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    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    I want to say one thing to you:

    please please do not over burden yourself.

    I appreciate IMMENSELY beyond words what you are doing, this study – a true study for me.  I admire your dedication, compassion, and focus.

    I also know that you are doing this willingly – without being told  -regardless, I want to remind you that I do not want you to derive any stress or overwhelming sensation from this study.

    If you feel that you have read simply enough and want to chat – that is fine.

    If you feel that is not a settling feeling and there is more – that is fine.

    I know it may not be necessary to say, but please allow yourself to do whatever is most comfortable for you.

    Thank you very much, I have thought immensely about our last conversations – and will wait to reply, I will continue to collect my thoughts here while you continue the study on your end.

    I feel so grateful to have someone like you.  I am lucky.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Cali Chica.

    Dear Cali Chica:

    Thank you and you are welcome. I am doing this for the two of us, really, the more I learn from you and about you, the  more I learn about me, and learning of this kind is synonymous to healing. I do need a break from this amazing study, having the privilege to learn about your childhood from the many posts written by two sisters from the same household, a unique opportunity.

    I will respond to two new threads, I think, maybe short posts to a few others later, taking a break this way as well as other breaks away from the computer, of course.



    Dear Cali Chica:

    You wrote: “I feel it is as though you are given cake but no taste buds- can’t enjoy or appreciate life in a true way”- your mother gave you cake, more precisely, your father gave you cake (he paid for house, expensive clothes, jewelry, toys, schooling,  international travels, etc.) and your mother presented the cake to you, but it is not that she neglected to give you taste buds, she robbed you of the taste buds you were born with, robbed you of your natural ability to be fully engaged in the here-and-now, to feel affection, empathy, joy, togetherness… and calm.

    Your mother has been extremely pathological (the word you used) way before she became a mother.. In addition to not feeling empathy for you, to attacking you for having any emotion or problem, she also gave you a lot of senseless nonsense, illogically inconsistent and contradictory information about herself, other people, the concept of luck and friendship and so much more. There is a saying, that even a broken clock is correct twice every 24 hours. Your mother, in her teachings of what life is about, may not have underperformed a broken clock.

    In your quest to please her you were doomed to relentless cognitive dissonance, a barrage of senseless nonsense, a mental torture for any human who naturally needs logical consistency.  One reason why you didn’t listen to her much as a child (“sometimes I don’t listen to my mom”) is because of that ongoing outpouring of nonsense. You kind of covered your neurons with a protective silencer sheet that prevented her words from reaching your neurons.

    Your mother was about appearances, she valued the appearances of success, from the prestige of being married to a doctor, to her home, her clothes, her jewelry, going on expensive vacations and touring the world, and maybe her favorite: having friends.

    Showing off her young daughters as dancers  who wear expensive clothes and who have friends/ a busy social life was part of her quest for the appearances of success.

    Her extreme emphasis on you and your sister having  friends was not motivated by her valuing friendship or valuing people. In all of the posts I read, I did not detect her valuing her husband, her daughters, anyone in her extended family, anyone in India or in the USA or anywhere ese in the world. I remember she temporarily valued this woman in Peru I think, one who helped her to get a refund of some money… dishonestly. But this temporary valuing is not what I am referring to. After all she valued you and your sister temporarily when you made her look good, such as when you danced well at weddings or when you befriended a girl and she got to meet the girl’s parents.

    If a person served her purpose, be it getting a refund or serve her need to appear successful, she valued that person temporarily as a means to an end.

    You started life as all children do, eager to learn, eager to please, affectionate, loving, trusting, vulnerable. In your first decade you started showing the negative consequences of your mother being present in young life. At this point, you and your sister were alike (during the first decade of your respective lives), trouble was brewing.

    Your mother expressed to you and to your sister that making fiends is the most valuable thing in the world (“my mom convinced us, and imprinted in us, that to have friends is of utmost importance”).

    As an adolescent you adopted the social butterfly role, while your sister did not. Because of this role, as teenagers, you fared better than your sister. You were occupied with a job that pleased your mother (“my mom was trying to live vicariously through me by placing immense immense pressure on friendships. she almost idolized how many friends I had growing up, it was always an important thing and priority. such as oh mom today i went to the gym – ‘oh with who’ not, oh what did you do there, did you have fun”), a job you accomplished successfully (“adolescent Cali Chica: yes I am so good at making friends!”).

