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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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For Kate McCoy please.
Um. I wonder if you can help me sort out the muddle in my head. I don’t know where to start, please can you lead me.
Thank you.
Rose
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hey! Thanks for doing this and putting a new question in the queue. It works so much better now!

 

I'll be here tomorrow for you!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

I have lost my focus, tripped up, falling. Stuck in my pit today. So darned weary. I need to work on something, where can we start?

Rose

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

What is going on? Tell me about the pit.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
I struggled through my shift yesterday, feeling that I was a lesser nurse and colleague, missing my cue for coffee break, being left behind, going to sit on my own in the locker room rather than walk down the long corridor to the canteen, told myself to save my energy, but really thinking they would have a better break without me. Feeling self conscious, hands shaking when dispensing medicines, not making sense on the phone, trying too hard, others listening, wondering, judging, what's with her? I’m turning inwards, I want to hide, not go back, be safe on my own somewhere. On my own.

The tears just haven't stopped, I am trying to be strong, prove I can do it. But I feel I just want to lie down and close my tired eyes, too much to get out of the pit today. I can stay here til tomorrow, I might feel better.
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

It sounds like you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions. We have been working on some very heavy duty issues and processing all of that, plus whatever you are working on with your therapist, is going to have you feeling out of sorts. That is very normal. You are trying to bring up some strong emotions from the past, deal with the effects it has on you now and keep on with your daily life. That is a lot.

 

You need some down time. Some time away from thinking about past abuse, current marriage issues and life in general. Is there a way for you to take a bit of a break? Maybe take a drive or even sit in your room with a good book and some tea? Or even do something to spoil yourself like a massage. That may help you alleve some of the pain you experience and pay some much needed attention to yourself at the same time. Or take a nap. Close your eyes, and sleep.

 

Allow yourself to cry. Crying is never a bad thing. It is only a symptom of what is going on inside. You are sad. Let it out. And don't forget, you are strong. But being strong does not mean you stop crying and deal. It means that you know what you need and how to express it. It means you reach out when you need help. And it means you find what you need to help yourself feel better. And I know you Rose, you are strong. Remember, this too shall pass.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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, you are right Kate, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX feeling overwhelmed. I have been trying to get on top of my pain today, but instead everything has got on top of me, and everything seems negative. I do feel like that teenager again, and I wonder how I have managed to survive thus far.

OK, some down time, but I will have to wait til tomorrow. I must fix tea, then I have Tx, I feel I want to cancel, not sure I can talk tonight, but know I must.

Thank you Kate.

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

Rose,

 

You're welcome. Sometimes I think a good hug would be better than any words I can come up with. Words seem so inadequate when you are feeling so down. But I am glad it helped.

 

Whenever you feel like you don't want treatment, that is the best time to do it. That resistance you feel is about all the stuff (great clinical term, eh?) inside of you trying to get out. Facing it is hard, very hard work. So talking tonight to your therapist is not easy. But the progress you make will be amazing. Let me know how it goes!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

Hugs are gratefully received like you can't imagine. Thank you.

Phew, that was exhausting. I can't really cope with 2 hours, tried to duck out after 1hr30, but she wanted to get to the bottom of something. All about my insecurities. But I guess I do feel better, I've run out of tears anyway!! :)

Talk tomorrow. Goodnight

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

Oh, I'm sorry. Two hours is a long time. Get some well deserved rest and let me know when you are ready to talk.

 

Goodnight,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate.

I think I want a break from thinking about me today, but so I can still feel near you (you can't imagine how important it is to me)I have another situation I need to talk about.

When my son (now 17) was 3 1/2, he was forced to suck his child-minder’s 15year-old son's penis. I was working a late shift, my husband collected him from the CM, and S told him what had happened in the car on the way home. DR kept him up til I came home that night so that he could tell me about it, and I was mortified. I should have called sick the following day, but I find that hard to do, so he went back to the CM, but I was beside myself at work and found it almost impossible to work without crying. I told the CM about the incident when I picked S up. She was immediately horrified and there was no question about protecting her son. I should have changed CM then and there, but I was in the middle of a flow of shifts, 6 months pregnant, and no intelligent support from DR. When I picked S up the following day the CM told me how angry her husband had been about the accusations, and the incident had absolutely not happened. I was told to take S elsewhere.

I was in a real mess with no support. I didn't seek advice, didn't report anything (I knew it would be ugly, she wouldn't be able to work as CM, people know people, local family etc, my GP her neighbour and good friends). My sister-in-law, who had recently had baby no 3 agreed to take him in the short term, but reluctantly as she had found him hard work (dyspraxic and likely ADHD- just getting assessed now!). He started school 8 months later. I watched silently as other local children were child-minded by this CM, and had stoney looks from her at the school gates, but my lips were sealed.

I hoped by not talking about it with S that it would be forgotten about quickly and he would have no repercussions. He only told us about this one incident, but we are unaware if anything went before, and by not questioning him in depth, I’m not sure to what extent it happened, but his clothes smelt strongly of urine (not his).
As his girl cousin, 3 years his junior, grew, she and S spent a lot of time together, and she doted on him. My sister-in-law alerted me one day to his interest in looking up her skirt, asking her to take her knickers off for him to have a look. I don’t remember if she saw this happening or T told her. One day, S maybe 7, T 4, they were at my house playing. I noticed that they weren’t outside with us all, and became worried (I had their ‘friendship’ in mind- things must have been happening at about this time), went into the house and up to S’s room, where I found T lying naked on the bed, legs apart, with S licking her genitals. I shan’t tell you how I felt. I didn’t mention it to T’s mum, I know I should have. There is no way that S had seen this happen in our home, on the tele or porn anywhere. I am certain that T hadn’t been exposed either. From that day on I had to keep a close eye on him with any girls, but there were no complaints from school that there was any inappropriate behaviour.

I think things settled. Please tell me about lasting effects of inappropriate sex acts. He is now sexually active in a regular and close relationship, (and was underage) and has a stash of X- rated magazines in his room (not porn, just busty topless girls as far as I have seen).

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

Rose,

 

I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your son. Abuse is horrible. And to have your son victimized by this woman then have her blame you makes the situation even worse.

 

It sounds like at this point your son as dealt with what happened in some manner. If he is in a relationship and the relationship does not have any outstanding problems, he may have been able to somehow integrate the effects and dealt with them. But that does not mean he has no long term effects. There may be issues he is not aware of yet, or has hidden so well that no one can tell.

 

Some of the long term effects of sexual abuse include physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, TMJ syndrome, erection problems and chest pain. Emotional symptoms include anxiety, panic attacks, self harming and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and drug and alcohol use. If your son experiences any of these, it may stem from the abuse.

 

It is never too late have him see a therapist. Since the effects of abuse can be long term and often hidden until adulthood, he would benefit from at least short term therapy. Since this was not an issue that was discussed with him when it occurred, he may have had other effects that he is even unaware of. Therapy can help uncover any long term symptoms and also help him know that if he ever experiences any problems in the future, he can come back for help.

 

He may also benefit from you and your husband (if he is willing) being involved to get this out in the open and talk about it in therapy. Abuse often causes shame, not only in the children abused but within the family as well. Your son may have been abused by this other boy, but the damage from that abuse affects both families. Talking this out helps take away the shame and lets each person express how they feel. Healing takes place once everyone can be open about it.

 

Here are some books to help give you more information and guidance:

 

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Dan B Allender Ph.D. and Dan B. Allender

 

Why Me? Help for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse (Even if they are adults now), Fourth Edition by Lynn Daugherty

 

Hush: Moving From Silence to Healing After Childhood Sexual Abuse by Nicole Braddock Bromley

 

I am glad you told me about this and I hope what I wrote helped. If I can do more, please let me know. I am sorry you and your son had to go through this. But bringing it up even now can help your whole family find peace and heal from it.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.

I am feeling a bit better this end of the day than I did at the beginning, I had a good sleep this afternoon which has helped me to cope with the evening so far. DR will be going out shortly and I will be home with my daughter, needed quiet time. I am staying in my pit for a bit, just making it more comfortable. But I have tried really hard not to cut, I think I'm making progress.

By the way, while I remember, I have the book you recommended me (Adult Children of abusive parents) and have made a start. I think it will be very helpful, I like the way it is written. And thank you for the above recommendations, I'll choose one after I reply.

Yes your answer has helped me, never doubt. Unfortunately I have that old guilt problem here that I failed to seek help for any of us at the time,I wasn't aware of the effects, short or long term, of such an incident, and was keen to put it behind us, believing that it would be best forgotten. If I had been computer literate at the time I might have done some googling, and realized it wasn't something to sit on, and best dealt with sooner rather than later. I did know that it should have been reported, especially in a child-minding set-up, but have never been one to make a scene about anything.

I am concerned about bringing up the subject with my son, he is very sensitive and won't take it very well. He is waiting for an assessment by CAMHS for potential ADD and I was hoping that he may be offered therapy/counseling for anger management (he has smashed his toilet door in) and mood swings among other things (is inappropriate impulsive behavior significant to ADD?)Will he be able to remember as far back as that, will he remember what he did when he was 7? How can things affect you if you don't remember them? If therapy is offered I might write to say a few things that they won't be aware of. They will know about his difficult relationship with his father, so that will be a starting point.

Thank you for being there to calm me, just to see you have posted a reply makes me feel better, regardless of what it says!!

I think you are 6 hours behind me, so it's mid-afternoon with you. Which State do you live? I hope you have a good Friday evening.

Caring wishes
Rose

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

Rose,

 

I can understand your feelings of guilt. Every parent has them and they only intensify with a situation such as what happened with your son. But you can only do so much and you did the best you could with what happened. When you look at the entire situation, you were alone in coping with it. It was overwhelming. You were working and trying to care for your children. Any parent could react by many different ways. You love your children and you are there for them. They know that. And that makes all the difference in the world.

 

And it is never too late to get him help. I think your idea is a good one. Getting him therapy for one problem and letting the treatment team know about your thoughts is good. If they do a thorough assessment though, this issue should come up. I am hoping that they include you in the assessment so you have the opportunity to bring it up then.

 

Impulsive behavior can be part of ADD, but because of your son's abuse history and his relationship with his father, he may act out because of those things as well. It is a good question to ask at your son's evaluation and see if they can get a good idea of where his acting out comes from. It may take time in therapy though to figure it out for sure.

 

I am glad you got the book. I hope it helps you. I find it quite useful and I keep a copy nearby. Let me know if it helps you.

 

I do think there is a time difference, I just wasn't sure of how much. I was thinking 8 hours but you are probably right. It's 4 pm now in Pennsylvania where I am, if that helps!

 

I am glad you got a chance for some downtime. I hope you have a chance for more up coming.

 

Have a good night,

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
Thanks Kate,
Glad to know that, the time difference is 5 hours, now 21.30! The times on the posts (GMT) are an hour out as they don't take account of British Summer Time ( I assume)
Just had a look at my account and I've changed the time zone to make the time right.
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I didn't know there was a British summer time. Very interesting. Americans call it Daylight savings, which you might already know. We don't change the clocks back until October. In the spring, it's forward (lose an hour). Fall back, spring ahead. It's strange and no one seems to like it, but we do it anyway.

 

Well, now we know when to write so we might catch each other on line!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

I didn't realize you change your clocks like we do until your Spring change when I had to change my therapy times (she's -2 hours in Colorado)You change 2 weeks ahead of us. Most confusing! We are now 1 hour ahead of parts of Europe on the same timeline, and join them again in the Autumn.

My Tx session on Thursday was one of my most difficult of recent weeks, and I'm feeling very self-conscious about it. I'm beginning to feel that all my strength and character is ebbing away, being washed away with the tide. I am becoming wearier and in more pain, and my husband is being waited on hand and foot. This morning I stripped my and my daughter's beds. He noticed them stripped when he got up at midday and made a point of looking in the washing machine as I'd just put the wash on. He asked 'do I get clean sheets too?' Of course, if you want, and I went straight away and stripped his bed. I am cross with myself. I have worked hard all day doing this and that. I took him to the pub at 2pm, he said he had agreed to meet some-one there. I wonder what his mates think when they see me driving him to the pub, leaving him there and carrying on my life without him. I guess they're all the same, but they don't have children. I drove him bc he drinks and drives. He hasn't learnt from his previous big mistakes. I'll tell you about that one day. It's now after 8pm and not back yet. I am beginning to get anxious , as I always do. I don't have the energy to make his bed. No doubt he'll sleep on the bare mattress again.

He thinks a few weeks work and a cheque is enough to keep us. I say doesn't he think, as the main bread-winner, that he should be making more of an effort to work? He has plenty of jobs lined up, and if not those, then plenty of things to do at home to finish off what he started 6 years ago. But it's not worth the breath. I go out to work, work hard, come home, work hard. He gets up late, doesn't have a string of must do's like myself, goes to work if he feels like it, sits and watches tele, falls asleep, gets waited on, goes out to spend more money in the pub which he certainly doesn't earn, and I JUST CAN'T TELL HIM HOW I FEEL. Today I really feel like I want to ask him to leave. If I become a lone parent I will have to struggle just a tiny bit more, there is very little that he does for us all on a daily basis... now and again I ask him to fetch and carry the children- when he's sober- which he is always pleased to do bc he likes driving.

Is being a 'depressed adult' more significant than having a major depressive episode? K thinks I am a depressed adult, following a likely depressed childhood. Does that mean that I will not get better, that this is as far as I can go. I don't think I know what it's like to be really happy, I think I have glimpses of it now and again, but certainly for many many years it's been difficult to see those glimpses, and I just have to pretend. I guess maybe that's why I didn't know that I was depressed when the penny finally dropped with my GP after many many visits. Because I was so used to my head feeling that way, it was my body that had caught up.

Not sure where I'm going Kate, sorry for the ramblings, just wanted to talk to you.

Happy Saturday! Hope you're weekend is going well

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

Hi Rose,

 

I'm not clear about what she means by depressed adult. Maybe she means you have Dysthymia, which is a depressive disorder that lingers, often for years. It is characterized by hopelessness, loss of energy, self criticism, guilt, trouble making decisions and feeling sad.

 

Major depression is also a possibility. But I do not think your symptoms are severe enough to be Major Depression.

 

Given all you have been through and the burden you still carry, you may very well have Dysthymia disorder. You would need an evaluation to be sure, but if you feel you have the symptoms, then you may want to talk to your doctor about it.

 

Dysthymia is difficult to live with but you can work on it. Part of the burden for you is a combination of self esteem issues, the heavy responsibility of parenting and your marriage. Feeling powerless to control your environment can have a major influence on depression and your ability to get better.

 

It seems your husband looks to you to parent him. All of his behaviors are about himself and the burden is on you. He does not take care of himself (in the good ways), he does not take care of you, and he does not care for your family. So you are left to be the sole parent in charge of the kids and an adult who gets into trouble on his own. He is not respecting you as a person or as his wife.

 

You may want to consider Rose that you are angry at him. With the way he manipulates, dumps on you and acts towards you, you may feel a sense of rage, or at least some simmering anger. You may also feel hurt, used and overwhelmed. All of these feelings can cause you to feel depressed.

 

I think that this is good progress on your part. Looking at how you feel from every angle and working towards feeling better. I don't know how K is working on this with you so I don't want to interfere. But if I may suggest that self esteem work is a good place to start or even just work on in general. Building your self esteem will help you feel better overall and address some of these problems for you.

 

Happy Saturday to you too! I'll talk with you soon,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
Thanks Kate,

I am through the crisis times, 15 months on (since dx) it would be nice to be through it completely. But my Psychiatrist says I won't make huge progress while I am still with DR. Maybe Dysthymia is what she meant.

I do feel anger, but I absorb it, I know I shouldn't. But I'm not able to show it, haven't shown it for a long long time, I have had to keep my true feelings suppressed bc of the consequences of trying to have a voice. I'm a miserable f***ing bitch if I have anything to say which will upset his fun and lifestyle. I feel I've just given up trying. It's useless. The only way is out. Somehow.

Yes, self esteem................. :(

Good night

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

Rose,

 

I agree, it is hard to make progress while you are with DR. He drags you down and makes it hard to move ahead. But that does not mean you cannot learn about what you are going through and work on things. And when you do get out, you will be better for it.

 

Hang in there. Hope is not lost. You are strong and getting better.

 

Get some rest and take care. I will check in tomorrow in case you write.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

It’s Sunday, your day off. I’m so sorry. Please put me on hold til tomorrow if you need to. I just felt it was better for me to write than to feel so disturbed.

Today I’m close to madness. My husband is right, I am crazy. I lay in the field for a very long time, couldn’t face going back to the house. I wanted to stay there all day, not moving, wishing that I would be taken away, put somewhere where they wear white coats and try to make you talk, hoping that they would stick needles in me, or zap my brain, and make me feel better, or make it all go away. I lay there in the rain getting cold. He didn’t miss me; he didn’t wonder where I was. It was too much to move, too much to face him again. I only got up when the puppy dropped the Frisbee one too many times on my head!

I wanted to go to my cottage. What will happen when I go there? Will I be defeated, him won? My secret will be out and I will have to explain. Instead I’m in my sanctuary. Thank goodness for my own room, with my butterflies, door closed, barred.

What do you think is the ultimate in drug therapy? After several changes I now take Cymbalta with Mirtazapine. My psych says this combination is good for treating resistant depression, but only my symptoms of anxiety have improved after 4 months. I also have diazepam and zopiclone. Is any further improvement down to changing my situation? I know the answer is yes, I know I must get to grips.

Is it too much to mention to him that the bank accounts are empty? I would hope it might make him think a bit more about his spending, lack of work effort. But no, I’m crazy to think something can be done to improve the situation. S, my son, says Dad, you spend too much, you know you do. He (DR) is not happy. His answer is to spend the last of our savings.

Kate, I know what you must think, but know you don’t, you have so much empathy. But I can’t tell you how much help it is to me to be able to write to you when I feel like this. I wish I could give myself a good slap and have it make all the difference. There are too many things circling in my muddled head, it is spinning out of control, and I can’t calm it. They are bumping into each other and making explosions happen, clouding my senses, logic.

I hope it isn’t raining in Philadelphia.

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

Hello Rose,

 

Going to your cottage will not mean defeat for you. It is taking charge of your situation. It is saying no to DR's behavior. It also means peace, a place of your own to go for sanctuary. But if you feel strongly about it, you could always tell DR to move out. It's worth a shot.

 

You are not crazy, by any stretch of the imagination. A sign of severe mental illness is when you don't worry about being crazy and you certainly don't ask for help. Most people do not fall into that category, and that includes you.

 

You are overwhelmed, though. You are doing some very tough work with me and with your therapist. You are also dealing with DR and all the trouble that goes with it. You're fighting a battle inside and outside and that is hard. You need a big break, time to think it all through. That would help you feel less overwhelmed and anxious.

 

It is hard to say what would be the ultimate drug therapy. I don't mean to make it hard on you by telling you that, it is just not possible to say because each person (as you know being a nurse) has different body chemistry. So one drug that works for one person does not work for another. A class of drug you might want to try is an SSRI, especially the older ones. The have proven to be very effective and they do not have as many side effects. See if your doctor feels they may work for you.

 

With DR emptying your bank accounts you may want to consider opening your own. That gives you control and lets DR do what he wants with is accounts. Then when he is out of money, he is responsible for it. It also gives you a sense of control and less stress.

 

You are doing fine, Rose. You may not feel like it, but ups and downs are ok. Feeling down is hard, but you are strong and will get through. Remember, your kids love you. You are a great nurse. You have me and your therapist. We all care about you. Treat yourself nice today and give yourself something to look forward to. It'll help you pull through. And write again if you want. I'll check in tonight.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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,

It never ceases to amaze me how much you do for me from so far away.
You are my rock, my main-stay. Thank you

til tomorrow

Rose

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

You're welcome, Rose! That is such a sweet thing to say. I am glad I can be of help, anytime.

 

Have a good night and I'll talk with you soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

Thank you so much for writing to me yesterday, it was so good to hear from you, but I will try hard not to disturb your Sunday again.

I have tried SSRIs. Citalopram which turned me upside down, followed by Sertraline, which was fine. Then the Mirtazapine was added as I was in a sorry state for a long while, and now we have Duloxetine for the fibromyalgia (but not the Sertraline.)

Thank you for saying I'm not crazy. DR thinks my head is messed up to a point of not thinking straight (maybe he's right) and not seeing things as they really are.I feel maybe HE doesn't see things as they really are, seems oblivious to the effect he has on me and the children, doesn't think that he is responsible for the flow of money slowing down, or trying to flow up hill!

Did I tell you that a few months ago he sold a little tractor that we had bought for use on the fields at home, for grass cutting etc. He sold it without asking me if I minded, without telling me, but I knew what he was up to, just kept quiet. He sold it for £2k, cash. He kept every penny of that for himself, bought a large quantity of drums and accessories at an auction for £600, filled the stable with it, and spent the rest in the pub. I didn't say a word, just wanted to see what happened. When he runs out of money he thinks that there is a never ending supply of savings that can bail him out. I am so tempted to empty the savings, divide it up, put mine away, give him his, and let him get on with it, as you suggest. It's about time he was responsible for something.

Do you mean I need a big break from talking like this, or time away from it all? I have been feeling overwhelmed. I would like some time out, away sometime, but I can't break from you just yet. I do have you, and I am blessed.

Rose

PS as predicted his bed remains without sheets, and will stay that way I'm sure!!
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Don't worry about Sundays. I am more than happy to talk to you then. It also helps me because I can totally focus on you since I'm not working on anything else. Just Rose and Kate time!

 

It sounds like you have tried a good number of medications. I'm sorry they have not worked well for you. That is not unheard of though. So many people tell me that their medications caused more problems than they helped. Sometimes persistence pays off and you do find a medication that works. Keep trying. Until you run out of medications to try, you still have options.

 

DR is wrong about your ability to think straight or your overall emotional status. I know you and I have no idea what he is trying to say. It is very common with narcissistic personalities to think everyone else is crazy and they are not. After all, if they were crazy, then they could not be perfect, as they feel they are. The trick here is to tune his opinions out and see them for what they are, one self centered person's opinion. It also helps if you can see that you are more that DR deems you to be. He is only one person and he is biased. It works for him if you do not see yourself as important. That way, you don't challenge him and you don't start seeing him for what he is or the things he does to you. To challenge him would take away his ability to use you for his own benefit.

 

It would be a great step for you to take the money out of the bank and put it in your account. I'm glad you have thought about it. By doing that, you say no to DR, you build your own self esteem and you create a bit more independence for yourself. The boost to your self confidence alone is worth the effort.

 

Good for you for not doing DR's sheets as he demanded. He is an adult and he needs to remember that. You work and you care for the kids. That is enough work that you do to say that he needs to do his own sheets. Hang in there and stick to your guns!

 

I hope I did not come across as implying that you need to take a break from our conversations. You can do that, but only if you feel the need. This is your time, not mine. What I was saying is that you need a big break from all the stress in your life. A time to reflect and let down a little. A vacation or even a weekend away. We did talk about that at the beginning of our time together, but since then you have done so much good work that I thought you might need another break. Just throwing the idea out there in case you do feel the need.

 

I hope your day is going well,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 make me feel better, special, I wish you REALLY REALLY knew. I have a warm feeling in my heart. Thank you.

We did talk about a break a while back. And I didn't take one. I keep looking at my shift pattern to see when I could have some time out. I will do it, with or without my daughter (I so hope I can persuade her, so far she has said no :(, but I think she is feeling it should be as a whole family, not just she and I)

My day has been exhausting, caring for my lovely forgetful aunt with the cat, walking the dogs....! My head was feeling OK for most of it (even if my body wasn't!) until DR came home. My parents came for a cup of tea and a chat, and I just sat and listened while DR regaled this story after that (guess what, about the pub and punters!), and showed them a bargain book he bought from a charity shop. I don't think my lips moved once!! I've gone to bed early to escape him, but he's off out now.

Nearly 4pm with you, have a good evening.

Rose

ps, my homework from K was to write something, thoughts, anything, with my left hand (non-dominant). What's that all about? Haven't done it yet, no idea what to write.

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

You are welcome, Rose. It is good to know that what I said helped. I am happy to be here for you. Hearing that you feel better helps me know we are on the right path.

 

I hope your daughter will change her mind and go with you on your get away. Some mother/daughter time is a wonderful chance for you to bond with her. I wonder if she is feeling torn about her relationship with you and her father. Some children feel responsible about troubles in the family and are upset about who to be loyal to. She may feel that if she leaves her father to be with you on vacation, she is being disloyal to him and it will hurt him. It is no one's fault she feels this way. It is just how some children handle family conflict.

 

Interesting about DR with your parents. Even with them, your parents, he feels free to monopolize all of the attention. He does not sound like he has much insight, if any, about his own behavior. How did your parents react to his speech about himself?

 

I have heard about the technique your therapist is using with you. I have not used it recently, but it is very interesting. The results are usually surprising. What K is doing is asking you to use your other hand to access the opposite characteristics of your brain. By doing this, you can access other parts of your personality, ones that you keep reserved since you always express yourself through the other part of your brain when you write. This gives your right side a chance to express your feelings through different filters which may allow for accessing your deeper feelings, or to at least see your emotions from a different level. People who have used this technique in studies reported amazement at what they were able to bring out as a result of writing with the opposite hand.

 

I am very curious now about how it turns out for you! If you feel comfortable about it and want to share, I'd love to know if you found the exercise useful.

 

Have a good night, Rose. Sleep well.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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,

How are you?

