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Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
September 2, 2004
8:45 pm
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Twinks.

You could break the drought tomorrow if you wanted just that. The problem is to break the drought with the 'right' person. This is the difficulty - getting someone to whom you are sexually attracted, yet who will not trigger in you the emotional pain of 'emeshment'(feeling trapped and over-controlled) and 'rejection'(feeling abandoned and unlovable).

Usually, someone to whom you are sexually attracted, will be a template match to some degree. To that degree of template matching will be your degree of emotional satisfaction/dissatisfaction.

In my case, I have settled for someone, my ex-partner of 17 years, who excites me sexually just enough to make my love life acceptable without the associated painful repercussions associated with the swinging emotional pendulum of reunification(ecstacy) and abandonment(agony).

September 3, 2004
10:01 pm
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Twinks.

You asked:

"Does she know, Tez?"

Yep! She has seen us dancing together and she is very angry!! She expected me to hang around indefinitely until she decided whether to break off her wedding in November this year or not. Now she has broken up with both her fiancee and a new guy who was dancing with her for a while. She is trying to force me to speak to her by standing in the dancehall doorway as I get up to leave with my 17 year long partner. Unless she opens up communications with me she has no way of trying to inflict pain on me. She has tried to make me jealous with other guys but that failed. I am not the jealous type - besides I don't care who she flirts with as long as it isn't me. She has even tried that, but I ignored her flirtations completely by not even recognizing her, let alone her advances.

Because I was and probably still am 'in love' with her, she is 'poison' for me; but I love my partner of old very dearly. Both types of love are chalk and cheese, the former being not love at all, while the latter is 'real' love based upon respect, fondness, caring and admiration for my old partner. The former is the basis for lust while the latter is the basis for a caring relationship.

In regard to getting a true lover into your life, I think that the best thing to do is to become good friends with someone who loves doing the same things as you do. This implies going to events and places where these things are shared by both sexes. When a very good male friendship develops that has sexual potential for you, then the time is right to "wink" at the guy; providing he has been "eyeing" you up as well of course. But waiting for 'shooting stars' when seeking romance is dangerous for guys like me!!!

September 5, 2004
6:14 pm
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Twinks.

You asked:

"... does your partner know that she has been 'settled for'? "

Your question and choice of the words "settle for" seems to imply the notion that I have somehow "settled for" 'second best'.

I wouldn't describe my decision to go back to my present partner as "settling for" her. I spent many hours reflecting upon my future relationship possibilities. I had many women making subtle overtures and some giving me downright 'come ons'. I asked myself if I could see myself "settling" for any of them. I decided that I would have to search for another woman just like my present partner. I asked my sister, who is a practicing psychotherapist of some repute, what were my chances of meeting someone like my present partner. She said that it was highly unlikely. I agreed. Knowing my present partner's 17 year history with me, I figured that I had to exhaust any possibility of a getting back with her before going looking for someone else like her. So I decided to approach my present partner in what I thought was a futile attempt to get her to come back to me. To my surprise she responded favourably though somewhat cautiously.

For someone like me, do you still think that being 'in love' as opposed to 'a deep affection for', is a desirable basis for forming a loving relationship?

I consider that I have won the first prize and I intend not to make the same mistakes again.

September 7, 2004
7:47 pm
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Twinks.

"Tez, the choice of words was not mine, but yours."

My head didn't choose my words wisely in that case. Though I suspect that my emotional self may well have felt that I had settled for 'second best'.

I have downloaded your response in order to reflect upon it without the pressure of 'being online'.

As Arnie says, I'll be back. 🙂

September 7, 2004
8:39 pm
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Tez,, I never realized how cool you were.. Did you know that?

Anyhow, it is never easy to be number 1 to the one we think we should love. Ah, but the one who drives our desires, now that is another story all together and probably one older than we think.

Welcome to the so-called human existence Tez, nice to meet you along the way!!

OOH am I feeling smug??? Maybe!!

September 8, 2004
7:07 pm
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Twinks.

