That was hysterical! Where do you find these jokes? You have a great sense of humor.
I'm glad your visit with Cathy went so well. It must feel so nice to have the support of a good friend like her. I can understand her desire to sort Dave out. If only it was that easy, eh?!
She is right about Dave's interest in himself. How was that for you to hear?
You keep moving ahead with this regardless of your fear. That is so admirable, Rose. You do something to reach your goal almost every day. I'm not sure if you have noticed how you have pushed ahead and faced this so well. You reach out for support, talk about your situation and keep moving no matter what. You really deserve a lot of credit for how far you have come.
I do know "crowd surfing" and I had to laugh- it's a good metaphor for what is happening for you. You do have your own crowd, cheerleaders if you will, helping you along the way to your goal of peace and freedom. It's a great thing to see.
You concerns with the "very serious matters" are valid given Dave's past behavior. I have some thoughts about what you said:
1. Dave may not see anything he has done as serious. But that does not make it any less serious just because he says so. Dave's view is skewed. It has to be so he can continue abusing the family. For to see it as it is, he would have to deal with it. Hiding it or denying it is key to keeping the abuse going.
2. It is the nature of the abuser to blame the victim. Not taking responsibility is part of denying what he is doing. Either you make him do it or the kids make him do it. He has convinced himself that he not in control of his own behavior. That way, he doesn't have to feel guilty.
3. Shame and hiding is part of abuse. Don't tell anyone, hide the pain, pretend all is ok. It doesn't help anyone to do that but Dave. By saying you blow it out of proportion, Dave is saying it is ok to abuse you and the kids. It's no big deal because he is not the one getting hurt.
4. Being drunk does not excuse behavior. Responsibility starts when the abuser takes his first drink.
5. If you feel he will become more abusive when he reads the letter, it is very important to have someone there with you, another adult or even the police. You are taking away his meal ticket and his chance to have his victims available 24/7. He may do whatever it takes to keep you from taking all of that away. Put your own safety (and the kids) first. Prepare for the worse case scenario. It won't hurt and will keep you from being abused or even worse.
6. If you anticipate any reaction whatsoever from him, the set up a plan to deal with the worst he can do. You may even want to consider asking the attorney if it is ok to have Dave removed right then. Pack up some stuff of his and have it ready. Ask your neighbor, your father and maybe the police to be there. Then tell Dave to leave. You can also have a locksmith waiting to change the locks right after Dave is gone. It may be the best way to handle it. There is no reason to keep him around, is there? It will only give him a chance to hurt you for what you are doing and he might do that once you are behind closed doors.
Once you have a plan in place, then you may want to approve the letter.
My concern with your "very serious matter" list is that you will accept Dave's accusations that this situation is your fault. You did nothing wrong. You did not make Dave abuse you or the kids and you are not blowing this out of proportion. If anything, you do not make a big enough deal of it. You minimize it, accept blame and hide it. This needs blown out of proportion so Dave can no longer hide behind the shame and secrecy. If he cannot hide, then his secret is out and now everyone knows what he is doing. He will experience the shame for a change.
It made me feel sad, your comments about the little girl hearing her father say such a cruel thing to her. How did you feel about it?
I think Cathy was commenting in general about Dave being psychotic. People sometimes use that term when they feel someone is very crazy. The diagnosis of psychosis does not fit Dave (although I cannot be sure of that without seeing him face to face but I'm almost certain). From what you have told me, Dave most likely has narcissism and is an alcoholic and drug abuser. He may also have another personality disorder, at least one that needs ruled out. His emotional development most likely stopped at some point during his late childhood, early teens. If he was abused, it might have stopped somewhere during that time. Either way, he has not matured enough to take on adult responsibilities.
It brought tears to my eyes reading your comment "I feel such a fool to be with this man, how did I ever agree to him?" You are no fool. You only accepted him because he fit what you were taught you were worth. You were used to being abused and he was willing to abuse. Since then, you have come so far. I keep saying that but it is amazing to see. I read your words and it's like talking to a completely different person. It is a steep climb to get out of an abusive relationship and a lot of people never make it. But you have almost reached the top. I have no doubt that you will be standing on the peak any day now!
Good night, Rose. I hope you sleep very well, without pain.
You're welcome, Rose. It is my privilege to be here for you.
I figured you were talking about Poppy in regards XXXXX XXXXX man and his daughter in church. Poppy has coped with a lot from Dave and getting away from him will be good for her. She does care what he says to her but she may feel that fighting back is the only recourse she has to retain some of her dignity. It is sad that he could not be a better father to her.
I appreciate the kudos, but you did all the work. Things are happening fast and it may take time for your heart to catch up to your mind, but you will have a long time to heal once Dave is gone.
Pompoms yes, cheerleader outfit- no way! That would not be a good sight ;)
I hope it goes well with your attorney.
I would imagine that the SS will show up when you would be there. Otherwise, it would be a wasted visit. At least that is my thinking. That would mean that they would have to give a phone call first to be sure you are around which would at least give you a heads up.