    But your sister did not have a job, so to speak, other than her occasional gig as dancer in weddings (she still finds comfort and pride in fashion and dancing). Your success at your social butterfly job gave you a sense of worth and pride, (in addition to the same gig your sister had).

    And, unlike your sister, you spent way more time outside your home, playing in other people’s homes, and that was fun. She spent more time with your mother, alone with her, and later, when your parents left on vacations, she spent a lot of time in the house alone.

    You pleased your mother when you played with other children and you pleased her when you brought new people into your mother’s life, children and adults (the parents). This job gave you a sense of power, hence Super Cali Chica was born in adolescence. On the other hand, your mother taunted your sister for not having friends, didn’t want her home when visitors arrived so to avoid the appearance of non-success, that is, a failure, aka your sister. (“oh the beautiful butterfly CC type, versus the other daughter”).

    Your primary job, the social butterfly job, gave you as sense of power, of competence, and that sense of power and competence motivated you to work hard in every area of life: “I work so hard in career and personal life, stay fit, do yoga, have great friends…”.

    Fast forward to 2016: your mother rejected in overtly aggressive ways,  the new people you brought into her life, that is, your to-be-husband and his family. She fired you from your primary job.

    You still continued the job by habit, fueled by the sense of approval and power you already experienced in it. The job requires appearing energetic, positive and pleasing… except that you are very negative regarding people, they are all bad, after all, this is what your mother taught you. You socialize and have moments with people, but … can’t get intimate with.. bad people, or those foolish happy-go-lucky people your mother taught you to devalue, maybe despise.

    Before you cut contact with your mother, you imagined it will be a great loss to her, “the idea of losing her daughter is crippling to her…to the point that when she felt she was ‘losing me’ even over the last year bc of her delusions related to my in laws – she was besides herself.. she would likely get our whole extended family involved, maybe even end up hospitalized due to deep despair, hysteria, and psychosis related to the idea of ‘losing me'” (1/17/2018)-

    – none of that happened after you cut contact with her. But at one point, long ago, and for many years, when you were a child, you needed her as desperately as you incorrectly believed only a year and a half ago, that she needed you.

    Your memories of your early childhood are naturally very selective. In your more recent posts you brought up a lot of fun memories from your childhood, and even suggested that your first decade of childhood was pretty pleasant. A clear example of selective memory of your mother is:  “I recall her being more kind and motherly. I recall her cooking meals, and listening to me”.

    But you wrote before, January 22, 2018: “When I look back at my childhood all I can see is sadness. Whether it was feeling sadness for my mother who is suffering.. and feeling like I was born into this life of only of us because as my mother said that is our bad luck. And just sadness in general because there was always a sense of unease, that what we had was not good enough”, and later: “my whole life the holidays were sad and lonely, filled with, oh everyone else has better plans…  I had to escape from the distress that was going on in my household day in and day out. There was no space to openly talk about what I was feeling, the bad feelings, I was ridiculed for having these bad feelings”, May 2018.

    In your many posts, including those in our exercise,  I can rely on your mother’s voice to be an accurate representative of your mother’s real voice, but I cannot rely on your Cali Chica the child voice to be an accurate representative of the child that you were,  because your memory of your childhood is selective, focusing on fun times, forgetting the misery and distress.

    Let’s look at the pool example: “my mom took me aside and said that I shouldn’t run in a bathing suit like that. I am getting older and it ‘doesn’t look good’…She said that my aunt and uncle were looking and snickering because I was doing that ..don’t do it see – they were looking at you and laughing – laughing at you like you’re foolish'”. You then wrote about that incident: “I can’t say I thought about it again though”- it is not possible that you didn’t think about it again, or that you were not affected by it. You … forgot, disassociated from that emotional experience of shame and hurt and humiliation.

    Your neurons were already covered with a protective sheet of not listening, forgetting… and not feeling unpleasant emotions as much as possible, not feeling the shame, the hurt… Problem is that this protective sheet surrounding your neurons, so to speak, also prevent you from feeling affection, empathy, and regret or guilt when you hurt your husband.

