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Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question

TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3142
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
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Hi Jen, We have chatted in the past and I appreciated your

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Hi Jen,
We have chatted in the past and I appreciated your support...I wondered if you were available to chat?

CoachJenK :

Welcome back and happy new year

Customer:

Same to you, Jen! Thanks!

CoachJenK :

how is everything?

Customer:

Really, really hard...almost seeming impossible! I am not certain how much of our previous chats you remember or have access to...just let me know what info you need.

CoachJenK :

i remember where you were with your husband....what is the status of things now?

Customer:

Worse...his behavior seems to have escalated in some respects and I am quite frequently left feeling shattered while he brushes his hands and walks away, guilt free. I am not certain if I am going to survive this emotionally...

CoachJenK :

It is so difficult to live in that kind of environment. i feel for you and how shattered you feel when dealing with him and as we have discussed in the past unless you are "feeding" him he will lash out.

Customer:

I am not certain I can continue to feed him. I am spent emotionally...He has begun spending more and more time out "partying" with other women only to blame me saying I treat him so badly and it is my fault that he acts this way.

CoachJenK :

so what keeps you there?

CoachJenK :

I know how hard it is and I in no way believe it is simple, but what about taking care of you....you deserve it and need that.

Customer:

I am not sure...that's what is so hard! I think it is fear that once I try to leave he will turn it on full force and truly continue to pummel me emotionally until I am gone!! I am also so sad that what I thought I had is so completely gone...for me and my children!

CoachJenK :

It is devastating. I am sad to hear all of this for you and your children.

CoachJenK :

I think there will come a time and you may be getting closer to it where you just decide that it is time for you

Customer:

He has been the only thing I have known since I was 15...it is so hard to want to rely on someone when you are hurt because they are your spouse only to find that you can't! Each time I am sad and feeling devastated and alone I have to fight this feeling of wanting to turn to him...only to feel battered again and back at square one...

CoachJenK :

I completely understand all that you are telling me...it is devastating.

CoachJenK :

Are you still in therapy getting your support?

Customer:

Each time I feel as though I am ready, it seems so incredibly impossible...I think I have made the mistake of reading too much online about what it can be like to divorce someone like this and I am petrified...yes, I am still seeing a therapist and have a wonderful support system although my friends and family are done with this as well and want me to end it...

CoachJenK :

Everyone around you sees how you are struggling so and what things to be different for you.

CoachJenK :

It is incredibly scary to take that step and only you know when you can make it

Customer:

My friends have started saying if this continues they will need to pull away because of how much it hurts them to see me treated this way...I am not willing to make that sacrifice.In a really weird way that even I do not slightly comprehend...I care about this man and it's the weirdest thing. I shouldn't...he treats me terribly...

CoachJenK :

I think breaking free feels so terrifying that you cant see it all clearly while others can

Customer:

I am not sure if I have the emotional, mental, and financial resources needed to get out of this in one piece...my friends and family all reassure me that I am but he is so ruthless and irrational and unrelenting...

CoachJenK :

you are in the cycle of abuse and options dont seem available to you.

CoachJenK :

Can you rely on your family to help you?

Customer:

They will help as much as they are able but I feel that is very limited. He will blatantly lie, will leave me sobbing, disrespect me and my children but tell me I am overreacting and am too sensitive when I tell him it was not okay. I can continually ask him for what I need and he will consistently ignore it. He sees it, I think and just doesn't even care...plain and simple. But then tells me he loves me...it is so mind-boggling!!

CoachJenK :

so it sounds like staying is where you are....but it also sounds like it is destroying you.

Customer:

I cannot stay...if I do, it WILL destroy me...everyone is watching it happen. Even I am aware that it is happening (as I can't even control the crying right now :( but I feel so powerless to make it stop!

CoachJenK :

I feel so sad hearing you....I know how hard it may be to see things clearly...but it is possible that you feel free from it all once you make the change....there will be difficult times but it could turn out better than you fear.

Customer:

And I am afraid that destruction is happening quicker than I ever imagined...I typically regard myself as fairly strong but I am really, really questioning that! Everyone says that things WILL be better and I believe that to a certain extent but only I know his true power and the extent of the damage I feel he can do...

CoachJenK :

I hear you...truly I do. I support you as I have before and as you know until you feel it nobody can make the decision for you.

Customer:

The trouble is I do feel it...I recognize that I cannot live this way I am just so scared to make the next move. I think I have felt like this for a long time now but it's just taking the next step...it is a daily internal struggle...one that gets so overwhelming...

CoachJenK :

sometimes the first step is the hardest and scariest but then once you take that tiny step FORWARD you begin to feel empowered.

Customer:

My whole notion of what my marriage was supposed to be and my family was supposed to be has exploded. I recently spent time with a good friend of mine and her husband and it was so strange to me to see how a healthy, balanced relationship behaves and feels. I do not live in a fantasy world where I believe everything to be roses all the time but there is a big difference between how my marriage operates and how theirs does. I feel a huge amount of guilt...

CoachJenK :

guilt is natural since he is so good at making you feel as if you have done things wrong

Customer:

Jen, I feel as though I have been a good wife and a great mother...why is it that he can make me feel sooo guilty about these things??

CoachJenK :

I believe you have too. When someone is dealing with narcissism it is too difficult for them to acknowledge any part in things.

Customer:

Living with his Narcissism has to be just about the ugliest most vile thing I can imagine...no one else can see it from the outside...but it is poisoning me!

CoachJenK :

you hit it right on the head. To the outside they seem magnanimous and fun and caring but unless that is constantly being fed the slip occur.

Customer:

And I have fed it and fed it and now I am starving...

Customer:

to death...and he doesn't even care!!

CoachJenK :

EXACTLY so start to feed yourself

CoachJenK :

forget about him caring...you arent caring about yourself either.

Customer:

Oh my gosh....I guess you're right!! :( :( Oh the tears...uggghh!!!

CoachJenK :

you can do this and by this I mean taking care of you. You make that choice!

Customer:

I don't have any other choice but than to make that choice...otherwise the alternative is one I will not even consider! I keep telling myself to be strong and healthy for my kids but even that doesn't work all the time!

CoachJenK :

yes...it needs to be all about you and the kids now!

CoachJenK :

you deserve it!

Customer:

Thanks...I believe I do deserve it, I just am afraid to make it happen...but as you mentioned, the first step may be the hardest but also the most empowering. I just feel like I keep running up to the edge of the cliff and I get so ready to jump but then I back down...

CoachJenK :

all of that is normal. Be easy on yourself.

CoachJenK :

tiny steps and forward motion and knowing that every step you take is a step in self care

Customer:

I think you are right...I tend to be hard on myself and when I can't garner the strength to just get it over with, I feel badly...

CoachJenK :

because you have lost yourself and now it is time to find her again, love her, cultivate her and enjoy her.

Customer:

I have lost her...and I am so sad!!

CoachJenK :

she is in there...hiding but in there. Let that sadness motivate you to go get her and love her up.

Customer:

I seriously question my ability to do so... I think I have completely lost touch with her...

CoachJenK :

maybe you have but that does not mean you cant find her. I know you can do that.

Customer:

Maybe the first thing I need to do is (no offense! :) Stop dwelling on this for a bit and engage in something that makes her feel better...Thanks so much for al your help! Once again, you've been amazing but I think some time with my kiddos may be the best thing right now...

CoachJenK :

I love that idea. go for it and come back to me anytime.

Customer:

I certainly will...thanks for being there!

CoachJenK :

of course. always. take a moment to offer a rating of my support. Keep in touch.

TherapistJen and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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