me. I didn't used to say a word at my appointments, was mute for a long time, just sat and cried, so at least I can speak now, albeit with prompts and fill-ins.

I was telling her how anxious and scared I was to be starting my new job on Monday. I don't think she can imagine how I feel. She said I will be fine, I can do it. I just don't feel ready, the job was offered to me, I didn't go and seek it, but I will just see how I will cope. If I can't then I will have to quit (failure).

I have had this week off to recharge my batteries (I look after a disabled girl too) and have been painting my room. It looks great. Do you use totems in practice? My totem is a butterfly, I have a beautiful painting of a butterfly on the wall that I can see when I open my eyes in the morning. It signifies starting anew, afresh. I'm just emerging from my chrysalis, but have to dry my wings and gain strength before I can fly away. I've had fun this week looking for butterfly accessories, and have ordered a stencil for my wall from ebay! I'll have to get creative (not my strong point).

My husband is away til tomorrow, then won't be away again. This will be the real test for me- having him back in the house again after 2 weeks of peace, happy children, no wet beds (him, not the kids!), and no hang overs to deal with. But I have to face an evening out with him tomorrow at a wedding party. I haven't been out with him to a social gathering for 18 months, and might just have to skip this one too. Socials scare me terribly.

Thank you Kate. I'm glad you are only a click away.

R
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Sorry about the wait. I had a few phone calls I needed to deal with.

 

Yes, stopping your sessions abruptly can cause you to feel out of sorts. You were left with some heavy emotions to cope with. While you are talking about how you feel, your deepest thoughts and feelings are exposed, which can make you feel unsettled and upset until you work them through. Having a session end like that will leave you feeling lost.

 

What you might want to try is asking your therapist for some good general coping statements you can keep on hand in case you lose your connection again. That way, you can have some comforting closure until you can reconnect with her. Or, if she can, maybe she can make you a DVD of relaxation techniques so you could hear her voice and work on relaxing at the same time. It may be enough to comfort you until you meet up again.

 

It sounds like you are making a lot of progress with your doctor! If you have gone from not being able to speak to bringing up your needs directly, that is a major step in a good direction.

 

You will not fail at your job. I have no doubt of that because the definition of failure is not trying. And you are trying. No one is successful at everything they try. The trick is to see yourself as successful for getting out there and making an effort. You will learn from that effort no matter the outcome. And the next time you try, you will be wiser and more experienced.

 

I love the butterfly reference in your room. What a wonderful and creative way to remind yourself everyday of how much progress you are making and how beautiful you are. I have to remember to borrow that in the future.

 

I will be here for you this weekend if you need to talk. I understand that having your freedom without your husband is so appealing and losing it is hard. You have coped before and will do so again. Just remember to care for yourself and be good to yourself. Don't hesitate to take some time to be alone and recharge. I will check in all weekend in case you post.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thnaks Kate,

you always make me feel better. My therapist tells me she has recorded a hypno session for me, but we aren't sure how she can send it to me (over the ether I mean, not ocean!)

Now you know why I posted those butterflies last week!! I hope you liked them.

Trying to still my mind with a DVD while there is still peace- Walk The Line. Haven't watched a film in many months.

I will leave you alone now, thanks for being there for me, I am so glad.

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You're welcome Rose!

 

I hope you can work out how to get the DVD from your therapist. That would be very helpful to you. Let me know if it works out.

 

Watching a good movie is always a great way to relax and treat yourself to some downtime. It can help change your mood and give you a way to escape for a while.

 

You are never a bother to me! I enjoy our time together immensely. As I mentioned, I will be here for you anytime you need to talk. It may take me a bit to get back to you depending on how busy it gets, but I will respond as soon as I can.

 

Enjoy your time. You deserve it!

 

Talk to you soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate, my Saving Grace.

I know you are off line now, but I've just got home and I wanted to write, my head is in the biggest spin, I'm knotted up. Tonight was the first time I have been to a Social gathering bigger than a family do and I felt really unsettled, anxious, couldn't eat, barely talk. But I stayed for 2 hours, so I think I should be pleased with that. I was watching everyone from the wings, laughing, dancing enjoying themselves, couples enjoying each others company, in love.

My husband came home this evening. He wanted hugs, kisses, missed me, loves me, I can't bear it, can't bear him touching me, kissing me, I just can't make myself hug him, kiss him back, I feel so bad that he is hurting because of my aversion to him, but I can't let him near. It has been too long that I have felt like this, and I don't see it will ever be possible not to feel this way about him. for the last few years I have felt abused on the few occasions that I have tolerated intimacy, accompanied by silent tears, internal screaming and revulsion. I had forgotten that I was raped many years ago, came to light again after being deeply buried, during therapy. But I can't sort it out. Now he's home again he wants me, but I am so scared I feel sick. I am in my own room. Door is shut. He is drinking, at the pub. I have to be asleep before he comes home. If I stay this is how it will be forever. I wish I had a crystal ball, I want to know what to do.

Sorry Kate, this is horrible, but I guess I couldn't expect it to be easy when he came back.

I must put my light out now, he will be back soon.

Speak tomorrow
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, it's great to hear from you. Thank you so much for such a wonderful salutation! I am humbled.

 

Good for you! You should be so proud of yourself for getting out there, attending the party and facing your fear. It takes incredible bravery to do what you did. Whenever you feel down about yourself, remember how brave you really are inside. Even if you were on the sidelines, you were still there. And that is what counts.

 

I am so sorry about the situation with your husband. What you described reminds me of how abused children feel when they are cornered by their abuser. What you are experiencing is very similar and definitely describes domestic abuse.

 

Keep in mind that you are not obligated to be with your husband, in any capacity. You are allowed to say no and allowed to feel safe. Just because you are married does not mean you forfeit your right to yourself and your body. If your husband has not treated your right, then it is expected that you would not want to be with him and would feel revulsion when he wants to be with you.

 

What he did to you takes away your ability to trust and to feel safe. No human alive would feel it was ok to accept attention from someone that makes them feel as you do when you are with your husband.

 

Feeling sorry for him when you cannot respond to him is natural because you have a caring soul. But keep in mind, you would not feel the things you feel with him if he was tender with you and cared for you like you deserve. In that case you would feel love and want to be near him. But he has not done that. Allow him to own the responsibility for what he has done to take away your peace.

 

Staying in this situation, with how unbearable it feels, is probably not possible. A separation is the least that should occur. You need the time to heal, find yourself and become who you want to be. You know your situation best so it's up to you, but for your own emotional health leaving would be beneficial.

 

Thank you for trusting me and telling me about your rape. I am so sorry to hear that you had to go through something so horrible. It makes perfect sense that you would feel the way you do in your marriage with a trauma such as rape in your background and the abuse in your marriage on top of it. The similarities in feelings would retraumatize you.

 

Have you had the chance to work through your experience with your therapist? Can I help in any way? A trauma such as rape is deeply personal so I will leave it to you as to whether or not you feel you want to work with me about it or not. But I am here for you either way.

 

I will be thinking of you tonight, and if it is ok, I will pray for you as well. Stay safe.

 

Kate

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Good morning Kate, So glad to read your post this morning, thank you. It is comforting to be in your thoughts, and I feel calmed to be in your prayers.

My beliefs are firm, but they have been suppressed by my husband who will have no mention of the church , and will enter into a damning discussion whenever the subject is raised. I am happy enough that the children are questioning it's existence, and are therefore agnostic; I made a point of having them christened so that they could at least have the choice once they were older, but he wasn't happy. I suppose I should be grateful he allowed it. He doesn't stop me from going to church, but is certain to make his feelings known, and talks about brainwashing!! He believes that RE should be outlawed in schools, and that the lessons be used to learn latin! (HELP!) My battles are many.
I heard him come home last night, but he didn't come in. This morning he came into my room and got into bed with me (little bed!), and I was definitely cornered, against the wall. He wanted all the things that I feared, but he listened and I cried, and he said he feels pushed out and alone. I haven't had the strength to be honest with him, but I reminded him that I have had difficulties for a very long time. He said he needs sex, surely I do too. I said please let me get better, and my body hurts so much too. I havent told him about the rape, my psych said maybe I should, help him understand, but I need to work it through first. Maybe I will never tell him. I have talked little bits about these problems with my therapist, but they spin me round too much to make any sense just yet. I would be very grateful if you could help me somehow, you know how troubled I am with talking. I am happy for you to know me inside and out.
Best wishes Kate,
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Good Morning Rose!

 

I am glad to hear you have faith, for faith is often what helps save people when they have little left to turn to in their lives. I took a bit of a risk to put it out there for you just in case you did have faith. Faith can be so comforting and it is a shame that your husband has hardened himself against any type of belief. He must have been very hurt in the past to not allow any belief in his life and to try to control your faith and the faith of your children. But you have the same rights that he does to teach your children about your faith and allow them to choose what they want to believe. I would encourage you to express what you want about your faith to your children, as long as you do not feel it would put you in danger.

 

I can understand your hesitancy about telling your husband about your rape. In a way, the things he has done to you align him with the person who raped you. Trust is a huge issue with abuse and alcoholism and you certainly have not had any reason to trust in your marriage. It would be just fine if you kept the rape to yourself. If you tell him, your husband may understand your resistance to intimacy with him, but it also requires you to expose part of yourself, a very vulnerable part, to someone who you do not trust and who has hurt you. And keep in mind, you are not responsible if your husband feels pushed out and alone. You have been there for the marriage and he has not so his feelings have a lot more to do with his actions than yours. You can only react to what he has done and not make up feelings that are not there so he can feel better.

 

If you do feel you want to share this part of your life with him, you may want to consider doing so with your therapist's help. That way you have support and someone to turn to if your husband responds badly.

 

I would be more than willing to help you with your feelings about the rape. We can work at any pace you wish. Let me know what you are comfortable with and we'll go with that. I am honored that you feel safe enough with me to share such a personal experience and that you allow me to know you so well. Thank you.

 

I will check back throughout the day so if you reply I can get back to you soon.

 

Take care,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate, I am so glad I found you. I am equally touched that you are so happy to help me. I hope you are being paid adequately for your time with me,- how do you put a value on such tender care?

I have just got home from being at a concert with my daughter who plays in an orchestra. It is getting late now and I need to focus on my first shift at work tomorrow. If I feel OK tomorrow evening I will write and we can talk about things.

I look forward to sharing with you,

Best

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Goodnight. :)
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose, thank you so much. I do not expect you to compensate me so well and I do appreciate it very much. I consider it a privilege to help you and that is a wonderful reward in and of itself. Your kind feedback alone means a lot.

 

You must be so proud of your daughter. What an accomplishment. Very impressive!

 

I did recall that you are starting your job tomorrow. I'm sure it will go well. With all new jobs there comes that adjustment period so however you want to handle things is fine. I'll be here when you feel ready.

