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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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For Kate................................................

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For Kate................................................
You are moving mountains, Rose! And you are succeeding.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm ready for the mountain....

Hey Kate,
just a quickie as it's tea time. I wrote to the SW this morning, I'll paste it here....

Below is some of what I wrote to you a few days ago. I think it’s typical that D focussed on ‘fibromyalgia’, that that is why I am this way, that I am deluded and paranoid. Fms is a shadowy diagnosis, but it has been made by a rheumatologist. All my symptoms were correct at the time of seeing him, but I had been clinically depressed for a year or more beforehand, when I say I wasn’t well, I talk of CLINICAL DEPRESSION, and not fibro. D won’t accept that his behaviour has caused my depression, he will say it is hormonal. He wants me to see a crystal healer that he has met. I asked him if this healer told me that my mental health is as a result of his behaviour would he accept it, he said not at all. I am seeing a chiropractor who has been working on the stress and deep tension that has built up in my body, and things are slowly releasing and I’m in less pain, but it rebuilds with every episode of outrage from D, and the stress and anxiety it gives me, often as a result of my worries about the effect on the children (their anger, being frequently witness to their dad’s outrageous behaviour, him threatening suicide, to kill someone, being called a c**t, a bitch, an arsehole, being upset to tears (Sam) when he lays into me) . They have chosen to tell you that they aren’t bothered by it all, they do think that, they are used to it all. I don’t like being left with the feeling that’s it’s OK to have this go on around us, that you think it’s my perception, not that I wanted the outcome to be any different.

Do you know why he doesn’t like my therapist? He met her for about 30 seconds one evening. He sees changes in me that he doesn’t like, he sees me gaining strength, sticking up for myself, I have asked for a separation, twice now, he tells me no way, he will make my life hell. He thinks she is poisoning me, brainwashing me, but it has taken me 18months of therapy with ‘an American’ to come to terms with what is happening to me, and I have at last got some courage to speak out, and he DOES NOT LIKE IT. I have been seeing my Drama therapist for 3 months now, he doesn’t know. She gives me equal advice, is equally horrified at his behaviour, if he knew about her, he would go after her too. He has no other reason to dislike my American therapist, other than the strength she is giving me. He has an unrealistic dislike of ALL American’s, their politics, religious beliefs etc. It is not her job to persuade me to do one thing or another, that is my choice.

I saw my chiropractor a few days after the episode with the kids. I had been in an ENORMOUS amount of anxiety and stress that week, I could barely move with the pain, and my physio then referred me to the pain management team psychologist. Fibro ISN’T my primary problem. I didn’t mention it to you at all, it’s just an escape for D’s responsibility, something for him to blame but himself, he doesn’t believe that he has anything to do with the way I feel. So he tells you he doesn’t think he drinks too much. I guess he didn’t tell you how much he drinks. He has not contributed more than the odd pound to the family over the last year, all his profit has been for his own benefit, he has sold a little tractor and spent the proceeds, and he has borrowed from us all, and I have paid the kids back.

I felt compelled to write, not that I want you to take this any further, but bc I feel misunderstood, and I felt very lost after talking to you the other evening (I was at my daughter’s music lesson, it was hard to talk). I just want you to take this in, file it, and see it from MY perspective, and that I’m not talking as an emotionally deranged and depressed Fibromyalgia sufferer, but that HIS behaviour came first, caused all my symptoms, and put me here. But he will not acknowledge any of this.

OK, here is the rest....

I do work. I did a Return to Nursing course last year and had a temp contract once re-registered, but was only able to complete 3 months before I was signed off sick. I work for one or two days as a carer, I look after my aunt everyday as her carer for an hour or so, and I have an office job for 2 afternoons a week in the village. I work very hard at my work, for the house, and for the family, I do 95% of the work at home, all the finances, domestic arrangements, bill paying, groceries, cooking, kids stuff. I am working very hard with my therapy and am trying to get better. I am a single parent, and I have a lodger (my husband) who is living here rent free, without responsibility, pleases himself almost all the time, without comeuppance for any of his behaviour.

- He is a poor earner, though the potential is good, he makes limited effort to work/ find work when short, staying in bed all morning/day, surfing the net, not making it acceptable for me to talk to him about his effort to earn, making me feel out of order asking him about it.

-This past tax year he has made no contribution to the household expenses, all profit used for his own expenditure, mostly leisure.

- There is VERY little input to family as husband or father.

