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Ask Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC Your Own ...

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello Kate....

Customer Question

Hello Kate....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
Hey! How are you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Kate,

thanks! I'm OK, just chillin'. I went to work with Alexis, but they were all tucked up in bed so I came home again, they must have assumed I wasn't coming since it's a Bank Holiday.

Thanks for last night's post...No, the celebrations are continuing all day today. There was a service in Westminster Abbey this morning which I was watching quietly while I was ironing the linen from the cottage. D got up at 11am, told me all about the concert that he watched last night (again), asked me again why I didn't watch it, but instead I want to watch THIS!! I declined to comment. The pomp and circumstance has kept going, the Queen here, the Queen there, I quite lost track, but I watched her on her balcony just now, minus Prince Phillip, who has a bladder infection, (he was missed). D is odd, one minute he slates the Royal family, the next he's a big fan. No matter.

It's been pouring with rain today. I've ironed, made a carrot cake, and got soaking wet playing frisbee with Lola, and sorting out the fencing. I'm in now, no more getting wet (had a nice hot shower). Sam is at work, Poppy just gone to her bf's, and D gone somewhere to meet a sitar player who he wants to book for the 'ceramicist's' Bollywood evening (she's also a professional dancer). That's fine, he'll be gone fro a goodly long time, I wonder if he'll be back before I skype with K.

I had a text from D's nephew's wife yesterday, they are staying nearby as they always do this week every year, we always meet up, get the kids together. She asked when could they see us, I replied tomorrow would be best bc D will be receiving an unwelcome letter from my solicitor come the end of the week. I have told her how things have been whenever we meet, but this is news to them, the only one from D's side of the family who knows anything so far. I feel bad, I like his sister's family, I'm suer we'll still see each other when they come down.

I am feeling pretty numb today, just waiting I guess, keeping my head down, keeping quiet.

Thank you for your critique of my poem, spot on and insightful :) I will share with Adele, but not for another week as she is on leave. I might share with K, not sure yet.

D is back to normal, for sure, all day in bed yesterday (was up all night the night before), then TV all evening (controllingly and loudly!), TV again all day while I do the chores and get soaking wet, and now out again, hope not back too soon. Only 2 or 3 days to go. I have no idea what is going to happen, I kinda don't want to anticipate, but no doubt K and I will talk about it tonight.

Yeah, D is mean and abusive isn't he, poor little Poppy, she did feel bad last night. He just doesn't make sense, he preaches one thing and practices another. He has to have silence to hear it, yet he pushed for a row. And this morning when I was listening to something he was pushing it at me again. He's far more important. Always.

Oh Kate..... I'm scared. I wish it had happened already.

Back soon

Rose

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

Rose,

.

It sounds like the idea that the divorce might be really happening is hitting home for you this week. You have made contact with Dave's relatives and have been able to share what is going to happen, making this feel even more real. You will probably still see them afterwards since they are close to you and your family, but it still puts the thoughts into your mind of how this will all work out once you and Dave are separated. That can bring up a number of feelings.

Have you spent time thinking through life after Dave? You have been hit here and there with situations like his nephew's family visiting, but how much of it has been in your thoughts? It might help to think about not only how much it's in your thoughts, but what feelings you have associated with it. You mentioned fear, which sounds very normal. You don't know how Dave will react. And given that (as you noted) his behavior has gone back to how it used to be, he may not be expecting the divorce at all. Or he may have decided that ignoring the whole situation will make it all go away. Either way, there is a sense that you expect him to react negatively and possibly abusively and you will have to accept whatever reaction he has.

Just as you did with telling Poppy and Sam about the papers last week, you may want to take some time to think about the papers arriving and plan out some ways you can control what happens. There is no reason why you have to sit and wait on Dave's reaction to the letter. Having responses you can implement can help.

Dave's behavior is never going to make sense unless he decides to address it. He seems to live his life based on control. He wants his way and demands he get it. When you think about your response to him when he gets the letter, it may help you to take a look at how he does act in every day life. As we talked about before, he seems to approach life at a developmentally arrested age, maybe around 12 to 14 years old. He does not seem to know how to balance his emotions with reality and responsibility. He reacts to his own needs first, which is more than likely going to be his reaction to the letter. As you think it through, you and I can work on ways for you to respond, giving you an idea of how you can react no matter what Dave does.

You are doing the right thing, Rose. You have mentioned this to many people and I don't recall you saying that anyone has tried to tell you it wasn't a good idea. You and the kids are in a bad situation and all of you are being abused. Healing can only start when you and the kids are away from the cause of the pain.

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
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 2 years ago.
Thanks Kate,

D just in :( I'll be back after talking with K.

See you then

Rose
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

I've had a bitty and muddly session with K, but I'm through. I asked D if he was in or out tonight, he said why? I said bc I'm talking with K. I'll go out then. So he went. So much better not to be worrying about him around the corner, but now I'm guilty of sending him to the pub.

