complex post-traumatic stress disorder, EMDR, fighting, husband & wife, Intimate relationship, marital conflict, Marriage, marriage problems, post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, relationships, therapy, verbal abuse
I’m sure many people think that verbal abuse isn’t that bad. Those are the people who’ve never been a victim of it. If they’d experienced it, I’m sure they’d be singing a different tune. Being verbally abused feels like getting punched in the face.
So, in response to my request for shoulder moments. I asked Jerry what he would like from me. Here is what he wrote. We will be reading both our pages every day.
- Collaboration between both of us.
- Patience from her for Jerry’s physical health issues.
- Patience from him for Robin’s mental health issues.
- Explain each other’s prospective completely before rebuttal starts.
- Allow time for each one of us to respond to the issue at hand.
- No personal attacks from each other.
- Work towards compromise with each other in decision-making.
- Ask for forgiveness rather than being judgmental with each other.
Keep it to the issue at hand and take responsibility for a mistake.
(this item is still under discussion)
- Honor agreements with each other and re-visit agreements when one
of us is unable to comply as agreed.
- We need to define actual needs from wants that pop up from time to time.
- If anyone is making noise between 11 pm and 7 am it is that person’s
responsibility to go to a separate room and close the door.
- Take responsibility for our own actions.
- Having a basis of mutual respect in the marriage.
This is pretty complicated for me so I asked him to take the reins and let me know when I cross over a line.
I had my EMDR session yesterday with my therapist Cynthia Pickett LCSW.
She said that the EMDR is bringing out my ‘natural’ self which lingered under all the PTSD haze. Before the EMDR, with all the PTSD history I have had, I’ve been mulled in the idea that I deserved no more than abusive behavior. Because of being abused all my life (hated by my father, unbelievably, from the moment of my birth) I have felt like a lower form of human and this self-evaluation led me to think that someone abusing me was ok. With the EMDR, I’m starting to see that being verbally abused is unacceptable. I’m a decent human being and don’t deserve this kind of an abusive relationship.
It feels natural and I seem to be ‘getting it’ down to my core self. I’m a good person and I deserve better than that. I’m even willing to leave my circumstances to be free of it. Something I was totally unwilling to do before this.
It’s fascinating what the EMDR is doing to me. It’s unlike any therapy I ever experienced. With all the talk therapy, nothing much changed in my life. But this EMDR is really shaking things up. FINALLY! I’m moving forward.
A couple of years ago I brought my dog Joshua in for a checkup. The vet looked at his red feet and told me he was chewing them (he has red saliva) because of lack of attention and that I should play with him more.
I had been giving Joshy lots of attention but he just kept chewing.
Then one day, as I was watching him chew furiously, I had a thought. I have athletes foot and it’s miserable. Maybe Joshy does too.
Well the way I keep my problem under control is to pee on my feet in the shower when they start to itch. Urine is great for keeping athletes foot under control (nothing that I know of kills it permanently).
So I decided I’d give this a try with Joshy. I peed in a cup and soaked each foot thoroughly – stretching out his toes to get between them – for 30 seconds or so. Then I shampooed them thoroughly – stretching out his toes – with a skin conditioning shampoo (Joshy has very sensitive skin) to get the salt off.
No more chewing.
I’ve had to reapply this method when he starts in again because there’s no cure for athletes foot. But he has definitely stopped the chewing. And I thought I should let you know about this.
Ps: I don’t remember the name of the vet that told me about his experience with chewing dogs. It was a while ago.
On 4/24/2018 my sister Jacqueline wrote:
I want to get this idea out there in the world.
Maybe it will spread around and people will think about it.
Why do people have babies when they prefer to work
rather than take care of them?
Children need a lot of love and care in order to grow up
to be healthy adults.
As a result, children are being forced to raise themselves.
I think there’s a lot of crime and suicide from children
who don’t have any parents to help them.
It’s so sad to see this happening to our dear children.
Last night was verification that what I’m doing in our relationship is working.
I was watching American Idol on the bedroom TV and really liked what I was hearing so I wanted to record the show series. But I had to go to the living room since that was the only TV box that would accept a series recording. Then, while I was doing that, the recording part said that there was very little room left to record on. So I decided to delete a lot of shows to make room. Then I came upon “The Big Bang Theory” in which there was nine episodes I hadn’t watched yet. So I decided to watch them before deleting.
The TV in the bedroom was still on. I had completely forgotten this….
Jerry was in bed and around midnight came out to the living room to complain that the bedroom TV was still on loud enough to wake him up. He was ‘nice’ but looked a little frustrated with me. I don’t blame him. I hate my scatterbrain. It gets me in more how water….
But the next morning I went to him to find out how he felt about what happened. He said he understood that I was just being scatterbrained!!! And that he didn’t take it personally nor get mad about it.