I've just finished my Tx...Heavy... Talked about my childhood and relationship with my brother, My feelings of loneliness in a family with 3 siblings, my parents disregard for my treatment by my brother, and for how I felt throughout my young years.

I think that Poppy IS feeling torn about things at home- she feels if we go away it should be all of us, but she did say she would feel better if it was her me and Sam. She has been enjoying a childish friendship with her Dad lately, he has been playing the fool and making her laugh. He has also been telling her things about his mis-spent youth, I feel to impress her (about the years that he spent growing cannabis, that he was caught, that he was in big trouble. She told me that she respected him more for sharing these things with her, that he wasn't boring, that he is enjoying life (ref drinking every night). So yes, I don't know how to handle things with her at the moment, but Sam is enormously mature and understanding.

My parents are very polite, they know how things are here, but are being very good and not showing him that they know. They wanted to talk to me about something, but weren't able to because last time they did he wanted to know the ins and outs of it all and give his 2 pennies worth. So now they know that some things can be talked about with him and some can't. He was just so blatant with the monopoly, they just went with the flow. I will catch up with them on my own tomorrow to talk about my sister and aunt- both problems!!

I haven't done the hand writing thing yet, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do, so now I know a bit more I will try to have a go tomorrow. I will surely let you know what happens.

Have a fine evening



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

Rose,

 

Your therapy session sounds like it was quite trying. That is a lot of heavy duty deep feelings in there. It can wear you out easily. And who says therapy is not hard work? I think it's some of the hardest.

 

The situation with your daughter is tough. DR is trying to impress her like you said. The trick is balancing out what he does and making sure she understands that those were Dad's mistakes and they are not right for her to try. She is trying to make a connection with him that is very normal. Most children feel the need to identify with their parents and when you have a role model like DR, the child will try to find a path to connect, even if it is right through the dysfunction. This is the path Poppy found. You can counteract it by just being there for her and having your own connection to her. A get away with you, Poppy and Sam would be ideal. You could still spend some alone time with her but on her terms, with Sam along.

 

It's good your parents understand about DR and how he monopolizes. In a way, they protect you from a much worse situation. By censuring what they say, they save you from more conflict with DR and they protect your privacy as an individual. It's nice to know that they care that much.

 

Have a good night, Rose. Sweet dreams!

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 thought you were off line when I hit reply! I like knowing when you are near your keyboard, thanks for popping back on. Don't work too hard...

Goodnight

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

I hope you are well. I am tired. Here is a poem for us to share.


Legend of the Butterfly

Once as a child many years ago...
on a balmy summer's eve.
I sat in the yard at my Mother's side...
and a butterfly lit at my sleeve.

"It's a sign of good luck", my Mother did say.
As the butterfly stayed at my arm...
"It's a symbol of all of the beauty in life.
Make sure you cause it no harm."

First, laid as eggs, and after they hatch...
they see that their life's just beginning.
Once time as a caterpillar comes to an end,
they find a quiet place and start spinning.

They metamorphose in a magic cocoon....
then emerge like flowers in spring.
Hence sharing their secrets of beauty and wonder...
through their glorious colourful wings.

The gold in their wings is the right path through life
To follow will mean good fortune.
The blue is the shade of the sea and the sky,
Always there to nurture and care.

The green at the tip is the power of nature,
that will ensure you grow healthy and strong.
The silver is the lining in the clouds of hope...
that you must look for as you follow life along.

Butterflies bend with the wind, it's true.
Still they get where they want to go.
They arrive by persistence through their own insistence...
A lesson more people should know.

Sought and valued by the whole human race...
For their beauty, tenacity and charm.
If a butterfly chances to stay at your sleeve...
remember,
learn all you can from this wonder of nature
And you too, may live life as a dream.

Author Unknown, adapted by Rose :)


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

Rose, that is beautiful. It is full of meaning and symbolism. It's rich and deep. I can't help but think of all the things you have gone through and how you are sharing your secrets and emerging to show your wings.

 

Thank you for sharing this with me. I'm going to keep a copy of it.

 

Get some rest and I'll talk with you soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

I'm delighted that you enjoyed 'my' poem. I love writing poetry. I wish I'd had more time to use more colors. Maybe my weekend project, then you could paste them in!!

I have had 2 shifts back to back which have left me feeling pretty useless and extremely insecure. I try so hard, work so hard, push myself beyond my limit, but it still doesn't make me feel like I've done a good job. I'm OK until I come to hand over to the afternoon staff, then all I can think about (as I'm telling them) is all the things I haven't done bc of time and dynamics, and not the things that I have achieved. I see my successor writing a list of 'To Dos', and I feel bad that I didn't do all those things. But I know care is continuous.

I feel paranoid again, think they think negatively of me (I'm certain they do), will be discussing my this evening. I have trouble expressing myself fluently, have 'fibro fog', can't think of the right words, go blank when I'm trying to give report, panic setting in inside my head, even when I have a crib-sheet. I walked back to my car being glad that I would be on my own, not to have to see anyone for 3 days if I choose not to, just make my life easy for myself, until the next time. Then I will feel like that again, and the cycle will go on. I wonder what am I to do?

My psych said it was too early for me, that I wouldn't cope, that it would make me feel like I'd failed (not those words exactly). I'm counting down the weeks until my contract finishes (Jan '12)

K tells me I'm like an anorexic. My view of myself is distorted.

You mentioned a few days ago that it'd be good to work on my self esteem. Please could you help me. How can I change the way I see myself?

I've missed you, too undone to write yesterday.

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

Hello Rose!

 

I have to agree with K, the view you have of yourself is incorrect. K and I both see you as a person who is kind, thoughtful, smart, and resourceful. But this is not how you feel about yourself.

 

Low self esteem, or who you feel you are, is the main question here. What is your view of yourself? Who is Rose? Understanding how you see yourself is an important first step. You cannot confront the false image of yourself if you don't know how you see yourself. Try listing your attributes. What words describe you? Let me know what you come up with. Whatever it is, it is something we can use to work on your self esteem.

 

You did not get this way by yourself. You are not born feeling bad about yourself or your abilities. You were taught to feel this way. After talking about your childhood recently, I understand where you got these feelings from. But understanding that the messages you got as a child are about your parents and not about you can help you build your self esteem as well.

 

This is an issue that needs to progress slowly. It's a great time to work on this and I'm glad you mentioned it. It's a pivotal part of your recovery and I think once you work through this, you will find that many issues fall into place.

 

Kate

 

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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, my friend,

Thank you. I wish I could think to list my attributes (positive and negative??) but I am too tired. I wish I had my daughters energy!

I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend, home time, alone time, think time. I will write tomorrow.

Have a good Friday evening. What are your temperatures like in Philadelphia? K says it's 100f+ in Colorado. I can't imagine that. We're lucky if we hit 70!

I always feel better after talking with you. You are very special. Such wise and clever words.
Isn't it odd that DR's and my self esteem are Poles apart?!

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

You're welcome, Rose. I'm glad to know that you feel better. I'm here for you.

 

Discussing how you think of yourself can wait until you feel up to it. Get some much needed rest and we'll talk when you are ready.

 

It sounds like you have a very nice weekend planned. I hope you have time to pamper yourself a bit.

 

It's been hot all over the U.S. for weeks now. Kind of scary. It's usually not this hot. I'm praying for Fall to be early and chilly!

 

It's interesting what you said about your self esteem compared to DR's. I like that. If your game, let's tackle that insight!

 

Have a good night and take care,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

Thank you. I am game! (I like that!!)

Well my day hasn't been the quiet one I had planned, and I had an awkward visit from M this am. DR chatted a while then went for a shower but M didn't go. He wanted to tell me that he will be leaving his wife, and that when he does, she will be telling DR that it is bc of me. She is convinced that he is seeing me (absolutely not), and I am behind his need to leave. I suppose I am in a round-about way, but I won't be held responsible. She has been going through his pockets looking for receipts- found one for 2 lots of fish and chips, and wrongly assumed it was for he and I. I've been thinking that I need to ask M to tell DR before the event so that he knows to expect it, and that her accusations are unfounded. I also think I need to have a conversation with DR soon before things get to a head. He thinks I'm in my own room temporarily until I feel better about things, despite me mentioning a trial separation on 2 occasions in recent months, but I don't intend to go back to the marital bed.

My other concern, apart from the whole village thinking that I have been responsible for splitting up a perfectly good marriage and family of 3 children by being the object of a man's desires, is the children. Poppy is thick with 2 of M's children who are closer to their mother than to M, and I can imagine the gossiping that goes on between them. I worry about my relationship with Poppy, which is pretty sound, but if she thinks that I have messed up their family (that is so dreadful, I just couldn't do that) I don't know where her loyalty will lie.


M is concerning me. He said that he will do everything he can to have me one day. He isn't too happy, but I need to tell him that I don't have the same plan. Yes I want to be free of DR, and M is lovely in so many ways, it's just not what I want or need- He sees us living together- I see possibly a relationship, but nothing more. I have tried so carefully so many times to let him down gently, it just doesn't seem to stay there. I hope he isn't leaving his wife bc he knows that is what I plan to do. He sees his own counselor on Monday so I think I'll try to text him before he sees her to say not to hold out all hope of us getting together. He then wants a 'chat' on Monday (I thought we'd done that today...) and I'm starting to worry about it's purpose.

OK, so we have some self esteem issues to tackle, but in case I fall asleep while thinking about my attributes, I will send this off now. I am waiting on 2 phone calls, Sam from work, Poppy from a friends house. DR is at a cider festival where he has been accompanying a blues band with his African djembe (odd mix?), no doubt sinking the cider, AND planning on driving home. I'm glad of the peace. So maybe I'll pop back in later, otherwise it'll be tomorrow, which is your DAY OFF...

Hope you are having a good Saturday. How many are there in Your Bunch?

Rose

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

Hi Rose!

 

That sounds like quite a complicated situation with M. Is he aware he is putting you in such a position? He does need to do some work to help you out on this one. M talking to DR may or may not help, depending on how you feel DR would react. But knowing ahead of time is important. A family meeting with your kids may also be a good idea. They need to hear this situation from you first, before anyone else has the chance to set an idea in their minds. It's harder to change an idea once it is there so talking to them first will help them know your version first when the subject comes up. And it gives them a chance to ask questions. It also tells them you are honest and you trust them, both good things when dealing with something like this.

 

Also, it would be a good idea for M to take a break with you. The less contact, the better. His persistence is only making your situation worse. At this point, he needs to think of you and not his own feelings about this. He may want to think about backing off a while until he settles from his divorce and you have a chance to work through your marriage. It usually turns out bad when someone leaves one relationship and immediately starts another. Most of those relationships do not survive because of all the unresolved feelings from the previous relationships.

 

I'm glad you are game regarding your self esteem compared to DR's. I found the comparison interesting because I don't perceive DR's self esteem to be high, in a good way that is. It is high in a self centered sort of way, and that is not the definition of good self esteem.

 

The definition of self esteem is a person's view of themselves. Healthy self esteem is when a person as a mixture of feeling worthy, confident, compassionate, respect for one's self and for others, and involves integrity. It is being ok with putting others before yourself, with the knowledge that you are not a lesser person for it. You feel you are a valuable person without putting yourself on a higher plane than others. You don't need to criticize or belittle to feel good.

 

Using that description of self esteem, how do you feel about your own self esteem? How about DR's?

 

I hope DR is ok on his drive home.

 

My bunch is three kids and a husband. Plenty to handle to be sure! My kids are a little younger than yours, but I still find the experience useful because it helps me to understand a bit more about how it is to handle the stress you have to deal with and how your kids may respond.

 

I'll be here tonight and tomorrow so whenever you are up to talking again, I'll be here.

 

Have a good night,

 

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
Ah Kate, you are so brilliant.

I will talk to the kids. I think that is of utmost importance. I mustn't sit on this. I will think about how to deal with DR. I have asked M many times to back off, to stop thinking about me, to keep his thoughts within his 4 walls. I don't want him like he wants me, I have NO feelings for him at the moment, I am quite straight about that, there is too much going on in my head for unnecessary thoughts. I completely agree, I want that break from him, but he is always here, legitimately, for business purposes (though he and Dave are having a break from each other as you know!)

He actually came to see me this morning, Dave was aware that he seemed disappointed to find him at home. He talked for a long while after Dave had gone for his shower, and was still here afterwards. Dave, therefore, wanted to know what that was all about, and I just said that he wanted to talk about things at home, that he feels that he can tell me all. I need to lay clearer boundaries with him (M), and although I believe he is thinking about the impact of all this on me, he just can't seem to draw the line.

I will leave self esteem for tomorrow, (but you need your Sunday with 3 kids and a lovely hubbie- thank you for sharing with me :) ) Now I know the real definition of self esteem, that sheds a different light on the position of the Poles!!

Nite nite

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

Rose,

 

It does seem that M is not willing to see that you need those boundaries. I am wondering if he is just so much in love and not seeing this as clearly. But you are dealing with this well (like you need another stressor right now, right?!). Maybe leaving when he comes to see Dave will help? That would be inconvenient, but for a while it might help.

 

No problem, we can chat tomorrow. I'm very interested in your thoughts! Don't worry about my Sundays. I enjoy our time together.

 

Good night, Rose. Sweet dreams!

 

Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Kate,

Happy Day Off!!

I have thought long long long about this list, changing it up and down, trying to be comprehensive. I was so glad to have your definition to work from. I have many adjectives, but how does it work with how I feel others see me? I think there would be a completely different list to the ones I know are me.


Me: Positive: Consistent, Compassionate, Integrity, Committed,
Conscientious, Understanding, Reliable, Resourceful, Responsible
Creative, Socially Conscious, Genuine/Sincere, Sensitive
Respectful, Tolerant, Intuitive, Diplomatic, Dependable, Perceptive
Caring/Loving.

Negative: Fragile, Follower, Quiet/introverted, Unassertive, Unsociable, Unconfident, Self-sacrificing, Inarticulate, Insecure
Uninteresting, Modest, Unpersonable

Dave: Positive: Helpful (when suits), Sense of humour, Outgoing
Broadminded,Sociable, Creative, Enthusiastic, Articulate, Passionate
Easy going, Imaginative, Fun loving, Confident

Negative: Lacks social consciousness, Insensitive, Selfish/centred,
Unorganised, Reliant, Domineering, Lacks integrity, Lacks compassion
Controversial, Changeable, Unreliable, ? ↓self respect?, Critical.

I assumed that self esteem was purely how one saw oneself.Dave's list for himself will be different to my list, and his for me.

I look forward to hearing your analysis!.

Poor Poppy has had her first real experience of dysmenorrhea today, she is in a sorry state. Being a nursey mummy today. :)
I have spoken to Sam about M, and he thinks it's ridiculous. I was hoping to talk to Poppy too, but she's not up to it today; she spent the morning with M's daughter til she became unwell. I will meet with M tomorrow, or maybe just text him if I can't bear a meeting, and tell him to back right away. I have spent a year trying to avoid him when he's come here, things got better for a while, but he seems to have forgotten and is just thinking about himself again. Yes, this is truly a big stressor, and one that needs to go away fast. Thank you for your understanding.

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

Rose,

 

Your lists are fascinating. I can see how you view yourself and the characteristics that are offsetting themselves. For example, you see yourself as fragile, yet you are also resourceful. Being resourceful is not an easy task. You need to come up with creative ideas and actions that fit a complex situation. That speaks of strength, not fragility. So how do you mix the two? How does that work in your thoughts and feelings about yourself? You may not feel that such a strength is worthy of praise from others.

 

I see that you listed so many positive traits for yourself. You are all those things to be sure. Realizing that they are all true of you is one step and letting yourself feel them is another. How do you feel about picking one trait for a day and "wearing" it all day? Be Rose the creative person for a day, for example. In what ways to do you find yourself expressing your creative side? As you go through the day, notice your creativity. Then praise yourself for it. It is a wonderful trait to have that you express in a unique way that is about you and no one else.

 

There is nothing wrong with your negative traits. What you need is a balance in your life between positive and negative traits. If a person was all positive traits, then that person would be unbalanced. They would not be real with who they are. The issue here is the importance you give your negative traits. Being a non social person is actually a good trait. If everyone was outgoing, this world would not be an easy place to live. We need different people to make society interesting. And not everyone expresses themselves well verbally. It is what makes good writers, thinkers and other people we need in our lives.

 

The trick for you, Rose, is to stop magnifying your "negative" traits and start seeing them as good. The gap between your listed traits needs to move closer to each other. For example, instead of seeing yourself as uninteresting, see yourself as interesting to some and not to others. No one can be interesting to everyone. There are always going to be people drawn to you and others who are not. It is the same for all people. The quality of those relationships are key as well. If someone who is outgoing attracts a lot of attention, how much quality is in that attention? Some people are just attracted by the noise the person makes. Some just want to be where the action is. Others are truly interested in the person. But if someone is attracted to a quiet person, then they are there to find out more about that person. They look deeper beyond the quiet for a person of value. That weeds out the people there for false reasons and brings people of quality.

 

What do you feel so far about this?

 

I am interested as well in your listing for Dave. But because I want to focus on you first, I hope it's ok if we leave Dave for next time.

 

I am sorry to hear about Poppy. My daughters have experienced similar troubles with my youngest just going through it herself. I think the teen years seem the hardest with girls cycles. The hormones and the ups and downs take a toll and make it all the more difficult. I hope she feels better soon.

 

Let me know what happens with M. That is quite a situation and not an easy one to cope with.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
Wow Kate, you talk clever stuff!!

I will inwardly digest and talk more. I feel all my positive traits are very 'good girly,' not that I don't think they are worth having, for sure. And my negative attributes are very much bc I have had to do as I'm told, I have felt there has been little room for me to develop as Me- being seen and not heard, impeccably behaved, not wanting to be told off, and I wonder about a strict Convent Education. But you're right, they aren't harmful neg traits, only to me, not to others, I could think of some I would rather not have/be, and we all need them, no-one is perfect. I like your idea of concentrating on one attribute for a day and making the most of it, I use many of my list when I'm at work with my patients.

I will think more on it tomorrow, and let you enjoy your Sunday.

Thanks for your feedback, appreciated as always. And Thanks for your best wishes to Poppy, she had a good sleep and feels better now. You have 3 lucky children to have such a lovely mummy.

M......mmmm! Will let you know.

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

Rose,

You have good insight into yourself. I can see how you would feel your traits are girly because of what you were taught about yourself. But when I read about them, I thought of you as strong and independent. Those are the traits of a warrior, someone who has been through a lot and survived. But you know, it would not be bad if you decided to rebel a bit against some of those traits. Shake things up a bit. Try not being responsible for one day. Or try not being there for everyone. You have kids so some things you will need to do for them. And they need to understand what you are doing is not about them but for yourself. But otherwise, be irresponsible Rose for a day. Do the unexpected and let loose.

Now that may be confusing from what I suggested before. But focusing on seeing yourself from a different point of view is good, whatever that view may be. However you approach that, by trying on a trait for a day or rebeling for a day, it changes your perspective. You don't have to see these traits as permanent. Sometimes Rose wants to be reliable and sometimes she wants to be silly and forget her schedule. Putting yourself first when you need to and being in touch with yourself is part of good self esteem.

 

I'm glad to hear Poppy is feeling better. I bet it's very reassuring to her to have a mom who is a nurse!

 

I'll be checking in later tonight. Until I talk with you again, take care.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

Thank you for your last post re my self- esteem. I will fill you in on the M situation before I go back to that, and see how I get on. I am working an am shift tomorrow and am feeling anxious for several reasons; I feel unwell today and don’t know how I’ll manage feeling like this tomorrow, I haven’t been sleeping, my pain meds are making me feel drowsy, my head is fuzzed up, I’m feeling overwhelmed with thoughts, I have therapy tomorrow evening, the kids to think about, AS WELL AS a day at work, and my usual insecurities to deal with. I just want to stop the world and get off, I’m in the biggest spin. Dave is swanning about today, not working, probably in the pub as I write, but that is nothing to be surprised about. If so, then I will have to do the fetching and carrying tonight (again nothing new), but it’s all too much for me tonight. I’ve just had a heavily caffeinated cup of coffee to try and see me through!!

Dave has no responsibilities. Now I’m working too he has less reason to work hard, he knows that I will and I will pay the bills.

I’ll have to come back later. Sorry

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

Rose,

 

I understand. It sounds like the last post meant something to you. You feel very overwhelmed. Suggesting that you not be responsible for a period of time made you feel upset. I can see why. Dave dumps on you and you feel........what about it? I can see you are feel strongly about it and I'm wondering what words you would use to describe your feelings.

 

We will work this out, Rose. I know you are going through a tough time. Let me know when you feel up to talking. I can wait.

 

Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate, thank you. I really want to rebel, not be responsible. I will choose my day carefully when things don't matter too much.

It's just so unfair. After my meeting with M this morning I felt securer staying here and living in my little room, coping as before. But now it's 10.30 and I've just got back from 2 trips out to fetch and carry, Dave having arrived home at 8pm as if everything was AOK, but had too much to drink to help me with the children. So after eating his tepid roast dinner on his own, he sprawls in front of the tele. Never an apology for anything. I feel screwed up, he thinks he's being supportive. He doesn't get it.

I feel enslaved, trapped, unappreciated, he treats home like a hotel and I wear many hats- he doesn't even pay for board and lodgings. I am trying to withdraw from my 'duties' to Dave, I didn't make his bed (he did after 4 nights with no sheets) I'm ignoring his room as much as possible, I'm not reminding him about his appointments and post he needs to be responsible for. Being self-employed is no good for him, he is not driven. It was drizzling this morning for about an hour, so he decides he can't work.

More tomorrow I hope, must sleep (or try)

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

Rose,

 

You're welcome. Anytime that I can be there for you.

 

It is good to hear you be angry. It is good to hear you stand up and say no. This is healthy and it is right. Dave is using you and putting his feelings on you, imposing on you. He is not helping and he is not supportive. You have a right to feel upset and overwhelmed because of his actions.

 

But you are not trapped. You are starting to flex your muscles and therefore your options. Not doing up his bed, not informing him of appointments or any other "duties" you accepted in the past is good. You are changing and it's a positive change.

 

Saying no needs to happen more in your life. This is where the overwhelmed, trapped and unappreciated Rose comes in. You are accepting those feelings because that is how you got attention in the past. You were the good girl. If I do this for you, you will like me and care about me. It's a coping mechanism. A good one to get you through childhood but it's not working for you now. It doesn't work with Dave, for sure. He is not providing you with what you need.

 

Good for you, Rose. I'm so happy for you. This is a good sign and a very good step up to getting what you want out of your life.

 

Have a good night and be good to yourself. I'll talk with you when you feel ready.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 hate not writing to you for a day. There is an empty space. I wish I had the mental energy to keep up the momentum.

It's a bit waffly today, hope you can make some sense. :)

I haven't forgotten about M. But not today. Yesterday was a hectic day at work and took a heavy toll on me, I slept awhile when I got home so that I might be clear headed for K. Poppy had been home alone since Dave went off in the morning, I assumed to work, but she slept in late and was fine when I got home.

I got up and cooked and sorted in time for my tx session, wondering where Dave was- he usually comes home before going out again on a Tues- and left his dinner in the oven for him. I'm always super anxious when I have my tx and he is in the house, he has only recently learnt that I have these sessions, and eves-drops. I shut myself away in Sam's room which is apart from the house so that I wouldn't be disturbed when he came home. He arrived home at 11.30, came down to my room, and told me that he'd been at a folk festival all day, driven there and back (hooray, he could drink!!), but had to drive his van home from where-ever it was. No written message, no phonecall, didn't wake Poppy to tell her, nothing. He won't carry a mobile, therefore not contactable. I don't care, I just can't believe him sometimes. He came in to my room and expected me to be full of excitement for him. He gave me a kiss, expected one in return 'kiss me like you mean it!' I said I don't mean it, and asked him to go away.

Talking responsibilities, he has absolutely none, only to himself, but then only when it suits him. He is a diabetic...no, he shouldn't be drinking.....say no more.

I'm sorry Kate, I feel like I'm having a moan. I want to say how I feel to be continually dumped on by Dave. I am angry. I have spent years of being angry and not showing it, internalizing it. I feel it in my chest, my throat and my stomach. It causes me pain. I have not accepted that I can do anything to feel better, that I must just grin and bear it. I feel I must work hard to do my very best for the children, (he won't) make sure they are happy, fulfilled, have friends, do the things that they WANT to do with their free time, have experiences, feel confident, build their self esteem, help them with their studies so that they can reach their potential, give them a sense of achievement. I do all this for them, and Dave sits and watches the tele or goes out. He gives them a hard time (especially Sam) for his little ideosyncracies, (he has mild tourettes as well as dyspraxia), oh the slanging matches, you can't imagine. I have felt guilty to let them happen around me, too weak with words to have any effect, feeling it's better not to add another dimension, but to talk quietly to the children when he has left the room. I might try to have a conversation with Dave about it when things have quietened down, but only for it to be repeated at the next evening mealtime, the only time we are all together.

