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Hello, it's good to talk with you again.
I would definitely confirm the PTSD diagnosis you have. You have been through several serious traumas, enough to cause post traumatic stress. The self harm is a symptom of the lack of control you have over your life and the circumstances you are caught up in. The anorexia is also about the lack of control.
What both of these issues represent is something in you that feels lost and unable to stop the trauma happening to you. What needs to happen is for you to develop that part of yourself that gives you some sense of control and that allows you to feel you have permission to assert yourself. Right now, that part of you is saying you want out but you are not worthy. By allowing this part of yourself to grow stronger and come out, you can start to pull yourself away from the trauma and gain more control over your life.
Now, as they say, easier said than done! But in your case, I'm not sure that is true. You are strong, and amazingly so. You have survived what normally puts most people under. You have symptoms for your ordeals, but you also are strong enough and insightful enough to seek help and keep trying. That is a sign of incredible strength.
You can start to move on by learning as much as you can about PTSD and domestic abuse survivors. The more resources you have to pull on, the better you will be able to fortify yourself to face the obstacles and overcome them. The amount of support you have right now is wonderful, but you could also add more. Support groups are a good start. Join ones for domestic abuse and PTSD. Read books about both topics. Learning what you can about them can help you gain insight and find solutions. If you need some resources, I can help with that part.
The suicidal feelings you have are related to the self harm, PTSD and the general overwhelming nature of your situation. It would be natural to want out of a situation like you are going through. But what I mentioned above holds true- finding the strength within yourself should be the focus that helps pull you out and makes it easier to face your situation. Understand that you are worthy, loved and a good person. You deserve peace in your life. You are not a target for someone else's hate and rage, but a worthy person who is strong. If you keep your focus on developing that part of yourself, you should be well on your way to recovery.
Let me know what you think,
Although you may not believe it, it sounds like you are making a lot of progress. You are thinking everything through in a healthy and progressive way. There is a lot on your plate and adding a job to it is tough, but it is also healthy. If you feel you want to stick with it, work can offer you a way to boost your confidence, give yourself an income (and control over that income), and provide a way to move up in the future. The key is finding out if this is the time for you to need all of that in your life. I think if you are moving ahead and some of your issues start to get addressed, you may be alright with the job. Right now, you are just at the beginning of working it all through so it's going to be overwhelming.
I am sorry to hear about the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. You did not need one more thing on top of all that you already have to deal with. Can you consult with other professionals in your field for ways to handle your illness? When confronted with something like this, sometimes it is helpful to talk to people who are more understanding and more at your level, like other nurses, who may not only easier to talk with, but sometimes have better ideas on how to handle such things that doctors don't have.
Have you tried writing down how you feel? Like in a diary? Talking it all out is great, but everyone is different so finding ways to express yourself that work for you can be therapeutic in itself. Some people use art, others writing, and still others use music or spending time in the kitchen. People often refer to it as their "therapy" because it feels expressive and helpful to them. If you don't already have something you do like this, think about what makes you feel that time passes quickly and that you enjoy when you do have time to do what you want to do.
You mentioned not being able to be there for the kids as much as you'd like. Is there some way that you and the kids could get away for a night? Maybe go to a hotel that has a pool and hang out. Or visit a family member you feel comfortable with. Even just an afternoon walking in the woods with a picnic can make a big difference to your emotional wellbeing and give you time with the kids. Water also helps. If you are near the sea, a lake or even just a creek, water is very therapeutic. It would give you a change of scenery and the kids a chance to get out some of their stresses as well.
Remember to take one day at a time. Sometimes, when it's very bad, take one hour at a time. You are moving ahead and things will change someday soon. This is a growing period for you so it seems like nothing is happening. But it is. I can see it just from our work together and I'm sure the other people you are working with can see it as well. Find some time today to take a deep breath and sit. Think about something else besides what you have to do. And plan some time away, even if you have beg and borrow. It might be the best therapy of all. And keep in mind that what you are doing to get yourself better is good for your kids as well. They find comfort and strength in a parent who is able to overcome and find a better way. You are a good role model for them.
You are very welcome, Rose! I love hearing about all the changes you have made to make your life better. I feel good just reading about them.
I hope you have a good week. I'm here anytime you want to talk.
PS if the JA system prompts you to accept this reply, just ignore it. I am not sure how to get around it.
Thanks! I hope you had a nice Sunday with your family. I am feeling hopeful that I may be able to enjoy this summer with my children, last summer was so awful....
I am accepting, bc you are worth it
Have a good week too
I just wanted to add that I am feeling much more positive this morning, and that I owe my new strength and insight to you- I am blessed to have you and your words in my head. R
I can't thank you enough for your wonderful feedback. Though I would gladly help you regardless, it is heartwarming to know that our work together has made a difference to you.
It is said that although a counselor helps, it is the person in therapy that does all the work. And you deserve the credit for how well you are doing. I could give you the best advice in the world but unless you are willing to do something with it, it means nothing. So kudos to you for how far you have come. I have no doubt you will accomplish whatever you set your mind to!
