what’s your hell?

I’ve been wanting to ask that question for a long time now.

Here’s my hell:

Unrequited love.

Putting time and energy into people and things that don’t love me back.

Holding on to people and things that don’t love me back.

Loving people and things that don’t love me back.

I guess you could also call that codependency.

That’s my hell.

What’s yours?

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

I hate my life right now

I hate my life right now.

I can’t even tell you how much I hate my life right now.

Yes, I am well aware of the fact that my life is pretty good compared to many, many lives.

But my life is pretty hard for me right now.

There are so many difficult things for me going on right now.

I tell myself that it will get better at some point.

But what if it doesn’t?

What if this is it?  What if it is never any better?

Do I have to just live the rest of my life stuck in this pain?

My therapist seems to think that things can get better.

But it seems like I have been struggling for so long and it just gets worse and worse.

I don’t know.

I really don’t know.

Maybe my work with the therapist will help me heal so I can feel better.  Or at least deal better.

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

(I did not write this.)

by Catherine L. Taylor

Here is a list of the most common reasons why people can’t lose weight.
1. You may be taking in more calories than you’re aware of. Even if you’re eating healthy, those healthy foods can add up. Those extra servings of nuts, nut butters, avocados, salad dressing, bread, or even an extra glass or two of wine at night can keep you from losing weight.

2. Your diet is high in white sugar, refined white flour, and high in fat. You eat mostly processed foods that have little nutritional value. You eat very few fruits and vegetables, whole grains, whole foods, and healthy fats.
3. You eat way too much over the week-end. I have many clients who do well during the week but then eat out all week-end and overdo it with drinks, appetizers, bread and butter, main courses, and large desserts all in one sitting. Do that a couple times over the week-end and any weight you lost during the week is gone. You may even gain weight.

4. You have hormonal issues working against you: thyroid, estrogen imbalance, or insulin resistance.

5. Lack of sleep or too much stress can make you hang on to weight and even make you gain weight. Stress and lack of sleep makes your body release cortisol which raises insulin levels causing you to crave sweet and fatty foods. It also increases your appetite.

6. Your body may be hanging onto the weight because you are ambivalent about being at your desired weight. You may be afraid of intimacy or attention, and don’t want to lose your protective layer of fat.

7. You use your food and weight struggle as a scapegoat so that you don’t have to face your fears and the real issues in your life. As long as you’re overweight, you can blame your weight as the reason you don’t have what you really want in life.

8. Your body may like being a certain weight and won’t go down any further. Not everyone, especially if they’ve been overweight a long time, can be a normal weight. The body has a certain set point that it likes to be at and sometimes won’t budge below this unless you eat very little and/or exercise all the time.

9. You feel unworthy of being a normal weight. You may overeat and stay overweight as a way of punishing yourself. You may have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused as a child.

10. You may stay overweight as a way of rebelling against a parent who tried to control your eating and weight in childhood.

11. If you’ve been overweight a long time, being overweight may have become your identity and you wouldn’t know who you are without it.

12. You’re on medication. Certain medications can cause weight gain and can make it very hard to lose weight. Check with your doctor to see if the medication you’re on might be causing your weight gain or keeping you from losing weight.

13. You don’t eat breakfast or eat much during the day, and then overeat from dinnertime until you go to bed. Your body needs to get most of its food and calories earlier in the day so that it has a chance to efficiently burn off and metabolize your calorie intake.

14. You lead a very sedentary lifestyle and spend week-ends, evenings, and most of your free time watching TV, being on the computer, and/or eating.

15. Food is your main form of pleasure, companionship, reward, stress reliever, entertainment, and comfort.

16. You suffer from anxiety and/or depression. You use food to regulate your mood and to calm, soothe, and numb yourself.

17. Your metabolism has slowed due to age or excessive dieting.

For more information, please visit http://www.secretsofaweightlossmaster.com/

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships, weight loss | Tagged , | Leave a comment

really bizarre idea

So, here’s my really bizarre idea.

If you see something in the refrigerator

and

you did not request that the item be purchased

and

you did not prepare the item yourself

and

you did not ask to see if maybe someone else was saving the item for a later meal…

do NOT eat it!!!!

What a bizarre concept, huh?

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged | 1 Comment

why I’m stuck

I think maybe I figured out why I’m stuck.

I think it is because I believe I don’t deserve any better.

I’m not worthy to be loved and cared for.

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

random thoughts

Sometimes – too often – I feel like my life is some agonizing, never-ending endurance course, with each minute a struggle just to make it through every second.

And I wonder when the struggle ends.  Will I always be like this?  Will I always struggle so much?  Will there ever be a wide, smooth place?