You asked:

"That she has a ‘rival’ for your affections, I’m sure she knows, so her caution is entirely understandable. How have you been able to reassure her?"

"The truth will set you free" - JC. I have told her the truth about my 'defective' template many times over the 17 years. You see, 17 years ago, I came to her from a severe bout of "template-itus" with an even more destructive woman. Now in the light of this 17 years past relationship, I explained how I was conned by my emotional 'template' into yet another 'sick' relationship yet again! I suggested a trial run of a couple of weeks to see if we could rekindle what we had before. Since she also came from an intimate relationship back to me, I also have to deal with my feelings about that too!! So ... I also have something to be cautious about - it is not just a one way street. This fact helps her come to terms with this other 'lady' as well. Since the other 'lady' is still on the dance scene and making a nuisance of herself by trying to open communications channels with me, I have amply demonstrated my determination to make our relationship work by studiously avoiding the Jezebel's best attempts to rekindle my 'dysfunctional fire' for her. Since the Jezebel is not without determination also, the saying "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" is in due process of being amply validated! Phew!

You said:

"I know I said I wasn’t going to talk of it again in a personal way, but my need to be ‘exonerated’ keeps rearing it’s ugly head, ... "

This need can be a 'powerful signpost' to something much more important if you choose to take advantage of it and follow it into your psyche.

If, upon some reflection, you are able to complete the sentence, "If 'it' was my fault then ....." and then follow the trail downwards into the depths of your psyche, then perhaps you may no longer need to get an answer from him about whether or not he knew there was a problem in your relationship.

I believe that the roots of our emotional difficulties lie within us; people, places and things 'outside' of us are but triggering events or 'conditions'. If we discover and understand these painful emotional roots together with their associated triggering cognitive scripts and learn to deal with them appropriately then the whole world outside of us changes. Why is this so? Because our perceptions of the world that we 'see' outside of us are firmly rooted in our past 'intentions'. If we change our perceptions then we can change our present as well as our future 'world'. Compassionate intentions, coupled with wisdom, practiced continuously 'in the now' will ensure future ultimate 'heavenly' perceptions and thus our peace and happiness. If only I could practice to perfection what I preach - sighhhh ...

Sermon over. 🙂

September 8, 2004
7:12 pm
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Workinonit.

Cool? Cool? I'm not sure about that. But like everyone I guess that I have my successes as well as my failures. But I also realize that all is relative in this unenlightened state of my mind. Some of my greatest 'failures' have turned out to be my greatest assets.

September 9, 2004
8:18 pm
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Twinks.

You said:

"Now, I have a lot more wisdom, and have to remember when my compassionate intentions surface again that they are wasted, and will only hurt me. "

Genuine compassionate intentions can never, ever, ever hurt you. However ... ... we are very good at disguising and therein hiding even from ourselves very self-centered intentions under the cloak of compassion for others!!

I have to smile here because we are all very cunning little self-deceivers, aren't we. Motivated by what I claimed to be 'compassionate intentions', I found myself trying to arrange to take my Jezebel along to my very, very competent therapist sister for help. Seeing through me, my sister refused to have anything to do with Jezebel, saying that my 'compassionate intentions' were far from compassionate!!! I was taken aback; but realized that my sister was telling the truth. In response to my sister's rebuffal, I heard these words come out of my mouth: "I am self-centered to the point of total disregard for my own welfare!!!" I realized that I had no compassion for myself whatsoever. I was prepared to put myself well and truly in harm's way by trying to change Jezebel in order to find a way of making my relationship with her tolerable. I had only fulfilment of my self-centered emotional cravings in my focus. I was prepared to sacrifice everything, including my own mental health and welfare, to that end.

My problem with Jezebel was ALL ABOUT ME - not about her. I was trying to seek my own relief from fear by getting something from her!! What fear??? My fear of abandonment and rejection that I had awakened yet again was exactly that fear. Its source lies permanently in my amygdala just awaiting to be retriggered by my mother/father template when I recognize it any Jezebel!!

Is your man a partial template for you?

Has your man awakened your amygdala's emotional memory of some painful fear based event in your childhood?