I went upstairs to let the dogs out, the back door was already open. Lola and Rubin went out and came back in. Then I thought Jack hasn't been out. I went to look for him (he's deaf) and couldn't find him anywhere. I went into the garden in the dark, and could hear a faint intermittent groaning, found him collapsed on the path by the barn. He may have been there a while, he was cold and shivering. I brought him in and wrapped him in a blanket. He tried to stand but couldn't. I've put him on his beanbag wrapped up. He's just got up and wobbled a few paces before falling again. He needs to be put down, but it's too late now tonight. I hope he will be comfortable. I wonder if I'll see him in the morning.

I'll come back to your post in the morning, I'm feeling rather unsettled just now, alone hearing Jack upset.

Goodnight Kate, my steadfast friend,

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

Rose,

.

It sounds like your session with K was interesting. It's good that Dave went out so you could relax. If he chose to go to the pub, that is definitely on him! There are so many other places to go. Or, he could just give you the privacy you deserve and occupy himself with chores. I'm sure you could provide a good sized list for him, right?

.

I am so sorry to hear about your dog. Poor puppy. It is so sad when they start to show signs of passing on. I hope you are able to find a vet in the morning to care for him. Let me know how he does.

.

Good night, Rose. I cannot tell you how glad I am to be here for you!

.

Katex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Kate,

Thank you! It's SOSO good to have you, thank you for saying so, I wanted to send you a big hug and smilies galore when I read your post, but we would have been there all night, back and forth!

Jack was quiet this morning, breathing fast, eyes open, but quiet. I asked D to ring the vet and make an appointment, but I felt cruel that he had to be taken somewhere when he was comfortable on his beanbag. D took him this morning. He was fitting before I left for my aunt's. I didn't want to go with them. Sam was upset that I hadn't got him up before they left, but I thought he had said goodbye last night- I didn't expect to see him breathing this morning. Poppy is at her bf's, doesn't know yet. Rubin the small dog will miss him terribly. He still, after 8 years, sucked Jack's ear like a dummy, and laid on top of him when he was sleeping. Both the dogs were upset last night when Jack was groaning, they kept coming to see him, looking, and going away. I'm glad Rubin didn't lie on him last night.

I'm going to fetch Poppy now from her bf's and shop for a few things for tonight's gathering (D's nephew's wife and girls) just doing a chili and a bolognaise.

I'm thinking about your post from yesterday. Come back to it later.

Talk soon

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

Thank you for the update on Jack. I feel so bad for him, and for you. I just hate losing animals. It can affect you so much and really make you grieve.

I'm so glad I could help you! Yes, our hugs would have been for a long time! I agree.

I'll look for your post later on. Have a great day, Rose. You are in my thoughts, always.

Kate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

back from shopping with an unhappy Poppy, she was hoping for a BBQ tonight, not too happy with the alternative! I've bought her a teacake to toast (me too ;))Mmm, so I have appeased her for the moment.

D came in just after. Told me about the vet visit, he had to wait in the van with Jack til everyone else had gone, then he could bring him in without anyone else seeing him. He told me how sad it was, and how much he cried. He came in and cried again, and wanted me to hug him. I hugged him as best I could, but couldn't look at him. I felt cold and heartless, not able to give him comfort. I was very sad too, but didn't cry. He is burying him now in the field.

I said it yesterday, I'm feeling numb, lacking feeling, emotions. It doesn't feel right.

OMG, an email has just come through from my lawyer's secretary. The divorce petition is in the post. Now the thoughts will start. I'll be back later....

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

Yum, a tea cake sounds really good (can you tell I'm hungry?!).

I am so sorry about Jack. You must miss him. It leaves such a gap in your family when a pet dies.

It's good to know that Dave can feel sad about Jack's passing. Not that I wish that on anyone, but showing healthy emotion is good. I can understand your reluctance to respond to him though. So many times he has caused you pain and not provided any comfort or concern for you at all. It can make you feel resentful, hurt and angry when he asks for comfort from you.

I could be that you feel shut off because you are dealing with some very overwhelming emotions. Sometimes it can all be too much and your natural instinct is to shut down. It can be a protective reaction to keep you from feeling emotionally overrun by all the conflicting and painful feelings.

You may also be shutting down in anticipation of Dave getting the letter. You are expecting to have him react in a bad way and by closing off, you may feel better able to cope. Blocking out his reaction or at least taking the edge off it keeps you from reacting strongly.

We have talked about Dave's reaction to the letter a lot, but what do you feel your reaction might be?

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Kate,

After D buried Jack he came in with a mobile phone (yes, really!) that he'd just bought himself, one that he can put music on (which his old one couldn't), and was showing Poppy, she responding interestedly, me looking quickly too. I thought how normal and family-like it was for just that moment, and I felt the guilt creep back. he went out with Mark to collect a door. Poppy wanted to tell me something that scared her last night when she was in town with some friends, late, they saw a man carrying a rifle over his shoulder, he spoke to them for a moment as he walked by, then he went into a building that was occupied by squatters, and they heard a gun shot. They all ran away very fast, but they didn't tell anyone.

I told her then that Dad would be getting a letter that he wouldn't be happy about, maybe tomorrow, she knew why? Yes she said. I told her I was sorry that it was going to happen. She shrugged and said gotta be done (or words to that effect). I said if it's tomorrow, then she Sam and I will be going to town for dentist and haircuts, but there may well be upsets before we go. She said she'd go to her bf's if it got too difficult. I feel I need to warn D again. I know it will be a shock, despite all the warning shots I have fired (oops, sorry!) He's had today off from work. Maybe he won't be able to work tomorrow too.