I know everyone has stuff.  Many, many, many have it a whole lot worse than I do.  But sometimes I see people who look like basically their life is pretty good with occasional dips.  I know others who have gone through really rough stuff, but now things are nice for them.  It makes me wonder about my life.

I have a tendency to think that just because something is this way now that it will always be this way.  So I am stuck here in my life with a number of different things that are not what I want them to be.  And I think it will always be this way.

I saw a saying one time that said, nothing lasts forever, not even your troubles.  I used to repeat that to myself to encourage myself that something had to change sometime.

Something did change.

I lost my job.

After three months, I got another job and I’ve been on that job for a couple of weeks now.

I’d like to tell you about it, but I am also all too painfully aware that my blog is no longer a private sanctuary.

That’s another thing I struggle with.  It really helped to be able to pour out my thoughts and feelings on this blog and feel safe here.  Yes, sometimes there was some random critic, but on the whole, it felt good to be able to write what I needed to write, to release what I needed to release.

But I’m not really safe here anymore.

Tonight I needed to write, though.

Something else I struggle with is wanting to be loved.

For so, so, so long I denied that I needed to be loved, that my wants and needs were valid.

I think I’m starting to see that I really do need to be loved, that I do have valid wants and needs.  (I have a really, really good therapist.)

And I struggle with believing that I am lovable, that someone could, would actually love me.

It’s really hard.  It makes me crazy.

Sometimes I can see the good in me, the kindness, the caring, the humor, the empathy, the “cuteness.”  But mostly I just see a blob.  Yep.  Just a blob that no one would care about or be interested in.

I try to tell myself that maybe there is hope, but mostly I really don’t feel hopeful at all. Ever.

I think that is the hardest thing.  Living without hope.

I don’t think living without hope is really living.

I feel like a zombie.  Still walking around, but pretty much dead.

I used to have hope.  I used to hope that I would figure out what was wrong with me so I could make it better so the marriage would be better.

Yes, that is very much codependent thinking.

But I did have hope.

Now I don’t.

No hope.

No love.

Well, my daughters love me and my sisters and brother and sister-in-law and brothers-in-law love me.  That’s true.

But there is not someone to sleep with at night who actually, truly wants to share life.  And wants to care for me.  And will let me love him.

Anyhow…

I guess that’s enough of my random, hopeless thoughts for tonight.

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

crazy, stupid fantasies

I have these crazy, stupid fantasies.

Like, one day, I will be free from this … this whatever it is.

Like, one day, someone will actually love me.

I feel so crazy.

But I really don’t want to be crazy.

I want to be loved.

Please don’t tell me that I have to love myself first.

My therapist is helping me with that.

Please don’t tell me that God and Jesus love me.  I know They do. Christ died for me.

I want someone, a real, live, warm, human man, to sleep with at the end of the day and to actually share the ups and downs of life.

Is that too much to ask?

A few days ago, my brother-in-law (my sister’s husband) was being really encouraging.  He told me that I was a wonderful, wonderful woman.  He told me that I was worth loving.

Me.

Worth loving.

Imagine that.

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Helpful Words for the Severe Narcissist

(I did not write this.  It is an excerpt from an article titled, “If You Are the Target of Narcissistic Abuse.” Read the complete article here.)

~by Carrie Barron M.D.

Narcissism can be protective in the sense that you do not feel that badly if you offend another. Narcissism can be pleasantly deceptive. When criticized, you can tell yourself and others, “It is them—not me.” Deflect, project, externalize and feel relieved of the problem. If you manage to convince relevant parties (plus your self) that your offense was justified, non-existent or that you were the victim rather than the perpetrator, you escape responsibility. If you turn your envy into arrogance, you no longer have to feel inferior. In the short run, that works pretty well. In the long run, a trail of deception can lead to trouble. If you are caught and confronted, painful consequences can ensue. Being revealed or to having to deal with the truth is very upsetting for you.

An unpleasant moment might arise if you rage against someone who criticizes or exposes you, but you will probably bounce back quickly. Since your conscience isn’t too troubled, moving on and into social situations with upright shoulders and a smile is no problem. Narcissism feeds self-esteem in that denial covers up (suppresses) limitations so they are not in your face. You do not have to feel weakened by them or make the tiresome effort to change. Inflated self-esteem keeps you psychologically intact, organized and safe. If others are attracted to your strut and charisma, you can breeze through life with a facile ease.

