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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5250
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hey Kate~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Customer Question

Hey Kate~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
See you here soon!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hey Kate,
I've copied your post over....

It's great that you got some time for yourself this morning. It sounds like you have symbolically put on a "new you". I know that at our age we typically do some coloring (wink, wink), but choosing this morning to do so is interesting. It's making a change, with yourself while you are making one outside of yourself. And showering for a long time can be shedding off the old you in favor of your new freedom- a clean start.

I think if your attorney knows the whole story, it makes it easier for him to make more informed suggestions for you. Hopefully, the next stage will get Dave out of the home and moving on. Are you interested in shared custody with him? I imagine that with the abuse, it will be tricky to decide what to do. Also, do you feel you will need a restraining order? So far, you have not mentioned Dave acting out so that is a good sign. But if he does actually have to leave the home, he may resort to violence to try and force you to let him stay.

It is interesting too that Dave is ignoring the letter. I am curious to see if that ends up being his response to it. A kind of "If I don't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist" reaction, which would fit his past actions. If he does choose to ignore it, what do you feel your next action might be? Do you feel telling him a date that he has to be out by might work? Or do you feel that is too dangerous? Part of this is going to be to plan for any possible violence. He may be thinking that there is no way you can force him out. And if he is going down that path, you may need to plan for it with your attorney.

This all has probably taken a big toll on you emotionally and physically. Just your last week alone was a lot! Downtime is the prescription. Get as much as you can. Sleep, eat well and relax. You deserve it!

Talk with you later,
Kate
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
My rests do not freshen my mind, or my body, I wonder if someday they might. I lay quietly listening to K's hypnotherapy recording this afternoon, it calmed me and made me feel secure for a while. I don't know how I could have told her 'No More' last week, but I know how incredibly hurt I was by some things she said, and I just felt like I was getting it all wrong, and she would be frustrated with me if I didn't take control. I think that's why I suddenly decided to give him the letter, even though I had already told K I couldn't work with her anymore, I thought I have nothing to lose, everything is going wrong anyway.

Yes, colouring ;), I think the state of my hair might reflect my state of mind, and I had always said I wouldn't colour my hair bc it looks so awful when it grows out! My colouring is quite close to my natural colour so it wasn't toooo terrible, (Poppy started me on it, wouldn't have without her encouragement!) but I feel so much more together now it's all one colour. I know I haven't been taking much care over my appearance of late, too much effort feeling as I do, so today, like you say, can mark a new beginning. I like that symbolic link, and the shower- interesting!! I have been looking to the future today, I haven't before. I am amazed at the difference in my thoughts now I have given D the letter, there is hope, and smiles, and maybe a few days away with the kids.

I have been thinking about D's room, when he's gone, I don't want to move back in there to the big bed, but I will paint it and change the curtains, and move the furniture around so it can be a guest room, (not that anyone comes to stay with ME, but I suppose they might. Poppy and Sam usually have friends' bodies staying on the sofas at the weekends) and somewhere to put the airer and the ironing board. Poppy and I are going to be doing the 'changeovers' in the holiday cottage next door, and I'll be doing the laundry, so it will be useful to be able to keep the ironing board in there, and have space to iron KINGSIZE (groan) duvet covers. That will be my fourth job, so I should have a little spare cash to offer D for his rent if I have to (would certainly prefer not to!)

I am feeling that D's tactic is to ignore and hope it goes away, like it did on 2 previous occasions. I'm glad I wrote to the lawyer about proceedings. I also told him about the evening he was so abusive to K, and the rock, and that he is so controlling that it caused my therapeutic relationship to end (which isn't strictly true, but that's what I told D). I'm certain that it will take another step to get D out, and he will become increasingly upset and angry with every move I make. I wonder if mediation will come next, at least it will be a chance for us to talk, which is almost impossible to do, but then the divorce papers could be started at the same time. This is so big for me, the thin king of me, but I am also doing it for the kids, though they may not see it that way for a while. I will be collecting Poppy from her bf's shortly, I hope to have a chance to talk to her on the way home.

I think the children will have the choice of when they see dad, how often, or whether they see him at all. I wouldn't wish for them to have to spend overnight stays with him, they would only want to be in their own home. I would be open for him to come by anytime he wanted, so long as his behaviour is acceptable, to see the kids, the dogs. But if there is any sign of aggression, abuse or violence towards property he will be served with a non-molestation (or restraining) order. I think D is taking the letter seriously when it says that he should not show me any malice as a result of him getting the letter, as he knows there will be consequences. I am surprised that he hasn't countered ANY of the letter's content, no comment whatsoever.