JA won't allow us to remove our own feedback (it would be too tempting to do so when someone isn't so nice!) but I assumed that the feedback just got cut off. Thanks for letting me know what you did say. It's very kind.
Hi, It's good to hear from you! You are not bothering me at all. I am glad you contacted me.
I am sorry to hear that you are not getting a good response from your GP. It does not sound like she understands how you feel or she does not want to understand. Some doctors are like that, they only want to hear the facts, give you an answer, and go on to the next person. It is a matter of personality and preferences. It doesn't mean they are not good doctors, just different.
It also is possible that you have white coat syndrome, which is very common. Some people have a very hard time talking to doctors because of the prestige and higher rank in society that doctors have. It triggers our insecurities and makes us stumble over ourselves in fear of looking like a fool. And some doctors take advantage of this and treat their patients as if they are annoyed with them. Again, it is about the individual doctor and how they view their jobs and therefore their patients. It has nothing to do with who you are.
You can try going in to see your doctor prepared to deal with her as she is. Make a list of symptoms and stick to it. Be direct, look her in the eye and don't back down. It doesn't mean that you have to be nasty, just direct. Doctors are people too and do the same things we all do. Keep in mind that you are paying for this doctors time so it's up to you how you use it. The doctor needs to be reminded of that as well.
Have you thought about changing your GP? It's not easy after so long, but you may be able to find someone who is more willing to work with you. Sometimes you don't realize how much better it can be until you try.
Most of all, remember that you are a wonderful person and that many people love you for who you are. No one can make you feel less than that. You just need practice remembering that and bringing it out when you deal with others.
Sorry about the wait. I had a few phone calls I needed to deal with.
Yes, stopping your sessions abruptly can cause you to feel out of sorts. You were left with some heavy emotions to cope with. While you are talking about how you feel, your deepest thoughts and feelings are exposed, which can make you feel unsettled and upset until you work them through. Having a session end like that will leave you feeling lost.
What you might want to try is asking your therapist for some good general coping statements you can keep on hand in case you lose your connection again. That way, you can have some comforting closure until you can reconnect with her. Or, if she can, maybe she can make you a DVD of relaxation techniques so you could hear her voice and work on relaxing at the same time. It may be enough to comfort you until you meet up again.
It sounds like you are making a lot of progress with your doctor! If you have gone from not being able to speak to bringing up your needs directly, that is a major step in a good direction.
You will not fail at your job. I have no doubt of that because the definition of failure is not trying. And you are trying. No one is successful at everything they try. The trick is to see yourself as successful for getting out there and making an effort. You will learn from that effort no matter the outcome. And the next time you try, you will be wiser and more experienced.
I love the butterfly reference in your room. What a wonderful and creative way to remind yourself everyday of how much progress you are making and how beautiful you are. I have to remember to borrow that in the future.
I will be here for you this weekend if you need to talk. I understand that having your freedom without your husband is so appealing and losing it is hard. You have coped before and will do so again. Just remember to care for yourself and be good to yourself. Don't hesitate to take some time to be alone and recharge. I will check in all weekend in case you post.
You're welcome Rose!
I hope you can work out how to get the DVD from your therapist. That would be very helpful to you. Let me know if it works out.
Watching a good movie is always a great way to relax and treat yourself to some downtime. It can help change your mood and give you a way to escape for a while.
You are never a bother to me! I enjoy our time together immensely. As I mentioned, I will be here for you anytime you need to talk. It may take me a bit to get back to you depending on how busy it gets, but I will respond as soon as I can.
Enjoy your time. You deserve it!
Talk to you soon,
Hi, it's great to hear from you. Thank you so much for such a wonderful salutation! I am humbled.
Good for you! You should be so proud of yourself for getting out there, attending the party and facing your fear. It takes incredible bravery to do what you did. Whenever you feel down about yourself, remember how brave you really are inside. Even if you were on the sidelines, you were still there. And that is what counts.
I am so sorry about the situation with your husband. What you described reminds me of how abused children feel when they are cornered by their abuser. What you are experiencing is very similar and definitely describes domestic abuse.
Keep in mind that you are not obligated to be with your husband, in any capacity. You are allowed to say no and allowed to feel safe. Just because you are married does not mean you forfeit your right to yourself and your body. If your husband has not treated your right, then it is expected that you would not want to be with him and would feel revulsion when he wants to be with you.
What he did to you takes away your ability to trust and to feel safe. No human alive would feel it was ok to accept attention from someone that makes them feel as you do when you are with your husband.
Feeling sorry for him when you cannot respond to him is natural because you have a caring soul. But keep in mind, you would not feel the things you feel with him if he was tender with you and cared for you like you deserve. In that case you would feel love and want to be near him. But he has not done that. Allow him to own the responsibility for what he has done to take away your peace.
Staying in this situation, with how unbearable it feels, is probably not possible. A separation is the least that should occur. You need the time to heal, find yourself and become who you want to be. You know your situation best so it's up to you, but for your own emotional health leaving would be beneficial.
Thank you for trusting me and telling me about your rape. I am so sorry to hear that you had to go through something so horrible. It makes perfect sense that you would feel the way you do in your marriage with a trauma such as rape in your background and the abuse in your marriage on top of it. The similarities in feelings would retraumatize you.