-Often refuses to do anything constructive if asked, tells me it will get done one day, including properly insulating Sam’s room, which is damp and mouldy, I have done my best. I have taken to doing many typical husband jobs, I’d rather not ask,

-Gives NO help with homework, revision, music practice, for years I would go from one to the other, helping with this and that while he watched TV. He often makes excuses if the kids ask him to help them with something practical, or take them somewhere

- He has limited interest in their schooling, but will sometimes want to enter into a debate about philosophy (Sam), or languages, beliefs etc (Poppy), but only to give his OWN opinions, (out of this world!) and not listen to others. I have been alone to virtually every school meeting, for behaviour, progress or information.

-He Frequently makes Sam angry by blaming his mood swings on his X-box, and not his own behaviour towards Sam (though Sam feels much better lately.)

-He often behaves in an immature way, is a very poor role model, and doesn’t earn any respect from the children, and this is why they disrespect him, stand up for themselves, and try to put him right. They are often horrified at the quantity that he drinks, and the drinking at home that he does on top of a night in the pub. They know that he drinks and drives, and Sam was very shaken to have witnessed the result of the accident he caused when drink driving several years ago when he was banned.

-There are many incidences of drunken behaviour when his actions are out of control, attempts at damaging property (Sam and I had to remove him from the house one night and lock him out to prevent him smashing up the TV), threats to harm people ( said he wanted to kill someone unspecified a few weeks ago, he may have meant me, or a person at his pub- Poppy was extremely scared and I made her leave the house with a friend), extreme verbal abuse, mostly directed at me, but also the children.

- He is very sure of himself, extremely opinionated, anti religion, anti politics, anti establishment (yes, Social Services) he knows everything, and tells us all what is right to think and believe, and we aren’t allowed to be heard or have a say. He wants to rule what we think and say. He doesn’t like me being in therapy, I didn’t tell him for many months, he thinks I should talk to his friends. He sees a change in me as I am gaining strength, and is blaming my fight back on my therapist, who he thinks is brainwashing me.

-He is articulate, worldly wise, been there and seen that. He is anarchic, rarely enters into a level conversation, instead lays his beliefs on us without opportunity to speak for ourselves, he is right, knows more than us all, we have no idea, we are wrong, he has no thought for other people’s ideas. I have been beaten back so many times, unable to be heard, not strong enough in my opinions, and so have refrained from entering into conversations with him that involve debate. When he comes home from the pub he is immediately full on, I can’t speak to him. He is totally unreasonable, there is no stopping him.We just let it roll over us often, I am generally silent, but Sam tells me not to let him bully me. I’d rather not speak.

- The kids argue with him, there is often verbal abuse,severe name calling, any time of day, drunk or sober. They both take it, untouched outwardly, give it to him back. I can’t speak up, don’t want to make the argument more, but I counsel the children, ask them not to retaliate, but I don’t think they should be bulldozered.

Thank you for all your input, again, sorry it has been so difficult. I don’t know what will happen from here, but I have told Sam far more this morning than I have ever told him (bc I didn’t want to damage his respect for dad anymore), and we will work together to make a plan. D hasn’t said one word to me since yesterday, though Sam has tried to talk to him about his drinking (No he doesn’t seem to go to the pub to get away from home, he just needs the pub, his mates, someone to listen to him, and the beer, mostly the beer), and again he denied drinking too much, but said that that is where he picks up some of his work. I am looking forward to having an outreach worker, so thank you for getting that sorted.


I had to write to her, rightly or wrongly. It’s done now, I’ve not heard from her. Adele is writing to her too, telling her that she has real concerns for the kids and the home situation in general. She tells me to give him the letter, there is only one way to go. He will have to go.

Back later


ps, how are you???



Thank you for sharing your letter to the social worker with me. I think it's a good idea that you wrote her. You made some very good points about your situation. Most of all, you let her know how Dave uses your condition as an excuse for his behavior and how he acts with you and with the kids.


The evidence that you presented was good as well. She can check out any DUI's Dave has, as well as a police record from the DUI and the accident, which probably should have been done during the initial investigation if it was at all allowed. Also, you described Dave's personality and how he handles interactions with others very well. It gives anyone who reads your letter a clear picture of someone who manipulates and has narcisstic traits.


I don't think I was aware that Dave had made a general homicidal threat a few weeks ago. Did you and I talk about that?


Also, the physical abuse that Dave inflicts on you and the kids, especially stomping on Sam's bare foot with his boot may be something to add, if you want to. And he also locked you out of the house, and even though that was a while ago, it still indicates a threat that has hung over your head for years. And Dave throwing stones at your window (and near you) and threatening you last week when you were talking to K is also significant. K may be able to provide support as a witness to that incident.


