August 21, 2019 at 12:40 pm #308901
Great, I look forward to your email.August 22, 2019 at 2:33 pm #309007
Dear Cali Chica:
I know it will be a while before you return here but I chose to respond to your message of yesterday this afternoon:
Yes, I hit my sister and you hit your husband. “much of how we act is from our internal turmoil. Sure it does not mean it is not wrong (it is wrong to hit another individual)”- yes it is wrong, especially hitting a child. My goodness, I hit my sister when she was 2 or 3, maybe 4. I was , I was 8 or 9 or 10- she did nothing wrong, nothing at all. She didn’t me back, she was too small to hit back. Oh how I regret hitting her. I don’t remember hitting her at that age more than that one time, but I heard later that I was observed hitting her repeatedly. I don’t remember, but then, I remember so very little of my first decade.
Of course it is wrong. It is always wrong to hit and hurt a young, innocent, powerless, dependent child who looks up to you for … protection. It is heartbreaking for me to think about it, and yes, I did it.
“I hit my husband”- wrong, sure. But in the world of Wrong, hitting a young child is the most Wrong.
“I recall feeling extremely defiant about it.. angry, entitled. I was enraged”- entitled, yes: abusers do feel entitled to abuse. In their minds they are exacting justice.
“I don’t know the context of why you hit your sister. But I can guarantee it had to do with your mother pouring her hate and poison unto you, and then you pushing it onto someone else”- this is the dynamic of abuse- >passing on the abuse, first to younger siblings, to weaker/ younger peers in school, bullying them, and on, as parents, passing it to one own’s children.
When abused, the abuser often wants the power of the abuser, seeing nothing but two options: be abused (weak, powerless) or dishing out the abuse (strong, powerful)- many choose the second option.
“attack, and roar” you called it, to abuse, that is. And you described it perfectly: “A language of hate, a language of frenzy and distress”.
“it is important to forgive myself, to forgive yourself”- and we do it through the difficult work of healing. “There is no one that works harder on healing everyday than you and I”- we have the meeting of the minds in this regard- you and I do work very hard on healing ourselves, consistently, day after day, years at this point. This is the way we earn our self forgiveness.
August 23, 2019 at 8:57 am #309059
- This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by anita.
Glad you are happy and smiling!
I can write here for the next 2 hours or so, so I will.
This therapist had a very rudimentary way of understanding situations I could tell. In fact she said this:
“wow I never have heard a story like this – about your mother”
I wanted to say – you’re a therapist?!
Anyway – I am glad I tried for the sake of trying, but not for me- at this exact moment – and that is okay!
I know I am doing other things to help my healing path – most of which includes non rushing.
Today we have an after work event, as well as a pre wedding event for the wedding. I declined the work event without thought. No CC will not multi task and handle 2 social events at the same time. That CC is no longer with us, let her RIP.
Yes, I will talk to you next week in private email about that topic – I am glad you brought it to my attention. It is not that it is not important to me – it is that I am not bothered by it so much anymore as I have accepted that my trauma does effect that part of my life (of course).
To your previous post, the dynamic of abuse. I thought about this a lot on the train ride here. Seeing how often it is portrayed on TV, cycle of abuse in bullying teens, with children of divorced parents acting out, etc. Some of it cliche, some of it realistic. Never realizing prior to now that this cycle is in fact a CYCLE! Dating back generations before me.
Yet those generations propagated it forward. When it comes to me – the buck stops here. The cycle will end here.August 23, 2019 at 10:25 am #309065
Dear Cali Chica:
Funny: “No CC will not multi task and handle 2 social events at the same time. That CC is no longer with us, let her RIP”- yes, let Social Butterfly/ Super CC be gone and rest in peace and let this Cali Chica, the authentic CC, the one you choose to be live in peace.
Her comment: “wow I never have heard a story like this”- this comment sounds appropriate to let’s say you are sitting on a bench in Central Park talking to a stranger who happened to sit on the same bench. Not to a therapist! She should have been taking notes while you told your story, so to study you and your story seriously (she didn’t take notes or recorded you for further study after the session, did she?)
anitaAugust 23, 2019 at 10:39 am #309069
She did take notes. I am sure shes fine for certain individuals – not for me – especially not right now.
Yes let that SSSCC (so many S) RIP.
