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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kate,
Welcome home! I saw you were online, and thought I'd catch you to get some more questions in the queue, but JA have locked 4 of them already. I wonder if it is bc I have one that I haven't used from before, which is this one. I've been trying really hard to do things how they want, ie not use a thread for too many accepts, but even that is failing. I like to ask questions in advance bc then when you've answered them they don't appear on your front page list of answered questions, and I feel a little more secure when they aren't so obvious.
So, last night when I came home with Poppy, D asked to talk to me today, and I said of course. This morning after seeing to AA I came home and he'd just got up and showered. He made his breakfast and me a coffee, and we sat at the table. He said last night you had a big fight with Poppy, bc you didn't take your pills. I was shocked he knew. Then he said who is Adele??? I said how do you know about her, how do you know about Adele. Who is she? I didn't tell him. I was thinking thinking. And why does Dr H think it's best if I'm out. Why does K want to know what will happen to the property? Said he doesn’t trust lawyers, I need to talk to him about my troubles, not a psychoanalyst. OMG, he has heard EVERYTHING I have said to K, everything.
He wants me to be happy, us to be happy. I will be lonely when the kids have gone, my parents are dead. He is too old to start over.
He said people commit suicide on antidepressants, they are bad bad bad.
He says you're ill, how can I leave the kids with you, you are NOT WELL. I need to be here to look after you, support you, I love you. I said WHY do you love me? The he pointed to a photo of me that he'd found in the photo drawer of me and my dad, about 22 years ago, standing outside the barn in the yard, on the day we first looked at it and saw it's potential, and I'm smiling and looking happy. He said that is who I love, that is who I married, I want you to be happy, you should come out with me and meet my friends, we make music, happy music, it's really taking off, doing well, it's great. We need to go to places together, all go out together, to the beach, you like the beach.
He said he’s sorry for all his bad behaviour. He is making amends. I hung my head and din't speak, couldn't speak, he doesn't see me, he's right there, but doesn't take me in. D asked me if I ‘heard’ what he said after going on for a good while. I said of course. That means have I taken notes and changed my mind? I only said I’d ‘heard’ him. He said he wasn’t listening maliciously, but bc he’s paranoid. He spoke quietly, and was tearful a couple of times. He said he was trying to work with tears streaming down his face the other day. That the dogs cuddle up with him when I’m not there (ie the dogs love him too).
As soon as I could I left his company and got in my bed, right under the covers, I was cold, shivering, crying. He said I'm going to work now, see you later. I tried to get on with my day.
i made so many mistakes at work with Kitty this afternoon, I was embarrassed, she’d send me stuff back to work again (spread sheets I was amending) I came home and went to bed, rested fitfully for 3 hours, body kept jumping about. I dug my grave in my head.
I emailed K earlier. She was VERY angry with him.I can't talk to her at home anymore. She suggested stopping with her again and just working with Adele, but I don't know if I can do that. I have said I'll go to my parents in future. I am seeing my lawyer in the am, K may write to him. I am in such a muddle. This evening I have moved out in my head, and Poppy has come with me. I don't know which way to turn. And I am losing my battles with the kids. I feel like giving up, totally.
Poppy is meant to be spending the day ‘working’ with me tomorrow, when at Kitty's. I totally forgot. She’ll have to revise her maths (exam Friday, sigh) while I’m gone at the lawyers, and then I have Adele after work. I am really stressing, I didn't email Adele last week, I hope I can cope better tomorrow.
Time to rest. Goodnight Kate,
Talk tomorrow

Thank you for sharing with me what happened with Dave. It could not have been easy to listen to him put you down then try to convince you to stay.

One thing I kept wanting to know as I read your post is how you felt about what Dave said. You mentioned thinking, trying to figure out what to say but feeling muddled instead. So now that it is just me and you, what do you feel about his opinions?

I need to go off JA for a bit but I will be back soon to see if you posted tonight. If not, I will be back as usual tomorrow and we can work this through.

I'm sorry, Rose.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Kate,
it's late, I'll be back tomorrow, it will be good to work this through.

Ok, talk to you then!

Have a good night, Rose. Sweet dreams!