Have you had the chance to work through your experience with your therapist? Can I help in any way? A trauma such as rape is deeply personal so I will leave it to you as to whether or not you feel you want to work with me about it or not. But I am here for you either way.
I will be thinking of you tonight, and if it is ok, I will pray for you as well. Stay safe.
Good Morning Rose!
I am glad to hear you have faith, for faith is often what helps save people when they have little left to turn to in their lives. I took a bit of a risk to put it out there for you just in case you did have faith. Faith can be so comforting and it is a shame that your husband has hardened himself against any type of belief. He must have been very hurt in the past to not allow any belief in his life and to try to control your faith and the faith of your children. But you have the same rights that he does to teach your children about your faith and allow them to choose what they want to believe. I would encourage you to express what you want about your faith to your children, as long as you do not feel it would put you in danger.
I can understand your hesitancy about telling your husband about your rape. In a way, the things he has done to you align him with the person who raped you. Trust is a huge issue with abuse and alcoholism and you certainly have not had any reason to trust in your marriage. It would be just fine if you kept the rape to yourself. If you tell him, your husband may understand your resistance to intimacy with him, but it also requires you to expose part of yourself, a very vulnerable part, to someone who you do not trust and who has hurt you. And keep in mind, you are not responsible if your husband feels pushed out and alone. You have been there for the marriage and he has not so his feelings have a lot more to do with his actions than yours. You can only react to what he has done and not make up feelings that are not there so he can feel better.
If you do feel you want to share this part of your life with him, you may want to consider doing so with your therapist's help. That way you have support and someone to turn to if your husband responds badly.
I would be more than willing to help you with your feelings about the rape. We can work at any pace you wish. Let me know what you are comfortable with and we'll go with that. I am honored that you feel safe enough with me to share such a personal experience and that you allow me to know you so well. Thank you.
I will check back throughout the day so if you reply I can get back to you soon.
Rose, thank you so much. I do not expect you to compensate me so well and I do appreciate it very much. I consider it a privilege to help you and that is a wonderful reward in and of itself. Your kind feedback alone means a lot.
You must be so proud of your daughter. What an accomplishment. Very impressive!
I did recall that you are starting your job tomorrow. I'm sure it will go well. With all new jobs there comes that adjustment period so however you want to handle things is fine. I'll be here when you feel ready.
Take care and good luck tomorrow,
They go to me as far as I know since we are continuing the same thread we started. But since you address it to me, other experts will ignore the question if it does go into the queue and go on to other ones. There is a way to make your question private but I'm not sure how to do it. A moderator would probably be able to help you with it. If you make your question private, it gets sent to me via email but it does not show up on JA. I can answer you through JA though. Confusing I know. I have only had one person post their question that way so I don't have a whole lot of experience with it. But if you want to work it that way, I am fine with it, especially if you feel it helps make things more private for you.
I am so glad to hear that your first day went well! I was thinking about you.
It's good you have made a decision about not telling your husband about the rape. It helps you protect yourself and keeps you safe. And if your husband has proven himself untrustworthy, you don't want to be putting yourself out there to be hurt again.
From your description of your husband, it sounds like he may be narcissistic. If so, that is a difficult type of person to live with, especially with what you have been through. You need someone understanding and open to helping you through.
If you want to, we can start by talking about the beginning, when the rape first occurred. You can let me know if that is ok with you. I don't want to re traumatize you, so say only what you feel you are ok with. Fill in anything you feel stands out or is important. We can do this in pieces or all together in one response. We can even do one step at a time. It's your call. I will go along with whatever keeps you in your comfort zone.
Thank you, ***** ***** your kind words. I get such joy out of talking with you. It is a privilege to be able to help, so much so that I feel like I should thank you!
I don't mind at all replying to you. But I am going to make this reply an information request so you don't get prompted to pay for it (at least I hope that is how it works).
It sounds like your husband may have a narcissistic personality disorder. It is word for word as you describe. In that case, if that is what he has, then it is difficult to cure. He has to see it as a problem and want to work very hard at resolving it to be cured of it.
Whenever you feel comfortable starting your story works for me. I'm ready whenever you are.
Have a good night and I look forward to talking with you again,
Hello Rose! I am doing well, thank you.
LSD is one of those drugs that can have very little effect or cause someone to have brain damage in the form of hallucinations and other odd occurrences for the rest of their lives. As for a change in personality, I have heard that can occur. It may very well have helped your husband with his stutter but since the effects not the same in each person there is no way to tell for sure.
I do think his current issues were most likely a part of his personality already. Most drug and alcohol abusers are somewhat self centered in personality. I do not mean that in a negative way, but instead as a way to explain how they could do something that affects those around them and they are not able to either see it or care about it.
Your description of your husband's behavior certainly describes a narcissistic personality. If you want to investigate it more, here is a link to help you:
The main issue here is that your husband is going to always put his needs before yours and will blame any problems on you. It would be too hard for him to see himself as the cause because that would mean he was not perfect. The hardest thing for you is to not accept his behavior as true. It is not. This is all about him and has nothing to do with who you are. Your understanding of your husband's narcissism will help you hold onto that.