I thought my cold was better but it came back with a vengeance this morning. My husband is sick now too prob because of me, sore throat and tonsils swollen. I guess the both of us will be low-key for this wedding weekend. A good sign that we need rest and some time to rejuvenate. Ironic
I do look forward to the event tonight, it is on a rooftop and is casual. A lot of the people that are going I do like. Some not so much. I will pick and choose wisely. Luckily the weather is good and it’s local, we can leave at anytime we please.August 23, 2019 at 10:46 am #309075
Dear Cali Chica:
There are some powerful over the counter meds for this kind of problem, Benadryl for one? Funny I suggest meds to two medical doctors. Keep it low-key, easy, low pace, rest well this weekend and post anytime you want, if you want. I am fine and dandy with you not posting (or emailing me) at all this weekend, hoping you and your husband will rest and relax.
anitaAugust 26, 2019 at 4:50 am #309325
Good morning Anita,
I hope you had a good and relaxing weekend. I was hoping that you were able to keep on feeling that joy and relief that you felt at the end of last week as you surely deserve it.
the wedding weekend was fun. It was low-key relaxed, and a good time all around.
It’s morning I am writing to you feeling different. I feel different because I feel 100 times more mature and grounded. Yes I said it I feel grounded I have been waiting for this moment a long time.
This weekend I realized and my husband realized, the true depth of his suffering. I have brought this up many times, mostly in the contacts of the fact that I have a Bewes my husband and therefore caused him,. My mother and the way that she treated him and his family during that wedding time as well, and much more. I’ve also referenced his job, and how it is not an ideal environment, A set up for burn out. Given that, brought up the idea of us moving to a location that is far less competitive, with an easier daily life, somewhere out west perhaps so that we can actually make her life easier for once. You know all this. I know all of this.
It’s so much more than that. It’s hard for me to figure out where to begin this morning, I’m usually someone who has no difficulty with words. However this time around I would truly am having trouble with it. So perhaps bear with me as over the course of this week I really want to talk this through, and I know that whatever Input you have Will be very special to me.
Anita, I realize now how severely depressed my husband is. He is truly in the trenches of despair and hopelessness. It does not seem like that on the outside if you see a picture or hang out with him at dinner or over the weekend. In fact even if you spent a whole month with us you wouldn’t be able to tell. But that’s because he is so good at pushing through. Of course so much of this has to do with the aforementioned, but there are roots that are deeper as well. He went through an extremely rigorous surgical residency program, which often involves a lot of bullying and hazing. It’s how much of that old-school mentality in which the hierarchy is still there and in order to teach the residents in certain fields there is a lot of abusive tactics used. This is a known thing, however it does not make it OK. I meant to tell you, and as above I’m not doing so great with my words this morning Is this: Has been through so much accumulated, and the cherry on top as his own wife, or girlfriend back then being extremely abusive to him, that he truly is in a bad place.
Today after the wedding, some of this came up. He told me how sometimes when he sees his patients needing an extended stay, in the hospital he almost envies them their ability to be in a hospital and heal without having any external stimuli or torture. So when my husband is on call it is quite terrible, he gets called up all hours of the night with things that are hardly important or reasonable. I’ve mentioned this to you in the past, there is such a terrible infrastructure and his job at the location he is at currently that He is treated poorly and is expected to do anything and everything. For example if there are certain patients coming in our late let’s say, and he mentions to an administrator that perhaps after a patient has had three no-shows or late arrivals they should perhaps not be put as a priority for the next visit, he is berated. When he is on call he’ll get random phone calls that aren’t even about his patients because the answering service did not properly filter them through, causing him to wake up in the middle the night for no reason often. All of this in and of itself is fine, sure it might happen, but given the context of what he’s feeling already – it’s like what I used to say – a feeling of not being able to go on. Moreover, he’s truly doubting himself these days. He says he’s lost his confidence, he doesn’t even know anymore if he is a smart talented surgeon or if he deserves to be in such a terrible type of job, because that’s the best that he can do, perhaps there is no good job out there and this is what his lot in life is. He said a lot of the reason he has lost his confidence is because of the way I treated him starting pretty early on, I would make fun of him for being short, and I never truly was the supportive spouse looking back. I absolutely agree. Actually because now that I have healed to this point in my own journey I am able to see with clarity how abusive I truly was. It’s not about hitting someone once, it’s the constant emotional abuse it’s the putting them down, it’s the trying to power over. Sound familiar just like what my mother did to me.
