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Hey there! I got it. Thanks for starting another thread. I appreciate it.
Have a good night!
I'm sorry you had a bad day. I hope you have a better evening. If you would like to talk, let me know.
Have a good session with K,
That is good to hear! I am so glad you have K too. She sounds like a gem for sure.
No Rose, you are definitely not mad. I can say that for sure and obviously K can as well.
I will always be here as long as you need me.
Talk with you tomorrow,
That sounds very exciting! I hope it works out for you. I have worked with people involved in the justice system who are ordered to mandatory counseling. It's challenging but interesting for sure!
Let me know what happens,
Sounds good! Have a good night.
Rose, I think a job app is a good thing to be fussy about! You sound so happy. It's good to see you this way.
Please let me know what happens with the competition you enter. I have no doubt you will do well. You are such an excellent writer! I am excited for you!
You're welcome! I'm glad.
Good morning, Rose! I bet your up and at 'em already this morning (since it's noon time already at your place!). I hope you are doing well. I'll be here today if you want to talk.
Yes, that's me. Up and going early lately. Too much to do to lay in bed!
I agree, there are many references and feelings in your poems that relate to what you are going through. Along with being therapeutic, they are a wonderful way for you to express what you are going through lately. I would gladly take a look at them again if you wish. I would enjoy looking at them from a therapeutic perspective. At the time you sent them, I thought I would just enjoy them! But yes, I agree with your friend. I think your feelings in the poem add so much power to their impact. It is why they are so good.
I have not heard of Shirley Valentine. I did take a peek at what the movie is about. I can understand the reference, but what is the goal of your homework?
You seem quite different lately. It is good to see. Very upbeat and social. The impact of your session with K last week must have been great. Do you mind if I ask about what made the difference for you?
How are things with Dave and the kids?
Talk to you soon,
Sounds good! I'll try it.
Rose, please do not feel you need to edit your posts with me. I hope I have never given you the impression I judge you in any way (gosh, I hope not!). I would like for you to feel ok being open and allowing yourself to let your feelings out as you need to. You may not have much chance to be yourself as things are now at home and it's important you have a place to go with how you feel.
I am glad you are feeling cared about! It is very true, you are cared about by many people. I especially want you to know that I think of you and pray for you often (I hope that is alright with you). What happens in your life and what you feel are both important to me. That you are able to feel that care and attention is a wonderful thing! I am sure K feels the same. The meeting thing with her has me baffled (you've got me thinking now!)but you may have put me on the track some. I am guessing similar to you and me but I am not sure. You'll have to guide me on that one. You are good at it!
I was happy to hear that you are considering another job. Please keep me up to date on how it goes. It will definitely hone your skills in mental health, the tougher side of it too.
It is interesting how Dave has been talking with you. I imagine this is the making up/manipulation stage of getting you back under his thumb. Very common with abuse cycles. But I am wondering if Dave is beginning to see what we are all seeing already, you are changing. You are becoming stronger and able to face him. He may feel quite threatened by this and is now scared into making an effort. It is great how you responded to him. You stood your ground and didn't give in. I am happy for you!
That was good insight with Sam and his sociology course. If he wasn't already making comparisons (and I agree with you, he probably is), then he will be now. It is good in a way to help him understand that Dave's way is the dysfunctional way and not the norm. And Poppy's response was just as you said. But you did her an opening to talk with you if she decides to.
Your friend with whom you had coffee with sounds very nice. I do like the name she came up with for the one poem. But if you are not comfortable with the other name, holding out till you do hear the right one is a good idea. You will know when you hear it.
Our kids do start school early here. My oldest goes around 7 and so does the middle one. The youngest goes later, around 8:30. Not too bad. But you are right, the older kids would do so much better going later and the younger going earlier, since they do like to rise earlier.
Take care, Rose, and if I don't talk with you again tonight, sleep well.
Rose, I'm glad you feel good about what we talk about. Please do let me have it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. I'll accept it all from you
Ok, I will do as you suggest. I don't recall last week (my memory is shot- Mommy Alzheimer's) but I'll look into that too.
Good night, Rose!
See you then!
I am glad to hear from you. I am sorry that you are feeling upset about your therapy and working out something with the hours and fees. I understand where you are with this. This is about asserting yourself with what you need. At this point, it seems that you feel a reduced schedule works better for you for two reasons- one, you don't feel you need 2 hours 2 times a week anymore (a great sign!), and two, your finances have reduced so you need to lessen your time. Both reasons are very valid and make a lot of sense.
The stuck part is asserting what you need and making these two points. What is the feeling you get when you are confronted with needing to speak out on your own behalf? Is it about judgment (what the other person would feel about you), or is it about fear (I can't speak out on behalf of myself because something bad will happen) or something else? There is a block in your mind about allowing yourself to fulfill your own needs. This is actually a great situation because it will help us work through something that holds you back in most situations in your life- asserting your rights.
Your basic rights as a person were never taught to you and even if you knew them, you were not allowed to use them. All through your life, you have been surrounded by people who not only tried to take your rights away, but that were ok with you accepting their abuse and giving up your rights. They have all treated you as a non person. But that is not something you need to accept anymore. And this issue with therapy is a great starting point.
How do you feel about practicing what you want to say about this? Make your points, think out all the possible responses K could have (she is a good one to try this on, she cares very much about you so she is safe), and practice how you want to say this (using a even but strong tone). We could try it together (except for the tone part ). What do you think?
Yes, I do want to look at your poems again. I will see if I can access them through the other thread. I'll let you know!
Thank you, Rose! You humble me with your words.
I like waffle- thanks for the laugh
Have a good night!
Sounds like you have made a very good decision about your sessions with K. I understand what you feel about coming to a conclusion then rethinking the whole thing. When that happens to me, I find it very helpful to write things down. If I can see it in front of me, then I can write out points in favor and points against and come to a better conclusion. I also talk to other people when I cannot decide what to do, even if it is a simple decision. It helps to get input from others who think of things I don't consider.
I think part of the issue here is trusting your own judgment. You can make good decisions. You have made plenty of them all your life. But putting yourself first and believing in your abilities gets in the way. You feel putting yourself first is a bad thing. It links to your childhood like we talked about. You were made to put others first all the time. Your needs were not met and you were not put first at all. Now you take that lesson and continue it in your dealings with others.
Becoming more assertive and putting yourself first is something you can learn, though. It takes baby steps to gain confidence as you go. Don't confuse being assertive with being aggressive, as Dave is. This is about believing you have basic human rights and allowing yourself to be first in a respectful way.
First, think of why being assertive frightens you. One of the reasons is the fear of not being liked. What are the other reasons?
Being assertive at a basic level involves recognizing when you need or want something. For example, the appointment at the doctor's office. You had a need to see the doctor because you were in pain. That takes priority over the doctor's blocked time. And recognizing that doctors are used to squeezing in appointments and having little time is part of seeing that it is ok to make the appointment in the blocked time. If it was not and the doctor really wanted the time off limits, he/she would have made sure the secretary knew that and you would not have been offered the appointment. The responsibility is the doctors to block the time, not yours.
So your need was definitely important enough to accept the blocked appointment. Allowing the doctor to be responsible for his/her own blocked time is important. Taking that responsibility on yourself is part of why you feel as you do and why it is easy to become muddled. There are no boundaries for you in situations like this. Recognizing who is responsible for what will help you feel less obligated and more able to stand up for your own rights.
You also made a lot of assumptions with K about therapy. Her need for money is her issue. Almost everyone could use more money! There is no reason for it to become your job to pay her to take care of her. K always has the option of increasing her fees or taking on more clients if she needs more income. Making her problems your problems is making you feel obligated to care for K which is not your responsibility. Also, K is responsible for her feelings about her sessions with you. You may be assuming that she feels forced to obligate you with therapy sessions and is easily bored by you. But K has choices here as well. And if she felt you needed to see someone face to face instead of on Skype, she would say so. Offering you options does not mean she feels these things. But to reassure yourself, you could always ask. Ask K if she feels she wants to end your sessions. And what if she would say yes? What would happen? How would you respond?
Another way to express your needs is to start your statement or request with something like this- "I understand that you are busy but I need you to address this issue as soon as possible". This statement acknowledges the person and how they feel before you make your request and it also gives you a chance to get your needs out there.
This takes practice. Realizing that you are as worthy, just like anyone else takes work. Especially when you have believed you are not important all your life. But practicing daily will help you learn to recognize your rights and you will become more confident as you see that asserting yourself helps you get your needs met.
I got your second post after I finished and posted this response so I wanted to edit and add some things:
Along with the responsibility boundaries, the intense need to be accepted and liked is very strong for you. It is how you got close to validation as a child. Your parents message was that you would be acceptable if you put others first and let your own needs be neglected. But that was their message and it does not work for you. There are other ways to get your needs met, including standing up for your basic rights. There is a validation that goes with getting what you need. It feels good and it helps your esteem improve.
Hope your day went well too! I will check into your poems on the website. Good for you to have so many positive reviews. You are quite talented, so I'm not surprised.
I am very interested in hearing what you think about the book!
Rose, my heart is breaking for that little girl who needed the attention and love of a mother who cared. I can picture you, little and just wanting to fit in. Just wanting the basics so she could be like others. Not asking for anything special.
Your mother made the family work around her needs and wants, making herself the priority over you and your sisters. If your father was even fearful of displeasing your mother, then you can imagine the level of abuse she pushed on others. As a child you had no chance against her. Your father should have stood up to her and protected you. But he did neither. So you and your sisters were left to deal with her abuse directly.
Leaving you to stay after school on your own is abandonment. Anything could have happened to you. She was not keeping you safe and protected like she should have. She basically put her needs before you and your sisters, and her needs were not even important. Gardening and shopping are not more important than caring for your children. No wonder you do not feel your needs are important and you struggle to give a voice to your feelings.
Your mother did all she could to give you just enough and not allow you to fit in. This is also a way of making you feel less than others and therefore not important. Your theft of a lunch was evidence to how you felt lower than others and your desire to be at their level, if it was just once, just a "taste" of the other children's lives.
Here is an article that describes how bonding should work in a relationship between a mother and child. It is from an article called Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children by Bruce D. Perry. I usually would not copy a work by another, but this says it so well:
"The acts of holding, rocking, singing, feeding, gazing, kissing, and other nurturing behaviors involved in caring for infants and young children are bonding experiences. Factors crucial to bonding include time together (in childhood, quantity does matter!), face-to-face interactions, eye contact, physical proximity, touch, and other primary sensory experiences such as smell, sound, and taste. Scientists believe the most important factor in creating attachment is positive physical contact (e.g., hugging, holding, and rocking). It should be no surprise that holding, gazing, smiling, kissing, singing, and laughing all cause specific neurochemical activities in the brain. These neurochemical activities lead to normal organization of brain systems that are responsible for attachment.
The most important relationship in a child's life is the attachment to his or her primary caregiver — optimally, the mother. This is due to the fact that this first relationship determines the biological and emotional 'template' for all future relationships. Healthy attachment to the mother built by repetitive bonding experiences during infancy provides the solid foundation for future healthy relationships. In contrast, problems with bonding and attachment can lead to a fragile biological and emotional foundation for future relationships."
This is the very root of why you have trouble expressing your needs to your doctor and why you feel that rejection from K is just around the corner. K's desire to find the best way to help you is met with fear that she will desert you because you bother her or don't matter, just like you felt with your mother.