This disorder is becoming very common, so you are not alone in dealing with it. If you feel you want any more input to help you cope with it, I can help.
You do have a big heart, Rose! I understand your need to care for your patient. Hopefully, you will be able to find a replacement soon so you can quit. That has to be a very difficult job even without the added stress of your fibromyalgia.
I hope you have a very good session today with your therapist. Get some rest and take care of yourself. I'll be here when you are ready to talk again.
Have a good night,
Rose, it's good to talk with you!
I am glad the information about narcissism helped you. It is very difficult to live with someone who has narcissism. Here are some ways you can help yourself cope:
Make sure you don't try to please your husband- by trying to keep him happy, you sacrifice your own needs and possibly your feelings of self worth. A narcissist will attempt to make you feel responsible. The trick is to train yourself not to bite when they try.
Understand a narcissists limitations- they may appear very smart and could very well be, but they are limited in their emotional stability and ability to understand others. They do not catch on when you feel upset with them (Who could be upset with me? I'm wonderful) and do not see anyone else's point of view. So expecting them to understand empathy, for example, is usually not possible.
If you want their help, appeal to their self centerness- for example, if you want to get a task done, tell them how much better they do it than you do. Talk about their talents, natural gifts and ability to do the job better than anyone. Most of the time, they will comply.
Do not feel bad about your own thoughts, choices or feelings- a narcissistic person will try to convince you that your the wrong person or that you are stupid. Don't listen. Block out anything that is not beneficial to listen to.
Here are some books to help you:
The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor D. Payson
The Object of My Affection Is in My Reflection: Coping with Narcissists by Rokelle Lerner
Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life by ***** *****ez-Lewi
Try Amazon.com or your local library for these books. They should help you learn more about your husband's situation and help you cope with his behavior.
I am sorry to hear about your aunt. It is always difficult to know when the right time is to intervene in such situations but it sounds like your family is handling it very well.
It's good that your therapist worked out a way to get you the recording. It has to be a comfort to know you can hear her anytime now.
It is fine to leave your story for another time. That is something that cannot be talked about just anytime or casually so it's up to you if and when you want to discuss it. And it is fine if you do not want to. The option is always open but completely at your discretion.
Have a good shift tomorrow. I hope all goes well for you. You seem to have dealt with the stress of this week wonderfully and that must feel good to you. Starting a new job is almost always draining so get some rest and let me know whenever you want to talk.
Thank you for trusting me with your story. You express yourself so clearly and I could feel the emotions as you described them.
I am sorry, Rose. I could literally feel the loneliness and the struggle in your situation.I felt a very strong need to hug you, if I could. And I am very concerned how much you endure as a result of DR's abuse. Name calling, ignoring responsibilities, and not allowing you to be an individual is all very abusive and cruel. He is putting himself as first and only. As a result, you hold a lot in to keep yourself, and your children, safe. That can cause anxiety, depression, a sense of hopelessness and low self worth. You are unable to have your basic needs met. Safety and security are not part of your marriage. There is a great sense of sadness and loss of self. Much loss. The lack of comfort, good feelings or basic happiness is evident.
On the other hand, the peace and security you feel when DR is gone shines through. You make your own space, feel secure and happy. The differences between the two is stark. And very telling.
When you think about the ideal marriage, what do you come up with? How does that story go? Would you be ok telling me what you see?
That was funny, Rose! Yes, I do usually try to take Sunday's off, but if I see a post by you then I will answer because the weekend is usually our time. I enjoy our talks so I really don't see them as work.
Of course you can write your ideal marriage story later, or not at all or a long time from now. It's your choice completely. I want you to feel totally comfortable about how we work this.
I am glad that you felt my words helped. I appreciate your kindness. It matters very much to me if I am helping you or not and I want you to feel free to tell me if something does not work for you. I am here for you.
Take care and I will talk with you soon,
Oh Rose. You brought tears to my eyes. I am almost speechless, and that is not easily accomplished. My gosh, the abuse you have endured. I am so sorry.
The fact that you added that you would like to be loved as a last thought really struck me. I wondered if you ever feel you deserve to be loved? You do deserve it, just as anyone else does. But understanding that you deserve love is different than just hearing that you deserve it. Believing it takes a bit of a journey, one of small steps. But I do believe we can accomplish that together.
The other thing you wrote was "Rose has got it all wrong, how could she get it so wrong?" I am wondering where Rose got it wrong. The Rose I know wants very healthy, very human things in her life. Happy children, a loving home, to be loved herself, harmony with her spouse, and a simple but fulfilling day to day life. She does not want fast cars, money, and a huge house. She does not want admiration and gifts. She wants the simple nice things. That tells me that you are kind hearted, centered and practical. You love your family and you want to have peace. That is something you deserve and it is not too much to ask. So Rose did not get anything wrong, her husband got it wrong. He is missing the entire point by being self centered and abusive. By putting himself before others and acting like an adolescent. You married him for love expecting he wanted the same as you do. There was no way to know that he was going to act out like this. And since you cannot control anyone else's behavior, you are not responsible for how he acts.