Overall, it's a great letter and it's good you sent it. That way, it is at least on record in case you need to involve the Social worker again. And most importantly, sending the letter provided you with a voice in all of this. You defended yourself from being seen as the enemy here and you canceled out Dave's accusations that this is all about you being "ill". That is an important step for you. You fought back and that is a sign that the strong part of you is coming out.


Adele is right, there is only one way. Giving Dave the letter now would help continue what you have started with the social worker involvement. You are on a bit of a momentum with this letter to the social worker. You could keep this letter as a reminder of why you need to give Dave the letter. It might help.


Talk with you soon,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kate,

thank you for your feedback, it is always welcome. I told her about the physical abuse, foot stomping, taking the kids from me and locking me out. She has made notes of that.

I'm sure I told you about his death-threats, it was in February, he was very drunk, and very angry at me bc of the local skip service, and I had asked him to get rid of some rubbish, make use of it, but he didn't bother. Poppy came home with Sam's gf and asked if he was OK, he replied no he wasn't, he wanted to kill someone, he was mad mad mad at me, and someone at the pub whom he hates. That was the evening I broke the back door handle, and I couldn't get in.

Anyway, I can't write anymore tonight,

I'll talk tomorrow. Goodnight Kate


I figured that you might have already covered that ground with the social worker. Those incidents stand out in my mind as to how abusive he is.


I'm sure you did tell me about what he said regarding the homicidal feelings. Now that you have described it again, I recall what you had said. Thanks for reminding me.


You wrote a lot today! It makes since that you need a break and some sleep. Good night, Rose. You are always in my thoughts.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dear Kate,

So so much thinking being done. Here is the reply from the SW...

This email will be placed on file.
I wish you and your family well and hope that you do gain the strength to take the action required to improve your situation.
*** ***

....which has left me feeling gutted again. I can do no more. Yet...

I had to take Sam to town yesterday morning. It was the first time we’d talked about things since a brief convo after he’d spoken to the SW. He told me what he had said to D about his drinking, that his reply was that no, he didn’t think he drank too much, but some of his work was bc of contacts at the pub. I told Sam how much a pint cost, he was disgusted that he spends that kind of money, night after night, and that he would hope that he didn’t do that when he was an adult. I told him about his income, that he hasn’t contributed to the household at all, that all his profit was spent on himself- he was shocked, hard to believe he didn’t even pay for the electricity. I told him about the tractor, and what he did with the proceeds. We talked about all sorts, some he knew, some not, but he said he wished I had told him this stuff before. I don’t know if he would have said things differently to the SW had he known, maybe.

He said there is one thing that I will be critical of you for though mum, but I’m not saying you need to change, bc I understand, but he would like it if I was more receptive to D when he’s talking, take part in any conversation, not give him the cold shoulder. I said it’s too hard, he’s done too much damage, I can’t let my guard down. I told him about all the things I have asked him to do for us over time, that have been ignored, or complained about, and now I just don’t.

He said how much he hates it when D thinks he’s so right all the time. I said there would be none of the anger and arguments if D wasn’t around, and he agreed. He said that Dad isn’t very bright, in fact he’s an idiot, but he makes out everyone else is the stupid one, and he CANNOT see anyone else’s opinions.

So, I said we need to do something about it, we can’t keep on living like this, and he agreed without doubt. We will get there together. He had to get out at college then, but we could have gone on and on ! Oh yes, and I told him Dr H called the SW in, but he was cross with her, I said she had to, she had a lawful duty to do so, she had no choice. He has been very caring towards me. This morning he could hear D having a go at me, I was sitting at my netbook, writing, crying, he brought the dogs in bc he was going out in his van, looked at me, tutted, had said something, I don’t know what, I said what have I done for you to be angry with me, he said I’ve brought the dogs in, I’m going out now, you could be a bit more reactive, help me with the dogs, I said you managed just fine, you don’t need me to do it for you. He slammed the door and said you are crazy. I said crazy about what? He said crazy about yourself. So Sam asked me what the argument was about, I said I have not a clue, but he told me I was crazy; he said yes, he’d heard that, he wanted to punch D for saying that.

Adele and I just talked, I was in a very despairing state. She told me that she and Dr H had talked several weeks ago, and both had real concerns that there was abuse towards the children, and the potential for much worse to happen. She said she would write to the SW, but I forgot to tell her I had written that morning. Later I sent it to her, and then I sent her the SWs reply. She said she didn’t think there was much point in writing to the SW since I had explained the situation so well, and still got that response, but she would write to Dr H.

I am in turmoil Kate, K and I have had a very difficult couple of days, and she is really struggling with counter transference. I will tell you about it in another post, but I can't work with her any more, and I am feeling very cut up. I need to finish my email to her, then I will be back.