I can understand that the wait would be difficult. It is the unknown- what they will say, what they will want and maybe even request from you. It is hard to relax thinking about all of that! But you are well prepared. And I cannot see them causing any issue when they find out that you are well on your way to having Dave removed from the home.
I think the physio clinical psychologist will probably focus on your pain as it relates to your stress. If I was a psychologist looking at your situation from the physio point of view, that would be my angle. But the fact that you already have Adele- does that interfere with the type of treatment he/she can offer you?
It sounds like the dogs gave you a heap of trouble today! Misbehaving puppies! I am sorry that Juniper is doing so poorly. Hopefully, he will be on the mend soon. Are you still considering selling the horses?
I find it amazing that Dave feels he can bring the letter about his business, a mess he got himself into, straight to you. Wow. There doesn't seem to be any insight that he created a mess and is making you responsible for it. Like a child to a parent.
What is it about asking Dave to pay his own bills makes you feel guilty? What would happen if he did not have money to spend at the pub?
I hope you are getting some down time before you have to run to get the kids. How do you feel about your Skype with K tonight? You said you intended to set some boundaries and talk to her about some issues.
Talk to you soon,Kate
Dave never quite lets up, does he? My goodness, you are not even allowed to go next door without being accused of something. What Dave is doing is limiting your choices and questioning your ability to keep his secret so he can continue his abuse without anyone else knowing. Yet, I can recall him telling you that he had told many people about your "issues" without asking you first or considering that you may want your personal business kept in the family. So you are not allowed to share but he is? Who made that rule and how is it fair?
It sounds like your session with K went well. I hope you feel you got some things sorted and feel more like things are in control for you. I imagine that the SS visit has you preoccupied and that may be why you felt all over the place tonight. It's very normal to experience a lack of focus with so much on your mind.
You are not being abusive withholding the money to pay bills. If XXXXX XXXXXdled the money, or had his own, and you tried to keep it for yourself, like he does with your money, that is abusive. But you earn the income and you pay the bills. Therefore it is your decision, and the most responsible choice, to pay the bills first. You are trying to be sure the family is cared for. And since Dave creates the bills in the first place, it is only taking the money from his alcohol to paying his company bills. Only in Dave's world does alcohol come before the family.
There seems to be a sense of guilt whenever you stand up for what is right in your relationship and in your life. Dave has spent a lot of years convincing you that he is right in all he does and you are wrong and guilty. When you try to do the right thing, he says you are abusive when in actuality, he is abusive and you are not. Having a low self esteem allows him to convince you of this false accusation when in fact the opposite is true. You are selfless and as far from abusive as someone can get. Accepting what Dave says as right is part of the co dependency. Learning that he is wrong and only does this to hurt you will help you to see what he is saying is very far from the truth.
What do you feel is preventing you from seeing what Dave says about you being abusive is false? Do you feel you are abusive?
I hope you are already in dream land! Have a good night, Rose! Talk with you tomorrow,
Happy Birthday, Rose!!
Even though you probably don't want him to remember, I'm appalled that Dave hasn't even made the effort. I am sorry. You deserve so much better. It's no wonder you feel lonely on your birthday. He is supposed to be there for you, making your birthday special and guiding the kids on how to celebrate. It's sad that other people are the ones to do what Dave should be doing for you, including Mark.
It's nice you will spend time with the kids and that your parents want to see you, even if that is not what you want. I think it's an excellent idea that you spoil yourself today. For all you do for everyone else, this is your special day and you should have something you really want.
Poor Jack. It sounds like he might be ready to go. Seeing your dog in pain is hard.
I hope you have a wonderful day, Rose! I'll be thinking of you, praying your birthday turns out well and you have lots of fun!
It sounds like you had a wonderful time, Rose! I'm glad. I was a bit worried this morning that you would not get to have any fun on your birthday.
I can imagine that you feel hurt that Dave is how he is about things like your birthday. Being mad at you that he did not remember is a good example of someone who is only thinking of himself. It is hard to imagine the justification you would have to have to feel angry at someone for not keeping you up to date on their own birthday. Wow.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day! Are you having any cake or ice cream today?
I am sorry, Rose. This is a sad time for you. You are caught between knowing full well what Dave is about and not yet having him out of the home so you can relax and enjoy your life. You are having to live with your abuser and that makes things very tense and on edge. I imagine that your next birthday will be quite different!
Is there a way for you to go out again? Maybe get yourself a cake or another type of treat. Or just go somewhere fun. I know being home is more appealing, but a run in with Dave will make things a lot worse for you.
It may be that you feel bad because of Dave giving you flowers. It is easy to see the good side of things and make all of the bad go away in your mind when he shows you a small kindness. It gives you hope that all the rest of it is an illusion and he has changed.