 

Take care and good luck tomorrow,

Kate

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It's a pleasure to compensate you Kate. Thank you for the good luck vibes.....Just one thing before I sleep... Sometimes when I post to you it tells me that it is open to all experts to answer. I just feel a little nervous about that as I'd not want anyone else to answer. Do my posts go directly to you or do they go into a pot?
R
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

They go to me as far as I know since we are continuing the same thread we started. But since you address it to me, other experts will ignore the question if it does go into the queue and go on to other ones. There is a way to make your question private but I'm not sure how to do it. A moderator would probably be able to help you with it. If you make your question private, it gets sent to me via email but it does not show up on JA. I can answer you through JA though. Confusing I know. I have only had one person post their question that way so I don't have a whole lot of experience with it. But if you want to work it that way, I am fine with it, especially if you feel it helps make things more private for you.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate, How are you? My first shift went Ok, but was rather demanding physically. At least it was quite quiet, so I could be eased in. I am resting now before I start on the evenings bits and pieces. Thanks for the info about the emails, I'm sure you're right, they won't get answered by anyone else, it was just those notices that kept popping up to say that it was open for all experts made me wonder. I won't tell my husband about the rape, sharing with him will be too much to bear, especially if it isn't needed for my recovery and may make me feel/think less of me. I haven't shared my real feelings with him for a very long time, he never been interested, too self-centered, talks about himself with flourish, left me on the back-burner. I don't want to change that now, like it this way, I can hide away, keep things close to my chest, safer too. I will be guided by you, don't know how to proceed. I am ready when you are. Take your time. You have been in my head today, helped me through, I heartily mean all I say, you are like a light in my dull grey existence, make me feel like I can get through. Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

I am so glad to hear that your first day went well! I was thinking about you.

 

It's good you have made a decision about not telling your husband about the rape. It helps you protect yourself and keeps you safe. And if your husband has proven himself untrustworthy, you don't want to be putting yourself out there to be hurt again.

 

From your description of your husband, it sounds like he may be narcissistic. If so, that is a difficult type of person to live with, especially with what you have been through. You need someone understanding and open to helping you through.

 

If you want to, we can start by talking about the beginning, when the rape first occurred. You can let me know if that is ok with you. I don't want to re traumatize you, so say only what you feel you are ok with. Fill in anything you feel stands out or is important. We can do this in pieces or all together in one response. We can even do one step at a time. It's your call. I will go along with whatever keeps you in your comfort zone.

 

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your kind words. I get such joy out of talking with you. It is a privilege to be able to help, so much so that I feel like I should thank you!

 

Kate

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate
How annoying, I just wrote a long post and it disappeared. Never mind, start again!!
While reading about personality disorders, trying to fathom myself out, I stumbled across a fitting description for my husband (Ok, lets call him DR- no he isn't a Doctor!), which was as you describe. I can't remember all the points now, but I can tell you that he loves to be the centre of any conversation, talking about himself, stories of his mis-spent youth, stories that he has heard, but thinks everyone else wants to hear, jokes that everyone has heard umpteen times, how good he is at drumming, how he was complimented on this and that, how he makes the ladies in the supermarket laugh, how well he gets on with so & so, or their dog; that the accident that happened while he was drink driving wasn't his fault, that he wasn't to blame when he fell asleep at the wheel with his family in the car (yes more alcohol, but not drunk). I will read more about it later. And yes, unbearable to live with.
I will make a start on my story later,(no, not a story, but might be easier to tell it that way, I'll see how I get on). I love my netbook, the best present I've ever bought myself. (No DR doesn't buy me presents). It has been my lifeline, I skype with my therapist x2 evenings a week, and now I have you to write to too. DR has been asking me what I do on it so much, questioning my use. He's usually out at the pub when I skype, but he was home one night and heard me talking, wanted to know who to. I introduced him to my therapist as someone who was helping me with my FMS, I feared to be honest, but he still wanted to know what we talked about.
Please don't feel obliged to reply to my every post, (though I LOVE to hear from you), I know you have a life of your own, and loved-ones who need your time too. I'm so glad that you are enjoying this communication too, it makes my heart smile.Smile
Namaste
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I don't mind at all replying to you. But I am going to make this reply an information request so you don't get prompted to pay for it (at least I hope that is how it works).

 

It sounds like your husband may have a narcissistic personality disorder. It is word for word as you describe. In that case, if that is what he has, then it is difficult to cure. He has to see it as a problem and want to work very hard at resolving it to be cured of it.

 

Whenever you feel comfortable starting your story works for me. I'm ready whenever you are.

 

Have a good night and I look forward to talking with you again,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
ps I have a subscription that allows me unlimited Q&A so please don't worry about all the accepts.
Speak tomorrow
Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

Hope you are well. I was just curious to know whether you think DR's current personality could have been influenced by drugs that he took when he was a teen and in his 20's. He tells me that he used to have a really bad stammer as a child, and this was ‘cured’ by using LSD. (not that he had that in mind at the time of taking it). There may well have been other recreational drugs, and certainly he has been a very heavy cannabis user for many years, but much lighter these days.

I haven’t considered the possibility of there being a problem with his personality; I think he is very happy with the way he is, and would be very angry if I suggested it was so tiresome. I have come to believe that the problems lie entirely with me, and he has driven it home on many occasions. Thank you for bringing it to my attention- although it has crossed my mind in recent months, I haven’t looked at it with much certainty.

I have been with my disabled lady (she’s 38) today. I have been trying to leave her employ for many months so that I can concentrate on nursing, but she just won’t let me go, and I hate to let her down. I left before Christmas to take a course, but when my replacement left for Maternity leave after only 6 months, I was persuaded to go back- I’m too soft!! I do struggle with her wheelchair and pushing her around, but I have been reluctant to tell her of my fibro bc she will always be worrying.

I have my therapy skype in 10 mins, then I will be frazzled. I’m going to start my story tomorrow.

Take care dear Kate,
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hello Rose! I am doing well, thank you.

 

LSD is one of those drugs that can have very little effect or cause someone to have brain damage in the form of hallucinations and other odd occurrences for the rest of their lives. As for a change in personality, I have heard that can occur. It may very well have helped your husband with his stutter but since the effects not the same in each person there is no way to tell for sure.

 

I do think his current issues were most likely a part of his personality already. Most drug and alcohol abusers are somewhat self centered in personality. I do not mean that in a negative way, but instead as a way to explain how they could do something that affects those around them and they are not able to either see it or care about it.

 

Your description of your husband's behavior certainly describes a narcissistic personality. If you want to investigate it more, here is a link to help you:

 

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx36.htm

 

The main issue here is that your husband is going to always put his needs before yours and will blame any problems on you. It would be too hard for him to see himself as the cause because that would mean he was not perfect. The hardest thing for you is to not accept his behavior as true. It is not. This is all about him and has nothing to do with who you are. Your understanding of your husband's narcissism will help you hold onto that.

 

This disorder is becoming very common, so you are not alone in dealing with it. If you feel you want any more input to help you cope with it, I can help.

 

You do have a big heart, Rose! I understand your need to care for your patient. Hopefully, you will be able to find a replacement soon so you can quit. That has to be a very difficult job even without the added stress of your fibromyalgia.

 

I hope you have a very good session today with your therapist. Get some rest and take care of yourself. I'll be here when you are ready to talk again.

 

Have a good night,

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Thanks for your input re my husband. I think we have him inside a box, (though he would hate me saying that!) I checked out the weblink. most fitting, and did the quiz from his point of view (lenient with the answers I thought,) and he still scored above the threshold for narcissism. My therapist has met him (via skype) for 2 mins, and she figured his selfish personality immediately, but didn't mention ~, maybe saving it for later. I would be grateful of some coping strategies as I have put my imminent escape on hold for the short term, so thank you for your offer of help.

My therapy session was interrupted several times last night (the trouble with working from home over the airwaves). I had a call from my 85 year old spinster aunt who has early Alzheimer's, and was in a very big muddle- she gets me and my mum mixed up, and was phoning to thank her for helping her out of the bath yesterday morning, where she had been stuck all night, obviously bare (no water thank goodness- she must have let it out), and she simply could not get out. Mum and her neighbor had to struggle to hoick her out. And the same thing happened today. We are having a family meeting to decide on her future.
My therapist has sent me a hypnotherapy recording for MP3 players, but I can play it through Windows Media Player. It is good to hear her voice when I feel wobbly. And good to write to you too.

I have thought a lot about my story for you, but haven't written much yet. Can I just talk about before and after to begin with and leave the rest for a day or two?

I am on shift again tomorrow, then my second therapy at 8pm. I hope you are having a good week. Looking forward to having more time to catch up with you.

Best wishes
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose, it's good to talk with you!

 

I am glad the information about narcissism helped you. It is very difficult to live with someone who has narcissism. Here are some ways you can help yourself cope:

 

Make sure you don't try to please your husband- by trying to keep him happy, you sacrifice your own needs and possibly your feelings of self worth. A narcissist will attempt to make you feel responsible. The trick is to train yourself not to bite when they try.

 

Understand a narcissists limitations- they may appear very smart and could very well be, but they are limited in their emotional stability and ability to understand others. They do not catch on when you feel upset with them (Who could be upset with me? I'm wonderful) and do not see anyone else's point of view. So expecting them to understand empathy, for example, is usually not possible.

 

If you want their help, appeal to their self centerness- for example, if you want to get a task done, tell them how much better they do it than you do. Talk about their talents, natural gifts and ability to do the job better than anyone. Most of the time, they will comply.

 

Do not feel bad about your own thoughts, choices or feelings- a narcissistic person will try to convince you that your the wrong person or that you are stupid. Don't listen. Block out anything that is not beneficial to listen to.

 

Here are some books to help you:

 

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor D. Payson

 

The Object of My Affection Is in My Reflection: Coping with Narcissists by Rokelle Lerner

 

Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life by XXXXX XXXXXez-Lewi

 

Try Amazon.com or your local library for these books. They should help you learn more about your husband's situation and help you cope with his behavior.

 

I am sorry to hear about your aunt. It is always difficult to know when the right time is to intervene in such situations but it sounds like your family is handling it very well.

 

It's good that your therapist worked out a way to get you the recording. It has to be a comfort to know you can hear her anytime now.

 

It is fine to leave your story for another time. That is something that cannot be talked about just anytime or casually so it's up to you if and when you want to discuss it. And it is fine if you do not want to. The option is always open but completely at your discretion.

 

Have a good shift tomorrow. I hope all goes well for you. You seem to have dealt with the stress of this week wonderfully and that must feel good to you. Starting a new job is almost always draining so get some rest and let me know whenever you want to talk.