Your relationship with Dave is the same as well. You identify with feeling neglected by those who are supposed to love you. Dave fulfills that role very well.
It is good that you had the secretary and the PE teacher. You needed someone in your life that treated you well. Though they could not take the place of your mother, it sounds like they gave you something that you treasure- a little window into what you should have had with your mother.
I would like to hear more about your school years and how you experienced them.
I like the title for your poem! Let me know what you end up deciding.
Have a good night, Rose.
I agree with you. It sounds like Sam would benefit from therapy. Besides his college counseling option, are they any free or low cost community mental health centers? They have them here but I was not sure if they are an option for you where you are.
It sounds like your mother kept all love and care from you. No wonder you crave feeling loved and liked by everyone. To have someone reject you would feel just like how your mother treated you, and you would want to avoid that at all costs. The pain would be deep. We can continue to work towards healing for you so you do not have to be re traumatized each time you need to reach out.
I would like to hear more about your school days when you do feel up to it, of course! Do what you can to care for yourself with Dave on his rampage. Hopefully, he will find a way to be out most of the weekend.
Great title for your poem. I feel very positive about you putting them out there.
Talk to you soon,
Hello Rose! It's good to hear from you.
I can see you as that little girl needing attention so badly. I think those women, the substitute mothers, saw your pain too. They tried to fulfill a need for you that your own mother should have been there for. You grabbed onto their love and care tightly and to this day, it still remains special to you. I am glad you had these women to help you. You got to see and feel some of what you deserved from your mother. The rejection from your own mother must have been so painful and deep. The effects of it drove you to seek what you could from people outside of your family. How do you feel that experience affects you now with your own experience with being a mother? And in your daily life?
I am glad you found a counseling option for Sam. It's interesting that you ended up in searching in the state of New Hampshire (that's what the NH was)! I've never been there but I've heard it's nice! Let me know how Sam's experience goes.
Dave sounds like a hoarder. What happens when you try to throw some of the stuff away? I ask because it seems that Dave has say so over the property and what happens to your home. It should be 50/50 between you.
What happened between Poppy and Dave is a good example of how dysfunctional the family becomes when Dave is involved. Poppy was trying to get her point across anyway she could. She is pushing out of frustration. Dave does not see or understand her frustration because he wants things to run smoothly from his perspective. He wants things his way. So he shuts her down by getting angry at her,calling her names and cursing at her, which is inappropriate and abusive. If he was a healthy parent emotionally, he would have given her a chance to voice how she feels then answered her appropriately. That means he could have said I'm too busy right now but I will address it later or that is a good idea, let's look into it. If she kept pushing, the healthy response could have been to set limits on her behavior- You need to watch your tone or what you say to me, as your parent. Something like that. Said in a caring but stern manner. Abusive language, yelling and making her apologize is very dysfunctional and hurtful to a child. He should apologize to her, actually. Because he turned this situation around on her and made her to blame, she is going to process this as something is wrong with her. She will learn that men in her life are allowed to bully her and it will be her fault.
You sound like you had quite a busy day with all the running and chores. I hope you had a chance to sit down and catch your breath! Thank you for telling me everything without edit. I appreciate that it is not easy to be open and trust, especially after all you have been through.
Have a good night,
Good morning Rose!
There are numerous places in the U.S. named after the "homeland". Most of the east coast was named by the settlers from England. Where I am from, Virginia (named by Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I), almost everything was named after places and people in England. Most people where I lived were either English, African American or American Indian. And our accent was derived from the English accent. Some of the recipes from England and the Settlers is still served in the restaurants. The mother of one of my good friends was born in the UK (Oldham, Lancashire, England) and came here as a child with her parents, who opened a place called Manchester Square. They kept their accent so I got to hear it often. So it may have been years since the settlers, but the love affair is still strong! Isn't history fun?
It sounds like Poppy may be expressing her anxiety with the situation with Dave by trying to control everything around her. Maybe she has been able to confront some of her past resistant feelings about Dave and found that there was no solution to dealing with him. So she is trying to gain some control by straightening up her environment, if you will. It is a common reaction to someone who feels anxiety about not being able to control what happens around them. They then try to control something else, like cleaning obsessively or themselves through eating disorders. At this point, it is too early to say this is what Poppy is experiencing. She only just started this behavior. But if she continues, it may be her way of coping.
People always react to abuse by doing some behavior to compensate. And Dave's treatment of Poppy, you and Sam is certainly abusive. His behavior is overwhelming and he is much like a bully. This causes trauma to those exposed to it. Poppy has been a victim of Dave in two ways, directly with his treatment of her and indirectly by seeing what Dave does to you and Sam. The inability to control or respond to Dave has left Poppy (and Sam) with no where to put their feelings. So they compensate in other ways, usually hurtful ways.
Does Dave become upset if you try to remove his things, or have you been able to try to move his things? What if you remove items he has not seen or bothered with in years? Is he able to keep track? It is interesting that you feel sharing with Dave is a 99/1 situation. I agree with you. You do a majority of running the home and all the other responsibilities. Since you have so much more of the responsibility, you should also have 99% of the say so of what happens, especially with his junk. What do you think?
I am never bored with anything you tell me. I am touched that you are willing to share with me. Anything you want to share, I am interested in listening to. And I will do my best to help.
Not much going on here on my off day. I have the usual chores (as you know, they never stop when you have a family!) but I don't mind them. This is a day I try to hang out with the kids, talk to them about anything they want to share, and try to work out the kinks from the week. I would like to take a walk and maybe watch a movie tonight with everyone. But that is about it, unless something comes up!
How do you feel it went this past week without talking to K on Thursday?
Hope your day goes well and you get some time to have fun!
Rose, you are sounding quite overwhelmed, with good reason. There is a lot that feels out of your control around you I imagine, mostly due to Dave's wishes and whims. That alone can cause a lot of stress and hostile feelings. But I think that more of this is in your control than you realize. Although it is hard to push the status quo, it may be worth a try. It alters things when you push (much like you did when you went away for the few days) but it may cause Dave to back down some. I wonder if he is a bully in the full sense. When pushed he becomes fearful and backs down. And besides, what Dave feels is of no matter. He may think that it is important, but that in and of itself does not make it so. His feelings also must be assigned importance by you and if you do not count his feelings as important, then it doesn't matter.
You mentioned that you feel Dave would not like if his things were moved. But what do you feel he would actually do about it if you cleaned some of the mess out?
Good for Sam! He sounds like he is doing so well. His job and learning the gear shift. I've never had to learn one but I've heard it's not easy.
It is a good idea to write down what you need to say to K. It is very common for people to do that when they have an appointment. I sometimes do it when I see my doctor (and if I don't, I forget something!) and other people I know do the same thing. Who can remember everything when you are faced with dealing with so many emotions and thoughts?
I hope you made your chapter tonight! But I understand if you are tired. You have had quite a weekend full of activity and work. Sleep well, Rose. Sweet dreams!
Wow, I'd say Dave sounds pretty absorbed in his own world to not notice you have not been to work in two weeks. That is pretty amazing.
I am glad you have found the book useful so far. I recommend it a lot because it is so helpful in putting into words what you experience as a adult after an abusive childhood.
I understand what stops you about Dave's response to moving things and getting rid of his stuff. The argument alone would be exhausting. But a good response to why should I is "because I want you to" end of story. Repeat as necessary. What happens if you try responding that way?
It is a lot of responsibility to care for someone who has dementia. You care for so many people, Rose. I wonder who cares for you?
Hi again Kate,
I know, D is amazing!! I was tempted to see how long I could not be at work before he noticed! But I felt I should tell him... couldn't keep it up. I kinda felt guilty that I wasn't sharing, thought he'd really want to know.
Stuff. I've taken some pics today. I've only shown you nice pics of where we live, no hint of 'Stuff', but there is plenty of it. It's hard to describe it like a pic, so here are a few; Just so you can see what I speak of (and why Poppy was getting so cross at the weekend)!! No solutions expected, just sharing The bottom one is just a sample of stuff at my parent's field. The rest is in the garden, the 5th pic being the 'pond' he had dug....
My aunt wasn't good today, very unfocussed and vague, repeating actions over, forgetting she had already done them, not knowing how to write a cheque (she's already had her phone cut off bc she didn't pay the bill) Direct debit now set up. I hope she had lunch after I left, she usually has it much earlier. She lives on a property with another lady next door, so she is kept an eye on when I don't go, and my Mum and her other sister see her at least once a week, but I think things are going to come to a head soon, and we'll have to sort out something more permanent and less worrying. She was quite upset that she was so forgetful.
I'm going to try the 'because I want you to' tac a bit later with the drum in the hall.
I've emailed the Counselling service at Exeter College after phoning them this morning to ask for non-phone contact details. I felt I should get the ball rolling myself, as I doubt Sam would go and make enquiries without something set up for him. I'll wait for reply and let you know.
I'll try and get back to my school days later this evening. Nearly 11am chez toi, the best of the day yet to come. Poppy is home in good spirits. She has it fixated that she is fat (far from it) and that she should go on a diet. I was mortified to see that my weight has gained since my meds have increased, and my activity level has decreased, so I said we should just cut out the snacks and eat fruit when she's hungry. Some days I feel like being really good, and others I just can't stop myself from snacking. I've told myself to shop more ruthlessly, and stop making apple crumbles!!
Oh dear. I do think he may be a hoarder. I am sure you know what hoarding is, and Dave seems to fit the bill. He is collecting items that he does not intend to use and has much trouble discarding them. He does not even seem to consider it.
I hope your "because I want you to" statement has some effect. It is worth a try, though he may have many comebacks and may even get upset. But that is not as important as how you feel about this situation.
I am sorry to hear your aunt isn't doing well. It is very hard to see people go downhill when you have known them to be independent and active. It is a loss, almost like a death. And making the decision as to when you should move her to a home is difficult. How do you know where to draw the line? I think most people struggle with that decision. I know my mother is ready and the nurse who evaluated her stated she is ready, but my sister is not. She does not want to let go.
Poppy fat? Now that is crazy talk! She's beautiful. Healthy eating is always a good idea but people often go up and down in weight. I think your idea is wonderful. Poppy is vulnerable at this point in her life to eating disorders and your way of handling this is very healthy (but don't give up those crumbles! Yum!).
It is difficult to deal with a hoarder. I believe there is a sense of security for someone who saves things when they have no use. Dave could probably use some professional help with his issue, though I can imagine how that suggestion might be met! But you may be able to convince him to move some of the things around to make it more manageable. You could also move things he is not as aware of and get rid of them. He could not possibly keep track of it all.
Yes, my sister does live nearby which is truly a blessing. I am glad to have her. We are different personalities but as we get older, we get along better and better. My mother is ok with my sister nearby but the amount of work that goes into caring for her is enormous, so I understand the situation with your aunt very well.
It sounds like your mom was much like Dave in her reactions to others needs. Does that sound accurate? Both your mother and Dave are overbearing in their personalities and their insistence that things go their way.