Are you also trying to get WELL DISGUISED fear relief by trying to get something from your man in order to quell the fear that you might not be 'alright' and the fear that somehow you might have been responsible in your childhood in some crazy way for your emotional rejection and emotional abandonment that was experienced by you then??

I think that we unconsciously re-enact our childhood traumas with 'substitute parents' trying to get relief from old emotional pain. These substitute parents may be our bosses, our lovers, or anyone who we perceive to be in our support network. Realizing this can set us free to seek fear relief in much more appropriate and more productive ways.

However, it ain't easy to see through the grey, opaque curtain that guards the doorways to our unconscious.

September 9, 2004
8:43 pm
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Tez, I can't help but be upset by this statement

"Are you also trying to get WELL DISGUISED fear relief by trying to get something from your man in order to quell the fear that you might not be 'alright' and the fear that somehow you might have been responsible in your childhood in some crazy way for your emotional rejection and emotional abandonment that was experienced by you then?? "

How can this child have been responsible since most of this is learned? And from whom?

I do understand and am learning from the concept that we are responding constantly to the parent template. But I have a hard time understanding what you mean by responsibility.

The bigger question is, once the template is realized do you believe the pattern can be changed? As you said earlier,.. "If, upon some reflection, you are able to complete the sentence, "If 'it' was my fault then ....." and then follow the trail downwards into the depths of your psyche, then perhaps you may no longer need to get an answer from him about whether or not he knew there was a problem in your relationship."

I think this is a key point here. I think I told you about the problem I had with a particular memory of a friend of my parents, drunk, at a picnic telling me to go to his car, there was something for me. As an 8 or 9 year old little girl I trusted this and found nothing. I was mortified and remember crying in the bathroom at my aunts house. I wonder why my parents let him do this? Recently , I went to a meditation where we were to remember a childhood problem and help ourselves out. I went to my child as an adult and hugged her reminding her that she had no reason to feel embarassed and that she was good. It was surreal to be hugging and comforting me.

My story is not nearly as traumatic as many but I think this is a helpful tool.

Ok, in this writing I am seeing the responsibility. I was EXPECTING. I was FEELING SORRY FOR MYSELF. I was acting very spoiled.

Maybe there is some truth to what you said originally and I hope this all makes any sense.

September 10, 2004
6:54 pm
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Twinks.

You said:

"And fuck him, the bastard"

I clearly understand that you are feeling hurt. What I have been trying to stress throughout this interchange, is the futility of trying to understand and/or change our partners in order that we can have our emotional needs met by them. Such very common behavior always seems to result in more pain for us. Do we want that?

Anger is a fight response to the threat of perceived damage, loss, diminution, injustice etc. All of these perceptions are based upon fear. I suspect that anger underpins your statement: "And fuck him, the bastard". It is OK to feel the anger but what we do about that anger can be crucial for our future happiness.

Where no real threat exists, dealing with the underpinning fear appropriately within oneself brings peace and contentment; conversely, dealing inappropriately with that fear in such circumstances usually results in frustration, more fear and a lack of peace and contentment.

Which do we want - peace and contentment or the lack of?

This has always been my point throughout this whole thread. If I have a broken leg, taking morphine without appropriate medical attention will only lead to further suffering. This is sooooo ... obvious. Yet, when it comes to the psyche, what is not so obvious is the folly of seeking to fix our emotional pain by focussing on the behavior of our partners, thinking that this is the cause of our pain, when it is only the trigger event.

September 10, 2004
7:05 pm
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Workinonit

On 9-Sep-04 you said:

"Tez, I can't help but be upset by this statement ... "

Firstly, Twinks response to you on
10-Sep-04 in saying: "Workin, I think you are misunderstanding what Tez is saying here....." is spot on. She gave a very good answer that should clear up any misunderstandings.

Secondly, if I were you, I would utilize the emotion that you felt as a signpost to find out more about what is actually at the core of your emotional response. My misunderstood statement was only the trigger, not the cause. You may like to seize the opportunity to use this to your advantage. See my last posting to Twinks for more about this point.