 

Take care,
Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate, How are you?
Thank you so much for all that stuff, I see where I have been struggling all these years, and yes my self worth is negative. He tells me so often that he is a sensitive person, cries when watching a film, a good judge of character, can read someone like a book, but I have always disagreed with his view of himself. And you are spot on with view points, no-one is allowed to have ANY views, because he knows best, XXXXX XXXXX simply don't open my mouth to share with him at all anymore- the children try, they don't like being bullied, and so there are always disagreements which snowball into abuse, and it's far worse when he's been drinking- at least there isn't a period of warm up, it's straight in there, and that's when we get hurt. Getting jobs done?! You're joking!! I have long-time stopped asking him to do anything constructive, His standard answer is 'if you ask it won't get done.' I have put the barrier up, I haven't taken note of his mean words, being a 'cold and miserable f'ing bitch' doesn't bother me any more. But it upsets me when my daughter (12) gets similar treatment.
The Wizard of Oz, that's interesting, my therapist has referred to me as Dorothy, had her explain it the other day, great analogy. I must get that book.
I will talk about my story, I can't leave it, I will tell you everything. Today my shift was tedious, tiring and uncomfortable. I haven't told anyone there that I'm struggling through in pain. I don't like everyone knowing everything about me, don't like them knowing I struggle, that I'm weak, that I'm not coping well. I don't want to say I can't do such and such because I can't bend down easily, or lean over. If it's not doing me any harm (apart from hurting) I will get on with it. When I got home I laid on my bed and listened to my hypno recording, then went to sleep for 2 1/2 hours! Unheard of. I woke in a panic at 7pm knowing I was in therapy at 8pm, rushed to get supper (DR was lying watching tele, he's not been at work all week, nice to have a bit of help). A good session, but I have so much to sort, I feel I will be in therapy for ever. So THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP, I will get there that much quicker, and I feel I have got through this week with less stress bc I can talk to you.
Below is a story I wrote for my therapist to try and sort some feelings out, but since you have shed some light on things, I wonder if you could pass comment. Sorry this is so long today Kate, I really value your words immensely.
One Monday morning, a wife woke to find her husband, who had been out at the local until the early hours, wasn’t beside her.Smile He was never awake, let alone up before her, so she got up to investigate (maybe he didn’t come home.....) He was asleep in the spare room, also unusual, so she investigated his side of the marital bed to find a large offensive wet patch (yet again); the laundry basket contained soaking underwear Yell . On waking her husband with a cup of (next time cold) coffee as was per usual, she casually mentioned that she would be very grateful if he could strip the bed and wash the sheets, as there seems to have been a major lack of control of a certain bodily function. ‘Yeah, OK’, grumped the reply.
2 hours passed; shower (a must), dressed, breakfast; ‘Gotta go out now, see you later’. She checked the bed, same as she found it earlier. Windows open? No. What now? can’t leave it like that all day. So she stripped and washed and aired, and all was ready to go back on by the end of the day. She tries to make a point, so she leaves the linen- mattress cover, sheet, duvet cover- in a pile on the bed. He’s bound to see them, think- ‘OK, (duh) I think I’m supposed to put these on myself, after all, I was a silly boy, it was pretty gross, she (bless her) has washed them all for me (and my smelly boxers), it’s the least I can do’.
It’s the Easter hols – ‘great’ thinks wifey, ‘I can have the spare room for a whole week!’- so she moves her pills and potions, journal and books, water bottle and earplugs across the corridor, and settles herself in, laptop plugged in and ready to go. She’s not really bothered when she wakes in the morning to see the 'man of her dreams' asleep atop the mattress, not a sheet or cover in sight (well actually still in a neat pile beside the bed). ‘OK’, thinks she, ‘I have a week, I shall pass NO comment, and see what happens.’ The Lord P*** Artist of the House also passes no comment, so we watch and wait........until Monday before the Tuesday when the children go back to school. ‘Darn it’, thinks wifey, ‘how can he be so IGNORANT???’
Sadly wifey isn’t blessed with a good way with words, is afraid to say anything lest she creates a landslide that will bury her. Besides, it’ll only take her 10 minutes (but such an effort, don’t you just hate double duvet covers?). Perhaps he will notice that his ever loving stupid wife has made his bed so freshly and neatly, and he might thank her for doing what he knew was his job all along.
OK, wifey thinks, she doesn't expect miracles to happen, but she is beginning to wonder what she is married to, how someone can let all that happen, and NOT ONCE acknowledge ANYTHING (did he even notice?), sleep a whole week without sheets on the bed, on the bare mattress?? (Agreed, he was boozing every night, but still). Is it OK to pee in the bed? Does it not bother him, does he think ‘Hey, don’t get your knickers in a twist woman, all men p*** in their beds once in a while, where’s the harm?’ Should wifey not be upset or disgusted by it? Should it make her feel endeared towards him, or would you imagine it would make her skin crawl? WHAT CAN HE POSSIBLY THINK??
As afore mentioned, she lacks a talent for speaking her mind, saying how she feels, shies away from confrontations. She won’t find out what he thinks if she doesn’t ask him, but..... mustn’t rock the boat, it’s safe in calm waters, on an even keel.... don’t want to tempt the next big wave before it’s due...
Why, she wonders, does she feel more comfortable making his happiness a priority over her own? Why does she not want to make him feel humiliated, just let it go unmentioned, calm herself until the next time, press the green accept button? Is she worried that she will be blamed for spoiling his fun if she politely asks for him to amend his lifestyle to take his family into consideration? Will they all be unhappier if she does? Does she really want to? because that will mean he is at home that much more. He’ll put the tele on and just sit there, miserable, fidgety, wanting to be elsewhere, hoping she’ll go to bed early so he can dive out. She likes it when he isn’t there. Does that mean that she is compounding the situation, the spending, the drinking??? Is it her fault? Does he not want to be at home because she is unhappy, because she doesn’t want him near her, won’t let him in to her space? because she won’t let him touch her, because she’s a cold bitch? Is she to blame?
She just wants to forget to hit save, delete, shut down and reboot, wipe the memory, re-wire, have to start again, all over again...... afresh. Will she ever let him in again?
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Thank you for trusting me with your story. You express yourself so clearly and I could feel the emotions as you described them.

 

I am sorry, Rose. I could literally feel the loneliness and the struggle in your situation.I felt a very strong need to hug you, if I could. And I am very concerned how much you endure as a result of DR's abuse. Name calling, ignoring responsibilities, and not allowing you to be an individual is all very abusive and cruel. He is putting himself as first and only. As a result, you hold a lot in to keep yourself, and your children, safe. That can cause anxiety, depression, a sense of hopelessness and low self worth. You are unable to have your basic needs met. Safety and security are not part of your marriage. There is a great sense of sadness and loss of self. Much loss. The lack of comfort, good feelings or basic happiness is evident.

 

On the other hand, the peace and security you feel when DR is gone shines through. You make your own space, feel secure and happy. The differences between the two is stark. And very telling.

 

When you think about the ideal marriage, what do you come up with? How does that story go? Would you be ok telling me what you see?

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

Thank you so much for your heartfelt post. You have such wonderful sincerity and caring understanding. I am very grateful for your virtual cyber hugs, they made me feel happy and warm. You have summed up how I feel and my situation so knowingly and completely, I am in awe of your therapeutic expertise.

I wish I had the energy to write you my ideal marriage story tonight, but I can't put my mind to it right now. I shall look forward to thinking about it tomorrow- do you ever have a day off?

Take care my friend

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

That was funny, Rose! Yes, I do usually try to take Sunday's off, but if I see a post by you then I will answer because the weekend is usually our time. I enjoy our talks so I really don't see them as work.

 

Of course you can write your ideal marriage story later, or not at all or a long time from now. It's your choice completely. I want you to feel totally comfortable about how we work this.

 

I am glad that you felt my words helped. I appreciate your kindness. It matters very much to me if I am helping you or not and I want you to feel free to tell me if something does not work for you. I am here for you.

 

Take care and I will talk with you soon,

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Here is today's story.

Rose thinks about what could have been her ideal marriage a lot. She wishes that she could start again, turn the clock back and try and get it right. She wishes that she could spend her life with some-one who could treat her as an equal and listen to her. She wishes that she could feel comfortable enough with him to share her feelings, wants and needs, express herself freely without being beaten down by overpowering opinions, have her say and be credited for her views and insight. She would like to be allowed to speak in a social setting, join in a conversation, and not just have to listen to her husband talking loudly for all to hear, drowning everyone out. She would like to have self-confidence and a better self-esteem so that she can be some-one, not just a no-one.

She spends time with friends, who have happy relationships, and it makes her feel sad, to realise that her children have been brought up in an unhappy and unhealthy environment, and she fears for their mental adjustment. She would love to have a father for her children who is interested in what they say and do; she so wishes that he would take time to learn about them, talk kindly to them, not treat them with harsh words, put them down, threaten them if they dare to speak up for themselves. They aren’t afraid of him, they know their rights, who to call.

Is it possible to ask for a husband who doesn’t drink? I doubt it, but I would like for it to be controlled and not to take over our lives, hearts and finances. I would like for him to have time at the pub with his mates if that’s what he wanted to do, but the rest of the time should be family time, companionship, or social occasions. She would like him to set his own boundaries, and think about the others in his life. She wishes he would take responsibility for his actions, not drink and drive, not blame the serious car accident on the other driver, apologise, think about the consequences, thank those who are put out by his Drink Driving ban.

Rose declines Social invitations, or accepts with a sense of dread. She is unable to feel at ease in his company with her friends; his focus is on the bottle of wine, or the beer barrel. His conversations are one-sided and often selfishly opinionated. He is an embarrassment. She would love to socialise with a husband who was intelligent and socially aware, who was able to minimise his alcohol intake, who would be thoughtful and kind, and who would want to be by my side, and not propping up the bar.

She would like to share her life with some-one who notices when she is run-ragged, too exhausted to make a meal, too sore to put the bins out; she would like it if one day he would say put your feet up, I’ll fix supper, or make her a cup of tea, or at least ask, when he makes one for himself. She would like him to think about the effort she puts into making the house as clean and tidy as she can manage, and that he would try to help maintain it so, instead of letting wet and muddy dogs in and all over the furniture. She would like him to notice when the dishes are piling up on the kitchen work-top, she would like him to offer to help out with the many chores that keep her busy til sun-down. She would like him to share with the children’s homework needs, and take an interest in their schooling, giving praise instead of run-downs.

Rose would like to relax in the lounge, feel comfortable and at home with her husband’s company, enjoy a light chat now and again. She would like to be asked if she would like to watch anything in particular, or at least agree on the channel chosen, and not be told that she should watch something she doesn’t want to. She would like to be able to speak during a programme of interest, ask about something she may not have followed accurately, she has had enough of being told to shut up.

Rose wonders what it’s like to be an equal party in a relationship. She would like to be able to discuss propositions calmly and equally, that her say in things are heeded and that her wishes are respected. That he doesn’t have a greater right in the house to do what he pleases because he worked the barn conversion, that others who ask anything of him should be treated with equal right to make changes to the environment as he does.

Is it right that he can sell a joint possession without her knowledge for a large sum of money? She knows what he’s doing, just keeps quiet. He spends the money on unnecessary selfish items, and the rest in the pub. Not one penny of the money was offered to her, not one thing was bought for her or their children. She wishes she could have an open and trusting relationship, where important things are discussed and agreed on.

She would love to have a close, loving and tender relationship. She wishes he would be clean, have more than one shower a week, not go to bed in his dirty work T-shirt, shave for her, and clean his teeth at night. She would like to lie with him, be able to enjoy a cuddle without it having to be sex, for him to be sober, drug free. She would like him to be gentle and considerate. She would like him to think about HER.

Rose doesn’t know what a happy house sounds like. She really struggles to be happy, she thinks she has forgotten what happiness is. She needs someone who can show her how to relax, think about herself, settle and take in a film, enjoy the company of others, be allowed to express herself, not feel embarrassed by her husband and his drinking habits, strong opinions and unpleasant ways.

