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Everything posted by Quaddie

  1. that's what they are designed to do. That's manipulation working. and that's another reason no contact is so important. I sometimes talk about a movie called "Love Potion #9." In it, there is a potion that makes a person attached to the one who has used it on them. But its effect only lasts a certain amount of time, then has to be refreshed by the smitten target hearing the potionater's voice. So when the bad guy uses it on Sandra Bullock, he calls her every few hours to refresh the bond of the potion and keep her attached to him. Contact of any kind works the same way, in real life too.
  2. So this may not technically be about "abuse," but because of the dynamic of it, I'm guessing people can relate. I'm not good at expressing myself "concisely" but here we go. So at my current work situation, I had started although in a technically "low" position, the people who hired me knew I'd actually been at a higher level and that I was capable of a lot higher-level work. The people who hired me made no bones about the fact that they thought I had a brain, and crap-tons of experience, and they respected that. That was why it started out good. They left one right after the other, a new leader came in who didn't bother to get to know me or even let me tell the story of how I came to be in that position or doing the things I was doing. (I was at that time holding my own position plus filling in for one of the people who'd hired me - whose position I'd applied to be promoted to, and who had told and encouraged me to apply for it and had definitively said that I was indeed qualified...) Because of appearances (all sorts, including my physical AND the general "what things look like" type of appearances), the new leader had immediately pigeonholed me as a low-down nothing. Some inappropriate, inaccurate and - to be honest - personally offensive things (though not "illegal", not "HR-type" offensive) were said to me when she told me why she thought I was ridiculous to think I was qualified for the job I was going for. (I don't think she even looked at my resume I'd submitted along with the request. If she had, then she really ignored it, to have said the things she did.) At that time, during the original leadership and in the interim period when our team had no leader, the others in my department (there were about 3 others) considered me to be a colleague. So the new leader did everything she could to "put me in my place." She even kept calling me by a title lower than my actual title - to higher leadership in the organization (which at first when I was upset and asked her not to do that, she argued that it was the "same thing" - it's NOT, though. Then she said she'd never do it again. Then she kept doing it. I asked her again and she promised again. Said she just "forgot." Idk. It was always to higher-up people that she did that. It was humiliating. There was no way for me to correct her. And although *I* know there's a difference between the titles....... in fact, because I'm older and more experienced, I know a lot I'm not "allowed" to know..... it's difficult to explain the difference to someone who doesn't want to hear it and is just discounting everything you say, anyway... I think I got her to stop doing that, finally. But I know she thinks I'm just petty and ridiculous to have even made a point about it. But I've sunk so low especially in esteem that I need to preserve whatever I still rightfully have. It's important to me to not be put-down even more by being called a lower title. Now, everyone else (except 1 person in a similar, but higher-than-me, position who is also experiencing this "side" of the leader) thinks this leader is so sweet and kind. But I've seen an entirely other side. Trust me, I know it when I see it. ANYHOO...flash forward... So this leader had brought a couple of new hires in from her old place. One of them has been ON me from the get-go. Really difficult to work with. She even threw something at me once (which I now regret not having reported, not that it would have made a difference...) But because this one is so high-strung and needy she is also always making a big deal about every little stinkin thing I do as if it's a BIG deal, when it's NOT. It's condescending. (This group once - in a team meeting - burst into a round of applause for me for a task which consisted of: downloading a few files, copying a few documents, emailing them, and putting them into folders. Oh making the labels for the folders. THIS earned me a fricken round of applause. I kid you not. It was nothing. I felt about 2 years old.) Remember that I've been and done much more complicated and difficult things. The reasons I'm not doing that now are complicated and I don't want to justify. But NOBODY needs a round of applause for ... emailing documents and making folders for them. Seriously??? Seriously??? BUT they THINK they are "appreciating" me and "recognizing" me. What-ever. Because I'm such the low man on the totem pole and they think I "need" stupid patronizing crap to make me "happy." But I find it condescending. Seriously! (And I'm not the only one who noticed.) I find it insulting. Like Johnny being applauded for tying his shoes when he's 20 years old. SO... Although my job is often frantically busy and because I do have higher skills that nobody even knows what they are, they take it for granted... I'm doing things for people all over the company. It's okay, it's just my job. But now instead of "colleague" the others all call me the lower position of part of my title and they treat me much more less-than than they used to. It's palpable. Even if I offer knowledge or facts - they take it as if I'm questioning. (Trust me, I'm not saying it as a "question." I'm stating facts but when I say things, it's discounted or seen as not credible because it comes from me.) There's just been a very real shift in the dynamic putting me down and down. But this one gal (the one who has been ON me, who's