I miss my bedroom

I miss my bedroom.

I miss sleeping in my bed.  My bed.  The bed frame, the headboard and the foot board, belonged to my great aunt.

I miss my vanity.  My bed, that belonged to my great aunt, has a matching vanity.  I love the curves of the mirror.  My pretty things still sit on the vanity.  There is my milk glass lamp that I bought on a flea market trip with my daughter years ago.  And there are some blue and white transferware dishes, like a candle holder and a butter pat and sugar without a lid. The lamp and those things sit on a delicate handkerchief edged with variegated crocheted cotton lace.   There is also a blue and white saucer that holds a white dish that holds a tealight candle.

I miss the window that faces east.  I miss lying in my bed and seeing the morning sun shine in through the white cotton curtain.  There is a blue glass bottle sitting on top of the lower window and it glows blue when the sun shines through it.

I miss my quilt that I made and my white dust ruffle that I made with the wide fake-Battenburg lace edging.  I miss my trunk with the blue and white cotton quilt fabric covering it.  And the the little square of fabric with the hummingbird embroidered in blue on it that my daughter made for me.

I miss the dresser that matches the bed and the vanity, that still holds my clothes, with the blue and white runner my sister gave me years and years ago.  There are more blue and white dishes there.  Another candle holder.  Another sugar.   A crocheted doily my grandmother or my aunt made.  Pretty things.

I miss my bedroom.

I am extremely thankful for the bed and the bedroom that I have now.  And I know that I can never go back to the other bedroom.  (See post.)

My bedroom now has pretty blue and white in it, too.  It has my flow blue dishes that I never did display in the other bedroom.  And I have a blue and white quilted coverlet on my bed that I bought for myself to make sleeping on the sofa cushion a little prettier for me.  I like the coverlet very much.

I do like my little room that is now my sanctuary.

I am so very thankful to have it.

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Functional Vs. Dysfunctional Relationships: The 10 BIG Differences

(I did not write this article. It was written by Laura Lifshitz and you can find the original article here.)

Which type of relationship are YOU in?

Some people wouldn’t know a toxic relationship if it bit them in the ass. I’m always surprised how some people can float around in unstable relationships, not realizing that how the two of them interact is completely harmful. Most of the time, I would wager that when you feel bad about yourself or have grown up and experienced toxic people in your life, you often associate these behaviors as “normal” because it’s all you know.

But if you want to know if a relationship is functional or totally, utterly dysfunctional, here are the 10 big differences that clearly delineate the two. See where your relationship lies.

1. Stability

Functional: A functional relationship is marked by stability. Stable moods between the couple. Stable relations. Stable commitment. Every relationship has moments of instability and mystery, but for the most part things will be smooth. Functional relationships command stability.

Dysfunctional: Constant ups and downs, and instability and uncertainty, are the true marks of a dysfunctional relationship.

2. Longevity

Functional: A functional relationship is marked by longevity in which the partnership evolves healthily together over time.

Dysfunctional: A dysfunctional relationship is constantly in flux. The two are never in sync for long before breaking up again.

3. Respect

Functional: A functional relationship is characterized by respect and love for who the person is.

Dysfunctional: A dysfunctional relationship oozes issues of control and power issues. A partner who tries to control what you do, who you see, how you look, how you act, where you go, when you do XYZ is a controlling partner and that’s not a sign of a healthy relationship.

4. Intimacy

Functional: A functional relationship is one in which sex and affection are given freely and not as a reward for “behaving,” unless of course the two of you enjoy S&M, which is a whole other scenario.

Dysfunctional: A dysfunctional relationship is riddled with coldness and sexual power dynamics, meaning one party will cut the other party off from affection as punishment. Affection and sex will be given out in drips and drabs or as “rewards” for when the other partner is good. On the flip side, the whole relationship could consist of just sex and nothing else.

5. Support

Functional: A functional relationship is supportive. Someone who is supportive will see you through medical school, reminding you that you’re capable of achieving such a huge goal. A supportive partner will be there to pick you up when you falter and encourage you to do things you fear you’re unable to

Dysfunctional: Someone who is abusive will make nasty comments about how medical school detracts you from him or her. Someone who is abusive will never root for you or support your huge life choice. An abusive partner will use your insecurities to his or her advantage, and discourage you from achieving anything, lest he or she feels like a lesser person in your great big light.

6. Emotional presence

Functional: Are the two of you emotionally present for one another? If so, you have a functional relationship. That means you check in with how the other feels, offering support during difficult times, not withdrawing affection or praise, remembering things important to you, and wanting to spend time with you.

Dysfunctional: If either one of you or both of you is emotionally on another planet, it’s dysfunction city, sweetheart.

7. Openness

Functional: A functional relationship has open communication and ideas. Open communication means the two of you can share how you feel about each other without the other shutting down completely or tearing away at how the other person feels. It means sharing feelings without tearing down your partner or being verbally abusive.