    Your mother taught you to not love your husband (or anyone, really) and to be angry at him “He (your husband) should be walking in and thinking about you because: if he doesn’t he is selfish, walking in only thinking about himself! how dare he! look see how men are, they’re good in the beginning and after a while they don’t even ask about you, see! look i told you so! he is not that great after all – seee don’t you feel foolish now! your mother is always right isn’t she.. .You shouldn’t think about him when you walk in from work because: if you start doing that he will take advantage of you…. to be loving is to be naïve, and perhaps foolish… It is much harder to be loving when you know the truth about people” the truth about her is that to love her is naive and foolish”.

    You prefer the company of people you are not close to and thrive on interactions with them: “Yesterday I was at a get together, we threw a going away party for my good friend who is moving. It was a very pleasant day, with many different friends.. I was so relaxed at the entire event… I didn’t have anyone there that was extremely close to me, not my sister, no best girlfriend, nothing of that sort… people were more like acquaintances. I thought about how This was relaxing to me. I am easily distracted when someone close to me somewhere, quite fixated on what they are doing or what they want”- this is why you chose to email acquaintances while in South Africa, instead of interacting with your husband, why you pay attention and talk to your dog, and not to your husband, and why you were excited about a not close friend’s recent engagement (S’s), but not your own.

    When you tried to help your mother, she attacked you: “she would exclaim ‘you are NOT MY MOTHER who do YOU think you are.. stop telling me what to do – acting like you have it all figured out – go look in the mirror at yourself and all your problems..'”- part of her pathology was that she acted like a child, throwing tantrums in front of her daughters. When she attacked you in these ways, as part of her infantile anger tantrums, you must have felt hurt and rage. This rage at being attacked-while-trying to-help is a big part of the current rage that is still there, in you.

    You incorrectly thought that your mother will be happy if you are happy and lucky, (I asked you as part of our exercise: “If you are lucky, like those other people who are lucky and don’t deserve to be lucky, will your mother hate you too, like she hates those other people?” You answered: “No Anita!! Of course not!!! My mother will be SOOO HAPPy. Finally our family got what they deserved, that lucky ending”. I then asked you: “Your mother loves you, she wants you to be lucky, she wants you to be happy?” You answered: “Yes so very much, she dedicates her life to me…I want to add again, my mom will be so happy if I end up lucky, she wants that for me. She didn’t get so many of those chances, so she wants to make sure I do. She works so hard to do that”-

    – incorrect, not true. Your mother didn’t care how you felt, if the thought of how you may feel ever crossed her mind. All of her life as a wife and mother was about how she felt, that is all that mattered to her.

    you wrote: “My emotional instability…self loathing and more running frenzy and avoidance of true emotion…(husband says) My constant negative comments about everything – and never seeing the glass half full, always finding something to pick at or complain about. Its the constant negativity that is far more draining than anything to him. In addition, He spoke about how he feels that my behavior is erratic.. that rollercoaster/up and down.. as a result, he never knows what to expect. He stated he doesn’t know if he is going to come home to angry CC, or overly happy CC. Angry CC or ecstatic CC”- this is Cali Chica. The social butterfly Cali Chica is a well executed performance: ” I was always more socially graceful and ‘apt”’ in that I have always been told I am engaging and charming, that I draw people to me and make them feel good, and comfortable. I have been told this by friends, colleagues, and patients alike”.

    Underneath the super physical appearance and performance of the apt and graceful Cali Chica, there is a withered away, hurt and angry Cali Chica (” I withered away. Shoulders stooped over, head hanging low”). The reason you have been “that rollercoaster/ up and down” is because disassociated emotions, such as anger, joy, passion, dont stay hidden at all times, sometimes they erupt in ecstatic joy, excitement and intense motivation or rage, overwhelming ourselves and others… before going underground once again.

    These eruptions don’t happen only a few times per month, let’s say. They happen on a daily basis, multiple times per day, an emotion erupts just a bit, enough to overwhelm us and we rush away from that experience. This happens internally, that is, no eruption of behavior directed at a person nearby. And so, that baseline  anxiety as you referred to it is about multiple little eruptions per day, each ne overwhelming, each one is followed by an escape, a distraction, a rushing.