Try to think about all he has done to hurt you. For example, why is the SS coming to your house? Because Dave has been abusing you and the kids. What does Dave do when he abuses? Recall the screaming and the "You're wrong"s that he repeats over and over in your face. It will help you to put the flowers in perspective.
All abusers can be nice sometimes. It's part of the abuse to try to placate you to some extent so you will hang on to hope. But Dave is not better just because he gave you flowers.
I'm sorry you had such a bad day. I imagine that you wanted more for your birthday than what happened with Dave.
It's not that I don't like to chat, it's that the system often has issues. Sometimes it works but often the responses are slow and cumbersome, which makes chat take a longer time than back and forth. It's hard to complete a thought or get in all the important information if the system causes trouble. But we can certainly give it a shot and see what happens.
Good night, Rose. I hope you sleep well and feel better,
Oh Rose, I'm sorry you are feeling so down. This is a difficult step to take. You are facing a lot of fears and confronting the control that Dave has had over you for so long. You are also facing the past, where you were taught that speaking up for yourself is wrong. Bad things usually happened when you tried. And you learned that you don't have any rights. This may be part of your fear now that you won't be able to carry this through, but you will. You have prepared so long for this moment. You have the strength, the resilience and the determination.
You are not out of control. You are actually very much in control, more than you have been in a long time. Before you decided you wanted out, Dave had all the control. You were convinced there was nothing you could do. Dave was hurting you and hurting the kids. Now you have taken so many steps and gotten to the point that you are in control. You have an attorney on your side, you have me, K and Adele on your side and you have taken all the steps necessary to have Dave removed. You are finally protecting yourself, which is what you have deserved all along. You have the right to live a peaceful and happy life. Dave tries to take that right away from you. You are now taking it back. That may be what is triggering your fear. This is a new feeling for you and may feel tenuous. But that is ok. You will feel stronger as you go along.
There are always choices, Rose. You have made so many good choices for yourself and the kids. Believe in yourself. I believe in you, K does too and so does Adele. If we all can believe in you, you can do it too. Just take it one step at a time. SS may come knocking (or calling, more like it) at any time, but no matter when that is, you are ready. The waiting is tough but once they get there, you will feel better. And the ball will be rolling for you to get your freedom.
Have you tried imagining what your life will be like when you don't have to live it around Dave and his behavior? When the kids want to be home and don't have to find ways to be out and away from their abusive father? When you can come home in peace and have a nice dinner with the kids, without shouting, accusations, bullying and drumming? No alcohol, no drugs and no having your money stolen from you. If you concentrate on your freedom it can help you see the end result of all your efforts and it will make this all easier to face.
If you feel chatting will help, let's set up a time tomorrow. I am usually on early afternoon my time. I will have to limit it because I'm usually busy but at least we'll get a chance to have a conversation. Let me know.
I hope you sleep well, Rose. I'm thinking of you.
It's good you decided to do some exploring on the internet about the SS and what they do. It will give you some more to go on to know what to expect. If they are the same as here in the states, they will need a very good reason to remove the kids and they will do their best not to. The goal with our children's protective services is to keep the kids in the home if at all possible even offering parenting classes if needed. And considering that Sam and Poppy are almost on their own now, it really gives them even less reason to remove them. It may be that they have to visit just because they must investigate every report.
Good for you, Rose! I had to smile when I read about you changing your bank accounts around so Dave is in control of his own. That is a huge step for you. His money issues are no longer your problem. It must feel so nice. And this is a good sign that you are more than ready to get out of this abusive relationship and on your own. What do you feel prompted you to go through with this? I'm asking because there seems to be a change for you ever since you decided to see the attorney. You have pushed your way through and have been very focused on taking steps to get out of the marriage. You talk about your fears, which is great, but you seem to overcome them more easily, as if they do not bother you as much as they used to.
When you give Dave the accounts half finished, you mentioned that he won't be pleased. What to you fear he will do?
I hope you are able to go tonight to Cathy's. It would be nice to have someone take care of you for a while and be there for support. Maybe you can keep it short and get home early.
No problem with the chat. Anytime you want to give it a shot, let me know.
It's wonderful that you went to dinner, Rose! Cathy sounds like a sweet and thoughtful friend, making you such a delicious sounding dinner and a butterfly cake (she knows you well, doesn't she?!).
Could you imagine what it would have been like if Dave was invited to dinner at Cathy's? And Dave's insistence on being included on your email card from your sister- it sounds like he really feels he needs to be included in everything. He doesn't seem focused at all on the fact that the card was for you for your birthday and the dinner was to celebrate you. It's all about why he wasn't included. The focus is always on him in every situation. There is no consideration for you. It sounds like Dave's development was arrested early on in his childhood. The need to be included in everything is something a child does before the age of 6. After that the child learns that not being included in everything does not impact their self worth and they learn autonomy.
You really considered all angles when you changed Dave's accounts! You also mentioned that you are thinking of taking your name off as well. You could really do that at any time, but probably in this case, it's the sooner the better. The more steps you can take now to protect yourself the less you will have to deal with after Dave finds out about the separation and starts any trouble. You could also check with your attorney too and see what he advises.