So, in a nutshell, Rose has got it ALL wrong, how could she get it SO wrong?

Why hasn’t she married some-one who is kind, caring and thoughtful, gentle and considerate? Some-one who wants to please others, is thoughtful to others needs, empathetic, unselfish, apologises and thanks, XXXXX XXXXX for his actions and listens to other people’s views without judging. Some-one who doesn’t leave all the jobs to his wife, who will take the initiative, think outside the box. She would So Love to have a good role model for her children, some-one who doesn’t drink to excess, treats them with love and respect, thinks twice about what is suitable to share with a young daughter, instead of trying to impress her. She would so enjoy working side by side with him in the garden, sharing ideas, choosing shrubs and plants. She doesn’t want to be alone and lonely anymore. And she doesn't want to be scared.

You help me far more than you can imagine. Thank you.

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate,

I forget to mention love. It would be so good to be in love, to love and be loved, truthfully.

R
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Oh Rose. You brought tears to my eyes. I am almost speechless, and that is not easily accomplished. My gosh, the abuse you have endured. I am so sorry.

 

The fact that you added that you would like to be loved as a last thought really struck me. I wondered if you ever feel you deserve to be loved? You do deserve it, just as anyone else does. But understanding that you deserve love is different than just hearing that you deserve it. Believing it takes a bit of a journey, one of small steps. But I do believe we can accomplish that together.

 

The other thing you wrote was "Rose has got it all wrong, how could she get it so wrong?" I am wondering where Rose got it wrong. The Rose I know wants very healthy, very human things in her life. Happy children, a loving home, to be loved herself, harmony with her spouse, and a simple but fulfilling day to day life. She does not want fast cars, money, and a huge house. She does not want admiration and gifts. She wants the simple nice things. That tells me that you are kind hearted, centered and practical. You love your family and you want to have peace. That is something you deserve and it is not too much to ask. So Rose did not get anything wrong, her husband got it wrong. He is missing the entire point by being self centered and abusive. By putting himself before others and acting like an adolescent. You married him for love expecting he wanted the same as you do. There was no way to know that he was going to act out like this. And since you cannot control anyone else's behavior, you are not responsible for how he acts.

 

Being a wife who must not only cope with alcoholism, abuse and lack of love, you are deprived of much. There is nothing there for you. Nothing to hold you to the marriage and much to make you want to leave. Your dreams of peace are very real because it is something you are desperate for and do not get.

 

A very important place to start is realizing what you are missing. That is why I asked if you would be willing to write your feelings out and allow both of us to see what is not there for you. The sacrifices, the loneliness, the abuse all add up to bring you down. Compare what you live now with your ideal marriage and ideal life. Look at the differences. See the drastic gaps between. And the fact that you deserve to have a life that looks just like you described, happy and full of love.

 

The butterfly you yearn to be is in there and you see her, but allowing her out is not there yet. It's starting though. You are working towards her emergence from the chrysalis . Think this week about all the things you deserve. Make a list if it helps. Keep them with you and take time to look them over. Dream and allow yourself to feel what it would be like. This is our goal and what we can work towards, if you wish.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dearest Kate,

I absolutely can't believe how lucky I am to feel your warm embrace, and have you hold my troubled hand. Such a lovely reply, my tears were for the thought and care that you give to me.

Thank you for telling me that it isn't me that has it wrong, I will try to absorb that and remember it every hour, and I must fight against the feelings of guilt that the children have to endure him as their father. I need to take responsibility for it.

I will reply properly tomorrow, it's late and DR will be in from the pub soon, I need to get my light off.

Our goal sounds real good, I do wish.

Thanks, muchly,

Rose

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Happy Sunday Kate, your day off!
Do I deserve to be loved? Mm, I think not. He tells me he loves me, but I feel they are just words used to try and right a situation that has been long-time sour. I cannot tell him I love him bc I cannot lie. My children love me unreservedly, and I am very grateful to them for their care of me these past 2 years, especially my son who has been my rock, and protector. I am able to share all things with him as an insider, we talk about everything, and he helps me communicate with DR when I get stuck.
In recent years I have told myself that I am not my husband, and I shouldn't have to take responsibility for his words and actions, I am only married to him, he is his own person and he should own that- I tell myself that when I feel embarrassed by him, when his lack of self control leads to dire consequences, that he can deal with the police alone, that I'm not prepared to lie for him.
I sometimes think I am lucky that I am allowed to come and go as I please, that he hasn't prevented me access to funds, that he doesn't beat me black and blue. He is very subtle, and I have come to this point without noticing the abuse, the control, the supression; I have become hardened and accepting, and have never considered that I can be free of this life, but that I have to endure it forever.
I am glad to have written my ideal marriage story. I have read it many times. Thank you for that experience and your feedback. I see the many holes in my life; I wish that one day I will break free from this existence and fill the holes with happiness. I have the key, I need the strength. The butterfly is struggling a little, I hope she won't be too tired to fly when she finally emerges, I hope she will find the sunshine and the nectar, and that she will be safe in a new life.
I look forward to working towards our goal.
God Bless
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hello Rose! It's good to hear from you. I hope you are having a good weekend.

 

I wonder about DR telling you that he loves you. His is a selfish love, if I may say so. What do you feel love means to DR?

 

You are certainly not responsible for DR's choices in life. You may feel by being with him it looks like you agree with his choices, but anyone that knows you or sees the situation and has empathy will understand. And the focus is on him when he does these things. Allowing him to handle the police and any other consequences is very smart. But that does not mean it's not stressful for you. Spending some extra TLC time on yourself after such incidences is a good way to counterbalance it.

 

Compromising and rationalizing (minimizing) is very common with abuse victims. "It could be worse" is a way to help yourself cope with the situation you are in because looking at how bad it really is becomes overwhelming. The mind sometimes cannot handle facing the abuse you endure so you rationalize it, or minimize it, to make it manageable. It is considered a defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms are used by people to help them cope with situations they do not, or can not, face head on. It is very normal to use a defense mechanism and it's quite hard to find someone who has never used one. It is part of the human condition. But even though you sometimes rationalize, you are still fully aware of the abuse and the effects. That shows good mental health and strength.

 

You will break free of this situation. It is only a matter of time. You are already working on it and as you progress, you become even closer to having peace and living as you want to. You have made incredible progress already. And you are open to working on this and moving ahead which is extremely important to reaching your goals.

 

The butterfly is well on her way.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Oh boy.
I am in such a knot.
I have just got back from a very difficult family social that I did not want to go to, travelling an hour there and back with my little known brother and his wife. I left DR in the pub. I have been feeling so anxious, all I wanted was to come home and write to you. I don't want to ever go out again. I feel horrible.
I came in just as DR came in and that was not fun.
Thank you for your post, I will respond tomorrow.
Goodnight Kate,
Sweet dreams
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose, I hope you are ok. I just got your post and I wish I'd seen it earlier. Please let me know what has happened when you get a chance and let's talk about it.

 

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers tonight,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

I'm so sorry for last night's post, I really shouldn't have written it. Today I'm full of tears, so I'm sorry for this post too. It's a beautiful sunny morning, but I don't want to do today. DR is sleeping off his hangover, I wonder if he will ever go to work (he's self employed, so convenient.)

Last night I went to an evening wedding party, the daughter of a second cousin, who I have met twice. The rest of my immediate family declined the invitation bc of the distance, and bc it was a Sunday evening. I had declined. They emailed me to say that my brother and his wife were going, and would we please change our minds. DR has been attending very important meetings (!) at the beer festival at his pub all weekend, and so was not inclined to join me (phew).I agreed to accompany my brother and his wife, and I would drive.

I am one of four children, my brother 22 months my senior, twin sisters 3 years younger. My childhood was made very unhappy by my brother when he was at home, he boarded term times. My memories of him are only negative, but I had him on a pedestal and wanted to do anything I could to please him and make him like me. I would spend my pocket money on the best presents I could buy for him, and just wanted him to notice me and be nice to me. He played with my sisters nicely, and I felt very left out. As adults we are strangers. We cannot communicate. I feel anxious when I speak to him. I still will do anything for him, and he will ask me- look after his children, lend him money- we are very polite to each other, but very superficial. I feel uncomfortable in his company. If we are thrown together at family affairs there are always others to dilute things. I get on well with his wife, and DR gets on well enough with my brother.

Last night I knew no-one but the bride's parents. I had to meet many new long distance family members and I was well out of my comfort zone. After an hour I went outside to be on my own, and I stood for a long long time on the cliff looking out across the bay where the lights of the boats were shining, the sun was setting. The sea was calm, it was a beautiful warm evening, awe inspiring, peaceful. I got stuck, couldn't move, couldn't bear to go back in to the party. But my brother came looking for me, so I went with him. I just wanted to be on my own, to go home, back to my daughter who was home alone. I just can't be with people anymore.

At last we left, I didn't want to talk but did through politeness. I became more and more anxious as we were nearing home, desperate to be home and settled before DR came home from his 10 hour session. As I got in the door my daughter met me in tears (midnight) having discovered on her way to bed that she hadn't done her maths homework!! I suggested we did it together before breakfast as I wanted lights out asap. But as she was settling DR came home and launched into a drunken resume of the fantastic time he'd had at the beer fest, Poppy asking him to go away, leave her alone and let her sleep. After 20 minutes he went away. My light was out. He left me alone.

Thank you for yesterday's post, you explain things so well and help me understand. Yes, I feel his love is selfish, it is a love that he hopes will be enough to keep his life the way he likes it. He is desperate to keep me here, he won't manage without me. There is someone(M)who has real love for me, and that is very different. It is an unrequited love, and the source of more feelings of guilt, as I have caused him great sadness, and his own depression. But that is another story.

I feel scared that I have so much support holding me up, that when the crutches are removed I will just crumble and fall. I am so reliant on therapy and talking to you to help me through, I won't cope without. I can't stop the tears today, today I have little hope. The chrysalis door is shut tight.

Thank you Kate.

Thank you.

Rose






Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Good for you for going to the wedding. You faced it with so many obstacle's in your way and you got through it. It may have not been pleasant, but the fact that you faced it was very positive.

 

Being with others like you were at the wedding is hard. I understand. You are going through a very difficult time right now, trying to grow away from what has always been to something new. Growth is not easy and it often makes you feel raw on the inside. It is a slow climb and it's full of obstacle's. But I am inspired to see that each time we talk, you have climbed a little further. Sometimes, you need to stop to get your bearings, like today. But you still do not go backwards. You look ahead. That takes strength.

 

The importance of arriving home before DR is anxiety arousing. You are modifying your behavior to minimize the effects of DR's behavior. That can cause you to feel anxious, worried, and overwhelmed. Between handling the wedding, your brother and all the baggage there, and dealing with DR's behavior, it's no wonder you feel sad today.

 

Your brother sounds a bit like DR. I wonder about the connection between how your brother treated you and your relationship with DR. Do you feel there is one?

 

If you ever feel ok about it, I would love to know about M and how you feel that impacts you and your situation.