September 10, 2004
10:01 pm
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Twinks,

I just wanted you to know I came over to read this thread like you said.

I feel for you. So many thoughts and analysis' going on.... fear too much for me to deal with for now.

When I first started my exploration as to why I was depressed & discontent, I kept finding the things I was discontent with went back and back, further and further. If I want to trace all the way back, I could say I was always "small" as a child. Quiet, well behaved, very controlled/over protected, never having much in the way of demonstrative love, super sensitive to critism, longing for love, feeling that I was missing out on affectionate touches - like hugs, and kisses. Feeling I'd never have a boyfriend, who'd want me....

My basic point is, I am so tired of trying to look back to find the fault of the problem. Trying to find that "key moment" that I should go back and try to come to grips with...

I feel so emotionally screwed up and dead or numb inside, it ain't funny.

I'm married to a man I love, which now the definition of love has changed. No longer is the deep adoration, he's hurt me emotionally & doesn't understand the why or truly recognize the how. He feels he was just joking all along & that I'm making mountains out of mole hills.

I dream of a man I meet and became friends with. He has a gf now, so stays at a distance, but we still communicate occassionally. I want him back, more involved, in my life. I want to tell him that I want to get to know him better, whether that leads to sex or not. Maybe by knowing him better, I'll discover his flaws & lose some of this attraction. Maybe we'll get to know one another better, & I'll discover a mutual attraction (which, yeah right, will make me feel better about myself). Dreaming of meetings probably not to come, conversations that won't happen, and horizontal positions that won't happen either.

I don't think about my spouses reaction to these hyperthetical situations. He's the one who wanted me to have sex with another man, he's the one who didn't have time for me, he's the one who gave me permission to have a BF as he had no time to meet my emotional needs, & permission to have an affair it that's what it would take to keep me happy....

I feel so screwed up.

I don't adore my spouse anymore, but nor do I feel like it's bad enough to leave. What would I do, what about the kids, who'd want me when my husband is willing to share me? I must not be a prize worth keeping....

He tells me he loves & adores me. He tells me he is so sorry he hurt me. I hear the words, but don't trust. If I don't trust, the love won't open up will it? If I open up, I'm vunerable to being hurt again. I've felt betrayed and thrown away emotionally before, don't know if I could survive that again.

Status quo isn't great, but I'm functioning till whenever.

I wish my friend were back though. Not just for the attraction, but the conversation, fun, and feeling like I mattered.

Do you know a 5 & dime where I can purchase some supplemental self-esteem? Somehow, I think that is the key. To regain my self-esteem, and worth.

blah. I talk too much. Sorry. I did not mean to interrupt your thread so much.

Just having a bad day today. Tomorrow I'll have my back bone surgically re-installed.

J

September 11, 2004
12:49 pm
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Most days, I am ok (ie "almost content") with what I have. My life is not perfect, nor is my husband. I used to just adore him & feel like these past 2 yrs were a crashing blow.

How could the man I adore, whom no man held even a small candle to, want to watch me have sex with another? Sure, he was a work-a-holic & had no time for me, but he's willing to make the time for some kinky sex play. So degrading... He's stopped most of that kind of talk now, Mostly accepts the fact I'll not be having group sex... Things settle down into a "routine" of habit that I can deal with....

Then, my period is late (usually like clock-work, but on the change of seasons my clock gets thrown off) .... his instance 'tease' is "who are you pregnant by?? Are you sure our son is mine??" Flips me right back to the beginning. How can he say these things, even in jest, when before he started, he was my everything? He KNEW this, I told him this repeatedly. He Knew I adored him, knew I loved him, knew I didn't even look at other men. He KNOWINGLY did this torment to me. He wanted to "spice" me up a bit, wanted me to consider group sex .... asked me over time... is so&so cute, would you like to do him, how 'bout we all get together .... errrr. I've got to forget this stuff & shove it all away in order to continue on. Got to get back into a routine. Now, instead of complaining to him he doesn't spend time with me... I just as soon be alone. I don't desire a romantic w/e get away any more. Physical release attends the physical needs. The emotional attention and release a romantic interlude would provide is mute now. I don't feel romantic. My emotions have been squished. He didn't want romance with me before, how can I believe he wants it now? He is just play acting with me I feel.