Where am I going, what am I trying to say? Only that there have been so many years of repression, supression, denial (that things were not good in my marriage), forgetting about myself, my needs, focusing so wholly on my children, (esp Sam because his needs have always been greater) and our environment. I was desperate to give the children a better childhood than I had experienced. I didn't ask Dave to help me out much bc he would only do a half-hearted job, wouldn't bother to read a bed-time story, leave them unhappy in bed, too impatient to help them settle. I found it difficult to trust him with them when they were small bc he wouldn't be observant enough, I didn't feel completely safe.
When Sam was 18 months old I was working a night shift. At 7.30 am I had a phonecall from Dave just as I was about to leave work. Sam was screaming full volume in the background, it was hard to think straight. Sam had pulled a full cup of black tea, just poured from the kettle, over him. Dave wanted me to tell him what to do. I told him to go immediately next door to my sister-in-law who I could trust to do the right thing, and to get brought into A&E and I would meet them there. On reaching next door, Karen wanted to do 1st aid with cold water, but Dave said he'd already done this. (He had only dabbed it with a damp flannel).In A&E, having had no first aid for 30 mins, the damage was done. He was stripped of his pyjama top and vest, and cold water applied, given morphine for the pain, and referred to the plastic surgeons. We spent 3 days in hospital, Sam and I. He needed several general anaesthetics for dressing changes over the next few weeks, and months and months of continuing care to try to reduce the eventual scarring. His face and neck have healed without trace. He has a faint scar which follows the line of the neckline of his vest, and a large area of thick purple keloid scarring on the left side of his chest. I spent many hours with him at the hospital, at home changing his dressings that he wanted to tear off, massaging his scarring to reduce it's lasting effects. I'm so glad Sam isn't unhappy about his scars.

I just felt that I had to be there for the children all the time (but I still had to work), that I couldn't trust Dave to get things right, to care for them well enough, worried that he didn't know first aid (sent him on a resus session) that Sam's scarring would have been minimized with the correct first aid. So I took on as much of the responsibility of the children as I could. Enough things have happened bc of his carelessness, and he doesn't take the blame.

Phew. Sorry, I'm all in a muddle. I'll send this and take a breath. Catch you later.

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I think I wanted to add that I was feeling more and more bogged down with being responsible for the children and ensuring their wellbeing and happiness to the best of my ability, and Dave seemed to be taking on less and less of the share in things, spending hours in front of the tele while I would be going from one child to the other, supervising Sam with all his studies bc he needed organising every step of the way, music practices (they both play an instrument to a high standard) and Dave wasn't capable of helping out. He is NOT academic, can't read music, has no patience with the children, even to listen to them read, not even to ask them spellings... NOTHING. So it was slowly sending me mad, as well as putting up with all his drinking and abusive behaviour, doing all the driving when he was banned,.......................................................................................................................
..........................................................STOP,
......................................................................I have to stop somewhere.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

I feel a great need to see you face to face right now. I can feel your anguish, your pain and your exhaustion and I want to comfort you and talk to you. You have suffered a great deal at the hands of Dave, who thinks of himself only and leaves you to care for him as if he is a grown child, always just out of your control. I am so sorry about what happened to Sam. You care very deeply for your son and your daughter, I can tell. And to have to do what Dave should have been doing had to be heart wrenching. It is unsettling that Dave did not show any guilt or regret and did not sit with you and Sam through Sam's recovery. To leave your child like that when he has been hurt so badly is amazingly self centered.

 

You have been a single parent the entire time you have had children. In addition to caring for your kids, you have had to deal with Dave's behavior which is out of control. He is needy of you, invasive and leaves you to worry about his self destructive behavior. You have enormous stress on you. No wonder you feel the need to escape.

 

Being angry is a good emotional response to this situation. Your description of Dave's attributes a few posts ago is very parallel with his actions. He is all of those things. But most of all, he is hurtful to you.

 

Dave has choices. He could be responsible. He could sit with the children and help them with their homework. He could be reliable to you. He could care for himself because it is important to you and the kids. He should be there to help you. He should be a good provider. All of those things are expected from a husband and father. You have a right to expect them. You have a right to boundaries. You have a right to have a good marriage with a partner who you can love and respect.

 

You could have gone on more about how you felt in your last post. There is so much you have lived with and kept inside that it pours out when you have a chance to tell it. That means you have been through too much, a trauma if you will. Abuse is always a trauma. You may have PTSD from your marriage. You have mentioned that before. No one deserves this kind of treatment.

 

Let's try something----

 

If you could do anything without consequences, how would you live? What would you do about your marriage, Dave and all the other troubles this has brought you?

 

What do you think?

 

Take your time. When you are ready to talk again, I'll be here.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

Thank you so much. I want to see you too, talk to you. But you are giving me so much care and support I am forever grateful.

I have given up with Dave years ago. I have stopped asking for support, for things to be done, he won't do anything off his own back, so anything I ask for is deemed to be nagging. I'd rather not ask than be told I'm forever having a go. I'd rather he went to the pub than be told I'm a killjoy for asking him to limit it. There is just no point. I have had enough.

After the scalding episode, after the sex abuse at the CM, I decided that I had to be there for my children. I gave up a job in Recovery that I loved, and joined the Nurse Bank. I still had to work, I wish I could have been a stay at home Mum. Mine was the only stable income, Dave's work was on and off. He refused to get a job that would be regular and on the books, he liked being self employed too much, coming and going as he pleased, expecting me to keep the books and do the banking and invoices. I worked 2 night shifts a week, apart so that I didn't need a day in bed between them. When Poppy was very small I would sleep when she did, go to bed early; as she got bigger I'd sleep while she was a pre-school. I was able to put them to bed at night and make sure they were settled, be there for them almost as they woke up in the morning. This suited Dave, it just meant that he had to drink at home, be in for a couple of nights a week. I know this doesn't sound ideal, knowing that he was drinking at home, but I believe he took more care. I carried on with the night shifts once they were both at school, until 4 years ago when I could stand it no more, and I left nursing to work with Alexis, the disabled girl I still see once a week. I have had to retrain to re-register, but I'm there now, and really struggling.

Sometimes I'm not sure why I want to tell you something, but I suppose it's all part of the bigger picture, a few more missing links.

Thank you for the 'without consequences' exercise. I will look forward to thinking about it at the weekend.

Today I'm not doing too good. I have been in control of my cutting needs lately, and I thank you for that. But I had to drag the blade from my arm this evening, the thoughts of going to work tomorrow the only thing that stopped me. I haven't cut my arms before. I will not be able to work if I have obvious self harm marks. I am afraid that I won't be able to stop myself one day, and then I will need some lies.

Dave still not home. I see K in an hour.

Kate, I am blessed, thank you.

Rose

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate, sorry. I don't like it when it says it's open to all experts. I'm sure I needn't worry. :)
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Thank you for telling me about your experiences with Dave. That was good information. It does fill in the blanks and helps me understand your situation better.

 

I am sorry you are feeling bad. I think it has to do with the work you are doing with me and with K. This is painful and difficult to deal with. It brings up so many feelings that you have worked on repressing for a long time now. You had to repress them, otherwise they would be too hard to handle. But now you are pushing to recover. The cutting is a release, a way to let out some of the stress you have no other place for. I am sure you are familiar with the why but I think it ties in a lot with your efforts to push through this pain and recover. You are facing the abuse of your marriage, your painful and lonely childhood and the overwhelming reality of your present situation. That is no easy task but you are willing to push your way through. You have enough strength to want to get better, when it would be easier to hide and keep going the way it is. No stress, no having to face the pain.

 

What works for you when you feel like you are going to cut yourself? What kind of talk goes on in your mind? How do you feel? I would like to help you if it's ok with you. I know you probably work with K on this so if you don't need more input, I am ok with it.

 

I hope your session goes well with K. Take care and I hope you get a chance to have some down time tonight.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry about that. I know the question bounces to the queue when you respond. But only the experts see it. They ignore it when it has my name in front of it.

 

If you feel more comfortable, you can contact the moderators to see how you can make your posts private. It will not show up on the queue but come to my email instead. Let me know if you want to do it this way so I can be sure to catch your posts.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

Thank you. I feel very bad about the cutting. K tries to talk about it sometimes, but knows not to now bc I shut down and can't talk, and that ends the session. I am embarrassed. I feel I shouldn't do such things. I know I need to work on it, I will be grateful of your help.
I had a light session with K tonight, she is very wise.
No down-time, but time for sleep.
:) 0 Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Then I feel honored that you are willing to share with me about your cutting. I understand your feeling embarrassed and that this is a big risk for you. And I respect that. As always, whatever pace you want to take with this is fine.

 

No down time sucks. Sorry, that is not very therapeutic, but I do understand that very well!

 

I hope you have a good nights sleep. Take care, Rose.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Good morning Kate!

I wo'nt hide anything from you, it is different writing than speaking. It is a pleasure to share with you, and I am honoured to have your care and attention. I know you will not judge me, but never-the-less I feel a lesser person because of it. I will wait a while before I try to tackle this. Thank you for your patience.

A few moments to spare before I get ready for work. A late shift, 12.30-8pm. How I will get through, God only knows. I trust he will give me the strength I need,....too, caffeine, carbs and adrenaline!!

I promised to fill you in on the M meeting. He met me in town, our side, where villagers go for their shopping. I was afraid of being seen with him, but he insisted on accompanying me to the bank, the chemist and the grocery store. I suggested we got a take out coffee and went where we would be away from eyes and noses! We went out of town and sat in my car and talked for a very long time. He told me that he couldn't stay in his marriage after having me in his head for so long, that I was the only person that he would want to be with in the future, and that he would do everything he could to have me, with the children, or once they had gone on their way.

He asked me how I felt about him, whether I had feelings for him. I was quite straight and said that I certainly had feelings for him a while ago, but I had separated myself from those feelings so that I could cope with what I had to in my life, that they may still be there if I wanted to find them again, but I couldn't be certain, and I made no promises. He was worried that he had hurt or upset me for all the times that he had pressed his feelings on me, aware that I had gone to ground, that I had been trying to keep out of his way, that I felt awkward alone in his company. Whenever he came by he would never spare me any feelings, or details of his own problems, sharing only with me and his own counselor.

I feel that my down turn came soon after my feelings had been muddled by his attentions, so he is right to assume that he has a part to play in my troubles, though not in a bad way, as I may still be stuck in the cyclone of my marriage with no get-out clause. I think he feels the same in his own marriage. However, he is not prepared to let me go, and I have to be firm with him to leave me be for as long as it takes, maybe forever, though I couldn't tell him that on Monday. He cried for his sadnesses, and made me feel that I alone would make him happy. I feel I will let him down, and am scared now of what will be if I go. I feel secure in my little room where M can't get to me, but vulnerable bc Dave is starting to get impatient with me for staying away from him. I feel I want to tell him more, but K isn't sure I should just yet, especially as M and his wife will soon part, and my 'role' will be made plain for Dave to see.

M got some travel brochures while he was waiting for me in the bank. He said he wanted some time away and that he wanted me there too. I said I need time away too, but I couldn't go with him. We both agreed that we should do our best to stay away from each other, and I was very glad.

I think his and Dave's business partnership will soon end, and as Dave has been carried for so long by M, who has been in control of all the pricing and invoicing, most phone calls and face to face discussions, and he is much more skilled than Dave, he will have trouble continuing with any self employed business. That is another huge concern for me now, and one that Dave is oblivious to at the moment.

I am beginning to crumble, so must pull myself together for my shift.

Thank you for all your time and input.

Hope your day is good,

Rose





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

Rose,

 

That was quite a conversation you had with M. It seemed to me to make some things clearer yet some things more difficult. You both seemed to agree that staying away from each other was a good idea but in deciding that, you feel somewhat responsible for M's feelings about this whole thing. There is a lot of emotion in your relationship and a lot of unresolved feelings.

 

It seems that M is willing to respect your feelings but can't help putting out some of his own onto you, a slight manipulation if you will. It's probably has more to do with his highly emotional state right now and the belief that a relationship between the two of you will make his sorrow go away, than him just trying to control you. He keeps trying to connect with you and is presenting ideas such as going away together as a way to try to further your relationship.You are the one who is keeping the relationship in the neutral area until M sorts his marriage out and you find your way to what you want to do with your marriage. This is not an easy situation and I have to say you handle it better than most people would. It would be quite tempting to leave your marriage and Dave behind and find happiness with M. But I think your insight lets you see that it would not all be a fairytale ending. You are facing your problems instead and dealing with reality. It's a very healthy way to deal with this.

 

But the other side that concerns me is whether or not you feel worthy of M's attention. You mentioned not being sure you have any feelings for M anymore. That makes a lot of sense. But I wanted to take a peek beneath the surface just a bit. Do you feel that someone like M, who is healthier emotionally than Dave is from what I can tell, could love you and that you could be in a happy relationship instead? It does not necessarily have to be with M, either. With anyone is ok. We talked about your ideal relationship before and I wonder if you feel it could ever come to be? What do you feel about this?

 

The another side of this is whether or not you feel put upon because you are being the rational, responsible one in your relationship with M. It is a role you need to play often, especially with Dave. It seems to fall to you in your relationships to control your feelings and be responsible. How do you feel about that?

 

You mentioned that you and K have talked about when to mention this relationship with M to him. How do you feel about waiting? What do you feel would be a good time? Have you thought about what you might say? We talked about this before, but it's been a bit of time so you may have changed your mind some about it, especially since you have talked to M since then.

 

I am sorry to hear that M may be ending his partnership with Dave. That is a big change, especially for you. You have not been able to depend on Dave to bring in a steady income for the family so the burden has been on you. I can understand your concern. This is another stressor on your marriage and on you. What are your expectations of Dave once he learns of what M is planning to do?

 

I hope your work day is going fast. The 12 pm shift is hard, it seems like it goes on forever and it breaks up your day a lot. Do you have a day off tomorrow?

 

I will check back in throughout the day and evening so if you write I will be here.

 

Talk to you soon, Rose.

 

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 so much Kate for all your thoughts, you have been very thorough and insightful. I will think more on this tomorrow.
I have a day off tomorrow, but back on pm shift on Sunday. I must get some down-time in tomorrow.
I wanted to tell you that I had a good, though exhausting shift, and I didn't have any of my insecurities. Before I tell you how I feel now I'm home, can you help me to know what is the right way to feel.....
Money is tight. I made a loaf of bread this morning, too late for Dave to make sandwiches, but he always comes home for lunch. I made sandwiches for my break at work. I don't spend money in the canteen. I didn't leave a prepared meal for Dave and Poppy, (like I have so many times) but made suggestions to her for their supper. He is quite capable, there is plenty of food in the cupboard. I am trying not to be so responsible(!!!!) Dave bought lunch out. I find the kitchen in a mess, and that he had taken Poppy 10 miles to the nearest town for a carry out. Never does he suggest a carry out to give me a night off.
Now he is out again, usual place.
Am I still being too responsible??
Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Tonight I was angry, upset, Dave not here to release my feelings at. I don't know how I should have felt, what would have been a good way to feel? I just had that unbearable feeling in my stomach, tension, nausea, tears welling, a fury that I buried, .............that leads to........ cutting....................

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

No, you are not. You are being responsible enough and what you did was a good balance. You took care of Poppy (your first priority) and made sure she knew what to do. She is old enough to take care of that much herself. Dave, on the other hand, is not helping. Though it is good he fed Poppy, he should at least respect your directions enough to follow them. You run the house and you deserve that respect. The fact that you made bread on a day you had to work and deal with other responsibilities is more than good enough. Dave needs to respect what you did.

 

He is also not caring for you. He wants love and attention from you and wants to know your business. But he does not show respect or love to you in return. Noticing that you could use a night off from making dinner or that he could even make it himself would show that he cares. You are seeing this situation correctly.

 

I just got your second post. You are taking this all in and making it about you. It is not about you. It is about Dave and his behavior. Being angry and feeling sick inside is probably because being treated like this reminds you of how you were treated as a child. It confirms, to you, that you are not worthy. That is an old message. And it is not true. That message is about your mother and about Dave. People who are damaged emotionally usually have trouble facing their own demons so they put it out on those they feel will accept it. You are open to that now. But that is changing. You are working on blocking that message by building your self esteem. The more you work on yourself, the better you are able to put those feelings back on Dave and make it about him, where it belongs.

 

Is there a way for you to express how you feel right now? Can you write, yell and scream in a pillow or go somewhere?

 

How do you feel about telling Dave what you think of his behavior?

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
I am quiet in my room. I feel calmer. I will sleep soon with some medicinal help. I will try to speak to Dave about how I feel in the morning, but he won't accept my point of view. It's just that horrible feeling of unfairness, that I try so hard to make ends meet, he just does what he finds the easiest, no trouble, didn't think that maybe I need to eat when I get home, like I always think of him. Just feel like I've had enough, can't be bothered to fight him anymore, just want to go.

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

I understand, Rose. I imagine you feel that expressing your feelings to Dave is like talking to a brick wall. But telling him about how you feel is not so much about changing him or even getting a response out of him. It is for you. It lets you express your feelings to the appropriate person. This is so you don't take in his abuse, you let it out by telling him how you feel. It helps you from keeping it in and hurting yourself, gives you practice with putting your feelings where they should be and serves to tell Dave you are not happy with how he acts. He may not show he cares, but if you ever decide to leave, he cannot say he is surprised.

 

Don't give up, Rose. It feels like a mountain you have to climb, but really you are already half there. You are reaching out, sharing your feelings, and thinking through all your emotions. You are gaining insight and you see things you did not see before. You are growing and that butterfly will come out. She is preparing.

 

I hope you can get some sleep. You mentioned using medicine to help you. I wondered if you ever tried Melotonin? I'm sure as a nurse you know what it is, but I didn't know if you tried it. My sister is a nurse and she swears by it.

 

Take care Rose. As always, I'll check in as often as possible so if you need to talk, I can respond quickly.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
I want to tell him how I feel. He won't get it. I will want to say he needs to be more responsible in the house now that I'm working shifts, think a bit more of what he can do to help me out a bit, not expect it all to be handed to him on a plate. Not to run to the nearest take-away or pub for a meal if I'm not there to provide it. But why should I have to say it? I want to tell him, but I will be wasting my breath.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Yes, you may be wasting your breath, on him. But not for yourself. What you want to say is good. Tell him those things. Don't look for a positive reaction because you may not get one. But by telling him that you are not going to be handing him everything and you are too busy to cater to him, you let him know that you are not going to take his behavior. He may very well continue as he has, but somewhere inside of him he may start to get an idea that you are fed up and are going to change things. And this is about change, for you. Changing how you react to him forces him to change in some ways. If he ignores you, it won't work for him. Just like you did with changing his sheets. He eventually did it on his own. It may take 100 tries, but he may begin to understand. And standing your ground gives you self esteem, takes back some power for you and improves your outlook.

 

Good stuff, Rose!

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 comforted with your words. I am so grateful. Thank you.

I have some prescribed sedation, but I haven't tried Melotonin. Heard of it for sure, I will check it out.

Thank you again for your caring words. I am ready to put today to bed.
I will be fine, God Bless.

Goodnight

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome! Goodnight, Rose. Pleasant dreams.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Morning Kate,

A good and welcome sleep, but alas no dreams!

I am trying to rest today (K's orders!!). But my mind is not. I attempted to have that conversation this morning, and was met with the exact resistance I expected. I will see what happens when I work late tomorrow. Sam will be back from Paris tonight, I expect he will be asked to fix supper. We shall see. I feel this has been something quite petty to be upset about, but it really got me last night. Thank you so much for being there to talk me through.

I allowed some thought time on M while I was resting this morning. I know I have felt real love for him when we were first 'together', and I felt whole in his company. That was a very happy time for me, and for him, and we both have rebound depression bc of reality checks. I knew that the way we were spending time together had no future, and I made it stop. I thought very carefully of the impact of our actions on other people, and couldn't face the consequences of the potential upset to everyone.

When I saw M on Monday he wanted to know if we could be together one day. How can I tell? I didn't say no, I said maybe. I have been suppressing my feelings for him bc I didn't want more feelings to complicate my already muddled head. When he came by a few weeks ago, we talked a while. He wanted to hold my hand. I cried for some reason and he wanted to hold me. I felt such calm and peace in his embrace I allowed him to kiss me. I needed the feelings he gave me so much I didn't want to end them. I can love him again. I am just not letting it happen at the moment. I know M will love me, he hasn't stopped. I know I can be happy with someone who will love me. I have someone, but I don't know if he is the one for my future. We both want to move on, away, start life again in a different community, away from eyes and ears, memories.

I would give anything for a happy, ideal relationship, as I have talked about before, I am desperate for it to come to be. I can't stay with Dave, each day I am more certain about that, and that lump in my chest and throat gets bigger, heavier.

You ask if I feel worthy of his attentions. I think I find it hard to know how to manage them, it was a shock to learn of his admiration, and certainly flattering. I was thrown into a whirlpool of feelings that I hadn't felt for so long, and my spirits were soaring. But I had to think about others, be the 'good girl', and worried too much. M didn't seem to care about what it did to Dave, his wife. He just knew what he wanted, and went for it. I feel worthy of M's love bc he has made it so plain to me. It would kill him if I were to be with anyone else after we have got through, and I worry if my answer to him will be no. I won't have been given a chance to meet anyone else, and I may regret that, I won't know if I'm worthy of anyone else if M doesn't give me that chance.

I seem to put my happiness after others, by controlling my feelings to the extent of staying in this marriage, and not entering into a relationship with M, to talk of the present. Again, the 'good girl', play by the rules, do what is right, think of others, law abiding, parental displeasure. I know, lighten up, reality check.... It's exhausting being responsible, esp when things are crap.

I have decided, though my thoughts on this keep changing, that I won't mention anything to Dave. I have told Sam, and he thinks it's ridiculous. I still must speak to Poppy though. I asked M about it on Monday, and he said that T keeps trying to talk to the children about him and me, laying the blame, but they just block her, say they don't want to know, and walk away. The children's friendship seems undamaged at the moment, they are all camping together tonight, so I hope all will be well. I expect there has been some mention between Poppy and the younger daughter, and I will speak to her next week when I hope to have a day or two together with her. As for Dave, T may not say anything, it could be an empty threat, so I will leave it as it is at the moment. I want to 'drop' some more 'crumbs' in Dave's direction (he's not too bright you know!!) as to the direction our marriage is headed, but K thinks 'hang fire' 'til M sorts himself out. I don't know, it's just so unbearable here.

The D-M partnership dissolution will be a big blow to Dave. He is too reliant on M to make a good go of self-employment. There will be enormous tension here between us bc he is so inept at seeking work, that it could well be the end of us. I feel that there is a lot more stress and upset to come in the near future, and I am concerned, but it may be what is needed to make the final break. I hope I can cope.

Sorry there are so many words today.

Have a good Saturday

Rose

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

Rose,

 

I enjoy your posts! Do not hold back or apologize for what you need to express. All of it has meaning and it is important. Plus it helps me understand more fully what you feel.

 

I am glad you have a day off today. K is right, rest time is good. You know what they say about all work and no play. There needs to be a balance and you have had too much work lately, emotionally and physically.

 

Helping you last night was the least I could do. I thought it was good that we could be together on line and respond to each other quickly. I was thinking of you last night after our conversation and hoping you did get some good sleep. Sometimes that takes the edge off a bad time.

 

It sounds like your situation is M is a bit clearer. You have uncovered that you suppressed feelings for him. And you know you suppressed your feelings in favor of a more responsible approach. That was the best way to handle it. You had to consider his wife and kids (especially since he was not considering them) and you have your own family to protect. It was the right thing to do and a "good" responsible action to take. But knowing those feelings for M are there helps you know that you could be with him when everything clears up.

 

Feeling worthy of M's attention and love is about your self esteem. If you don't feel worthy of anyone's love, then you will not be able to accept it. You'll move away from any relationship that makes you feel appreciated or loved and accept those that make you feel what you expect to feel, down about yourself (like your marriage to Dave). It is not that M's love is special and one person is more worthy of it than another, it is whether or not you feel you can accept it. Putting your expectations on M as the only other person who could love you says that you feel you are not worthy. But you are worthy of anyone loving you. You may even want to switch that around and say whoever you want to be with needs to be worthy of your love. Right now, Dave is not acting in a way that makes him worthy to be with you. That is not a devaluing of him as a person, but rather his actions towards you and the kids. He is not acting in a worthy way towards you.

 

The feelings that you feel about leaving Dave are normal. It is hard to think about moving on when you have invested so much into the relationship. Even though it turned out badly, you still at one point in your relationship loved each other and you have kids together. Any loss is going to hurt. And it is a big change from what you are used to. You know Dave, his patterns, what to expect from him and what your relationship is about. Changing all that is scary. But you are right, the situation with M and Dave's business together will probably shed a new light on the issue. If Dave is unable to handle his responsibilities, then the stress of this problem may be the final break.

 

Your son seems quite supportive of you. He sees the writing on the wall and knows. Poppy also sees what is happening but may not approach it as Sam does so it could be harder for her. But sometimes kids surprise you. It is not uncommon for a child to feel the tension in the home between the parents and be relieved when a separation occurs. It brings a sense of peace to their lives.

 

I hope the sleep over goes well. It may be that T's threats have to do with trying to let her unhappiness show rather than causing trouble. She probably does not want to do anything that would further the chances that you and M would be together. Blurting out what she knows to Dave would certainly up the chances he may leave and give you and M the chance to be together.

 

Ending the marriage when you feel ready is key. You will know when you cannot take anymore and it's time. You are already saying in so many words that you are preparing. As long as you feel you have your business in order and you feel ready with the kids and where they are with it, then you will know the time.

 

Taking time today is a good way to sort out your feelings. You need time to think and to decide how you want to work things out.

 

I hope your day goes well. You deserve a day off!

 

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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,

I was so glad you were near too last night, though today I feel I shouldn't have felt that way. When I think about it though it wasn't just the episode, it was the culmination of so much more that just got me at that time when I was feeling exhausted, spent from a day of trying so hard.