 

Yes, DR's love is about him. It is a shame he lacks the insight at this point that you have. It would help him greatly if he could understand his issues. If he could see how his behavior harms him and your family, he might have a chance to change. It is curious what causes this to happen for him. For being afraid to lose you, he does a good job of making you want to leave.

 

There is nothing wrong with relying on help. There is actually something more wrong with not relying on others. You are not dependent but just using your resources to help you through a tough time. You survived before with no help and you could do it again but that is not the best way to go. Depending on others is a sign that you are strong and that you know you can recover with assistance. Recovering alone takes longer and is way harder. It is not the best way to handle problems in life.

 

Try pampering yourself a bit more today, even if you just do one small thing. Get a coffee, buy a good book, call a friend or soak in the bath with a candle. Give yourself something to look forward to. It will help the day, and your mood, feel a bit brighter. And let me know if I can help too.

 

I thinking of you,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

Thank you for your reassuring and encouraging words. My day has improved as the day has progressed, but now I am completely exhausted. I'm not used to late nights, so need an early one tonight! DR has another appointment at the pub to drink as much free beer as he can, as any left over will be thrown away tomorrow!!! (following the beer fest) Glad to be in my own little bed.

I had a visit from a dear male friend, P, who has been trying to catch up with me for a long time, but we keep missing each other. He has had MS for 20 years and is losing his fight for independence, has just accepted that he needs help. We have a lovely friendship, and it was a pleasure to see him. He works with DR on occasions, and knows him well. He was more than understanding of my plight, and agreed with your interpretation of him!!

And then M came to visit me too! M is DR's work partner, they are builders. P is a plumber. M is taking some time off from DR, and is working on his own for a while (very telling too). I will tell you all about M soon.

It makes me feel real good to think of me in your thoughts, I am privileged, and very grateful.

I need to ponder the connection between my brother and DR, I haven't considered one before, so shall see what I find.

I hope you have a good evening Kate,
Take care
Rose

PS, it's such a pleasure to treat you to a bonus. :)

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

You have had lots of visitors today. It's good you were able to share with friends and hopefully lighten your burden a little. Your friend P sounds quite brave.

 

You are right, it is very telling that M is separating himself from DR. It serves to confirm how you feel. I am interested in your story about M, whenever you are ready to tell it.

 

I hope you have the chance to catch up on your rest. I am happy you have some time from DR to be alone and have some peace.

 

You deserve your time. Enjoy yourself tonight and I will talk with you soon,

Kate

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear dear Kate,

I have missed you.....very much. I hope you are well.

Are you sure you want the M story? If you're sure..... yer 'tis. (That's Devonian for 'here it is' in case you wondered!!!!!!)


2 years ago we went on holiday to Turkey with DR’s work partner M, his wife and their 3 teenage children. On the first night that we were there I went back to my room to get something, and a minute later M caught me up and caught hold of my hand. I was a little confused and embarrassed, but didn’t pull away, I just thought he was being friendly. He didn’t say anything about it, and I was left wondering.

The next night a similar thing happened, but this time he told me how lovely I was, that he’d admired me from a distance for years, and gave me a hug. I said those are words you should save for your wife. I was a bit shocked that he was making a pass at me, on holiday with his wife and children, work partner. As the week progressed he would go out of his way to be with me on my own- but he never did any more than touch me under the dinner table with his foot, or catch my hand now and again. He did take many photos as one does on holiday, but there were more of me than was healthy (in swimsuit?), and he even asked his wife to take a photo of he and I together on the beach on the last evening.

DR was having a whale of a time, all booze included in the cost of the holiday. Always way ahead of the rest of us, in fact M couldn’t have more than a couple of units for health reasons. I was pretty upset with DR, embarrassed by him. I spent a lot of time talking to M, he had more wits than his wife, and we became good friends. He is well aware of DR’s negative attributes, and he was a good sounding block.

When the holiday was over I thought that would be it, that we would go back to our separate lives, and it would all be forgotten. I found that I had enjoyed M’s company, and we could actually have a CONVERSATION that was 2 sided, that I could be listened to, that what I had to say was worthwhile, and I began to realise what was happening in my marriage, that DR wasn’t good company (for me), that I wasn’t happy, that my feelings of self-worth had taken a huge knock, that I had been supressed, that there are others out there that I could be happier with.

After we returned home M asked me if I minded him texting me. He had been worried about me after the accident ( high speed motorway RTA on the way home from the airport when DR fell asleep at the wheel), and just wanted a way of making me feel better. His texts came thick and fast, and were increasingly personal, full of feelings, and praise for me. I was at this time in a pretty bad state of mind after the accident, and found his words comforting and flattering. He made excuses to come and see me to discuss some paperwork for the business, chose his time carefully for when DR was out at the pub, but the children were always around. His wife was none the wiser, but the children had started to become suspicious of his attentions, (they’d seen him catch my hand one day on holiday, and were aware of him texting a lot more than was usual) and they told his wife that they thought he was seeing me. She confronted him and all was admitted. She had had an affair herself within the last few years, which M had let happen because he knew she wasn’t happy, so he felt he was within his rights to be paying me attention. (I must add that although we had shared an isolated kiss, there was never anything more than that, although M wanted a full blown affair I couldn’t go there.)

I was in a way relieved that he had to stop the visits, D was still in the dark, although he knew that M was interested in me- he told me one day since the holiday that ‘M loves you’, he said he could tell because he’d seen the way he looked at me, and the way he talked about me. Although I enjoyed Ms attentions, I felt guilt that I was part something that had driven a greater wedge into M’s marriage, and that there might be a separation because of it. (I was in a real stew about that)

I spent much of my free head time thinking about my marriage, DR, what it could be like with someone else, how unhappy I had become, how his drinking was disrupting the family, how mean he was. But I hadn’t thought that there might be a greener field on the other side of the fence, that it was possible to get there, but that too much would be lost trying to get there; what he was like when he was drunk, the times when I was scared of him, the times I had put the children at risk, the times when he was violent and out of control, that he didn’t care that he drove while drunk (he even drank the evening before the flight home, so if he’d been breathalysed at 5.30 am the following morning, chances are he would have been over the limit. As it was he was very lucky they didn’t charge him with dangerous driving.)That I’d been pretending that we were fine, not admitting to myself or others that things were getting me down, putting on a brave face, avoiding conversations that involved feelings and talk of home, changing the subject away from me and my space, always feeling more comfortable talking about other people’s problems, lending a compassionate ear, putting others before myself, ignoring what was in front of my nose, not wanting to admit that I had made a mistake, and I’d given up trying to make it right, knowing that I had made it as right as possible, that this was the end of the road.

M has tried to restart the friendship, and is still trying, but I have told him that I cannot cope with it. I feel I have let him down, that he was only happy when he was able to see me, talk to me, get him away from his own unhappy marriage for a short while. I see him most days, he is often here for lunch or coffee break, but I have tried to avoid his looks, time alone with him, I feel uncomfortable now, I leave the room.

While DR was away he came by several times, would just come in the house, unannounced. I told him he had to stop thinking about me, not let me get in the way of him sorting out his own problems. He said not easy, can but dream... I gave him a long hug, just a hold for both our sadnesses. I told him to move on, think back with his family, that I couldn’t lie and deceive. He sent me this text...’ you mean a great deal to me and touch me in a very deep and meaningful way. You are far far more than a distraction to the !!!!!! in my life. There’s just something about you....’
It’s just something else.....not right now.....


I have had 2 days at work (yesterday with my girl, today the ward) and feel ill with fatigue, another early night I guess. I didn't start my skype therapy session until 10pm yesterday bc I had to have the vet out to my Shetland pony who was rolling around with colic, something simple that can be fatal. She's better today.

DR out again!! Ho Hum

Rose




Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

I am glad to hear you are doing ok. I thought about you since our last talk and wondered how things were going.

 

Thanks for the interpretation of yer 'tis! I love learning how others express themselves and the nuances of language. Plus I would have not been able to figure that one out myself :)

 

Thank you for telling me about M and your story. I feel honored that you trusted me with it.

 

Your story was very moving and very emotional. I could feel it as if I was there. You and M have a powerful relationship not only on the surface, but especially underneath with all that is unsaid but understood between you.

 

I was especially interested in what M and his interest in you brought out in stark contrast in your life. You listed numerous things you knew were missing in your life and marriage after M started paying attention to you. Many powerful feelings and things you had hidden underneath and avoided looking at in order to survive. All of those feelings are very important to your life and your feelings about your marriage.

 

Your relationship with M most importantly showed you that you are worth love, attention and care. Although M's motivations may have been a bit selfish with his wife having an affair and his marriage on the rocks, he still showed you the love you deserve. He felt there was "something about you" that grabbed his attention. You may not want to downplay that comment. Because there is, Rose, something about you that attracts people and not just in a love relationship way but also in a "she's an interesting person I'd like to know better" way. You come across as thoughtful, well educated, a deep thinker, empathic and full of good humor. You are a very well rounded person. Use that as a building block for your self esteem. Acknowledge that you are more than your marriage makes you feel. Because you are.

 

It is also to your credit that you did not fall hook, line and sinker for the offer of an affair. Tempting as it was, you stayed away and stood your ground, even as DR was acting out in front of you. You kept your morals and did your best to handle the situation, caring for all involved. After what you have been through, no one would blame you for being tempted or maybe even giving in. M offered you something you needed and craved. But you were strong enough to say no and take the harder road of recovery on your own. That is not something many people could pull off.

 

This experience was very telling. Your marriage to DR has been full of trauma and in the middle of it, you find something wonderful. It may be bad timing because you and M have other obligations and commitments, but what you gained from the experience can serve you very well in getting to where you want to be.

 

I hope you can get some good rest and feel better soon.

 

Take care,
Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

I wish you were psychic- I just wrote you 2 long paragraphs and they have disappeared- again!!

I have my therapy appt in 10mins, and will write later.

Thank you for yesterday's post, for not being judgmental.

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Oh, I am so sorry! I've had that happen to me many times as well and it is one of the most frustrating things.

 

Maybe try copying your post to Microsoft word? I do that sometimes, especially if JA is acting up. Also, do you have a copy button on your reply bar? It looks like two pieces of paper next to each other next to the scissors. If you copy your post and press that icon, it will save it for you.

 

Whenever you are ready to write, I'll be here.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

I need to sleep now :( wanted to write but can't. I will write on Microsoft Word then copy to the reply box. I don't have any tools in this box, they only become available if I go to edit.

Til tomorrow,

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Sounds fine.( I would not respond normally, but I wanted to get your question off the queue for all Experts.)

 

Good night,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Having M in my thoughts made me happy. I felt happy and free, even though they were only thoughts, they were thoughts of another life. But it was also the beginning of my slow spiral downwards, that and the onset of my illness, and being post traumatic with severe whiplash. After a time, a year, it was all too much, and I almost ceased to function.