Can go on about some of the other things he said, but in short, he is feeling quite hopeless, he does not believe that he could feel any better or that his life could get any better. I on the other hand feel much better, I feel strong and grounded. I feel almost like a parent this morning Anita, having to put on my thinking cap and say what can I do to help heal this person. So much of what he is going through, almost a majority to be honest it’s because of my doing. If I made him this bad, I could also make better.
There are other variables, trauma he has suffered that has nothing to do with me, and this current job. But as they say- love can cure anything. I feel so sad about this. I am not worried to the point that I think he is suicidal, but he has made many comments about how he doesn’t feel like there is any hope for him in this life. He wonders what the point of all of this is, and he doesn’t feel at all like he can see a future him. He doesn’t see himself in the future at all -he feels stuck in now and doesn’t know how to climb out of the hole. I know what he means to a point are used to have so much trouble being able to visualize an older me, having no hope for the future if life at the current was so terrible. Not To say that I’m entirely healed, but that lowest lowest point of life, I recall very clearly. Someone loses hope that is when you know things are really bad. He has no hope, his optimism and that spark he has always had – have disappeared. If he was a patient of mine then my next step would be to directly send him to a psychiatrist. We talked about this yesterday, and the possibility that perhaps medication may be important for him at least in the short term. We also talked about how hard it is to get mental health providers that truly care and don’t want to just train your wallet. The concept of how hard it is to make time to find someone like a therapist, but it is a German the rafter find one that actually cares and has the knowledge and depth to be able to truly help someone like himself or me. As you said, dishing out time and money and being frustrated is actually sometimes even more detrimental – and frustrating. I’m not sure, he said that he may be open to something like medication if he needs it for the short term. But him and I know deep down inside that there is something else.
The other thing that something else is exactly what has helped heal me. Getting on the true healing path. This right here. What you and I do. This stuff we do – that is life changing. Not to say that I want to be his full-time therapist by any means. But I have gained enough where is Devon grounding thus far to know that I can truly help him, not to mention as a bug that half the reason he is in so much despair is because of me. I believe I have the power to help him heal and come out on the other side. I know it. I Also know it will involve some other life changes, likely moving away from New York City and this job of his. Says to me that sometimes he feels like he would be better off dead, not that he is suicidal but feeling like what’s the point of this, he’s only 35 and he can’t imagine how things can get better, and the world continues to throw him abuse. I look at him and say – he is right. He is not thinking with a foggy brain. It’s absolutely true. Just like when I felt down and my story was true, the continual abuse from my mother. All real. Look how much I have been able to climb out of the hole. He can do it too. It’s his turn now Anita, it’s about time that he now has a chance to heal. It is now his turn.August 26, 2019 at 7:45 am #309349
I wanted to add. After writing this to you it gave me even more clarity. I feel it. Remember when my husband said – I feel like you don’t feel any remorse or hear what I’m saying. And I told you – that I want to feel it and I can hear his words – but I don’t feel it.
But I do now. I really do – and that’s how I know I’m ready. I am ready to help him heal. I feel love, tenderness, and true empathy.August 26, 2019 at 8:03 am #309355
Dear Cali Chica:
I spent more than an hour posting to you, submitted it and got the “log in” message, meaning my post was lost. I will re-write best I can what I wrote and lost and will submit next.
anitaAugust 26, 2019 at 8:38 am #309361
Dear Cali Chica:
I wish I saved my last post to you because I put it together thoughtfully, reread it, edited it before sending it to you, way more than my usual posts to you. I was thorough and focused. This post will not be the same. Here are the suggestions I made there (I will refer to your husband as H, the initial of Heart because I think of him as a man with a big heart):
1. First priority, two folds:
-do no harm to H, never, no exceptions. Never yell at him, never put him down in any way, shape or form. Always respect. If another person disrespects him in your presence, stand up for H, reject the disrespectful behavior and the person doing that behavior.
-keep focusing on your own healing. The grounded, mature and strong state of mind and heart that you are experiencing this morning is a result of the long, hard healing work that you did for so long. Remember that emotional experiences do not remain the same, it is not in their nature. So as the day progresses, you get tired, maybe physically uncomfortable, new distressing events happen, you will not feel as good as you did earlier, or now. But you will feel this good later on.
