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I don't even know what to call this - -
May 8, 2007
8:10 pm
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bevdee
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There has been mention on other threads about discussing manipulation. This has caused me to really think about a situation I was in a little over a year ago. A situation that brought me out of lurking here to posting. I had to create a nickname, but even then, I did not post, I read and read and was tweaked by othersubjects. Sometimes it seems that the issues that bother me the most are the ones I have buried the deepest.

Anyway, I was living next door with my friend and her husband. This young man had a conviction on appeal. The appeal took 10 months total to be heard and denied the first time.

Even before the appeal was denied for the first time, her husband was unbelievable!! I have honestly never been so frightened of such a childish person. He was so jealous of anyone that took her attention from him- he lashed out hatefully. After they married, her old friends dropped away, because it was so uncomfortable to be around him. He pouted and sulked. He was deliberately rude to guests in her home. He shouted at my friend, *Lisa*. All when there was company. He drove people away with the strife and unease that he caused. He tried this with me, and I told him shortly after meeting him that he didn't bother me, and not to think that any of his little tricks were new, or that he was even particularly good at what he was trying to do. This was before I knew him well.

Later, she offered me a room at a time when I was in a real financial bind, but she was in a bind also, because of credit card debt she had racked up to pay for his lawyer, bail and appeals. My rent helped them, but he so resented my presence that took her attention from him, he could not stop himself from making derogatory, scathing comments to me when she was not around.

Every time she and I went to Wal-Mart (or anywhere), he would just suddenly BE THERE- looming in front of her, with tears in his eyes. Saying, "Why don't you want to be with ME?" Demanding her attention any way he could get it.

He called her cellphone constantly, and text messaged when she would not answer. He became frantic when he could not reach her on her cell. He often left work to check on her if she did not answer.

He would interrupt conversations she had, with no thought to who she was speaking to, whether in person or on the phone. Even her parents!! When she did not immediately turn her attention to him, he would pinch her under the arm. Leaving a bruise, just so she would scream at him at him to stop. Just to get a reaction from her. He told her he could not fall asleep without her, so he decided what time they went to bed. Many times when her son was visiting, he would decide that bedtime was at 630pm. If she didn't jump immediately to his command, he would glare at her and reach for his medication, then stomp some more and holler at her that *I am ready to go to bed* So, she played along most times, and would lie there until he fell asleep, then tiptoe back out and watch tv with her son.

He needed constant praise. He announced to everyone every little job he did, from pulling the full trash bag from the can and replacing it, to announcing that he was going to work- then heaving a huge, overworked sigh. (he worked about 30 hours a week, and because of the criminal conviction, had to work at a min wage job. In Texas, he couldn't feed himself) I asked her once after he drooped out of the house who he was trying to convince. One of his favorite pitiful statements was "I'm trying"

He liked to start arguments with her. He knew which buttons to push, and when he pushed- I, sitting on the sidelines saying nothing, would see his eyes glow when she rose to his bait. He liked it, he needed it.

He needed her attention constantly. Last spring, they got the word that his appeal had been denied. Their lawyer immediately filed another appeal, and bought him some more time - out of prison. The following Saturday for her birthday, I treated us to pedicures. He was working on her transmission when she told him we were leaving, but he told her he was going! She just laughed and told him no. About 30 minutes into the pedicures, he showed up at the salon. He burst into the salon, glaring, striding toward her chair, startling the immaculate sculptresses. No one but *Lisa* and I knew who he was. His Tshsirt and hands were dirty because he had been working on her car, and there was blood on his shirt!! and his busting in there was pretty bizarre -in the little oriental spa, with the incense and calming music. The reason for his visit? He needed to show her that he cut his finger while working on her car.

I told her later I was beginning to feel stalked and insulted at the obvious manipulation, but she told me I didn't understand him like she did. That she wanted to help him any way she could. Because there was no one else that cared about him. Yikes.