In order to hold firm and not finish Dave's accounting, what do you feel you would need? I'd like to help you work on a way that helps you stand against Dave's abuse when he finds out he has to do his own accounting. The same feeling you had when you told Dave that it wasn't his business when he tried to see what you were sending your Dad is a perfect example (Great going by the way. You are amazing!). If we can harness that feeling, you can concentrate on it and use it more often.
I hope XXXXX XXXXXgs in there. Poor puppy. I hate seeing them get old and feeble.
Good night Rose. Sleep well!
It sounds like you are having all kinds of adventures today, Rose! Don't you just love seeing the birds and their nests? I have one that nests in our Rhododendron outside of a window in our home and I get to see them hatch every year. It's such a treat.
Your poor aunt! And that funny Lola! That must have been interesting to try to deal with.
Yes, I do believe you have an opening there! What you did was great. Perfect. And very normal. Calling his bluff is good. He should be doing these things and you already know that because you are normal. He is not because he believes that he should not be responsible for anything and that you will take care of it all, much like he is a child and you the parent. You are simply acting normal in an abnormal situation. Bringing normal behavior in where only dysfunction existed before will cause an uproar and Dave will probably fall back on his usual defenses- You are crazy and he is not. He uses himself to measure normal behavior. If it doesn't revolve around him and he is not happy, then it is wrong.
It's ok for you to do whatever it takes to avoid him. That is also normal. You are seeing him for what he is. I am guessing there is also some latent anger in there as well directed towards him for all the abuse you suffered with him. That may be why you feel wound up and irritable. It all makes a lot of sense, Rose. This is a great sign. You are moving towards health and Dave is staying where he is. And the differences between you are what are making you feel as you do. Be proud of yourself Rose. You have achieved something great.
I will be in and out today just so you know. But I will check in when I can to see if you posted. Talk to you soon,
Here is a huge hug! Your image of Pooh Bear is exactly how I picture it too. All nice and comforting, caring and helpful. I cannot express enough how sorry I am that you have to go through this. But I also want to say that you are doing this all so well, Rose. You may feel upset, tearful and frustrated, but all of those feelings are appropriate for what you are doing. You are getting out of a terrible, heart wrenching and depressing marriage. You have been hurting for so long and in need of some hope. The tension and anxiety of waiting is weighing on you. But you are not alone. I am here, K is there for you and Adele will be back soon. You have Cathy and your family, to some extent. Everyone around you cares very much and supports your efforts. Your very own cheerleaders!
Mark is an extra burden, more boundary crossing, that you do not need right now. It is so good that you told him to leave you alone for now. If he cares at all, he will respect that boundary and not bother you again.
There are two incidents tonight where Dave is hurting you and abusing you that you pointed out. He does not have to be screaming and demanding to be abusive. Letting you do all the work while he plays and sleeps (taking care of himself first above all else) is abusive. He is using you to do all his work while he sleeps and basically lives like a King. And he sits around making you do all of his accounts for his jobs. Not lifting a finger to do his own work. That is abusive as well. It is a boundary crossing, making his responsibilities your job. You would not sit around watching TV and sleeping while he ran around caring for the home and kids. You also would not go out to see your friends and drink while he ran all night getting the kids to friends and work. And you would not stay home sleeping while he went to work everyday. And you certainly would not take his money and spend it on yourself while he struggled to pay your bills. If you would not do these things, why should he? Because he is abusive.
Also, think of all the times he did abuse you and the kids. Do you feel he has changed since then? Is he sorry? Has he brought it up and apologized? If he has not, then the potential for him to do it again is 100%. That is the nature of an abuser.
I hope you are getting some restful sleep and feel better in the morning. I'll be praying for you.
You're welcome, Rose. I really like Pooh Bear. He represents all things cuddly and warm! And when you posted a picture of him, it made me think of how much comfort we all need, especially when going through something so hard and trying. And you are going through a very tough time with your marriage.
Wow, Rose! You laid it on the line with Dave about his accounts. This is another huge step in your quest for freedom from the abuse. You are gaining back your self worth and independence with each action you take. Doing all the accounts to the point you did sounds like it gave you peace of mind by allowing you to say "I did what I could" and now it's Dave's responsibility. I imagine that he might feel pretty confused by your behavior. maybe trying to figure out a way to have you take back responsibility. His attempt to say to you that your not as financially down as you make it out to be may be his way of seeing if he can spend more money. He also said that he can't do his accounts and went to bed so he did not have to face it. Avoiding it may be his way of trying to dump it on you. What do you think? I know you won't bite, but Dave only has so many ways to cope and he may be trying each one to see if he can get a reaction.
Let me know how it goes with your chiropractor.
I'm sorry to hear about your birds. It does sound like something is going on. It's either another animal or a person. I really hope it is not a person.