Today I have washed and hung out to dry, re-fenced and watered the ponies, rested (I have, I promise), and vacuumed downstairs. Dave has watched TV. As I was tidying around him, (picking up his discarded socks, empty cups.. I was making a point) I asked him if he thought we had an equal share around the house. He didn't answer me. I said does no answer mean you agree with my point? Still no answer. I asked him to suggest a way in which we could talk about things. He put the tele off and left the room. I was totally level in the way I spoke with him, not accusing, just enquiring.
Unfortunately M came by with his daughter to put the tent up, and I couldn't continue (missed a good chance there.)

Poppy came home from the field in tears. What's the matter... Dad. This is her first camp-over, something that she has been excited about since the beginning of the holidays,and he was dictating where they erected the tent. She was very upset that she hadn't a say in where she wanted it put (why did it matter to him? M felt the same), I could feel the tension she felt for not being listened too. We had lots of cuddles. She said she hates the way Dad is so often, that she likes him when he is drunk- when he is funny and silly...I said NOOOO, that is not a good way to like him, she has forgotten the bad times.

My heart is singing tonight, my son is home from Paris. I've just had the biggest hug. His girlfriend said he's missed me. He told her on the train to London on Monday that he misses his mummy!!!!!!! He is very supportive of me, he protects me, and cares enormously for me. I feel very lucky. He has already said that he won't blame me if I need to go. Poppy will surely be less understanding, but she is still struggling to maintain a close bond with her dad, that's why (I think) she said she prefers him drunk.

Thank you so much for your continuing input re M. I want so much to get any future relationship right, and I will no doubt be wary of it. It will be a surprise to me that I will find someone who will love me, so I suppose My feelings of self worth are not there yet, but I hope by the time I feel ready My worthiness will be ready too. I understand the need to have someone of worth after the lack of it with Dave, I understand that he is not worthy of his family, and that they deserve better.

Poppy has a damp camp-over, it has rained hard, but now stopped. I hope they sleep some!!

You are giving me huge support Kate, I wonder if you really know?!

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

Rose,

 

I am so happy to give that support. It is a privilege to be there for you.

 

I am so sorry about your experience with Dave. Wow, that is very cold hearted response he gave to you. Then he attacks Poppy and tries to control the camp out. It definitely fits the narcissistic personality disorder we talked about before. From what you experienced today, I do not think getting through to Dave is going to be easy at all. It sounds like Dave has perfected his narcissistic response to cut you out completely. Whether he was angry about something (could he suspect the situation between you and M?) or he has decided this is how he wants to respond to your needs, this is not a good sign. The key to a marriage that works is that both people are willing to work towards a good relationship. Dave is not only refusing to work on your marriage, he is refusing to acknowledge you at all.

 

My main concern, however, is how you feel about what Dave did. His behavior fits your feelings (or some of your feelings) about yourself. How are you feeling about this?

 

It sounds like Poppy feels her father's outbursts very deeply. She will take Dave drunk because he is emotionally available and less threatening when he is drinking and she craves that connection. This is another burden for you (and for Poppy) to carry as a result of Dave's behavior issues. You must be there to comfort and to fix when he is acting out. And his actions are based on his need to be the center of attention and interfere to make things go his way. So his behavior takes over and makes everyone's life harder.

 

Your son sounds like a wonderful young man! It is so sweet that he missed you while he was gone. You must feel good having him home safely with you again.

 

You are very worthy of a good relationship. And you are more than worthy of love. And you will get to the point of believing that. I think you are well on your way. Maybe M is around in your life to show you that there are other options, more than what you have now. Not just for an affair, but that there are others out there that see you differently that Dave does. M shows you that the possibility of a healthy relationship is there. It may not be with him, but it is there.

 

Have a good night, Rose. I hope that you are getting some needed space tonight. I'll talk with you soon,

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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,
Have a lovely day off
Rose.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, Rose! What's going on?

 

Kate

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

Thank you! You are so kind. That is beautiful and made me smile.

 

I hope your day is going well too.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate
I'm fine.
You're not meant to be on line!
Sorry if I concerned you. Just sent you some butterflies
Will write tomorrow.
Rose
ps. Glad you liked them! I'm smiling too.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
OK. Complicated evening, but now I'm so tired I can hardly write about it.

He came home at 7pm after his usual 2 hours in the pub. I passed no comment as usual about this, until Sam asked him for a lift somewhere, and I said I would take him. Poppy asked him if he was going out, and I said he's already been out. Sam bought me back a picture of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre on his trip to Paris, and Sam mentioned it. Dave said where's my present.... Dave loves to talk. He wanted to tell us about Leonardo DV and his painting (The ML), and informed us about a TV programme he had seen where the scientists were certain that LDV had modeled the ML on a self portrait. He (D) claimed that he did that to make a statement against the RC Church, that he was an anarchist, and that he was against the authorities. Poppy left the room with her hands over her ears. Sam and I listened politely, and enquired what he LDV was trying to prove to the Church by painting a woman's image using his own profile... Answer came there none. He turned it to us and said we were making an argument, that those were the facts. We still didn't 'get' what he was getting at, but left it. We also had quite an input re the Shroud of Turin, that LDV had fooled history by creating it from his own image. While this may be fact, he was beating the subject to the bone, remember I have told you of his atheism. That, though, isn't the point. We were all accused of not listening, causing an argument. Sam and I were very forceful in informing him that he was in the wrong here, that he Never lets anyone have a proper conversation, that he Always has the upper hand, last word, final say, he is always right. He denied this vehemently, but I repeated myself over and over 'til he left it.

I went out to move the ponies fencing. I was knocking down some stinging nettles and thistles so that the electric fence would have a free path and not be earthed. He said you should use a scythe. I said I'm fine doing it like this. Why don't you ask me to do it for you (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I said you're never here (denied), he said we should talk, why aren't we working together like a husband and wife should? I said I'm fine, leave me. But you're not doing it right. I said, but look at the whole of the rest of the field that I have done ON MY OWN. He got the scythe. I left him to it. He came to find me in the garden when he had finished. He started pushing me about, why don't we talk. I said I try to. Asked you the other day to talk, but you ignored me. You should talk to ME, NOT SOME-ONE THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, HER IN COLORADO, WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO A YANK, I HATE YANKS, THEY'RE ALL THE SAME #*@#~^*. How can I talk to you Dave, listen to yourself. Sam, Poppy, saying what's the matter with you dad, why can't you see........................

More to come, need a break

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate,
I feel bad telling you what he said. Sorry. I was very hurt and upset by what he was saying about talking to K, about Americans. I love you both.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Please do not worry about repeating what Dave said. I am not offended in the least. I am glad you told me. This was an important part of your interaction with Dave. It shows some of the problems going on with his reasoning and his logic. His reasoning was not about hating Yankees, it was about being jealous of your relationship with K. He is angry that your attention is on something besides him. He wants to "talk" with you because it is his way of controlling you and the relationship. He does not want you sharing yourself with anyone else, for when you do this, he loses control of you. What he did fits very well with his issues with emotional abuse. Emotional abusers are jealous of their partners doing anything that does not have to do with them or that is sanctioned by them.

 

In your interaction with Dave, did you see what happened? You, Sam and Poppy all reacted to Dave. Poppy gives up early and removes herself from the situation. She does not want to take in what is going on (covering her ears). Her reaction is to avoid or to feel hurt. You and Sam both try to reason with Dave. You allow him time to talk, even though you both know what he is saying makes no sense. When you try to express you own opinions, he shuts you down and accuses you of starting an argument. He turns it on you instead of seeing himself as the problem. He does not have insight nor is he interested in changing.

 

His confrontation with you out in the field is another example of him pushing his agenda on you. He does not want to hear that you missed him helping you with this task before, he wants to insist that he knows the right way now to handle this problem now, even though he has not be involved before now. He is coming in late to the game, ignoring your experience and telling you how to do a job you have been doing all along. That tells you that Dave feels his way is superior, even if it is not. And it says that he does not respect your experience.

 

Dave is not going to see any issue with his behavior. He does not see it as a problem. Part of the difficulty is that he lacks insight. The other is that he sees other people as lower that he is. He fancies himself as "knowing it all" very typical of someone who is narcissistic. They must know it all so they can feel superior and demean others. For to admit they don't know everything would mean they are flawed. They would lose control and feel bad about themselves.

 

Next time Dave goes off or tries to draw you and the kids into a lesson, try ignoring him (only if you feel that would not put you in any kind of danger). Leave the room if you need to. Don't try to reason with him or otherwise interact with him. If he wants to help you with the nettles or something similar, let him have at it. You can always repair the damage later if there is any. By refusing to argue with him and ignoring him, you develop some control of your own. You say that you are not going to allow him to put you lower than he is. You take away his self importance. This may shake things up a bit, but it is important that you begin to take a stand and gain some control. Some of the things you feel like depression, low self worth, anorexia and cutting are all tied into your perception of not having any control over your life. By ignoring Dave, you start exercising your control muscles. You can start to gain strength and begin to develop a better sense of yourself.

 

What do you think?

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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,

It's 1.30 am, my sedation has worn off, I hope to get some more sleep, I work again tomorrow :( Thank you so much for your understanding reply.

Dave had a real outburst when we came back in the house, said he's depressed, bc of the way I am, being in my own room, that he can't handle what's happening inside my head. I said get some help, see some-one talk to some-one- he said I should be talking to YOU- but I offered to talk and you wouldn't, but it was my fault, I was making everything negative, accusing, blaming, when I asked about sharing the household responsibilities, which tonight he says are equal. He said he knows he has some problems, but didn't enlighten me (wrong time for this discussion)

The kids were upset, didn't tolerate him well. I had to take Sam to his friends house- I wanted Poppy to come too, but she said she would be OK. Sam asked if he was always like this- I said off and on, had some bad experiences with him when they were younger (which I wouldn't share), but he is getting more so. Sam said, we do need to talk, maybe if we set some ground rules before, and we all try to talk, but we all have to listen. I said yes sure we could try, but it won't make me feel differently. Sam said how do I feel, I said we will have to part company. He was completely supportive, and I said I was worried about Poppy's reaction. He said she would be fine about it, maybe he would talk to her this week. He also said that he would worry about Dad on his own, that he would not cope. I said he's lived on his own before, but I agree he would surely struggle. Poppy is awake reading (!) called me in for a hug and a kiss. I didn't mention things from last night, just that I love her.

I hope things come to a head soon. I am feeling unsettled and scared, but he can push me about all he likes, I am going to be in control.

I think your evaluation of the situation is spot on. I will try to bear your advice in mind. Sam feels he (Dave) is going crazy, behaving like a madman.

I hope Dave will decide that he can't stay. He will make everything my fault, that he can't stay with me (I'm the mad one).

Rose

I'll re-read and repost tomorrow, have a good evening.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

That is a huge shift and lots of changes for you to deal with. I am sorry things are heading this way. Even though you would be better off without the stress of Dave's issues, it is still a loss- of hopes, dreams and all you wanted out of your relationship.

 

It sounds like you are in a good place with the kids. They look to you for stability, which you give them in a healthy way. They seem to understand well what is happening.

 

Even though I cannot be there to comfort you face to face, I send you a hug across the miles. You are doing so well, Rose. I am quite impressed.

 

A good night's sleep will help. Talk to you soon,

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just wanted to say thanks Kate, so much for sending me your hug. You make all the difference to me.

Am dead beat, talked with K for nearly 3 hours tonight, she is worried about me.

Talk tomorrow

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

You're welcome Rose!

 

That is one long session with K. I'll bet you are beat. I am used to only one hour sessions and those can sometimes be rough for the person I'm seeing!

 

I am concerned what K might be worried about with you. I hope you are doing ok. If I can help in any way please let me know.

 

Good night, Rose. Talk with you tomorrow.

 

Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,
I usually talk for 2 hours with K bc I have such trouble expressing myself, and she doesn't want to rush me. We talk generally as well as I take a while to settle into the session. (rgn) She kept me talking a lot longer last night, she is unsettled about my situation and wanted to ensure I was set up for safety- somewhere to go other than next door, mobile numbers, my brother-in-law aware of Dave's behavior, etc; back-up email addresses for the children- I was anxious that my laptop would be taken from me or smashed up, (he was very angry about my contact with K- I can only remember a snippet of the ranting, that bit I wrote about, but I am much more polite!)
I want to go but can't do it. Last night he stayed in (never on a Tues), fetched Sam from work (one of very few times). He then drank a six pack of Guinness and part of a bottle of wine within an hour and went to bed. I think I'm meant to be grateful that he didn't go out, and that he picked Sam up. (hilly) He made me a cup of coffee, said thank you for his dinner. He asked me for money for the pub, I gave it to him (but there isn't any spare) I'm getting confused. It is very calm, I feel uncomfortable.
I remembered something that happened the other day as I was talking to K about something else. I was joking about it as if it happens everyday, she was shocked at how he treated me. He was watching something on American idol, or whatever it is these days (Got Talent maybe). He had previously asked me if we were having lunch, I said sure, help yourself (we all get our own lunches usually) He was eating his lunch in front of the TV, and a girl of about 12 was being interviewed, I think he must have seen her before, and he told me I should watch her sing. Our living area is open plan, I can see and hear the TV from the kitchen, more than enough for me. I had just come in from hanging out the washing and started to make my lunch. Rose, come and watch, over here, now... I can see from here... I am watching and listening from behind him, bc he has told me to. Poppy came up the stairs and wanted some paracetamol for her tummy and I stopped watching and went to the drawer for the pills. We must have made a little bit of noise as we were talking. When the girl finished singing, he got up from the chair in a rage and stormed into the kitchen and threw his plate in the sink, smashing it as he had meant to.(at g) The kids were shocked, wanted to know WTF was going on- I was just quiet. He ranted that it was beautiful and how could we not watch it like he was, so that the world stops. I've told you about this before, this is just the latest example, but something that I just accept. I did tell him later that I was sorry that I didn't watch it 'with' him, but I didn't want him to try and control my every move.
I am braver. I am waiting to be hurt. I am wishing to be hurt. When I am hurt, then I will go. He had the scythe in his hand when he was pushing me across the garden on Monday, before he became so angry that he walked away. Angry that I wasn't talking to him, that I was talking to K. I was scared, but I didn't feel afraid of being hurt. (mail.) I have been so scared that I couldn't walk my legs were so wobbly, scared to be left on my own with him, when he was stabbing his dinner with his knife bc he was drunk and confused after waking up, and not understanding what Sam and I were saying. (c) I would have gone then. All I could think about then was the way his long-time school-friend had murdered his wife with a hammer during a sober argument.
He doesn't remember any of these things. We are all accepting of his behavior, (o) but I know that must change. I am rather muddled this evening, so sorry if I don't make much sense.
Hope you are having a good day. The UK isn't a good place to be at the moment. We (m) are in a pickle.
Rose Wink
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

I can clearly see why K is concerned. Dave's behavior is quite frightening. It is good that she went over a safety plan with you. You do need back up plans in case Dave acts out violently. I hope you will continue to work on it so you and the kids can be safe.

 

I understand what you are saying about not feeling afraid of being hurt. That is the nature of being abused, as a child and now as an adult. You were taught from an early age that you deserve to be hurt. You accepted this because it is how you survived and how you attempted to get approval, and possibly the chance of love and affection, from your parents. It is possibly Stockholm syndrome as you mentioned when we first began to talk. Or it is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Either way, you know no other way. If you had been raised with all you deserved, love, attention, hugs and affection this behavior from Dave would raise serious red flags for you and you would high tail it out of there.

 

The trick here is to not give in to the desire to be hurt. It is realizing that you are worthy of more. Worthy of love. It is a false belief that hurting yourself or not being afraid of Dave hurting you is a good thing. Being scared of Dave reminds you of the times you were afraid as a child. That can be oddly comforting to an adult abused as a child. It is what you understand. That is why you see so many abused children grow up to accept being abused in relationships, work situations and society as a whole. They expose themselves in hopes that they can gain comfort from someone treating them as they feel they deserve.

 

It may not be comfortable to you, but keep pushing the envelope. If you are unable to think of yourself as deserving, think of your children. They are witnessing this behavior from Dave. Throwing a plate into the sink causes a startled response to those witnessing it. This causes a deep seated feeling of anxiety because of the unpredictable nature of Dave's behavior. So your children may grow up and become easily startled, possibly anxiety ridden. Traumatized as well. Your children are learning that their father can act any way he wishes. Poppy may feel since she is used to seeing this it is ok to marry a man like her father. It becomes what she is used to. Sam may not react that way, but he could. The potential is there. So thinking of them when you work on leaving may help give you the motivation you need.

 

I know this is hard. It is a battle, everyday. You work hard, take a step and then it's two steps back. But you have made extraordinary progress, Rose. From when we met until now, just a few months. You have great strength and I have no doubt you will succeed in starting a new life that is free and healthy.

 

I understand your message. I am not permitted but if I can work it, I will.

 

I hear about the UK riots. Very upsetting. I am hoping they can get it all under control soon. I hope you don't live too close by what is happening.

 

Have a good night, Rose. Take care and be safe.

 

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 AMAZING.

I understand a bit more why I feel this way now. Thank you for sharing the reasons. You are making things so much clearer to me- I'm happy that it is written so that I can take in a little bit at a time. I'm sure K has said some of these things too, but I don't remember, though she did mention the Stockholm thing again the other day. I wish I was clearer headed. I have some strength, but not where I need it now.

I had a tentative conversation with Poppy this am (we had a power cut- no TV or computer.. Yay!!) about keeping safe, phone numbers, etc, not to be afraid to call someone. I told her that Dad is out of order, and I don't know how much more I can take. She kept repeating over that he won't hurt us, well her anyway, that he's fun when he's been drinking. She has that excuse stuck, and can't see past it. Although I think she wants to protect him, or deny things are pretty rubbish, she is well aware of the potential outcome.

I am still muddled today. I am not feeling too well, and have a GP visit this pm which always unsettles me enormously. I have been going over it in my head all morning, what I will say (or won't be able to), what I need, how I will cry (I just can't stop myself). I can't seem to look after myself and my needs, I can't push myself even when I KNOW I am not well- it took therapy for me to go and get my diagnosis, worn down by repeatedly being told there was nothing to be found..... psychosomatic dear..... off you go. But I'm over that now, just left with an extreme anxiety of seeing my GP.

Sorry about the message. I know.

Talk later,

Rose






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

Rose,

 

You are very welcome! I am pleased that I could help. It is so hard to see while you are in it. But your insight is so good that you make this easy!

 

I am sorry about Poppy. She is coping by denying what her father is doing because it is probably the only way she can handle his issues. Keep talking with her, even if it is just for a little bit. Every time you talk to her, it may chip at the defenses she has up until she finally can see.

 

Most people feel nervous at the doctor's. I know you said that your doctor can be difficult in her understanding at times. That makes it harder. But you are doing so well and you've come so far since the last time you saw her. Keep in mind that you are strong and you have overcome so much. Don't discount that progress. I think it will go well if you keep that in mind. Let me know if you get time how it went.

 

I may be in and out during the next few days so please bear with me. I am out of town unexpectedly. I want you to feel you can write anytime. I will be checking my email to be sure I don't miss you. I just can't answer as quickly as I'd like to because I will be doing a lot of running around.

 

Take care, Rose. I will be thinking of you.

 

Kate

 

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
Thanks Kate,

I hope all is well with you and that you are out of town for pleasure. I believe your school holidays will soon be over and school will begin again. I hope you have had a good summer with your family, you are always working!!

I am having a day out with Poppy tomorrow, looking forward to it. We will be able to talk lots, so may achieve more.

My GP visit was a bit better than last time, I was a little more in control but still very stuck and had a few tears. I needed to talk to her about my pain which I feel isn't adequately controlled, especially so that I can work well. She has increased the Mirtazapine to 30mg to see if that helps. I really wanted to be referred to the pain clinic, but will have to see if this works first. Hey ho.

Good night Kate.

Take care away from home. You are so thoughtful to allow me to mail you while you are out and about.Thank you

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

Rose,

 

It sounds like your visit went well. I am glad for you. I bet you are happy it is over! Hopefully, they will offer to refer you to a pain clinic. Constant pain can affect your overall well being, as you know, and doctors need to do a better job at paying attention to that.

 

It's good you have a day with Poppy tomorrow! I hope you both have lots of fun and that good things come out of your talk with her.

 

Everything is fine with the trip. It was an unexpected family situation but not a bad one, thank goodness!

 

Have a good night and I'll talk with you soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Are you back home? Hope you've had a good trip. I'll write later.

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

Hi Rose!

 

Yes, I just got back about an hour ago. Whew, I'm glad to be back. It was a long trip.

 

I will be hunkering down here for the rest of the day so if you want to write, I'll be checking in like usual.

 

I hope you are doing well. How did your day go with Poppy?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,
it is so good to be talking to you again, I am smiling.

I'm glad you're trip was good, but I know how exhausting travelling can be. I agree, it's always good to be home again- Sam has said that several times this holiday, only to be off again within a week. He's at a surfing/music festival on the North Cornish coast this weekend, will be having a whale of a time!!

I'm OK, but missed you. I was very sad that a friend of Poppy's scuppered my plan for a day with her yesterday, so I will have to wait til Monday now. She has strict instructions not to agree to any plans, but with me. I bought myself a new mattress for my little bed instead, the children can cope with bumpy mattresses but I can't. I hope it might help with my pains as I have been waking early and not sleeping again. My room is looking nice, I have another 2 pictures to hang, a painting of a butterfly (orange red and green) and a Mona Lisa that Sam brought me back from Paris. The new mattress makes my bed much higher, and the dogs can't jump up anymore (all for a better night's sleep!)

Dave has given me his 2 pennies worth on getting help for my symptoms, as he's been talking to a rather 'alternative' friend of mine who has just taken her daughter to 'diviner/dowser' who apparently helped her daughter somewhat. He is pushing me to go, but I don't wish to waste my money. I've put a question out under mental health (maybe not the right category) and NormanM has said 'don't do it'!! I'm inclined to agree with him, especially if there is no evidence for it's uses- nursing (as you may know- does your sister work in a hospital!) is solely evidence based practice, so I really need facts before I agree to go. The question is still out there (no-one wants it!! I re-listed for more info)if you're up for the challenge!

Dave has been infuriating today, watching the tele from breakfast to sundown, with a couple of hours out in the middle (to visit his favorite watering hole), and the jobs are piling up, but I'd rather say nothing, then I can't have my head bitten off, or be completely blanked. My feelings of being ignored vary. Mostly I expect it as par for the course, other times I'd really like him to answer me so that it can be discussed. He has always walked away from me if I want to discuss anything of importance, and so I have declined to talk about anything that will leave me empty, wanting answers, thinking it's my fault, wishing for a solution, knotted up with tension for his ignorance. A client phoned on Wed - she told me a little about the problem and asked for him to return the call. When he came in from the PUB I asked him to ring her. He didn't. I asked him the next night, again he didn't, same fri am, before work, no; pm, she rang again, (at the PUB again) I asked him again, no. Sat am she gets him bc he's in bed, she tells him the problem, and it's all my fault that he didn't ring her back bc I hadn't told him the problem (a small hole in a floorboard.) I declined to take responsibility for his client's cross words :)

(Sorry about all that, lost my trail of thought. I'm battling for him to return another call, message left on phone... sigh)

I'm a little muddled and lost. Were we working on something? I know lots has happened this week and got in the way. Did we start to talk about the hurting? It's been on my mind a lot today, but I've resisted...I've just got an elastic band on my wrist.

I've been working on my poem, making lots of improvements to it, making it nearly all my own. I want to put a few more colours in, then I will resend it to you.

Don't work too hard today Kate, have a bit of rest and home time. Have you got any animals that missed you?

Hugs
Rose



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

Rose,

 

I missed you as well! I'm glad to be back and be available to talk again.

 

It sounds like Sam is doing his fair share of traveling. Wow, he has been out and about a lot this summer. It's good to see new things but it is also good to be around the familiar at home too.

 

Your room sounds lovely. The way you describe it, it sound cozy and welcoming. It is good to have your own space that you can feel safe in and call your own. Everyone needs that.

 

I referred the question you mentioned to a colleague of mine who knows more about such things than I do. He is very good. He also works here on Just Answer so if you want to contact him directly, I will give you his information. I hope his answer helps you.

 

I am concerned that Dave is feeling the need to tell you that you need this type of treatment. Why does he feel you need to see this person?

 

It really sounds like Dave is ignoring his responsibilities and forcing you to deal with his clients. It is amazing that he feels that it is alright to allow you to take the brunt of the client's anger for him. That is in essence leaving you open for criticism that he should be dealing with. How do you feel about what happened?

 

How would you feel about allowing him to answer the phone when a client calls and ignoring the calls altogether? Or maybe getting him a separate line for his business? There is nothing wrong with you protecting yourself from this happening again.

 

We can work on whatever you feel is on your mind right now. We are not forced to work on anything in particular. It is whatever you feel works for you. If you would like to work on the cutting, that sounds good to me. How have you been doing with it?

 

I am looking forward to reading your poem!

 

I do have a lot of animals here. A couple of dogs, fish and hamsters. I used to have a cat, but she died last year at age 20.

 

I hope all is well where you live with the riots. There is some information we are getting here about it but mostly the government and economy problems take over most of the news!

 

Take care Rose. I hope you are having a good night tonight and are able to have some peace.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 hope you are having a good day off. I'm writing now bc I have some time, but know you need down time too, so please only answer if you want to. My weekend has been reasonable, all things considered, and I definitely feel I am gaining in strength. Today we went to a country show in the next door village, mainly so that Dave could meet up with some of his buddies and share a few pints of cider! They've gone off to the pub now, so glad to see the back of him, nearly pushed him out the door!! So I am compounding his drinking, spending, but want him out, so long as he doesn't come knocking at my door.....