I had little idea how to get out. I was struggling on my own after my dx of depression; I was confused and put up a curtain around me. I felt I’d been neglected by my GP, all the visits I’d made eventually making me feel like a burden- I could feel her sighing, thinking Oh No, Not Her Again. It had been such a journey to get to this point and I just seemed to shut down, stopped talking, unable to share, crumbling with the weight of my diagnosis, just sent on my way with a px, and expected to get better. I was referred to the mental health team several months later. They proved little help in the short term, and I found myself fighting for help. My GP didn’t push me to have counselling bc I couldn’t talk. Eventually I felt ready to try to talk, and she recommended the local counsellor, but after a few difficult sessions I knew she wasn’t the one. I was alone again.

I had started self- harming and was suicidal. I didn’t know which way to turn, I couldn’t share with anyone and I felt hopeless, hiding away in a state of crisis much of the time, waiting for it to pass. I would have been grateful if I ceased to exist rather than face the insurmountable. During one of these times I emailed a therapy help line, desperate to ‘talk’. I met my current therapist, and she helped me to understand why I was cutting. I couldn’t talk, could only write, and I wrote and wrote.

M’s attentions and love for me was overwhelming, and it made me scared. Yes I needed it so badly, and would have loved to have gone with it. But my morals are high and I struggled to keep them there, but I also had to deal with the guilt that 1. He was looking at me and not his wife, 2. He was thrown into sadness when I said he must not see me, 3. His wife and our children knew of his interest. 4. We live in a small community and I couldn’t have coped with people talking, pointing, blaming. 5. I was very scared of backlash from DR, so I too did feel that it was a selfish love, but one that undoubtedly changed the course of my life.

I knew I needed out. But I had several steps to take before I could allow myself to think it might become reality. I needed permission. My parents are old-fashioned, respected in the small village community and ‘pillars’ of the church. My father had been reserved about my marriage to DR, and I had been used to showing them that I had a good and healthy marriage. I felt I needed to have their backing before I could think further about leaving. My sister told them some basic information about my situation as she felt they should know, which I was able to build on to a certain extent. I have still been lenient with the truth, I didn’t want them to change their attitude drastically towards him as I didn’t think it would be in my best interests. They are aware of enough, and have said I should do whatever I need to to be happy, and I have told them about the cottage next door.

They have been very generous with their help to us over the years. They bought the tumble-down barn and small field that we have converted into our home. This home has been our dream for 15 years, and we completed it 6 years ago. Apart from the upset a separation would cause D and my children, there is the barn to consider, the children would be devastated if they had to leave bc of my selfish needs. He would feel the same. Yes, selfish, that’s how I’ve been feeling about my thoughts of escape, but I know it would make a happier home, happier mummy, happier children. My son has said he won’t blame me if I want to go, (he saw a divorce website on my laptop one day), but I think my daughter will be upset. I feel I am gathering permissions and feel better about what I want, but not completely- I still feel alone.

I do appreciate M’s words, they do boost my self-esteem, but I have such trouble holding onto any buoyancy provided by any praise from anybody. It is as if my subconscious is telling me that they don’t mean anything, they are just words, they aren’t deserved, therefore they must be a mistake. But this week, and since you have helped me with my thoughts of self- esteem (thank you for your kind words), I have tried really hard to absorb complements from work colleagues, P, M, yourself, my therapist, and I feel I have retained a little of it. Like you say, I have the foundations in place now, so can only go up!!
It’s surprising looking back at all the thoughts and feelings that had been buried and hidden away, how I was able to tuck one episode after another into the convolutions of my mind and keep going unaware that they were slowly weighing me down until I could move no more. I hadn’t considered that as a survival skill, and so when they became evident I guess that’s when I started to drown, lose my grip.

I wish I could remember what I wrote to you yesterday. Maybe it will come to me tomorrow.

I had a nice day yesterday. I spent it with my aunt (the one who got stuck in the bath!) I took her to the RSPCA to collect a cat that she had reserved (an old and deaf lady), to replace the 2 she has recently lost. I was so happy to see her have a focus, have something to care for, to keep her company. I visited them again today, and she is so pleased to have it cuddle into her on her lap, come to her for attention. She won’t feel so lonely now.

Thank you for all and everything.

Rose

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Your aunt sounds like a sweet lady. What a lucky cat!

 

You are, for certain, a very good writer. Your words come out in such a way as to paint a picture of your feelings. I can "see" everything you write about. And I can feel your pain. It is a very deep pain.

 

I am glad your therapist helped you find your way. She sounds like a gem. It is often a struggle to finds someone who you connect with but when you do, it can change everything.

 

The pain of self cutting and depression is often some of the deepest pain a person can feel. You feel there is no escape so you cut to let some of the pain out. When someone comes to the point of feeling suicidal, then they feel they have exhausted all possibilities and dying is the last option for them. That is a very dark place to be, indeed. But through it all, you continued to fight and continued to push. Think of this Rose, even in the darkest place you've been, you still had the strength to keep pushing through and finding what you need to pull you out. It's like being faced with drowning. You have tried grabbing onto what you can find and you've tried treading water but your just too tired. You are about to give up and it would be so easy. But you don't. With a last deep breath and with much effort you push yourself to the edge and climb out. That is what you did. Don't ever forget that you have that kind of strength in you.

 

Taking the moral high ground in such a hard thing to do. It takes determination and a focus that few people have. And with all the hardship you have had, not giving in is a testament to your ability to not only survive, but to do it the right way. It is above and beyond the norm.

 

Throughout our work together, it has become apparent to me that you use the strength and abilities you have to survive, but that you don't see yourself as having anything special, beyond the usual. That is where some of your esteem falters. Having those abilities and realizing you have those abilities is something that has not become apparent to you yet, I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong here). Letting in the comments by those in your life that care for you is not easy. That is where you might want to focus some of your work.

 

What happens when you see yourself for what you are? Would it mean that you would have to change your life around if you realized that you are miserable in your present situation? What if you realize that you are more than capable to handle leaving and finding a better life for you and your kids? Fear of change is often what prevents others from realizing reality.

 

Also, your concern for your children is there. That is definitely a very valid concern. But balancing your guilt and their needs is challenging. Your son has already said he would be ok with leaving. He sees what happens in your marriage and the way he and his sister get treated by DR and knows that it might be better to leave. How does that make you feel? Do you still feel the need to walk an expected and responsible path that others feel you need to walk? Is it hard to accept that you have needs and that it is alright to put them above others' needs sometimes? It is a very common issue for women, which is why we get caught up with others and neglect ourselves. And it sometimes leaves us vulnerable to getting hurt.

 

What do you feel about all of this?

 

Kate

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Kate.

I love to write. I write bc I can’t express myself verbally. I wish I could. When I was first in contact with my therapist (K) I only wrote. When she wanted to talk via skype I became very anxious and told her she would find a very different person from the one she had come to know. I was scared and had zero self- confidence. After 10 months of careful work I am now able to talk for most of the session, though I still get stuck on many occasions, especially if we talk about difficult stuff, I’m very anxious or very upset. Many times my head is just empty and unable to find any thoughts. She has likened me to a soldier who is post traumatic. I try to speak but cannot.

I am lucky to have found K, she is a gem. I’m lucky to have you, you are as big and beautiful a gem as she. You are both precious to me. My strength is enhanced by your care and encouraging words. I know I would have drowned by now without you and K

I have an early am shift tomorrow and need to rest now. I will finish my reply tomorrow. Thank you for your feedback, it is a joy to be with you too.

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, Rose! Get some rest. I'll talk with you tomorrow.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate.
Yes it was a dark place. And very lonely. It was a deep deep pit, no-one understood why I was in there, or why I couldn’t get out. In fact DR didn’t know I was in there. My children could see me down there, would try to help me out now and again, but DR just opened the floodgates, and held my head under. He seemed to be blind to my ghostly existence and got on with enjoying his life (‘I have a life, and I’m living it’) I wanted to curl up, go to sleep. I didn’t want to do it anymore. It would have been easy, I had my plans, I know the best ways, I knew what would do it and what would fail. But whenever I felt like that I thought of the children, and how selfish I would be. It was my children who saved me, gave me the strength to climb out. And that is when I found my help. I still go down there sometimes, but I’m filling it in each time, it’s not so deep, and easier to get out- there is a ladder, hands to hold, voices to hear, gently calling me back, beckoning me forwards, saying ‘don’t look down. Come with me. I will help you. I care.’ I hold your hand. I hear your voice. Smile
I still cut, but less. I will get there.
My self- esteem is challenged. I was brought up without encouragement to think highly of myself, to keep achievements under my hat, to put others feelings before my own, to make others feel good about themselves before myself, to accept complements without a sense of deserving, to put myself last. I don’t have anything special.
I had a middleclass unspoilt, sheltered, country lived child hood. We were active CofE church goers as a family, choir members, readers and sidesmen. I went to an all- girl convent school, tending to be friendly with the quieter less popular girls like myself. I was shy of the more outgoing and clever girls. I wasn’t with the in-crowd who would go shopping and spend time together at the weekends. I wasn’t good at talking to anyone who was ‘better’ than me, more interesting, more confident, better dressed, nicer hair (nearly everyone as I thought). I would never voice my own opinions about anything and would always agree with everyone whether I did or not, so as not to be noticed or contradicted, or have to explain myself.
I remember being dressed in hand-me-downs, always plain, never pretty. We were rarely taken clothes shopping, and I didn’t have a pair of jeans until I left home. Mum made some clothes, made our school uniforms, well made, but different from the others, and obviously homemade. I had an ‘easy to manage’ page boy haircut, badly done, no attempt to make me look girly. I was a very self-conscious teenager. As a child I sucked my thumb at every available opportunity, and consequently had very buck teeth. I wore a brace for 5 years, and had to wear head-gear for traction at night. My skin was very poor and I constantly had acne. There are no photos of me as a teenager, I wouldn’t allow it. My sisters and I were targets for the local mean kids, we were different, didn’t go to their school, went to church. We had ponies, they cut their tails short. As I grew up I became braver and challenged them, politely and kindly- they were surprised and eventually left us alone.
So my self- esteem has never been encouraged. I have the building block, the foundation stone, ….… you put it there,……. and I will try to keep it secure.
Yes I have realized I need to change my life around. And yes, I have been fearful of change, and I still am. But I don’t want to be miserable, and I know I must make changes. Little steps. The butterfly can’t be hurried, she will be incomplete. Little steps. My son’s thumbs-up to a separation was a boost to my reservations of escape. But it is hard to accept that I should be allowed to put my needs above those of others. But I know I need to put myself first for once, lest the pit get deeper again. It is my daughter that will pull me back, despite what has gone before, she will be upset, she doesn’t hold on to the bad times, I’m glad. But I visited the cottage today. I wanted to check for internet access, I need to keep my contacts open. It’s there. I checked the beds for linen, and I will pack a bag with bits and pieces for the children and me. It helps me to feel more settled, I just don’t know when the time is right, there may never be a Right Time.
For my Gem
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Thank you for the butterfly. It is beautiful.

 

I agree, little steps. It is a very healthy view you have. I may say that a lot, but it is very true. It keeps you on a good path.

 

It sounds like your childhood was a lesson in how to be less important than others. How to not be yourself. How to stay in your chrysalis. You were minimized as a person and as a female.