Being a wife who must not only cope with alcoholism, abuse and lack of love, you are deprived of much. There is nothing there for you. Nothing to hold you to the marriage and much to make you want to leave. Your dreams of peace are very real because it is something you are desperate for and do not get.
A very important place to start is realizing what you are missing. That is why I asked if you would be willing to write your feelings out and allow both of us to see what is not there for you. The sacrifices, the loneliness, the abuse all add up to bring you down. Compare what you live now with your ideal marriage and ideal life. Look at the differences. See the drastic gaps between. And the fact that you deserve to have a life that looks just like you described, happy and full of love.
The butterfly you yearn to be is in there and you see her, but allowing her out is not there yet. It's starting though. You are working towards her emergence from the chrysalis . Think this week about all the things you deserve. Make a list if it helps. Keep them with you and take time to look them over. Dream and allow yourself to feel what it would be like. This is our goal and what we can work towards, if you wish.
Hello Rose! It's good to hear from you. I hope you are having a good weekend.
I wonder about DR telling you that he loves you. His is a selfish love, if I may say so. What do you feel love means to DR?
You are certainly not responsible for DR's choices in life. You may feel by being with him it looks like you agree with his choices, but anyone that knows you or sees the situation and has empathy will understand. And the focus is on him when he does these things. Allowing him to handle the police and any other consequences is very smart. But that does not mean it's not stressful for you. Spending some extra TLC time on yourself after such incidences is a good way to counterbalance it.
Compromising and rationalizing (minimizing) is very common with abuse victims. "It could be worse" is a way to help yourself cope with the situation you are in because looking at how bad it really is becomes overwhelming. The mind sometimes cannot handle facing the abuse you endure so you rationalize it, or minimize it, to make it manageable. It is considered a defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms are used by people to help them cope with situations they do not, or can not, face head on. It is very normal to use a defense mechanism and it's quite hard to find someone who has never used one. It is part of the human condition. But even though you sometimes rationalize, you are still fully aware of the abuse and the effects. That shows good mental health and strength.
You will break free of this situation. It is only a matter of time. You are already working on it and as you progress, you become even closer to having peace and living as you want to. You have made incredible progress already. And you are open to working on this and moving ahead which is extremely important to reaching your goals.
The butterfly is well on her way.
Rose, I hope you are ok. I just got your post and I wish I'd seen it earlier. Please let me know what has happened when you get a chance and let's talk about it.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers tonight,
Good for you for going to the wedding. You faced it with so many obstacle's in your way and you got through it. It may have not been pleasant, but the fact that you faced it was very positive.
Being with others like you were at the wedding is hard. I understand. You are going through a very difficult time right now, trying to grow away from what has always been to something new. Growth is not easy and it often makes you feel raw on the inside. It is a slow climb and it's full of obstacle's. But I am inspired to see that each time we talk, you have climbed a little further. Sometimes, you need to stop to get your bearings, like today. But you still do not go backwards. You look ahead. That takes strength.
The importance of arriving home before DR is anxiety arousing. You are modifying your behavior to minimize the effects of DR's behavior. That can cause you to feel anxious, worried, and overwhelmed. Between handling the wedding, your brother and all the baggage there, and dealing with DR's behavior, it's no wonder you feel sad today.
Your brother sounds a bit like DR. I wonder about the connection between how your brother treated you and your relationship with DR. Do you feel there is one?
If you ever feel ok about it, I would love to know about M and how you feel that impacts you and your situation.
Yes, DR's love is about him. It is a shame he lacks the insight at this point that you have. It would help him greatly if he could understand his issues. If he could see how his behavior harms him and your family, he might have a chance to change. It is curious what causes this to happen for him. For being afraid to lose you, he does a good job of making you want to leave.
There is nothing wrong with relying on help. There is actually something more wrong with not relying on others. You are not dependent but just using your resources to help you through a tough time. You survived before with no help and you could do it again but that is not the best way to go. Depending on others is a sign that you are strong and that you know you can recover with assistance. Recovering alone takes longer and is way harder. It is not the best way to handle problems in life.
Try pampering yourself a bit more today, even if you just do one small thing. Get a coffee, buy a good book, call a friend or soak in the bath with a candle. Give yourself something to look forward to. It will help the day, and your mood, feel a bit brighter. And let me know if I can help too.
I thinking of you,
You have had lots of visitors today. It's good you were able to share with friends and hopefully lighten your burden a little. Your friend P sounds quite brave.
You are right, it is very telling that M is separating himself from DR. It serves to confirm how you feel. I am interested in your story about M, whenever you are ready to tell it.
I hope you have the chance to catch up on your rest. I am happy you have some time from DR to be alone and have some peace.
You deserve your time. Enjoy yourself tonight and I will talk with you soon,
I am glad to hear you are doing ok. I thought about you since our last talk and wondered how things were going.
Thanks for the interpretation of yer 'tis! I love learning how others express themselves and the nuances of language. Plus I would have not been able to figure that one out myself :)
Thank you for telling me about M and your story. I feel honored that you trusted me with it.
