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Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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replied 4 years ago.
Till tomorrow. See you then
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replied 4 years ago.
I'm soso glad to be here at last. I have been rushing round at others beck and call today, I've missed me, and you, been thinking about you all day, waiting for my time alone.
I took AA to the opticians this morning, that was a real event in itself as a certain degree of cooperation is required!! But I think the optometrist came to a conclusion eventually, but she was most displeased that she had to part with money for new glasses when she already had 2 pairs. Logic I guess.
Dad had left a message for me to call, visit. I dutifully did so this afternoon. I was telling Adele yesterday how much they want to control me, all of us, that my sister Helen in Ghana won't be honest with them, asks me not to tell them this or that. The latest is that she doesn't see herself ever leaving Ghana to live and work in the UK, but the parents believe it's still a short-lived time for her out there, and have been talking about almost finding a job for her. She has always been the rebellious one, couldn't wait to leave home, lived in a camper van for a while and so on.
Today it was a visit to tell me I mustn't leave, mustn't let him have the barn, I should give him the field and he can get planning permission to build a house on it. Dad is arguing not a good idea, too close, Mum saying it'll take a while to get plans, permission, build it.... I say stop it's too fast, one step. It got me spinning, round and round and round. I have felt channeled, the last 20 years, brought back here from the city I moved to to train, far enough away so that I didn't have to come home every week, trying to break free. D fell in love with my home valley, it is beautiful, he wanted to move back here too, I had no desires to be back home. But here we are; buy this cottage, then, buy this one, then, here, have a barn (that D wanted), thanks, XXXXX XXXXX trapped, TRAPPED, but grateful too of course, but indebted, and now, what do I do? It's D's life, it's my parent's gift, it's a millstone, right now, and nobody is going to be happy whatever happens, bc my parents say, you should have the bigger share, you had that much more in the first place; D will say, as he has over and over, I built it, therefore it's rightfully mine, all of it, I want to keep it, and so we both have to live here, bc there is no other way. Me? Well I just feel bad that there will be so much agro between everyone, and parents are worrying about f'ing money, always money, and I'd rather have none and move on.
On Tuesday I bought a new throw for my little bed, it's a patchwork design in dark red and gold, perfect for my room. Today I bought 2 cushions to match. I have been a year in this little room, and haven't added anything to it except decoration, and I'm very short on storage for my clothes. I think I mentioned that I'd been thinking about getting a chest of drawers, well I have bought one on ebay, which ended this afternoon. It's second hand, but looks right for the space I will make, it's local, so I can pick it up on Monday if it suits them. I told K that I felt the need to make my room more complete, mainly bc D had insisted he wasn't going anywhere, and therefore I thought this was my corner for the next so many years. That's why she said just bc he says so, does not make it so. I am still in the mindset that I am here, and he is over there, ad infinitum, and guess I will continue to think that way until the courts tell him to go, if they do. I wonder how I will cope with my feelings of guilt that I'm putting myself first (and the kids, agreed), but I will be getting what I want in so many ways, and he won't. Adele likened this time (now)to the time when he came to my house in Southampton, backpack with his worldly possessions, and expected me to sort out his life for him, appealing to my (what?) soft side? stupid gullible and naïve side? He has always said he has an amazing judgement of character, he can sus someone out within the first 2 minutes of meeting them. He got me right.
My judgement was way off, and I have been beating myself up since the day I married him, 21 years ago, and even before that. I knew I shouldn't be doing it, but how can I, with such little strength and belief in myself, withdraw from something that I was so tied up in. So much effort and energy had been invested in him, he needed me, and he wanted me, and I guess he loved me. Did I? I kidded myself to make it right, but all the time plans were being made I was doubting, doubting, but I wasn't one to share my feelings, so I went with the flow of it all. My parents disapproved, but I did my best to paint a glossy picture of him, and I guess that's why I found it so hard to tell them what he was really like. I was still angry with my father for talking to Tony (my previous boyfriend, who I loved dearly, and had talked about forever) behind closed doors on a visit home one weekend, to this day I don't know what he said to him, but Tony was different afterwards, refused to tell me what had been said, and soon after we split.
He asked me to marry him. I said OK, but you must promise to give up drugs. He said easy, done. What would have happened if I had said no? He'd be where he is now, telling me he couldn't leave, he has nowhere to go, no money, I am his life, me and our little dog.
After we married, I felt that's it, I'm trapped, stuck, and I hate it, I have done the most stupid thing ever. But I was really happy in my job, senior staff nurse on a very specialised thoracic unit, I was strong at work, in control, skilled and knowledgeable, and I loved the nursing team; My job kept me buoyant. But D was a struggle. Maybe I thought by moving back here it would help, I could have a baby, that must surely help. But it was not a good time, and I was very depressed, couldn't cope with my job, which I disliked hugely, and had to leave and down grade.
Why couldn't my parents be like grandparents should be, instead of telling me how things should be done. Not once have they taken the children for a walk, an ice-cream, to tea, to stay over, baby sitting, well, at a push, but I was afraid to leave Sam with them, how would he be comforted if he cried, it just wouldn't happen, and now the kids avoid them, there is no way they would stay with them, even with me there too.