Dysfunctional: A dysfunctional relationship is secretive, restrictive and has many walls and parameters. When your partner is secretive, cuts you off while taking, has set rules for how you two discuss things or is verbally abusive to you, your relationship is toxic.

8. Compassion

Functional: Do you two have compassion for who you both are? Does your partner value who you are as a person and does he or she understand your flaws, rather than using them against you? A functional relationship is compassionate, not judgmental.

Dysfunctional: Or are you both nitpicking and devaluing the other person’s point of view? Do you tear at each other and have expectations of one another that are not reasonable, considering your two personalities and individual strengths and weaknesses?

9. Security

Functional: A functional relationship has two partners who make each other feel secure in the connection. There are no games and no desire to make the other person “work” to earn your love.

Dysfunctional: When the two of you are constantly questioning or feeling insecure about the connection, it’s a dysfunctional relationship. If your partner constantly makes you jealous or you constantly feel jealous even when you shouldn’t, they are insecure.

10. Passion

Functional: Passion and love. Attraction. The two of you still want each other. Sounds like a healthy and connected functional relationship.

Dysfunctional: Disinterest. Disregard. Inattentive. Sounds like an apathetic and dysfunctional relationship.

Link to original article:  http://www.yourtango.com/2016287028/10-differences-functional-vs-dysfunctional-relationships

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6 Subtle Signs Your Relationship Is Becoming Abusive

(I did not write this article.  It was written by Sajan Devshi and you can find the original article here.)

Working with domestic abuse offenders for the last six years as a probation worker, I’ve realized that a lot of the time, people don’t even realize they’re in bad relationships. I see up to 60 offenders (mostly men) every week on court orders, so I get to know them quite intimately.

They come to me for cognitive behavioral therapy–based programs, and I work with them for up to six months. The priority of our therapy is to make them aware of the harm their behavior can cause, and consider how it’s affecting their loved ones.

Many people think abusive relationships all have obvious physical signs. Psychologically abusive behaviors are, more and more, perceived as normal or acceptable.

The shift toward abuse can be slow and insidious, and it won’t always be obvious to victims that a relationship is toxic until it results in police involvement, or such depleted self-worth that they don’t feel capable of leaving, despite being unhappy.

If you think you might be in an abusive relationship, you can get help. Don’t suffer in silence.

Here’s six possible warning signs your own relationship might be becoming abusive:

  1. It’s all about control.

If the person you’re with tries to control every aspect of the relationship and to control you, it is not a good relationship. This can be through what you both do, what you wear, where you go, who cleans up, what you eat, or even through them setting “ground rules” that you are expected to adhere to (without your input on said rules).

A relationship is a “partnership” in which both people are meant to be happy and compromise. If one person is in charge of setting rules the other is expected to follow without discussion, the rule-setter is trying to control the partner.

  1. You’re constantly undermined or belittled, sometimes in subtle ways.

Often the thing that makes it difficult to leave a bad relationship is low self-esteem. When you’re in an abusive relationship, your partner chips away at your self-esteem and confidence in small, subtle ways so you become too fearful of the alternative to leave.

You might be undermined about how you complete tasks, you might be embarrassed in front of others, or you might be made to feel incompetent in some way. This is designed to lower your confidence so the likelihood of you leaving the abuser is lessened. Name-calling is another classic example. When done with intent over time, this can really lower people’s image of themselves. When your most intimate partner is tearing you down, it can be difficult to sustain a sense of self.

  1. It’s always your fault, and your partner can never apologize for mistakes.

A good relationship requires that people take responsibility when they’re wrong. I’ve been married for six years, with my wife for nine years, and the biggest saving grace for our relationship has been our ability to genuinely apologize when we’ve screwed up.

This lets the other person know they are valued enough to deserve an apology. No relationship can survive in an environment in which people are just too stubborn to ever let the other person know they’re sorry. Apologizing isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of a strong relationship with good communication.

  1. Your partner is irresponsible or makes promises they can’t keep.

I’m not talking about small promises, like taking out the garbage. I’m talking about big ones that damage the relationship. If you feel as though you can’t trust your partner to do something and you always have this feeling that you will have to do it yourself, this might be a sign of an unbalanced relationship.

This issue often surfaces in money matters, vis-à-vis spending irresponsibly without discussion. Irresponsibility can even be your partner disappearing for long periods (days) without letting you know when they’re coming back, just because you argued, or they “needed a break.”

  1. They never do things to make you happy like you do for them.

What’s the point of being in a relationship if you’re always so focused on doing things that benefit you? If you find that your partner only wants to do things that suit them, you have to ask yourself how much this person actually cares about you. When a person deeply cares about someone else, they will do things they may not enjoy, simply because they want to make their partner happy.