Thank you so much for referring the question on for me. I have found a few Google entries on 'Vibrational Medicine' which relates to this dowsing/divining thing and looks truly weird and I'm surely not going there. Dave wants to be seen to be caring and giving, and made this suggestion as a way to show he wants to help me feel better. It is also a way, I feel, that he can control me and what I do about my health, as he has been so negative about me having therapy and talking to make me feel better- I think he thinks it will be a magic cure, and I will be back to my old self again. He didn't know I was seeing my GP every week (last summer), that I've been on several different meds, that I had a counselor before K, that I have been seeing CPNs, a psychiatrist; I just haven't trusted him with all this information (mainly bc he would want to know the ins and outs, and it would all be about him!) and he hasn't asked about any of my care or treatments. After my last appt on Thursday he actually asked me what I saw my GP for, I just said a med review, then he asked me what meds I was taking, and so now he knows, more than a year on!!!

This client problem happens every few weeks, and I am continually having to ask him to make phone calls. It is embarrassing, and I have to apologize for his ignorance if I speak to them, or bump into them in the village. I really dislike answering the phone, especially since I haven't been well, and I find it stressful particularly when I'm feeling muddled and have expressive problems. I do often let the phone go to answer, but hate to hear the cross messages left from clients who have been waiting weeks and weeks for him to get on with things. I keep reminding myself that I am NOT Dave, and it's another reason why I don't want to spend time with him, set myself apart from him, not be linked to him, but ultimately everybody knows everybody around here, so I cannot hide. He thinks he is a good people's person, gets on with everybody, but he has let himself down many times by not being in control of what he says, and that looks bad for the whole family.

He has a poor tolerance for criticism, and if a client has a negative comment to make he will become very defensive and verbally abusive. Mark is very calm and will be able to talk sensibly with the clients, but Dave will not, and he has been asked to leave a job that they were working on together (by the client.) Mark has had to carry on with the job on his own, and other trades persons hired by the client to finish the job off.

Years ago he did a job for an acquaintance (from the pub!!) and on completion handed them the bill. He was told they weren't happy with the job, and they wouldn't be paying him. He was without doubt upset, but became very verbally abusive towards them, and was asked to leave their property before they called the police. The client then got other builders in to rectify the poor workmanship, and happily paid them. I wasn't happy with the way the client had handled it, (wasn't impressed with Dave either, but we needed the money badly) so we took them to court, a huge risk. Or should I say I took them to court. What a horrible, stressful, nasty affair that was- I bore the whole weight of it on my shoulders, with a baby Sam, and put the very best case I could together without a lawyers back-up (££), scared to death that we would lose and have to pay the client many hundreds of pounds in claims, as well as both our court fees. When it came to the hearing, the client brought a 'heavy mob' to protect him from Dave (for show), but I had put a good case forward, and bc he hadn't given Dave the chance to rectify poor workmanship within a reasonable time frame, we won. I never wanted to do that again, so the next time there was a complaint about his work and the client refused to pay, I said it's not worth the stress.

You've opened a can of worms here, but I will close it now.

I have been reading some of our older posts today and realize how much ground we have covered! Wow, that's a few hours of typing for us both.. I need to make some notes of what we talked about that I haven't followed up on, so that I don't miss anything valuable.

I'm glad you have 2 dogs. I have 3, they are all cross breeds. I couldn't be without them, they have kept me company when I have felt alone, given me a direction when I have felt none (walk, play!). Especially the youngest, who will be 1 next month. We (I) got her from an RSPCA centre just before Christmas, and she has been a real blessing for me- she loves me SO much. We also have 2 ponies, 2 rabbits and umpteen budgies in an aviary, oh, and goodness how many fish in the pond!

Getting late now. Haven't forgotten about the cutting, doing better thanks, XXXXX XXXXX so compelled, just the band when feeling uptight yesterday.

Nice to have Sam back from his weekend away. He had a great time, but said the food wasn't up to much (pot noodles, burgers! The riots seem to have settled BTW, now every channel is covering the whys and wherefores of it all, parenting, morals, teachers, materialistic generation etc. Politics! (not my favorite subject)

Have a good Sunday evening.

Rose :)


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

Rose,

 

You sound like you are gaining strength. I can tell in your words and how you are expressing your feelings. It is so good to see.

 

You have a good grasp of the boundaries and how Dave crosses them in your relationship. It is very clear from what you said that he crosses many of them and either doesn't care or doesn't notice (maybe both). He allows you to be the head of the family, the protector if you will, while he is the trouble maker. Except you do not have control over him as you would a troublesome child. He is an adult and he is making adult sized problems for you.

 

I think it's great you choose to ignore his phone calls and messages from his business. Maybe turning the volume down when you notice it's a client so you don't have to hear what is being said. But there is no real way to deal with seeing his customers in public. I think though that people know you are different and they understand that one spouse can be one way and the other be different. It is just sad that you have to deal with Dave's irresponsibility rather than having the opportunity to be proud of him and feel secure in his ability to do his part in the family. I can feel the burden you express in your words. It is a heavy one.

 

The difference between Mark and Dave seems quite glaring. It is good Mark is in your life so you do have the chance to see the difference between them. Not that you wouldn't already know that without Mark, but to see it up close gives you that extra insight into what you have to deal with with Dave.

 

Dave would have to be very into himself to not notice that you see doctors and other professionals. It is very interesting that the only people he does notice in your life are the very ones that threaten him. Talking to therapists may help you see that Dave is what he is and that you are not happy. It also helps you recover, which Dave is very threatened by. Without you, he would need to face his own demons. He would need to be responsible as well. A very scary thought indeed for him.

 

From what I remember, we have covered a lot of ground! I need to go back myself and take a look at all we talked about. You are really emerging and you have come a long way. It is something you should be proud of. You've done a lot of hard work.

 

It sounds like you have quite a lot of animals! We also got one of our dogs at the Humane Society. I think they have great dogs. Mixed breeds have the best of all the dogs that make them, in my limited experience anyway!

 

If I may ask, what is a budgie? I am assuming from what you said, they are birds but I can't help but be curious!

 

I'm glad to hear that Sam is home safely. Food is such an important part of a good trip that it is disappointing when it is bad.

 

Here in the U.S. we have the same issue with anything that makes the news. It is slice and diced and put under a microscope. But that is politics and news. I understand your frustration with it.

 

I hope you have a good night and Dave leaves you alone. I'll be checking in for the next few hours in case you want to talk.

 

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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'm really touched that you wanted to reply to me yesterday, I know you always will, but I wanted you to choose. Thank you.

I have had an afternoon out with Poppy today, the weather has been wet, so my plans to go to the beach were ruined. We went into town to change her phone contract (I must be mad, now she can use the internet on her mobile!! I'll never have eye contact again!!) and then we went out of town to a big Farm shop for lunch and a browse. We had a good chat, and she brought up the subject of a friend's mum who is getting divorced, and I tried to turn it to our family situation, but she knew what was coming and wasn't happy to discuss it. I didn't push it at all in case it upset our afternoon. I know she's thinking about it, so I will wait a while.

I wonder what it is about my writing that makes you feel I'm stronger? I definitely feel it, just wondered how you feel it. You are right about the boundaries being crossed, it happens so frequently I hardly notice any more, and he neither cares nor notices- he has no boundaries. I shake my head in disbelief that you can be SO right. I am persuaded to remember the day that he took his drinking too far, and failed to be changed by the consequences.

4 years ago to the month, the children and I were going, the next day, to stay in a family timeshare unit in Wales with both my sisters and their children. Dave was staying behind as he couldn't leave the job he was on. It was Friday evening, and we were packed for an early start the following day, and I had prepared supper. It was 7pm and Dave wasn't home, and Sam was keen for him to be back, so he cycled down the hill to the pub where Dave was sure to be. About 10 minutes later Sam was brought home by the barman. I was told that Sam had arrived at the scene of an accident which involved Dave's van and another car. Sam (just 13) was in a state of shock, and had nothing to say. I was told that Dave had stumbled out of the pub, hardly able to stay upright, according to a witness statement. He got in his van and pulled across a main road into the path of a car which hit the back of the van with huge force, and spun it around 90*. The damage to the van was reasonable, but the car was a total write-off. There was a baby in the back of the car in a car seat, unhurt, the woman driver was shocked, and suffered whiplash.

Dave was shaken and taken in the pub with the other driver to chill out. The witness (there were many- no-one else 'saw anything') called the police and reported Dave for DD. He was advised by the Landlord to go home and have a glass or two of wine to throw the alcohol reading out, and so was brought home to do just that. What an evening that was. I made him eat (diabetic) and he opened a bottle of red wine.

In the meantime the police had arrived at the pub and had taken statements. They wanted to know why Dave had left the scene of the accident, and was told that he was taken home in shock. The police arrived and I had to leave the room, went outside with the children. I didn't want to be questioned and have to lie about his alcohol consumption (which he would expect). He told them that he had one pint at the pub, then came home and had several glasses of wine to calm him down. They breathalyzed him, he was 4x the limit, and took him to the station, along with the bottle of opened wine and the glass from which he drank it(?) I wasn't informed that he was being taken anywhere, or what to expect. I was given no contact number.

This all happened very quickly, within an hour. I had to put it to the back of my mind and get on with getting ready for our early start- we had a 5 hour journey- and we needed to get some rest. I was awake most of the night, no word from Dave or the police. We were up early and got ready to go. I still didn't know where Dave was. Eventually I got a call from the station to say what was happening, that they needed to interview him again now that he was sober, and I asked about his medication. He takes steroids for Addison's Disease amongst other meds, and they weren't letting him take them bc he didn't have the packets with his name on it. I told them it was vital he had them, but they said sorry, no can do. But they had let him have his insulin and checked his blood sugar. They asked me to take his meds to him, 30 miles round trip in the wrong direction, but I said sorry, can't help.

We set off on our trip, my mind in a whirl all the way there. I left his pub mates to sort Dave out. I had many phone calls that week from Dave, he had to deal with the Law. I have a friend who is a solicitor, so put him on to her. He could drive until his court hearing, then he was banned for a year and fined.

Mark had to take on all the driving for the business, me for the family. He could drink whereever we went, no taking it in turns (not that I ever drank much, it was just an excuse to get him to drink less). He never apologized. It has made our car insurance premiums much higher. His van insurance paid for the written off car, and a claim is still going through the courts by the other driver bc of her whiplash. And there was plenty of gossip in the village because of it.

Once he regained his license I had to ask him frequently not to D&D again, and he heeded me for a while. Now he D&Ds several times a week, and I'm just waiting for a repeat to happen. I hope it doesn't, but I am out of patience with him over it. I have stopped going to the pub when I know he's there with the van- there have been occasions when I have gone into the bar and taken the keys from him, or taken the spares from home and taken the van away.

I have no respect for him. I am not able to look at him and be proud of him. I am not able to hold him in high esteem. I am not able to feel secure. I have to be in control of the house and all that is in it, have to be the head of the family, but he over-rides me in many ways. The children are not able to see him as a good role model.


Your words-'Except you do not have control over him as you would a troublesome child. He is an adult and he is making adult sized problems for you.'- are spot on.

Thanks Kate. Soooo tired now.

Have a good evening

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

Rose,

 

It sounds like you had a very nice day with Poppy. I agree with you about not bringing up the divorce idea directly. Poppy is smart and she gets it. Like we talked about before, she is probably using a bit of denial to cope. Nothing wrong with that. Easing her into it is a great option. It helps her not get too defensive and shut out the idea all together.

 

I can see your strength in how and what you write. You are starting to express dissatisfaction with your marriage and you are pointing out the gaps in your relationship. You do not defend Dave, but instead face his difficulties without hiding them. You are also facing the shame and regret Dave has put on you. You acknowledge it and you cope with it. It is not pleasant and most people would try to push it away. You do react to it (some of the cutting is an example) but you still face it. You are truly brave.

 

That is a heart wrenching incident with Dave causing that accident. I, too, find it amazing that he has not learned from it. Even after you left him to cope with it himself (good for you!) he did not see that as a problem. That is incredible denial or narcissism, maybe both.

 

Your feelings about this incident are definitely appropriate. It is good that you allow him to have natural consequences to his behavior. You could also, if you choose, contact the police each time you are aware that he is driving drunk. That way, you don't need to feel responsible for his actions. And you know that you have acted responsibly in return, maybe saving someone's life in the process.

 

Get some rest tonight and I will talk to you when you feel ready. I'll be thinking of you.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

hope you are well. Thank you for your post, it's all good stuff!!

I hate Dave DD. I should start saying something each time it happens- I want to kickstart him to get to the end of this ~ forsaken marriage. He has been damaging the car, and the van is full of dents. He doesn't know how they got there. I have thought about phoning the police many times, wanted to badly, but I've been stopped by the thoughts of the ban, the fine, the consequences for me, the children and the business. I used to phone the pub to ask them to send him home. I don't think they should serve him if they know he is driving, but it's their business. But now I just let it be, too worn out by all the trying. Perhaps now is the time to start trying again. Phone the police- he won't like it if he knows it's come from me.

It's our village show this weekend. Last year he arrived at 10am and settled down in the beer tent. He left at 4.30, just made it home, then crashed out in a drunken stupor. That evening I was very scared of him, he was angry, confused, aggressive, unsettling. I didn't want Sam to leave me on my own with him, but he went to his friends house nearby, and gave me his number. The following day I told Dave I didn't want to live in fear of him anymore, that it was killing me (I was cutting badly, suicidal, in crisis), something had to change. I said I wanted out. He lay on the sofa, upset, in tears. I felt bad, guilty, mean; I said sorry, just try please.

I am very anxious about this weekend. His brother and nephew are coming down with 3 cousins. I don't want to be here (maybe I won't be). I want to be in the cottage, but it will have it's owners staying with friends. The children will be fine, they'll have their cousins. Dave will be drinking all day, all weekend, it's always the same.

I've been trying to sort out some finances, pay off the credit card, use some of our joint funds to clear debts and overdrafts. I was hoping not to have to use our savings, hoping that he would make some money someday, but I've given up waiting. Last years gross was only £10k, that's not enough (not even minimum wage!) My guess is he spends half of that in the pub, and most of the other half on things that he desires. He has bought hundreds of £s worth of drums in the last 2 years, they're just cluttering up the house, and he's taken over the stable with them too. I said he could so long as he provided the ponies with alternative shelter. Do you think he has? No, 2 years and nothing. I despair. I do.

Well, I was just going to say hello, how are you, but my fingers got busy!! I have therapy tonight, not looking forward to it, too tired, didn't sleep well last night, awake for hours. Perhaps I'll ask for a short session...

Take care, Kate,

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

Rose,

 

I am sorry for all that you have gone through with Dave and his alcoholism and subsequent behavior. It is a difficult situation to handle. By default you become the responsible person and take on all of the tasks and jobs associated with being a single parent. You are, at this point, acting alone in your family, taking care of the kids, finances and household responsibilities. You just have the addition of Dave causing you heartache and problems.

 

I can understand your guilt when you tried to tell Dave last year after the village show that you wanted to leave the marriage. It is hard to be the one to say it is over, even if you have plenty of reasons to do so. And alcoholics and other abusers are very good at manipulating the situation to make it seem you are being the unfair person and hurting them terribly. They twist it around and block out what they did to cause the problems in the first place, or they do not fully recognize the damage their behavior does. It can make you not only feel guilty, but you end up placing the other person's needs over yours. Your goal becomes making them feel better when they are the ones making you feel worse. It is also placing the relationship before your own needs, which is very easy to do in situations like yours.

 

Given your childhood, the marriage fits what you believe about yourself. But that is far from the truth of who you are. The truth is you are beyond being treated the way Dave treats you. You have rights which includes being treated with respect. You may not believe that right now and that may be why you cope the best you can with Dave's behavior.

 

I thought we could take a closer look at your marriage and see what you think. Here are some of the things to look at in your relationship:

 

Is this relationship more important to me than I am to myself?- are you putting the need to keep the marriage together in front of your own happiness? Would you be happier without the marriage or are you happier together?

 

What is the cost of staying in the marriage?- what do you give up to stay in the relationship? Make a list of things you feel you give to the relationship to keep it going.

 

Is the relationship an equal partnership or are you the only one contributing?- are you by yourself in this marriage or is Dave contributing in any way?

 

Building your self esteem, as we talked about before, will help you see some of these things clearer. If you can, keep trying to affirm something good about yourself every day. If you want help, K and/or I can provide some ideas or input to get you started. It may seem silly at first, but doing an affirmation every day helps you begin to believe you are worthwhile. And it helps counteract the messages you got as a child from your parents that you are not worthy of love and attention.

 

I hope that you get some down time tonight. You can let K know that you are not up for a session. She will understand. Sometimes you just know when you need a break and it sounds like for you that today is one of those times!

 

Take care, Rose.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Thank you so much for your post.

The last 45 mins has been hell, and I've just got away. He came home from the pub, and within 2 mins was in full abusive mode, first with me, then with Poppy. She is heart broken. She had some friends round last night to sleep over, and were up late talking and giggling. Dave told them to be quiet several times. I was asleep. He was upset that he'd been kept awake til 3.30 (he forgets all the times he's done that to me) and screamed at her that she was NEVER having anyone to sleep over again. He told her he hates the way she is, and that she's a bitch, over and over. She cried and cried. I whispered to her (no point me getting involved with Dave, I just sat close and held her- he couldn't see us) that that is why I want to get away from him, be free.

I'm locked in Sam's room outside, but have an eye on the house so I can see Poppy. 2 mins to skype. Will finish later, try to finish early.

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

Rose, that is horrible. I am sorry that Poppy was treated in such an abusive way by Dave. He was very mean and cruel to her. I hope she is alright.

 

Let me know, if you get a chance, how things are.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Not a short skype after all, 2 hrs 45... Plenty to say :(

Dave has gone out again, went an hour after coming home. Best place for him, but only if he leaves us alone when he gets in. Poppy is OK, she seems very strong. She still wants to cover it all up, I've just said she mustn't take in anything that he says when he behaves like that. She says she has forgotten what he said, but I know she hasn't, it's one thing talking to me like that, but too much for my daughter.

When he had calmed down, he wanted to talk to me as if nothing had happened. I had to stay still (he told me to!) and listen, I was trying to tidy the kitchen before I skyped (he didn't bother eating his dinner). I told him I was going to Sam's room to talk to K, he said wait a minute, and came towards me for a hug. I said no way, and went out to Sam's room, where he followed, saying I'm not horrible, I'm a nice person.. He cornered me and hugged me with my back to him, - I'm told I'm pushing him away.

Then he went back to the pub. I wonder how it would have gone if Sam had been here? He doesn't give Dave any Grace.

Kate, I feel so much more together, stronger. K said so too. I coped well tonight, with his anger, Poppy, my therapy. I am proud of myself. I will get there, I just hope it won't be too far away.

Good night Kate,
Thank you for caring

Rose

Thank you for those homework suggestions. I will take a look tomorrow.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

Thank you for letting me know what happened. I was worried for you and for Poppy.

 

I agree that Poppy took what Dave said in and she probably does not want to face it. Facing it would be deeply hurtful and she would have to look at the situation in a different light, and let down her defenses. It sounds like that is much too hard for her right now, which makes sense.

 

Dave wanting you to pretend that he did not behave the way he did and wanting you to hug him is reprehensible. It is amazing that after verbally abusing Poppy (and you indirectly) he feels he can get his needs met still. And he requires you to sit still for him. Wow.

 

You did have a long session with K. But in light of what happened tonight, that is probably very good. I am glad K was there for you. You needed someone. And I agree, you handled this situation very well. You are strong and getting stronger all of the time. As you progress, you will take steps to change things. It has to be a slow progression so you have time to adapt. As long as you feel you can be there for Poppy and Sam and you are not in danger, you can take the time to get to where you can leave.

 

Take your time with the homework. It is something you can think about as long as you need to. It is mostly to help make things clearer in your marriage that you may be unhappy with and may not realize should be better for you.

 

Have a good night, Rose.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

Thank you for your 'debriefing' last night, it helped me to put it to bed. I have had it on my mind all morning, and messed up. I forgot to go to work!! I was getting food supplies this am (Dave slept late after the night before, got up when the phone rang, and went back to bed- hangover?! didn't bother to go to work) and Dave rang me to say work had rung and where was I. I'll let you imagine the rest of my day, how I felt, how I feel now. I wanted to write when I got home, but can't manage any more.

I hope you are OK across the water. You keep me going...

'Til tomorrow

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

Rose, what a day for you! It sounds like you need some time to think. Maybe do something therapeutic- a long walk, shopping, or coffee in a cafe for example. Some "me" time should help. You have a lot on your plate and many emotions to work through.

 

I'm here whenever you feel ready. No rush.

 

Get some rest and I will talk to you soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,
Busy day, long skype.
Up in 6 1/2 hrs :( for day at work. Not happy. Can't do it.
Talk tomorrow I HOPE.
Thinking of you.
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rose,

 

Thank you for the beautiful picture! I love colors all mixed together like that, they are so pretty.

 

I am sorry you are so bogged down with responsibilities. Going to work on little sleep is hard.

 

I hope it goes quickly and you are able to get some rest.

 

Take care of yourself. I'll be thinking of you as well.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

I am so glad to be here at last. I had to work overtime to complete my tasks, and then had time out when I got home. Dave's 2 brothers and nephew turned up this afternoon (3 more of the same!!) and so I hid in my room and rested a while. Poppy has a cousin here too, so she is happy. Sam is out with his girlfriend, the rest are .... you know where..., so that leaves me with time to talk to you. I'm happy.

But I can't work like I used to, always on top of things, in control, coping. Now my head just spins, can't keep up, I lose momentum. I know lots has changed for me, my body fusses all the time, and my head is full of cotton wool, so what can I expect. I push push myself, don't allow myself proper break time, think that I must see to my patients before myself; don't delegate, think that I should be doing that job not ask, everyone is busy, we all have our own work, just some more than others. Nearly 2 months in, 4 to go, it's like a sentence. I am feeling better when I'm with my colleagues, and I'm gaining confidence with everyone, so that at least is good.

I had a nice day with my children yesterday. They talked about Dave between themselves- I'd told Sam what happened on Monday (we were whispering to each other in the kitXXXXX, XXXXX was downstairs- he was eves-dropping and heard Sam say it's horrible. Dave wanted to know what was horrible, so I just made something up, but Sam was straight in there with an honest answer!) So yes, they were talking about him behaving like an adolescent, changed by drink, out of order. I didn't join their chat, wanted to hear where it went, but Poppy just told Sam the details of the evening.

Sam had to get his exam results from college, not so nice for him, poor lad. He was very disappointed, only passed well enough in one subject (philosophy) to continue with it next year. He has at last decided that he wants to go to Uni and take psychology, so he will have to start another 2 year course this September and try to get better grades. He's feeling much better having talked to the college careers counselor, he knows all is not lost. I asked his GP to refer him for ADD assessment back in Feb, and am still waiting for an appointment. All this time is going by....

We had lunch out (Sam said you're treating me for failing!) then they had an ear pierced each- 4th time for Poppy, first for Sam. I'm not a big fan of piercings, so I hope they'll stop there. So long as there are no tattoos!

Oh dear, I'm running out of steam. I wanted to write my homework today, but that will have to wait til tomorrow now. Tomorrow is Show day, one of Dave's favorites, especially as he has his brothers with him, they will be draining the beer barrels in the beer tent! Any excuse (in fact, no excuse required!)

Talk more tomorrow,

Big best wishes

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

Rose,

 

I am glad you had some time tonight to yourself. I bet it's nice to be able to take a breath and relax after so much work this past week.

 

I understand the need to complete all of the work yourself. That is something that women take on themselves because of a giving nature. But it is also not wanting to put work on others. We feel guilty asking for help. One study showed that women do three times the amount of work than others in their home, especially their husbands. This is also part of a self esteem issue. It is not feeling worthy to have a break, to have down time and enjoy yourself. You must do all the work to prove you are worthy.

 

Good practice would be to delegate at least one thing a week. Do it at home and at work (if you are allowed to do it there-if not ask for help instead). You can make it as small a task as you'd like. Try it out and see how you feel. You may feel guilty, liberated or something else entirely. Let me know how it works out for you.

 

So Dave has brothers that are the same as he is in behavior? How do you feel about that? Are most of the people in his family dysfunctional in their behavior? What do you usually do to cope with contact with his family? I agree, most alcoholics need little reason to use. It becomes so much a part of how they function they can't act without it. And events such as Show day would be impossible to resist.

 

It is interesting that Dave wants to know all about what is going on in the house. He is alert to the topic being about him or when you have contact with someone he finds threatening. Also, he zeros in on activities that he feels either need his input or that he wants to control. Trying to find out from your conversation with Sam about what was horrible shows what Dave finds important. Also, it says that he is capable of tuning in and paying attention when he feels he needs to. That is important because it means that he could also tune into you and the kids on other things of importance that have nothing to do with him if he chose to.

 

I am sorry that Sam is having a difficult time with school. Though I am impressed that he does well in Philosophy. That is not an easy subject at all! It may be a matter of time for him, that's all. And an assessment for ADD would help a lot. It would at least give him a way to know why he may be struggling. If I can help in any way, let me know.

 

Piercings are one of those things so popular now. We thought two piercings were a lot when I was a child. Nowadays it is so much more accepted to have several, and all over too! Some of them look painful to me!

 

Take care Rose and get as much rest as you can tonight. I will talk with you soon,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

It's good to be talking to you. Thank you for your ever caring post last night, I always look forward to being in touch with you.