I am expecting to feel very anxious and tense tomorrow morning, waiting. What if it doesn't come in tomorrows post? I will feel sick whether it comes or not. I feel I won't be able to think of anything but the letter, feel stressed and irritable, waiting, how will I communicate with D, it will be a lie, until the letter comes, then all hell will break loose. I have been very slow through my day today, thinking carefully what I have to do, how much time I have, how I'll cope with the evening. I have already got to 10pm wishing they would go home. All that time that they are here I won't be able to think about what is to come. I suppose it will be good for my thoughts to have a break.

I need to talk to Sam before they come. He is having more company tonight after they've gone (doesn't he ever want peace and quiet???)

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

Rose,

It sounds like you expect Dave to become overwhelmingly upset and that you have no recourse to respond. You mentioned some of your feelings around the letter coming but not what you expect to say to Dave when it does come. It seems that you feel that you maybe are not allowed to respond (guilt that you did something wrong?) or that you might be too fearful to respond.

Based on your past interactions with Dave, what you might want to think about is how you feel about not only the letter, but all that he has put you through to get you to this point. I know you Rose, you did not come to this decision lightly. You resisted, fought it and tried to find ways around it. That was perfectly fine to do because it helped you look for every reason in the world why you shouldn't do it so now all you have left are the reasons why you should do it. But when that letter comes, behind it are all the emotions, tears, pain and abuse you suffered for so many years. And all the kids suffered too. The upsets at home, the yelling and screaming, the embarrassment, shame and sorrow. When you focus on all of that, you may balance out the guilt you feel for following through with what you had needed to do all along. You may not feel you have rights, Rose, but you do. You are just as valuable as Dave is and just as human. You deserve to live like you want to and have choices just like anyone else.

If you are still having Dave's relatives over, maybe you could still some time to talk with his nephew's wife? She may be able to offer you some support.

You are not lying to Dave when you don't bring up the letter. He knows the deal and how you feel. He choose to ignore it for his own comfort, but he does know. You are not springing this on to him in the middle of a loving marriage. He has abused you and the kids. Getting out is for your good and the kids well being. And if Dave cannot put you first, then you will have to do it.

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
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 2 years ago.
Absolutely Kate,

well said! That's what I meant to say all along, but didn't know. Phew, you make me feel better. He does know doesn't he.

I have to clock off now for a few hours, I'll come back to this when they have been and gone.

Thank you so much :)

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

:) You're welcome.

 

I'll see you in a few. It was so nice chatting with you like this. I felt like we really talked.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yeah, me too. Hope we can again soon :)

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
Me too!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

I had a chance to chat with Liz for an hour or so before D rolled in from the pub. His nephew couldn't come, too busy at work, so he didn't HAVE to be back for him (they would have ended up at the pub any which way regardless). I have talked to Liz over the years, a little more each time, but never as much as I have told her this evening. I felt it was wrong of me to tell her stuff about her husband's blood relative, I hope she only shares with her husband, or maybe just a little if she feels the need, but I know they all care a lot for me. She was very caring, offered me support, and gave me lots of hugs. She was sad for the children too.

So D came in at 8pm, said he had to have a wake in honour of Jack. He was verbally unstoppable (not abusive) once in, Liz could barely get a word in edge-ways, there was certainly no hope for me, in fact I felt like a spare part, invisible. We had a bottle of wine with supper, Liz and I had the tiniest of glasses, D had the rest.

They talked a lot about an Alsatian dog that is a guide dog stud sire, who lives with Liz as she is a guide dog trainer. D stayed with then for a couple of weeks last year while he was working with his nephew, and he enjoyed the dog a lot. He (the dog) has become infertile and therefore will be looking for a home as a pet (too old to train as a guide dog now), and D was straight away saying we'll have him, plenty of room here for a big dog, over and over. He has no plans on going anywhere.

Once they left he didn't stop, talked a lot about death and euthanasia, and how much he admired me as a nurse working with the dying and their families. He said many positive things about me as I was clearing the kitchen, and made me feel bad.

I wish I could take a peek at tomorrow. I feel that if I am around, (which I may not be bc I have to visit AA, then take the kids to town) then I will try to gently reason with him, that it shouldn't be too much of a surprise bc I had talked about it on several previous occasions, and I had always said I was serious and I meant what I said. I just think he felt I would never really push it home, make it happen.

It was useful to talk to Liz tonight, giving her a précis of life with D, I didn't doubt my decision, she was affirming of it, and I appreciated your post as to how and why I had come to this point. I shall try to put the guilt away for now, just get some sleep and deal as best I can when tomorrow comes. Maybe I won't need to deal til later, but I doubt that.

I have taken some sleepers so need to get my head down now. Thank you for being with me all the way. It feels like I'm going on a holiday tomorrow!!!

Good night Kate, hugs

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

I am so glad to hear that your visit with Liz went so well today! You are getting so much wonderful support all around you and it makes me feel good that everyone is there for you and supporting your decision.

