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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi Kate=====================
Have it!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kate,
thank you for your post, I will return to it later. I have been on an absolute go-slow this morning, almost at a standstill. Why is it when I most need to talk I have an empty head? I'm very anxious about my session with Adele, still haven't been able to email her, but I did phone the office, spoke to an Art therapist who gave me his address, but the same thing happens with his. She will have to read it from my netbook bc I can't connect to my printer (sigh), but I don't know how I will be able to talk today.
I hope my head will be clearer later, I want to talk. have to go to Kitty's now

Good morning Rose! I'm sorry that you are having a difficult time of it. I think it is more difficult to talk when you feel upset because there is so much there is gets clogged up. Like a dam overflowing, it makes it hard to let go because you may fear a flood of feelings will overwhelm you.

Adele will help you find a way to express yourself. I think part of your anxiety about seeing her is because you feel overwhelmed by your feelings. Do your best to relax and let Adele take care of you. Focus on relaxing and letting go. It will help.

You are in my thoughts!


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello Kate,
Thank you. My session with Adele was so difficult, I was really muddled and very anxious. I tried to tell her about the email problem, she hadn't seen her colleague whom I spoke to this morning, so she didn't know if the issue. I showed her the message that I was getting with the return of her email, and she was quite puzzled. She then read the long email I had written, which was much of what I have told you over the past week. It was long, and I felt embarrassed that she was reading it with me there. I couldn't stop the tears, they were silently streaming down my face as she read, and I know she saw I was shaking bc I had to deal with a pop-up as she was reading.
I was grateful that she spent a long time talking to me about things that I can barely remember now, but she was making things clearer to me, things were slowly dawning on me, that he has been cared for like a YOUNG teenager, that he has gone out to work when he had work (I always picked up the slack bc I could work as many hours as I wanted), and that was it, no other work for the business, the rest of whatever he did he did if he wanted, not bc he had to, no responsibilities, none. I felt ashamed that I had allowed a marriage like this; she said he's a baby, you've hidden it haven't you, kept it secret? Yes, and I could hardly believe how stupid I'd been. How could I have been such a fool. I don't know.
We talked (she talked) about how I should/should not interact with D, that I'd be better not bringing up him leaving again, I know what his response will be, I should just get the lawyer going (I wish!). I said that it had been me broaching the subject, bc I wanted to be assertive, and make him realise that I mean it, and I'm not going to back down. She told me to imagine a shield around me ( as you have too), and not let any of his comebacks get through to me. I have a choice, I know what I want, the alternative isn't livable with. And she talked about Charlie Chaplin, who made a silent movie about Hitler, portraying him as a small and comical character who could be laughed at. We talked about D 'waggling' his head as he was talking to me, when I imitated him, and she said to try to think of D as comical, and imagine him small and distant (like the Wizard of Oz), and not up close and in my face.
She talked about all the different stages of emotions that people go through with life changing situations (Seven Stepping Stones to Adjust when Change Brings Loss.... shock, denial, anger, etc) I'd told Adele that D was shocked when I gave him the letter, and when I have tried to tell him the truth, and now I guess he's in denial. Maybe I've gone through all the stages, and now I'm on the last one- acceptance-, she has given me some info to read.
And she asked me to talk to D in an empty chair, tell him I don't want to listen, tell him it won't make any difference, tell him there is no room for manoeuvre, just as you said to (broken record!) But I couldn't talk to him, I had no darn words today, I felt like an idiot, tongue tied, nodding, smiling, but very few words, and what I did have were all mixed up. And I had my rabbit, I feel silly with it, but I need something to touch, something to do with my hands, to try to hide my anxiousness.
She gave me a hug before I left, said I'm doing fine. I sat in my car a cried a while, I felt I'd failed my therapy and I wanted to go back a do it again, try harder, not seem so weak and messed up. I felt like I was someone who had no substance, no wits, no integrity, just a shell with nothing in it. Pathetic. I felt like I wanted to go back tomorrow, I can't wait a whole week to prove myself.
I'm still feeling really low, I know I shouldn't stay in my room so much, but I feel comforted here. I haven't sat in the lounge since Christmas. I'd like to sit there again, maybe of a morning when D is out. I might try it tomorrow, I feel I need to condition myself again, the thought of sitting there makes me feel anxious, uncomfortable, I know it's bc he sits there so much, in all the chairs, there isn't one that I can choose now as I think about it.
D is out. The kids are OK. Sam is upset with himself though, with his lack of discipline with his studies when I'm not around, he said just my presence makes all the difference. He doesn't think his Concerta are really helping him. He should have seen his Psych yesterday, but I couldn't make the appointment, and he didn't want to go without me.
Back before lights out....