WONDER OF WONDERS!
SOMETHING DIFFERENT IS DEFINITELY IN THE WORKS!!!
Jerry and I had another opportunity to practice our ‘new way’ relationship. He was fixing something on my computer when I bent down in front of him to put a reminder post-it on my post-it board. At first he got a little flustered but he refrained from screaming. Instead, he told me that he was just about to hit a function key but I got in the way and he missed his opportunity. I said I was sorry profusely . Then I said that this was an example of my being scatterbrained. He said; “Oh, is that what it looks like”.. Then I said; “This is a shoulder moment”. So he gently took hold of my shoulders and said would I please get out of the way so he could do his work. Immediately, this I did. He doesn’t yet understand how to do this so I have to be the one who takes charge. After all, it was me who started the whole thing so I see it as only fair that I take the lead until he ‘gets it’. I just have to keep encouraging him to do what I said I needed.
I think that this new way of communicating is going to save our marriage.
asking for what I need, asking for what I want, asking for what you need, asking for what you want, communication, communication technique, fighting, follow through on a request, Marriage, relationship, stating what you want
Well Jerry and I had our first ‘break in’ with the new communication technique. He needed a little push to try the new way and I gave him what he needed.
We were talking about the problems with my computer (it was being restored from getting into very bad shape). At first he got frustrated with me but still acted in the old way trying hard not to raise his voice this time. But this isn’t the thing I had requested of him. So I had to instigate the new way by saying; “Honey, you aren’t doing what I asked you to do. Can you please do it the new way?” He immediately got into it – doing the new way I’d asked him to! It went as smooth as butter!!! It’s a new and strange way (to us) to interact so he just needed a little push. I also needed a little courage to take the lead and follow through with what I’d asked. It’s new and strange and so was uncomfortable to instigate at first.
I had to tell him what I needed!!!
It was hard to do but I did it – twice! Once when I wrote it down for him and again when the situation called for it to actually be carried out.
Asking for what I need is soooo hard for me! I don’t think I’ve ever done this as well as I have up to this point. Part of the problem we’ve been having is that I’ve never stated my needs clearly enough to the point where I can get them met. I stated them with both feet firmly planted on the ground. I stood up for myself – TWICE!!!
As far as communication goes, this time it’s going to be my way or the highway.
So we’re in the middle of our kitchen remodel and we’ve come to the back splash. I don’t know any other word to use for this except INSANE! First I had the contractor put up black tile. I thought it was going to look like a good contrast. It turned out to be nothing but oppressive. I couldn’t stand it so I took the tiles off and had to scrape the mortar off the walls.
Then I went back to the tile we were originally going to use. A translucent gray green glass. With it I was going to have a mural put in over the stove. Well, the tile looked great but the mural turned out to be a totally clashing color to the tile. So I had the contractor pull the mural off and, again, I had to scrape all the gunk off the wall. Then I had to buy another mural but I chose 2 to compare and then send the other one back.
Then came the grout!!! Man! I think I went insane on this one. I went with stark white but has a reservation about this color, but I ignored my feeling and went with what the contractor said would look good. But when it got on the tile it was way to bright for the cream colored cabinets and the tan and brown marbled counter top. So, without telling the contractor or my husband Jerry (who I know would have told me no) I started to carve the fresh grout out so I could put another color in instead. But then Jerry and the contractor caught me doing this and both had a total hairy – which I don’t blame them – as I knew I was going INSANE with it all.
All I can say is back splashes are HARD to figure out. I’ve seen so many beautiful kitchens with back splashes that don’t fit in at all. Many, many, many. There are hardly any kitchen pictures with back splashes that fit the overall look of the kitchen.
By the way, I’m not going to use a mural after all. This whole thing is going to give me an ulcer. Also, Jerry said if I try to make any more changes he is going to leave for a month. I don’t blame him.
I had my EMDR therapy today. I’ve been reading this book my therapist gave me called; “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD (isbn # 9780670785933). It’s an excellent book on different types of therapy for PTSD victims and childhood abuse PTSD victims. I liked it a lot because he doesn’t just circle around the problem. Half the book is devoted to different kinds of therapy to help PTSD sufferers. One of them is EMDR. There’s a whole chapter devoted to it.
Anyway, I was in the middle of the EMDR session when my problem with Jerry’s screaming came up. My therapist said I didn’t have to live with that sort of thing. Well I’ve been living with it for 30 years now but when I got out of the session something broke inside. Suddenly I have the gumption to move out! I’ve been staying for nothing but financial reasons but the light dawned on this. Jerry and I could make it separately financially. With my inheritance, we paid off two houses and rent on out. I could move back to the rental and make Jerry pay me $600 out of his monthly retirement check. Then we’d both be about even money wise. I had a feeling of freedom.