    You wrote about your sister: “she saw much earlier on that my mom is a bad person… As a result, she has had anger/resentment at her for many years… I..  was a blinded saint/devotee to my mother for many years (myself) versus my sister. In fact because my mother ‘favored’ me.. If she had been mean or pushed me away.. I may have developed anger and hate towards her earlier, and seen reality earlier. Instead I was in the dark… That to this day I remain loyal in many ways, ways I do not even see”-

    -as an adolescent she approved of your social butterfly performance, your primary job. You were loyal to her because you had something big to protect, her (conditional and inconsistent) approval and your feelings of competence and power that came with a well executed job. Your sisters didn’t experience competence and power except when dressed up and dancing at weddings and such and when engaged in her elaborate day dreaming.

    This is what happened  your early years, the beginning, early in that first decade: “young Cali Chica, She brought her mother a flower. mother said: oh I used to have these in INdia all the time – these flowers.. her mother: not a glance, not a care. look what I did for you, I got you a flower”-

    -the flower you brought her was your affection for your mother, your love for her. When she dismissed it, pointing to India’s flowers instead of noticing the flower you brought her, she dismissed your affection for her, your love for her. Naturally, your ability to experience affection and love for people, particularly people close to you, was removed from your awareness, your neurons covered with that protective sheet that keeps out affection and love… and empathy and joy.

    Here is your disassociation starting in your first decade: “I NEVER recall feeling bad about it. I recall being a kid that was in my own world and wasn’t so hypervigilant or aware or aiming to please. I don’t recall ever feeling: oh my I need to worry and try to remember more. In fact, I think if anything I was slightly aloof/unaware/floaty in the head – floating through life not so sensitive to my surroundings… during those years my mind didn’t go to these dark places at all. it was only until I was older say 25 and more”.

    What we disassociate from as children does not disappear. It returns to our awareness at one point on and in ways that bring us suffering. Your distress in your mid twenties and on was not born in your twenties. It was born in your early childhood. You felt it more in your twenties because disassociation always has a time limit.

    “The true anger started when I told you those more recent stories say at the age 28”- no, it was born in the early years.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by anita.
    Cali Chica

    Dearest Anita,

    A masterpiece, a thesis paper – the result of a diligent study.

    I read this yesterday, and re-read this yesterday, and re-read it this morning.

    I am going to approach it like I would any other “text” a text that requires studying, just like it required you to write.  I will take my “highlighters and pens and highlight and underline.”

    I will do this and reply back. Let it sink in, and savor it properly.

    For now, I want to share this:

    I had a dream last night, a pleasant one.  It is hardly ever that I dream (and remember it) and hardly hardly ever that I have a pleasant one.

    In my dream I had a new baby, the baby was irrelevant – the dream was about the following:

    In many cultures, including mine – the new mother is supposed to be home with the new baby for 3 months, sinking in and savoring.  Hibernating with the child, these golden moments of bonding and focusing on the child, and healing.  Often in these cultures it “takes a village” as there are many women, practitioners of sorts, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, who are in and out of the house to help  – it goes without being said.

    anyway, in my dream I visualize this:

    a dark dimly lit room, it smells of cedar candles, it is warm and cozy – safe and secure.  I am there but I don’t see me, I just see the room and the ambience.  I think to myself 3 months 3 months! I sense myself in the dream feeling soft and warm, and guilt free.  I find myself thinking – 3 months without questioning, it is a given that I get to stay home for 3 months and hibernate without attending to anyone else – and so this time is protected for me! I woke up feeling: a smile, a safety a security.

    CC was so happy to be in this warm cozy dim lit room – and have the 3 months just to herself – to sink and savor.  CC has not woken up feeling so calm and safe in years…

    To be continued…


    Dear Cali Chica:

    An amazing dream, a big smile on my face!


    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    A big smile indeed.  Not a bright tight smile of super CC, the accomplished “smile”

    A small sweet soft smile, of innate character.


    You know after typing the dream out, and savoring it another time – I think this:

    This is where the cultivation happens, the cultivation of joy, safety, softness, of LOVE.  That hibernating of 3 months, that mahogany brown, sepia, maroon corner with warm blankets and sandalwood candles – it was a place I could stay without question.  That is where love was forming (referred to between mother and child in dream) but between Cali Chica and herself…


    Dear Cali Chica:

    I wish there was a room like that for you to hibernate for three months, a room just like the one you described. If you had a photo or a small painting of such a room, maybe you could carry it with you wherever you go and go there in your mind, or you can have that image ready in your mind to go to from time to time.