I imagine that it would have been wonderful if your mother was open and patient about sharing her skills with you, including in the kitchen. You could have learned about cooking and shared many things together. When I cook with my kids, I talk to them about their days, their dreams, plans for the future and just silly things we think up. I show them how to peel potatoes with our funny shaped peeler or we make a cake. These are things you should have been able to share with your mom. It was a loss you suffered not having that need fulfilled. And your unmet desire has left a gap for you not only in knowing how to cook early on, but the chance to bond and be cared about.
I hope you are feeling better than you did earlier. Can you call your doctor to see if this might be a side effect of the increase in meds? Let me know if you continue to feel this way. We can explore other options if you want.
Take care, Rose. I'm on the road tomorrow so I will write as soon as possible after I get your post. Sleep well!
Haha! Yeah, that was me today in my truck singing the Smoky the Bandit song, honking at all the cars and rolling down the highway! I wish. That movie was fun!
Dave is making his children angry with him by being inconsistent. His promises are not kept and Sam (and Poppy) are never sure if they really can feel excited about something. Their emotions are always in question because they cannot rely on Dave. He is putting himself before them and therefore causing the children's needs (for a reliable father and a father that cares) to be unmet. Sam was disappointed and had every right to be. His father's behavior is dysfunctional. It causes Sam (and Poppy) to feel uncared for and unimportant. Dave's feelings, thoughts and desires take precedence over their needs and desires. Sam feels powerless, angry, and resentful because he feels he cannot depend on what his father says. And there is no good reason Dave chooses to have him take the train. He obviously does it because he has no desire to be there for Sam or otherwise Dave would have tried his best to work it out, just like you did. And Sam picks that up message from him and feels he is not worthy.
Do you think it may have an effect on Dave to point this out to him? I know he tends to block these types of things out since he is generally thinking of himself, but even if some of it sinks in, it might make some difference. Let me know what you think.
It has been a bit since you met with K. But I think it will be easier than you think. Let me know how it goes. I am home from "the road" so I'm here the rest of the night!
Talk to you then!
Sounds good. Sleep well. I hope you feel better!
Hi Rose! Good to hear from you.
I think this JA system sometimes doesn't know who is online! I was off line doing something else when I got your post. But I wanted to chat with you so I signed back on.
Our schools don't have any breaks yet. We started late so I think the next break we get is Thanksgiving next month. It seems far away but time is flying by so it will be here soon. It's good that Sam and Poppy get a break. I think it helps the kids feel less pressure.
It sounds like your session with K was pretty intense. I hope you were able to get something good from it.
Don't worry about searching for something to talk about. We can just chat until you feel you are ready. Plus we did some pretty intense work this past week. You have been going through so much with Dave and trying to change things. That is a lot right there. When you feel you have something that you need to talk about then we'll work !
Get some rest and I'll check back later to see if you wrote.
I am sorry you are feeling so down. My therapeutic guess would be something you talked about with K? Or maybe something you are working on emotionally?
No problem with you knowing when I'm on. It helps us communicate better and stay in touch more often.
I hope you get some good rest and feel better.
Rose, I'm doing fine. But you sound upset, and understandably so. Dave is being abusive towards you, demanding control over you again. I hope you felt ok resisting his many questions and inquiries? It sounds like an inquisition!
Actually, Dave is wrong. That is not called "communication". It is called abuse. And you are right, he would not tolerate you questioning him in the same way. So what would he say to you if you tried to question him like that? I bet it's nothing like he expects from you.
Oh yes, I've had people scare me like you described. My heart beats in my throat and it takes me a good bit to settle down. But I also wonder if you have a little more edge to your fear because of how on edge you live with the abuse you suffer. Dave frequently flies into rages and that has to be very traumatizing, especially if you feel you have no control in the situation. My guess would be that you are suffering from PTSD, just like we talked about at the beginning of our relationship. Abuse victims often suffer from PTSD and it is common to experience a "startle" response to noises, surprises and other sudden things that happen. It usually lessens as you get away from the abuse and can even go away with help and learning ways to calm yourself. What do you think?
Do you feel Mark's visit was self serving? I got the impression you were not thrilled to see him at all.
It is good news that your doctor was so helpful to you! I am glad you reached out to her and let her know what you needed. It sounds like she was very interested in helping you and is making headway in your (and Sam's) situation. Let me know how the lower dose of medication works out.
That is one long lunch! Four hours. I would have been exhausted. Did you feel you could not ask to end it earlier? I think that would have been a very reasonable request. One hour is long enough, even if you have a lot to talk about.
I'm here the rest of the night (crazy day, sorry I couldn't respond sooner!). Let me know how you are.
I am sorry Rose. You are the person everyone turns to for everything. You are not supposed to be alone with these responsibilities. Dave is to be your partner and help you with the kids homework and household chores. But instead he bails and leaves you stuck. And by now the kids have learned to not bother Dave because he either yells or ignores their needs. More abuse of you.
I cannot believe Dave feels justified to talk to you the way he does if you inquire about his activities. Wow, that is demeaning. He certainly feels free to dish it out, but not accepting of it when it comes back his way. Hmmmm.
I am wondering if you are feeling unsettled because of the changes you are making lately. You have reduced your therapy with K, been talking and reaching out more, and looking at some very deep feelings. What do you think?
It must be very hard to struggle with your appointment being so far away, but knowing that you could have one tomorrow if not for the expense makes for a difficult choice. Health care is very unfair and it makes people suffer with bad choices just to get better. Let me know what you decide to do, and if you need help sorting it out, I'm here for you.
You would be able to hold yourself together for your interview. One step at a time. One day at a time. All things can be dealt with that way. It may be scary and not much will change that, but taking it slow makes it easier. Can I help in any way? Maybe if we talk about coping mechanisms, such as marbles in a pocket!
Ok, I had to look up myoclonus. That does not sound like fun. How long have you suffered with this?
How about some relaxation exercises to help you? There is one I like a lot. Go from the top of your head to your toes. Starting with your scalp, tense each muscle group, count 5 seconds then let them loose. Also, listen to soothing music or something that calms you. I sometimes listen to baseball games on the radio. They bore me to tears and the monotone talking of the announcers makes me sleepy! It also occupies my mind so I do not focus on things I need to do from the day. There are ways to calm yourself so sleep does come easier. We just need to find what works for you.
I did get the kids fed, but it was not an easy task tonight! Some nights are just like that. Dinner was on the fly tonight but the kids don't mind.
Have a good night Rose! I hope you sleep better than you expect and tomorrow is a better day.
Rose, I hope you are sleeping deeply right now!
Here is a link to an online baseball game. Save it for when you can get some shut eye:
Thank you for the smile this morning- I knew you were just kidding around about the baseball but I thought you might enjoy giving it a whirl just to see how fast you would fall asleep. As you can tell, I'm not much of a baseball fan!
Of course you didn't bother anything last night. I enjoy talking with you anytime!
I am glad you got sleep last night. It makes a world of difference when you can face the day not feeling foggy and tired.
Thanks for the explanation about the nightly jerks. I want to look more into it, since I am not as familiar with medical issues. Do you feel they could be affected by your emotional state?
Rose, I'm sorry I was not here when you posted.
That is a horrible thing to have to decide on your own. I can understand your sorrow. I wish I could be closer to provide comfort to you. This is a difficult time.
If you could have the vet look at her and see what she thinks, that may help a lot. I have had to put down many pets and my rule is always, is their quality of life good enough that they are not suffering if they live? If my vet tells me my pet is suffering, then I let them go. If not, I stay close and keep an eye on them. You never want to have to let them go but it is better than letting them suffer.
It is because you care so much that this is so painful. Those animals have a good life with you, Rose. You are caring and tender with them. And they know it.
Let me know how you are doing. I will stay by my computer in case you write back.
Rose, I am glad to be here for you.
Sometimes that happens with an animal. I had to decide to put down a cat once because of severe behavior problems. She was 9 years old. It's not easy but even if she is young, if she is suffering, it's not worth it for her.
Let me know how it goes today,
Rose, thanks for letting me know an update about your Shetland. It's good to hear that she is resting more comfortably. And that Dave helped you. Wow, that is good!
Expenses with pets are tough. It's hard to face those bills. But you are doing what you can for her.
It sounds like you got a good answer from your Just Answer question. The doctor seemed very thorough with the answer. What do you think you might try next if the symptoms continue?
I am sorry we could not talk by phone. But it sounds like you handled the situation so well. You coped and responded well to the stress. You resolved the problem and came up with a great answer. I think that you have good coping skills, better than you think you do.
All those years you have had to manage with running the household, dealing with Dave's behavior and working outside the home. That is a lot, more than most people deal with on a daily basis. You have friends, are well liked at work and are raising two great kids in the mist of a very stressful situation. Take some time to give yourself credit. Not many people could do what you do. And you also show incredible strength in reaching out for support and for help with improving yourself. That shows you have very good coping skills.
Tell me about what you end up watching tonight. Movies are a great way to escape and get some good downtime. I hope you are having fun!
Talk to you soon,
Thanks Rose! Your update was wonderful. It really gave me a good idea of all the things you are dealing with at one time. Whew, I was tired just reading about it all. I do think that you are quite justified in feeling so stressed. I, for one, am amazed at how you handle all of it and not have much worse issues than you deal with. You cope very well. Just dealing with Dave alone would provide enough stress for someone to cope with.
Here is what you are dealing with:
Teaching your son how to drive
Cleaning out Dave's mess or finding acceptable ways (to Dave) to cope with it all
Running your home without help
Caring for a sick Shetland
Supporting Poppy in her big clean out and fixing up her room
Feeling poorly with Fibro and involuntary muscle twitches.
Working outside the home
Looking at that list, I see a very strong woman who is coping with no help and handling it all. Where you get your strength I don't know. But you do much better than many people I know.
It would be great if we lived close by each other and could talk. But you know I am here. I will write as often as you need and stay with you as long as I can whenever you feel you need it. You just need to let me know.
It sounds like you are setting up quite a space for yourself! All those goodies to play with. It is so good to hear that you are enjoying yourself. I think I have seen 2 weeks notice but I'm not sure. I do like Sandra Bullock a lot. She seems very sweet and endearing.
My mom is doing better. My brother is finally home to help care for her so now there is three of us. Between us all, she is getting the attention she needs. Thank you for asking!
Sam will catch on with his driving. It is always so scary the first few times you go. I think even more so for Moms!
Take care Rose. I hope tonight is quiet for you and you get some rest.
Rose, I wish I did have an Autumn break but there is none for us! The next one is Thanksgiving, about the third week of November. Just a few off days here and there for elections and teacher's inservice days. But nothing significant until Christmas.
I am sorry that Dave did not take care of your CD. That is very discouraging, not surprising, but discouraging. Michael Buble and Celtic music are both wonderful to listen to. I hope you can get a replacement CD at least.
Good night, Rose. I always want to be here for you, as long as you need me!
Rose, you had quite a busy day today! Painting is no small job and with Dave and the wrenches he throws in, it can be even more stressful.
I am not surprised Dave decided to clean out his room at the same time. His behavior is quite predicable and his denial quite strong.
I hope you get some good sleep! Have a good night and I'll talk with you tomorrow,
I believe tickling is fine as long as the intention is to have fun and it's not done in a mean way. Dave's way of tickling is intrusive and meant to control, and not for the other person's benefit. So I can understand your aversion to it if that is how he uses it.