How right you are about doing all the work myself, definitely a worthiness/esteem problem, at work at least. In the home I'd say it was more a case of easier if I do it myself, wasting my breath asking! On Thursday I asked him to do 3 simple things for me before he went out- get the washing in from the machine, carry the sack of budgie seed to the stable, and give the ponies some water. Rather than repeat myself an hour later I did them all myself, no big deal, but they were all things that I am finding harder to do bc of my fibro. He didn't notice that I'd done them all, just thought about himself every minute of the evening before he went out.

I know I need to delegate, and I have been trying to at home, with the children at least. I will make it a requirement on the days that I work, that each person in the house does one thing for me. Last late shift XXXXX XXXXXed tea for them all, Dave not at work, NOR making tea, NOR tidying the kitchen, NOTHING (the day I got my shift wrong). I asked him a while ago (you may remember..) if he felt we had an equal share of work at home. After ignoring me the first time I asked him, he later said Yes he did think so, but I beg to differ.

I should be delegating to my nursing assistant, and I do, I plan the work load for us to share, but it's when extra things come up that I find so hard to not do myself- while I'm spinning bc the drs are doing their round, and this drug needs giving, and that pump is alarming, and the relative on the phone wants to speak to me, and those vitals need doing, it's all a question of prioritizing and hoping that you get those priorities right. And then when you have a patient kicking off bc she wants morphine IV and NOT IM, that's the last straw, esp when she says she's going to pull all her tubes out and discharge herself if she doesn't get what she wants, and it's on and on like that all morning.

Dave's brothers are the same, but very different. They don't drink as much as Dave, one (Nick)has MS, and the other just can't keep up. I have difficulty with them both, they are both single, and very self-centered, but they don't have the same inability to recognize when they are monopolizing the social gathering. Nick came to stay with us for a month or so a few years back while he worked locally, and I remember having a row with him about some issues not far removed from those with Dave, and have been very reluctant to be in his company since. Martin is just very strange. The nephew (my age) is quite different and totally affable- his sisters' son. Dave's parents split up when he was a young teen. His father was an alcoholic, and Dave sat beside him dying horribly of alcoholic liver cirrhosis in ITU, until they turned off the ventilator.

Sam did very well in school and left with good grades, enough for him to start a college course with 4 subjects, which in hindsight was a mistake. I'd allowed him to drop one subject at school so that he could spend more time on the other 9, and I should have thought about that at A (advanced) level too. He was at a small private school where they were more able to keep him on task, and I spent many hours chivying him along and supervising him. But when he went to college, I had to let him go, I wasn't well and couldn't give him the energy or mental space that he had been used to, and the college weren't on top of things like his school were. He's a very bright lad, and I just want him to be happy that he has achieved his potential (there's no way I did, didn't even meet the minimum expectations set by the Government). I know that I don't want Sam to feel the way I did, that doesn't feel good, and I know that I have put a lot of money, time, effort, and mental energy, to the exclusion of all life for myself, into helping him, bc he has had such a difficult time with dyspraxia, and possibly as yet undiagnosed ADD. I am to blame in many ways for my mental decline over the last 2 years, bc I needed to be so tuned in to Sam's needs that I forgot about myself, together with the constant battle within our 4 walls.

So Sam did well in Philosophy (B) which suits him bc he is more able to work from intelligence, rather than remembering facts, as in biology. So next year he is looking at subjects that are rather more like that, such as Sociology, but he hasn't made up his mind yet. He took psychology (E) and would really like to start the course again, but we don't think he'll be allowed, unless he moves to another 6th Form! I wonder, How could you help?......

The show today started very wet, tipped with rain. Then the sun shone, and we got there for 2pm. Dave hit the bar asap, no-one else had beer, he just drank on his own. I felt very insecure amongst so many people that I knew, and tried hard not to make eye contact with anybody, glad to have Poppy and her cousin with me as a shield to conversation. I walked around the edge of the field and looked at the stalls from a safe distance, too anxious to be up close and 'personal'. I bought a cup of tea and cake from the Church stall, and sat with Dave and his brothers for 10 minutes before I needed to go home. What is it about being with people that I am acquainted with that unsettles me so? Strangers are no problem, that's why I 'manage' at work.

I'm relieved to say there is no repeat of last years all day drinking, followed by threatening and frightening behavior. It is quiet here, Dave is sleeping off his afternoon's beer, the brothers have gone, and Sam is at work. Poppy is happy on her computer. I am with you, happy too.

Take care dear Kate,

Rose

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

Rose,

 

I understand your need to do things yourself to be sure they get done. That is not unusual at all when you are the mother, wife and bread winner. You are trying to be as efficient as possible and make your own life easier. And even though you struggle with fibro, you still feel that need to do what you can.

 

What makes it all the more difficult is Dave's inability to be there for you. Even the children are doing their part, which it should be the other way around. Dave should be picking up at least half of the work and the kids doing some here and there every day. Husbands who refuse to help around the house are usually either self centered or feel that work at home is beneath them (usually taught to them by their parents). With Dave not acknowledging your needs, it fits in with his profile of narcissism. Not making even an attempt to help means he is not in tune with your needs or anyone else's.

 

It sounds like Dave comes from a family that taught him to think of himself. If his brothers and other relatives act in a similar fashion, then that is usually a good indicator of what went on in their home when they were young. And the connection with Dave's father being alcoholic is obvious. Seeing his father die a horrible death did not change Dave's decision to drink. The denial is very strong that he could end up the same way.

 

For Dave to admit he has a problem with alcoholism and narcissism would open the floodgates of pain for him. He is deeply insecure and probably afraid. He deals with it by putting himself above others. And he kills the pain with alcohol. Until he admits to feeling insecure, he will most likely stay this way.

 

It sounds like you have done a lot to help Sam. And I think he will find his way. I can't tell you how often I hear about college age adults taking time to find what they are good at and/or what they want to do in life. Many seem to catch on around age 20 or 21. So Sam is doing well. What I meant by helping is taking a look at Sam's symptoms and seeing if they fit ADD. I won't be able to provide a certain diagnosis, but it may give you an idea if it is a possibility. I was not sure if you had done this already though. You may have.

 

At the show, being with people that you know means having someone you know see your circumstances with Dave. Suffering from a low self esteem makes facing this problem even harder. You may also fear that they would think less of you because of Dave or even because of who you are. A stranger, on the other hand, does not know who you are. They cannot attribute Dave's behavior to you or not make the link as easily because they do not know you. Being associated with someone who acts out is not easy. No one wants attention drawn to themselves, especially unwanted attention. You feel the shame of Dave's behavior because the way he acts can make you feel you are accepting of it, when you do not. It associates you with him just because you are with him. You may also project your feelings of insecurity and possibly anger and shame onto others. If you feel the way you do about yourself, then others either feel the same or even worse. This is not true, but it is common to feel this way.

 

Others you know who see you with Dave at the show most likely see you according to their own filter. Some will understand because that is just their nature. Others may be critical, but it is because of who they are, not who you are. And still others ignore it. They don't feel Dave's issues are that important. What is important here is what you feel others think of you. This will tell you much information about how you feel about yourself, which is something tangible we can work on. Try saying what you feel others are thinking about seeing you out with Dave. Or even by yourself. What is going on in their heads? What do you feel they say about you?

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, Rose! The butterfly is beautiful. Blue is my favorite color too.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
Hey Kate,

What're you doing on line, your day off!! I'm writing to you, but will send it tomorrow...

Have a lovely day

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

Hi Rose!

 

It's good to hear from you. I was just wondering how you are doing. I hope your day went well too. It's late so you are probably settling down for the night.

 

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

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Morning Kate!

Thanks for your greeting. I love to hear from you. Not a good weekend, but I got through. Today I have a little history for you, not sure why I need to tell you this, but it might make the picture a bit more colourful!

I met Dave when I was 22. (that’s more than half my life ago, sigh )

I had been in a relationship (my first ‘real’, and first intimate partner not counting the b’stard that raped me) for 3 years while I was training, and my heart was broken. I really felt part of his family, and loved being accepted as a member of a loving and caring unit. I had a taste of what I had missed all my childhood years. I was devastated when we broke up. I was best friends with his sister, God Mother to her daughter- we thought we’d be together for keeps. After parting with Tony, (was it something my Dad said? Things were never the same after that ‘talk’ in his study behind closed doors- Tony wouldn’t tell me what it was about, just ‘swings and roundabouts’. I was very upset with my dad, but couldn’t talk to him about it.) I went to stay with his sister in West Wales where she was running a bar in a holiday complex with her Spanish husband. Dave had met them several months before, and was a regular at their bar. He had left his long term partner and young son, and was living very basically in a caravan, working casually where-ever he could. He had spent the previous 12 years living on a Commune in the depths of Wales with other ‘hippie’-type people, being self sufficient as much as possible, playing music, taking drugs, not working, and being mildly anarchistic. He had apparently had enough of all that, and wanted to move on.

Dave almost ‘pounced’ on me as soon as we met. I was very wary. He wanted to take me out and about (in my car!), show me this and that, these pals, that pub, his caravan (he had no reservations- it was a hole!) He wouldn’t give me space, was always there, all week. I said goodbye, went home, had no intention of seeing him again, and said so. Two weeks later he knocked on my door, 400 miles away in the S of England. He’d given his dog away to the farmer, given up his caravan, and spent all his money on the coach fare down. What could I do? I took him in and looked after him. I had no feelings for him, but he was apparently in love from the first minute.

He lacked education (left school with no certificates), was unskilled, and unkempt. What was there about him? He was interesting, different, a little ‘je ne sais quoi’, not the ‘nicey nicey good guy’ type that was expected of me, a little rebellious perhaps, unreserved and wasn’t a dim-wit. He had Life’s experiences to share, which I had none of, and he was 9 years older than me.

WHY did I let him stay? I didn’t want a relationship with him, I told him so, but he put the pressure on, made me feel guilty, mean, turning him away, I relented, and did my best to help him sort his life out and give him some direction. He had an address, I filled out his forms so he could claim social/ job seekers allowances etc. I paid for him to take his driving test so he was legal (he’d been driving for 13 years without a licence), I enrolled him on a training course and got him a placement in the ship-yard, and further courses in building trades, applied for jobs for him, got him going some where. I did all this for him, but for me too, because I felt trapped by him, and didn’t know how to be free of him. I felt it was easier to ‘brush him up’ than ‘brush him off’!! He’d got into my house, my life almost without my consent, pulled at me, muddled me up, told me Good things about me, said I was the one and only, made me feel special, but I was not in love. I told him if he was to stay he was to stop using drugs, and he did for a time, but I didn’t consider alcohol. And I should have seen the warning signs, the many times that he’d get drunk (not at the pub, at home) the times that he’d wet the bed, or pee in the cupboard, the time when he pushed me down the stairs. Why couldn’t I see it coming?

My Dad couldn’t hide his disappointment in him, so I told them only good things about him, only his achievements, praised him up, painted happy pictures of our life together. I was still upset with my Dad for whatever he said to scare Tony away, and I seemed to be trying to spite him, didn’t like the idea that they were still trying to be in control of my life.

I put years of effort into turning his life around. We had a happy enough time, we had friends to spend evenings with (my friends), but he was very critical of them. Time was passing by, and I felt I’d got in too deep to get out. When he asked me to marry him, I agreed with a sense of dread. I knew I was making a mistake, but couldn’t drag myself away, I felt pinned down, stuck. I kidded myself that I loved him, even on our wedding day there was a lack of pleasure for what it was meant to be. I didn’t feel I had a choice in my life, that he had made my choices for me, and he knew he was onto a good thing being with me, a reliable income, parents with money, my own property. I have never said so to him, but I know it’s so, he likes the easy life.

After we were married I knew I’d got it wrong. I was upset with myself, and worried about my future. I continued to put on a show for friends and family, especially with my parents. I put my head down and got on with it, pretending to myself, always in a state of denial of the lack of happiness in my life, but trying so hard to get everything else right. But I knew he was a good dad to his young son, and I’d watched him with other friend’s children. I was happy for him to be a father to my children, and thought it was to be the missing link in our life. Something good has come from our time together, but he has lost the skills for fatherhood along the way. Perhaps I just saw what I wanted to see, perhaps it was just bc he saw his son for isolated weekends, whatever it was, he doesn’t have it for our children, only for his son, who is now 27.

It really hurts to acknowledge what a fool I’ve been, I feel I’ve been weak, and should have gone with my gut feeling all those years ago. I feel I only have myself to blame for being pushed into something I didn’t feel wholly about, and that is why I have tried not to see what is in front of my face, so glaringly obvious to many. I have tried to cope by denial, but had no idea of the toll it was taking on me until recently. Now the time has come to do something about it, I have the support I so badly need, the right voices to tell me I can do it. I am scared, and excited. We are all getting closer, day by day, the children won’t take it from him; I am standing up for myself, but by doing so he is making me the bad guy, ‘always having a go’ (ie making a suggestion to make my life a little easier), blaming me for asking him in the wrong way- he says he is a very tactile person, does that mean he wants me to hug and kiss him, give him a massage before I ask a favour of him? He’s getting at me bc I won’t let him touch me, he wants me to show him some love..-.. I say I sorry, but I don’t love.

What did I ask him to do?? I’d just vacuumed the whole house while he lay in bed. The puppy had been digging in an area of freshly dug earth and was bringing loose soil into the house. I asked him, very politely as is my way, to find something to cover the earth with, chicken wire or the like. No No No I won’t do that. I said just a little something for me? He tells me he doesn’t care about the mud. I said I know he doesn’t. Then there is a big row about the way I ask him to do things (that’s why I don’t ask- this is what I get), then he said he responds to love and hugs- you see- time to give up. Poppy thought he was being ridiculous, came and gave me a big cuddle and said ‘please don’t forget to feed the neighbours’ cats!!!’

He and Sam had a full on row last night. Sam has kicked his toilet door in and his shower door out. Dave was having a go at him for playing on his X-Box, and getting angry when things don’t go his way, hence destroying his doors. Sam tells him that the damage is more to do with his Dad’s attitude towards him and the anger and frustration that it causes. Sam tells him straight that it’s bc he drinks so much, and he is so mean so much of the time. Sam does have anger issues, but I hope that will be addressed when we eventually get his appointment at CAMHs.

This is a long one today Kate. If it takes your time, please answer me in 2 or more posts so that I can accept each time. You are worth much more than JA gives you, I wish I could set the question value, but I can’t! Hope it makes sense.

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

Rose, thank you for sharing all of that with me! I am humbled that you would tell me of your pain and suffering with your marriage and all that went with it. It is not easy to share deep pain and I admire you for letting me know what happened to you.

 

The first thing that struck me in the beginning was the rape. The pain you had gone through as a child was awful enough. But having it occur just as you were seeking out independence and moving to go on your own continues the thread of pain in your life. To be put in a position of vulnerability again is a tear to your soul. I am sorry. I hope you feel you have worked through it and healed as much as possible. Let me know if you want to share more. I'm here.

 

It strikes me that Tony was the right relationship for you. It was healthy and what you deserved after the abuse you went through as a child. I believe you recognized this off the bat. But so did your father. He saw the relationship through the eyes of someone who finds it alright to hurt his daughter. So he was not looking at it as a good match for you, he was seeing it in a dysfunctional way. How do you feel about your father ruining that for you?

 

Your description of the beginnings of your relationship with Dave was exactly right. Though you see it now, back then it was too hard. To have that kind of insight at such a young age is rare, especially in the case of an emotionally abused child/adult. As an emotionally abused child grows into adulthood, they still seek to connect to someone who will remind them of the parents who could not love them as they deserved. Dave was the person who triggered those feelings for you. He was older (parental), had seen the world more than you had (more experienced), he was narcissistic (most abusive parents are), and most of all he treated you like you were used to and the way you felt you deserved. He presented himself as a way for you to repair the damage of your childhood. You could connect with him, fix him up and maybe things would change for you. When the warning bells went off, you ignored them because you learned very well as a child to ignore those kinds of feelings. Push down your own needs, serve others so you can be loved, and don't ask for anything for yourself. Live for the other person.

 

I can also see Dave as a charmer. He manipulates to get his way. He saw you as his meal ticket, a way to get through life without anyone demanding anything from him. So he found out your buttons and pushed them with all his might. He cornered you, gave you no choices and presented himself as a needy puppy. Once he was in, he tuned out from anyone but himself and started taking from you and everyone around him. You were the life he could never achieve himself- support, selflessness, intelligence (he may have smarts but choses not to use them), and caring for others.

 

You mention that in the beginning, Dave was all you were not with his experience. But I believe you were all Dave was not. He took advantage of that.

 

Now you blame yourself for not seeing Dave and the situation for what it was and getting out. But you did see it for what it was. You were just so hurt and in so much pain that it was overwhelming to push Dave away. Also, an abused child grows up to have so much hope that things will change, even if the situation seems hopeless. You learn that you have to find that little chance that something will be better because to believe otherwise means that your life is over. What you feel now is extremely common. Many, many emotionally abused women feel exactly like you do. Why couldn't I see it? What is wrong with me? They blame themselves instead of seeing themselves as doing the best they could with what they knew. If everyone saw abuse and was able to run from it, then abuse would not be a problem. But as you know, there are so many victims and survivors of abuse that the number of books, resources and websites still are not enough to address all the needs. For the victim, there is always that hope, as small as it is. When you combine it with an abuser's ability to manipulate and push their way and will into the relationship, that it becomes almost impossible to see your way out.

 

Rose, you are strong. For anyone to survive a childhood like you did, a rape and your marriage and still have an open heart, care for others and raise such wonderful children you have to be strong. You have survived. It is a sign of great endurance and honor. You could have easily been beaten down, given up and let Dave have at it. You could have kept this all to yourself and never let a soul know. But you are strong. You reached out, got the support you and the kids need and you are ready to move on. You found the way out and you are walking towards it. Think of Dave, do you think he will ever get better? Ever reach out? Care for someone else? Help someone or make a difference in another person's life? He does not have the strength that you do. I would hope for his sake that someday he would find it but at this point, you are far beyond where Dave is.

 

I can understand Sam's frustration. He needs a father who is a good example for him, who can teach him and guide him. Dave is not only not meeting Sam's needs, he is acting in such a way as to cause Sam (and Poppy) distress. Sam is acting in a very appropriate way, given the circumstances.

 

Thank you for your concern about reimbursing me. You are so thoughtful! But you are very kind to me and I appreciate it.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
Wow Kate,

You are amazing. Everything you say is so true. But as I read your reply I feel oddly separate from it, as though you are telling me about some-one else's misfortunes, and I feel sad for that person who has had such a difficult time, who has really struggled to be happy, to know what it's really like to be content. It makes me wonder how she could have lived for so many years without really knowing what her husband was like, why she wanted to hide from the truth.

I was nearly beaten down. I nearly couldn't get up. I didn't want to share it, that's why I was so scared to talk when my GP was asking me. That's why I was mute- I had a battle in my head, trying to cover up, but wanting to tell, really not knowing what to tell, how to tell, words couldn't and wouldn't come, I didn't want to face it, speak it, make it real; but all that happened were tears, years and years worth of tears, week after week, until I had a little bit of structure in my head that I could build my thoughts on, and then I was able to start to tell.

Most of what I told you above has been hidden until K asked me about how I met Dave last week. I had to drag it out. I'm glad I have now written it down. I am embarrassed to admit it all, I feel a fool to have let it happen to me.

I haven't worked on the rape, didn't want to at the time, said I was fine. This is just another thing that I feel I have stuffed down, tried to hide away, and not admit that it happened, another weakness, something that really should NOT have happened. (it was 'blind date' rape- never met him before, but a friend of my friends bf)

I was furious, gutted, unforgiving, heartbroken that my father had spoilt my relationship with Tony. I could never speak to him about it, I just couldn't, maybe didn't want to know the truth, wanted to protect myself from the hurt. I wished that I was free to lead my own life with who I wanted, and to not have to have the 'control' of my parents. I spent many years resenting them, wishing them a long way away, not wanting to feel their disapproval of everything that I did. Tony was my soulmate, he was fun, caring, intelligent, but he was a Cockney (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockney) like his dad, and my dad did not like that at all. My mum has admitted that much to me.

I have to go now, Dave is just in from the pub and bending my ear. I'll try and be back later. The floodgates have opened...

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

Rose, it is very normal to experience an "out of body" feeling when talking about trauma you have gone through. it is a defense mechanism. And defense mechanisms help you survive. Distancing yourself from what you went through gives your mind a way to cope with the invasion of the abuse on your emotions and body. You find a safe place and hide inside. It keeps it from seeming real and that helps you live through it and emotionally survive it.

 

Even now, you are suffering with abuse from Dave, which helps you keep the wall up and the distance from your own emotions. To feel that much pain while it is inflicted on you would be too hard for your mind to bear.

 

But now you are getting ready to face this. You are looking right at the horror, sadness and deep pain you have suffered with for so many years. All of those tears you spoke of was the pain seeping through and pushing to be out. You allowed it to come through because you are healthy emotionally and the feelings were not compatible with the healthy Rose. It had to come out. So you battled in your mind to understand what you felt and you got it. You figured it out, in all the muck and craziness that is abuse you connected the two sides and realized that you needed to let it out. Once it was out, you started walking towards the light.

 

I understand that you feel bad about not seeing the abuse for what it was. But K did a good thing. She is helping you see that history and that you did what you could with what you had. You are healing, Rose. So many out there stay in the suffering, never seeing any other way. They are not dumb or stupid or lack insight. They just have different messages in their minds. Ones that tell them they will never be ok on their own, they don't have the strength and that they deserve this. You may have had similar messages, but you are able to overlook them and keep pushing through.

 

Rape victims often feel that they should not "let" the rape happen. But if you could have prevented it, you would have. This is not your fault. Rape is never the victim's fault. Never. It is always the perpetrator's fault. If this happened to another woman you know, would you feel it was her fault? No. The same goes for you. If you choose to work on this part of your trauma, then seeing the perp at fault for this will be part of the healing process.

 

Your feelings about your father and the situation with Tony is very appropriate. Your father betrayed you over his own prejudices. He put himself before you and your happiness (sounds familiar). Have you thought about writing a letter to him about it? You don't have to send it. But just writing out your feelings as if you were telling him can be very helpful. It gets it all out and lets you look at how you feel, deep inside.

 

I hope all goes ok with Dave.

 

Kate

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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,

You can't imagine how much you buoy me up, I was thinking that earlier as I was driving home- you make me walk taller, as if you are within, and you are with me.....with every step that I take.

I cried so much in the early years, but in more recent years there have been few tears, although there has been plenty to cry about. I guess I'd just got to the point of acceptance, of hardening myself to all that was thrown at me, and just let it slide off me instead of letting it in.

Dave ranted a while, but now watching TV. Early to bed for me, not sleeping well :(

Thanks again Kate,

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

Thank you for your kind words Rose! That is very nice to know.

 

Fewer tears may also mean that you are seeing things more clearly. You probably developed better or different ways of coping. It most likely led to you seeking out help because a part of you understood that you needed out eventually. Just a possibility.

 

I hope you sleep better tonight. Sweet dreams,

 

Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,

I want to write but I can't, I feel sick with upsetness and my head is spinning too fast. I don't know how to cope with my children tonight, they are angry and unhappy, I have had therapy, but they have argued and Poppy has cried all evening. Dave is out. I said to Sam they need therapy for all that is happening here and he says he's fine.

I will think things over as I try to fall asleep.

Goodnight,

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

Rose,

 

I am sorry you are feeling so upset. It sounds like things are hard right now. Do you feel the kids are upset about their father and the situation with him, or other things that are going on?

 

I am glad to hear Sam is ok with therapy. It is a wonderful idea to have them both attend. They need time to work through all the feelings they have about their father and the situation they are in.

 

I hope you rest well. I wish I could offer more right now besides a cyber hug. I hope K was able to help during your session. I am here for you whenever you can talk.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I don't know Kate,
I feel it's all bc of the negative vibes put out by Dave, they are both defensive esp of him, and are not able to separate their feelings when with other people. So tonight they are each defending themselves and have been trying to be in control of their own sides of the argument-which seems to be about each others attitudes. They don't like to be the underdog, want to come out on top, be right, and I know they have heard everything that has gone on here, and Sam is always standing up for himself and me, and Poppy for herself. Sam is saying Poppy is just like dad, she is upset by his straight talking. There seems to be no other reason for the argument, which started while I was trying to rest after work this afternoon. Sam has admitted he gets angry quickly, and Poppy has started to hit to help her when her words aren't enough and she is frustrated.

I wish Sam was OK with therapy, I meant he said he was fine and didn't need it. I need to work on it, they must have it.

Thank you for the hugs, they are very welcome and comforting.

I am eternally grateful for your presence.

Rose.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
OMG I knew I should have had my light out, 00.15, Dave just home, rolling. The sickness feeling worsening, he is imploring me, wants to make me smile/laugh, wants to know how to, said he saw me smile when talking to K, wants me to smile for him. Says he is hurting....too... that he loves me, wants me to say those words, that they are small but very strong words. he's stroking the puppy who is lying on my bed, says we should be like this. I'm feeling bad, very bad.

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

Rose,

 

Thank you for the clarification about Sam. I missed that one.

 

Well, it does seem that Dave and his issues have had an influence on Sam and Poppy. Sam is easy to anger and Poppy is hitting, both things that Dave has used to express his feelings. It is very understandable that the kids are vulnerable to seeing the behavior and picking it up. After all, for them, they know no other way (from their father). It is normal for kids to incorporate what they see into what they do.