Taking extra medication can actually poison your system so the extra medicine would make you feel worse. If you feel you need something more to calm you, do you think your doctor would call in something like Ativan on an as needed basis?
I hope you are getting some time to rest today. How are the kids?
Enjoy your evening! I'll talk with you soon,Kate
I expected this reaction from Dave. You are pulling away and he knows it. From all the years he has dumped his responsibility on you, he is now flailing around, trying to find a way to dump on you again. He is pushing, hard, because this is his way. The only way he knows. His mind goes one way- Rose will do it for me so I don't have to be responsible.
He cannot force you to do it. The only thing he can do is make it hard on you by pushing. The best way to handle it is to be unavailable. It may be hard for a while because his behavior is going to increase and get worse before you have him out of the home. You are taking away his ability to abuse. He won't be happy about that and he will try to find a way to reconnect with you in an abusive way. He'll push all the buttons, make you feel guilty and try to force you to do his bidding. It will be stressful for a while. Now might be a good time to find a new hideout so you can be away from him. Anywhere but home. And when you have to be home (for the kids and such), have a few things you want to say to him and stick to them. Here are a few:
"It's not my account, it's yours"
"It's not my responsibility"
"I have enough to do"
"It's your business"
"No, I will not!"
"Leave me alone"
If he argues, walk away. If he touches you, tell him you will call the police. Stay in your mind and use your intellect and try to shut off your feelings. You only need to be this way until you can get yourself away from him. Then you can let your feelings out.
Hang in there Rose. This is the last of it. It may be a difficult part, but once you are through this you are home free. I am with you. Anytime you need to talk, I'm here. And rely on K and your friends too. You will need them now.
I'm glad to hear that the kids are doing ok. Sounds like they are coping well.
Get some good rest tonight, Piglet. I'll be thinking of you!
Pooh Bearx (aka Kate)
Oh Rose, good for you! You have stood up to him and made him face his responsibilities! No more dumping on you. Isn't it nice? Now you can get your things done without having to fit his stuff in too.
Knowing what he is doing with his accounts is part of owning a business. If he feels he cannot handle that, he can either hire an accountant or not have a business. That is what a responsible person does.
How do you feel about what you did today?
Enjoy your showers today! None for us until maybe later.
Talk to you later,
I think I need some coffee today. I hit the answer button again. Just ignore this one but if the system won't let you, I will make my next answer an info only.
Sorry about that!
You mentioned that you have no intention of helping Dave out until the last minute. I wanted to ask, is that to protect you financially or to help Dave out? In other words, is it necessary that you intervene with his accounts for the family's sake?
It's good you mentioned your feelings about the situation. That is the co dependency that you are struggling with. The feeling that you are putting him in a bad place, hurting him and making him feel a certain way. Taking responsibility for his drinking and depression. It is the feeling that anything you do to defend yourself hurts Dave. You are not allowed to have rights, not be dragged into doing his work, and not be free of his abuse. The boundaries are crossed and need to stay that way so you don't feel guilty for having rights.
To have a healthy self esteem, you do not need to validate yourself by pleasing Dave. His happiness does not mean you are worthy. It is hard to change that because it was ingrained in you that pleasing others and self sacrifice is how you gain worth and a sense of self. But you have been doing that your entire marriage and it has yet to make you feel good about yourself.
By shutting down your feelings when you talk to Dave, it can help you focus on the logic of what you are doing, which you have said makes perfect sense to you. You know what you need to do. It is when your feelings come up and get in the way that you hesitant or give in to Dave again. You can see the pattern now. You took a stand against Dave and now your feelings are telling you that you need to take responsibility for how he feels. Your imagination has him in a gutter unable to get out because you took a stand against him and asked to be treated well. No one will want him and it is your job in life to be sure Dave feels wanted, needed, doesn't drink and is taken care of. This may help you to see it another way:
"Again, it can hardly be overemphasized that the reason overcoming this so-called "disease to please" can be so problematic is that people-pleasers experienced their placating behavior as the best--or only--way to gain their caretakers' love and caring. As with almost everything else relating to the human psyche, when a behavioral pattern that is clearly maladaptive as an adult was once adaptive as a child, there will be a strong, deep-seated resistance to changing it. And this opposition will hold regardless of how much, consciously, the individual truly desires to change it. For the anxious child within can only view such efforts as gravely threatening the need for personal security (which is so intimately linked to avoiding parental disapproval)."
Basically, you are stuck in a pattern that forces you to please Dave in order to feel secure. To change it, you have to convince yourself that no matter what goes on with Dave, you are a human being worthy of love, boundaries, and freedom from abuse. You are not responsible for his happiness. He is. He is not a child that needs your care. He is a grown man who not only has the capacity to care for himself, but you and the family as well. And your happiness and self esteem do not need to be sacrificed for his.
I hope Sam is feeling better soon. Maybe he will talk with you later, when he has had time to think of your offer to listen.
I was laughing out loud at your new word- WRONG. I love it. Use it often, Rose. It will serve you well.