It sounds like the flowers was Dave's way of "trying" with you. Although he does try, he is unable to pair the feelings with the gesture (past abuse issues for him maybe?), and he doesn't follow through with anything else, such as taking care of Sam, cleaning his mess out of the hall, or paying attention to any other needs of the family which would validate what he did. So even though the flowers are a nice gesture, he does not give them any meaning to back them up. If he indeed feels tender and loving feelings about you, then he is unable to sustain them for long before his own needs take precedence again.
Dave needs to recognize that he has a problem and be willing to get help before any real change can take place. You and I have both talked about that before and concluded that until that happens, real change is out of reach for Dave. So the only way to resolve his behavior is for you to react to it by protecting yourself. Speaking up is a good idea. Standing up for your rights is healthy for you. Dave may not react well, but that is not the important part here. He is not holding up his end and you are basically the only responsible person in the situation. At this point, you could live on your own and do just as well if not better. So taking control of what you can will help you feel less frustrated and take you one step closer to getting out from under Dave's problems.
Have you thought any more about separating your accounts at the bank? That might be the best response to this problem. Otherwise, Dave's actions are going to drag you down with him. You deserve to be protected from his destructiveness. Seeing yourself as worthy of taking an action like this is important. You do deserve the peace of mind and the control that comes with protecting yourself. And Dave may be able to teach you a bit of a lesson here. Borrow some of his self centerness to motivate you to make a move. In this situation, think about yourself first instead of Dave and his actions.
Your feeling about Dave's reasoning with the flowers sounds very accurate. You know him and his behavior, so your view is going to be right. It's just a very sad and self centered way to act towards you. I could not help but feel that it would have been so nice for you to get flowers because he cared.
Does Dave run the business or are you partners? If Dave runs the business alone, then you may want to take your name off the account and hand him the papers to handle himself. That is the only way to improve the overwhelming job you are already doing. That way, you have less responsibility for Dave's actions and you can start the process of detangling yourself from Dave's life. It will make it easier for you in the long run. What do you think?
I am not surprised Dave doesn't see the writing on the wall regarding the condition of the marriage. It is the nature of someone who sees only what they want to see. But he may also not want to acknowledge what he sees. You have shown signs of wanting to be away from him. Your separate room, going away by yourself on vacation, saying things to him more frequently about his behavior, etc. He may be able to excuse your behavior in his mind by thinking that you are going through a stage or that your behavior is a fluke. Denial is a very strong component of someone who lives in a self centered way. It is also very strong with someone who is alcoholic. Either way, Dave may be using his defenses to see what you are doing as non threatening to him. Holding your actions at arms length is a way to maintain the life he wants without having to give something of himself to others, or to have to be responsible.
Boring? Rose, I am never bored talking with you. Each thought and feeling you bring up is part of the whole picture of what you are working on. It is your life, and that is never boring. Now if you were citing mathematical facts to me I might drift off (I'm very bad in math!), but other than that, I look forward to your posts each and every time.
Rose, I think your question is an excellent one. How did you get to this point? That is the crux of the issue and the answer to how you get out. If I were sitting with you when you said this, I would encourage you to stay with the feelings, even though you feel you are getting worked up. Confronting these feelings is going to help you move to the next stage of your exit from this abusive relationship.
There are a number of reasons women stay in abusive relationships. One is the pressure of social norms and family. Much is expected of women, especially in families where divorce is made unacceptable. When the institution of marriage becomes more important than personal safety, this forces women to stay in a marriage that is harmful and demeaning. It puts blame on a woman who leaves to protect herself. It makes it her fault and her responsibility if the marriage does not work out. This is an unfair judgment and a potentially harmful one, because it sets families up for perpetuating abuse generation after generation.
Another reason is fear. This is a big one for most people. Leaving someone means they will be alone. Who wants to end a marriage where at least there is someone else there even if they are abusive, just to be alone? It sounds scary and unsettling. What if I can't do it? What if I am too lonely? And the potential for the abusive partner to make life difficult is high. They are already causing upheaval, wouldn't it be much worse if I left? Better I stay. At least I know what to expect and don't have to face an unknown situation. And what if he comes after me? If I stay, then he will not hurt me.
Dependency also ties into fear. I am not worthy now, how would I be able to handle being on my own? No one would help me and I cannot handle it all myself. Who am I to leave? He may be mean, but at least he is here. I have what I need. I don't need more than this. If I leave, others will think badly of me. They will think it was my fault and I failed. And he will blame me too. And since I am a nobody, they will believe him.
These are some reasons women stay. Not all apply to you and your situation. But some might. That is why it is so important to build your self esteem and realize you are more than what you believe you are right now. You do not deserve to live like you do, no matter what Dave says, your family says, or anyone else. This is your life, not theirs. They do not have to live it. You do. You are an adult and you do have choices. It's just a matter of believing that you can take the steps to make those choices.
You are already moving to a more healthy viewpoint of your relationship. You know you are being abused, you are taking steps to be more independent and you are working on yourself. It's just a matter of time before you reach your goal.
A good example is doing Dave's business account. Dave doesn't need to have a clue. He has the perfect setup. He has Mark doing the work, and you doing the accounts. He doesn't have to be responsible- the theme of Dave's life. He manipulates until he gets his way. And since he doesn't bear the consequences of his behavior, then he can continue as he is. Who bears the consequences? You and Mark. Is that fair? And how did the situation get this way in the first place? What happens when you and Mark decide your no longer holding Dave up? Many people get through life struggling to understand things like business accounts. They search for answers and ask for help. But Dave doesn't need to do this. It is not that he doesn't have a clue. He does. He just doesn't need to. I bet if you stopped Dave would figure it all out on his own. Or he would fail. But at least it would finally make him face consequences which might motivate him to change. Otherwise, there is no need for him to change. He will be this way as long as he can manipulate to get his way.
It's good you are talking about how you feel with this situation. This is good stuff you're doing, Rose.
I hope you have a good Skype session with K. You mentioned that you sometimes feel anxious about talking. Take it easy and slow. No pressure. Be good to yourself. You are a wonderful person who is strong and intelligent. Remember that.
You're so welcome, Rose. And thanks for the update. I was hoping some of the post was helpful. There is a false belief that situations such as yours are always so straight forward, but the truth is they are more complicated and difficult than most situations.
Just based on what you have told me about your parents and your relationship with them, they may not have approved of Dave to please you. I believe from what you have told me about them that their acceptance of Dave may have been more self serving and their rejection of Tony was for the same reasons. Just a thought.
Your dilemma is not an easy one with your work situation. I think K has a point. Taking time to sort out yourself and get a new path would be great. But money is an issue too. Reducing your time or finding new employment may have to be a temporary resolution. Let me know how it goes. I am here for support whenever you need it.
Have a good night, Rose!
Rose, what a day. I am so sorry you went through all of that with looking for the dog. What Dave put you through by not telling you what he was doing is awful. In this day and age of cell phones and texting, he could have easily dropped you a quick note and said he had the dog with him.
Did you tell him what you had gone through when he got home? Not so Dave would care, but I am thinking that expressing that to him might have helped you relieve some of your stress.
In a healthy scenario, Dave should have either informed you or apologized right away for putting you through the fear and anxiety you experienced looking for Jack. If you responded by informing him of your experience and being upset about it, that helps break the cycle Dave has set up of thinking of himself first and you last. It gives you power to stand up for yourself and say Dave's behavior is not acceptable. I realize that this is probably not out of the ordinary for him, but taking a look at how this should have happened compared to what Dave did helps you contrast the two and see that you have a right to feel angry, upset and incredulous at his behavior.
Dave should not be interrogating you about your therapy, either. His boundaries are very open and intrusive. He does not seem to respect you as a person and is only interested in you in terms of how it affects him. It would be perfectly fine for you to respond to every question by saying "Sorry, that is not your business." Repeat as necessary. Unless you fear he will strike out at you, you may want to try it. Each step you take to set up boundaries between you and Dave will help you move on when you feel you are ready.
What type of contract to you have at work? How long does it go on?
Hopefully, they will let you work the minimum amount until your contract is up. Are you still trying for another job or do you want to take a break for a while?
I hope your drive with Sam worked out and you are feeling a bit better from earlier today.
Talk to you soon,
Rose, I think your reaction is great! Don't be sorry. You are getting in touch with the anger you hold in constantly. It is what causes you to feel they way you do the rest of the time- Upset, sad, wanting to hurt yourself (like you are to blame), punishing yourself, worthless and small.
This is the part of you that is important to keep on the surface. Not that you should walk around angry, but being aware of your anger and knowing that you should be angry about what happened with Dave is good. It is an very appropriate response to what you go through with Dave's actions and behaviors.
You do not need to punish yourself for feeling upset and angry about Dave and your situation. This is not about something you have done. This is totally about Dave. If Dave chose to act normally and treat you with respect, like he should, then you would not need to feel the way you do. You would be supported, loved and cared for. He would be there for you, able to carry the clothes because he cares that you hurt. You would see him going to work to help support the family because they matter first. He would be painting Poppy's room, taking Sam where he needs to go, and helping you fix up your home. That is normal, caring behavior. But that is the opposite of what Dave does. And you reacting by being upset and wanting out is perfectly normal.
I know you are aware of what should be normal in a relationship. But reminding yourself on a daily basis that what you live with is abnormal and remembering what it should be like will help you gain strength to get yourself out.
That is ok. I will be here tomorrow. I hope whatever is going on, you are ok.
That's fine. Take your time. I'll be here when you're ready. I'll be thinking of you.
Stay with how you feel. This is probably triggered by what we talked about the other day when you felt so angry about Dave. You can feel this way when you start to get close to the wall we mentioned. You get stuck because there is so much going on behind the wall, and letting it out triggers a flood of feelings.
But keep in mind that the "flood" of feelings is not going to hurt you. This are feelings you have already felt and tucked away because you did not feel they were acceptable, or Dave told you they were unacceptable. You also were told this in childhood. Feeling angry, defending yourself, going against someone treating you badly is not ok. You will not be loved if you do this so you must accept poor treatment to get what you need. So when you feel these things, you put them away so you don't have to deal with them.
Also, by bringing them out, you will face them for the first time. That also means deciding how you want to handle them. But we are taking this one step at a time. When the feelings start to come out, we will deal with them slowly, accept them at a slow pace. There is no need to rush anything.
That is why I encouraged you so much last week with your anger. Keep it with you, feel it and allow yourself permission to look at it. Understand it is a very normal response to Dave's behavior. It is what you should feel, instead of acceptance.
Turning this in on yourself is what you are doing now. You are convincing yourself that anger is not ok and that it is you with the problem. That could not be further from the truth. Try today to accept your anger. You don't necessarily need to bring it up and feel it full force. Just allow yourself to be ok with it. See what happens.
Rose, you're welcome.
No, your feelings will not trample you. It may feel somewhat overwhelming, but you have felt these feelings before. You just tucked them away and hid them behind defenses. Accepting what Dave does to you then not feeling your feelings is what is hurting you. Not the anger. The anger is appropriate. But going against what you were taught is what is causing you to feel fear and anxiety. That is all very normal though.
You will not be horribly moody but you may feel unsettled. Moody is not bad, though. Just let the kids know you are working on your feelings and that whatever you seem like, it is not their fault. They will understand.
That's fine Rose. I understand. I had to go out for a family event too. I'll check in later to see if you post again.