difficult) ....... had some things go on, she had to travel, I understood having been through stuff myself. It was no big deal the things I did while she was gone. I didn't really do anything for her or go above and beyond or anything. Seriously I didn't. - There wasn't any of that to do. She comes back, she gives me a thank-you card and a $100 gift card. This was, idk, about a month ago. WHICH on the SURFACE seems really "nice." I say it's not necessary but thank-you. It bothers me though. I'm not doing anything "special." It's like "thanks for putting up with me." You know? You can relate - right? Oh - sorry this rambles, but there are a million relevant offshoots. This person - who is also a pet/friend of the new leader, btw, one of her personal bring-alongs.... this difficult person also had thrown me under a bus and did something against me (which I didn't deserve!!! they took a situation out of proper context, twisted it and did something which *I* find to be horrible and disgusting and undeserving to me!! eff them).... It's an extremely complicated situation I can't explain and too upsetting anyway. And NOW it's hugely consequential because it's fvking my career yet again and preventing me from..... I can't explain. It's just indescribably upsetting and it was utterly uncalled-for and wrong to have done to me, and I had no recourse and I'm nothing so nothing I say or do has any credibility, anyway. So they f'd with my life and really, really hurt me in real ways. So another person - one of the originals - one of the ones who used to consider me a "colleague"... She recently traveled on business for a few days. I barely needed to do anything on her behalf while she was gone. Seriously, I answered a few emails, forwarded a few emails, that's all. And by "a few," I MEAN "a few." So SHE comes back and gives me a thank-you card and a $50 gift card. I say again, not necessary but thank-you. Thing is this. I don't want the fricken gift cards. They feel like put-downs. They make me feel like a prostitute. The things they're "thanking" me for are no big deal. Really, they're not. The gift card don't make me feel "appreciated." They make me feel put-down. When I was a "colleague," they'd never have done that crap. Now because I'm just everyone's servant, they feel it's "right." To make me feel "appreciated." I don't want gift cards. I want to be respected. To not be treated as if everything that comes out of my mouth is ridiculous or automatically suspect or discounted. To not be treated as if *I* am ridiculous to think I'm not nothing. To be acknowledged as a person. A person with a "turnips-ton of experience" (as the previous leader who'd encouraged me to apply for his position had said)... whose every word isn't just automatically stupid or questionable or ridiculous, who is not ridiculous for thinking she might have been anything, or might be anything.....who's just plain not ridiculous. Omg.... I can't even explain. The negation, discounting. STEREOTYPING. Pigeonholing me. Even while I'm shouting that their stereotyping isn't true they ignore me (although the very fact of my shouting disproves it... SH!T....anyway....) I don't want that. I wanted to have been acknowledged with respect when I'm able to do a variety of things INSTEAD OF having been set up for not being magical and been subjected to a nonexistent issue that has fcked my life! To not be continually "put-in-my-place." To be reminded constantly that I'm nothing. This feels like just another way of "putting me in my place." Please, if all you see is "they're just being nice" then I'm not getting my point across successfully. That's not all it is - to me. I mean, it might be "just being nice" if my career had never been anything or if I was someone who was so...idk, selfish? stupid? immature? that I needed a fricken gift card to make me feel "good" about putting labels on a folder or sending an email. It's over-the-top. It's excessive. And I've never worked in a position where this has happened. It's just fricken doing my job and it's not even that big a deal. It's not like I worked hard on a big project and deserve it. I didn't. It's not. So the gift cards feel like patronizing, condescending put-downs. I don't want them. I feel sick from them. They make me feel like a prostitute. (And again - please don't try to tell me I'm "wrong" to feel this way or that I'm "looking at it wrong" or that "they're just being nice and trying to show their appreciation." That's not what it is. My feelings are valid. My perspective isn't invalid just because it's mine. It's not like I'm entitled or I want to give them back. They make me feel sick. But I can't. Because it wouldn't be gracious or appropriate. But they make me feel sick. I don't want gift cards, money, I'm not a whore, I don't work for tips, these things are no big deal and it's just my job and it's not like I did some sort of huge project (which I've done in other places). I don't deserve these. I don't want them. I DON'T feel "appreciated" - no no, not when being disrespected in other ways all the time and put-in-my-place and seriously and uncalled-for fvcked with in ways that fvcked with my life and my reputation and my career. No no no. And idk, maybe they both feel guilty because they were both involved in that setup thing (which I know at least one of them probably thinks was wrong to have done)... But I don't care if they feel guilty. I don't. It's my life that got f'd and at this point in my life, the repercussions of which they have no clue how devastating that was to me!!!!!!!!! F THEM I want to give back the gift cards and I can't. I don't want to accept them. It's the act of not-wanting-to-accept-them-from them. (In other words,it would not make me feel better to give them away to someone else.) Makes me feel like a prostitute. I know I'm selling my brain and body but to get a paycheck is one thing, to be personally "paid" for doing no big deal just feels patronizing and condescending and makes me feel sick. I guess I don't know how to explain.