2. As despairing, hopeless and depressed as H is, he is also strong, right underneath the despair. It is amazing how much suffering a person goes through and still, strong. Think of the most horrific life circumstances, such as in Auschwitz perhaps, a hard labor and death concentration camp of WW2. Thousands of people survived years of that. Human/ animal strength and perseverance is amazing.
Communicate to him that his feelings are valid, be empathetic to him, mirror him his feelings and express appreciation of his strength, his ability to push through as well as he did, for so long.
*Every time he expresses to you his hopelessness and depression, and you listen to him empathetically-he feels a bit less hopeless and depressed.
It is not time for you to take over as if he was incompetent and incapable. Instead work with him as a team of two, in which his well being is as important to you as your own.
3. Psychiatric meds can work. I know of a person who never took such before, then following very stressful life changes, was prescribed Lexapro (SSRI). He said it took the edge off and helped him a lot. Following a few months of that, he got off it. Notice that the placebo affect is huge in the context of beginning to take an SSRI, so if H believes it will help him, it is much more likely to help him. Does he believe in SSRIs, will be an important factor in consideration.
4. Psychotherapy doesn’t read like a practical solution. Attending sessions, paying for those, sharing about himself, all these are inconveniences, taking too much time and effort. Plus a therapist can do harm to the client, making the client’s emotional experience even more difficult. (If you knew a particular therapist from personal experience and had great confidence of him or her being able to help H quickly, within the first or two sessions, then maybe, but not otherwise).
5. Present to him an emergency option: him quitting his job right away or as soon as possible and moving out of nyc and to his parents’ home or the home of one of his friends where he will feel comfortable. Let him know that you are willing to do that, that you are willing to live with him in a tent, if that’s what it takes.
6. Look for a reasonable work place for him, a place where he will be treated with respect, a place that operates efficiently (ex., calls to physicians are filtered) and be ready to move west for this purpose. Work on this item (#6) as soon as possible, every day. Make it happen with him, the two of you working on this as a team.
anitaAugust 26, 2019 at 9:17 am #309367
i am in tears. Tears of gratefulness for you. Tears of empathy and sadness for him. Tears of wonder for the human spirit. Especially of those who are Incredibly special, strong, and loving – like yourself and my husband.
Thank you for writing this out clearly and with numbers. I am going to reread and share with my husband today. He is getting home early luckily and so good timing to let this sink in and savor for us both. I know I have the tools – we both do. I have hope. And I know enough for us both.
When I didn’t believe I could feel – you knew I could deep down, it was stuck down there covered with that gooey Gunk. But you knew it was there- and look months later : it is true. Yes. I must keep at my own healing. It is new and fresh and ongoing. At any given moment I can feel different, as it is so recent that I’ve felt grounded. It is still fragile. But I am grateful that at least I can be grounded enough to see my husband’s cry for help clearly – and to jump in.
I will write again to you tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know how the rest of my day goes with my husband. We both will be home earlier than usual with a perfect 70 degree breezy day. We will sink in.August 26, 2019 at 9:40 am #309373
Dear Cali Chica:
You are very welcome. We’ve been in this for a long time by now, three years or so. You are important to me, in my mind and heart, and so is your husband. I will be looking forward to reading from you tomorrow morning. Wishing you and H a relaxed, valuable rest of the day and evening/ night to follow.
anitaAugust 28, 2019 at 5:32 am #309513
Good morning Anita,
My husband and I went over your list, and we had actually touched on almost all of that the day before without putting it in such an organized fashion. It was nice for him to read how you and I are on so much of the same page. Appreciated your input about a therapist. He appreciated him you were honest and that this is not a practical idea for him at this point, he absolutely agrees. He may be open to the medication however is having an extremely busy operative week at work, so will wrap his head around that possibility perhaps this weekend. Also the job opportunities, like I said, unfortunately his market is extremely specific, and at this time it appears to be quite saturated. Ironically, 10 years ago when he was still studying in training the market for his field was so open invest, and subsequently like anything else it can become saturated. All of this goes in ebbs and flows. I however I have a ton of hope that it will work out, in the sense that we will find him an opportunity that allows him more mental space, it is difficult as a surgeon as there is no such thing as a work life balance. In addition, working for yourself is not always better given that you really never have a day off when you’re your own boss, you have no one else to cover your patience if you decide to step away for a day or God for bid a vacation. It is a very difficult line of work that he has chosen, he understands this, but the infrastructure and what she works in now is not something that is fair to anyone. Anyway – I am working on the job stuff as is he, we will see what happens and what opportunities we find.