I can imagine you sitting there while Dave went on, talking about whatever and drinking the wine. It sounds about right that he left you out of the conversation, taking over and being the center of attention with Liz. It certainly fits. But I wondered how you felt about it. You may be used to it from all these years of being treated like that, but that probably doesn't make it less painful.

Wow, Dave decided to take in Liz's dog without asking your input about it? And from his past history, I imagine that he assumes you will care for the dog, just like you do all the other animals. So to cap the night, he basically came in, took over your conversation, excluded you, decided to take the dog without asking you and assumed you would take care of it. And where are you in all of this?

It's interesting that he spent some time tonight praising your work. I wonder how much of that was just his interest in death and euthanasia and not a desire to understand what you do and admire you for it. I don't want to throw a damper on the one nice thing Dave has said to you in a while, but seeing that his motivation may be different than you thought may help you feel less bad.

Gently reasoning with Dave if he gets the letter is a good start. I'm not sure if he will be open to it, but it's worth a try. Have you worked out what you might do if he escalates from there? Even if you just have an outline of an idea of what you will do is good. From what you have told me, Dave can get very overwhelming very quickly by becoming loud and threatening. If he chooses to act out like that, have you thought out a backup plan?

I am also assuming that since Dave will now know you are serious about the divorce, he may dig in his heels and try to force you to make him leave. We've talked about this before when you started the process, but I wasn't sure if you had looked at your options since then or if you even have had time to.

I'm here for you tomorrow if you need to talk. I hope it goes well. You will be in my prayers tonight.

Good night, Rose! Hugs to you too and a special one for Jack. I'm sorry about your loss.

Katex
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
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 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

He has the letter and it was controlled. I came back from AA's and the letter was on the doormat, I picked it up and put it in my room, not sure if I could give it to him yet. I had to get the kids up and ready for the dentist. He got up and opened the rest of his post, sat down with breakfast. I was shaking, scared. I went to get the letter and put it on the table with him, told him it was a letter from my solicitor, wasn't sure whether to give it to him now or later, bc the kids were here. I told him he must be careful what he says if he opens it now with the kids in the room, and a friend of Sam's too. he said I thought we were past all this nonsense after the last letter. I said I meant what I said, you didn't believe me. He said I've chANGED, YOU DIDN'T LISTEN TO ME, BELIEVE ME? i SAID NO, YPOUR BEHAVIOUR HASN'T CHANGED ENOUGH TO MAKE ME CHANGE MY MIND (sorry caps locked),I said you have still behaved badly since the last letter. What about listening at my door? That's bc I was worried about you. I said you were worried about you. Maybe yes. He said what I was saying was exaggerated. I said I don't exaggerate, I tell the truth. He said what do I do now? I said what does the letter say? It says to get a solicitor, and I'm NOT doing that. I meant what happens about where we live. I said we will have to sort that out, but just go by the letter. He said I'm mad to be throwing our marriage away, putting him on the scrap heap. I said I've been working towards feeling better for 2 years now, I have taken a long time to come to this point, it hasn't been easy.

I have to rush, sorry. He was controlled and quiet, so so glad, Poppy knew he'd got his letter, said don't talk about it now. I couldn't look at him, but I managed to hold myself together. So far.

Back later

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

Wow, Rose. You are amazing. You did it. This is the moment you have been working towards for so long. Dave really tried to blame you again, saying that this was nonsense (putting down and minimizing what you feel) and tried to change your perception of how things really are (but I've changed!) but you stood your ground. I wish I could give you one of those hugs right now!

 

When you have time, let me know how you feel. You have been on my mind all night.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Kate,

his parting words before I left for town with the children was we'll talk about this tonight. i hoped he'd be at work when I got in, but he's in bed. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

The kids and I had a good trip, Sam drove, had his filling, we stopped for coffee and scones and a chat. Poppy asked what happened this morning. I said he got the divorce petition. They were supportive, but quiet about it, not upset with me. Then they had their hairs cut, they are very pleased, then we picked up Sam's old laptop from the store, fixed and raring to go.

We got in, Sam cross that D was in bed. But then set up his laptop and found music he hasn't listened to for 3 years!!. He said today is a good day :)

I wish he wasn't here. He's In bed, I'm feeling bad, getting on with lunch with the kids, his world falling to pieces. I am feeling heavy, knotted, nauseous, prickly anxious, scared to see him again. Very unsettled, knowing that the next bit will be tricky bc he will have thought all day, making his plans to pull that rug again. But I have kept my 'cool head' as Adele puts it, but I can't see guarantee how cool I'll be later.

Thank you for your hug, and your many thoughts, thank you. Glad to talk.

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

It sounds like Dave wants to try to find a way to talk you out of the divorce, either by trying to convince you that you are wrong or by having an outburst. From your description of his past behavior, I can't see him approaching this rationally. Stranger things have happened, I'm sure, but not much stranger!

Have you thought through what you might say to him tonight? A cool head is a great place to start. One of the best ways to keep your cool is to think of responses to Dave that do not leave any way for him to get to you. For example, if he comes at you with trying to convince you that you are wrong (I did change, you are crazy, etc), tuning him out and responding with the same thing every time can help you stay calm. He may not stay calm, but that is not your concern unless he escalates. If that happens, it's a good idea to call for backup either through the police or any male friends or relatives you have. If you can, put your neighbors on alert again so you can reach them if needed.