  3. It doesn't get rid of the bad feeling no matter what I would do with it. It's the fact she does this (and there are other things they do) and nothing will get rid of that. Plus, I really can use it for something to make my physical life better. I know about job-hunting. I just cannot possibly explain all the very serious and legitimate reasons why a new job is not the answer. It's not that I'm a "defeatist." My life and experience has been long and legitimate. My situation is valid, my challenges are valid. I know I "should" and I'm keeping my eye out for something that might be suitable but there really isn't anything (and that is due to a lot of - again - very legitimate factors) - AND it's not the answer in the long-term anyway because this kind of thing in one form or another happens to me in every.single.workplace. all. my. life. and it is getting worse the older I get. and I'm not capable of handling workplace b.s. anymore. and I was so terrorized (not just in my last position - which was completely and utterly horrific on a number of levels, which I cannot even begin to explain or get into) - and this is cumulative as well, not just from that but from every.single.time........ and I cannot even begin to convince someone else to hire me because the only jobs I could possibly do are not going to get me any esteem either and are going to land me in exactly the same situation for less money and without the same benefits and I can't care anymore about anybody else's b.s. I have genuine legitimate real valid physical challenges which prevent me from doing most types of work, I have genuine legitimate real valid other challenges which impact every other aspect of everything....... and this is not my life, I can't get into something where it might demand even more of me and still even hope to do what I need to do on the off-time with the little resources I have left. This is not "defeatism" - it's not "negativity" - it's not "self-esteem" issues - it's reality and acknowledgment of everything I know about myself and my limits and my life goals (unless I just decide I'm too effin' old to bother with pursuing my soul anymore and wtf, then none of it matters at all). Trust me, I'm the first person to be encouraging and woo-hoo you can do it, but this is NOT what's going on my my own particular life situation. I'm extraordinarily familiar with all the ins and outs and dynamics of toxic environments and I'm doing what I can to change my life on my off-time, but nothing is going to be magically different in a situation that has never been magically different for like 40 years, even if I wanted it to be. It's simply a horrible life fit for me, even in the best of circumstances (which never last more than a blip -as some might recall, this one started well then rapidly changed). My "I can'ts" are legitimate and real and valid. They are the product of self-knowledge and life-knowledge and the reality that none of this is the right thing for me in any way, shape or form. The answer is not in another job. The answer is in my finding another way, which of course I am well aware I am failing at - have been forever - but still that is the only answer. The answer does not lie in burying myself more in something else for someone else that's going to suck any other needed lifeforce away from me and not meet my basic needs as well.
  4. You have the ability to disrupt that hold by taking care of your needs in another way.
  5. Personally, it's my opinion that it would be your safest and healthiest option, all around. Especially with something as sensitive and important as your sobriety. Right now, it's like he's holding you hostage with it. It's manipulative and damaging to you. The better you can find ways to not need anything from him and be totally independent of him, the better and healthier you will be able to become.