Your story was very moving and very emotional. I could feel it as if I was there. You and M have a powerful relationship not only on the surface, but especially underneath with all that is unsaid but understood between you.
I was especially interested in what M and his interest in you brought out in stark contrast in your life. You listed numerous things you knew were missing in your life and marriage after M started paying attention to you. Many powerful feelings and things you had hidden underneath and avoided looking at in order to survive. All of those feelings are very important to your life and your feelings about your marriage.
Your relationship with M most importantly showed you that you are worth love, attention and care. Although M's motivations may have been a bit selfish with his wife having an affair and his marriage on the rocks, he still showed you the love you deserve. He felt there was "something about you" that grabbed his attention. You may not want to downplay that comment. Because there is, Rose, something about you that attracts people and not just in a love relationship way but also in a "she's an interesting person I'd like to know better" way. You come across as thoughtful, well educated, a deep thinker, empathic and full of good humor. You are a very well rounded person. Use that as a building block for your self esteem. Acknowledge that you are more than your marriage makes you feel. Because you are.
It is also to your credit that you did not fall hook, line and sinker for the offer of an affair. Tempting as it was, you stayed away and stood your ground, even as DR was acting out in front of you. You kept your morals and did your best to handle the situation, caring for all involved. After what you have been through, no one would blame you for being tempted or maybe even giving in. M offered you something you needed and craved. But you were strong enough to say no and take the harder road of recovery on your own. That is not something many people could pull off.
This experience was very telling. Your marriage to DR has been full of trauma and in the middle of it, you find something wonderful. It may be bad timing because you and M have other obligations and commitments, but what you gained from the experience can serve you very well in getting to where you want to be.
I hope you can get some good rest and feel better soon.
Oh, I am so sorry! I've had that happen to me many times as well and it is one of the most frustrating things.
Maybe try copying your post to Microsoft word? I do that sometimes, especially if JA is acting up. Also, do you have a copy button on your reply bar? It looks like two pieces of paper next to each other next to the scissors. If you copy your post and press that icon, it will save it for you.
Whenever you are ready to write, I'll be here.
Sounds fine.( I would not respond normally, but I wanted to get your question off the queue for all Experts.)
Your aunt sounds like a sweet lady. What a lucky cat!
You are, for certain, a very good writer. Your words come out in such a way as to paint a picture of your feelings. I can "see" everything you write about. And I can feel your pain. It is a very deep pain.
I am glad your therapist helped you find your way. She sounds like a gem. It is often a struggle to finds someone who you connect with but when you do, it can change everything.
The pain of self cutting and depression is often some of the deepest pain a person can feel. You feel there is no escape so you cut to let some of the pain out. When someone comes to the point of feeling suicidal, then they feel they have exhausted all possibilities and dying is the last option for them. That is a very dark place to be, indeed. But through it all, you continued to fight and continued to push. Think of this Rose, even in the darkest place you've been, you still had the strength to keep pushing through and finding what you need to pull you out. It's like being faced with drowning. You have tried grabbing onto what you can find and you've tried treading water but your just too tired. You are about to give up and it would be so easy. But you don't. With a last deep breath and with much effort you push yourself to the edge and climb out. That is what you did. Don't ever forget that you have that kind of strength in you.
Taking the moral high ground in such a hard thing to do. It takes determination and a focus that few people have. And with all the hardship you have had, not giving in is a testament to your ability to not only survive, but to do it the right way. It is above and beyond the norm.
Throughout our work together, it has become apparent to me that you use the strength and abilities you have to survive, but that you don't see yourself as having anything special, beyond the usual. That is where some of your esteem falters. Having those abilities and realizing you have those abilities is something that has not become apparent to you yet, I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong here). Letting in the comments by those in your life that care for you is not easy. That is where you might want to focus some of your work.
What happens when you see yourself for what you are? Would it mean that you would have to change your life around if you realized that you are miserable in your present situation? What if you realize that you are more than capable to handle leaving and finding a better life for you and your kids? Fear of change is often what prevents others from realizing reality.
Also, your concern for your children is there. That is definitely a very valid concern. But balancing your guilt and their needs is challenging. Your son has already said he would be ok with leaving. He sees what happens in your marriage and the way he and his sister get treated by DR and knows that it might be better to leave. How does that make you feel? Do you still feel the need to walk an expected and responsible path that others feel you need to walk? Is it hard to accept that you have needs and that it is alright to put them above others' needs sometimes? It is a very common issue for women, which is why we get caught up with others and neglect ourselves. And it sometimes leaves us vulnerable to getting hurt.
What do you feel about all of this?
Thank you, Rose! Get some rest. I'll talk with you tomorrow.
Thank you for the butterfly. It is beautiful.
I agree, little steps. It is a very healthy view you have. I may say that a lot, but it is very true. It keeps you on a good path.
It sounds like your childhood was a lesson in how to be less important than others. How to not be yourself. How to stay in your chrysalis. You were minimized as a person and as a female.