The next day, Sunday, she got called out to work, and at the house, he cornered me and told me how she was driving him crazy, and he just didn't know what he was going to do. He stated he would probably kill himself if she didn't start understanding him, staying home, and paying more attention to him, because he didn't know what else to do, and she meant the world to him. He thrust his wrist in my face and hollered *SEE THIS!!* and pointed to a horizontal scar about 1/8 inch long. *This is what I will do. I did this and laid in the tub just bleeding for hours before I could call for help*

Enter Bevdee the Blurter. I had to squint to see it, and I said, "Dude! Did you have to hang that arm really low to even get that to bleed? Is that a paper cut? It's not even on a vein!!" He turned and stomped outside the house. He got angry that I didn't react in horror to his silly bid for attention. And that I didn't react to his little implied threat- leave his wife (the source of his attention, the means in which he soothed his abandonment issues) alone. Or he would kill himself. I asked her later if he had ever told her about that suicide attempt, and she said he had not. hmmmm

The next Friday morning, about 2 weeks after the news of the appeal denial, pushed to the limits of her patience from his constant anxious demands for attention, she snapped at him and they argued all day- both of them from work, via their cell phones. It continued after she got home, even after he went to his second part-time job. We were trying to do our coursework, and finally gave up because of the constant interruptions from her home phone, cell phone, text messages. She wouldn't answer, so he started calling my cell phone!!

The next morning, I was awakened by their hollering, and came out of my room and asked what was wrong. Here is what happened. After 28 unanswered cell calls to her, 8 to mine, 15 to the home phone, and 15 text messages (all from 10 pm to 1 am, when he got off work), he called her from the parking lot of Wal-mart - about 8 miles from the house. He told her he couldn't drive because he had taken all his pills. (He had to take some sort of pills for anxiety, and the one he took each night made him very sleepy) She had already taken her pain med- she had just had shoulder surgery a week before, and drove one - armed to get him to bring him home. She wouldn't wake me to drive her down there. She didn't know how many pills he had taken, so once they got home, she dragged him up the six trailer steps, got him through the kitchen, bedroom, then into the bathroom (with her one good arm) to stick her hand down his throat to make him vomit. She said she did not want to call an ambulance and have the authorities and behavioral health notified because of the appeal. She sat up all night and watched his breathing. I never understood this thinking, but I didn't say anything. I suppose with his plea of not guilty, she didn't want his mental health status reported to the authorities.

The reason their raised voices woke me was because she was trying to talk him into calling his psychiatrist. He wouldn't, so she was yelling to make her point.

I asked him if he thought he should go to the doctor, and he told me he was feeling much better. I asked- "So soon after a suicide attempt?" I asked him what he had taken, and how many. He actually stuck his lower lip out and said, "I took all of them" (so pitiful) When I asked him how many were in the bottle, he said "three". Then he squinted at me. When I asked him why, he said, "I don't have any reason to live if *Lisa* won't talk to me. She wasn’t there for me when I needed her."

Since he was walking on both legs, and had his work uniform on, I went off. I saw red and I marched into my bathroom and got my bottle of Neurontin that are prescribed for the neuropathy in my feet. They are also anti-convulsants and I won't take them because, if I take one at night, I fall asleep instantly, and I am too tired to work the following day. All my meds are free, so I just take the automatic refill each time I visit the doctor, and I don't tell him I don't take them. I had about 300 of them in a huge bottle. I sat them on the kitchen table, and said to him- "you wanna die? Take these and next time you won't fuck it up- here ya go - die. Quit torturing your wife and your mama." He started that crying and told me how hard it was to live with her, what a bitch she was, how insane she was. I asked him about the other time, the time he nicked his wrist- whose fault was that and he said, "I was getting a divorce"

He went to work that night!! He did not have any adverse side effects from tripling his prescribed dose. He called her about 30 times that night. She answered every time. Because ---

*Lisa* had a beloved brother that killed himself when she was a teenager, and she responded to her husband's obvious (to me) manipulation. It broke her heart that she was not enough for him. She told me she had such a hard time of it when her brother died, wondering if she could have done anything that made a difference. For 2 weeks after this little pitiful display of his, she waited on him hand and foot, and answered every single phone call from him. When he walked in from work each night, and saw the meal she had prepared for him, (she never cooked before) he would look at me and smirk. He would wait until I started speaking to interrupt me so he could see her turn from me to him. He contrived more drama or crises for her to respond to- and she did.