Refusing to watch a movie you really want to watch because they don’t like it, refusing to try new restaurants or activities because “they don’t enjoy it” is a bad excuse. Think about when you first met; you would do anything just to spend time with each other because that’s what you both wanted. Spending time together should still be enough of a reason to do something — even if one person isn’t thrilled about it.

  1. You have to keep telling yourself “I’m fine, everything’s fine,” but deep down you’re unhappy.

You constantly have to keep reassuring yourself that things will change, that it will get better, to justify staying in the relationship. Instead, ask yourself — are we together because we love each other, or at this point, are we together because we’re attached and used to each other? Attachment isn’t love.

If you think you might be in an abusive relationship, you can get help. Don’t suffer in silence.

Speak to close family and friends. They are the best support network available to help you find the courage to leave, and then see you through the breakup.

If necessary, speak to your local law enforcement agencies to file restraining orders, as a safeguard prior to ending the relationship.

Almost every country has organizations in place that focus on domestic abuse. A simple search for “domestic abuse helpline” will provide you with support right now if you need to talk to someone.

Your doctor can also refer you for counseling with trained professionals to talk in confidence if you need it.

Help is there. You can be happy. And regardless of how you might have been made to feel, you deserve better.

Link to original article:  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-22948/6-subtle-signs-your-relationship-is-becoming-abusive.html

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can’t even imagine…

I read three posts today on love.

This one:  How to Stay Together in a World That Can’t Stop Breaking Up

This one:  How to Find the Courage to Love Again

And this one:  Relationship Salve: The Practice of Intentional Dialogues

I can’t even imagine.

Especially the third one, the post by Leo Babauta…  And the man he references, John Wineland.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have someone care for you so much.

I have a hard time comprehending these things, that there are actually men who care enough about their wives to work to make their relationship better.  Even when it is already a good relationship, they work to make it better.

I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say that once a year he and his wife go to a marriage counselor, not because their marriage needs help, but because he wants to know what they can do to make the marriage even better.

I’ve read similar things from other authors, too.

It blows my mind.

What must that be like?

I used to dream and imagine what it would be like to be with someone who actually wanted to care for me and wanted to improve the relationship.

But that is gone now.  I don’t even remember what it was like to dream about it.

In my work with my therapist, she is trying to help me to see that I have needs.  Maybe that’s a no-brainer, but apparently, it is something I have a difficult time grasping.

(Can you say, “codependent”?)

When I was a very little girl, I learned to be quiet and to not have needs.  To just be good and don’t ask for anything.   Obviously, it was a survival mechanism at the time, but it has done lots of damage over the years (including marrying someone who wouldn’t/couldn’t give me what I need).

Now I have to do the work to get “better.”

And maybe someday I will have the courage to find love.

Real love.

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feeling crazy

I have felt crazy today.

Maybe there is just too much going on.

I’ve been sick for the past couple of weeks with some sort of weird cold/flu sort of thing.  I don’t usually get sick.  And when I do, I don’t usually stay sick very long.  Maybe it’s stress that has knocked me down so hard with this.

I have felt really lonely.   When I went to work each day, the people I worked with were like family.  They were my friends.  Now I don’t see them and I feel really lonely.  I’ve been able to visit two of my sisters and their families and my brother and his family.  That has been great, but for the most part, I feel really lonely.

I’m still going to Toastmasters each week, so I see my Toastmasters friends.  But mostly it’s just the meeting and not a whole lot of conversation before and after.

I did stop by the new office of a guy who I used to work with.  We both lost our jobs at the same time.  He actually got a job before he found out he was being let go.  It worked out perfectly for him.  Anyhow, I stopped by his new office and saw him yesterday.  That cheered me up.  And because of talking with him, I now have leads on three more potential jobs.  Maybe one of them will play out and be “the one.”

I’ve been going to the new therapist, too.  She’s really good, but I also think that it is kind of stressful working on old traumas.  She has told me that we can work on them at whatever pace I am comfortable with.  I want to get it done so I can feel better!  But she also recognizes that it takes a lot out of me to face these things.  I think that that is part of what contributed to my feeling crazy today.  Yesterday we worked on compiling a list of traumas and that is a lot to bring to the surface.  Then there were a couple more things that came to mind after I left the appointment.

Plus I’ve been eating wheat/flour.  I normally stay away from gluten, but the past few days, I’ve been baking and eating things I shouldn’t.  And it’s definitely taking a toll.

I have this thing that I do when I feel really, really crazy.  I count.  Not too fast, but not too slowly either.  But very, very deliberately.  All the way to one hundred and then I start over again.  I make myself focus on each number and that helps slow all the other crazy things going on in my brain.

It scares me, though, when I feel so crazy that I need to count.  I don’t like feeling that way.  Maybe the work with the therapist will help me get past some of the crazy feelings.  In fact, I’m pretty sure she will help me get past the crazy.