If he does go straight to an outburst, it might be a good idea to get out of the home as fast as you can. You may want to prepare the kids to leave if they hear him or even ask if they have somewhere else to be tonight. Leave the door open if you are there alone or keep the phone with you at all times. A quick dial to emergency services and/or your neighbor is good too.

I understand your feelings of guilt. But Rose, you did not do this without much thought, support and good reasons. Dave is an abuser. He hurt you and he hurt your children. He drinks, doesn't help you and takes what he can for himself. You don't want to stay and he won't change. He has backed you into a corner. This is his choice, not yours. He is a grown man who has chosen to hurt his family. You would rather have a loving marriage where you are not abused and the kids are cared for by their father. But Dave will not let you have that. So this is more his fault and not yours. You are doing the one thing that is healthy for you and the kids. Try to keep that in mind when he talks with you tonight.

Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
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 2 years ago.
Thanks Kate,

I will bear that all in mind later, must find that cool head. Unfortunately Sam will be at work, and still unfortunately Poppy will be here. He got up a while a go, but I had to come straight to my room, didn't want to spend any time with him that I didn't have to. I felt exhausted, laid down for a rest, but sleep wouldn't come. At least I've rested. I just want to stay here curled up for the rest of the afternoon, but I have to get supper early so Sam can eat before work. I'll brave his company now. Back later.

Rose


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

Thanks for letting me know. I'm a bit anxious to see that this all turns out well for you and I appreciate you taking the time to keep me up to date. I hope you are able to get some time away from him to think things through and plan out your night.

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Kate

you are so lovely. I have little further to report apart from him approaching me as I was preparing supper, quietly said please will you give me another chance. I said No Dave, it wasn't easy to get to this point, a lot of hard work, I need to sort my head out. He said it's me that'll need to sort MY head out. I've suggested many times that he talks to some one, a counsellor, therapist. I don't think he's talked to Anyone about it. He told me yesterday that he spent a while with XXXXX XXXXXstening to his woes, that he still managed to make him laugh!

He said why do you hate me so much? I said I don't hate you, but I don't want to be with you any more. He said it's OK for you, you'll still have this place. So at least that's progress, that he sees he will have to go. He's meant to be going out tonight but is ensconced in front of the TV. He has been very calm, obviously trying the softly softly approach, that he will change, he's sorry, pleading, but I haven't given him any hope. I wish he'd talk to someone about it, but I guess he doesn't want anyone to know that I'm filing and why.

So no drama so far, it'll come all in good time. A relief, but maybe he's lulling me into a false sense of security.

I'll keep in touch :) I'm feeling strong (ish)

Back later

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

Rose,

 

I agree with you, it sounds like he is approaching this softly first then the storm may come later. I certainly hope not, but it's good to be prepared.

 

I am glad to hear you are feeling strong about this. This is your day, Rose!

 

What do you feel you might do if he does resort to something more intense?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He's gone out. That's a relief. He didn't say he was going, just went. I hope he talks tonight, but I expect there will e shock all round, and lots of craziness directed at me, but I don't care. I really feel the ball is rolling now, the letter says that if Mak (atty) doesn't hear from D in the next 14 days then he will go ahead and present the petition to the court.

 

So here will be no further words tonight, he'll be gathering his thoughts for the next stage of the plan. If there is any alcohol on board over the next few days then the upset will really start. But I am soso relieved that I have got past this hurdle, he has no idea what's been going on in my head, apart from the many BIG hints that I have dropped over the last few weeks, but he has just brushed them of, he doesn't think I can do it. And he would have been right if I hadn't had all my troops behind me (sorry, cheerleaders!)

 

I am going to stand my ground, stand up to him, not be afraid of him, be positive, tell him I have backup and support, be upset if I need to be. I was thinking earlier out in the rain with Lola that I have never been straight with him as to his shortfalls, I have preferred not to make him feel inadequate, or bad about hiself. I guess that is a mistake of mine, had he known he (unlikely) could have done something about it,but I was protecing his ego, self esteem, but I do blame myself for lack of communication.

 

Well, I've done it now. I think I have tried, he has had a month to prove to me that he is changed beyond recognition, but he hasn't, and today has been his usual response to things he can't handle- going to bed- that's not very inspiring. I know he's upset and probably can do little else, but he's off out tonight, no change there.

 

So I'm really on my way!! Maybe today is one of the easier days. I was trying to rememer some of the responses that Adele and I talked about earlier, could just about remember a few, that were encouraging to D, like he will be more free (!) to do as he pleases, or he might meet someone and be able to have a relationship again, and his time with the kids will be quality time, they will want to be with him and there wil be less upset between them and him etc. But he doesn't see there is a problem, so those respnses will probably fall on deaf ears.

 

Anyway, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other. Pillar of Salt, no looking behind me. Please remind me, forwards only, no 2 ways.

 

Rose

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hey Kate,
I've had a peaceful evening watching a DVD Far and Away, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. I hope you've seen it, about some Irish coming to USA :) Sure you have
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, half finished post....

D not home, won't need to face him again this evening. I had some anxieties earlier, what if I couldn't keep my head and strength, scared myself.

