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Good morning Rose! I'm sorry that you are having a difficult time of it. I think it is more difficult to talk when you feel upset because there is so much there is gets clogged up. Like a dam overflowing, it makes it hard to let go because you may fear a flood of feelings will overwhelm you.
Adele will help you find a way to express yourself. I think part of your anxiety about seeing her is because you feel overwhelmed by your feelings. Do your best to relax and let Adele take care of you. Focus on relaxing and letting go. It will help.
You are in my thoughts!
It sounds like your session with Adele went very well! I understand what you felt about it, and that is ok. There is a lot of judging yourself in there, a lot of "shoulds" and regret. But this was a session for you and it was only about your needs. And right now, you needed Adele to guide you through some of these more difficult emotions. Just the fact that you were there, participated and got something from it is all you are supposed to do.
Adele is right, Dave's maturity stopped somewhere during his childhood. He is a child in a man's body. His mentality is similar to that of an irresponsible teenager. And he sees you as the responsible adult that he "rebels" against (his great dislike of authority). And you felt your role was to take care of him and hide all his flaws. It is tough to see that this was the dynamic of your marriage. But Rose, you are not the only one who has this happen to them. It happens to a lot of intelligent, wonderful people just like you who wonder why they couldn't see it either. But the difference is that you are getting out. Many, many people never do.
You do have all the things you wished you have- substance, integrity and wit. You are all that and more. You are just seeing yourself through self critical lenses. You are used to putting yourself down, not seeing the best in yourself. But the rest of us can see it.
It may help you to think about changing the lounge area in your home, adding something that you want there. Hopefully soon, it will be an area that you have to yourself once Dave is gone. But in the meanwhile, it might help to make some small changes now so it puts you in that frame of mind. Any little steps you can take to show your independence will help.
I hope your night is going alright. I'll check back to see if you write again,
It matters what people think of you because you were taught that you cannot get your self worth from what you think about yourself, only what others think. Being criticized as a child has a lot to do with this. You learned others were always right and you were always last, not important as other people were. Guilt is a big factor in thinking of yourself as even equal to others. As a child, it was important to get your needs fulfilled. And in order to do that, you learned that putting yourself last was how you pleased those around you. That is what they wanted, so you adapted. Now it no longer works for you (that is what attracted Dave to you) and you are trying to work your way out of it into a healthier self view.
People adapt a pattern of behavior from childhood. They learn to see the world, and themselves, from one point of view. It has a lot to do with how you are raised and the beliefs of your parents. But in the case of abuse, there is a lot of secrecy and hiding of how the family works. Shame is a huge factor too. So you never learn how other people handle things or how other families relate to each other. You only see what you were taught.
Shame and guilt kept you in a trap. You did not explore your feelings any further because when you did, you felt you wanted to be free. But those feelings brought guilt and shame and may have frightened you. You were taught that taking care of others needs is your lot in life in order to get the approval you needed that you didn't get from your parents. It is those unmet needs we don't get fulfilled as children that drive us all our lives. You were not ready yet to see that you could meet your own needs or get those needs met by others in your life. To you, Dave was the one who was most like your mother and father and if you could get him to love you, then it was equal to getting your unmet needs fulfilled. But the problem with that is that you cannot get those needs dealt with by anyone but yourself, and God. Dave is not healthy enough to help you with that, as your parents were not. All Dave does is reinforce what your parents did to you which makes it harder to get out of the trap.
Dave is not clever at all. He has not changed, nor does he show any insight at all into how dysfunctional his behavior is. He abuses, drinks and thinks only of himself. He cannot support himself or his family. He doesn't care about anything but himself. That is not success. That is not being clever. It may be being manipulative, but not clever. You are the smart one here. You are growing, pushing to be better. You are always looking for ways to make things move ahead, to help yourself and others. You care and you show compassion. That is brave, and very clever.
Good night Rose. You are in my thoughts.