  6. Can you ask your friends not to tell you if he contacts them? That is a boundary you can draw. However they deal with him, is up to them. The only way to get free of him is to disengage entirely. You are almost certainly going to have to find a way to go to meetings without asking for any cooperation from him. Even if it's difficult. We often have to give up something pretty "big" in order to get free of an abuser. He is just going to keep using this as a way to try to engage with you. The only way to free yourself of him is to completely go non-contact. That means hearing about him from "friends," too. They should respect your boundaries once you ask them to. If they don't, they're not safe for your healing. He's never, ever, ever going to be safe to interact with - he's never, ever going to respect your boundaries. Until and unless you can have your life free of his influence and interference - he is still controlling you. He's not going to ever, ever be safe for you to interact with. And he's never going to "let" you have what you need.
  7. Lol that must have been me, echthros is my ex. <shudder> So true. Also, I was thinking about something similar the other day. Hard to verbalize, but I'll give it a go. When I was married, I thought "that is just how life is." What I'd THOUGHT was "fun" - now, looking back... was nowhere near what fun actually feels like. What I'd thought was "caring behavior" from him - if he was being good - was nowhere near what actual caring behavior on an ongoing basis actually looks like. (I can count on one hand the number of times he impressed me with "caring" behaviors - that's how infrequent it was, and why it stood out. Caring behaviors should NOT stand out as being "abnormal." It should just be the normal.) What I'd thought were "good times" - were bland and bleh and nowhere near what "good times" FEELS like with someone who actually cares about you as a person. It was all on like an entirely different dimension than actual caring, respect and support are like. It's like....imposter-caring. Like we've talked about before with many of the abusers.... it feels like they are just going through motions. There is an entirely different type of connection between people who actually support and care and respect each other. I don't mean "respect" as in "do what I say." I mean see and enjoy and like and respect your individuality as a person. It's a whole different ballgame from what I thought "good" was. Of course, my concept of what life was like was very bland and tasteless. It was matter-of-fact and empty. A non-abusive relationship is not like that.
  8. because I am in such a perceived-servile position, she would consider that a slap in the face. She has already arranged for me to get in trouble for things I didn't really do "wrong." That creates immense trauma in me (especially from having been terrorized with such in a prior position, which situation I cannot fully describe but it was horrific and extremely traumatizing in a way I have never recovered from and has ruined any ability for me to really navigate or CARE to navigate workplaces anymore anyway). She takes the slightest word "wrong" and then turns around onto me. She plays like we're getting along great but then I have to know my place or else. She is friends with the director and I evidently now have 12 million lower "bosses" even though I wasn't demoted and used to report directly to the director... idk, this is the weirdest situation I've ever been in. It's not right, but I was told I'm wrong (even though I have more experience than any of them, AND I know a LOT about employment and law and workplace norms and alllllll that. But, I'm not allowed to know anything. I'm automatically wrong. So I can't say anything. Because it all gets turned around against me.) I'm literally at the bottom and powerless. If I offend her, my life there will be even more miserable. It's a catch-22. It's hard to explain. I'm too old for all this kind of cr&p. But I don't have any other options and none of this is workable for me. Not working anywhere. For a ton of reasons. Working is really taking my life from me in so many (atypical) ways that I can't. But I have to.
  9. Thank you ((WB)) She does do a lot of condescending and - hard to explain, maybe authoritarian? things that let me know she feels I am basically of "servant class" (I discussed this with the only other similarly situated person in my department, who has her own tough situation with *her* managers - and we both feel we've never been expected to be so "servile" in any other situation. Well, I might have before - I've been in the workforce 40 years - but not in this particular type of position.) It's so hard to explain. It's like if I offer anything that lets them think that *I* think I'm anything, I get put-down with some sort of condescension or insult or worse. BUT - if I just "yes ma'am no ma'am" then that's not okay either, of course because then I'm not showing any initiative or enthusiasm or what-the-fvck-ever. SO. Thing is, so they are all sales people who are incented on quarterly/annual goals and if they make their goals they get a bonus. So I think this is this particular manager's way of trying to show me I'm "part of the team" and earned a bonus, too. Because I'm her servant and all. (And I'm others' too, but they don't do this with their $$. But oh, this is only HALF my job, and the OTHER half I'm supposed to be knowledgeable and I'm in fact the ONLY one in the building with my skills and knowledge, but I'm not allowed to think I have them, even though they expect me to use them every.single.day and cover for the