My concern for her was that she might be trying to re-shape this scenario from her childhood. To make it right

About a week later, I told him that what he did to her was the most violent form of emotional abuse a person could perpetrate on someone they claim to love. Not if he had committed suicide but threatening it and placing the responsibility for his life on someone else. The worm rolled his eyes at me!

The following month, my sister called me begging to come live with me because these druggie people she and her boyfriend had snitched on were after them. When I told her I had no home to offer, she started crying and told me that she would sooner kill herself than let them kill her. She told me "I guess thats what I'll have to do" I told her that I understood her fear, but she would have to live with the consequences of her choices, because I was not willing to place myself in harms way so she could hide from people she had snitched on. People that were looking for her. She asked "would you rather I be dead? Cause that's what's gonna happen" I later found out that they stayed in a motel for one night and returned to her house the next day.

I've had 4 more such threats from her in the last year. I never knew with my sister- I have posted before about the suicides in my family. My Great-grandmother comes from a long suicide line, and my granddad found her hanging in the basement. A great-uncle shot and killed himself. It's a long gruesome list up and around the family tree, and the gene is there. It left a trail of pain along the generations. Is it inherited? I never knew with Sissy- if she was at the end of a long road of despair from her addiction and substance abuse, ready to chuck it all. Or if she only felt helpless and desperate because she had been unable to face her addictions. She is an alcoholic, now addicted to crack. She will take whatever she can get her hands on, and my mother often feeds my sister her scrip tranqs.

I googled around and what I learned was that the way I responded to Lisa's husband was the absolute wrong way to respond to someone who is threatening suicide. That it was recommended that every threat no matter how often it was repeated, should be treated with utmost seriousness.

(It was hard for me to take it seriously because I perceive repeated bids for attention as childish and manipulative. I consider lame half-assed attempts as manipulation. It's hard for me in another way- horrid concern - because of my family and my childhood. After that incident, it took all my psychic energy to respond to his numerous threats only by not responding. Not to fly off angrily and not to laugh at him. The no response was a personal victory for me, a victory over my demons.

As they waited on the second appeal, she told me that he had told her he would kill himself if he had to go behind bars. He cried a lot. It was nothing for tears to well up in his eyes when he was losing an argument with her, and lord they argued every day. Once I asked her if she reckoned he cried like that when he was in the army in Iraq. She said "Hell no, he just cries for us because we're women and he thinks we will feel sorry for him. He would never cry in front of other soldiers" Once when he produced his tears, we said in unison, "stop that crying" Then we looked at each other and laughed. It just became redundantly bizarre - or bizarrely redundant. It happened so often, it lost any impact it might have ever had. It got old.

Since those appeals have been exhausted, he is now in jail, waiting to go to prison. So far- he is still alive!! He tells her now that he won't be able to withstand actual prison and writes these fat letters demanding that she hire this or that new lawyer, and to research this law or that appeal. Demanding that SHE GET HIM OUT. Or he will have to kill himself.

He is still demanding and getting her attention. The 3rd appeal, filed from jail, was denied a couple of months ago. He is still alive, and he is still telling her that if he has to go to prison he will kill himself. She is still doing everything with her limited knowledge and financial resources to try to stall his going to prison, to somehow obtain his release.

I quit talking about it to her. I quit trying to convince her that he is just full of shit. That he will find a mama in prison. That he tries to control her with his threats. That the way he thrusts the responsibility for his life at her is just bullying. *You do what I say and act the way I need you to, tell me what I need to hear, PAY ATTENTION TO ME, or I will end my life* That his problems are so great that he must look anywhere for external validation to avoid personal responsibility and when he doesn't get what he tells himself he needs from the outside- when he feels ignored, he threatens to kill himself.

Well, his appeals were exhausted last November and he went to jail, so he was gone. Finally, I didn't have to have that in my face all the time. Then the subject came up on this site. I reacted, I retreated, and then- I observed.
That's why the multiple threads and bumping caught my eye. And the responses.

I read this saying not long ago - something to the effect of - the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result each time.