 

Often, when we are mistreated as children through neglect, abuse or other means, we carry those feelings into adulthood. We feel that is who we are and there is nothing else. It is easy to feel this way. When you are raised a certain way, you have no reference for any other way of doing things. You don't understand what it feels like to be loved, cared about or even just treated as important. In other words, what you don't have you don't miss. So you accept what is.

 

The problem comes in when you believe that this is all you are. It becomes hard to see the whole reality of your talents, abilities, your deepest fears, wishes, and desires. You don't want to see that you are important, interesting and fun. You see your life as if you were still back as a child. You don't leave those feelings behind. They are brought with you as if how you were treated is still how you are to be treated as an adult. So you find that one person who reminds you of who you feel you are, of how you were treated as a child, and you marry them. You believe that this is what your life is supposed to be.

 

What is happening for you is you are starting to break through those beliefs and you are emerging by realizing that the former beliefs about yourself are false. What you were told by everyone is wrong. You are not what they said you were and what they said was about them, not you. Your self esteem is starting to be rebuilt and you are beginning to see what you can be, what you really are inside. Wonderful, smart, funny, sweet, good hearted, creative, strong and many other positive attributes. Along with discovering this about yourself and integrating it, it changes your outlook. You would no longer accept the things you used to accept. You would see your marriage and your life in general in a different light. That is part of why change is so hard. Because to see yourself differently, you would see your life differently and life would have to change. To keep it the same would be unbearable. It seems like this is where you are right now.

 

What do you think?

 

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes Kate

Yes,yes, to everything. I see what I want, what I haven't had, what I need. So things are changing, like being in the chrysalis (this is an amazing analogy) and I can see the shape, the colours, the beauty of the butterfly, but I just feel so muddled, scared of breaking free, scared she will be deformed, afraid of the insecurity of not being who I've been for so long. But I am so tired of being this me, I am just pushing myself along on my many caterpillar feet, existing,crawling, slowing down (NOOO!... that feels like I'm going backwards, today I'm looking back :( ). When I try to think of myself in a positive way, it's as if there is a poor signal in my mind, interference, it keeps breaking up; I can't make it mean anything, there are connectives that are missing, and I feel like I need to turn off and re-call, take a break and try again later, over and over again, making no progress each time, and sometimes losing what I had gained. I don't know how to do it. I need a framework in my head, little boxes that I can fill in, and once one is filled I need to save it, laminate it so that it won't get rubbed away, then I can go back and learn it, off by heart, so that it will always be there, ingrained on my mind. But today I am jumbled up. I look in my head and just see an incomprehensible mess, I can't read a word, can't make sense of it.

My childhood memories are COMPLETELY devoid of hugs and kisses, of mother -daughter time, of praise, recognition, treats; I was never made to feel special, helped to fit in with the crowd. Instead I remember cross words, smacks, no personal space, ( I shared a room with all siblings until my brother had his own room, and then I shared with the girls till I left home, not for want of rooms, there were spare), being shy and having few friends, few home to play. I remember trying SO hard to please her and my father, who would always say ‘could do better, try harder, strive to be the best.’ I’m not the best, XXXXX XXXXX did my best. My mother was never very loving, there were no cuddles to remember, she would never put her arms around me and hold me close, I had to manage sadness on my own, let it go unnoticed. My only memories of TLC were of my dad stoking my face when I couldn't sleep, afraid of something, of how much I yearned for that touch. My nights were troubled, I remember many times going into their room in the middle of the night, telling them about my fears, being told that I was safe, all was OK, go back to bed, to sleep. I was afraid of fire, volcanoes, things that were unreasonable (Why?).Was I attention seeking? I stood in the doorway, was never invited for reassurance. My aunt (the one with the cat) was the only one to give me hugs, but they were bear hugs, and not what I needed.

I wasn't going to write today bc it's your day off. Please have a day off. I'll be good till tomorrow. I am on shift this afternoon, yesterday was quiet, today should be too (I'm not good on pm shifts, I'm usually 'done' by 4pm.) DR had an 'all-nighter' last night, was going to sleep in his van. I've had a quiet time with my dogs (children staying with friends too).

I'm glad you liked the butterfly. I guess I can't post a photo of me?

Have a good day off,

Rose


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate..hello my dear therapist.

It's amazing to think that I have lived so many years with such a poor perception of myself, and how something like an unsolicited love that has been totally unbidden can have such a profound life-changing effect. Whilst I have viewed it as a selfish love, it ultimately (if I can get there)is something that can save me from my poor self-image and my dire marriage. I will thank him one day for that.

I remember thinking many times as I was growing up that I was good at nothing, good for nothing;, sport, music, creativity, art, having friends, being some-one, just not worth anything. I remember that. No photos of me, hated myself, was ugly, spotty, character-less, stupid, failing at school, hated by my brother, told off by my mother, unloved by everyone. I was lonely. Would sit in a quiet place in the garden and talk to God, my only friend. I'm crying now remembering. I must have been depressed. The only thing I was focused on in my teenage life was becoming a nurse.

My shift yesterday was interesting. I worked with a Health Care Assistant who I haven't worked with for 6 years or more. She remembered me and was delighted to be working with me again. She would search me out during the shift to share things with me, called me her friend, asked me to go with her to the next door ward for a bit of banter. She made me feel wanted and worthwhile. I was made to feel needed and special. I was grateful to her. I tried really hard to absorb it. My patients are always a boost, I give them 150% and I know they appreciate it, that I accept as my duty. I felt positive on my drive home.

Coming home was another matter. DR had been home from his all-nighter, arrived after I left for work at 1pm, but (surprise surprise) he was back out again before I got home at 9pm. The house was a mess, sofas covered in muddy dog prints.... children not fed. I really DO DESPAIR. And now (10am) still in bed, probably waiting for his coffee, no attempt at going to work. This really does me in, does me in, does me in....

It strikes a chord when you talk of marrying some-one who reminds you of your childhood. You mentioned my brother being much like DR. He is in many ways, but why would I choose some-one who reminded me of how awful my childhood was? How does that work. So it concerns me that my daughter will choose some-one much like her father. Can I change that course by getting out, he will still be her father, and he will still be impressioning on her whether with him or not. And my son, who is 17 today. I know that alcoholism is inherent, but he hates the way his father is, hates his drinking and behaviour. He says he won't follow suit. How can I help him at this late stage of his adolescence? DR watched his father turn yellow, fill up with fluid, die on a life-support machine of alcoholic liver cirrhosis, but he hasn't been put off. He just says 'you've got to die of something'. And you're right DR does behave like an adolescent, more-so than his son who has better sense, and is less trouble.

I am at that point of change.
Thank you Kate for helping me to change.

I hope you had a good weekend

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

My heart broke reading about how you were treated by your parents and brother. I so wanted to respond to you when I read it yesterday but I also respect your boundaries.

 

You were terribly emotionally abused as a child. I can only think of a beautiful girl full of promise, love and goodness that was beaten down to believing that she was worth nothing, or even lower than nothing. Taught to serve others and give herself until it hurts so she can have the one morsel of love she craves. It is hard to believe that there are parents out there that can withhold love and make a child, someone they created together, feel that she is not a worthy and wonderful person.

 

Try to imagine yourself as a child. See the girl you were. Pick any age for this, maybe the first age that pops into your mind. Your mind will automatically pick the age where you feel the most need, the most vulnerability. Now, picture yourself as an adult seeing yourself as a child. Look at the child you were. Who is she? What does she need? What do you feel she would say to you as an adult? Now talk to her. What would you want to say to her? How would you like to give her what she needs?

 

By doing this, you help yourself connect to the child you were. You see what you needed, you have it fulfilled. You can help the healing process this way for whenever you feel those feelings as an adult, you can automatically understand where it comes from. Once you understand the origin, you can heal the old wounds and learn to care for yourself like your parents never did.

 

Here is a book that I highly recommend you try. See if it helps you:

 

Adult Children of Abusive Parents by Steven Farmer

 

I use this books a lot and I think it helps adults see how their abusive childhoods affect how they are today.

 

Your co worker from your shift yesterday sounds like a woman with her head on straight! I am glad that there is someone like that in your life now. Maybe God sent her to you, knowing that you are trying to emerge and she can help.

 

Your choice of a husband is about confirming what you felt about yourself as a person. When children are abused, they learn that they are not worthy of love. They learn that something is wrong with them. They hurt and they live with a deep pain that does not go away. They also develop coping mechanisms to help them survive. So as adults, they continue to see the world as they were taught. No one loves me, I am alone, I am supposed to hurt and others are allowed to hurt me. When you chose DR, you were comfortable with what he was offering. Here was someone you understood. Being treated badly is something you can cope with. Being treated well is not. For to be treated well would mean that you are worthy, a foreign concept to you. You would not know how to handle it. It would have brought up all the feelings from your childhood, an overwhelming concept.

 

Also, marrying someone who treats you the same as your parents helps you recreate what you experienced as a child. It gives you a chance to work out what happened. If my parents could not love me, maybe I can make my husband love me. Then I can feel better. It almost never works, but as humans we still try. It is in our nature.

 

Your children will be different because they have you. You have given them what was absent in your life- love and caring. But to change their situations completely, they will need to work through how they feel about their father and his influence. The need to address the pain and hurt of having a father that chose alcohol over them and himself over them. If they work out the pain, they have no need to repeat relationships with people like DR. Seeing a therapist would help them see how the view their father, what damage they have as a result, and how to view it differently. Also, they will learn that not all men are like that and that there are healthier ways to interact with men. If your children learn about alcoholism and all the facts related to it, they may see it differently and chose not to drink. Not all children of alcoholics drink. And if they know what to look for ahead of time, it will be easier for them. You can also continue your work with them. By being there for them and trying to help yourself, you show them there is a better way of handling your problems. It does not matter how old they are, they can always use help and support. Just remind yourself that you are on a journey at this stage in your life and you are growing. They can do the same, just a little earlier.

 

I am glad you shared this with me. It is inspiring how you reach out, trust, and work to recover. You are truly amazing, Rose.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dearest Kate,

Thank you for giving me a little bit of your big heart. I feel lucky, and privileged. I’ve needed to reach out all my life, but have held back, kept within. It has just not been possible, it has been locked tightly in my core. I feel a relief to be sharing, with a knowing soul, and I am beginning to understand me a little.

My parents were looking through old photos a while ago (within the year). As I said there were no casual pictures of me as a teen. They found a school photo of me, about 14, and showed it to me. Instead of looking at it with interest I took it from them and hid it, and wouldn't let them have it back. I couldn’t look at it and later destroyed it.

My teen years were the hardest, the most fretful, had the least sleep. I struggled so badly, I can hardly bear to remember.

Beaten down, down, down. Scared, scared, scared. Do as you are TOLD. Bang, bang, bang. No, No, No DON’T do that. Please be gentle mum, that hurts. Please care. Please love. Please can you tuck me in bed, no, no goodnight………… Please may I have….. but I would love a rabbit to cuddle, no, no rabbit…. Can’t I please have my own bath water, clean water, please.. Why boys shoes?...

I remember keeping a diary one summer holiday, filling it with all the things I did to help mum in the house, and giving it to her at the end of the holiday. Was I trying to tell her I was a good girl, was I trying to get her to thank me and praise me?