director's lapses and inability and lack of skill even though she told me at the get-go (pretty literally) that I'm not good enough, but I'm still expected to do all the crap I'm not "good enough" to do because there's no one else to do it - and also while they take every opportunity to put me down about all *that*, too. It's insane.) Anyway....back to the bonus thing. So she thinks she's "including" me and doing a "good thing." BUT IN REALITY. Half my job has nothing to do with them. AND this is personal out of her pocket so it feels disgusting to me, like payola. (I do know, in my last place of business, a person in a similar role told us how she did this with her "servant" but always was giving her money and gifts because she was hard on her "servant" <-- <my word, I just don't want to use the real title>...so I know this is sometimes done. But this is not how *I* see myself. I'm not that. I've NEVER been in that particular role. AND I don't WANT it. It's like if you're a guy and you have a girlfriend who has sex with you because she's your girlfriend, then you pay her for it. Put a couple hundred on the nightstand after. I don't know how else to describe it. This is just my JOB. I don't work for tips. I don't want her money. It doesn't make me feel engaged or special. It makes me feel put-down, like she's saying, "Oh I have more money than you so I'm giving you some of mine.because poor you, you don't get to get more money like I do." It feels like the rich being "generous" to a servant. It feels servile and prostitute-like. (And it also lets me know that this is how she sees me. As servile who she should throw some bucks at, "good dog, good doggie, there there, here's a treat." ) It's not like I'm a PROFESSIONAL with decades of actual PROFESSIONAL experience. It's disrespectful. But she...thinks it's respectful and a good deed. But it turns my stomach. All I said when I opened it was, "This is totally unnecessary... <paused>. but thank you." That's pretty much all I ever say. I really hate it. I just hate the symbolism. And what it tells me of how others view me. And how it takes away from the fact that I'm a PROFESSIONAL with a great deal of knowledge and experience........that no one can even acknowledge, that they put me down me for thinking I have, for even thinking I'm anything but a servant. Who should not think, except on-demand, and then it's still like walking on eggshells. They are frequently almost literally "putting me in my place." It's so effing insane. While at the same time, if I do things in my profession or anything requiring higher-level thought it gets ZERO acknowledgment (I did bring this up with director who had some crazy things to say about it)... Of course then people always say, "then get another job." But there are dozens of really legitimate, valid challenges and issues with that "typical solution" which make it not necessarily apply to me. I just can't really get into it, but it's real. And its going to be the same anywhere else, anyway. It always ends up the same. The older I get the worse it is, I have increasing challenges and "another job" isn't the answer, I just can't find the answer.
  10. Hi, there was a post up here this morning - I had drafted a reply on my mobile, but when I clicked Submit, the post had disappeared. I hope you did not delete your post out of fear, or apprehension that you did not belong here, or that your story was unwelcome, or that it seemed weird or...anything. Because you do belong here. Now I'm going to try to remember what I said before, lol... First off, yes, it was definitely abuse that you experienced - very severe abuse. It's normal to have mixed feelings and difficulty reconciling abuse with the caring/supportive person. And especially, the parental relationship is very, very difficult to reconcile that way. There are very "primal" feelings in the mix as well, which make the attachment very deep. The fear and feeling of betrayal about discussing this with your therapist could be due to "trauma bonding." That is a very common side-effect of abuse like this. In fact, that may have even been why you deleted your post? Fear of betraying that? But in order to really start on your path toward healing and become your own individual self, it will be necessary to be open and honest with your therapist and tell them the truth about all this. It is not a "betrayal" because they were responsible for what they did, and now you get to become your own person - and in order to begin to do that, you need to be able to work through that. It feels weird and wrong, but it isn't wrong at all. That's the trauma bonding making it feel wrong. However, being dependent on the abuser(s) can make it more challenging to be open and to work through these things. Because it keeps a person from being able to get the needed distance that helps give them a more accurate perspective of what is actually going on. Now, what you described of your earlier childhood - to me sounded like pretty normal kid stuff. The way your caregivers treated you, however, can actually cause all sorts of other issues and problems for you. So a lot of the symptoms you described, sounded to me like they might have resulted from the abuse. They were definitely not reason for you to be abused! In fact, that is something that abusers often try to do - twist it around and blame you for your own abuse, make it "your fault." They are great at manipulating - especially with guilt - and may even lead the target of abuse to draw that conclusion themselves. Making them think they thought it themselves. That they deserve it. That they brought it on themselves. If only they