 

They are also upset inside of themselves. They probably do not know how to process the behavior they see from Dave so they become insecure and act out instead. Fighting, pushing their wills and trying to feel better about themselves by "one upping" each other is the only way they know how to handle it. In therapy, they would learn how to identify what they are feeling and find better ways to express themselves. Healthy behavior that they can use in all situations. So far, they have only had you to model such behavior. And a lot of your healthy behavior is spent trying to deal with Dave's dysfunctional behavior.

 

Here is a book that may help you and the kids:

 

When Parents Have Problems: A Book for Teens and Older Children With an Abusive, Alcoholic, or Mentally Ill Parent by Susan B. Miller

 

The book may help the kids to start identifying some of the behavior they are seeing and how to separate the behavior from Dave from who they are.

 

Most likely, the kids are arguing so much in order to not only express some of the personal frustration they have about what they see, but also to blow off some steam. There is only so much upheaval they can witness with Dave's behavior before the tension gets to them and they begin to fight amongst themselves. Notice how they compare each other to Dave. They accuse one another of being like him. They are saying, in essence, that it is Dave's behavior that upsets them and they are fearful that they will begin to act like him. Sam is already showing signs, but he also has his insight and your behavior to help him offset the anger. During the teen years, kids develop the person they are going to be by looking to the same sex parent in the home. For Sam, his father cannot model the right behavior for him. So Sam is left feeling frustrated and lost. For Poppy, she has you, but she also needs to learn from Dave what men should be like so she can form relationships in her life. Her inclination is to defend Dave because she is having a hard time facing his behavior.

 

Therapy can help them express their fears and vulnerability. It can also give them a way to learn how to voice their deepest feelings. It is a complex and difficult situation when you have an abusive parent who hurts you in so many ways. But they do have you and your stability to help them through. That is going to be what helps the most.

 

This is a down time, but things will improve. The path is never smooth but once you get through this, it will be better. You are a good mom to your kids and that makes a big difference.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

I hope you can tell Dave to leave. He is trying to manipulate you and wants from you what he can never give you back. He needs to find a way to deal with himself.

 

Are you ok?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
sort of, I'm at the end. Feeling scared and very anxious. Don't want to struggle anymore.

rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
feeling ok.
goodnight. thank you .... so much
rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I am glad you are alright. It is not ok to have your personal space violated, particularly by someone who abuses you. It is another form of abuse for Dave to push himself on you and force you to care for him emotionally.

 

Take care tonight. Let me know when you can talk again and how you are feeling.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Thanks for your support last night, I wish I could take control and get him out. I don't feel ready to handle it just yet, but I will soon I hope.

After I logged off he came back down and sat down in my room, looking at me. Just looking, in the half dark, no words, I was freaked out. Poppy (I know, very late!) came down to go to bed, and told Dave to go out and leave me alone. She gave me big cuddles and made me feel better. Now my 13 year old is looking after me, it shouldn't be like this.

Dave says he has problems, but not what they are. He Will Not seek help, I've told him he needs to, but he was very angry with me.

I've been at work today, so tired after little sleep again.

Sorry, I want to tell you something good soon. This weekend Dave is away, I will tell you something good then, I promise.

Goodnight Kate, and thank you so much. Thanks for the post about the children with the book ref, I will follow up tomorrow when I can think straight.

Rose

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

Rose,

 

You are thinking about telling Dave to get out which is great progress. Thinking becomes doing and doing is action. Poppy telling Dave to leave you alone is her reading the situation just as you do. Dave is being self centered, hurting you and acting strange. He wants something from you all of the time without earning the right to what he wants.

 

Dave is angry with you because your suggestion for him to get help makes him face that something is wrong. He doesn't want to think he could be the culprit in all this. It is a good sign that he is mad. It means you are on the right track. This is about him, not you (which we already knew but he doesn't!).

 

I am looking forward to hearing the good news!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Morning Kate,
You're up early!! Just passing and had to say Hi. Do I get a prize if I'm your 1000th accept?!?
Catch you later
Rose
Ps. Do your children start school at 6.30 am? I couldn't believe it when K told me her daughter has to leave for school at 6.15!
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Oh, yeah. Up and at 'em early!

 

I would've loved for you to be number 1000! It's hard to believe that I've talked to that many people.

 

My kids are not in school yet. The are renovating one of the schools and need more time so they are starting late. They are happy about it!

 

It's good to talk to you. I'll check back in case you post.

 

Have a good day, Rose.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Yup, you sure have been busy. Did I miss 1000? never mind, I'll have to wait for 2000!! :)

I'm too tired to write really, but so want to. I cancelled my therapy tonight as I wanted to take Poppy to the Carnival and Fair, I've not long got home. Dave came too (Sam is working- he's a KP in 2 local pubs (NOT Dave's haunt)). Autumn is definitely here, I was very cold and soon tired. I don't mean to be a kill joy, but do worry that I will never enjoy outings again. I went and sat in the car with my puzzle book (I'm big time into puzzles, seemed to be an addiction at one time when I wasn't well last year, but my CPN says more of a distraction, which makes sense), while Dave hit the pubs and Poppy had fun at the fair with her friend. Dave somehow swindled me out of all the cash I earnt today working for my aunt, and I know it will all be gone tonight. Left Dave at his local on the way home. I won't see him til Monday now (if I'm lucky) cos I'm working tomorrow and he'll be gone b4 I get home. :)

I feel OK about no therapy tonight, I'm moving on. A few months ago I wouldn't have made it a week, but then I didn't have you too.

Your post re the children is much food for thought. I am scared for their future, and hope that I can get them to agree to therapy, but how do I tell them they need it? I know they won't want it. Dave will no doubt find out, - what will he say? Perhaps I'll ask about counselling at school and college, that might feel easier for them. And the book, I'll get it on Amazon, still haven't got very far with the 'adult children of abusive parents', but have made a start.

Sam had his interview at college today to see if they would take him back with such poor grades. He's not permitted to restart psychology, but (if the Principle allows) he will take sociology, media studies, continue with philosophy, and maybe do another that is music related as he plays the sax. He says he's excited now he has a focus, but is scared of his future, how he will cope, with Uni, a job, worried that he won't be able to 'do it', be organised etc. I said there are always people out there to help you, guide you through- even life coaches (whatever they are). And there's always his old mum. :)

More work tomorrow. Maybe I need to become an expert on JA. I really can't cope with these full on days. When my 6 months is up I'll look for something less demanding.

Time to get my light out!!

So good to drop you a line earlier, have a pleasant evening. Lucky kids to have an extended holiday!

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

Rose,

 

It sounds like everyone was busy tonight in your family! I am glad there is the possibility that Dave will be out this weekend. It gives you time to rest.

 

Are you thinking about ending your therapy with K or just taking a break?

 

The kids can go to therapy with you as a family, if you feel that all going together would help at least initially. Let the kids know that you feel it would help them cope better. I am sure they understand but just asking them to try it for a short time would be a good option too. Talking never hurts.

 

I am sorry to hear Sam is struggling with University. But I think your advice to him was excellent!

 

I'd love to have you as a co worker here on JA! I am not sure of their current need for nurses but you could apply and see. It would be a great job for you.

 

I hope your night goes well and you get a lot of time to yourself!

 

Talk to you soon,

Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate,

Thank you for chatting, I love to hear from you, whether it's long or short, it's still therapeutic for me.... and I want to accept as often as I can...

Several months ago I couldn't go a week without seeing K, I needed her between sessions, and we would email. I have been seeing her twice a week (hard on my purse, but I don't spend money on myself, so I could justify it to myself, and I needed it. Dave doesn't know, and my Dad has just started to help me out) for a few months, and feel a lot more able to cope. Weekends have been particularly difficult, and that's when I started to talk to psychlady, and now you, and I am forever grateful for your support. There is so much more that can be said (by me) in writing, and that's why I need you so. It is a real struggle for me to talk, but she has given me plenty of time and I don't feel stupid anymore when I get stuck. Sometimes my mind is a blank, therapy is an ordeal, and I can't wait for it to end. I used to take a diazepam (2mg) before my session (K suggested it), and it helped me a lot; now I don't need it and I can talk more freely.

Last night I just had a break, but it will be good to see how I get on for a week without, but as Dave is away (and I have you :)) it's not really a good test. Mostly I'm too tired to talk to her, and I've often been to work, so it isn't ideal, but it's hard with the time difference, and I always wanted Dave to be out of the house. I can't concentrate when he's here, he listens if he can, then there's a big row about some snippet that he's heard (he heard me mention Tony one day, in fact he didn't know I was seeing K, that was a very difficult evening, I don't remember why he was at home, but he demanded to know who I was talking to, so I introduced him to her. She was very interested to meet him!!- he spoke about himself only during their 30 second interaction.) Now if he's at home, which happens more now I see her twice a week, I lock myself in Sam's room so I can talk freely.

I am supposed to be having creative therapy here in the UK (NHS), but I've been on the waiting list for 10 months. It doesn't look like I'll be getting it now. K says she wishes I was in her office, she would have me doing sand tray work etc (sounds peculiar, but I'm sure there's a therapeutic benefit!), but I always need to be doing something with my hands when I talk to her- I fiddle with hairbands elastic bands and ribbons- so we talked about doing some coloring,doodling, or making things with play-dough. That's how I get through my GP appointments too (fiddling, something to focus on bc I can't look at her when I'm trying to talk)

It's a very grey day, raining a lot. I'm off to work in a few minutes, and Dave will be off to his drumming weekend. It's his birthday tomorrow.

I don't think I could be an expert on JA, I'd worry too much about what I was writing, and about what other experts and clients think!!!

Talk later.

Have a good Friday

Rose


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

Rose,

 

It sounds like your sessions with K have been very helpful to you. I understand about how hard it is to talk. We mentioned this before, but if you are introverted that is going to make any verbal communication difficult. But there is two sides to that. One, you may be introverted and have a hard time expressing yourself. Two, there are issues from your childhood that factor in how you express yourself. Figuring out what is just your personality and what is about the abuse you suffered is important.

 

It is sad and a shame that you have to hide your therapy from Dave because of how he responds to it. For him to put himself first and not allow you privacy is awful. You deserve time for yourself and the respect and privacy to get it. His need to take over your life and not only drain everything he can out of you but constantly demand to be the center of attention has to be beyond stressful. Although it is common for narcissists to act that way, that does not make it easier to cope with. They cannot stand not being front and center for it all, which leaves you to either push the issue or give in. I wonder what would happen if you pretended to be self centered? How would Dave react?

 

If your therapy with K is becoming hard, it could be for a few reasons (besides Dave's insistence on making it hard for you).

 

Part of it could be that you are at a point when therapy is working and you are making progress. Your work with K has been intense (from what I know of it) and you may have come to a point where you need time to work through where you are. I mentioned before that I have noticed a shift in your outlook and feelings about your life. No doubt your work with K has helped you get there. Now it is a matter of adjusting and beginning to apply what you have learned to your life.

 

Another reason you may need time is because you are about to face something big. Sometimes when people are in therapy and begin to come closer to a discovery or break through, they start to back off therapy. Part of it is the overwhelming nature of facing something like that and part of it may be fear. That is ok and very normal.

 

The way you know therapy is over for good is when you struggle to find something to talk about. You begin to feel that you can cope on your own and that therapy is like visiting someone you know well and you are just hanging out together. You have no major issues to bring up and overall you feel fine (and much stronger). All therapists should strive to never see their clients again. That sounds so awful, but it is important. Helping your clients learn to cope on their own, feel good about themselves and handle their lives in a healthy way is what a good therapist does (and much like you do as a nurse). If you are not doing that as a therapist, then you need to get out of the field. You are not helping anyone.

 

I took a look at sand tray work and it is interesting. It involves using mini figures, objects and sand in a tray. You move the objects and figures around as you want. What you come up with is like telling a story about your feelings without having to talk. For example, if you placed a female figure on one end facing the middle and all the other figures facing the female, that might say you feel everyone is against you or you feel alone. It is quite creative and would probably be very useful in therapy.

 

Fidgeting with objects while you talk to someone usually indicates nervousness and uncertainty. It is like someone bouncing their leg when they talk. It helps the person vent some of their energy from feeling nervous. It could also indicate boredom or irritation. It is a way to cope with energy you feel from whatever you are doing at the time. It serves a good purpose as it helps you get rid of some of the nervousness so you can focus better.

 

What do you have planned for Dave's birthday, if anything? If he is off doing his own thing, then that would give you a nice break from focusing on him.

 

I hope work has been ok for you today. It's not gray here yet, that will be in a few months. The hurricane is coming up the coast starting today so that has everyone's attention.

 

I'll talk with you soon, Rose.


Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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.
Wow Kate,

Thanks so much for your reply, it's always so interesting reading your posts, and you have so much to offer me. OK, so I need help figuring out whether I'm introverted bc of personality or childhood, it hasn't been highlighted by K, so maybe we can work on it together??
Thanks for telling me about sandtray work. That is interesting.

I know it's a shame to have to hide from Dave, he is just so scarily unpredictable, has to have his say, like if I want to go to Church, or see a friend he doesn't like, I keep quiet about it, lest I start a tirade (esp re Church, or helping out at the fete, or other such things) I also have to hide it's expense, as he would see it as a waste of money.

Dave has gone, he went at lunch time. Not back til Mon. We didn't have any plans this year bc he knew he would be away. Most years he wants a big party. I can't think of anything worse. So we usually have a birthday bbq with his family and pub buddies. I'm relieved of it this year :). I'm looking forward to a weekend of just me and the kids. BUT... tomorrow am Dave's nephew (another one) and 10 others (his family and friends)will be arriving at 7am ish for breakfast on their way to a holiday cottage not far from here. It's a ritual they do every year, I don't relish the early start- straight from my bed (they wake us)

Work was OK, but it was wasted earnings... I got a parking ticket! £60! I sometimes park in a leisure centre car park and walk bc it's £8 a day at the hospital. Ce la vie!

It has poured with rain all day. I heard about your earthquake, K told me, but haven't heard about your hurricane. That's a worry, do they usually stay coastal, or do they cross land? (or are they tornados!) Is it coming close to you? I google it, see what's happening.

Time for much needed sleep

Goodnight Kate

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

Rose,

 

I would love to work on the introverted/childhood issue with you. If you want, can you tell me more about how you feel when you talk with others?

 

Dave is very up front about being the center of attention, it seems. And he imposes on you a lot. How do you feel when he pushes his way and ignores how you feel?

 

I am sorry about your parking ticket! That is so discouraging. Would you be allowed to have special parking due to your fibro? In the U.S., they have what they call handicapped parking, which is always in the front of a parking lot, for people who can prove a disability of any sort. It just seems unfair you have to walk so far to work.

 

The hurricanes go up the coast and sometimes come inland a bit. So far, we haven't seen anything where I am but hurricanes are unpredictable so we'll wait and see! I just hope everyone got out in the affected areas so far.

 

Have a good night, Rose! Enjoy your time.

 

Kate

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hey Kate,

Just been reading about Hurricane Irene and wondering how things are your way-I'm not sure where you are but I feel you are not far from it's path, I hope all is OK.

Will write later.

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

Hi Rose,

 

Thank you for asking about me. I appreciate it.

 

We are doing fine. I do have family that live right on the coastal beaches and they had to evacuate so that is somewhat unsettling. One family member needs to head back tomorrow so we are checking the forecasts as often as possible. It should settle down soon though.

 

I'll talk with you later,

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Guess what? I'm sitting in our family room and watching TV! I haven't relaxed here (or even sat here) for weeks, since Dave was away last- I haven't felt comfortable sitting here while he is home, he's always here with the tele on, and I just want to avoid being here with him. He usually goes out after I've settled in my room, and don't feel like moving, so this is a real treat. My day is totally different without ANY interaction with Dave, and the children have both been happy and content. We had a HUGE invasion of 11 people this morning, they brought supplies for breakfast, and Dave's nephew, who is a chef turned kitchen fitter, cooked for us all.I wish Dave was more like him, thoughtful, caring, great with the kids, helpful, hardworking, a good earner. It's always a pleasure to see him, in fact them as a family. They all stayed a few hours, by which time I'd had enough!! I felt I coped well with the new faces, and tried to be relaxed with them all. I hope they thought I did OK.

It made me feel sad for my children to see the 2 lots of parents enjoying each others company, talking nicely to each other, having a good time with their children, interacting as a family. I feel they have missed out on alot, and that I can't make that up to them, no matter how good a mum I am and have been, it's the closeness of a family unit that has been so starkly missing.

Dave's birthday. I can't call him to wish him a happy birthday, he doesn't carry a mobile phone. He won't ring - he'll be too sloshed or stoned to think of that!

I am so uncomfortable being the centre of attention, or having any attention on me, I am sometimes just happy to sit at the back or in the shadows, and let him get on with it. I am rarely brought into a conversation that he is having, so I will quietly have my own on a one-one basis at my own level, if I feel too self conscious just being quiet. Sometimes I will make an excuse to go off on my own and try to pass the time, join the children, give the dogs a run, or do the washing up.
If Dave wants lots of people here for his birthday, or any other time, I will be in a very anxious state, but I will do my best so that I don't make him angry that I am resistant. I feel I'm wrong to not want all these people here, so he usually has his wish, but it's always a lot of work and stress for me. I haven't cried for a while, I am feeling stronger, but I am with tears now thinking about coping with many people here for a social gathering. Dave won't have the first idea of how it is to be anxious like that. I feel I am a very poor hostess, and have a fear of inviting friends here for evenings. It is not enjoyable for me. And I get extremely knotted up before any social that we have been invited to, making myself feel unwell for days before, fighting within, thinking of little else, trying to persuade myself that I should go, I'll be fine, I'll enjoy it... But it's always such a relief when I win and decide not to go, I feel so much better, instantly, and I can relax again. It's even better if I don't get invited, then I don't have to decide, say sorry I can't make it. Dave is the opposite, he pushes to be invited, gets upset if he's not included, invites himself (there was a wedding a few weeks ago- he asked why wasn't he going, got an invite at the last minute!)

I won’t make this any longer tonight, save the rest til Monday. Thank you for telling me that you are OK, and that your family is too. It must be exciting but frightening to see the force of nature at work like that. It is sad that it causes such devastation, and loss of life. I can only remember one hurricane which struck in 1987 while we slept, and our weather man failed to predict it – in fact dismissed a tip-off on-air from a caller to the BBC that a hurricane was due- he has never lived that down!! Though technically we can’t call them hurricanes in the UK bc we aren’t tropical!

Hope it blows itself out soon, though we may get the sting in it’s tail yet, they usually cross the Atlantic and give us a quick blow too.

Childhood vs introversion coming soon. Watch this space...

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

Rose, that was funny! I will be watching that space!

 

As you describe how you feel about social interaction, many options pop in my mind. Introversion (as we talked about), social anxiety, low self esteem, and general anxiety. It seems that when you feel as if you want to socialize, you have an easier time of it, like today when Dave's nephew and family came over. When you do not, it is harder.

 

The contrast you made with Dave's family and your family was insightful. You were noticing the intricacies of how they interacted compared to your family. I am sorry that you feel loss over what your family life is like compared to theirs. Recognizing the loss is important. It helps you grow from what used to be normal for you- accepting Dave's behavior and allowing it to occur, to now, where you recognize the effect Dave has on you and your children. Just that contrast is a major growth point.

 

It is also important to see that your children, while growing up in a different circumstance than others in their family, will also learn different skills and grow in different ways than the others. For example, they will be more able to handle stress and conflictual situations. And they will be more resilient than other children. They will have positives that come out of growing up as they did.

 

Tell me if this sounds right- do you feel worse socializing when Dave is with you? From the examples you gave me, it sounds this way. But I wondered what you thought. If you do feel worse with him around, that might be a big factor in your fear of socializing.

 

Here is some food for thought. This site gives a good picture of an introvert. See if it fits you or if not, what you feel about it:

 

http://giftedkids.about.com/od/socialemotionalissues/tp/introverts.htm

 

Enjoy your time tonight! You sound so happy and I am glad you have this time for yourself.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 amazing. I didn't know introversion was more than just an adjective!!

Friendships- agree, I do get told by friends that I should get out more.
Social preferences- agree
Preferred activities- agree
Social behaviour- yes, yes
Social expression- affirmative
Verbal expression- yes, yes, yes......
Emotions/ emotional responses- yes again and again
Other traits- sooo true

What can I say Kate...? I guess that's that one solved!

Thank you for saying that the children will gain something from the way their childhood has evolved, it makes me feel a bit better.

There are 2 sides to socialising with Dave, it depends when and what. If it's at the pub it's better if he's there, bc I don't want to talk to anybody, so he does all the talking- but that has been once in the last 2 years, and I had to go home after half an hour. If it's somewhere that I know lots of people, and we have a common ground, then I'm better on my own. When it's my friends/ area of comfort, ie school, church, then I am much happier without Dave. I can cope alone, but I still stay in the periphery, but I rarely go anywhere unless I know there is someone who I can be with that knows me and my anxieties well. So I think in general I am worse when I'm with Dave; when I am, I keep my distance from him, I don't want to hear him, and I don't feel comfortable.

Thanks Kate, more to follow soon.
Sleep now, good night
Rose

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

How's the weather? I've been thinking about you all day. We have a beautiful day, I hope you aren't too much affected by Irene, but she has amazing breadth, 500 miles, wow. So I guess it's passed you by if it's reached NYC...

Take care

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

Hi Rose,

 

The weather is good here, thank God! The news says that several people lost their lives, including two children so far. I can't help but feel a deep sorrow for the families. And there is much damage from the storms, estimating to be in the millions of dollars range. I am just praying that the rest of the hurricane season passes much easier!

 

I am glad you felt that the introvert article helped. I sent it to you in hopes that it might make it easier to look at where your feelings about socializing might have come from. I know you mentioned your childhood was difficult and expressing yourself was not encouraged. I wondered if you felt that caused your introversion or that you felt it was part of your personality?

 

Your reaction to socializing with Dave sounds very normal to the circumstances. Anyone would feel as you do about going out with him in different situations. But it seems you are very well aware of the boundaries in which you are comfortable and that is good.

 

How is everything else going for you? Are you still enjoying your weekend?

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate,

I've had the best day- thanks for asking. I have been busy with washing and vacuuming (I have a tendency to do it on a Sun am, perhaps it's to signal to everyone it's time to get up!!), Sam went to work over lunch, then I took Poppy for a short ride on her pony. We've hardly been out with him over the holiday, I struggle to find the energy, and Poppy won't go with Dave. It's been a beautiful day. We had a cheerful banter all the way, and ate blackberries (shared with the pony!)

Poppy had a camera for her birthday and she wanted to take photos of the sunset, so we went down to the nearest seaside town to find that the sun stayed behind a cloud for the next half an hour!. I took some lovely pics of them on the beach together- I haven't got much of them together, so I'm pleased. I'd like to show you, but I'm not comfortable with the level of privacy. Maybe I will.

We went for some food at a restaurant that we have been to many times. I was so happy, the kids were great together. They haven't had a single cross word for each other today, they have laughed together, shared together, and they have teased each other, but every single vibe has been positive, and I was soaking them up.

So I Have Had A Great Day. :) And I haven't felt utterly tired like I so often do, no stress, no anxiety.

But I have work tomorrow morning, so I'd better get my head down.

I am so glad to hear that the storm passed you by. It is extremely sad that there have been deaths from natures powers, and I hope there are no more to come.

More tomorrow,

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

That is wonderful to hear, Rose! I am happy for you. You deserved a break and it sounds like you had a great one.

 

I would love to see your photos! If you feel comfortable, that is.

 

I'll be here tomorrow whenever you are ready to talk.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Kate

I almost don't want to write today, I am slipping, sliding, don't want to admit that I can't maintain my smile. It doesn't take much, a few slips at work, Dave home, too much discomfort and fatigue. I'm not one to complain or fuss. I'm sorry, it was so good to tell you about my weekend. I don't see how it is possible to swing so quickly from the dizzy heights of happiness yesterday, to not wanting to be bothered anymore, wanting to stay behind my closed door and not have to see anyone, talk, make an effort. Even when Sam told me my parents had called looking for me I didn't want to get up and see them (they share the vegetable garden)

I guess I'm tired, I'll make that my excuse. I woke in the night in pain, took my pills and tried to sleep again, then up at 6. It was quiet at work, it's a Bank Holiday today. I was happily on top of my work, but the Prof (Vascular Consultant) sent a message to the ward to say he would be up to see his patients, and could we be prepared with what we needed from him. I've never met him before, didn't know his ways. I had 2 of his patients- I'd discussed with the Ward manager what we needed to ask. He breezed onto the ward, and expected an instant response as to his patients needs/ problems. I am partially deaf, wear a hearing aid. I struggled to hear his every word. I had trouble expressing myself, telling him about his patients. I was anxious, being hurried and stumbled, blocked, couldn't think quick enough. He said he'd just got back from London, had phoned ahead to say he was coming, wanted to be in and out in a flash. He asked me if I was a permanent staff member, I said temporarily so; he said he expected the nurses to be as up to speed with his vascular patients as he would his junior doctors. He told me this outside the staff room where everyone was sitting having coffee, hearing me have a dressing down.

I felt on edge for the rest of the day, self conscious and incapable. I tried to make light of it, saying that now I have met the Prof. The Manager said you'll get used to him... They let me go home early. I was so glad, just wanted to get home and go to sleep. Dave was home, back from his weekend away. He was sitting watching tele. Nothing has changed. Then he slept, then I fed him, then he went out. Nothing has changed.

I hope you are having a good day. Have your children made it back to school yet?

Will write again shortly

Rose

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello again Kate.