Often, when we are mistreated as children through neglect, abuse or other means, we carry those feelings into adulthood. We feel that is who we are and there is nothing else. It is easy to feel this way. When you are raised a certain way, you have no reference for any other way of doing things. You don't understand what it feels like to be loved, cared about or even just treated as important. In other words, what you don't have you don't miss. So you accept what is.
The problem comes in when you believe that this is all you are. It becomes hard to see the whole reality of your talents, abilities, your deepest fears, wishes, and desires. You don't want to see that you are important, interesting and fun. You see your life as if you were still back as a child. You don't leave those feelings behind. They are brought with you as if how you were treated is still how you are to be treated as an adult. So you find that one person who reminds you of who you feel you are, of how you were treated as a child, and you marry them. You believe that this is what your life is supposed to be.
What is happening for you is you are starting to break through those beliefs and you are emerging by realizing that the former beliefs about yourself are false. What you were told by everyone is wrong. You are not what they said you were and what they said was about them, not you. Your self esteem is starting to be rebuilt and you are beginning to see what you can be, what you really are inside. Wonderful, smart, funny, sweet, good hearted, creative, strong and many other positive attributes. Along with discovering this about yourself and integrating it, it changes your outlook. You would no longer accept the things you used to accept. You would see your marriage and your life in general in a different light. That is part of why change is so hard. Because to see yourself differently, you would see your life differently and life would have to change. To keep it the same would be unbearable. It seems like this is where you are right now.
What do you think?
My heart broke reading about how you were treated by your parents and brother. I so wanted to respond to you when I read it yesterday but I also respect your boundaries.
You were terribly emotionally abused as a child. I can only think of a beautiful girl full of promise, love and goodness that was beaten down to believing that she was worth nothing, or even lower than nothing. Taught to serve others and give herself until it hurts so she can have the one morsel of love she craves. It is hard to believe that there are parents out there that can withhold love and make a child, someone they created together, feel that she is not a worthy and wonderful person.
Try to imagine yourself as a child. See the girl you were. Pick any age for this, maybe the first age that pops into your mind. Your mind will automatically pick the age where you feel the most need, the most vulnerability. Now, picture yourself as an adult seeing yourself as a child. Look at the child you were. Who is she? What does she need? What do you feel she would say to you as an adult? Now talk to her. What would you want to say to her? How would you like to give her what she needs?
By doing this, you help yourself connect to the child you were. You see what you needed, you have it fulfilled. You can help the healing process this way for whenever you feel those feelings as an adult, you can automatically understand where it comes from. Once you understand the origin, you can heal the old wounds and learn to care for yourself like your parents never did.
Here is a book that I highly recommend you try. See if it helps you:
Adult Children of Abusive Parents by Steven Farmer
I use this books a lot and I think it helps adults see how their abusive childhoods affect how they are today.
Your co worker from your shift yesterday sounds like a woman with her head on straight! I am glad that there is someone like that in your life now. Maybe God sent her to you, knowing that you are trying to emerge and she can help.
Your choice of a husband is about confirming what you felt about yourself as a person. When children are abused, they learn that they are not worthy of love. They learn that something is wrong with them. They hurt and they live with a deep pain that does not go away. They also develop coping mechanisms to help them survive. So as adults, they continue to see the world as they were taught. No one loves me, I am alone, I am supposed to hurt and others are allowed to hurt me. When you chose DR, you were comfortable with what he was offering. Here was someone you understood. Being treated badly is something you can cope with. Being treated well is not. For to be treated well would mean that you are worthy, a foreign concept to you. You would not know how to handle it. It would have brought up all the feelings from your childhood, an overwhelming concept.
Also, marrying someone who treats you the same as your parents helps you recreate what you experienced as a child. It gives you a chance to work out what happened. If my parents could not love me, maybe I can make my husband love me. Then I can feel better. It almost never works, but as humans we still try. It is in our nature.
Your children will be different because they have you. You have given them what was absent in your life- love and caring. But to change their situations completely, they will need to work through how they feel about their father and his influence. The need to address the pain and hurt of having a father that chose alcohol over them and himself over them. If they work out the pain, they have no need to repeat relationships with people like DR. Seeing a therapist would help them see how the view their father, what damage they have as a result, and how to view it differently. Also, they will learn that not all men are like that and that there are healthier ways to interact with men. If your children learn about alcoholism and all the facts related to it, they may see it differently and chose not to drink. Not all children of alcoholics drink. And if they know what to look for ahead of time, it will be easier for them. You can also continue your work with them. By being there for them and trying to help yourself, you show them there is a better way of handling your problems. It does not matter how old they are, they can always use help and support. Just remind yourself that you are on a journey at this stage in your life and you are growing. They can do the same, just a little earlier.
I am glad you shared this with me. It is inspiring how you reach out, trust, and work to recover. You are truly amazing, Rose.
You are welcome, Rose. But I am just a guide. You are doing all the work. And good work it is.
Your teen years were the most significant ones for you. Taking a picture of you from your parents, one of the only ones that exist, and destroying it is a very strong reaction. It means that you were most traumatized at that point in your life. You did not want any evidence of that time. Facing that part of your life brings up too many frightening reminders.