I understand your thinking. You are equating your happiness with being self centered. That is not the case at all. Just thinking that way is a learned behavior. You learned that feeling unhappy is good and making others happy is paramount to your self worth. But thinking of yourself means you are selfish. Look at your father, for example. He has sacrificed his life to keep your mother happy. She may not be happy as we would normally define it, but for her and your father, that is what works. But if you ask him if he is happy, what do you feel he would say?
Making Dave's happiness a priority instead of your own is also a learned behavior. That is what you are explaining when you say "why is it my right to be happy, I am going against him being his happy self". Why do you have to be unhappy in order for him to be happy? It's because he is self centered and abusive. And in order for him to be happy, someone has to pay because he wants the happiness for himself. If you had some, he would not be the center of the universe and he could not control you. So you are made to give up being happy so you can serve him and his needs.
If you were in a healthy relationship (i.e. not abusive), you would not have to be unhappy so your husband could be happy. He would want you to be yourself, feel good and he would support your freedom to be yourself. And in turn, you would do the same for him. You would not be dependent on each other for your happiness, but you would improve each other's happiness. He would want to give to you and you would feel the same.
This is where how you feel about yourself comes in. If you see yourself as undeserving, then how Dave treats you is going to confirm how you feel. But if you feel valuable and worthy, Dave's behavior would seem outrageous and abusive. So changing how you feel about yourself is vital. Self esteem feels very good, Rose. You will find that the more you believe in yourself, the less you need others for approval. You will do something and feel proud of yourself, which increases your happiness. And your relationships will seem like a bonus rather than a necessity for your self worth.
Thank you for the kudos but you are the one that found me and K and asked for help. You did this Rose. It is you striving to be healthy, wanting to be out of the abusive relationship and free to feel good about yourself and your life that got us all together. I am glad to be here for you and I am inspired by how far you have come. I agree with you, you may get out that door before you feel ready, but getting out is what counts. We can deal with the emotions later. You are smart, resourceful and know what you want. That is what will get you out and free.
I'm doing this one as an info only because, you sneaky girl, you paid for the last one.
What did we have for dinner tonight?
It is perfectly fine to want out, Rose. I couldn't be more happier for you! What you did tonight was great. Including Sam probably confused things for you, but what you did with Dave was great. He is trying to manipulate you by commenting again and again about how you won't do the accounts for him. He is hoping to find an angle, just as you said, to wear you down so you give in.
You did just fine getting upset at Dave and telling him how you felt. You are not being abusive. You are reacting very normally. I know it feels abusive because of how you were raised. Sam jumped in there because he is used to the family dynamics being the way they were- Dave yells, is abusive and gets his way- you give in and do what it takes to keep the peace no matter what you feel about it. That is changing and the kids need time to adjust.
What you want is to not be abused anymore. It is hard to see that you are living in an abnormal situation with Dave. You know intellectually that this is not right, but your training from childhood tells you that this is how you are supposed to act to keep yourself safe. Except that it doesn't work. Dave never stops abusing and you never get what you need. Asserting yourself to stop the abuse is not abusive, it is not wrong and it is very healthy. It just goes against what you were taught, which was that abuse is ok.
Look at the evidence around you. You are in an abusive marriage. You are not abusive, Dave is. K, Adele and I would not lie to you. We have no reason to. Mark would not react the way he does to Dave if there was not a reason to. The kids would not avoid home and be upset around Dave if he was not the way he is. They do not act that way around you, right? That is because you are not abusive. There is proof everywhere and you can hold onto what you see and hear to counter what you feel.
You are a good mom, Rose. You are just feeling the stress of standing up to Dave and his behavior with his accounts. It takes a lot of energy to deal with his actions and your feelings. You need a break. Poppy will be ok with whatever you can offer her.
Sorry about the confusion with the accepts. I was just trying to make it fair to you so you didn't accept a short response. I think we are back on track now, though. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!
Chicken Korma, I've never had it. I'll have to look it up. We had chicken too-Fajitas. I really like them.
Get some good sleep, Rose!
Good morning, Rose!
It sounds like you have been doing a lot of introspective thinking about your situation with Dave. It is good to remind yourself of why you feel as you do, because you do not feel this way for no reason. This can't be all about you. People do not just make up reasons to be upset. It is always in reaction to something going on around them. This is very evident from your visit to the coast last year. You felt completely different when you were away than you did when you were home, with Dave. It was almost a night and day difference. This tells you that something overwhelming is happening at home. That overwhelming thing is Dave's behavior. The kids are reacting too. Their behavior shows that they are stressed and unsettled. They don't just avoid Dave for no reason.
I was so glad to hear that your brother was kind to you and thoughtful about your situation. Maybe he has had a chance for some growth himself and has seen some of what happened to him as well as a result of your childhood. That could mean the possibility of a new relationship with him and that would be a very good thing for you both.