Self recrimination, Adele says I have huge amounts of it. I do, see, it's my fault I'm here, I have done this to the kids, I was just too weak to look after myself, I need to take responsibility for how it has worked out.
Yesterday we talked about something, I forget what, that threw me back to my childhood, and I struggled with my teen years, and my brother, and my mother, and now I still struggle with it, and that's why I wanted to find some pictures of my kids, bc they are happy, and love each other, and secure, despite lots of horrible stuff going on, but they are stronger than I was, and they won't get pushed into a corner, they can stand up for themselves, and mostly have good self esteem.
But I was thinking today how much I failed in my teen years, failed at school, I under achieved hugely, despite working working soso hard, trying my best, XXXXX XXXXX just couldn't do it, had no memory, couldn't understand. And disappointed my parents, strive to be the best, XXXXX XXXXX you can do better. Why was I a failure? Failed at friends, I was ugly, shy, quiet, had nothing to share, just agreed with everyone else, I wasn't important, I put myself last, everywhere, every queue, every row of seats, at the back so I couldn't be seen, no-one could look at me, at the back, in the corner, or at the side, never in the middle, never amongst a crowd, on my own. Why would I wait until the bell had rung before I went to the toilet, too scared to go to the loo while there were others around who might hear me, make fun of me for making a noise, or a smell. But then I'd have to go into class late after everyone was sitting down, and I'd be noticed. It was better than the alternative.
My lasting image of myself as a teen is printed in my mind. It is a school picture of me , 14/15, in summer uniform (that mum made, unlike everyone else's) My parents showed me that picture last year, or maybe the year before. It threw me back so violently that I couldn't bear the picture to exist any more. I wouldn't let them have it back, and later destroyed it. But the image is there, imprinted, and it haunts me. It was the image that I had when talking with Adele. I wonder if I would feel the same if I didn't have that image, or if I had a different image. I have a photo of me when I am 6/7. I like this photo, and I feel differently about me at that age. Adele asked me how I felt about my younger years. I said they don't affect me as much as my teen years. Maybe I don't remember them so well, or maybe it was a better time for me bc my twin sisters were younger, maybe Richard wasn't so mean to me, maybe I wasn't so lonely, maybe I was a better girl for my mum. Maybe my granny was still alive. I used to lie on my granny. AA told me that I'd want to go and visit her bc I wanted to go and lie on her. Maybe she loved me and gave me cuddles. I don't really remember. I remember her Siamese cat, Wong, I remember feeding it real fish, I remember the smell. And I remember her rock buns. And I remember when she died, just before Christmas, and I remember the snowman I had made at school for her, and how sad I was that she wouldn't see it. And I remember wrapping myself in the quilt that she had bought for my Christmas present, and crying bc I missed her.
I can't believe it's so late, I've been writing for ages, and just scratching the surface. I don't suppose I can get back here again, but I will try.
So good to talk to you Kate, hope you are OK. I'll put out a new thread for tomorrow.
Goodnight dear friend,
replied 4 years ago.
I am so glad to see that you are in touch with your feelings. There is a lot of deep, deep pain there that you are becoming more aware of and that is good. It doesn't feel so great I know. But it is a good sign for you because the more you deal with your feelings the more strength you gain.
Your parents are still treating you as they
when you were little. It appears they like to control, much like Dave does, and feel that it is ok to impose on you. There is a lot of guilt and shame you carry because of how your parents have treated you. They make it all seem to be your fault when none of it is. You never where able to develop the self esteem that you needed because of the lack of love and care you dealt with as a child. As you talked about your pictures from your teen years compared to your younger years, I felt very
for the little girl who only wanted to be loved. When your grandmother showed you love, you absorbed it like a sponge. And when that love went away with your grandmother, you suffered a huge void.
It is really your parents that should carry the shame and guilt for not loving you as you deserved. And to this day while you gain insight and try to deal with Dave, your parents continue on the same path, trying to control and to make you do their bidding.
So what does Rose want? Is that something you feel ok asking yourself? Out of all the people in your life trying to control you and use you, what do you feel you need to make yourself happy?
Yes, Adele and K are both right. Self recrimination and "what Dave says isn't necessarily so" are both big issues in your life right now. Seeing that you are valuable and that your needs are important without painting a selfish label on your forehead is a challenge. Have you thought about what would happen if you did do what you wanted? It might be helpful just to think about it and see what you feel would happen in your world. Dealing with the feelings that came up as a result can help you move forward and see that getting what you want is not selfish. It is taking care of yourself.
It may also help to think about what might happen if you start listening to the people who are affirming your value rather than the ones who just bring you down and hurt you. Because of your self esteem, you are naturally attuned to hear those who are out to hurt you. But you are also surrounded by those who love you and see you as valuable. But it seems easier to tune them out. What would it be like for you to hear them and really listen?
Good night, Rose. I'm glad to hear that you are fixing up your room and making it nice for yourself. You deserve more but having a haven is an important step.
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