I had severe insomnia last night and I have incredible anxiety this morning. The type of anxiety in which I feel physically shaky and jittery. Very odd, I don’t feel like this often, the physical discomfort of it. And then I realize, that perhaps I am more anxious this week than I let on. About all of this. Well and…
I told you a few weeks ago about the whole trying to conceive thing. There hasn’t been anything major because obviously it’s only been about a week or two and it was more about the idea of being open to that in our life, as in we are open to trying. I also told you about my anxiety is in relation to this, I even wrote you the chart we did that exercise. Well today I have an appointment with a reproductive medicine specialist. Why? Because I have been having major issues in this sector? No. But because in October I will turn 34, I would like to understand where my body is at. I’m not sure what this first appointment will entail, but usually there is a work up that involves lives and perhaps an ultrasound to assess the fertility status of a woman, to see if her egg reserve is OK and all that.
Perhaps Anita, This is causing me so much anxiety that I feel physically ill!Or perhaps I am just going through my normal cycle of feeling up and down. I am not sure to be honest this time. I have been feeling quite good for the last two weeks and so last nights terrible sleep and this morning was a surprise. I’m sure so much of it has to do with this upcoming appointment in a few hours. I’m not used to being a patient, And I don’t know exactly what kind of answers I’ll have just in one appointment, it will take some time, but I’m sure deep down inside I’m hoping for only good news.
I’ll let you know how the appointment goesAugust 28, 2019 at 5:51 am #309517
To read second,
after i I posted to you – I listed to a song that makes me emotional, recently it has allowed me to have flashbacks or feel certain sad feelings. I appreciate this.
When I listened to the song – I saw my husband’s boyish face and said out loud in my head. Dear universe. Help us heal. We are good and kind. Help us feel safe and happy one day. He is the kindest spirit I know, please help him. He deserves joy again.
It wasn’t a cry for help. It was a prayer of sorts. Please please help him heal. Please help us heal and begin a life together with some happiness.
Want to know what’s ironic? This immediately brings me back to so many times in my life that I would be crying on the floor asking the universe or God to please help my mother, to please help my sweet mother who deserves so much happiness and why is she so sad and struggling.
I see the people who are actually harmed, and the people who actually need help love and support.August 28, 2019 at 6:35 am #309525
Dear Cali Chica:
Good morning. So your husband agrees that psychotherapy is not practical at this point, psychiatric medication (SSRI I am guessing) is an option, but not this week because he has an extremely busy operative week at work, and unfortunately the market of his surgical field is saturated at this time, no job opportunities to consider, at least not in any major city. (Also, he chose “a very difficult line of work”, a challenging work/life balance for him is to be expected anywhere, and if he works for himself, he’ll have even less of the life part of the balance).
I suspected something was wrong before I read about your severe insomnia last night and incredible anxiety this morning because of the few typos so early this morning. Your appointment is in a few hours. I would very much want to know what happens there, when you return from the appointment. I am guessing it will be fine, you are not yet 34.
“I saw my husband’s boyish face… please help him. He deserves joy again.. a prayer of sorts.. Please help us heal and begin a life together with some happiness… This immediately brings me back to so many times in my life that I would be crying on the floor asking the universe or God to please help my mother, to please help my sweet mother who deserves so much happiness and why is she so sad and struggling”- in two different continents, in two different decades, you and I were praying for the same thing. I prayed to the stars in the sky.
And now, since very recently, you finally shifted your empathy from her to your husband. You finally feel empathy for him- it is a very good thing.
Make this day a New Beginning, for yourself as an individual and for your marriage. Resolve that before you go to the appointment. It means to never-ever yell at him, to never-ever behave aggressively toward him, not in word or tone or action. No matter what happens, in his work place, in the job market, one thing in his life will be certain- he can count on you to always be a safe wife for him, to always find safety with you, never aggression.