I want to take the time to read your question through. I have to release the lock on another question (JA rules) and I will come right back.
Rose, it is so good to hear from you!
I could not agree more with what you said about expressing your anger. Yes, it is bottled up and expressing it has not been allowed in your family. All the anger at your parents and now years of anger at Dave. All bottled inside of you. That is a lot to carry around. Letting it out bit by bit is a good idea. But if you do have times where you feel very angry, that is ok too. You will handle it fine. I know that because you have carried so much for so long that letting it out will be a relief, not something to fear. It will put your feelings back on track where they should be, not bottled up inside where you can turn it to depression and sadness. This is a very good thing, Rose. Very good.
I am glad to hear you had your interview and that the person you talked with was so supportive. I have a question- would it be possible for you to use your nursing skill to do a desk job of some sort? Nurses in the U.S. have opportunities to do some types of counseling jobs, work in mental health facilities where they give out psych meds, and also to handle insurance questions through the insurance companies. I know you have national insurance there, but may be there are similar opportunities where you at least do not have to run around or strain yourself.
I understand the counselor's dilemma and why she didn't feel comfortable seeing you. Too many counselors helping you in different ways could confuse things for you. But you also have to make the choice that is best for you. If you feel your relationship with K is helping you and you are benefiting (getting better), then that is the counselor you should be with. There is no right answer. It is only what you feel works for you. You are the focus here and the one that knows what you need most. If you feel strongly about seeing the counselor where you live, you could also put your sessions on hold with K temporarily and see the counselor where you live. That lets you hold on to your relationship with K while also seeking help face to face with someone close by.
Good for you not telling Dave why you went out to the neighbor's house. You stood your ground. He really tried to needle you into telling him too. Wow, talk about entitled! But you refused. How did it feel?
Halloween is on October 31st. It's not one of my favorite holidays and for a long time I did not like my kids going out to trick or treat. But as they got older and understood that Halloween represents something I don't agree with, I let them have a choice whether or not to go. I'm just glad when it's over and we can celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Let me know how you are doing,
You're welcome, Rose!
Must be a painting weekend. I just got done painting my daughter's room as well. A very vibrant shade of purple. Not my first choice, but it's her room.
I hope Poppy's room gets done in quickly and you can have some down time today.
Clocks go back sometime in the next few weeks. I probably need to check on that! Do you all change your clocks too?
Rose, I could never wait until tomorrow to respond to such a post. You have really gone through it tonight. But I feel so happy for you. Odd response, I know! But you held your ground, stood up to Dave, and gave the children something they will not forget. They got to see you stand up to Dave, be civilized while doing it, and teaching them how to handle someone who is acting out horribly.
Dave has reached new heights with his immature and abusive behavior. It sounds like to me (and correct me if I am wrong here) that he is sensing your change, sensing that he is losing control of you, and he is stepping up the abuse. He seems like he is very afraid that he no longer is able to scare you and abuse you until you submit. The stunt with saying he is going to OD with the insulin was a good example of his desperate need for attention and control. That is something an adolescent might try. And it shows that Dave has not matured much past that point. Your response was exactly what it should have been. You acted in the only right way by contacting the emergency services just in case Dave actually did hurt himself. There was no way for you to know for sure. Even though he did not follow through, the fact that Dave could put his children and you through something so frightening shows how self centered he really is.
Then he spends more time yelling directly at you while the kids react to his abuse. Accusing you of spending money on Sam, talking to K when you should talk to his friends (huh?) and telling you that you yell at him all the time when you don't. These are all things that Dave feels out of control about. He questions your judgment with the money when at the time, he didn't care to have an opinion about it. He is very fearful of your relationship with K. Either he feels that she will convince you of what he is really about (which you don't need convincing of) or he fears losing control over you. Probably both. Then he makes up things about you yelling at him. He is trying to say this to make you feel guilty and question yourself. You know you don't do these things. But even if you did, you have the right to know where he is, especially since he never tells you or gives you the respect you deserve by checking in with you.
As you noticed, he takes all of his abusive actions and turns them on you, blaming you for restricting his absolute freedom. He truly believes that he deserves to act as an spoiled adolescence does. He is to be loved by everyone, never questioned, always right, pushing his will on everyone, and never doing wrong. Everyone is to pay attention to him and worship him. When you go against that, he reacts strongly.
You have made a great breakthrough with this incident. Even though going through it made you shaky and upset (which is very natural), you handled this so well. I would venture to say you are no longer where you used to be. You are using your strength now to thwart Dave and his antics. And the children do notice that Dave is wrong. It was traumatizing for all of you. But you stood up and refused to back down. I could not be happier for you. You are something Rose. To come through what you have been through, stand up to a bully, and come out showing your children what true bravery is is nothing short of amazing.
After all this, I hope you are able to find some peace tonight and get some rest. You deserve it after what you have been through. I will be here tomorrow near lunch time (for me) so if you want to talk, I'll look for your post.
You're welcome. I am so glad I could be there and help you. You should not go through such a thing without support.
You do have strength in you to face up to such a tirade. When you think of it, you have dealt with people in your face, saying cruel and mean things to you all of your life. You have suffered being ignored, told you are unworthy and taking on negative emotions from everyone who is supposed to care for you. Although this is a terrible thing, it has also been good that it has made you strong. Being able to face Dave and not give in under his abuse shows that your strength is there and that your instinct to protect your children is strong.
The recordings of Dave's abuse was a great idea. Listening to them cannot be easy, but it does serve a good purpose. It is easy to block out the pain and the frightening feelings that came with such an episode. But now you have a way to remember what happened so you can reflect on it. My only fear with the recording is that you feel re traumatized by what you hear.
Carrying on like nothing happened after yesterday may be a learned behavior. It helps you cope and puts things back into perspective for you and the family. This can be a good and bad thing. Getting back to the normal pace puts things back to the dysfunctional way Dave prefers it. He may feel he is back in control and that his tirade worked. It also does not change things for you. On the other hand, it gives you a chance to reflect and decide the next step in how you want to handle the situation. Taking on a big change all at once could be too difficult right now. Slowly changing your situation is wise and better for you and the kids.
You do sound very busy today. I hope all goes well for your aunt and the doctor can help her this time.
I hope you get time to relax today. Take care and I'll talk with you soon,
Rose, for once I'm speechless (but you know me, not for long!). The way you expressed your feelings about last night and the consequences of what you and the kids went through is so clear and so full of deep thought and insight that I dare say you don't need my help at all!
Yes, I agree Dave is very aware that he is starting to lose his complete control over you and the family as a whole. His manipulations and his abuse no longer have the same impact so he is trying to ramp it up to get the attention and control he craves so much. Wherever Dave learned this behavior, he learned it well. It has become the only way he can relate and he is unable to be flexible and adapt. He only knows abuse and control.
The change in you is becoming so obvious. I sense your strength, your resilience, and your own control coming out. You are beginning to overcome your past and realize that you are a worthy person who deserves better. I'm smiling ear to ear just hearing your responses to Dave and knowing that peace is within your reach.
He does bait you to get a reaction so he feels justified in abusing you. I cannot believe he calls you such names. How cruel and mean. It takes a special strength to stand up to someone who is so intensely angry and abusive. He assaults you through his words and actions.
It is good you kept the recordings of last night. Listening to them would be very traumatizing and it is understandable you would never want to hear them again. But it would be very useful to play for someone if you did chose to share what you have been through. At least now, you do have evidence of what you experience. That gives you power over Dave and over anyone who tries to deny and minimize what you have been through. Are you planning on playing your recording for K?
It sounds like Sam relies on you very much to be there for him. It makes sense because he does not have a role model with Dave so you are it for him. It puts a lot of responsibility on you. I'm not sure how you feel about that. But I can see what Sam sees with you. He finds you easy to talk to, reliable, and someone to turn to when he feels scared or upset. Hopefully, seeing a counselor at school can help him cope with the stress he feels.
I'm glad to hear that things are getting sorted out with your aunt. Getting some help with her will make a lot of difference. Keep me posted on how it works out.
Hmmmm, to a T. I think it's just a T. I've never really thought about it, but I am now. I just looked it up (ok, my nerd side is showing!). Here is the explanation (from the UK yet!):
'To a T', which is sometimes written 'to a tee', is an old phrase and is first recorded in ***** *****'s satire The Humours and conversations of the town, 1693:
"All the under Villages and Towns-men come to him for Redress; which he does to a T."
It is difficult to determine the origin of this phrase. It would be helpful to know the correct spelling; 'T' or 'tee'
John Jamieson, in the etymological dictionary Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1867, records 'to a tee' as 'to a tittle'. If even a 19th century Scots lexicographer doesn't support the Scottish sports origin they would seem to lack credibility.
Given Wright's earliest 'to a T' usage and the lack of evidence to support the 'tee' version, it is safe to assume the proper spelling is 'to a T'. So, what T was meant? Again, there are alternatives; 'T-shirt', or 'T-square', or some abbreviation of a word starting with T
Ok, now I've learned something new today! Thanks, Rose!
I hope you are getting some good sleep as I write this. Sorry I could not get back to you earlier. We were out for Halloween. Yes, you are right. It is about the sweets. It's raining here so we made it a quick night. But they still managed to get way too many pieces of candy!
I'll talk with you tomorrow,
Sounds like you have quite a day planned. Hope all goes well and you have fun with the kids and Alexis. Don't work too hard!
Talk to you later,
Hello Rose! I've been thinking of you all day, hoping your day went well.
I need to run to get my kids from the bus stop and I didn't want to leave you hanging so I wanted to drop a quick note to you. I want to chat with you so I'll be back soon!
Rose, thank you. Your kindness to me means a lot.
I am so glad you have K to talk to. Even though it is hard for you to talk to her, I feel better knowing you have someone you can talk to and that can provide you with additional support. Even if she just gets to hear a small section of your recording, she will be able to work with that. It's the idea of what you go through that she needs.
Sam is very blessed to have you. But you are right, the situation is very unfair. You are not supposed to be alone in raising your children. Dave is not supposed to be adding to your burden, he is supposed to be sharing your burden. Sam knows that he can turn to you for help. And you provide excellent help because you are non judgmental and caring. That is a bonus for any child. Even if a child has two parents, if neither of them provide the type of parenting you do, then it is not beneficial to that child. The deficits the kids experience from Dave's lack of parenting may be hurtful, but the kids will also learn resilience from this experience. They will be better equipped to handle difficult situations and people. But yet they will also understand caring and compassion, from their experience with you. So it is not all bad.
I understand your feelings about seeing other families together. Your feelings about what kind of life they have together is very normal, especially when you cope with a dysfunctional relationship like you have with Dave and his behavior. Your feelings about the families you see are a projection of what you wish for your own family. In reality, a good portion of families do not function on a healthy level. There is usually some dysfunction of some sort within the family structure. But realizing that you wish your family to be healthy is a good sign. It means you are noticing what should be and comparing it to what is. Comparing the two is a good sign that you are seeing things for how they are.
You are right, Dave has not earned respect. He demands it because he feels he deserves respect. But his actions do not match his demands. And the children not wanting to respect him is normal. They are acting in a healthy way too. They are seeing him for what he is and that is ok. It is a shame he doesn't see the effects of his behavior but that will not change unless he wants to change it. I agree with you, he says he respects you because he knows you hold it all together. I think he says it too because maybe in his way he understands that you act in such a way that you deserve respect. You also are the glue of the family. Without you, Dave would not have anything. And I think somewhere inside he knows that.