When I read that I thought of my friends' (my)situation. Yeah - that's what I thought *Lisa* was doing. But in trying to get her to *see* this over the course of a year, wasn't I? Being insane? Having insane expectations? Driving myself crazy when I didn't get the result I wanted time and time again?

And- if this post gives you the impression that I did not like this guy? Fuckin A. He hit the dogs when they didn't pay attention to him. My dog had started cringing at any arm raised by the time we moved next door. I don't like bullies.

His threats of suicide did not trigger me into wanting to help him or save him. Because they were really just so lame, and I could see through them. And I don’t like him. I got irritated at the constant barrage of his bullying with these threats, and of him trying to pull me into his support system. But if he actually did it? If my being there in the house and taking some of his wife's attention away from him caused him to kill himself? If my refusal to take his repeated threats seriously is what caused him to finally end his misery and the misery of everyone that tried to love or help him? If I slipped in my resolve and said something that would cause him to try AGAIN? No- I would not have felt responsible for that. He is responsible for his life. Only him.

Maybe he really did want to end his life, and his suicide threats were the only way he knew to cry out for help, instead of talking about his feelings- he thrust it onto someone else. Up and out. But his wife was not a qualified professional and she has her own problems, her own demons. He refused to go outside the house for help. The psychiatrist doled out the scrips, but he would not go for behavioural therapy. He just threw it out there to regular old folks like a medicine ball and became angry or blamed others. I will never know, and I quit trying to figure it out for her sake. And for my sanity.

But *Lisa’s* responses triggered me- because they were like mine with my family -what I had been through in my childhood, and so recently with my sister. Even when I was a position financially to move, I stayed for *Lisa*. Because I was afraid of how the situation could harm her. I feared for her state of mind when he was taken into custody. I empathised with her. I put my needs second to hers for quite a while, until I saw the futility of it. I still worry about her, and I find myself worrying about posters new to this codependency site that see the thread and get taken in and worry. My worrying is the codep in me! Most times I don't read it. It's like - oh again. Just like with my mom and my sister. Then I have worried that I am too hardened to suicide threats. Too callous to pain. That I am selfish. I ponder on the discussions of responsibility, because I was the recipient of that responsibility as a child. Responsibility that was not mine to own was thrust at me.

I worry that I worry too much, and I have no conclusions, except I finally believe that no matter what responsibility a person or persons try to project on me, the responsibility is not mine, unless I assume it. The responsibility for a person's life only belongs to that person.

May 8, 2007
8:57 pm
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Shaney
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"I just wouldn't even know what to call a thread like that..."

When I read the title, I felt a sudden sense of dejavu, for some strange reason. Hmm.

This seems to be the week for purging all of those thoughts and feelings of frustration from our souls. It helps to write, doesn't it? And it really really helps to read this stuff - feeling the way I do about things lately. I'm sure you're helping others too. Thanks for sharing.

(((bevdelicious)))

May 8, 2007
9:08 pm
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bevdee
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Shaney!

I am so glad that you are the first to post to this. I'm so glad you saw it. No offense or slight intended to anyone else, but I'm laughing right now because I was afraid I had hurt your feelings in Mich's thread. Thank you for your feedback and response.

I really love you!

May 8, 2007
9:15 pm
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Bev....

thank you for writing this. I am always amazed to learn more about you and your story. Much to ponder on here....

May 8, 2007
9:19 pm
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bevdee
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Kroika

Thank you so much. I appreciate your continued support. I value your feedback- even when you don't endorse flinging vases!! :O

Love you too-

May 8, 2007
9:57 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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(((Bev))) I love you girl....

It makes sense to me...it truly does.

May 8, 2007
10:59 pm
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Shaney
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I love you too bev... but why in the WORLD would I be mad at you? Did I miss a chance at a pissing contest and not even know it?

I love your writing... :o)

May 8, 2007
11:27 pm
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ha ha bev,

no, I don't endorse flinging vases... but I am not at all opposed to having a little fun with donkey genitals 😉 (Or "donkey dongs" as I have taken to calling them. I'm thinking of some tempting new junk food line... something crispy and deep-fried...)