Chapter II

I have never been a great socializer, but I haven't had problems to this extent. Even family gatherings are a concern for me, I prefer to be busying myself doing something in somebody's kitchen than making chat. I'm not afraid of seeing or being seen, being in company, I am afraid of my ability to communicate as myself. I have confidence in my ability to write, my pen and brain work well together, but when I ask my brain to put a sentence together to speak, it won't do it.

When I am in my professional capacity, I am often capable and proficient, able to give verbal reports between nursing shifts etc without too many problems, although there are many prompts (hand over sheets, notes, charts etc) but admit I do still have word blocks, and might need to talk my way round by describing it. I was talking to a patient the other day, explaining about his morphine pump and chest drain, and as I'm speaking, I'm thinking to myself that I'm doing very well, I've explained myself fluently and coherently, and I was pleased with myself. I'm happy to make small talk with my patients while I'm giving them care, and rarely feel self conscious doing so.

I am unable to talk about myself and things that affect me, I feel it is a confidence / self esteem problem that affects how I express myself. I can (sometimes) have a reasonable conversation if I really concentrate hard and consciously work at putting words together in the correct order to form sentences, but it doesn't come easily. My brain seems so weary, it doesn't seem to have the energy to construct sentences and create links to form a conversation.

When I want to talk about me, my feelings and emotions, I seem to get stuck, I'm not able to think how I feel, let alone speak it. I might be able to say a few isolated words, but not describe how I feel, my mind just draws a blank, shuts down and doesn't let me see it or say it.

I have trouble talking in other situations, and at home with my family, but it's worse when I'm under some stress, like in any social situation, talking to a professional about me (GP), talking on the phone- trying to speak the reason for my call, make it clear, myself understood, - this is often when words fail me, and sometimes I have to give up, or let them help me out, sometimes getting so upset that I can't stop the tears. I have never stammered, but it's like a stammer, I try to say some words and I can't say them, have to try a different word, start my sentence over again, word it differently so that I can say it.

I think what is the point of being intelligent if I can't speak a sentence without stumbling, getting stuck. My sentences are short, minimal, dull, few adjectives, uninteresting, not worthy of note or attention. Sometimes when I try to talk I can say part of what I want to say, even when talking to friends and family, then I just can't finish it, get stuck, and either give up, say it doesn't matter, or they try to help me out by finishing my words for me, then I start to turn inwards, drift away, want to be on my own, it's too much effort. I feel embarrassed, self conscious, stupid, and so I don't try anymore. It's such a struggle, and I feel anxious about it all the time.

It is a big reason why I am socially afraid, I have a fear of having to speak to people, mostly bc I can't perform, and I worry what people think of me. My memory recall is very poor, I can't remember films that I've seen, books I've read, authors, actors, people, places, nothing to make conversations stimulating and interesting. I couldn't belong to a book club, though I love reading, bc I wouldn't be able to talk about the book, give my thoughts and opinions on it unless I had it written down.

If I see someone I know out in the village or town, I try to pretend not to have noticed them so that I don't have to speak to them, cross the road.

I'm not shy or nervous of standing before a group and giving a presentation that is meticulously planned, with every word written down for me to work from. I might even be able to throw in a few words of my own if I felt confident about it, but if I was asked a question about what I'd just presented, even though I would have a good understanding of the subject, I wouldn't be able to answer. If there was a question asked by a tutor in class, I would be able to answer, not be shy to, but I would answer in single words, or in a short sentence that had been prepared beforehand in my head, or even on paper.

I was a poor reader aloud, never fluent, and always very scared when we were reading a book in class and it was soon to be my turn. I could read well to myself, but had poor concentration, and poor memory. I had private poetry and prose/bible reading lessons, and would recite poems publicly from memory (festivals/ awards etc.) I sang in the church choir weekly and sang solo during communion. I have read readings at the Christmas Carol Service. I took part in the local amateur dramatics and had speaking parts in the plays. And I have taken part in public speaking competitions where I was the speaker, with a very well prepared speech, and crib notes. I remember one time when I finished my presentation, and the Proposer of Thanks asked me a question related to what I had said. I had a TOTAL blank and couldn't couldn't formulate a response. My chairman whispered an appropriate answer to me, and that is the answer that I used. I will never forget that (I guess I was 15)

Since I have had the children I have worked very hard on reading fluently aloud. I concentrate very hard, and find it exhausting, but I'm pleased that I can sight read now relatively well, I no longer feel self conscious about reading aloud.

I will think more on the childhood vs personality aspect of introversion, and hopefully write tomorrow.

Take Care Kate,

Rose

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

Rose,

 

Reading your first post, I could not help but feel a need to comfort you. I can see that you loved your weekend, the weekend of freedom from Dave and his overwhelming personality. But when you are with him, you seem to feel tired, sad and lethargic. You want to snuggle in and hide from the world. I would say that Dave and his behavior have a profound effect on you. His actions and behavior permeate your existence. When he leaves, however, you become as a butterfly. You are happy, relaxed and carefree. Even your posts are full of happiness and exclamation points! You enjoy yourself and feel good. You go out and engage in life. The difference is amazing.

 

How do you feel about the contrast in yourself with and without Dave around? What do you feel causes the change in you?

 

After reading the rest of your first post and your second post, I can see more clearly how you feel about socializing and how you feel about yourself. You are naturally intelligent and very good at expressing yourself, when you feel you know your material and you are helping someone. But when you talk to those who you feel are your equals or who you feel are above you, you lose that confidence and your ability to express yourself. I think that when people are able to see you and therefore judge you, you feel blocked from expressing yourself. I say that because you talk to me so well. I understand what you say and I appreciate how you say it. You "speak" to me clearly, intelligently, and with a wonderful clarity. I can "see" your words. They come alive for me off the page, if you will. So expressing yourself is not the issue here. You have it in you. It is just getting it out when you are face to face with someone that is hard.

 

I believe that you do have some symptoms of social anxiety disorder. But because you are able to get in front of others if you are prepared and you are able to talk just fine to those you feel comfortable around, I would say that you have symptoms of social anxiety but not the diagnosis itself. The other half of the issue is your self confidence. How you view yourself is how you feel others view you as well. You were raised to believe that you are not worthy of love and attention just for who you are. You had to try to earn love, and even then it was not given to you. So learning that others do not value anyone less than perfect or good is part of your inner dialog. It is what you believe about yourself. That is what causes you to cross the road when you see someone you know. Talking to them is painful because you believe they think of you the same as you think of yourself.

 

But as a nurse helping patients, you know that you understand more than they do and you can help them. And they will appreciate that help. It takes the judgment out of the equation.

 

You mentioned not having a good memory. Memory can be improved. And not everyone has a good memory. But you do retain what you do not feel anxious about. Take your nursing for example. Most people who are not in the nursing profession would be overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge a nurse must have to be good at their job. All the medications, procedures, keeping doctors informed (dealing with doctors behavior, ugh) and just the amount of caring for others requires someone who not only is intelligent, but that can remember a lot of information in a very confusing situation. You can do all of that. So intelligence and retention is not a problem for you. Therefore, I believe it is how you think of your intelligence that is an issue.

 

This is good work, Rose. I know it is not easy. But you are really stepping out and facing a lot. Strength and grace through it all. If I may, could I give you a hug across the miles? You deserve it.

 

I hope your night is better than the last one. Sleep well, Rose. I will talk with you soon,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 bring smiles and tears together, I am so happy to be in touch with you. I receive your hug, and return it a thousandfold, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX in my heart.

sleep. :)

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Kate,
I am very weary from my therapy, I have cried too many tears.
I hope you are OK.
Will talk tomorrow.
Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rose,

 

I am sorry that your session did not go well. I hope you get some good rest and feel better.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

How are you? I missed you yesterday, I was too poorly to write, but I feel better enough to be up today. I hope to have a day out with the children before they go back to school, Poppy wants to go rock pooling- one of my favourite things to do at the beach. The weather is a bit dull, but we will go anyway.

 

I can't think enough to write intelligently, so I've pulled up a letter I wrote to my GP about Sam when I wanted to have him referred for assessment re ADD. Would you mind giving me your thoughts please?

 

 

Sam was a big baby. He was very hungry, colicky, unsettled, demanding, wouldn't sleep. I didn't know what to do with him, how to make my health visitor understand what problems I was having with him. I kept thinking if only I had a video camera I could show her the mealtimes, the night times, the all the times. I had him sleep in bed with me to get some peace, then I moved into his bed with him when he was old enough.

 

When Sam was 31/2 he was sexually abused by a child minder's 15 year old son. There was no evidence, but Sam's description of events was enough. The act was vehemently denied by the boy's father, I was too afraid to pursue it further. I just hope there is no lasting damage.

 

Sam was a child that was everywhere, into everything, needing little sleep and constant attention, when your back was turned something would be happening, no chance to relax unless he was asleep on my lap. He was noisy and active, and very bright, but had problems with his fine and gross motor skills. He didn't play rough and tumble with the boys, didn't take bumps and knocks well, and he hated getting dirty. He was very sensitive, cried a lot, had some episodes of being bullied, and had difficulties with friendships. No-one at school thought he had a problem, he was ahead of his year, but he was disturbing and easily distracted, very fidgety, and couldn't settle to task. At home he would procrastinate constantly, (still does), and would need more help and supervision than I expected to get things done timely or at all. A 10 minute piece of homework would take an hour. His hand writing was terrible and his drawing skills were very immature. He would make us late for school or the child minder, for one reason or another, and my stress and coping skills were starting to be challenged, especially as I had little help from Dave, and I was working shifts. One day when he was taking part in a gymnastic display at school, I could see there was something amiss - there he was for the whole school to see, unable to do a roly poly, or walk along a balance beam, even holding someone's hand. His PE teacher had always given him a hard time, couldn't catch a ball, couldn't kick well, all the other boys in his year were the other extreme, very capable physically it made Sam stand out so much more. So I did some googling, and came across dyspraxia, which I'd never heard of, but I found he fitted the term perfectly. School said,yes, how right you are!!!!! cue Ed Psych at long last (he's 9).

 

I had him assessed by DDAT (DORE) and they described him as having a developmental delay disorder, and signed him up for a two year course of activities to improve the function of the cerebellum. We plugged on with the twice daily exercises, usually with arguments and cross words, until we could bear them no longer. We didn't finish the course, but I hope it wasn't a waste of time and money. I just wanted to do what I could to help him, I felt bad and sad that he had to struggle so much with his life.

When it was time for us to look at secondary schools for Sam, his form teacher told us that she didn't think he would cope in a main stream secondary school, she imagined him in a class of 30 spending the whole lesson, whole day, fiddling, or day dreaming, not learning a thing. She knew he was bright, but he had spent his primary school years in a class of 12, and under her nose where she could keep him on task. So I was thrown into turmoil as to how to facilitate his education.

 

After much deliberating and advanced maths we sent him to Stover with class sizes of no more than 15, and a high proportion of children with SEN, so I hoped they would take good care of him.

His reports and parents evenings were full of ‘lack of concentration, always disturbing others, easily distracted, getting little work done in class, messy work, fiddling, won't sit still, work handed in late, late for class, not reaching expectations, should be up the top'. Homework was always catching up with class work plus set homework. I could never leave him unsupervised to get on with his work, I would be up and down the stairs to see if he was getting on with it, nothing done while I'd been gone, ended up spending my evenings watching him, never going out because it wouldn't get done, if not done he would be in trouble and have to do it again the next night to catch up, I found myself planning my life around Sam's needs, and so not having a life. Dave had his own. When it was exam time he couldn't look at a book without me to keep his attention on it. Any homework took 3 or 4 times longer than necessary. I wanted to stand back and let him get on with it, but I knew that he would have to spend more time on things at a later time to get it done at all- whose best interests was it in to leave him to it? I didn't want him to fail at school, that would dent his already low self-esteem even more.

 

So I spent hours and hours over years and years giving Sam all the time and help he needed to get through school, and feel good at the end of it. He was still bullied, still had relationship problems, still ridiculed for his quirky behaviours, his angry outbursts, his lack of sporting abilities, his awkwardness, but as he grew up he became more in control of himself, more self-assured, more outgoing, and had a lot of good friends who accepted him and he didn't feel he needed to prove himself all the time. I asked the SEN tutor if she thought he was ADD, but had no definitive answer. I think he is.

 

He has a compulsiveness to be clean and washes his hands over and over. He showers every morning, even when he doesn't have time. That is more important to him than being somewhere on time, catching the bus for school. I spent 5 years every morning telling him the time, asking him to speed up, to PLEASE be on time for the bus, PLEASE not to expect me to drive him all the way to school yet again, sometimes 2, 3 times a week (let's just leave Dave in bed shall we, better that way, saves World War 3 before school!) It was the same, no matter how much time I gave him to be ready.

 

Sam was studying for his GCSE's a year ago, and I was very stressed because he needed so much supervision to get him to get his course work done before the deadlines. He could not work for more than 10 minutes without a break and so his flow of thought was constantly being interrupted. He would not work without listening to music, and any computer work was staccato'd by a need to put another track on on You Tube, and maybe watch the video at the same time.

 

Since starting at college I have made it clear that I cannot help him, there is no room in my head to cope with his needs. I feel terrible that I can't give him time anymore, and he is failing. I don't know what to do to help him cope with his future, he is scared that he won't get a good job, he knows he won't cope at University, he knows that he can't study alone, can't plan for himself, can't meet deadlines, is often late. I have put so much effort into helping him try to overcome all his weaknesses, which is why I am so exhausted, why I couldn't cope anymore.

 

Today, nothing much has changed, he is still noisy, still fiddly, touches things, bangs the drums, breaks his pens, can't settle, up and down, procrastinating, late for the bus, hyper-clean, angry, defensive, disorganised, needs little sleep, easily bored, low self esteem........but has amazing attention for his X Box!!

 

I might be able to think later...will write again. I'm sure there's more I want to say...

 

Hope you have a good day,

 

Thank you Kate :)

 

Rose

 

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

Hi Rose, it's good to hear from you!

 

I am at an all day seminar today, unfortunately. Is it alright if I answer you tonight? I want to take the time to give you the answer you deserve.

 

Take care,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Of course, any time is a good time to hear from you! Hope your seminar is interesting. Tell me about it later??

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

Hi Rose, I'm finally back. The seminar was good. It was given by a neuropsychologist who heads up a large institution in North Carolina. The seminar was about anxiety. The lecturer mixed the medical model with the psychological model (of course!) and it was fascinating. I learned a lot.

 

Thank you for waiting for me to answer.

 

Your description of Sam's symptoms made me think of ADHD right away. It is very typical for children who have ADHD to be very good at video games, since the fast pace keeps up with their minds. Additionally, Sam's difficulty with focusing and with sitting still also sounds like ADHD. It runs in families, so if you or Dave have relatives that have ADHD or ADD, Sam could inherit it. It also is much more common in boys than girls. Lack of sleep as well as learning disabilities are often ADHD in disguise. Treatment is Ritalin as you probably know.

 

In Sam's case, I would rule out the ADHD first. I would also consider Aspergers. I say that because of the social issues. He may not have a full blown diagnosis, but traits of it instead. Though I think the ADHD could explain some of the social issues, ruling out Aspergers is important. If he would have Aspergers, it definitely is a mild version since he has gone on to make friends and be more social.

 

I think your diagnosis of Dyspraxia is exactly right. Sam's trouble with coordination and his inability to perform simple tasks is explained if he has Dyspraxia. Dyspraxia patients often have trouble in school, failing almost every subject. They have difficulty with simple tasks such as drawing a straight line or tying their shoes. Each child is affected differently so consulting a doctor is important to determine the level of treatment needed.

 

I would also rule out OCD. Being late for a bus over hand washing and showering a lot could be just anxiety, but it is explained better by OCD. The compulsion is to keep the anxiety over the obsession under control. It provides order when someone feels out of control. OCD is treatable through therapy.

 

Although I think ADHD and Dyspraxia is probably the two main issues, it would not hurt to be sure that Sam does not have a learning disability of some type. It could be a secondary diagnosis if ADHD is ruled out.

 

What do you think of any of these possibilities?

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 input re Sam. It's good to get your feelings about him too. I'm keen to get him sorted out while he's still living at home, to give him a better chance of going it alone. He is struggling with his self confidence still, and wonders if he can 'do it' - be an adult, go to university and study successfully, have a good job and do it well, live alone, be independent. He worries a lot.

Dave's brother's son has been treated for ADHD for 10 years with Ritalin. I believe he is now off it and no longer needs treatment. I'm a little disappointed that I've had to push push all the way through school, firstly to recognise he had a problem, and secondly to get him help. I think he could have had a lot more support, and be alot further on.

I definitely think he has OCD, he has even asked that of himself, realising that he is rather over the top with his hygiene. I hope all this will be sorted when he finally has his assessment. I also think he had a few years when he was showing signs of Tourettes, but I was keen not to bring it too much to his attention in case he worried that he was odd or strange, his self esteem has been so low. From the ages of about 8-14 Sam had facial (blinking and grimacing) and vocal (grunting/guttural) tics, which indicated to me mild Tourette's. He has also gone through his teen years having the need to touch everything he passes at home, including people (just family I hope- Poppy hates being prodded!!), which he still does now. He still makes inappropriate noises when he is excited (only at home- I hope!), but the facial tics have stopped.

Aspergers has also fleetingly crossed my mind, but didn't stop long. He has very secure friendships these days, and I'm very pleased for him that he has gained in confidence enough to be happy in others company. He seeks out company, and is mature in his conversations, but he is also known for his angry outbursts, mood swings and occasional impulsive behavior.

I've lost this once and had to start again, so in case JA wants to play more games, I'm going to send now, and write again. Please, if you are to reply tonight, could you post twice so that I can accept twice? Thanks Kate.

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

Rose,

 

I was happy to help. I understand the stress of having a child with a disability. My son had Autism. Although I do not reveal that to too many people, I wanted to let you know that I know the stress and the hardships of trying to get help and hoping and praying that he gets better.

 

I admire your strength and your determination to see this through with Sam. Having a child with a disability is not for the weak. You are a good mom to him, and to Poppy.

 

Sam's feelings about facing adulthood and all the responsibilities is so normal. I know that with his struggles it is harder for him, but with help he should do just fine.

 

When is his assessment supposed to be? I am learning a little about the system where you live but it is not familiar to me.

 

With the additional symptoms you mentioned that Sam has, I agree with you that he does have OCD. The good thing about that is that OCD is treatable with therapy and medication. If you have Anafranil in the UK or something similar, that is the preferred medication. He can also take SSRI's augmented with anti psychotics if he has some evidence of a tic disorder.

 

I believe Sam's OCD may have started as a result of the stress from Dave's issues. It is probably his way of coping with the chaos his father caused and still does. It is an anxiety based disorder and often develops as a result of trauma.

 

For you, helping Sam with this can be done some at home. It is better in therapy, but if he has to wait a long time you can try some techniques with him to help him try to control the compulsions. It is good he has insight into his OCD, that will help him to respond to therapy.

 

The idea is to prevent Sam from responding to the obsession by performing the compulsion. So for example, if Sam feels dirty and wants a shower for the second time that day, he should do something to prevent himself from showering. Instead, he should do something unpleasurable- go for a run, pinch himself, dunk his hands in cold water, etc. It may sound crazy but making him face something he doesn't want to do will separate the obsession from wanting to do something to satisfy it. Eventually, Sam needs to work on separating himself from the obsessions and compulsions. The therapist can help him see himself as who he is without the OCD. Who would he be without OCD? What would his life be like? Once he can picture that, he can start to see the OCD as something separate that can be treated and eliminated and not part of who he is.

 

I agree about the Aspberger's. I just thought I might throw it out there just in case. But I think he has too many social contacts and interactions to have Aspergers.

 

I think we are losing each other because our thread is long. When I reply I try to save the answer before I send it because it sometimes disappears on me. Would you like to start a new one? I don't like asking, but JA won't let me do it. It's up to you if you want to or not. I can still save my answers if that helps too.

 

I'll check back in a bit to see if you posted again.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 telling me about your seminar, it does sound very interesting. I have wondered about converting to Mental Health Nursing, I have made a few enquiries, but not sure what step comes first! I find conditions of the mind fascinating, and have read a lot of articles in Psychology Today (K is posting them on her FB site almost daily) I also thought it might suit me better bc maybe there isn’t so much running around, bending, stooping and physical work. We’ll see.

I am feeling really out of sorts today. Feeling very low and unsettled. I had 3 days of hard work which made me unwell, but I am feeling better from that now. I feel it’s all too much for me, that I’m wading against a rising and powerful tide that seems to be stopping my progress. I am turning inwards and don’t want to come out. I can only talk to my children. Last night’s therapy left me feeling inadequate, I couldn’t say much, there was a lot of emptiness, there seemed to be no sparks in my thought processes, synaptic failure. I didn’t know how I was feeling and so couldn’t tell her, I wanted it to end before time was up. Tuesday’s session was very intense, I was feeling particularly tearful, upset by the condescending treatment by the consultant on Monday, and my self esteem and confidence was at a low tide. I don’t really feel that I’ve picked up from there, but I haven’t felt so uncomfortable during my therapy before. I didn’t know where to take the session (but it did start badly with problems with skype which made me very anxious), but I remember you writing that you know when you’re done with therapy when you find you have nothing to say. I wonder if I am at that point? But going from one really intense session to one where I couldn’t think what to say I’m not so sure. Is it time to cut down to one session per week do you think? I didn’t know when she asked me on Tuesday, I thought not, but maybe I do now.

I know I’m not done with therapy. I can’t be alone. If I were my end would be near. I keep thinking all day, I’m going no-where, it’s too hard, I can’t do it. I have been cutting. I am ashamed. Dave has come home from one pub, had his tea, and gone out to another, I can’t talk to him today.

I think maybe I should get some sleep. Thank you for all your support. You know how much you help me don’t you?

Rose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Kate,

You have given me plenty to be working with til his assessment, which is still in the pipeline. I first wrote to my GP in Feb, but we got pushed from one post to another, then had to be re-referred as the paediatrician didn't feel the referral to him was appropriate, but only after she had asked us again if we really wanted the referral, so we still wait.I was left wondering if I was doing the right thing, so I hope Sam will be OK with it when it finally does happen. You may notice there is no mention of Dave in any of this, that's right, he has had NO involvement at all, doesn't understand, just gives him a hard time for it all. No support, no opinion, no assistance.

Thank you for sharing about your son with me, I feel privileged that you have told me; he couldn't have a better mum to help him with his needs. I hope he is doing OK.

I remember our thread becoming difficult when it got too long last time. Rather than starting a new one (I don't much like being out there for all to see!!) perhaps we could pick up the latest one about divination and continue on that thread?

Take care,
Til tomorrow

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

Rose,

 

I hope that you are getting some good rest as I write this. You sounded so tired and overwhelmed in your first reply. I am so sorry.

 

Feeling alone and overwhelmed gives you no place to express your feelings so cutting would be natural for you. But what about the situation makes you feel that you need to hurt yourself? I understand cutting, but I want to know it from your perspective. Tell me about your process. I know that you feel embarrassed by this, but it is more common than you may know. And I do not think poorly of you because of this. I feel sorrow and understanding.

 

I agree with you, ending therapy right now would not be the right thing to do for you. Talking to K more than once a week may be the problem with your sessions, or it may be that you have come to the point that you are going to make a breakthrough. When people have therapy for major trauma and issues like PTSD and abuse, it is common to have plenty to work on initially. But then therapy comes to the point that there is a wall, so to speak. This is where the person has a thick wall of defense, where all the deep pain and sorrow is underneath. This is a hard and difficult time. Breaking through the wall is not easy but once you are beyond it the real healing begins. This may be where you are. I sensed it some in our talks but was not sure yet. But in therapy, it is up to the client to make the choice whether or not to break through the wall and face what is beyond it. What do you think?

 

It sounds like you need to talk more about how you are feeling, but face to face is hard. You have said that seeing someone inhibits your thoughts and ability to express your deepest feelings. It could be that when you are near the "wall", it is too hard to express how you feel to K. Writing out your feelings may be helpful. Journaling is great. Do you have other ways you express yourself that helps? Getting those feelings out without being verbal is one way to deal with it.

 

I am sorry that the appointment is taking so long for Sam. But doing some of the work with him at home will help until he can finally get in to see someone. There are some good resources out there to help as well. I can also help you find some. Let me know.

 

Dave should be part of this situation with Sam but I am not surprised he is not. I read in your letter to the doctor about Dave not being involved and I felt for you. This is a lot to handle on your own. Most of my son's treatment was my responsibility as well (not for the same reasons you cope with but for other reasons) and I did not realize how stressed I was until it was over. So taking care of yourself when you can needs to be high priority for you. I know you have precious little time. But you are worth every little bit you can squeeze out.

 

I think you would make an excellent psych nurse! I do believe it is less lifting and more about medications and therapy. I would imagine that some psych courses and getting some experience would be the basics to getting into the field but I'm not sure about that. I can tell you that once you are familiar with the psych medications and the DSM, you will be more than prepared.

 

I do not recall the thread you mentioned about divination. But if you want to start it, it should pop up on my account. I will follow it from there. If you do not hear from me within a day, though, try me back on this thread. I understand you do not want to put a new thread out there on the queue. No problem.

 

I do not have too many plans for the weekend so I will check in as often as I can. It is Labor Day here in the US so almost everyone has Monday off. But I am sticking to my regular schedule so write any time.

 

I hope your night goes well and you get the rest you deserve. Sweet dreams, Rose!

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
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 want to share with you tonight, but not up to writing much.

No prizes for guessing who these 2 are!

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I'll see you on my other post in a wee while,

 

Rose

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

Thank you for sharing the picture with me!

 

Kate

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