I hope you have a great session with K. I'll be thinking of you!
Have a good night,
It sounds like it was a productive session with K. It's good she helped you with your GP and it'll be an easier appointment because of it. Let me know how it goes.
I am not surprised you do not remember much about Sunday. Whenever someone experiences trauma like you did, your mind helps you to block it out. It is a way you defend yourself against being over traumatized by events that are too overwhelming to cope with at the time. Whenever your safety is in question or you feel overwhelmed by an event, it is a normal reaction to feel disconnected and numb. When you have PTSD, your memory shuts down after events so you remain disconnected. You also may feel that you have a blanket over your feelings. Your reaction to what you went through may be non existent or you feel that it did not happen. Again, it is a way to protect yourself from further harm.
That is why I mentioned that it is good you have the recording of what Dave did. If you feel that you need a way to remember what you went through, you now have a way to hear it again. It also can serve as motivation if you decide you want to leave Dave. But re traumatizing yourself is also a possibility. So playing it for K was important. And telling me about it was too. That way, if you do feel traumatized hearing it again, we can help you through it. And by doing so, we can help you process how you feel and give you support so you are less traumatized.
I am glad you are getting rest. After how busy you have been lately and the events over the weekend, resting while you can is a very good idea. You need time to process everything too.
No snow here. We did have some last week and that was very odd. It's too early! I hope K didn't get too much. Are you expecting any snow?
I am sorry you felt so upset by your appointment. But keep in mind that you were talking to your GP about something very painful. Very few people could have done this without tears. So don't be too hard on yourself. You went, saw your doctor and told her what you needed. That is a good thing. And I am sure you are not the first person, or the last, that will cry in her office.
There is really no reason you need to share details of what goes on at home with your GP. Although she is trying to help, she is your doctor and not a therapist. I mean no disrespect to her. She is there for you and that is wonderful. But providing her with all the details of your home life is not necessary for her to be able to do her job, unless you feel it is important.
I would talk to her mostly about your relationship with Dave. Tell her that you are with the kids most of the time, Dave goes out a lot (in which case he is not near the kids, which he isn't) and that most of the disagreements you have with him are between the two of you. The kids are safe and you do have support through family, friends and therapy. There are many people in your life you who you can turn to and who are supportive of you and the kids. Let her know you are working on leaving the marriage and that you have support with that as well. You are trying work on this slowly so the impact of your separation is less on the kids and on you. Also, you may want to mention that Sam is in counseling as well. That way, she knows there are therapists involved who are also keeping an eye on the kids. (You may want to also consider getting Poppy into therapy as well so she has someone to talk to about Dave).
That should be plenty enough for her to understand that you are coping and the kids are ok. You can even exclude some of what I said and shorten it a bit.
If you want to go over more details or send me a rough draft, that is ok too. Any support I can provide, just let me know.
You're welcome, Rose. I am sorry you are feeling so down. With what you have been through lately, your stress level is probably very high. And you take a lot on yourself. You are doing a good job at everything. Better than most people could do in your situation.
And there are people that care and want the best for you. Keep reminding yourself of that. Let me know if you need to talk,
I can understand your concern, though I don't feel anything will come of this.
Your email to your GP was clear and to the point. You covered the important aspects of the situation and that is what counts. If your social services are similar to the ones in the U.S. there would need to be much more evidence of something going on before the kids are removed. And they would probably take steps first before even that is considered. There are many good reasons you have nothing to worry about.
One, you care for your children. They are well fed, have a good roof over their heads, have individual rooms, have clothes and generally are well cared for. They lack nothing. That is much more than many kids have by the time social services gets to them.
Two, you love them and provide close supervision. They have you home, you are there to take them where they need to go, they are not left for long periods of time by themselves and are not left overnight either.
Three, both kids have active social lives and are involved with activities outside of the home. They are allowed to have friends over and go to see their friends.
Four, both kids attend school on a regular basis and homework is a priority
Five, your kids are able to speak for themselves and tell the workers they are ok. They are also older, so they are not as vulnerable as little children and therefore do not need removed like younger children might.
Six, you take them to the doctor, care for them when they are sick and make sure they are healthy
Seven, there are other people in the home (Mark and your parents for example) on a regular basis. They would notice abuse. Also, they can back you up and attest to you as being a good parent.
Those are seven good reasons you have nothing to worry about. Child services do not remove children who have good care. And if it was questionable, they would recommend parenting classes and supervision before they would consider removing them. The only time kids are taken is when they are in immediate danger.
I would give your GP time to respond. She may not which is ok. Just because she feels there may be something to this does not mean she will take action. She may just decide to wait and see. Or she may let it go.
I'm here if you need me. Try not to worry. This will work out.
Rose, I think that is the question. Would you blame him? And would you accept blame?
It is an abusers worst nightmare to have others know exactly what they are about. Hiding, keeping secrets and making others in the family feel ashamed is what keeps them in power. If they lose that, then they can no longer maintain the illusion that they are wonderful and the rest of the family is happy. And they no longer have free rein to abuse.
I know Dave would throw a fit. Maybe you could hide your netbook from now on. And try to put others you trust in your family and friends on alert. Anyone that is aware of Dave and his abuse should know this is potentially happening and should be on alert that you may call for help. You need back up on this Rose. You should not face him alone.
I think the Matron will take your absence in stride. It is nothing new to have an employee out sick for a long time for a variety of reasons. My husband is a boss at his organization and it happens at his place too. He just deals with it. He says it blends right in with all the other issues bosses deal with! And as long as you have an excuse from your doctor, what can they say? They can disapprove all they want. You need to be home right now. And if you did end up giving them so many free hours, and they took advantage without guilt, there is no reason you need to feel bad about having a medical excuse. You aren't taking advantage of them, you are legitimately ill. That is a very different situation than taking advantage.
I am glad you have some backup in case the Social Services situation does happen. If they do an investigation (and that is a big if), then they would talk to Dave. But I doubt anything will come of it. There isn't enough there to be concerned about with your family unless the Social Services in the UK is very intense. The number of families that deal with drinking, yelling and disruptions are too numerous to make a big deal out of every one of them. Social Services would be so busy they'd never get to go home!
Have fun with Poppy's room! It sounds very pretty. Let me know how it turns out.
No rain here today but it suddenly got very cold overnight. Brrr! I was out this morning in a jacket and the wind was blowing such cold air I really wished I worn my coat.
I hope you don't have to go back out into the rain today! Let me know how Sam did with his driving lesson.
It is not surprising you are feeling like you do. Anyone would be frightened about the possibility of Social Services coming to their door. I would think something was wrong if you were not frightened! Being preoccupied is also very normal. It comes with having anxiety and stress like you do in your life. You feel very little is in your control yet everything is on your shoulders.
It is ok that you shared your information with the people in your life. Sometimes, those in authority positions feel the need to do something about what they hear, rather than just listen and understand. Doctors especially feel that responsibility. Everyone is fearful that they will hear that you and the kids are trapped in their with Dave and he will go off one day and do something horrible and they will blame themselves. Plus, doctors and other professionals are mandated reporters. So if they hear about abuse, they must report it. That is probably what happened in your case.
But your feelings about the situation are very normal. You have been through so much lately and are coping with trying to grow as a person, get out of your situation, physical illness, work and being there for your kids. Now this on top of it. Counting your blessings may help, but it does not solve the problems you have. It is ok to feel down. Especially since everyone who is helping you in your life participated in causing this situation. Not out of malice, but none the less, their actions left you feeling isolated.
This too shall pass. You will get through it and one day you will look back on it as a bad time but nothing more. I am here to help anytime.
We don't have Guy Fawkes night but it sounds like our fourth of July. I hope it goes well and you have fun.
I'll be thinking of you, Rose.
I am glad you are feeling better today! I can hear it in your "voice". I am always happy to be there for you, anytime.
Dave sounds like an adolescent without any rules! Waking you up in the middle of the night and expecting you to not complain? Whoa. I think most people would have torn him to bits. And you had every right to do so.
Poppy's room sounds very nice. Indian designs would be pretty. I can't wait to see pictures. My middle daughter is into Japanese Anime so we did the purple paint with cherry blossom appliqués over her bed. I also found a very pretty cherry blossom bedspread with matching sheets and curtains. I'm still working on getting the curtains set up. I think I may need new rods.
I love your expression "steady on". I think it's equivalent to our "one step at a time", which I use often with my teen and almost teen girls. They do come up with some very unsettling ideas, don't they?! So when you catch your breath, tell me what happens with the nose and belly piercings!
Enjoy your time alone at home. Even though you love your kids, time alone is to be savored!
Ejector seat, indeed, Rose! I can't imagine where you get your patience with his behavior.
I can only hope I have been that much help to you. I am glad to hear you think so, though. I want to always be here for you for as long as you need me.
If you go to Amazon.com and look up reusable wall decals- Sakura blossoms, you will see what we used in daughter #2's room. It is the one with the bicycle (though we didn't use the bike!). It actually looks really good on the purple wall. Go figure.
Poor Poppy, I hope she is ok. You are quite creative fixing her clothes with bond a web. I have to take a look for some to get for our clothes, just in case.
Yes, drinking alcohol with Mirtazapine will cause an increase problems with coordination and it also can cause sleepiness. But since you are not going anywhere or operating heavy machinery, you are probably fine. If your doctor ok'd it, then it should be alright to do. You may want to try just a little bit at first to see how you react.
Have a good night, Rose. We turn our clocks back tonight so I will be closer to your schedule by morning. Hopefully that means we can connect more often.
I did get some chance to sleep a little, but we had church this morning so we eventually had to get up and go!
So what do you feel is doing on with Dave? Why is he suddenly acting out like this, or is this something that he has been doing? Do you feel last night is about him paying Poppy back for her giggling with her friends?
I am not sure I am allowed to say any personal information on JA. Sorry about that! I try to keep it within the rules. We can call her N if that helps. I don't think that is not allowed.
I always thought your room would be beautiful with those decals. Butterfly's are a perfect theme for you.
It is sunny here today for a change, but a bit cold. That's ok, I don't mind it. The leaves are all but gone, which is kind of sad. I really love the colors.
It sounds like your time at your parent's home was challenging. I am interested in your view of what your brother said to you about Sam's driving and the lecture he gave you. You described it as an attack. Was he always like this with you? How do you feel about how he treats you?
Self centered behavior is a choice. And I think Dave makes that choice because he feels he can get away with it. He also drinks because that is a self centered choice as well. Whenever you deal with someone who is drunk, you become the responsible person because the person who is using is no longer able to watch out for themselves or anyone else. Alcohol takes away responsibility. Much like ***** *****ves the rest of his life. He is responsible only for what he chooses to be responsible for. So when it comes to your parent's request for him to clean his mess, he reacts with anger and blame "all I did for them and they do this to me". Instead of taking responsibility for the mess he made and seeing how it could impact others, he becomes defensive and refuses to take responsibility. His self centeredness will not change unless he wants it to change. And right now, it works for him. He has no reason or motivation to change.
Your mother telling Dave what she thinks is good. But it may not have any effect if Dave feels she has no power over him. Without your father backing her up or any other consequence to his refusal to clean his mess, Dave will most likely ignore your mother.