I haven’t been to the gym since I lost my job.  I think that is contributing to my not doing so well.  Going to the gym was part of my sanity.  I’m going to start going again on Monday.  I have to. I really miss working out.

Also, the yoga studio that I go to when I do yoga (which is not as often as I would like) has a free class on Monday mornings for those who are unemployed and job hunting!  So I am going to go to that class until I find another job.  Yoga always grounds me and settles me.  I wish I could afford to go more often than I do, but I can’t.  Maybe some day I will make enough to be able to go to yoga at least once a week.

Maybe all of this helps just a little to explain why I have felt a tad crazy today.

Oh, and the water is once again the color of apple juice, even though I just changed the water filter a couple of days ago.   Yay.  Just yay.

I know this is a long post, but thank you for “listening.”

 

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Still here…

I miss blogging.

I  don’t have another job yet, even though I’ve had a number of interviews.  I’ve been enjoying my days without work, but I need to start looking for more stuff to apply for.

It’s still really, really, really difficult for me here.  I feel like the life is being sucked out of me.  I feel like I’m only partly alive.  This isn’t who I was meant to be.

It’s hard to write, knowing that my words will probably be read and despised.  So I can’t really say all I’d like to say.

I’m very thankful for my bed and my bedroom.  I don’t think I would have survived if I were still sleeping on the floor in the living room.

I’m still going to the therapist and she’s great.  I wish I could tell you more.

It is a beautiful day today and I will make the most of it!  You do the same, okay?

Posted in codependency, covert abuse, divorce, emotional abuse, family, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships | Tagged | 6 Comments

losing my job and another therapist

I will be losing my job.

My company was bought by another company and my “position is being eliminated.”

I have about another month before my last day so at least I have a little time to look for something else.

On another note, I went to a new therapist.

This might sound funny, but she was so kind and so compassionate that it made me feel uncomfortable!  I’m much more used to being in a matter-of-fact environment than one of such utter care.  I think, though, that she will be very helpful.

She actually didn’t say a whole lot at the first appointment.  I did most of the talking.  But when I told her that I moved to sleep in the living room after he sexually assaulted me, she seemed truly shocked that I was the one who moved into the living room.  But we didn’t really discuss it.

We did talk a little about the fact that I feel like I don’t matter.   She wants to help me see that I do matter.

The counselor that I went to before helped me with that some, to see that I have intrinsic value.  But obviously, I have a lot more work to do.

The counselor that I went to before was a man.  I did tell him about the sexual assault, but I think this lady, this new therapist, will be able to help me more with it and with some of the other traumas in my life.

I really do hope so.  I feel like I made progress with the other counselor, but I also see that I still have a lot more healing to do.

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domestic violence in the Bible

In all the years I’ve been in the church I’m in, I don’t ever remember domestic violence being addressed by the church.  That’s not to say it hasn’t been addressed, but I just don’t remember ever hearing it.

And divorce was a thing, while not forbidden, that was rarely discussed and then only in hushed tones.

So it is hard to be in a situation that 1) is difficult to explain as the aggression is passive and not so easily recognizable and 2) is not openly addressed by my church.

I did a google search of “domestic violence in the Bible” and found some links that were comforting to me.  I’m not affiliated with any of these, but I wanted to share them, both so I could easily refer back to them and because they might be helpful to someone else who also needs that encouragement.

They are not listed in any particular order.

Also, I found this quote that I wanted to share:  “‘many victims believe clergy have the most potential to help them,’ in fact ‘[clergy] are too often the least helpful and sometimes even harmful.'”  (Link to full article.)

http://www.gotquestions.org/domestic-violence.html

https://www.openbible.info/topics/domestic_violence_and_abuse

http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/bible_verses.html

https://sojo.net/articles/troubling-texts-domestic-violence-bible/preaching-about-domestic-violence-hard-we-must

http://marriagemissions.com/scriptures-on-abuse-and-domestic-violence/

http://www.restoredrelationships.org/news/2016/01/11/domestic-abuse-divorce/

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Tea and Sexual Consent

 

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PTSD

This is very difficult to write.

It’s been exactly one year since what happened.  (See post.)

I thought it would get easier.  I thought I would get over it.

But I haven’t.

It’s actually gotten worse.

I have very strong reactions to anything, no matter how minor, relating to violence against women and sexual assault, even if it portrayed as a humorous situation.  I start shaking and I feel sick and I just can’t handle the thoughts at all.  I think it must be kind of like PTSD.

I’m going to see another therapist.  She has experience working in a domestic violence shelter so maybe she will be able to help me with this in a way my other counselor wasn’t able to.  I sure hope so.  I need to heal from this, to stop feeling so dirty and wretched about it.

 

 

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