At the same time this was going on in my head another thought popped in. I think this was from God. I need to get a massage therapy credential. I know I would be a good masseuse. My hands are always warm and dry no matter what the temperature is. And I’ve always gotten compliments from people I have given massages to. So that’s what I’m going to do. I looked up massage schools in the area and a very nice one came up. “Milan Institute” right here is town.
I have decided that after my next EMDR session I will sit Jerry down and tell him that he has 30 days to straighten up his act or I’m out of there by the next 30 since we have to give our renters 30 days notice. That’s a total of 60 days.
I want out of here so badly I can taste it. I want to have my own place that I can decorate just how I want. And I want to be a ladies masseuse. I am thinking I will make my home my base of operations and I will only do women. The idea of being in a house all alone with a man gives me the chills. I was raped when I was 22 and have been skittish about men ever since.
I haven’t written anything for a couple of days. Not because there wasn’t anything to write about. My computer broke down and I’m writing on my husband’s. Any way, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since I last wrote.
Jerry had a scream-fest on me – again. He was trying to fix my computer but only seemed to make it worse. I was on the phone with my sister who fixes her own computer herself. She made a suggestion about what a possible solution was but when I took it to Jerry he went berserk. He yelled at me for hours. I tried to yell back a little bit but that got me no where. AlAnon says that I’m just supposed to shine him on when he turns on me like that but I’ve only been able to not get sucked in a couple of times. Usually I try to reason with him, then yell back. We went to bed angry that night.
Jerry and I spent the whole day together. We had a lot to do. First we went to the noon Alano club AA meeting to see old Dave. He’s the secretary. I saw Terrina there who paid me $60 of the $300 she owes me. She left the meeting early so I didn’t get a chance to talk to her. She’s avoiding me for some reason. Oh well. And so it goes on the relationship merry-go-round. I’m not at all good at relationships. I was eating licorice. which I’m sure she saw. I told her I was off junk food. I felt very ashamed of that.
Then Jerry and I went to the 2:00 AA meeting. The club has about 8 meetings a day there. I was asked to lead it. I did – reluctantly. The meeting turned out to be a dud. I let anyone share and only the weirdos took me up on my offer. It was totally out of control. Now I know why people call on people. I’ll never do that again. The first one to share when on for 10 minutes until I cut him off. He got all huffy with me and left. Someone when after him though and later he came back in an apologized.
We did some errands and had a fight about Jerry being late getting back to the car. I waited and waited and then went in to find him. I forgot I could call him!!! I can’t for the life of me know why I’d forget to do this. I went in looking for him and he came out while I was looking. He gave me the business for that. I can’t deal with it when he gets mad. He thinks nothing of letting me have it right between the eyes. I want to bite him and bite him and bite him. I can’t seem to keep my composure like I’m told in Al Anon.
We then went to our Bible study with young Dave. He’ a great Bible teacher and Jerry’s good friend. It was a very good meeting. On the way home, we talked a little bit. I wish I could leave Jerry but finances prevent me from doing that.
Jerry was trying to fix my computer and got in a real pickle over it. The he got mad at me to the point where I told him I was ready to bite him if he didn’t calm down. He was all upset about screwing it up and he took it out on me. Once again, I’m the scape-goat.
(an e-mail to my sister Jackie)
I work at the discipline of gratitude to keep from falling back into the pit of suicide obsession. Something I can’t afford since God told me that suicide was not an option for me. I had to calm the obsession since being frustrated by not satisfying this obsession made my life utterly, utterly miserable. And, by the way, this discipline was instilled in me by a loving God who didn’t want me to live my life here in misery. So he showed me how to deal with the obsession through gratitude. Not that I still don’t have the obsession though. Deep down it’s just covered over with the discipline.
A nothing day.
My sponsor sent me an e-mail telling me that I broke an AlAnon member’s anonymity because I talked to her about her new adventure as a member of AA (she’s sober 60 days). The girl went to my sponsor and said “I guess the cat’s out of the bag”. I feel TERRIBLE about doing this. I tried to call the girl but she didn’t answer the phone. I thought about e-mailing her but then I wondered if anyone else read her e-mails. So I e-mailed my sponsor and told her how terrible I felt about what I did.
EMDR with Cynthia Pickett LSW. (a type of therapy called: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing )
I’m doing EMDR therapy for my terrible problem with relationships.