Filling a diary of what you did for your mother and giving it to her was a direct way of asking for attention. You wanted her approval, her love and her physical touch to confirm that you were worthy as a person. Being good and being super vigilant are some of the ways abused children try to gain the love and approval they so deeply crave. Maybe if I am good and behave, my parents will love me.The void you felt as a child ran very deep.
Your children are quite insightful to be fearful of your mother. Look at how they react. And they have you as a buffer. Could you imagine exposing them to her without you there? That is what you lived with your whole life. Picturing that helps you understand what you had to cope with as a child, without help from anyone. This is why you developed ways to cope. You were smart and creative. Look at how you raised your children. You learned that there is better way and you did that all on your own.
In picturing the young girl you were, you have tapped into your feelings that you carry with you now. Your response to her is heartwarming and so full of deep love. This girl you picture is you now. Give her what she needs. Guide her, show her love, tell her she is beautiful. All the things you listed, do for her. Hug her everyday. Show her the world and how valuable she is to it. She needs you, the adult Rose, to take care of her. She is lost without you. She needs you to be with her and to care about her. You can do this just by talking to her or you can write her and tell her. Whatever you feel would work for her, and you, the best.
I would hug this child too. It would be almost impossible not to. She needs so much love and she is very willing to accept what she can get. She is in pain and it breaks my heart to see her in need. And if I would respond that way to the child, how could anyone else ignore her? A person could only ignore her if they themselves were incapable of feeling love. Your mother, for some reason, would not allow herself to respond. Was she also deeply hurt in her life? Was she cold and rejecting on purpose? Was she just unable to love or was she out to hurt others on purpose? No matter why she chose to do this to you, it is not your fault. Part of recovery is to realize that. There is no way someone who is emotionally healthy could ignore a child is such deep need. This is not an excuse for her behavior. Your mother was an adult and therefore responsible for what she did. But this is to help you know that as a responsible adult, she owed you the love and attention you needed. She withheld it because there is something wrong with her. Not with you. You did what you could, beyond what you should have needed to do, and still she would not respond. That is about her, not you.
This is a lot for you to process. You are doing some great work here, Rose. Your insight is incredible. You should be proud of yourself.
Thank you, ***** ***** feels nice to know that my words and thoughts helped you. I too have felt that there is some sort of spiritual intervention with our work together. There is a connection that is hard to describe. I am just happy I can be there for you.
I am looking forward to helping you sort out the new information. It is a lot and if you need a break anytime, just say the word. Therapy is a process and it has it's ups and downs. It does not need to be full force and breaks are a good thing. This is a train with you at the helm so you do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
I am interested in what you think about the book, if it is helpful or not.
Whenever you are ready, I'm here. Have a good night and take care,
PS I wondered if you are ok with starting a new thread/question. I don't know if this is happening to you, but I'm having trouble with the JA system posting my responses to you. Is it a lot of trouble or does it cost you extra to start a new question? If so, let's stay with this one. I'll just copy my responses to keep them from being lost.
Sounds good. Have a good night and I'll talk with you tomorrow!
I was able to view your question for a brief time this morning but now it's gone. I am a bit dismayed by this.
If JA can fix this that would be ideal. I don't want you to have to write it all over again so let's give it some time, if that is ok with you. I will be in and out this morning so I will check back as much as possible.
If they can't fix it, you and I can piece this back together ourselves. Sorry about this.
That's fine. Wow, what a mess. It's a shame that JA misunderstood. Very frustrating!
I'll keep checking back. Hopefully, we can talk soon.
Oh, I understand. You could try to attach it to this one. It is slow in loading, but it still comes through. Let's try it!
Oh Rose, you are so pretty! It's nice to put a face on our conversations. Thank you for loading the picture. Now I can "see you" when we talk!
Thank you Rose!
I'm not sure if it is a no no or not (whoops!) but no harm. I won't tell if you won't!
Awww, they are cute! And who is that beautiful girl with them?
I am no good with birds. I do not have a clue. Show me a dog, I'm fine. But birds....big question mark!
Your daughter is beautiful!
Well, now I know some thing about birds. Thanks for showing me the picture!
Talk to you later,
I think that is great, Rose. It's good you looked them up. I understand how you feel. Everyone who has gone through an experience like that feels the same. These people know what they are doing. They don't get so many responses if they don't. It's probably why the Ministry of Justice has an eye on them. You are not the only one by far that has thought there was something to them.
I'm sure now that they have someone paying attention in the government, you'll probably will get your money back. Like you said it's just a matter of time.
Thanks for trusting me with this situation. I am touched that you shared it with me.
I hope you have a good night. And don't worry, it will all work out.
That is my last post from the other thread. I think part of the problem is that the last thread is too long. You may get a new screen each time (I'm not sure) but the Experts get the whole thread each time they post. It takes a long time to load and probably clogs up the system. Not your fault, I just think JA doesn't have enough room for it. Want to start a new one?
I've posted on the new thread. I am going to copy this one too since I lose my questions after a few days and can't access them.
See you on the next thread!
Yum, pumpkin soup! Let me know how it turns out!
29,000 words?! Whoa. We did do some talking, but that is always a good thing!
Talk to you later on the new thread,
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