Regarding your parents, how do you feel about their roles in your life? Do you feel you identify with either of your parents more than the other?
Guilt about not being at work is normal. Most people feel that way when they are responsible productive members of society. Think of it as if you were at work and one of your co workers had to be off sick. How would you feel about them?
I am glad you were able to avoid spending too much time with Mark. He is not one to give up easily!
I am so glad you shared this with me, Rose.
I think that what you are dealing with here is not so much about beliefs as it is about Dave asserting himself into your beliefs (as he does in other areas of your life) and trying to fight against God. He probably attended church with you early on because it was his way of getting into your life and trying to prove he is something he is not. That is one possibility. The other is that he may have had beliefs but that he has since shed them in favor of his own path.
Dave may not like the idea of God being in his life because God represents a father and we His children. Whatever Dave's experiences with his own father and the effects it has had on him, it seems to have caused him to outright reject any type of authority in his life. He not only doesn't tolerate the thought of anyone trying to tell him what to do, he goes so far as making up when someone is trying to control him, such as he does with accusing you of "nagging" him, just because he sees it everywhere.
His attempt to control what your children learn is an extension of this feeling. He is frightened and angry about the thought that God would be part of his children's lives and therefore replace him. He probably does not want the kids to not need him, and in his self centered way of seeing it, God would take his place.
The whole situation is an extension of his need to control and to rail out against authority. People who are angry about God are usually using something that happened in their lives and transferring onto a relationship with God.
Think of what God represents. Then think of what Dave represents. They are two different things. And if Dave was to believe in God, he would have to give up all he has done to protect himself and control his world. It doesn't fit in a relationship with God so he makes sure he has all the information he feels he needs to push God out of his life. And anyone who challenges that cannot be heard. Dave wants complete control when in reality he has none.
But this does not mean that you have to give up your beliefs. You and Dave are two different people. He is not in control of what you believe, though he would like to be. There is no rule that says you cannot go to church. There is also no rule that says you have to keep your children away from what you believe. As they get older, the kids can make their own choices. What they see from Dave should only be half of their choices. They also deserve to see what you believe. It gives them more balance. Seeing you shut down and removed from expressing your beliefs to them is more of Dave's bullying.
You desire to have your family be united in attending church and believing in God. You may not be able to get that with Dave, but you can with your children. Dave may try to prevent it. But working around that and connecting with your children with your beliefs is much more of a priority than what Dave feels about it. This is part of getting yourself and the kids away from Dave so you can live out your beliefs and who you are as people. Dave is much like a dictatorship, he tries to control everything. It is hard, but getting out from under that control and living your life as you want to live it is the only way to become whole again. One of the ways to start is to make prayer part of your life, if it is not already. What a person cannot do alone, God can do.
Rose, I am so sorry! That is terribly frustrating. I lost an answer myself last week. I almost cried!
I am glad my answer helped. I was touched that you asked me about it. Anytime you want to talk about it more, just let me know.
Have a good night!
Sounds good. I'll be here. I hope you have a good night!
Rose, it is a difficult dilemma that Dave has created. But at this point, are you sure Poppy is not willing to come with you if you leave? She may be showing that she is interested in Dave while she is home with him, but if faced with a choice, she may instinctively know that staying with Dave is not a good idea and choose to go with you.
There comes a point in which trying to reason with Dave is fruitless. He watches these programs and works on gathering facts because he likes to appear knowledgeable. He also uses it to make himself feel more important and above others. He "forces" these stories and facts on all of you because he knows you and the kids will listen. You feel you have little choice. He acts like a bully and makes you pay if you do not listen.
But no matter how much you listen and agree, Dave will probably never be happy. Because the issue is not about sharing information and having you appreciate it. It is that Dave uses it to bolster his ego and makes himself feel important by forcing you to listen. And as long as Dave doesn't see this as an issue, he will continue to do it.
Poppy listens because she is trying to cope with Dave's overbearing behavior by giving in and identifying with him. This is her way to survive in the situation. So she laughs at his stories and tries to make light of his issues. This helps her avoid being a target of Dave's and lets her feel she belongs. Look how both you and Sam are treated when you do not agree or you try to bring up your own opinion with him. You get shot down and even yelled at. Poppy wants to avoid this type of attention. So she goes along with Dave to avoid being a target and to win favor from Dave. It is her way of coping.
If you are thinking of leaving, you may want to consult an attorney about your rights to your children. This will help you know what to do if Dave tries to cause problems for you when you leave. Any knowledge you have of your rights is going to make your situation easier. And this will help in case Poppy does have difficulty with her choice. No one should not try doing something like this alone.
You're welcome! I am sorry about Poppy. The psychological stresses of dealing with an abusive situation are overwhelming. One step at a time and take a deep breath. Taking care of yourself sometimes needs to be a priority so you can handle the rest. Maybe some downtime tomorrow?
It sounds like the situation with K and your doctor turned out well. I am glad that it has been clarified and that everyone is on the same page with your situation. You need allies right now and not more problems.
I think Sam may have a difficult time getting Poppy on his side or to even see that he is working to hold on to a base with her. She has her own defenses around Dave and his behavior and to let them go would cause her too much anxiety. She needs to keep the illusion in her mind that being on Dave's side sometimes works to keep her out of the line of his wrath. She also needs to have some belief that Dad is not all that bad and that sometimes he is the good guy. To believe otherwise right now would shatter her world can cause her too much pain.
Sam seems to be at his limit with Dave. Do you feel it is safe to have them in the same home together? Just have to ask. Being pushed to the limit emotionally and continually abused can cause some people to act out violently even if they are not typically that way in personality.
If you don't mind me saying, Mark is sounding a bit like Dave in his persistence of you coming to see him in Cornwall. Do you feel he understands your reasons for not wanting a relationship with him? Does it seem one sided to you?
I'm glad to hear the Shetland is feeling better. They do have their own personalities!
Poppy is taking Psychology! Well, if she needs help......
Talk to you later, Rose!
I don't think leaving Dave will be a bad thing for Poppy. She reacts as she does because she is in the situation right now. Out of it, she may react totally different. She would no longer be faced with coping with Dave's behavior directly and be under his control. She might take time to adjust to being away from him, but in the long run it would be healthier for her.
It sounds like Sam has a lot of rage. He is angry and most of it probably has to do with dealing with Dave. Men like to feel they can fix things and have some control over their lives and situations. With a father like Dave, he takes away all power and then abuses as he does it. This not only makes Sam feel powerless, he also feels useless to protect you and Poppy and he is made to feel worthless. This can add up to some powerful rage. As you said, he is overreacting to situations in his life where he does have some control. Even with the threat of being beat up by the student from China, Sam still could not control his rage and went after him.
This is a concern around Dave. There is no way to tell if Sam will ever react with all his rage, but that is the problem. There is no way to tell. If Dave would push just one too many buttons or one day go after you or Poppy and really hurt you, Sam may act out violently. The best option for Sam is to get out of the stouten and have you and Poppy go with him. That is best case scenario. I am not trying to push an agenda here. This is purely from a psychological perspective as to what would be best in an abusive situation.
It is good that Sam has a chance to see a counselor soon. He needs to have a way to vent how he feels and develop ways to cope better under the stress.
I would love to work with you Rose! You'd be very good. Let me know if you go for it.
Sam has had it really tough. He had the bullying at school and at home. It is not surprising he is acting out with anger. But he does have you to help him and the counseling will also help a great deal.
Boy, Mark is really focused on getting you to come to see him. This sounds like a very bad situation and maybe one just like with Dave. It's good you keep telling him no, but he does not seem to be accepting it. Do you feel Mark could become a bigger problem?
Sharing your home life with Mark is not a good idea. I agree with you. The less he knows, the better.
I hope you have a good night! Let me know how tomorrow goes for you (and Dave!),
Good afternoon, Rose!
I understand your feelings about being assertive with your aunt. It is hard to ask for what you need. It is common that women feel they need to serve before they meet their own needs. So this is only partly you and partly the nature of our culture and gender.
Learning to be more assertive is a process. For a woman, healthy is balancing your needs with the need to serve. Right now, you ignore your own needs totally in favor of others, to the point you are put down. Being more assertive can help you get your needs met while still being there to help others.
The situation with your aunt is unique. She is elderly and has a disability. Taking advantage does come to mind because of these issues. But this is not one of those situations. You are actually protecting her from possible abuse. You can be trusted to not over charge her and to take care of her. After all, you walked away several times short changed for your work. Who else outside of family who cared would do that? Certainly not a cleaning agency or a stranger. You fill a service for your aunt that is valuable by helping her and protecting her. Asking for the compensation you agreed on is not out of line. That is not taking advantage.
Although your aunt has difficulty understanding and remembering, it is still not wrong to ask for your money. Have you tried making an agreement, writing it out and placing it where she can read it like on a note board? Maybe writing it all out would help, such as giving her a "bill" when you are done with the amount of hours you worked. If she doesn't have the funds, then decide if you are ok with an IOU or just letting it go. You need to check in with yourself about what is ok with you first before you decide. Otherwise, you end up feeling resentful and shortchanged.
Meanwhile, we can talk about using techniques to help you be more assertive in other situations, including with Mark. I agree with you, heading this situation off now is a good idea. Telling him outright that you are not interested in a relationship is one way. But this is a good place to stop and assess what technique to use in being more assertive. Let's look at how to approach him. Given his persistence and his personality, what do you feel would be the most effective method of getting your point across? Factor in what has worked before and what you have observed about him. You may feel the need to dampen your response with how you feel about it, but leave that out for now. What do you think?
Here is one another technique to try- practice not turning your needs into questions. For example, when you want Dave to do something, don't say "Is it alright if you clean this mess?". Instead say, "I need you to clean this mess". Using "I" statements helps you own it but it also gets your point across in an assertive way.
Although I used Dave as an example, you may want to hold off on using any techniques with him for a while, until you feel more comfortable. Try it with the kids and friends. People you feel more comfortable around.
This may take some time, but it is worth it. Asserting yourself will go a long way in building your self esteem and getting your needs met.
With your aunt and her friend, it is a difficult choice to know what to do. You feel an obligation but at the same time if it is too much work for you, quitting would be fine. After 5 years of working for them, that is adequate amount of time for them to find someone new. They obviously do not want to. But that does not mean you are obligated to stay. If you wish to leave, it is very reasonable for you to say I can no longer do this job (too busy, etc) and I will help you find someone new. I will quit after 1 week, 1 month (2 months, etc- whatever you want to say). That gives a reasonable explanation for your leaving and a time for them to replace you.
Being assertive doesn't mean you have to be mean. You can be very polite about it. As long as your words leave no wiggle room, you are being assertive. Saying you will give them 1 month (or whatever time frame) notice is a nice gesture. It gives them time and helps you to feel better about going. But sticking to it is the assertive part. You need to be nice but protect yourself at the same time.
Mark is another story. He is going to require a bit more assertiveness. He does not accept no very easily. This means you may need to step it up some and give him a "no choice" response that is explained very well. It will not be easy. No one finds those situations easy. But keep in mind you are not responsible for how he feels. Taking on the responsibility for other people's feelings keeps your own feelings from being counted. You can't care for yourself if you are always worried about the other guy. Mark is a big boy. If he wants to continue to pursue you, he is opening himself for whatever response you may have, good or bad. That is on him. Let him own it. You have already made your position clear and he is not listening. Telling him how you feel needs to be nice but straightforward. "This is not going to happen between us, period" kind of thing. If you want to write it out first and practice, I'd be glad to help.