hadn't ______. If only they'd been more ____. But that's not true. Abusers abuse because they are abusive. Not because anyone deserves it. No one deserves it! Anyway - of course, I don't know what your diagnosis is (and it's none of my business , and I could be way off-base, but there's a chance that all this abuse actually caused your condition, or made it much worse than it would ordinarily be. And I suppose this can be scary because there will probably be a lot of anger that might arise at some point. A lot of anger...a ton of confusion and hurt feelings. That's a big ball of wax to start unwrapping (pardon the mixed metaphor). So even acknowledging "Yes, they were extremely abusive" - is scary. But it's a great first step to take. It doesn't mean you have to hate them. It's a complicated relationship. A mix of feelings is entirely normal. There are a couple of books I recommend a lot, that I think might be helpful for you. One of them is "Healing Your Emotional Self" by Beverly Engel. It's really great for adults who grew up in abusive/neglectful environments. It also helps identify what some abuse is, in those respects, so it can help with the confusion and help gain clarity - as well as help with some practical guidance on what you can do for yourself to help yourself begin to heal. Another is "Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin" by Anne Katherine (not a workbook). I like this book for the way it's written. Boundaries are something that anyone who grew up in abuse will struggle with. And it's essential for healing and for becoming a healthy individual to really learn to identify and practice with them. It's an ongoing process - takes a long time - but this is really great information and I think would be of help. Don't worry about posting as much as you want, or about whatever you want. The people here are very understanding.
  11. Got another little card stuffed with 20s yesterday. (After their quarterly bonuses if they make their goal - but it's only the one manager that does this.) There was probably another in-between this and when I posted. I used that toward something I needed. But it still feels like crap. I feel like a whore. I feel horrible. I don't even want to touch it. It feels disrespectful. I've never held the kind of role where this would be considered "appropriate." It's a put-down that that's how they see me. I'm not as lowly as they seem to see me. They can't get it out of their heads. The stereotyping is so overwhelming. I still want to give it back. And to say something honest and ungraceful, like, "This makes me feel like a whore. It makes me feel disrespected. I'd rather be treated with respect and not put-down or made assumptions about or treated condescendingly as if I'm not a full-fledged person. Accepting this makes me feel complicit, like tacit acceptance...like bribery. None of you has treated me like the person I am or deserve to be treated as. This turns my stomach. I don't want your envelope of whore money. I'm not your whore." That's what I want to say. Well, there are more words that come to mind every moment. Words I can never say - to anyone - ever. Ever. Ever ever ever. Never. Just take it, and take it, and take it, because if I don't take it, my survival and my psyche are devastated by the words and actions they take against me which they then would feel justified. I just can't deal with anything anymore. It's not "just" this. It's too much to explain. Whore money. She thinks it's a nice thing and it doesn't feel like anything except a put-down, put-down put-down. Because it's not just this. It's .... just so much mental/psychological disrespect, as if I'm a monkey or a servant and never was or could be or would be anything else and I should know my place. Infantilized. Humiliated. Disrespected and treated as so much less-than. It's disgusting, especially at my age and with so much experience (which was insulted by them as if I'm stupid and ridiculous to think I'm not as worthless as they think I am). It's just difficult to stomach anymore.
  12. That's true. Each abuser may have a bit of a different type or strategy. I went from one type in ex-h to another type in a bf. The bf gave me a lot of "good" things, too - which made it more difficult to separate from - but he was appalled by the way my ex-h treated me. While being abusive (albeit of a different genre) himself. 6245, this guy gives me the willies. I sense trouble. :-\
  13. I think it bears thinking about this fear of making people angry by asserting one's own needs. Of course this is a complicated topic, lol, but someone from the old version of this forum used to suggest that I wouldn't turn into a pumpkin by doing so. The fear of making others angry is something that keeps you from meeting your own needs, and that is not something that you should own. You have a right to your own needs (just like anyone else). It"feels" bad, but that feeling is not a legitimate sign that you have actually done anything wrong. It takes practice to stop feeling that way. So the "doing" of it must come first. Even though it feels "wrong." That feeling is just incorrect "conditioning" when in fact you are not doing anything "wrong." I find it helps to talk to myself even iout loud, lol, to remind myself of that.
  14. I would be wary about asking him about this stuff. It tips him off to your awareness and gives him the opportunity to counter and manipulate you about it.
  15. Oh and if he accuses you? There's no law that you have to listen or bear with him spewing. Walk away, hang up, whatever it takes. Anyway it's no business of his what you do, since you are broken up.