Must sleep now,

Goodnight Kate, thank you for talking
Til tomorrow :)

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

Rose,

It's great that there is a time limit on Dave's response to the letter. Otherwise, he would have the excuse to drag this out for as long as he likes.

Troops is good too! I like it just as much :)

Just from a psychological point of view, it probably would have not had any effect for you to have been straight with Dave about his short falls. You have tried to talk with him but he consistently blames you and thinks it is all your fault. I agree that it is very unlikely he would have gained any insight just from you telling him that his abusive behavior hurt you and the kids. People who are abusive and whose behavior centers on themselves have a very difficult time taking responsibility for anything they do. It usually falls onto the person they have the conflict with. And you have seen that over and over with Dave. He has blamed you and the kids each time he did something to you. So communicating with him would most likely have done nothing but got you hurt even further.

I think you are right, there is little to no change in his behavior, even with the divorce letter, which is kind of interesting. Being asked for a divorce is a pretty big wake up call that something is not right in your marriage. And Dave did not seem to respond any differently at all, at least not yet. I would think that he would be talking to you as to why you feel this way and how can he fix it.

Pointing out the good things to Dave about having his freedom is an option. But Dave's past history shows that he needs to be dependent on someone for support. You mentioned many times that Dave thinks of himself as a free spirit and anti authority. But in order to hold that belief, someone has to be the responsible one. And since he refuses to be that person, whomever he is with gets the job. So this divorce will either make him grow up fast or he will be looking for a new caretaker to support him, based on his past behavior.

You are definitely on your way, Rose! Forward is the only direction for you! Talking out any guilt or remorse you begin to feel will help stop you from looking back and giving in. And keep thinking about all the fun and adventure that awaits you. The chrysalis is definitely shaking now. It may even be hatching.....?

Good night Rose! I hope you have wonderful dreams full of the possibilities ahead.

Katex

PS I just saw your other posts. Thank you for the picture! I love that one. Yes, I've seen Far and Away. It was a good movie, wasn't it?

Let me know if you are still feeling anxious tomorrow.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
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 2 years ago.
Dear Kate,

I couldn't sleep fort an age last night. I'm sure I had a dream, but I don't remember what it was about at all. Today I am very tired, I've been busy as usual, aa's, dentist, (yes more holes), groceries, lunch with parents. They asked me up today to help them with some computer issues (skype so that they can talk to my sister in Ghana). I told them the news of the arrival of the papers. Again they told me how sad they were that things had turned bad, they had no idea, at all, mum saying for the umpteenth time that he seemed like such a nice chap. SDo they said full steam ahead, no guilt, or bad feelings. You're on the path, keep it straight.

It's all been rather surreal, D's lack of anything, as you said, very little reaction, totally unexpected. I'm sure there'll be plenty to come. At least I can draw breath. I haven't seen him today, he was very late home last night. I don't know whether I should ask him if he has talked to anyone about it, or about somewhere to live, or whether I should just keep to myself and wait for things to happen.

Cathy asked me to pay her a visit today so I'll see her after I've dropped Sam at work. Too tired really, but I feel bad I haven't seen her this holiday. I shall have a rest now before supper time

back later

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

I'm sorry that you had a bad night. I imagine that all the stress from yesterday probably affected you more than you realized. You have been tense for over a week now about the arrival of the letter and it only got worse when Dave saw the letter. His lack of reaction may have kept you on edge because you had nothing to direct your stress towards. He basically left you hanging as to what his reaction is going to be.

It's good to know that your parents are being so supportive. I agree, very surreal! After all you went through with them as a child, they have been nothing but supportive of your situation with Dave. Although I am sure you welcome their kindness towards you, I wonder how it affects how you feel around them.

It might be a good idea to let this play out with Dave. Talking to him about it might cause him to think that you are concerned for him (which you are) and that might translate into trying to talk you into letting him stay. For example, he may see your concern for his lack of a place to live as an avenue to play on your feelings- "I have no place to go. How can you kick me out?". I don't want to paint Dave in a bad light before he even does something, but given his past manipulative behavior, it is a real possibility that he might at least try it. And that will bring up all of your feeling of guilt and responsibility, sending you both into the same pattern of behavior as before.

You may want to wait to see how he works things out. Then decide if you want to get involved at all. Or if you do help him, that you only help with the things that get him to move on faster.

I hope you have a wonderful visit with Cathy!

Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Kate,

I had a little rest, not nearly enough, you know when you start to doze you don't want to get going again!

But needs must, and I really don't want to see Cathy now, my best is past, I can't do evenings. Never mind, I will try to enjoy. Sam and Poppy will both be out when I get home, I wonder what this evening will bring. I can say almost without doubt that D will be home via the pub as he's not back yet, meaning the rest of the evening with him here. Time will tell.

I told my parents that I'd written another poem about my emotions. They wanted to read it. I said you won't like it, are you sure? I was reluctant, but since I had my netbook with me I got it up for them to read, but cut a couple of verses first. I couldn't let them read it all. Dad said it's very sad. I said I don't feel all of those emotions right now- thank goodness he said. Mum didn't comment except to say have you shown this this to anyone else? I said yes my therapist.

Gotta go, Sam to work

Rose

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

You sound so tired! I hope you get some time to rest tonight after your visit with Cathy.