Not sure where to go from here. Hard to trust, open up .... Limbo is where I stay. Yesterday was a very bad day. Today is better. Immersing myself in yardwork & chores & family "life". Keeping busy, not thinking or feeling too much is my best bet so far.

Someone said "fake it till you make it" - maybe this is what I am trying to apply.

I wish you well in your life's journey too. Who knows where we'll end up, or what road we'll take... It helps though, to know there are people out here who care & can help ease our minds.

Thank you for thinking of me....

September 11, 2004
9:29 pm
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You know what? I just read my last post that I wrote a few hours ago. Don't I sound like a whiny, pathetic, baby. Big deal, my hubby wants me to be kinkier than I can. Whoop-t-do. So many other people have troubles greater than I. A person on Support Threads was thinking of suicide. Such a reality check. My problem(s) are small. I need to remind myself of that & just keep quiet till things settle down when they are rough for me.

Sorry to have interrupted your conversation. I seem to have scared Tez away....

My apologies. Going to shut up now.

September 12, 2004
7:18 pm
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Twinks and Juanita.

Why keep looking for a softer hammer, when we could just stop hitting ourselves in the head altogether?

September 13, 2004
8:00 pm
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Twinks.
I do put it down now and then - but I keep picking it up again. The delusion is strong that one day my hammering of my head will bring peace and happiness if only I could find the right hammer, the right grip and the right swing angle. 🙂

September 13, 2004
8:13 pm
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You guys are looking for the wrong instruments... how about a baseball bat?

September 13, 2004
10:23 pm
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Is it the wrong instrument? or the wrong person?

Why did I let what my husband want affect and devastate my self-esteem so?

Yes, I am beating myself up. I feel if he doesn't want me exclusively, who will? Now, should I continue to beat myself up b/c I feel like I'm not worth much, or should I turn the hammer to the (only) man who wants me (my spouse)? Is the direct source of my pain what was SAID by him, or is the source my own lack of self-esteem? So, who should I hit now?

Perhaps the longer I keep hitting myself, maybe there's a chance I will knock open a new brain cell that will hold the key with all the answers.

or, perhaps, I'll just knock myself senseless & the memory and pain will just disappear.

September 14, 2004
7:01 pm
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Twinks.

It seems to me that you want to believe that your partner's behavior is the cause (as opposed to the trigger) of your emotional pain.

If I am right in this supposition, then this belief of yours also implies that you believe that to gain control over your own emotions you need to either gain control over your partner's behavior or to be able to allocate blame to him for your pain.

On the other hand, perhaps you have other beliefs that are hidden even from your own conscious mind; beliefs that can potentially threaten you.

Since you seem to me to be intent on proving that the cause of your pain is your husband's narcissistic personality disorder (and he may well be a narcissist), perhaps you may have a hidden belief that if you can lay responsibility for your pain firmly at his door you can then deflect any 'blame' for the failure of your relationship from yourself. Thus you would then be "exonerated".

I'm not sure who would be doing the "exonerating". Do you fear your children partly 'blaming' you for your relationship failure? Is your quest to explain your husband's behavior all about fear of 'blame'?

Incidentally, I dislike 'blaming' especially self-blame. I think that it is non-productive. If we knew all, especially about ourselves, we would have ultimate compassion for all, including ourselves.

Since we cannot control the behavior of others very effectively for very long without a gun or a lot of money, then we are on a 'hiding to nowhere' holding beliefs that others are the cause of our emotional pain.

The saying "Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me" is underpinned by the ancient knowledge that others cannot cause emotional hurt, only physical hurt.

Emotional hurt comes from our interpretations of what others say and do. These interpretations are our doing and come from our evaluations of the behavior of others on the basis of our perceptions of how it affects our welfare. Such evaluations involve contextual and emotional memories that are firmly rooted in our past. Letting go of our 'past attachments', and 'seeing things anew' alleviates painful interpretations of the behavior of others - that is, it removes the cause of our emotional pain, our past.