Kroika the un-Kouth

May 9, 2007
12:01 am
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bevdee
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Kroika

"something crispy and deep-fried...) " Have you ever heard of Rocky Mountain Oysters? Turkey Fries?

May 9, 2007
12:10 am
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bevdee
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I always appreciate your feedback.

Shaney- it was my suggestion that we take the discussion out of the safe place. No big deal- I didn't think you were mad.

Mich- I'm relieved that it makes sense to you.

May 9, 2007
2:13 am
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foolfoolfool
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Bevdee, I dont know you, but im SURE i'd love you too!!

That crazy loon sounds JUST like my ex! She tried to "kill herself" with 3 valium... and had me catch a taxi from here to timbucktoo (2 hours away)only to find her "a bit sleepy".

What the HELL goes on in their heads???? like VERY naughty children you see in shopping malls giving their mumma a hard time, throwing tantrums, smacking their heads on the floor if they dont get what they want.

I wonder WHY these "adults" dont see how embarrasing they are??

Thanks for reminding me WHY i can NEVER go back to her.

Fool

May 9, 2007
3:07 am
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Hey bev,

I haven't heard of "turkey fries", but I have heard of "prairie oysters"... maybe the same thing as the Rocky Mountain ones, eh?

Well, you know, nothin' says lovin' like something from the oven :o)

Oh dear.... have I become a thread hijacker???? My apologies. OK, just wing a vase at me and let's get back to business :-0

I'll come back when I have anything constructive and on topic to add.

good night from very silly kroika!

May 9, 2007
8:45 am
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bevdee
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foolfoolfool

Well, I already want to change your name- to Notafool. Thanks for responding.

Yes, it's much better if you are able to remove yourself and stay away from a person like this. The redflag that made me see red with his attempt was when we wanted to call the doctor- he balked. That's how I knew. Your lady was able to pick up the phone and call you, but not 911 for an ambulance. Hmmmmmm.

Nice to meet you.

May 9, 2007
9:26 pm
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jenny71
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I spent alot of time reading BEV and really got into your life and the whole feeling of "you" I wanted to support and share, however you turned a story of manipulation and suicide into a feeble attempt to reach Shaney and Kroika didn't you? Instead of keeping on subject we turned to Rocky mountain oysters and turkey balls and what happened in Mich Next time just post: Shaney Where are you? Are you mad at me? need to talk.. instead of your real life drama that WAS so interesting
and had the "WOW" effect!!

May 9, 2007
9:34 pm
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PS we are suppose to be supportive here but, come on.. is that not the problem in the first place??? Enabling people to continue making DUMB choices by coddeling?? I see alot of cliques here and I know the 2 who would agree with me but they don't talk much...Pom34 and Nappy...What do you guys think??

May 9, 2007
9:58 pm
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ggfred4
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Jenni, please don't do this. I just don't get you. You are going to analyze a thread??? You can go to many threads and find seriousness, humor, sarcasm, etc. Sometimes lightening things up during serious posts are helpful. You can go to most threads and find the same people corresponding and they are NOT cliques!!! They have become comfortable with discussing that person or a small group. I have popped in on threads like these if I wanted to show support or had something to offer without feeling like I was intruding. I hope the two you mentioned do NOT mind you mentioning them in this context. I would not want my name brought up like this without my permission.

I LOVE this site and it has been very helpful to me. You take what you want out of it and give when you want. I am talking with people now that I didn't talk to months ago. I meet new people constantly. Please don't start trouble by telling people how their threads should run according to the beginning topic. This sounds like censorship. Isn't this the United States of America?

I am furious now and feel like I must take up for myself here and this site, not any other person. If you did not like how this thread was going, why didn't you just move on? I feel certain people are being harassed here, yes, harassed. This has got to be a safe site for people to feel they can open up and this negativity is not helping the purpose here.

Jenni, if you knew me, you would know that I seldom if EVER take up for myself, anyone, or anything. That is how wrong I viewed your comments and strong I feel about the usefulness of this site.

gg

May 9, 2007
10:02 pm
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bevdee
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Jenny

I'm a little taken aback by your post. I don't remember ever posting to you, or either of us having conversations or issues.