I believe someday you can have someone who will help you, Rose. Dave is who he is, he probably won't change. But when you move on one day, you can have the peace you want and maybe find someone who is a life partner who cares for you like you deserve.
I'm glad Poppy's room is done! Isn't that a good feeling?
Good night Rose,
I've changed server so I can upload a pic. This looks black, but it's very dark blue. Mine is almost shaped like this, about malteser size, but not spherical. Thinking of you (funnily enough!)
Rose, it sounds like you had quite a day! I am glad you were able to get your computer fixed. Isn't it strange how some people just know how to fix computers?!
Poppy's room sounds beautiful. I love cream color and I bet it looks so good with her newly painted walls.
The stone is really pretty. I can just see the deep blue (I'm glad you told me about it!). That is quite a history about the stone and goldstone. I never knew any of that. There are so many discoveries that started off as accidents!
I will have to take a look around to see if I could find a stone like the one in the picture.
I'm glad Dave was able to help you out finally tonight. I hope you got some good rest as a result. It must have been a great relief.
It's fine you haven't responded to Mark. You told him how you felt already so he should be aware of how you feel.
Have a good night! And thank for sharing the stone with me.
Visiting family is always interesting, isn't it?! If you want, let me know all about it next time you post.
Have a good night!
It sounds like there are a lot of interesting dynamics that are going on with your family get together. A lot of strong personalities within the same small area, all interacting in conflictual or healthy ways.
I was interested in the way you responded to the people around you. You mold your behavior according to what is happening in your immediate surroundings. In the car, you were quick to note that talking was not a good idea (given that you felt ill, this was a good thing anyway!). And once at the party, you were sitting with people you did not want to be with and could not wait to get away from. Did you feel the need to stay with them for a length of time? If so, why?
Then your reaction to your cousin speaking with you about your troubles. You took on her response as your fault. What makes her crying with you your fault?
Your brother's interaction with his daughter is very telling. He seems to have learned his behavior from your parents. Very critical and demanding. Pawning his responsibility as a parent onto his daughter then blaming her for wanting to be a normal teenager. If this is an example of what you grew up with, then it is easy to see how your relationship with Dave is similar to what you are used to with how you were treated.
Your brother ignoring you is also significant. He seems unable to move beyond feeling angry and controlling to allow others to be themselves, including you. Does it seem to you that he treats you very similar to how your parents and Dave treat you? Or does it seem different?
Your relationship with your parents seems to have remained very much the same as when you were a child. What do you feel keeps you looking for their approval? And if they did approve, how would that change things for you?
Their view on your marriage with Dave differs a lot, with you mother having the more healthy view of what is going on it seems! It is significant that your father does not feel the normal response to Dave's actions. Most father's feel the need to protect their daughters, even as adults. Your father does not seem to have this response to your marriage. Do you feel it is because he thinks his role is to not "rock the boat", in your marriage or his own?
How do you feel your parents maintain control of your life? What happens if you do not respond to them when they want you to?
I know that is a lot of questions and you can answer when you feel ready. But this is an important part of the process of moving away from dependence towards independence. You are already independent in many ways, more so that a lot of people. But they are only parent approved and Dave approved ways. The key is to develop independence in the Rose approved, and therefore normal, ways. Doing that will improve or even eliminate your depression and anxiety. It is a steady process but a very good one.
Rose, it is because you were taught and had it repeatedly reinforced that you are unworthy. Because of how you grew up, you had only a few choices. You accepted what you were told and believed it, or you fought back and dealt with those consequences. Those are the choices of most abused children. Many choose to accept that they are unworthy because it is the safest route to survival. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Accepting blame for your cousin's response to your health problems is another part of the abuse you suffered. This is because you were taught that everything was your fault and that you could not meet expectations, no matter what you did. So you accepted blame. Your brother, on the other hand, was treated differently. Apparently in your family the women were to be minimized and the men put on a pedestal. Your brother reacted just as you did- he accepted what he was told about himself and took it on as his personality, not realizing the consequences. He still is carrying out this message with his daughter by how he treated her at the gathering.
Children learn only what their parents tell them. They know no other way. They have no way of knowing that in other families it is different. Imagine if you raised Poppy and Sam differently. So instead of love and encouragement they got hate and beatings. Imagine how differently they may have turned out. It was the same for you. Children play out the drama of their childhood. Whatever good treatment or abusive actions their parents bring into their upbringing is what the children respond to. And as they grow up, the defense mechanisms and coping skills they learned are what they continue to use until they learn differently and change. This is what you had to deal with. Your family dynamics show the dysfunction that your parents brought into the family and continue to be played out today. You are changing but at this point, it seems no one else is. You are becoming aware of the differences and it hurts. This is normal. Feeling the pain and understanding how it should have been different for you is how you grow.
This is good, Rose. It hurts but you are growing and learning about how it should have been. We can take it as fast or slow as you need to.
Have a good night,
It sounds like there was some difficulty with your therapy. I was thinking that it might be a good idea to share some of the posts you write with me. You don't have to tell her that it was to me if you don't want, just that you wrote down how you felt. It may help you keep things straight or at least give you a guide to follow. What do you think?
Rose, good morning, or afternoon, for you
That is an interesting site for SANE. I find their prediction about depression a bit depressing! I have not heard about that before. But it's good to have support and understanding about depression. It is a difficult illness to cope with and any help is good.
It sounds like you did well with therapy. Every effort is a good effort. You can never fail unless you don't try and you keep trying. Even if you and I practice before your sessions to help write out what you want to talk about (or even ideas about what to talk about) that would help.
I'm glad Sam's appointment is soon. I feel so bad that there is so much trouble getting appointments. People suffer needlessly with such a system. It is hard here, but there are more choices. The offset is that there are people without any insurance. No easy answers, is there?
If you want, we can talk more about the weekend to help you sort it out. I'll be here at my usual time if you want to post.
Have a good rest!
Sounds like one of those days. Sorry to hear it. I hope it passes quickly and you feel better soon.
It's rainy and cold here too so I understand how you feel. We can talk later if you are feeling better.
It is very normal to have no words when you feel overwhelmed by your feelings. And I believe that is what you are experiencing. You have just gone through a very intense period of facing some of your defenses. Normally, you would have dealt with Dave and your family and just used the coping mechanisms you have always used, the ones you learned as a child. You would have felt bad dealing with them, but it also would have felt normal to you. But this time, you faced the situation and through therapy and talking about your experience, you saw the situation in a different light. This has brought up all kinds of feelings, some of which are influencing you to change your reactions and therefore your defenses. This is taking a lot of your energy. It is basically reordering the way you see things. Your reaction is very normal. It will just take time for you to adjust. Therapy and recovery is a process. Allow yourself time to work it through. I will be here for you. We can talk as much as you need to.
Thanksgiving is about when the Pilgrims shared a meal with the native Indians here in the U.S. Supposedly, some of the foods we eat now were the same or somewhat influenced by the foods they ate then. The typical foods are Turkey, dressing (or stuffing as some call it), cranberry sauce, potatoes in some form, beans, bread, and something pumpkin, usually in the form of pie. It is a meal shared with as many family members as you can find to sit at the table. Some people use it as a time to invite people who have no one else. It is also common to volunteer with the homeless or others who are needy. Donating to food banks is also very common.
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and sets off the Christmas shopping craze. It is the day after Thanksgiving, which is always on the third Thursday of November. The sales fliers start by this weekend and the Sunday paper is full of them. Usually, there is some lead off deal like very cheap TVs at extremely low prices. The stores will open at some awful early hour and people start lining up the night before to be the first to get in. Usually, these deals are gone by the first few minutes since the stores only order maybe 10 of the sale items. In the last few years, people have started getting so crazy with pushing and shoving that some people have been killed. It's crazy. I went once when my kids were little for some deal my husband wanted. That was the last time I went. Ugh, it was awful!
I have not heard of the book you mentioned. I took a look at it and it seems worth a try. Are you thinking of buying it?
Yes, it is very good that you pray for yourself. God knows what you need, but he wants to hear it from you. All through the Bible, many prayed for themselves, including Jesus. He did not want to die on the cross and prayed that God would take that burden away. Tell God what you need. He will help you. If it is ok with you, I will pray for you as well.
Good night, Rose. Sleep well.
I'm glad to hear you are feeling better! It helps when the weather cooperates too.
Crackers, umm. I don't know what they are. Indulge me?
It's strange that shopping day for you all is January 1 (well, not strange for you, I'm sure!). Things do go on sale here after Christmas to get rid of everything that didn't sell before. You could literally shop till you drop if you had the money, and the energy.
I will keep you in my prayers.
I'll talk with you later. I hope you have a good day.
He he! In case you wondered, crackers aren't edible. I'll tell you all about them.... our Christmas table wouldn't be complete without them.
In fact I've found the perfect link for you, to a website created by a primary school.
http://woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Xmas/crackers.html I've found crackers on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Reed-530-Christmas-Crackers/dp/B004FQJ2WW/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_2 , but they look quite expensive. I usually pay about £10 for 6, bc after the event, wearing the hat for a few hours, reading the jokes/mottos and trying the puzzles etc (though the kids like to collect together all the 'presents', and some are actually rather useful, again depends on how much you pay for them), they all get thrown away! I have made them myself before, you can buy the cracking strips, and use toilet rolls for the tubes, then you can put a specific gift inside each cracker, put names on them, and they have another gift to open in a cracking good way!!! We lay them with the rest of the table, to the laft of the place setting, and crack them (in a circle as in the weblink) after our turkey, and before Christmas pudding, a well needed rest! Then we share the jokes, play the games, wear the hats, (collect all the rubbish) then eat more food! I wonder if you're up for giving them a go??? The kids would love them.
Well, I enjoyed that.
Time for some zzzzzzzzzzzzs
ps Thank you
I never knew such a thing existed, Rose! I really did think you meant edible crackers. Thank you for the link. I would love to get them for our Christmas. The kids would really enjoy them.
Thanks for the explanation. Enjoy your sleep!
Rose, that sounds awful. People who do things like that are master manipulators and millions of people fall victim to them every year. So you are not alone.
Is there an Attorney General equivalent for you to call? We have an Attorney General in each state that handles complaints about consumer fraud and abuse. Usually when they get enough calls they will go after the companies and try to get the money back. They will even shut them down. It's not a fast process but it works
You may also want to try any consumer agency in your government to see what they can do for you. The more information you can provide them about who you talked to, phone numbers, dates and paperwork the better.
I would back off from taking any calls or giving these people any further information about you. The more they can find out, the more danger you are in. You may also want to contact your credit agencies to report possible fraud and either change your accounts or put an alert on them.
Dave's response to all of this sounds very typical. He seems to judge all you do, but he doesn't participate or try to help. It would be very helpful if he would assist you in dealing with this but if he doesn't see a problem with companies like the one you dealt with, he may not be of much help anyway.
Let me know how this turns out. I'll help in any way I can.
Yes, I really enjoyed learning about the crackers. You teach me so many interesting things, Rose! Thank you! And I will think of you when we set them off.
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.
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