    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    Yes, I too wish I had a room like that to hibernate in. Well I shouldn’t say that.  If I had a room like that, this is what would happen:

    I would enjoy it for a few days, and perhaps a few weeks.  I would slowly start to look at the room thereafter as not something “special” but more “normal.”  Soon enough I would walk past it and throw a jacket in there, perhaps an unused book or two – perhaps a shelf.  Before you know it, this special place, this sacred place – has become filled with stuff.  It no longer serves the purpose it was intended for.

    Now I walk near it and have resentment, gosh! I never made time for it.  Where does the time go!  How difficult it is to preserve a schedule gosh!! What a mess!

    This has been the story of my life, in many ways – when it comes to “self preservation” and self care.  It is very difficult for me to maintain healthy habits for myself, and I am quick to “sabotage” them when overwhelmed with plans or others.  I know this is not an unsung story, and many may say they feel similar.  But I do notice that I have this tendency given that I am (the bird with the bobbling head) frenzied.

    Frenzy.  It is the name of the game.

    So I read your post, THE post many times.  Daily, and all weekend.  So much resonated with me.  I will start here today.  Because you did such an incredible job writing key points, TRUTHS – It only makes sense to me to paste these and elaborate. I’ll start with these today.

    •  she robbed you of the taste buds you were born with, robbed you of your natural ability to be fully engaged in the here-and-now, to feel affection, empathy, joy, togetherness… and calm.
      • it is difficult to comprehend that this was indeed “lost” or “robbed.” As you have mentioned many times, I did not start this way, I as a child was not this way.  I of course do not have memories from this childhood, I have only select memories as you stated.  I can recall perhaps sometimes in adolescence say the age of 12-15 or so feeling joy.  But it does not truly matter.  Today in the here and now, this present state and condition, I have lost this natural ability.  I think of myself as a wounded warrior.  How often the example of an individual at battle/in war coming home with PTSD is utilized to also reflect emotional trauma.
      • So I see myself as this wounded warrior, battered down, shoulders stooped, head forward.  Dead face, tired face.  wanting to lay down and collapse but also wanting to jump and run.
      • I am not fully engaged in here and now, it does often feel impossible to be.  It feels that even if I try it is not SUSTAINABLE.  Like anything, I know, it will take time.
    • Your mother has been extremely pathological (the word you used) way before she became a mother.
      • how interesting that I used to believe her, that she was “fine” and all her problems started based on other people.  When she moved to America, when she received poor treatment from her family members. When my father began to hit her.  Oh the shame! This poor amazing women now beaten down.  Gone is her light oh my.  Oh what a shame.  What a tragedy.  Now how can she regain happiness.  Revert back to that sweet happy angel.
      • That person NEVER EXISTED. That person is a lie.  That person is made up, a delusion.
      • If I was to go back to her childhood and observe her – what would I see? Who knows, maybe nothing at all.  Maybe a happy go lucky kid.  But who knows what was repressed in her own brain, and the  trauma she saw in her own mother (who committed suicide years later) and father.
      • It is not perhaps resourceful to wonder, but the truth is, if I went back – I wouldn’t see what she told me.  A delightful young girl or lady.  So happy and full of love and joy.  No she has been devoid of empathy from early on, from always.
    • to attacking you for having any emotion or problem, she also gave you a lot of senseless nonsense
      • She did attack me for having emotions didn’t she? Yes, she sure did.  She attacked, her claws out big and sharp.  Roar claw, why are you sad! Don’t you know how sad your mother is, how could you be sad? Happy…well happy is suiting her because it is furthering her agenda.  My daughter is so cute and happy look at her neighbors, look at her, what a doll.  Happy again…not suiting her agenda.  ROAR how dare you be happy when your ailing mother is sitting at home suffering.  Do you have no concern for her distress?
      • Regardless of the emotion, it was NOT MIRRORED OR VALIDATED.
    • you were doomed to relentless cognitive dissonance
      • Wow, this one takes the cake (oh what a pun, the cake I can not taste?! Oh this one I will try to taste!)
      • cognitive dissonance, what a concept! By definition it is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, wikipedia said so.  I wanted to look it up as the concept I had about it in my own head was a jumble.  And that’s just it – inconsistency.
      • I wonder what your definition is? Or your personal anecdote about this is? Do tell when you have time.
      • I think of a young girl, her head says go hang out with the blonde girl, but then a random thought – oh that girl always leaves you out, should you be nice to her? Inconsistency – which way to go? Be nice and open? Be angry and closed off?
        • hmm let me try one, okay well I was nice but now I feel foolish as I was nice to someone who has been mean to me.
        • the other – closed off and aloof — well now I feel guilty because that didn’t sit right.
        • conclusion: AHH it feels like lose lose!
    • Your mother was about appearances
      • oh yes, physical appearance, but more over how she appeared to others. for it to appear she had this perfect life, perfect daughters. LUCKY. oh how important it was to APPEAR lucky yet teaching her daughters there was no luck left in the jar for her and her poor family, what a shame..
    • Her extreme emphasis on you and your sister having  friends was not motivated by her valuing friendship or valuing people. 
      • she values no one.  not me, not my sister, not my husband.  hardly herself (besides the point)
      • it is not a human, it is a monster with no value.

