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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I am a 50yo woman who after being married for 11 years, the

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I am a 50yo woman who after being married for 11 years, the last 4 or so being miserable, decided I had to leave my husband. There were many issues I had with my ex-husband, but the biggest one was his inability to control his anger and rage. My issue now is as per the terms of our mediation agreement, he owes me $50K and is refusing to pay. He does not seem to care that he is in contempt of court. He has left numerous threatening messages on my voicemail and doesn't even care that by doing so he has incriminated himself. We lived in a big house and I walked away from the house and the 10 animals that I had cared for for the past 7-8 years. It was painful, as they were my children, but being with him was very unhealthy and unsafe, so my decision to go, was one out of necessity and self preservation. We had equal amounts of money in our separate retirement accounts and rather than alimony I chose a lump sum payment because I just wanted to cut all ties and for each of us to go on with our lives. When we lived in NY, back in 2004, I had a good job. I gave up my career because he wanted to move to FL.
I had a job in a doctors office in 2005 as a receptionist, but as he grew his business and began bringing home pets, we decided that it would be best for me to work from home helping him with phone, fax and other clerical duties in addition to caring for the animals, the come, etc. The position I find myself in now is that of displaced homemaker. I cannot seem to find a job. If I had a job I would just walk away from the money he owes me just so I don't have to tell with the mental torture he inflicts on me. He knows that I am afraid of him and I am sure that is why he is doing what he is doing. It is his way for him to manipulate me into not coming after the money. Friends and my attorney are telling me not to walk away. I need the money and this is how this man has gotten his way his whole life by bullying and he has to learn a lesson. But at what price to my health? I don't want to have a nervous breakdown. I have already been suffering from anxiety between being out of work and dealing with him. My credit is in the toilet, also thanks to him, because when he was over-extended he had me apply for a mortgage for some real estate deals that went bad. I am currently receiving unemployment, but that only provides the exact amount of money I am required to pay for rent for my apartment. The money that I have that is liquid in my checking account is dwindling rapidly. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to change my name, move out of state, go into hiding the which is what one friend has suggested. I have only one family member, a blind sister in NY and she is not in a position to help me. I guess being a mental health professional and having dealt with all kinds of personality disorders, perhaps you can give me a little insight here so I can make the decision to either pursue the money he owes me through the legal system or just walk away from it and hope for the best. I have been told by two psychiatrists who have met him that he is narcissistic. He also has OCD and is and has been on Prozac for about 11 years. If there is any additional information you need to assess this situation just let me know. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this painfully overwhelming reality you have been undergoing.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for joining the chat.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

it is truly sad and frustrating for anybody to be in your shoes. No abuse is acceptable, even more when it has got this serious not only emotionally, psychologically, verbally but also financially.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I agree with you that the biggest consequence here before the economical one is the impact his abuse has had in your mental health and well-being.

Customer:

Forgot to mention that while he had only gotten physical with me twice, the emotional and verbal abuse was horrendous. I have been called every terrible name you can imagine.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I use to tell my clinets that nothing is more important than your health, that money and property come and go away but health is unique and we should not expose ourselves to be used nor abused under any circumstance.

Customer:

Even though I worked like a dog being his servant from seven in the morning until sometimes twelve midnight, he was never happy. I could never do enough.

Customer:

Yes, and that is exactly why I left. Even though he made an excellent living and did not want for anything, all those material things were not worth my health.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's a real nightmare and you were wise when left that horrible life. In some way I think it's been useful for you to get phone messages recordings of his abuse. Right, a core issue with people that deeply distorted and abusive is that they could literally take everything from you while portraying a nice facade, but since the abuse got that bad it is impossible to hide reality and he should be hold accountable for everything he did.

Customer:

I had no friends, no life. I was expected to just be devoted 100% to him and the home.

Customer:

Correct. No one, except for perhaps his mother and myself, know or have seen that side of him.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Now is there a chance for you to leave your attorney handle everything related to this debt while you focus on healing and rebuilding your life without having to further expose yourself to his abuse?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then he is indeed an expert manipulator, that comes from distorted personality without doubt and anybody having difficulty coping with his abusive ways would suffer from exposing to him. Your first priority is to protect yourself from any form of abuse, to take good care of your integral health, then if you can find ways to do this while your attorney handles the legal process to get your money back, that would be perfect.

Customer:

When I lived in NY saw Dr. Philip Romero, an excellent psychiatrist. He knows me for 27 years and he has advised the same. My ex husband is a licensed physical therapist and I just don't know if he would act that irrationally and risk losing his professional license.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right, and that shows how serious mental health and personality problems he has, what allows you to get your rights respected with sound legal support.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

We could try to do whatever he wants but as long as you set clear boundaries and choose not to expose to his manipulative game, he would have no power to affect you, but the legal system would push him to take responsibility for his actions.

Customer:

Its unbelievable to me that he seems to have no regard for the law and thinks that the laws do not apply to him. When I originally got a temporary restraining order, even though it clearly stated that he was in no way to contact me, either by phone, by text, through another person, he totally disregarded the law and within 24 hours called me 250 times and sent about 47 texts. This all started only ten mintues after the officers removed him from the house.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Now you need to focus on rebuilding your life, developing a real and effective support system, one so necessary for everybody in order to effectively cope and, heal, grow and enjoy life, leaving behind the abuse and alienation he forced on you.

Customer:

I thank God everyday that we never had any children.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then let me tell you that this would not be a hard case to win in the legal arena, because it shows so much obvious dysfunction and abuse that he would continue incriminating himself as you said. You just need to use the tools you have with sound legal support for you to get your money back and for him not to harass nor abuse you any more.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, that's a blessing, otherwise there would be more victims here and helpless ones. In some way you were lucky to liberate yourself from this person, even with all the pain and suffering it involved.

Customer:

His love and acceptance was very conditional and as long as you showed up the way he wanted you to, you were good. But as soon as you disagreed, you were the adversary. The man who once said I am his everything, now says he curses the day he met me and hopes I get hit by a truck.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Now you need to focus all your energy on what is truly healthy, productive and worthy. I am very sorry but this is truly painful and sad, but now you are able to free yourself from him and can do take good care of yourself, Nothing easy for sure, but necessary, viable and absolutely worthy.

Customer:

That is true. Some women stay just a bit too long and either end up dead or with their head bashed in. Thankfully, deep down I had a strong enough drive for self-preservation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Individual counseling seems an ideal source of support for you to work on your healing and growth process.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I totally agree with you, and as sad as that sounds, that's reality, unhappily distorted belief systems and stereotypes, ignorance and fear could alienate people so much alienating them and fueling real self-sabotage into the most awful scenarios.

Customer:

I want to thank you very much for your time and sound advice. Bless you. This was very helpful and helped me put things into perspective. Be well.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you for being this honest and open here, for your trust. I truly feel hopeful you will be able to cope and heal from this period in your life and get much wiser and stronger to create and promote the life and fulfillment you long for and deserve. Please consider professional counseling and work on building a healthy support system. Take gentle care.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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