But there is a problem. True narcissism is a defective solution. It is a flawed defense, an unsound shield. Believing that you are better than you are leads to hard falls if you are put to the test. If you are cocksure about your skills you may not take the time to actually develop them. The requisite healthy worry that leads to persistence, attention to detail, stubborn grit and solid ability eludes you. When you claim credit for something you did not do, people pick up on it and it disturbs them. This can compromise your success, as you are not seen as trustworthy.

Charming others in superficial or infrequent encounters is a piece of cake but close or intimate relationships are a problem. If your self-concerns are paramount, there may not be room for anyone else’s. You may destroy important relationships because your lack of empathy, compassion and concern wears people out. Your unwillingness to own up and apologize alienates others and you are seen as someone without integrity. You become tainted, rather than respected, which is troubling for a person who cares deeply about image.

As you do not see dangers as dangerous, you take risks that set you up for payback. Consequences you never expected—loss, abandonment, debt, legal trouble and ultimate loneliness might become your lot and a situation that your high-honed tactics cannot undo. At a certain point you cannot brush it off or continue the ruse.

Therapeutic, spiritual, community, or educational interventions can help you. Start with a self-inventory, achieve insight, break out of the script, say “I’m sorry.” Humility can actually feel good. Enjoy the hope that when you change, some meaningful connections may come your way.

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, family, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged | Leave a comment

silence encourages the tormentor

“Whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation, take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

~Elie Wiesel

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, family, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged | 1 Comment

letter to the Stanford rapist’s father

(I did NOT write this.)

To Brock Turner’s Father, From Another Father

by John Pavlovitz

Dear Mr. Turner,

I’ve read your letter to the judge on behalf of your son Brock, asking for leniency in his rape conviction.

I need you to understand something, and I say this as a father who dearly loves my son as much as you must love yours:

Brock is not the victim here.
His victim is the victim.
She is the wounded one.
He is the damager.

If his life has been “deeply altered” it is because he has horribly altered another human being; because he made a reprehensible choice to take advantage of someone for his own pleasure. This young woman will be dealing with this for far longer than the embarrassingly short six months your son is being penalized. She will endure the unthinkable trauma of his “20 minutes of action” for the duration of her lifetime, and the fact that you seem unaware of this fact is exactly why we have a problem.

This is why young men continue to rape women.
This is why so many men believe that they can do whatever they please to a woman’s body without accountability.
This is the reason so many victims of sexual assault never step forward.
This is why white privilege is real and insidious and usually those with it are oblivious to it.

I understand you trying to humanize your son in your letter; talking to the judge about his favorite snacks and swim practice and about the memories that are sweet for you as his father—but to be honest I don’t give a damn and if his victim was your daughter I’m quite sure you wouldn’t either.

I imagine this young woman had favorite snacks and sports too, and parents who had wonderful plans for her that didn’t include this nightmare.

There is no scenario where your son should be the sympathetic figure here. He is the assailant. He is the rapist. I can’t imagine as a father how gut wrenching such a reality is for you, but it is still true.

Brock has to register as a sex offender because he sexually assaulted an incapacitated young woman. This is why we have such requirements; because one vile act against another human being is one too many, because we don’t get a do-over when we do unspeakable things, because people need to be protected with knowledge of others in their midst who have failed so egregiously at respecting another person’s basic dignity.

The idea that your son has never violated another woman next to a dumpster before isn’t a credit to his character. We don’t get kudos for only raping one person in our lifetime. I don’t believe your son is a monster but he acted like one and that needs to be accounted for. To be sure, this decision is not the sum total of Brock’s life, but it is an important part of the equation and it matters deeply.

And to be clear, Mr. Turner,”alcohol and sexual promiscuity” are not the story here. The story here, is that young men have choices to make and these choices define them, even if those choices are made when temptation is great and opportunity is abundant. In fact, our humanity is most expressed when faced with such things, we choose integrity and decency; when we abstain from doing what is easy but wrong.

We as parents don’t control our children. Most parents understand this. Despite our best efforts to the contrary, they fail and fall and do things we’d never consent to. I certainly hope this is such an occasion, though it is not coming across that way in your letter. It feels like you want more sympathy and goodwill toward your son than you want for the survivor of his crime, and that’s simply not good enough for her or for those young men and women watching.

Here is her story.

You love your son and you should. But love him enough to teach him to own the terrible decisions he’s made, to pay the debt to society as prescribed, and then to find a redemptive path to walk, doing the great work in the world that you say he will.

For now though, as one father to another: help us teach our children to do better—by letting them see us do better.

Note from John: This post went viral, which I am extremely grateful for, but THIS is where we go from here. This is more important than one blog post.

Posted in covert abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, family, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged | 2 Comments