Rose, I'm sorry. There is so much going on in your life right now that you are coping with. I feel stressed just reading about it so I can imagine how you feel.


The response from the social worker was a disgrace. It didn't seem that she knew what to do or it could be that she didn't want to do it. Either way, she wasn't doing her job. But it is still good that you got that letter out. It helped you to write it and express how you felt and have the chance to defend yourself.


It makes sense that you needed to talk with Sam about what is going on with you and Dave. Sam models Dave a lot in his expectations of you, especially evident with asking you to respond to Dave and wanting you to be more open with him. It also can be that Sam doesn't see the whole picture of what is going on. But after you talked with him, he seems to understand better. The only thing I'd caution you on is making sure the boundaries between you and Sam are there. He is almost an adult so there is a pull to see him as another adult. But he is a child in this situation and needs to be treated as such. He already crosses some boundaries with criticizing you and your reaction to Dave. It's certainly not something to be overly concerned about, but just cautious.


It sounds like from your description of the argument with Dave that he has not changed one ounce from the social worker involvement. I wasn't expecting him to, but it would have been good for it to have an impact on him.


I am so sorry about K, Rose. I know from your posts that the two of you were really close and that you worked on a lot of issues together. I hope you are still able to work it out, but if not, it may be more healthy to let it go, for now. K's transference can do more harm to you than good. Would you still be part of her group if you stopped seeing her for individual therapy?



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you Kate,

I don't know what I expected from the SW in response to my letter, but I hoped for something more than she gave me. I was glad, though, that I had written the letter, showed her more than she had gleaned, but she may well have put it down to my perception again. I really hope that I don't flower up anything that goes on here, I don't believe I do.

Dave came in with some flowers for me, and said sorry, I probably had a big ? above my head, bc he said for this morning. I thanked him, but wasn't impressed. I told Poppy about the 'crazy' argument this evening as I was taking her to her bf's house, she said that wasn't very nice, was it! Then I said he'd apologised, and bought me flowers. She said was I pleased? I said I don't really care any more, she said I mean that he apologised, Oh, well, I guess so.

OK. K. I told her on Wed about the SW phone call while I was at Poppy's lesson. I told her what Sam had told her, what she'd heard from D.I told her everything I told you that day, that the Sw asked me how I felt. I was pushed for time, Poppy's lesson had long ago finished and her teacher was mouthing to me through the window. What could I say on the spur of the moment, I wanted the call to finish, what did it matter how I felt anyway, the decision had been made. I told K Sam said they didn't do very well for me.

K's reply was unusual for her, she was angry, and I felt that I'd got it wrong, had let her down, all her worry and therapy had come to nothing, she said she was surprised that I 'dropped it so quickly', that 'In a psychological sense it looks like there was nothing. She was right, you were wrong. You never believed that D has a problem...I think I might have told her I was very FRIGHTENED about the outcome because D had BS'd her about being worried about your FMS ' 'So part of me is surprised that you TOLD her in essence you were relieved. As I told you over and over THIS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME FOR YOU. HE KNOWS YOU ARE ON TO HIM...I would be afraid...but maybe he is just fussing and he isn't drinking the way the kids say???? I don't know, *****. But what I do know is that that's what SHE thinks. She has agreed with Dave - you have a skewed sense of reality because of me."

K has history, I know, and she is reliving it, really. But she has given me a hard time, and I am really very sad..." Taking a breath...I hope you have a good week. Well you got what u want - it's all over! No sw, no forcing Dave out. You can work it out in court if you decide to leave.(I think that you can't count on Sam...or poppy no matter what he does to them bc this has gone on for so long that it is normal to them. They don't think there is anything odd about his behavior. And bc you are the only one seeing a therapist - they have decided YOU are the crazy one, not the HEALTHY ONE the way I see it...which is disappointing."

"And I know that this has clearly stirred up my own stuff - which has NOTHING to do with you. So, maybe (and I really REALLY hate to suggest this but I have to think of what is the best for you,)do you want to think about just working with Adele? I have clearly crossed the emotional line... And I want you to get what is best for you"

She is angry at herself, says she let me down, "If you want to just work with Adele - I will support you 100% bc this is my fault. BUT I don't want to make you feel abandoned (ie that you have done something wrong - you haven't this is bc I messed UP. I didn't act as professionally as I should have....and you warned me. You told me "not to worry" and I did.