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kate,
I really really want to talk, but it has been heavily emotional today and I cannot think, lawyer this morning, Adele this afternoon, Poppy in between (she has been trouble-free!) I'll come back for this, and today's events, tomorrow. I hate leaving it when there is so much to tell, but it'll have to wait.
When you've read this, could you watch out for a new Q from me please, I'll try to sneak past the moderator....... ;)

That's ok Rose. I am sorry that things are so difficult. I hope you get some time tonight for a break.

I looked for a new question, but didn't see it. Want to try tomorrow? I'll be on during my usual hours.

Good night, Rose. Sleep well!


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for catching my question. I've had a doze and have a few words in me at last, but it's late. Poppy woke me from my rest to help with some maths, and I felt quite ill for a while. I should just have gone to bed early.
It doesn't matter how little you write to me, I am always so glad to have a few words. I'd like to give you a hug, just for being there. Thank you
Goodnight Kate, look forward to time tomorrow

No problem.

I am enjoying that hug "O" . Thank you!

I'm looking forward to talking tomorrow too. See you then,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hey Kate,
I have worked hard this morning so that I can rest and chat this afternoon, but I am very sore so have overdone it some! Never mind, worth it to be free for a while. I have steeled myself to sit in the lounge, in a corner that I used to like sitting in. I have cleaned in here, it is fresh and bright. I am covered in dogs! I don't know how long I can stay here, but I feel comfortable at the moment, and it is totally quiet, which helps a lot.
I was very anxious anticipating D's 'talk' on Wednesday. I was trying to think what he could want. He had worked with Mark on the Tuesday, and after my session with K, on my way to bed, just as something to say bc I felt I should say something, I asked him if he was working with Mark again the following day. He answered no, then asked me about the talk. All I could think of after that was that he wanted to talk to me about Mark, that Mark had told him that he was leaving his wife, and that that was why I wanted to separate from D. That there would be 20 questions, accusations, and assumptions. I did feel anxious, but I had nothing to hide, and I have honestly not shared anything with Mark about my plans, and I have done my best to be evasive (politely so).
I was prepared to have a discussion with D about whatever he wanted to talk about. I wasn't prepared to learn that he had been listening to my whole session with K. When he mentioned that I'd had a row with poppy, and that I hadn't had my pills, I couldn't decide how he knew, I'd picked Poppy up from her bf's, and unless he'd specifically asked her about it she wouldn't have mentioned it bc we had made up. So I looked at him in surprise. Then he said and who is Adele? I realised there was only one way that he could have known about her, but it only dawned on me after I asked hurriedly and protectively how did he know about her. So then I said you've been listening at my door. My fight for this discussion immediately left me and I hung my head in defeat, accepted everything he said to me without comment, until he finished, and asked if I'd heard him. I felt he was trying to trap me again, he said he realised how sick I am, that I am really affected by my meds, that I can't cope without them, and how can he think of leaving the kids with me. He had heard how upset I was when I was talking to K about my row with Poppy, he heard all my raw emotions that I don't let him see.
I felt like he was insidiously crawling into every corner of me, cutting my freedom down little by little, that he is trying to convince me that I won't cope without him, I need HIM to realise my dreams, there is no other way. If I don't have him I will be cold and lonely, no friends, kids left home, parents dead, what will I have left if I haven't got him. I have cut myself off from everyone, I don't go anywhere, do anything, I need to get out with him, enjoy his company and that of his friends, his music, I need him for my future, what will my future be like without him? I am sick, but I shouldn't be taking antidepressants. People commit suicide on antidepressants.
He says he can't leave, can't leave the dogs, the barn, he's getting it sorted, it's what I want. He's been a fool, he realises that. He tells me 'Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.' I am silent. He asks if I have heard him. I say of course. He has finished. I can go, shut my bedroom door and try to warm me up, comfort me. I feel he has taken something else from me, my time with K, and now I have no choice, I either stop seeing her, or I go to my parents house. I can't go to the cottage next door anymore bc it is let for holidays as of tomorrow, and I can't risk a broken window. (I do wish I'd called the police that night). For years and years he has been out on a Tuesday evening, the reason why we chose that evening, but now he seems to be staying home, maybe to check up on me..
I was really shocked that he'd heard what I was saying, unguarded as I was, but I thought I was safe bc I was playing my music. My door was ajar I admit, bc the dogs come and go, and I'd have to keep jumping up to let them in or out. But being ajar doesn't make much difference bc there is a foot-square hole above the door, which D wanted to put a window in, but never has (something else that he wanted, that I was against, but had to be his way). I also felt terrible that he had heard stuff that would upset him, like Dr H saying yes she thought it best if he goes.
My whole day was up-ended and I was in chaos in my head, it took me the whole day to put it in some sort of order, and I had several email exchanges with K. D expressly asked me NOT to talk to K about it, but I didn't agree to it.
I've managed an hour in the lounge and feel OK, but now I need my room and a rest.
I'll be back in a while to tell you about yesterday......