    Dear Cali Chica:

    This very early morning, hours ago, I sat in front of the sliding glass doors, looking at this little bird that landed on the deck, frenzied and I thought of you. And me: I am still un-frenze-ing myself. I wish it was a faster process. What I learned recently is that unless I truly understand the extremely slow and gradual nature of the process of un-frenze-ing, unless I am satisfied with a tiny amount of progress per unit of time, there will be no progress at all for me.

    “If I was to  go back to her childhood and observe her- what would I see? .. Maybe a happy go lucky kid”- no, she wasn’t happy go lucky. She was terribly hurt. But that girl that she was is long gone, locked deep inside that monster she has become.

    Regarding my definition of cognitive dissonance- I will explain a bit what I meant by it when I mentioned the term to you, without looking for an online definition- I meant that she told you and/ or did X and Y while X and Y are contradictory, not logically consistent.

    -examples (from memory, I didn’t review what I wrote to you since I did):

    1. X= she likes you bringing company home, how much fun that is for her and good for you to have friends, Y= she hates cleaning after and slaving after you and your friend when you bring them hope and is upset that the friend’s mother is resting and having fun during the visit.

    2. X= other people have jealousy for us.. being lucky, basically. Y= we are unlucky.

    3. X= having a big family is a good, good thing. Y= family makes her miserable, taunt her, etc.

    4. X= friendships are extremely important to her Y= she has no friendships.

    5. X= American people have it so easy Y= American people have a lot of problems.

    6. X= Cali Chica is a pretty doll, a talented dancer, a joy to have Y= Cali Chica is a pain in the .. , a problem since she was born.

    7. X= I want more people in my life Y= I hate people in my life (you, Cali Chica, your sister, your father, all the family members who taunt me, the American people who have it easy, your husband to be and his family, and … well, everyone.





    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your reply.  I will continue my commentary on your large post tomorrow.

    I really feel this today:

    unless I truly understand the extremely slow and gradual nature of the process of un-frenze-ing, unless I am satisfied with a tiny amount of progress per unit of time, there will be no progress at all for me

    I struggled with this tremendously last night.  I felt so angered at the slow pace and felt that even that pace is useless! What is it amounting to! It’s not that I want to see rainbows and butterflies and feel happy and jumping for joy.  What I WANT is to know that my husband will be healed one day. That one day I may be slightly less frenzied so as to be able to focus on me and him, and fix and…sigh – just be.  Lately he has been doing much much worse – unraveling of resentment, burnt out (ness), the empty fuel in the tank the type you have commented on.  The true emotional/mental burn out


    Dear Cali Chica:

    In the last few days I was wondering why you didn’t post and I thought to myself that there may be problems at home (or that you were busy socially, people coming in, it being summer time, almost)- I don’t know if you feel like it,  but if you do, tell me about this recent happening, the “unraveling of resentment” etc.,  that you mentioned.


    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    I very much feel like sharing with you.