I posted my impressions to a really difficult situation that was both painful and taught me alot. It was triggered by the discussions of suicide and manipulation, as I stated in my first post.

I have never interacted with Pom 34 either, so I am confused at your post.

You say "Enabling people to continue making DUMB choices by coddeling??"

What do you mean by that? Could you be more specific?

May 9, 2007
10:10 pm
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ggfred4
you are so right..
I AM too serious about everything..
BEV I apologize Nappy I apologize.Pom I apologize. I Bow out GUYS I am truly sorry

May 9, 2007
10:18 pm
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Shaney
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Jenny - don't bow out. There was obviously something that triggered some feelings in you that you should feel free to discuss. Suicide and manifpulation is a topic that many of us have been discussing for weeks now. This thread was just an extension of those many discussions. I don't see any cliques... but I see people say that all of the time. We're just people who have common experiences and feel comfortable discussing them with one another. If you have something to offer on the subject, or other feeling that you need to share, do so. But it's not fair to assume you know someone's intent without actually asking them? That's the only way we can find out how people really feel. Just ask, Jenny.

May 9, 2007
10:32 pm
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the trigger was that I DID have a very close person commit suicide, I always have felt I wasn't loved enough or this person would still be here with me. I have an extremely difficult time dealing with "needing help" that is weakness.. BUT I am so F***ing serious ALL THE TIME....I hate that I can't play "EVER".....
It was very wrong of me to say names, I have never posted either directly.The trigger was also that I wanted to join a group that was already taken by 3 people.. I think that I am not sick but I have some issues... I always thought my twin sister was talking behind my back.
"lighten up" has always been the phrase people use for me...WHY?

May 9, 2007
10:43 pm
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ggfred4
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jenny, thanks for posting back. I have to tell you that I have NEVER posted like that ever. I too know someone who committed suicide and take it seriously...The person I know babysat after me at the same house where I was attacked. She was drunk and drove herself into a barricade. Her friends and family with exception of her parents all said it was suicide due to her previous actions. Yes, I blame myself for keeping my dirty secret of shame.

Jenny, I need the serious support, but I enjoy the humor and fun here too. I don't know how long you have been here, but it took me months to post and then later open up. Then something similar happened months ago and scared me into retreating. I have recently began sharing more and more, so yes, I was defensive when I felt an "attack on the system" and people that I value here.

I have always said that we are sensitive souls here. We must be aware of that.

Jenny, I am here to listen if you need me and hope that I didn't offend you with my bantering.

May 9, 2007
10:48 pm
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Shaney
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Suicide is a super sensitive subject. I think a lot of us have really really strong feelings about it, because we've either been there, or know someone who has. It's scary, and so a lot of us who have had experiences are finally trying to talk about it in a really open and honest way. I think it freaks people out, honestly. At least that's what I'm noticing lately. I can understand initial reactions being angry or fearful... but if you can really make honest attempts at speaking opennly about your feelings, you may be able to get past some of this seriousness or pressure that you feel.

And there is always room for humor. Humor takes the bite out of situations that may seem too hard to deal with. I feel comfortable around so many of these people, because I've been here for over two years. It doesn't take long to make friends here. What did you mean by, "I wanted to join a group that was already taken by 3 people?"

A lot of us have a hard time asking for or recieving help. You're not alone there. I too, view it as weakness. Therefor I overwhelm myself with too much only to end up resenting people in the long run. I'm working on it, but I'm certainly not over it yet.

We all have issues, that's why we're here.

May 9, 2007
10:50 pm
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September 24, 2010
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You gave me a reality check I thank you and need someone to be honest with me, right or wrong.

Babysat for you at the same house where you got attacked???

May 9, 2007
10:58 pm
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ggfred4
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September 30, 2010
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Jenny
She was the NEXT babysitter and I told no one. She was a relative, so I thought he would not touch her. That was my excuse...She babysat for a few years, then went away to college only to do this act pretty immediately. I have dreams of her...

May 9, 2007
11:04 pm
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jenny71
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September 24, 2010
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I babysat for these people .......................................same... NOT YOUR FAULT... SAD.. I relate but..

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