I am fascinated by history and really enjoyed hearing about your family's past. There is a place in Pennsylvania called Latrobe and it made me wonder if the place has anything to do with your family. Pennsylvania is close to Baltimore and Washington, DC, about 6 hours away. I'd be interested to hear what you think of the book when you get to see it. What a thoughtful gift for your parents!
You do have a busy day planned. I hope you get some time to rest in between jobs and family responsibilities. If you can't just try to remember to take deep breaths and allow yourself a few extra minutes here and there.
I'll be thinking of you!
Wow, Rose, that is so cool! I have been to Latrobe and it's very pretty. Rolling hills and lots of land, very green. Now it's famous for the start of football season (American football- The Steelers team) where the teams practice and for the colleges.
Isn't it funny how small the world can be?
I would love to talk with you all day. Working together or chatting, we always seem to have a good connection!
Thank you for sharing it with me! I love history and when it becomes a (almost) personal connection, it is even more fascinating.
I can't believe there is so many La Trobe's around the world. I thought there was just the little town in Pennsylvania. I will have to share what you told me with my husband (leaving out your name of course!). He is from Pennsylvania and will find it very interesting.
I hope your session goes well with K!
Oh Rose, I am sorry. It sounds like Dave had another tirade, this time a pretty scary one, blaming you for everything. I am very glad that K heard it so she was with you, in a way, for support.
How did you feel through this whole thing?
I hope you can sleep after going through this tonight. I will look for your post in the a.m.
Take care of yourself, Rose.
Rose, that is absolutely horrible. I cannot believe that Dave did that to you. He traumatized you. I think K is right, you are so used to what Dave puts you through that you may not know how traumatizing it really is when he does these things.
Dave does a lot of deflecting with his feelings. He blames K, Americans and anyone who threatens his ability to maintain control over you and the family. He never sees that it is him causing the problems. You do not see a therapist because you have mental problems, you see one because you are in a traumatizing abusive situation caused by Dave. He lacks the insight to see that he is the source of your distress. Typical of abusive people, he only thinks the problem lies with others and not him.
Having him bang on your door, throw rocks at the window (near you- you could have been hurt) and scream at you shows how out of control he is. He is losing control of you and he knows it.
As I read through your post, I kept wondering how you feel about all of this. I am guessing that you are so numb to being abused that your feelings may be inaccessible, what do you think? Seeing this for what it is can be hard for someone who is numb to the intensity. But facing a drunk abusive person is very frightening and can cause you to experience PTSD symptoms, even if you feel you are desensitized to it. You are still taking this in, so you are going to react to it in some way. Let me know if you start to experience symptoms.
The kids may be feeling the same way. Here is their father, roaring drunk and out of control. He is abusing their mother and them. Trying to reason with him is probably the only option they felt they had for some control over the situation. But even then, they still would be horribly traumatized. They may not show it (because they are used to it as well) but some kind of reaction is guaranteed.
How do you feel about K telling Dr. H what has gone on? How are the kids this morning? Do they feel they need any help, maybe someone to talk to? I can't imagine what it is like for them trying to go to school after witnessing something like that. They must be feeling a bit shellshocked.
Do you have a plan on how you want to deal with this from here? You may want to consider speeding up your plans and get him removed now. Your attorney may also need to hear about this in case there is any legal rights you have to remove Dave right away. You may want to think about asking K to talk to the attorney about what she heard if you feel it would help.
I will be thinking of you, Rose. I'm here for you whenever you want to talk.
I am glad that you are seeing Adele today. The support is important after what you have been through.
Dave does not think what he is doing is wrong because this is how he learned to see the world. Probably during his childhood, his parents or caregivers showed him that in order to get his needs met, he should see the world in a very self centered way. Just as someone who grows up drinking milk every morning thinks that is normal behavior, Dave thinks that screaming and abusing is the way to make himself normal.
On the other hand, you grew up learning that self sacrifice and repressing your feelings is the best way to relate to the world. You accept Dave's behavior because you saw your parent's relationship as a model of how a marriage should be. You were also abused and neglected which you adapted to by giving in and trying to please. When Dave tells you to speak to him in a certain way, you criticize yourself because that is what you learned- everything is your fault, especially if someone is unhappy. So you and Dave together create an abusive dynamic. That is part of the reason to be concerned for the kids. They are witnessing Dave's behavior and may feel that is the way to cope with life. It's good that Sam is in therapy but Poppy needs to be as well. Hopefully, she will go.
It's good you contacted your lawyer. But I encourage you to also see if there is a way to get Dave out of the home now, based on his behavior the other night. He was violent and threatened you. That is enough grounds for the police to remove him. Your safety and the children's safety is the priority here. I know it's hard to think that he might go off and hurt you, but it only takes one time for him to lose it completely and you will not be able to stop him.
It takes a lot of energy to deal with what happened to you. You are using a lot of energy to repress your natural reaction to the trauma (anger, tears and fear) and also rationalizing why he needs to stay. His feelings and reactions are very important to you so you are invested in what he thinks and feels about everything. That can take a lot out of you.