    The reason I have not posted much in the last week – is because I was focused on your long post.  I would read it daily and have my fingers ready to type a response — -and no retract — and then again — and no retract.

    It felt like there were no words good enough to respond or reflect, in addition, there was so much valuable information in it that i wanted to absorb it all.  Of course that comes with time, this isn’t a biology text book to memorize and regurgitate.

    I would like to elaborate on my husband’s “condition”

    So as you know, he over time has built up a lot of resentment towards me.  It is the sweet innocent puppy who after years of being kicked is now disgruntled and growls at strangers from time to time.  I think what happened to this sweet little puppy! how so angry and sad now? and then you realize okay – puppy was kicked daily for 3 years, when puppy was hungry people didn’t listen.  sure they threw him a bone from time to time – but his needs were not met or validated, in fact puppy was blamed over and over for the woes of the family who adopted him.

    I like to use analogies as you know (especially with animals etc) as it makes it easier to explain.  So that is a decent try.

    At present, he also has a very difficult job that is a toxic environment (we discussed this). However, the most recent time I brought him up to you  I explained his own words: “it’s not work that’s bad, it’s you – and everything  I went through with you.  I still feel like even after all this time, and i know you’re working on it, I just don’t see change or remorse in you.  It’s like it just doesn’t make sense or matter.  I know it takes time, but frankly I just don’t think I have any patience left –  I used to be the most patient person, and especially with you, but you took that quality away.  And now there’s nothing left in the tank.”

    So yes, if someone reads this they’ll say: he sounds burnt out/depressed he needs therapy.

    Yet, my conversation with you goes beyond that.

    So at present, he is withdrawn, burnt out (and of course his job as a surgeon at one of the busiest hospitals in NYC with a malignant/toxic work environment doesn’t help).  He has poor sleep (Like I always used to, and sometimes still do).  He has low patience for me, in short he is beaten down.  He is the beaten down puppy.  He suffers in a way that I mirror I have – like perhaps the way I was when i first messaged you – and yet, I am feeling better in some ways — yet he is getting worse and worse…

    there’s a start…let’s see what you have to say/converse


    Dear Cali Chica:

    It occurred to me yesterday that I never asked you regarding your statements in the past that you abused him, and that I don’t know what it means, how that abuse looks like or sounds like. I wanted to ask you about that, if you can describe the incident of the greatest abuse that you inflicted on him.

    And then, if you will, describe the latest incident of abuse.

    I will respond to the rest of your post above after getting this (and maybe more) information.


    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    I forgot to mention this whole other part.  I would like you to respond to my first post today before reading this, as it will likely bias the story.

    So yesterday, we had old friends in town and they came over.  The girl, M, is very much on her own personal healing journey and has 10% similarity of the situation with my mother.  Not nearly as drastic, severe, etc.  Her and I had the opportunity to talk just one on one and catch up – and my husband was at work.  The plan was that when he came home, we would then join her husband and all have dinner the 4 of us.  M and I were grateful for some “girl time” first (as always!).

    My husband arrived home earlier than usual.  I observed, I was annoyed at this.  I was annoyed at his presence.  I wanted to swat him away – I thought to myself oh god, I put everything away before company arrived but did I miss something.

    (background of that is that many of our smaller more “normal” married couple arguments revolve around me being absent minded and leaving my things everywhere.  i have been like this since a child – i had told you how this was a major grievance of my parents – and it has not improved.  in fact the more I get into my head about healing and thoughts and consumed by that, the more I often find it difficult to also do small tasks.  such as come home, take the dog out, make sure to do all the dishes, and also say go to yoga – it feels quite overwhelming since I am mentally tired.  it would to anyone, yet my husband is great at those things, and often works so much harder than me and ends of doing many of those tasks.  he is very particular about cleanliness and organization, so for him if he comes home after a long day to a sink full of dishes – it will be a trigger.  he recently got mad and said, you know how much it means to me to come home to things in place – I am not asking you to scrub the place clean, but since you know this is important to me, I would hope that you would take the effort to put your things away, remember to make the bed in the morning – its never done if you leave after me – etc.  my response was that it feels like my head is so frenzied and i often become very forgetful and lose focus on a small task.  like i could be in the living room and doing this monumental thing, but not put a sock away.  some of these qualities do resonate with ADHD, and its a common complaint and symptom.  people will say I was able to finish my entire thesis, but there was one dish in the sink and it felt like insurmountable task to do it.  I feel like this daily.  I never am irresponsible as in forgetting to take care of my dog, or leaving the apartment in terrible condition – its more of the mindset.  this also has a lot to do with the thing he said about he never knows what to come home to.  I could be manically cleaning like a tornado and its pristine.  Or the place has things strewn everywhere – always extremes.  Difficult for me tackle things normally little by little.  A classic sign of this “ADHD” behavior would be having a wonderful suit on and spending an entire morning going over your questions for your interview, having a wonderful breakfast and leaving for your interview early, and then parking and seeing you have zero gas – and gosh, will you have to be towed to drive back home.  Perfectly put together, but what a huge miss! this is a good way to explain it, hyperfocus on somethings, and entirely forgetful inattentive/absent to other often vital things. )