September 14, 2004
7:08 pm
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Twinks.

"I love you, Tez, you Aussie dude, ..."

I luvs yuh too, you Yankee shiela, you.

"... whoever the heck you may be. "

I'm me ... don't you know me? I'm you too or have you forgotten that? If so then precisely define the barrier that divides us into 'two'.

September 15, 2004
7:17 pm
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Twinks.

Oh, no ... you are a 'Mukka' not a Yank. You can apply to be an honorary Aussie if you like. You'll have to learn how to say 'fair-dinkum' with the right intonations and speak proper Strine as well. Blocking off your nose while you speak as slowly as possible will help a little.

You said:

"The question that comes to mind now though, is what was different in your case. I know that you are nothing like a narcissist, yet you had a similar troubled childhood. Is the difference that the 'bonding' that is supposed to happen never ocurred, and that in seeking your 'template match', you are seeking a 'bonding' to replace the one that you feel you are missing out on?"

I think that in the presence of a powerful 'template', when my emotions are in control of me and have enslaved my thinking, I am seeking fear relief in the same primitive way all infants have been evolutionally programmed to do when feeling abandoned. I am seeking to unite physically with my 'mother template' possessor. Of course, as you realize, it is well disguised as a seemingly insatiable sexual craving. This is my primary learnt and conditioned means by which I seek relief from fear of being alone and abandoned. I realize that this behavior is totally dysfunctional and I do my best to avoid doing it. 'Templates' are 'out' for me. 🙂

Of course the word 'bonding' simply implies attachment strength to the primary caregiver. As you most probably know, much research has been carried out on infant attachment styles by Bowlby, Ainsworth, Main, et. al. Broadly speaking they classify infant attachment into two categories: secure and insecure attachment styles. Insecure attachment styles have been further broken down into, anxious/ambivalent and anxious/avoidant. All these theories are aimed at classifying infant behavior whereas I am much more interested in the effects of the infantile emotional 'remanents' or infantile memories in the here and now of adulthood.

I believe that as a child I learnt to get fear relief from running to my mother. She for her own emotional needs fulfilment and in complete ignorance of the ramifications, manipulated that fear in me for her own ends. This learnt behavior of mine became a lifelong, albeit unconscious means of seeking relief from the fear of abandonment and rejection that is triggered in me very easily. Why is it triggered so easily in me? I believe that it is because I was an anxious/ambivalently attached infant. The emotional 'damage' had begun during my terrible abandonment during my first week of life.

However, I have discovered one powerful truth: acting from intentions of seeking fear relief only brings more fear - acting out of compassionate intentions brings contentment and happiness, with the absence of fear as a pleasant byproduct.

September 16, 2004
12:43 am
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Well, I'm way behind obviously.. May I introduce myself Tez? I do not know you, but I have been reading...

Thanks,

Sunnygrl

September 16, 2004
6:20 pm
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Twinks.

May mindfulness be yours during your infinite number of 'nows'.

September 16, 2004
6:22 pm
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Sunnygrl.

You said:

" Well, I'm way behind obviously.. "

Well that makes two of us ... . I'm all behind like the cows tail.

September 16, 2004
10:46 pm
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twinks, I can relate to your story. My first husband was this way too. When I told him I wanted to go to counseling he said," Oh, I can counsel us." Jeez.

When I was trying to leave he threatened to kill himself and every opportunity he had he drew the kids into the process. Calling me names, sharing his pain and tears, asking them to spy on me etc etc etc.

I was blind to so much of this though I knew something was wrong. I thought I was so selfish for not being happy. But, I was astonished when people would say, " But he doesn't beat you!" Who the f*** cares!!!

This man has lost the part of himself, somewhere along the line, that defines who he is. Or, he doesn't like what he is. Probably the same. I knew I was simply going to shrivwel and die in this environment. I got out and to this day I do not regret it. No point anyway. I finally realized I had the choice all along. So do you.

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