If Dave does start anything tonight, have you decided what you might do?

How do you feel about your mother and father's response to your poem? You shared something pretty deep with them, which was quite a risk.

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

thanks; not long in, arrived home at 9.15, house in darkness, but D was home, I said Hi, he said where have you been? Where is everybody? I said Sam is at work, Poppy with her bf, and I've been with Cathy. Oh. I sorted his mess in the kitchen, played with Lola a while, then came down for a shower. He came down, said I don't like being ignored. I said I didn't ignore you, it was unplanned, was just going to be a quick visit to Cathy but she invited me to stay for tea (which I had to think about for a short time, but D's supper was ready for him to microwave, and apart from my supper waiting for me, and me being very tired, I couldn't think of a good enough reason to say no!), and I haven't seen her for weeks (since before the SS visit). He said she's one of your (he put his fingers up as if drawing speech marks) "friends" who is telling you to get a divorce. I said no-one is TELLING me to get a divorce, except me.

Cathy is one of my longest and most secure friends, and she's also very fond of D. She has spent a lot of time with us when she was first on her own, and moved down here from London bc of me a few years after splitting up from her husband. I said to her that I didn't think he was talking to anyone about things, she said she doubted it too, but she would talk with him if he wanted to (he won't do that). She said he is behaving completely normally, laughing, joking, chatting, drinking, completely in denial, but she did say he looks dreadful, which he does bc he's lost a lot of weight. I have been reading about the nutritional effects of heavy drinking, and see that they are many. Throw in diabetes and it's no wonder . But Cathy says it must be effecting him emotionally too, sure, but he is still eating reasonably, I think it's more the alcohol, exacerbated by the emotions.

But I enjoyed my evening with Cathy, her son (16) and long time partner, a nice family time with proper talk around the table, not one sided as it would be with D. You asked me the other day how I felt to be not speaking during our meal when Liz came. You're right, I am so used to it, I don't even try, he wonders why I fail to communicate with him when it's just him and me. I suppose I just shut down, have my own thoughts but keep them locked away, even if I have something to add I ask myself if it's worth the bother, trying to find a gap to slip it in, then I find it's the bare minimum of a sentence, not one with a comma in it, just a phrase, telling the basics, a comment. I am used to it, but I feel like a spare part, unimportant, he is the centre of attention, everyone must listen to him, in his loud voice, to stories that we may have heard over and over.

Cathy said she was amazed at how well I coped with telling her everything that has happened over the last 5 or 6 weeks. I was only upset at one point, when I was telling her how I felt the day after he had been listening to my skype with K, and how he made me feel when I realised he'd heard it all. I said I hoped that I'd be able to laugh and be happy again some day she said sure you will, you have just been squashed down for so long, you'll find yourself again.

So, he's up stairs, I'm down here, I don't plan any further interaction with him tonight. I was feeling upbeat in the shower, that I have made it through the mire. I saw the words 'I need hope' that I had cut on my leg several weeks a go, and thought that I have that hope now. I do feel though that D thinks if he ignores the papers then it will all go away. He won't be seeking legal advise, his loss, he will be going into this completely blindly, and just by correspondence from my solicitor. I need not tell him anything?

As my parents were reading my poem, dad first, then mum, I wished I hadn't allowed them to see it, despite removing the verses that were too close. It wasn't ever my intention to share it with anyone else, and I knew it would upset my dad. That was why I was quick to say that they were feelings and emotions that I had had over a period of time, and not all right now. Dad was very glad to hear that, and said he was sorry not to have been more of a support to me, especially over such a long period of time when I was in so much pain that was a mystery, and I was back and forth to the Drs with no answers, and then he said he should have thought that it was a stress related problem. I said the Drs are supposed to tell me that, besides they didn't know how things were at home, no-one did, and I didn't know how the stresses could be affecting my body. So there was some regret and guilt from my dad that he hadn't been more observant of me, but my mum's response was more about me needing to talk to somebody about my emotions (have you shown it to anyone?) I think it was probably a shock to them that I have been feeling that way, maybe it was good to share it, maybe not. We didn't talk any further, I had to sort out their skype, but failed.

Sam rang for collection a little while a go, D answered the phone, came downstairs. I said are you picking him up? He said what do you think? I said well I didn't know how much you have had to drink tonight. He just left, but Sam drove home anyway, so that was OK. He seemed fairly sober.

I guess I must sleep now. About time! I have an early start, AA, collect Deb's girls for orchestra, pick up Poppy from her bf's, and try to get to orchestra practice for 10am. I shall look forward to breakfast in Tesco's cafe, with my trusty netbook, and you :)

Goodnight dear friend,

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

It is interesting that Dave's first response to you was about him feeling that he is being ignored. After all the ups and downs you have gone through to get to this point with him, his focus still remains on himself. That is truly amazing.

No, you are not obligated to tell Dave anything. At this point, you are in divorce proceedings. Most people would be living in separate homes by now and communicating through their lawyers. It has been made clear to Dave what is expected of him at this point. There is no need for you to take care of him anymore or even be concerned. I know that is hard because your natural instinct is to be sure he is ok. But it is time for Dave to deal with the consequences of his actions. You are no longer responsible for doing it for him.