Wow, Dave is pretty sure of himself, is he not? You won't have a future without him? Really? And what has he done so far that proves he is so important to you that you cannot live without him? Abuse you? Abuse the kids? Take your money, come home drunk, not work or support anyone, not do any chores around the house, etc.

But what is most important here is how you feel about his assertions that he is so important to you and that you cannot live without him. He is doing this because he feels threatened by your desire to leave him. He has to make himself look important to you, play on your insecurity about who you are and your ability to cope so you will take him back.

As you were describing ***** *****stening in on your sessions with K (a huge boundary violation), I kept wondering where your anger was. You mentioned your shock at how he learned about your argument with Poppy and that you did not take your medication. Then you said as soon as you realized that he had been listening at your door, you lost all ability to participate in the discussion. It sounds like at that point, you felt you could not defend yourself and your feelings of worthlessness came out. Your boundaries were crossed, your right to privacy invaded. And now he has to gall to confront you with your issues that he learned about by spying on you and use them against you in the argument. Instead of giving in to his bullying behavior, another response you might have had is anger. He violated your rights as a person. He feels he can do that because he doesn't respect you or your rights, but you do not have to feel the same way he does about you. You do have rights and as long as you believe that, he cannot run over you and force you to accept his dysfunctional behavior.

It sounds like at the pivotal point in the argument that you turned your rights over to Dave. He became the parent and you the child. You mentioned having to confirm that you heard all he said to you and you had to wait until he was done so you could leave. That is how a child is treated when a parent is scolding them. My concern for you is that you feel you have to respond to Dave in this way. That you have no rights, that you are not an adult and can say no and walk away. It is a reenactment of the type of relationship you and Dave have with each other, the emotionally abusive side of it. The belief that you are not worthy to have rights and that you cannot speak up for yourself. Addressing what causes you to feel that way and finding your voice is the best way to get out of this abusive marriage and onto a healthier life.

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank you. I felt like I'd done wrong, spoken to K about things I shouldn't, didn't have the right to be discussing him with her in our home. I felt anger Kate, but I sucked it in so quickly and turned to despair. My anger doesn't know how to come out and be healthy, and sometimes I think it's a waste of time and energy to show it, bc it won't make an impact on him.
I should have been angry, I was ready to defend, but suddenly something gave, and I couldn't do a thing, as if I was a rag doll. I guess I was SO overwhelmed by the fact that he would do such a thing, listen to it IN TOTAL, I was trying to process that, and everything else was lost. I did feel like the child, it was as if I had been there before.
Is there more we can do with this so I can be better prepared next time?
I've had a call from an out-reach worker from the Domestic violence and abuse service, another worker in Ziggy's absence, to invite me to a coffee morning on Monday. As she was telling me on my mobile I lost signal, so she left a voicemail telling me when and where. I texted her back to say I'd like to be there, but I am very nervous. She said not to worry, everyone there will be new to the service, and to come early so that I can meet everyone. That is scary, but I have to do it.
K emailed me a link to a blog about abuse and depression (here if you are interested She thinks that I have been depressed for years, likely since I was married, bc I knew deep down that he was the wrong choice for me, and I was punishing myself for some reason. I agree with her, but I'm not clear on the reason (she thought maybe mother related) Then I had my babies, and then he had me, I was trapped, I couldn't leave him. Then he became a drinker, then he became angry, and I slipped down the slope into severe depression. I have thought that to be so, and I’ve known, and I’ve been SO mad at myself that I have put that bit of me behind a heavy dark curtain so that I didn’t have to see it every day, and now the curtain is drawn back, it’s on full show, and it hurts.
I have to wait up for the kids tonight, collect them from a party in town. D has taken them, I will collect, he is going out with Mark for a few beers. He came home tonight with a box of chocolates and dumped them unceremoniously on the window sill in front of me. I sighed a big sigh and said thank you. He said why the sigh, don't you want them?this man can change, HAS changed.
I going to my new thread, and will try to put out one or two new ones while you're online.