  16. Don't answer his calls and ignore or block his texts. He has no right to do that. Really it's time to draw a firm line between you and him. Boundaries boundaries boundaries. I love the book, "Boundaries, Where You End and I Begin" by Anne Katherine.
  17. You broke up with him, but to him everything is still as it was. He isn't behaving like a person who has been broken-up-with. He is going to keep up the status quo forever. It works just fine for him. He has no reason to change it. So waiting for him to decide to change the situation is the same as staying together with him. You don't have to tell him any thoughts or reasons (although it would be fun to air them, it would all be futile anyway, sadly). You can just tell him to get out. You have broken up with him and you want him to leave. He has until X date to get out. Then take whatever measures you need to in order to get him out. He has no right to be there. He is imposing on you. As for his anger if you do something he doesn't like? It is irrelevant. Try to live your life as if he is not there. He is not a companion or your friend. You broke up with him. You don't need to make a big stand. You can do what you need to do. Go about your business. Treat him as if he is not a companion. Make it uncomfortable for him. He thinks he still "has" you.
  18. Yes, both. He doesn't think about things like that, and he doesn't want to be like that. I know that song. It is sad, about a relationship drifting apart. (Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond - the history behind the duet is really interesting. Evidently they had each recorded it, and some DJ somewhere edited the two together to make it sound like a duet and that version became popular, so they did it as a duet.) Anyway...;) I digress. Hoping, yes, I can well relate to the hope that an abuser (or anybody) will pick up on a hint of something I need. It's really hard to live that way. But it usually doesn't work. That's a sort of passive way to try to get your needs met. I think this is a complicated topic - for me, it began with trying to "self-talk" myself and repeating phrases like "My Needs Matter" - "I Matter" - over and over again. Trying to re-program myself that my needs matter just as much as anyone else's. The reason for doing that is because it helps in the next phase, which is learning to express my needs and desires more directly. Now, with abusers it's usually futile and sometimes brings consequences to do so - but that is their reaction. It's not because you have done anything wrong. I have to say, it's taken a long time to become more comfortable with saying, "I want"... "I need" .... "Would you please help me by...." With my partner, he's not like yours so with the exception of certain topics, it's become easier for ME to express myself. (Because to be honest my inability was something that was conditioned into me pretty much since babyhood.) I guess what I'm saying is, there's something to be learned here about expressing needs and desires. Yes, with an abuser, if you say, "I wish you'd send me flowers once in a while - it really helps me feel cared-for" that might get a bad reaction. But the reaction is not because you expressed the desire. It's because yeah, like he said, he is in a mindplace where he gets angry because he feels like you're putting him on a guilt trip. Because it's all about him, him, him. To be honest? I've given up on flowers and gifts unless they are given from the heart. If someone does things for me because they feel obligated, it is hollow and doesn't make me feel cared-about. In fact, I just got rid of some flowers on Friday that came from a disingenuous place (at work, but still, from jerkholes). They remind me of how much b.s. they are. So flowers or gifts or things like that - to me, the "place" they come from is all-important. If he gave you flowers because he felt guilty and because you told him you wanted them so he'd be following a "playbook" basically - it may not feel very good anyway. Then he'd be able to get angry that he "gave you what you wanted and you still aren't happy." Blah blah blah. I get what you're saying, and it's sad. I just went off on some tangents there. I think what you really want is someone who cares enough about you to give you flowers. Not for some jerkhole to give you flowers because you ask for them and he thinks it might shut you up. I'm just guessing here, but that's one perspective.
  19. Personally, this is someone I would end it with, and without explanation or "discussion." "We're not compatible. I'm sorry. Have a good life." Something like that. FWIW, once I ended it after just a few dates with a guy who I suddenly realized was very controlling. I ended it via instant messaging (lol, but that's how we were primarily communicating). His response was, "But we haven't even slept together yet!!!" As if I had no right to end it until that had happened! It was weird and funny. But be prepared that, if you do end it, he may barrage you with questions and insistence that you explain or that you owe it to him. Or he may want to be "understanding" and try to get the truth out of you that way. (Don't give it to him!! It will only backfire!!!) Or that he will insult you and tell you that you are "just like the rest" and "he thought you were different." (<-- which is a hoover attempt to try to get you to deny that you're like that and get back with him) I agree that his comments are red flags and it would be my inclination, if it were me, knowing what I know now, to nip this thing in the bud. I'm sorry :-(
  20. Yet your life is your own to live. Your mistakes are your own to make, whether or not someone else agrees or is "afraid" for you or how you will navigate it. How would you know you can, if you never were able to try? There's a saying... "If you think you can't, you're right." It really grates on me when other people "worry" that you can't do something, and keep you stuck somewhere you don't want to be in life because of their own "concerns." It's your life. Yours. No matter what anyone else thinks.