It sounds like your session with Adele went very well! I understand what you felt about it, and that is ok. There is a lot of judging yourself in there, a lot of "shoulds" and regret. But this was a session for you and it was only about your needs. And right now, you needed Adele to guide you through some of these more difficult emotions. Just the fact that you were there, participated and got something from it is all you are supposed to do.

Adele is right, Dave's maturity stopped somewhere during his childhood. He is a child in a man's body. His mentality is similar to that of an irresponsible teenager. And he sees you as the responsible adult that he "rebels" against (his great dislike of authority). And you felt your role was to take care of him and hide all his flaws. It is tough to see that this was the dynamic of your marriage. But Rose, you are not the only one who has this happen to them. It happens to a lot of intelligent, wonderful people just like you who wonder why they couldn't see it either. But the difference is that you are getting out. Many, many people never do.

You do have all the things you wished you have- substance, integrity and wit. You are all that and more. You are just seeing yourself through self critical lenses. You are used to putting yourself down, not seeing the best in yourself. But the rest of us can see it.

It may help you to think about changing the lounge area in your home, adding something that you want there. Hopefully soon, it will be an area that you have to yourself once Dave is gone. But in the meanwhile, it might help to make some small changes now so it puts you in that frame of mind. Any little steps you can take to show your independence will help.

I hope your night is going alright. I'll check back to see if you write again,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Kate,
yes, self critical, what a state I get myself in. It's one of those days. At Kitty's I was quiet quiet, no chitchat today, I didn't feel comfortable, just working silently, and wondered if she thought anything. It does matter to me, what people think, but I know I have to stop wondering, that it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, just a little something to make one wonder, doesn't harm an overall perception.
Why couldn't I see what my marriage was like? Why did it take me to be sick, and for my GP to question my marriage for me to begin thinking about it as not being right. Why was I muted, why couldn't I tell anyone about it? Was I ashamed? Shocked that someone had figured it in moments when I couldn't see it for years? I do feel like the idiot. D is the clever one.
Goodnight my friend


It matters what people think of you because you were taught that you cannot get your self worth from what you think about yourself, only what others think. Being criticized as a child has a lot to do with this. You learned others were always right and you were always last, not important as other people were. Guilt is a big factor in thinking of yourself as even equal to others. As a child, it was important to get your needs fulfilled. And in order to do that, you learned that putting yourself last was how you pleased those around you. That is what they wanted, so you adapted. Now it no longer works for you (that is what attracted Dave to you) and you are trying to work your way out of it into a healthier self view.

People adapt a pattern of behavior from childhood. They learn to see the world, and themselves, from one point of view. It has a lot to do with how you are raised and the beliefs of your parents. But in the case of abuse, there is a lot of secrecy and hiding of how the family works. Shame is a huge factor too. So you never learn how other people handle things or how other families relate to each other. You only see what you were taught.

Shame and guilt kept you in a trap. You did not explore your feelings any further because when you did, you felt you wanted to be free. But those feelings brought guilt and shame and may have frightened you. You were taught that taking care of others needs is your lot in life in order to get the approval you needed that you didn't get from your parents. It is those unmet needs we don't get fulfilled as children that drive us all our lives. You were not ready yet to see that you could meet your own needs or get those needs met by others in your life. To you, Dave was the one who was most like your mother and father and if you could get him to love you, then it was equal to getting your unmet needs fulfilled. But the problem with that is that you cannot get those needs dealt with by anyone but yourself, and God. Dave is not healthy enough to help you with that, as your parents were not. All Dave does is reinforce what your parents did to you which makes it harder to get out of the trap.

Dave is not clever at all. He has not changed, nor does he show any insight at all into how dysfunctional his behavior is. He abuses, drinks and thinks only of himself. He cannot support himself or his family. He doesn't care about anything but himself. That is not success. That is not being clever. It may be being manipulative, but not clever. You are the smart one here. You are growing, pushing to be better. You are always looking for ways to make things move ahead, to help yourself and others. You care and you show compassion. That is brave, and very clever.

Good night Rose. You are in my thoughts.


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