I must be off to pick Poppy up now, D has just offered to, but I'd like a chat with her.

Rose
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I picked Poppy up, but decided not to talk to her about the letter as it's too late really. I'll try tomorrow bc I have to take her to the orthodontist for her initial appointment. There will be plenty of travel time to talk if I can hear above Dexy's Midnight Runners! (she plays them non-stop, I've had enough of Eileen!)

While I remember... D's initial reaction to my telling him I want him to leave was do I have someone else. He asked me that last time a month ago. He doesn't want to accept that I just want him out, fullstop.!

Goodnight dear Kate,

Rosex
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

Rose,

 

You did not get anything wrong with the situation with K and getting Dave out of the home. You had it in you (obviously now that you have done it ;) ) you just were working your way towards it. What happened to you as a child was getting in the way. But your strength is there, and you were working towards it. Being down on yourself only serves to keep you thinking you are not worthy. And you are Rose, very much so.

 

It's great to hear that things are feeling better for you! More smiles and happiness. There is more in store for you and the kids once Dave is gone. He was hurting you all more than was apparent to you. It is common that when you are experiencing the trauma that you do not realize how bad it is until you are out of it. That is what happens when someone has PTSD for example. The effect happens after the abuse/trauma because the mind has time to process the incident. While you are in it, however, you are on survival mode. And that is where I think you have been for many years. Now you are almost out and already feeling better.

 

And you are making plans for Dave's room! Wow, Rose, you are on a roll! Good for you. It's so nice to hear. I am excited for you and your future.

 

Making plans to address any abuse from Dave is a good idea. Along with keeping your attorney informed, having a back up plan is important. As you progress and Dave has to face that this is real and he does have to leave, he may become more and more aggressive. As we talked about before, he is going to realize that you are taking away his free ride and he will have to grow up quickly. He probably will fight that with all he has, because it may make him angry or frustrate him. And since you are the one initiating this, he will naturally try to come after you. Making plans on how to handle it will help you react right away instead of having to think it through.

 

I hope all goes well when you talk with Poppy. She is already somewhat prepared for it since you have kept her informed most of the way. Hopefully, she will be ok with it.

 

Dexy's Midnight Runners- that is before her time, isn't it? Now I have Eileen going through my head! Ugh ;)

 

Good night, Rose. I see that beautiful butterfly beginning to emerge!

 

Katex

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5250
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 1 year ago.
Thanks Kate.

D was up late this am, banged into the kitchen and threw a letter from the SW onto the table that had just arrived in the post, and then was silent for a while. Sam was in the shower, I was tidying up after breakfast before taking him into college.

He told me he's not going, won't go, there's just NO WAY. He said he's done it all before with Jay, had to leave him when he was little. He started crying, saying he's been awake all night thinking about it. He said we can work on the little differences and it will be fine. I said No Dave, I have worked and worked on this for 2 years now, and I have to have you go. He said I can't leave here, everything I love is here,. I love you all. I said you won't have to go far, there'll be somewhere in the village. I said I'll help you with your rent, I've got FOUR p/t jobs now, I'm trying really hard to get out of my rut, I have a choice, and I choose to not live with you anymore. Your behaviour has been damaging me more and more over time, and now I can't take any more.

He said why haven't we talked about it? I said I have tried to talk many times, but you just tell me I'm wrong wrong wrong, that you're so f'ing clever, knows it all, you know best. How can I get through to you when you go on like that all the time, the drunkeness, the abuse. He said (of himself)I'm an idiot, I'm a fool, I've been drinking too much, but I will change , PLEASE, we can work it out.

I said NO, I have a choice, and I choose that I don't stay married to you, I want a chance at happiness, I am very unhappy. It's your fibro, we need to do everything to get you better, then you will feel differently. I said FORGET FIBRO I AM DEPRESSED, and I will not feel better while you are still living in this house. I admit to having shouted, Sam is in the bathroom. I don't want to do this now.

I go to my room, he follows me down. He told me he'd been thinking of the night when I was in too much pain to sleep, and he rubbed my back to soothe it. He's saying please, I can't go, work it out. I said you have hurt me too much, there has been no let up, even after asking you to go twice. He tells me his behaviour is bc he's insecure.