If you can, try to take some time today, away from Dave and the situation. Talk to those around you who are supportive. It's good that you are seeing Adele today. She can help you process this and find a good path. If you get a chance, let me know how it goes with her.
Take care, Rose. You are in my thoughts,
Hi Rose, I've been thinking about you all day. I'm here for a while longer so if you have time, let me know how you are doing.
I'm sorry that you are feeling sad tonight, but it is a good start to being in touch with your feelings. I did share your story with my husband. He thought it was pretty cool!
Good night, Rose. Sleep well. I'll talk with you tomorrow,
Social services finally called you- that was a long wait!
Are you able to talk to Poppy beforehand? Maybe just to reassure her that everything is ok. Otherwise, I'm sure she will be ok. Poppy understands the situation and it's not like you haven't prepared her by talking to her about what is going on between you and Dave. She knows and she will figure out what to say.
What are you planning to do this weekend with the letter? Are you considering confronting Dave?
How did things go with Adele yesterday?
If I don't get a chance to talk to you before you have to see the worker, just remember to take a deep breath. Take a prop if you need to. I'll be thinking of you.
I imagine that you are at the school by now talking with the social worker. I hope all is going well. I understand your fears around this, but as Adele said you are stronger emotionally so I have no doubt you will come through. Where you might not have been able to face this last year, you are becoming an expert on coping with very stressful situations!
Let me know how it went. I'm thinking about you!
Wow, Rose, that is a lot. You really went through it today.
It's good that you were able to share all of that with the social worker. I understand your hesitancy to tell her everything. But I think that comes from the co dependency and the abuse. It is natural for you to want to keep all of it or even some of it to yourself, not only because you don't want anyone thinking about you in that situation, but because the nature of abuse is to keep it a secret. There is a lot of shame involved with being abused. Telling others, you may worry about how they feel about you. And for you, there is probably a lot of shame and a need to not let others know about Dave. You may feel it's not your right to tell others about what he does. And you mentioned many times your fear of what Dave might do. I think that is why the social worker encouraged you to escalate things. The faster you get him out of the home, the easier this all will be. You will be able to get the support you need without having to worry about Dave's reaction. You won't have to go to the school in order to hide it from Dave, either.
I am sorry that it was so hard on Poppy. She seems to feel very deeply about this. It is easier to tuck it away rather than have to face doing something about it. She probably wants you and Dave together for that reason. If you were apart, she might have to face how bad things really are. And that makes it hard on her. You may want to try to keep an eye on how much she hides her feelings. I know your plate is full to overflowing with everything so I don't want to put more on you, but no matter what happens, Poppy has been through a lot. If you can at all convince her (or maybe a worker or teacher can) to get therapy, it would help her a lot.
I am glad that you got through this so well. How are you feeling now that the initial meeting is over?
A lot of what you are experiencing is a fear of what Dave will do to you if you reach out and get help. He is causing the situation but has instilled fear in you about getting out of the situation. This leaves you feel trapped about doing anything. But you are pushing through anyway which is very admirable. That is what makes me think that you can do this. You are going against the abuse, seeking freedom. There is still some fear holding you back. That is ok, though. You are seeing that Dave does need his comeuppance and that he needs to mature and he will not do that on his own. Only your actions and those of the people you bring into the situation will be able to address that.
You have very good insight into Poppy's situation. I did not mean to assume you did not with my previous suggestions. And I know you worry about her. She is responding in ways that are not healthy for her. Getting her to see a counselor will help her a lot. She may not be ready now, like Adele said, but eventually she may be, especially when Dave is finally out of the home.
I would encourage you to think about calling the police as well. You may be fearful of Dave's response to you doing so, but with the right supports in place, you can. Try thinking about doing it first, planning out how you might handle any reaction Dave has. By thinking about it, you can make it easier to accept actually doing it. And also let the police know how afraid you are of Dave. They are trained in domestic situations and know how to handle him.
I'm glad the kids are doing well tonight and have plans for the weekend. It will help them and you cope better with the stress if they are happy and preoccupied.
I'll be out for a bit tonight so if you write, I will respond a little later than usual. I hope your night goes well, Rose.
I'm glad to hear from you, Rose! I was worried there for a bit. So we are onto the Latin word for butterfly (I had to look it up). You are so creative! I don't know how you do it :)
You're welcome, Rose. I always want to be here for you. This is a very scary time for you and I feel the need to be closer in case something goes on, just so you have as much support as you feel you need.
If your police have a domestic abuse division, definitely take advantage of it. It can only help you to know what information and resources are out there for you to use. Let me know what they say.
I did have a night out last night- just off to my sister's. Pizza, a hockey game on the TV and talking. She had to go to work (ugh a nurse's schedule! How do you all do it?) so we didn't stay long.
I'll check back later for your new thread.
Thank you for the beautiful butterfly! Her colors are stunning!