You did nothing wrong talking to K about your marriage. You have rights as a person and included in those rights is the right to defend yourself and talk about what upsets you. Dave abuses you and counts on your shame and low self esteem to keep you from sharing your pain with others. And when he cannot stop you, he breaks boundaries to spy on you and use what he learns to control you. It's manipulation and more abuse piled onto what he has already done to you. And by accepting it, learned from your past abuse as a child, you keep yourself down and under his control.

I agree with you, the anger you have you hold back and it turns in on itself to become depression. I often wonder how much anger is in there, inside you, waiting to come out. When anger is left unexpressed, it can become severe depression causing you to create a loop of feeling anger, repressing it then becoming more depressed. The depression is part of the helplessness you feel when you feel cut off from making your own choices, like being stuck with Dave until he dismisses you.

When dealing with Dave next time, it would be helpful for you to think of a few responses and actions that would work no matter what he says. For example, the standard "I'm sorry your feel that way" and walking away always works. He may try to get you back to engage with him, but repeating yourself often shuts that off.

Being prepared to leave and go somewhere else is always good too, especially when dealing with an abusive person. They tend to cross boundaries and push until they get their way. So leaving cuts all that off.

Letting your anger out can help as well. It would alleviate your depression and help you learn to stand your ground. Looking at Dave and saying "So?" is one way to reach your anger. It helps you see the pointlessness of his talking. Also, finding a way to see everything he does as manipulation can help too. Or thinking of something he does do that reaches your anger, a particular action or way he does things. And you can also try writing out what about him and your marriage makes you feel angry.

Let me know how it goes on Monday with the meeting. I think you will do very well. You have dealt with so many new situations this past few months and all have worked out great.

I will take a look at K's site. How is it going with her, by the way?

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Kate,
I really want to be angry, I must, I guess I don't feel I have the right to be angry, but if you say I do, then I will have a good try next time.
Do you mean how is my therapy with K, or her daughter?

We can work on the anger together if you feel ok doing that.

Now that you mention it, K and her daughter! But I was asking about how it was between you and K after the difficulty you had before. I just wanted to check in and see if you felt the support was there for you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Kate,
I feel OK doing anything with you- We can get angry together!
K is great, fully there for me. Sometimes she is a little overwhelming, and I have to tell her it's too much, that I can't do that, or she's working me too hard. We have put aside the transference issues, and she has promised not to worry (or at least make ME worry more)any more, and let me deal unless I SOS. We do write several times between sessions and she offers me extra skype time if she thinks I need it (I have declined lately, haven't had the mental energy), but I don't want to tell her some things bc she WILL worry, so I hope you don't mind if I tell you EVERYTHING! (I didn't tell her the last time I cut, or when I was feeling so very low I could only think of death).
K's daughter has been poorly for a long time, she has FMS, and now has SLE confirmed. She has to drop out of her school year. K is angry with herself for not spotting it sooner. K has both too, it is genetic.
Goodnight Kate, my confidante
Well, I say goodnight, I have to go a pick up the kids soon, it's way past my bedtime! D is home, slurring. Yuck.

Angry together is good! I'd like that.

Juggling the transference would be difficult with K. You would have to screen what you tell K and that can get tricky I bet. But I am glad to hear she is still offering you support. She knows you so well.

You can tell me anything, Rose. I always want to be here for you.

What is FMS? Whatever it is it sounds horrible. I feel bad for K and her daughter.

I'm sorry to hear Dave is at it again. You must feel discouraged when you have to witness how he behaves.

Good night, Rose. Sleep well, my friend.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hey Kate,
just a quickie here... FMS is fibromyalgia. K knows it so well she diagnosed me over the airwaves!! But SLE is the concern for K's daughter, to get it so young (16) will be hard for them both.
Off to a new thread. Hope your Saturday am is good.

Thanks! I thought that is what it was.

See you on the new thread.