I go to sit in the car, haven't been able to look at him, he's been following me from room to room, standing close to me, pleading with me. So I go out and wait for Sam in the car. He takes ages, comes out after 10 more minutes. He's been talking to D, telling him maybe I'll change my mind if he tries really hard, sells some drums, gets stuff done at home. Sam asks me if I'll give him another chance. I say he has had many many chances, he doesn't acknowledge his damaging behaviour, have STILL had no apologies, hasn't amended his ways since I asked him to go 4 weeks ago....

I told Sam I should have a choice, be able to not be married to Dad if I so choose. He said yes, you should be able to choose. I said he has knocked me down figuratively many times, and he doesn't see it. I have come to the point of no return, he has made me ill and I want to get better.

I asked if he had said anything to Poppy, he said she knows. He said she asked him what was wrong on Saturday (letter day)when she came home in the evening. He apparently said I shouldn't really tell you, but... Sam said she was a bit upset at the time, but she hadn't said anything to me.

I told Sam the other option was for me to go, but he said he WOULD NOT want to stay with dad. I guess the same would be true of Poppy. I took her to her orthodontic appointment this afternoon. I asked her what she felt about me asking D to leave. She shrugged her shoulders, said she feels OK about it, but said that I didn't give him much of a chance. I said I gave him plenty. Then she asked where he would live, I said we'd find somewhere local for him, she'd see him plenty. She said he'd better not go far.

I've been feeling quite chirpy this afternoon, thinking my days in therapy are numbered!! Now I'm home there is a different story. I found him cleaning the kitchen. He said there's something in your room. I have found a large bunch of flowers, and a card with a hedgehog curled up on the front, I used to love hedgehogs and collected them as a child. He wrote a very apologetic letter, saying how much he loves us all, what we have here, our dream, didn't realise how much he had hurt me, felt inadequate bc he couldn't help with the children's homeworks etc and that he wasn't a very confident person, but hid behind his views of the world. He blames the arguments on his childhood which was full of arguments, and that now he knows it has had an affect on him.

He's waiting for me to say yes, it's ok, I won't make you leave. He says please let me stay and help, I will help you, I promise with all my heart. We will make this place a paradise if we work together. He says he wants me to smile and be happy. Signs off, 'I am only a man'

I haven't said anything, my insides hurt. He's just come in my room and said I'm asking you to give me a chance.

I'm scared now. It's going wrong again, I don't know if I have the strength to fight, but I guess it's no more or less than I should have expected.

Rose



Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

Rose, you do have the strength to fight this. He is turning on all the charm, thinking he can manipulate you back into keeping him on. It's what abusers do:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_of_abuse

 

http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/12-traits-of-an-abusive-relationship-11606848.html

 

The first statement on the second link gives you an indication that this is another ploy by Dave to get his own way. Where was all this charm, willingness to help you, promises for a better marriage, etc when you were hurting so bad? Where was this Dave when he was stomping on Sam's foot, yelling at Poppy, sleeping all day instead of working? He wasn't there because he didn't need to be. It was you hurting instead of him. That does not concern him. It's only important to fix things when he is hurting.

 

What counts here is recognizing that Dave will do what it takes only when he benefits from it. As long as he feels safe, he will abuse, hurt, manipulate, take advantage of and cause chaos. But when that safety is threatened, suddenly he cleans up, makes promises and treats you nicely.

 

That is what you should focus on, not listening to his words. Because he will tell you exactly what you want to hear. He will become the man you have always wanted so you will say yes and keep him in the home. Then you can watch that man disappear and the old Dave return.

 

What you said makes perfect sense- you have given him many chances and he has never taken you up on them. What makes now any different? It's because he knows you are serious this time.

 

Plus he is still making excuses:

 

"I am just a man"- I'm not sure what that means but if he is a man, why doesn't he stop abusing you and the kids and start being responsible for himself?

 

"It's your fibro"- another excuse, that ignores what he is doing to the family and blaming it all on you.

 

"It's my childhood"- he has had ample time to address that himself and not take it out on you and the kids.

 

"Little differences"- what little differences? He is an abuser and will not acknowledge it or do something about it.

 

All of these are warning signs that he has not changed and doesn't have any insight into his own problems. He needs help and won't get it.

 

I know you might have expected this Rose, but it doesn't make it any easier. You are doing a great job handing this all. I am awed by your strength.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5250
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

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