    So I found myself feeling annoyed and irritated with him.  I felt like he was a pest who was going to come knock on my door and say you need to do this and this and this (he doesnt ever do this I am just explaining how I felt).

    When I woke up today I had this visual of going away to a warm beach by myself.  With my laptop and talking to you throughout the day everyday.  All by Myself, a nice cool drink and a laptop.  I wanted that so bad.  I craved it.


    Cali Chica

    Hello Anita,

    I just read your reply, and of course! How important it is for you to understand this abuse, and also it will help me reflect on what happened.

    I can think of some scenarios, I’ll begin:

    Early early on, a really terrible one.  It was my birthday (this is way before my parents were involved at all, years before anythign you and i have spoken about in regards to my relationship with him). EArly dating birthday perhaps in the first year or 2 of dating.  He went all out.  It was a weekday in NYC and so he sent a sweet email or text about how  I should get dressed and meet him at 6 for a surprise.  So I go.  I notice that it is a restaurant I had already been to with him.  OKay.  So we proceed inside.  Looking back from the outside it goes like this.  CC sees that she’s already been to this restaurant she goes, “ugh gosh! couldn’t he be more creative!” we proceed to a private wine tasting with just a few other people.  CC doesn’t even enjoy the event, all she can think is, ugh there are so many amazing places in NYC why would he choose THIS.  CC proceeds to the dinner portion. Pouty face, trying to fake that she’s having fun.  Doting boyfriend says: “wasnt that fun!!” wide eyed bushy tailed sweetheart.  She tries to fake it and says, ya fun, but haven’t we been here before? He says yes but that was a private event – I thought you would enjoy it…dinner proceeds.  CC is terrible at keeping stuff to herself.  she blurts “i guess I thought you would do something more special.  I mean I have already been here.  I’ve had other boyfriends in the past take me to such unique places for my birthday, I guess I would expect that of you.”

    doting boyfriend is shocked and heart broken, he looks like a puppy who was just kicked in the stomach.  CC sees this and knows in her head it was not nice or kind, but can not muster up anything genuine to say about it to be apologetic.  Clearly she said it so she isn’t apologetic, it wasn’t a mistake.  They procced through the surprise dessert, and they both put on a fake smile,  Hers fake – his defeated.  And take a picture bc the server says let me take a pic!

    On the cab ride home, he is the most defeated person in the world (he is truly a sweet child that was slapped by his mother, the person he thought loved him the most)  when we arrive at his apartment he says — – well I do have one more thing for you.

    I walk in and there is a beautiful package with a glistening gold bow – an exquisite looking gift, the kind you see in movies and the girl walks in and gasps.  CC is so surprised.  She does not have genuine joy for it, but she so surprised.  Does she feel a moment of remorse for being such a B****, perhaps in her head, but not a true heavy sadness or remorse in her heart.  Nope not at all.  She turns around and he is already in bed.  She tries to talk to him and say “oh my thank you, wow this is amazing, I’m sorry about all I said earlier – hey are you listening.”

    He is so defeated that he is almost in tears (in the way a guy presents versus a girl).  Defeated is not even the right word – its beyond.  He is laying there, and says. I don’t think I can talk anymore – I think I’ll just go to sleep.

    (i have a lot to say of the analysis of this- but I will hold that thought and wait for your reply)

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