  21. Because they don't see you as an individual human being, capable of independent thought or motivation or drive. Therefore, you are like a sapling in the wind, bending and swaying this way and that according to whoever whispers the most effectively into your ear.
  22. Hoping, I just saw this post of yours in another thread: And I wanted to suggest the book, "Healing Your Emotional Self" by Beverly Engel. It is really good for people who grew up in households without receiving adequate parenting. I found it very helpful.
  23. You know what, Hoping? The question about whether or not he is abusive or "typical" (he isn't), becomes irrelevant. The most important question in the world is this: Are you happy, or unhappy, with him? Do you feel good with him? Comfortable? Does he make life better for you - or does he bring you down? Do you visualize feeling peaceful on your own, without him constantly in your head, without having to constantly think about what you should do or say so that he will or won't act the way he is? Trying to "manage" the relationship - is it sapping all your energy and preventing your true self from being able to come out and shine? These are the important questions. An attempt to analyze his abusiveness or the extent of it becomes moot in the face of how you feel within the relationship. Now, as for your sister's advice... If you really care about someone, you don't "worry" about them to sway them into staying in something they may not be comfortable or happy in. You believe in them and encourage them and trust that they are adult enough to be able to function on their own. The problem with asking for opinions from the people in your circle is they are nearly always going to have their own agendas. Your sister sounds like she is more "worried" for your material needs and that she doesn't trust that you are capable of functioning or navigating the world as an independent individual. That - to me - sounds like more of the programming you've been conditioned with that created the situation of your husband controlling your world. Being in an unhappy relationship does not make depression better. Fact. Fact fact fact fact fact. So worrying that leaving something that makes you unhappy ... well, to me that's kind of backwards. Depression doesn't magically improve while the situations feeding into it are still there. There's a strong possibility that your depression is being made worse by being in a relationship in which you're not happy, in which you feel controlled, in which you feel you have no voice, in which you feel less-than - and in which, and while, everyone around you is "worrying" that you cannot be a fully functional independent adult capable of navigating the world. To me, that "worry" is just plain insulting. It's a put-down. Someone who is interested in helping you make your world better would be encouraging and supportive of your ability to navigate the world on your own - just like any other adult can. This - to me - is infantilization. The people who "care" about you in your world are infantilizing you instead of supporting you in your quest to be your own person. And to me, infantilization is itself a form of abuse. So that's something to think about. Considering the source and the validity and the genuine value of the opinions coming at you. And whether it's actually truly helpful to your true, authentic self. A lot of times, put-downs can masquerade as "worry." People have their own agendas, sometimes they are quite covert and complicated. For example, someone else may "worry" that you can't do something because they foresee a future where they might feel like they should "help" you and they don't want to be put into a position of doing that (even if that would never happen!) Sometimes it's guilt. Sometimes it's just that they, themselves, have very different mindsets and only care about material survival in the world and not soul pursuits. I feel that you want beauty and control in your own life - things you can't get right now. You crave having an environment that makes you feel comfortable and that enfolds you as an extension of yourself. Yes, there are trade-offs in leaving. It really is a question only you can answer for yourself. And as for the chance you passed on? Maybe it wasn't the right one for you. It didn't feel right to you. Being secluded wouldn't make you feel happier, so that's not right for you. There's nothing wrong with passing on that. Being close to busy town is something I like, too.
  24. I'm glad to hear that, Hangin.
  25. What Vickeee said. He is being controlling. It's not supposed to be like you're afraid to talk about finances or "he's the boss" and you just go along. It should be discussed and agreed as partners. Also, since part of this is apparently a penalty from ah IRA withdrawal to assist your daughter, is there any way your daughter can assist in paying that? It would be okay to expect her to help even if she has to restrict expenditures as well.