I began this session by recalling the memory of growing up never having had a single conversation with either of my parents. This brought tears. Then I cried from being reminded that I was just a child and had to raise myself and that, since I was only a child with a child’s mind, I did a totally rotten job of it. Then I talked about the idea that you form your ideas before you’re seven and that it’s nearly impossible to get control over these ideas in order to change them. Then she piped in that one actually could change these ideas and that, if I had control, I was not a victim. At first I highly resisted this but then I saw the value of not being a victim because if I was a victim I could never change my circumstance and I vigorously wanted to change it. Because I was resisting I asked her if she had overcome anything herself. Then she talked about her journey overcoming the childish idea that she was unlovable because her mother tried to kill her when she was only two years old. I asked her how hard it was to change this. She said; “Very hard.” I also asked her how long it took and she said; “A long time. But with the EMDR it won’t take you as long as it took me.” So I decided not to resist her idea anymore because it was better than what I was telling myself. The 12 Step Program says ‘we let go of ALL our old ideas’ and I realized that the idea that I couldn’t change my mind was a ‘old idea’, so I decided to let go of it and go with her idea instead. I think that resistance to another person’s new (and better) idea is what takes so long to get well and I was not going to take a long time doing this if I could possibly help it. After all, I am – 63 years – old and I’m not getting any younger.
During this week my assignment was to tell myself; “Your parents were wrong. You ARE lovable and you deserve love and kindness”. Taking direction is really hard for me but I’m going to follow her directions this week.
I made a little progress with Jerry today. Even the smallest thing triggers both of our PTSD issues. Then we have to fight each other. Well tonight I managed to do something different. I was on the treadmill late. 8 pm – 10 pm. Apparently this didn’t sit well with him and he came into the exercise room and gave me the evil eye. Then he SLAMMED the door shut. I just kept walking and didn’t ‘rise’. When I was done, I came to him in bed and very gently asked; “Why did you slam the door?” He said that I was doing my walking too late and that the TV, which is next to our bedroom, was keeping him awake. So I told him I’d try not to get on the treadmill so late. He said sarcastically; “Try!!??” I didn’t say anything back. The truth of the matter is, I can’t guarantee that it won’t happen again. I’m human. All I can do is try.
For 38 years in 12 Step Program I have been unable to keep up a meditation routine. Today I finally took my sponsor’s direction about meditating. I sat on my loveseat for 5 minutes and not a second longer. I have to find out why I can’t do it after all these years of trying. Now I’m finally ready to take direction!!
Today was an ‘interesting’ day. I just got blown over by an AA ‘friend’, a lively girl named Terrena. I had only been befriending her for a month or so when something came up. She was living in a motel situation and was trying to get a studio apartment. But – low and behold – she was short $275. You can guess the rest I think.
Well I forked up the money for her to get it.
Stupid me. I fell for the oldest trick in the book. She came off as a friend but all she turned out to be was a user. Today we were supposed to get together. She had just gotten paid and told me that when we hooked up, she’d pay me $100 of the $275. Then a funny thing happened. Right in the middle of our phone conversation we got disconnected. But the truth is I think she hung up on me. I tried to call her back about 5 – 6 times but no answer. She didn’t call me back either. She just disappeared of the face of the earth. I was supposed to pick her up for an AA meeting that we always went to. I went to her apartment but she wasn’t there or she didn’t answer the door . It’s all so frustrating!
Did she die? Have a heart attack right in he middle of our phone conversation? That’s a possibility – but I seriously doubt it. She’s only in her mid 50’s.
So there. She’s gone. A stupid AA user. As a general rule, AA people – especially those that frequent Alano clubs – are pathetic and abusive. I don’t have any AA friends. The only reason we were ‘friends’ was because my husband foisted her on me because she was new to the AA scene (she had however 10 years sober). She told him she was bipolar (I’m schizo-effective) so he threw her my way. I swear, if he tries to hook me up with anyone else in AA, I’ll sock him one.
I went to my usual Al Anon meeting after the AA meeting. The topic was Step 4 (made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves). I got to sit next to my sponsor Cheryl which was nice after the episode with Terrena. One of the women shared about the slogan; “You didn’t cause it. You can’t control it. And you can’t cure it.” This is about the alcoholic. But it hit me in the heart about my senior that I have been visiting for the past year. We hit a snag and she went on a starvation kick – I think to get back at me. I have been feeling so guilty about that and I hadn’t been able to shake the feeling until the woman shared this slogan. Something broke inside. I fully and finally accepted this slogan as if it applied to her crazy behavior even though she doesn’t have alcoholism. Her reaction to me was HER CHOICE! and not because of what I had done. All I did was tell her I couldn’t come see her that week. Now she’s in the hospital dying from starvation. The last time I saw her, she looked like a skeleton with skin on. They put her on palliative care. I stopped dropping by because I couldn’t bear to see her die like that. She’s 97 and in perfect health, and I wondered what she was going to die of. Now I know. Death by Stubbornness!!
What a Virgo.