So think about it- we can chat on tuesday or if you have a gut feeling let me know. In the mean time I am going to get MY act together and pull back so I can be a better therapist if you decide you want to continue working with me. But if you work with Adele - please tell her as much as you can about what happened. How you feel. Have her work with you on the feelings about your kids...they showed a side of them that they never have (Both of them are more like Dave than you - the defiant attitude)"

She blames herself for everything, for what? I tell her, no no, you're not to blame for anything, it's me, I should have worked harder for this, but I was so confused. I sent her my SW letter, I didn't want her to think I was too pathetic. And now I'm very confused, but I have made my mind up. She was terribly sorry, and couldn't excuse herself. There is so much more to it, but that's it in essence

I wrote to her today, but she hasn't responded.....

"My heart is heavy and I can’t stop the tears. When I read your cross email I thought we need a break, I’m not doing this right, and I am causing you upset, which I was very sad about. You cut me up K, you were angry with me, I’ve just read it again. Why were you blaming yourself though? I have a brain in my head, I need to take responsibility for the way things turned out, and until I wrote to the SW I was beating myself up, bc my emotions got the better of me, and I couldn’t cope with the turmoil the family was in, and I wanted to protect the kids from anymore emotional upheaval. I feel better having written to her and told her how I feel about things.

As I read your email I can hear your emotional voice, picture your face, imagine you throwing your hands up in despair, and I feel I have let you down, that you have tried so hard for me, written to the SW, my GP, and it’s all been wasted bc I have said that I’m relieved. I wished I wasn’t at Poppy’s music lesson, her teacher looking in through the classroom window at me saying the lesson was over, long over, Poppy had gone, I didn’t know where. What did I feel about everything she had just told me? You know me, I need time, but I had none.

K, how was it your fault, why do you think you could have done more? Why are you a shit therapist? Not from where I’m standing. PLEASE. I have never ever thought that you haven’t done enough, always always more than I can ever expect, beyond the call of duty.

I can’t bear to part with you, even just for a while, but I think I have to bc I can’t lie to Adele anymore that I’m not seeing you, that makes me feel bad, that I’m not sharing honestly. I will also have an outreach worker from next week who can help me with D’s abuse, so I will feel supported. I also thought after D’s rock episode that it wasn’t safe to talk to you anymore, bc I can never be sure what he will do next. I don’t want him to think that he has won though, so I won’t tell him. But I will miss you SO much, and now fresh tears are falling, I just have to get through this bit, then Adele will say I can go. She can’t keep me on forever, though she did say 6 sessions, we’ve done more than that.

I want you to feel better about things, please don’t be upset. I hope a break will help you too. I know you are reliving a nightmare that has torn your heart strings, and I’m so sorry your experience was utterly devastating. I think you are amazing, your heart is bigger than your whole self, and you give give give. So take that breath, I don’t want to go, only you can know how much I mean that, and if I can’t cope without you I will tell you, but you mustn’t take me back unless you think it’s right."

I have asked if I can still meet with the group, I will see how I feel tomorrow.

It's all got a bit too much for me, and I'm really struggling. I should have taken the opportunity while the kids were out to talk to D, but I can't bring myself to. We have to move to the next stage, letter and out.

Goodnight Kate, thank you for listening


Hey Rose, I want to spend some time with you but I need to step out. Be right back!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thanks Kate, i can't stop crying, sobbing, i tried to go to sleep, but i can't breathe!
What is going on?

Hi Rose,


I haven't heard back from you tonight so I hope all is ok.


That is quite a lot going on between you and K. There is a lot of boundary crossing. Both of you are right, this has gotten to the point that K's past is mixing in with your present situation. Her job is to guide you and that does not include mixing her feelings in there, confusing you and bringing out guilt for you. It does not benefit you to know her past or have her personal opinion on your reaction to the social worker's visit. K sounds like she cares very much for you. But the email read more like a friendship rather than a therapeutic type of interaction. And she is correct in saying that this is about her issues and she needs to step back for a while to work them through. She can't help your speck if she has a board in her own eye.


In the meanwhile, this has stirred up some bad feelings for you. I sensed some guilt (well, a lot of it. But you tell me what you feel), sadness and a deep need to please K. The situation brought out your co dependency symptoms, which you do not need to experience with K. You need to be focused on your issues with Dave and the kids, not with your therapist.


You also don't want to let this situation with K push you into something you are not motivated to do yourself. You have to be the one who decides to end the marriage. It can't be motivated by someone else. It is important that you decide because it means you will gain self confidence through your own actions. You will not gain from motivation borrowed from someone else. You will only end up staying in the same place if that happens.


I hope you are doing ok. I get worried when I get quick posts from you saying you are upset then I cannot contact you until the next day. If you can, just drop me a quick post in the a.m. and let me know if you are doing ok.


Good night, Rose. Sleep tight.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you