My children are afraid of my mother. My father was a gentle man, but he was a workaholic, out at the office, home late, in the study, gin and tonic on the go. Not child friendly, but the only one to give me any sort of tenderness.

I picture the child. I see me. She is a young teen. She is too afraid to speak to me. She has gone to hide away. She has NO self confidence, no esteem. she doesn’t know how to talk to me, she is scared, she can’t talk. She hides her face, she hides her teeth, she hides. She is a poor thing, there’s nothing to her, I have to coax her out, tell her not to be afraid.

Please help me. I am very lost. I need someone to hold my hand and lead me. I cannot stand up tall, I cannot hold my head up high. Teach me how to laugh, not be laughed at, PLEASE, what is it like to be happy, to feel someone’s warmth and love? I don’t want a lot, just enough to help me …. Help me…. To…survive.

Kate, this girl needs so much love and I just want to gather her up and hug her close. She is desperate to be noticed but scared at the same time. She is at the bottom of the pile, and is being trampled on, crushed, getting hurt, sad, tearful, wishing out, needing help. I want to spend lots of time with her, showing her how to be brave, being by her side and guiding her; showing her her reflection in the mirror, telling her beauty is more than skin deep, that her heart is enormous, that there is love for her, that she deserves love, that she is a good and worthy child, that she will go far and achieve her dreams. I want to let her be herself, not stunt her growth, enable her to blossom in her own time, with the warmth of the sun, and sweetness of the rain, and teach her that she has a deserved place on this earth, and she will smile and be at peace.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity, insight. I am happy to cry, I am understanding a little more, little by little.

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You are welcome, Rose. But I am just a guide. You are doing all the work. And good work it is.

 

Your teen years were the most significant ones for you. Taking a picture of you from your parents, one of the only ones that exist, and destroying it is a very strong reaction. It means that you were most traumatized at that point in your life. You did not want any evidence of that time. Facing that part of your life brings up too many frightening reminders.

 

Filling a diary of what you did for your mother and giving it to her was a direct way of asking for attention. You wanted her approval, her love and her physical touch to confirm that you were worthy as a person. Being good and being super vigilant are some of the ways abused children try to gain the love and approval they so deeply crave. Maybe if I am good and behave, my parents will love me.The void you felt as a child ran very deep.

 

Your children are quite insightful to be fearful of your mother. Look at how they react. And they have you as a buffer. Could you imagine exposing them to her without you there? That is what you lived with your whole life. Picturing that helps you understand what you had to cope with as a child, without help from anyone. This is why you developed ways to cope. You were smart and creative. Look at how you raised your children. You learned that there is better way and you did that all on your own.

 

In picturing the young girl you were, you have tapped into your feelings that you carry with you now. Your response to her is heartwarming and so full of deep love. This girl you picture is you now. Give her what she needs. Guide her, show her love, tell her she is beautiful. All the things you listed, do for her. Hug her everyday. Show her the world and how valuable she is to it. She needs you, the adult Rose, to take care of her. She is lost without you. She needs you to be with her and to care about her. You can do this just by talking to her or you can write her and tell her. Whatever you feel would work for her, and you, the best.

 

I would hug this child too. It would be almost impossible not to. She needs so much love and she is very willing to accept what she can get. She is in pain and it breaks my heart to see her in need. And if I would respond that way to the child, how could anyone else ignore her? A person could only ignore her if they themselves were incapable of feeling love. Your mother, for some reason, would not allow herself to respond. Was she also deeply hurt in her life? Was she cold and rejecting on purpose? Was she just unable to love or was she out to hurt others on purpose? No matter why she chose to do this to you, it is not your fault. Part of recovery is to realize that. There is no way someone who is emotionally healthy could ignore a child is such deep need. This is not an excuse for her behavior. Your mother was an adult and therefore responsible for what she did. But this is to help you know that as a responsible adult, she owed you the love and attention you needed. She withheld it because there is something wrong with her. Not with you. You did what you could, beyond what you should have needed to do, and still she would not respond. That is about her, not you.

 

This is a lot for you to process. You are doing some great work here, Rose. Your insight is incredible. You should be proud of yourself.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate,
I absolutely can’t tell you how I feel, I am overwhelmed. I am stunned at what I have written and your interpretation- it is almost spiritual.

I don’t know about my mother, I do know that her childhood was difficult, but I don’t think she was deliberately out to hurt. She doesn’t know how to show love. That’s the simple fact. There may be more, but I’m not to know without asking.

There is a lot to process, and maybe this week you could help me compartmentalise this new information, so that I can put it to use in the right way. I am totally in awe Kate, you are fantastic.

Thank you.

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
PS. Thanks for the book ref. I have ordered it from Amazon. That will make interesting reading. R
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX feels nice to know that my words and thoughts helped you. I too have felt that there is some sort of spiritual intervention with our work together. There is a connection that is hard to describe. I am just happy I can be there for you.

 

I am looking forward to helping you sort out the new information. It is a lot and if you need a break anytime, just say the word. Therapy is a process and it has it's ups and downs. It does not need to be full force and breaks are a good thing. This is a train with you at the helm so you do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

 

I am interested in what you think about the book, if it is helpful or not.

 

Whenever you are ready, I'm here. Have a good night and take care,

 

Kate

 

PS I wondered if you are ok with starting a new thread/question. I don't know if this is happening to you, but I'm having trouble with the JA system posting my responses to you. Is it a lot of trouble or does it cost you extra to start a new question? If so, let's stay with this one. I'll just copy my responses to keep them from being lost.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Missing you... Jaded after tx;

Oh, wonder what's up with JA.. I'll start a new thread tomorrow, no trouble, and no extra cost. I'll address it to you like this one.

On am shift tomorrow, will write when home. Thank you

Rose

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Sounds good. Have a good night and I'll talk with you tomorrow!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

it won't let me ask you a new question while you are off line, so will keep an eye out for you!

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
hi kate

it's gone in the queue!

talk tomorrow

rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,
I asked if our current question could be made more private, and they have locked us out! I have asked for it to be unlocked again, and whether it can be made privately accessible again! I'm off to work again, will write later.
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rose,

 

I was able to view your question for a brief time this morning but now it's gone. I am a bit dismayed by this.

 

If JA can fix this that would be ideal. I don't want you to have to write it all over again so let's give it some time, if that is ok with you. I will be in and out this morning so I will check back as much as possible.

 

If they can't fix it, you and I can piece this back together ourselves. Sorry about this.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hey Kate,

Don't be sorry, it was my fault (well not really!) I just sent them an ENQUIRY about greater privacy, didn't ask them to do anything, but they emailed this am to say they had 'gone ahead and locked your question'!! It seems that we can't be more private, so that's fine. I have sent them a second email with the exact question weblink (they replied to say it's open, meaning this one)so fingers crossed.

Catch you later (when we're up and running again I hope)

Rose :)
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

That's fine. Wow, what a mess. It's a shame that JA misunderstood. Very frustrating!

 

I'll keep checking back. Hopefully, we can talk soon.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

I sent you the 'message' the other day bc I wanted to send you a photo of me, just so that you could see who you were talking to. Do you think it would be safe to attach one to this question, since it's quite old, or best not to?

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Oh, I understand. You could try to attach it to this one. It is slow in loading, but it still comes through. Let's try it!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Great, hang on then!
Yer 'tiz
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Oh Rose, you are so pretty! It's nice to put a face on our conversations. Thank you for loading the picture. Now I can "see you" when we talk!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
:) Ah Kate, thanks. I really like to picture you (you are beautiful, too) when I write and think about you, I'm glad you agreed for me to post it, I was a bit worried it might be a no-no...

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Rose!

 

I'm not sure if it is a no no or not (whoops!) but no harm. I won't tell if you won't!

 

Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
You make me smile.Laughing
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,
I was really surprised you'd not heard of a budgie (budgerigar). I couldn't stop myself from posting 2 of last years babies with ....
I'll let you guess.
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Awww, they are cute! And who is that beautiful girl with them?

 

I am no good with birds. I do not have a clue. Show me a dog, I'm fine. But birds....big question mark!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, dog next time!!!

I was only allowed a budgie as a pet when I was a child, nothing to cuddle :(. We got some budgies from the RSPCA a few years ago, and they set too breeding amongst themselves. We have about 20 now.

The beautiful girl? My lovely Poppy. :)

Am writing. Will post later.

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Your daughter is beautiful!

 

Well, now I know some thing about birds. Thanks for showing me the picture!

 

Talk to you later,

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

This is the only Q between you and me that I can access. :( All my other previous Qs to other experts are fine.)

Have you heard that JA are blocking me? I'm sure you would have told me! I think we need to start a new thread, but could you copy your last response here if you can please, and I'll start again later when you are on line. I hope my Q's haven't gone forever- they started to be difficult yesterday, but I was able to get in one way or another!

(this is the message I get every time I try to access my Q's with you, ..

We're Having a Problem on the Site

We're sorry for any inconvenience, but there is a problem with the page you're trying to view. Our engineers have been automatically notified of this error. While we work on the problem, we suggest you try the following:
Click the refresh button, or try again later.
Look for the link to the information you were trying to find on the JustAnswer Home Page.
Thank you for your patience! We look forward to helping you.

Sincerely,

JustAnswer - Customer Service)

Of course I could contact them, but I'll see what happens first.

Til later

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

I think that is great, Rose. It's good you looked them up. I understand how you feel. Everyone who has gone through an experience like that feels the same. These people know what they are doing. They don't get so many responses if they don't. It's probably why the Ministry of Justice has an eye on them. You are not the only one by far that has thought there was something to them.


I'm sure now that they have someone paying attention in the government, you'll probably will get your money back. Like you said it's just a matter of time.


Thanks for trusting me with this situation. I am touched that you shared it with me.


I hope you have a good night. And don't worry, it will all work out.


Kate

 

 

Rose,

 

That is my last post from the other thread. I think part of the problem is that the last thread is too long. You may get a new screen each time (I'm not sure) but the Experts get the whole thread each time they post. It takes a long time to load and probably clogs up the system. Not your fault, I just think JA doesn't have enough room for it. Want to start a new one?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Kate,
all sorts of concerns were going through my head, especially as I couldn't open any of our previous questions except this one. I hope I can get back in one day so that I can save them all to word in case they go down the pan!! We do get the whloe thread each time, and I knew it was coming to it's end, but you usually tell me if it's getting slower! Anyway, new thread on the go.

Thanks for the reassurance about the money thing, I've had a letter this morning asking me to ring them to discuss my refund request, of course they want to keep me in as long as possible- I wonder where they keep all the deposits.

See you on the new thread

Rose, and thanks for reposting :)
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

I've posted on the new thread. I am going to copy this one too since I lose my questions after a few days and can't access them.

 

See you on the next thread!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We've written ~ 29,000 words between us on this thread! Maybe you can access my questions from my question list if you wanted to.

See you on new thread later. Don't work too hard. I'm going to make pumpkin soup shortly after a wee rest.:)

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Yum, pumpkin soup! Let me know how it turns out!

 

29,000 words?! Whoa. We did do some talking, but that is always a good thing!

 

Talk to you later on the new thread,

Kate

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