You may be right, the effects of the drinking might be what is making Dave lose weight. He may be substituting alcohol for food. It also could be affecting his liver. It's hard to tell how his emotions are affecting him. In order to act as he does, it takes a lot of energy to maintain. He is living a life that is very focused on harmful things- yelling, screaming, anxious to be the center of attention, drinking and drugs. From what you have told me, he does little to care for others (which as you know promotes good mental health) and he certainly doesn't seem to care for himself. But since he refuses to listen to anyone, then there is little you can do to help him.

Your friend Cathy sounds like a gem! I'm glad you have someone to talk to who can offer good support. Cathy's advice was perfect. Has she thought about being a therapist? :)

Dave has repressed you for a long time. It's good that you see it now so you can reclaim yourself. Insight makes all the difference. And I think your ability to see what Dave has done to you all these years has helped you reach this important point in your relationship. All of that repression is a form of emotional abuse. Anytime someone takes away your freedom to be who you are that is emotional abuse.

I am sorry that you felt so bad that cutting yourself with such a sad message was your only resort. It sounds like you were in deep pain a few weeks ago. I can remember us talking at that time and how upset you felt about how Dave was treating you and the situation between you both. But it sounds like you have found your hope and feel optimistic about your future now. I'm glad you have come through the darkness and found a path out of this nightmare you have lived for so long.

It sounds like your dad was a little fearful about your poem and all the emotions in it. I can imagine that he might have felt overwhelmed since he is used to the control that goes on in his marriage. But even still, it seems that both of your parents are much more accepting of you and your situation than I expected them to be. It was brave of you to share your situation with them and your poem. Keep in mind, you are acting in a very normal way with them. It is their response that might be dysfunctional. Their responses are based on the issues they have with emotions. And although they did quite well with your situation, there is still some holding back and some judgment. But your reaction is very healthy. And the fact that you still try to connect with them after all they did to you as a child is healthy as well. You present very normal emotions to them even though they tried to teach you dysfunctional emotions. That says a lot about your insight and strength.

You have quite a busy day tomorrow! I do like hearing all about your adventures at Tesco's cafe (such good treats there!). I will be in and out tomorrow, as usual, so I'll check in as often as I can. I always like hearing from you, Rose!

Good night, Rose. Sleep tight.

Katex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

Thanks for your great post. Tesco's cafe, coffee gone, fruit toast yummy again (so good last time). It's very busy here today, noisy and jostly in the aisles, I did a quick shop for AA before settling up here, with a birds-eye view of the store. I like people watching ;)

Cathy is a gem. She has grown up with her mum with Bi Polar, she is very intuitive and would make a great therapist. She also noticed that I have changed and moved on, while D is exactly where he has always been. I should talk with her more often, she is always a good ear, but she works school hours so it's difficult to fit in when I don't manage evenings well. I will try to keep contact more frequent for added support.

Yes, D is amazing, him and him only. Questioning who I've seen, why I want to see them, what I talked about- my parents especially, but now Cathy, I didn't tell him I visited my sister, friend Linda, Gemma next door, especially not Adele, I just can't allow him to know who I talk to, where I've been. As far as he knows I speak to no-one, have no life, hence will have no life AT ALL without him, be a sad and lonely divorcee. But I will, I know I will.

I did fall to sleep better last night. I keep meaning to listen to my hypno recording, but I'm usually comfy and tucked up before I remember, and I'd have to get up and find my headphones. Mum asked me if I was sleeping OK, I said not, she said you'll have to learn self-hypnosis. I said already in hand. Her response to my poem was almost nothing, no words of comfort or sadness that I could have those emotions, no touch or empathy, nothing more or less than I expected, maybe she felt she had nothing to add to what Dad had said. Hey Ho. But I am feeling braver and freer to express myself to my parents, they were a huge stumbling block for me last year, and it was only bc my sister Helen said she had to tell them stuff that the spell was broken, and I was let in. I wasn't happy about it, but I see now that it had to happen for me to make any progress, I couldn't be here now without their acceptance that what I am doing is right for the kids and me, and stuffy middle-class values were thrown to the wind, albeit cautiously. It has been a good thing that they have to accept it, even this late in life. I know when my brother went bankrupt some 20 years ago it was all kept under wraps, and kept hush hush, he lost everything and turned heavily to drink; they bailed him out monetarily, but not emotionally, but fortunately he pulled himself up when he realised how close he'd come to killing his wife when he pushed her down the stairs while drunk. He is now teetotal.

I am feeling very sore today, sore and without energy. My pain is more widespread today, but the tension in my neck shoulders and back of my head is the most noticeable, with added abdominal pains. I am glad to be sort of resting now, Poppy and I have the cottage change-over to do after lunch, but as there is no-one to follow today I can stop when I've had enough. Poppy is keen to earn some pocket money so I said we could do it today. No more bf visits this weekend I hope, she has stuff to do, and I don't want her to be stressed at the last minute again.

Talk later... time to pick Poppy up

Rose

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Wait!!!!!

I can't accept your last answer.... I have started a new thread in case there is a problem, so maybe you could copy my post over and reply there please?? :)

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
I'll transfer both of my answers over. Thank you for letting me know! You are always so thoughtful.

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