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#62163 - 08/12/01 01:37 PM for me
tryingtohelp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 0
I am at the point where I have tried everything I can to help and I dont seem to be getting anywhere. I think I really need to think of me now and take care of myself because I know for a fact that I have been neglecting myself for quite some time now. I am so hurt inside and confused and sad and all I want to do lately is cry. I love him so much more than he can love me right now and it is getting me nothing but heartache. The only thing I am confused about is how do I start taking care of me? What do I do to take care of me? He has been the center of my every thought for so long I dont remember what my life was like before him. I was consumed by him and taking care of him. He has so much anger and confusion and hurt inside I dont know if I or anyone else can help him right now. Two weeks ago I found out more about the abuse he endured and I was shocked, I cried for the childhood he lost, I cried for the pain that was inflicted on him. I want to be there for him but he doesnt seem to want my help anymore. I dont know if I have the right to tell him how much he is hurting me because of the hurt he seems to be constantly going thru himself. Do I tell him and put that much more pressure on him? He is going thru so much. But so am I.

#62164 - 08/13/01 02:46 AM Re: for me
babs Offline

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 59
Loc: Cub Hill, MD
You wrote: The only thing I am confused about is how do I start taking care of me? What do I do to take care of me?

It means that YOU have the right to have 'needs'. When his behavior is hurting you then you must tell him that! Calmly tell him that you find a specific action hurtful and unacceptable.

For example:
My husband already had a history of verbally abusing me, but reached a new low several months ago. I met with his therapist alone and later together (now I have my own therapist and we meet his therapist as a couple about every month.) Do you see a therapists? Might be a good idea, at least temporarily. During this rough time I had a friend that was telling me I needed outside help, but I could not see my own need until I was on the verge of breaking down. Therapists provide perspective! Invaluable!

The therapist advised me to define/set a few boundaries to our interactions. Even after 22 years of accepting this verbal abusing me (stupid of me to accept it at all in the first place, but...) I had to draw a line in his brain. You have to be willing react for your self-protection.

In non-aggressive words and tone of voice I told him that no matter how righteous the anger resulting from SA might be I was not the proper target. I DESERVED TO BE TREATED BETTER than he was treating me. I told him that I could not/would not continue to subject myself and our 12 YO child to his raging viscious rants. Asked him if he thought his behavior was the right way to treat the people he loved?

Eddie said he was shocked , as we sat in joint therapy, to hear me described him as an habitual verbal abuser. That he had never before seen it from my perspective. He improved his behavior pretty quickly which surprised me. Not perfect, but tolerable.

You should not make excessive demands of your survivor, but you cannot let the SA erode your self-worth.

Live consciously,

#62165 - 08/13/01 06:58 PM Re: for me
Just Call me J Offline

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
I think that even a support group like Al-Anon, though meant for family of alcoholics, would be helpful.

The dynamics of coping with someone else's pain are going to be similar, regardless of the cause (drug addiction, sex abuse, alcoholism). By all means, take care of yourself! Your emotional well being is just as important as his. YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

I came from a psych background, but I never actually studied the phenomenon of co-dependence. But I see it as a pattern in my own life: if I can't control MY life, maybe my life will improve if I take SOMEONE else's problems on! That is backwards thinking, though. If you are not healthy yourself, then you won't be any help to someone else.

Tryingtohelp, find your own support system. Babs hit the nail on the head, repeatedly. Find yourself a therapist, or get to a support group, or something. When you get that perspective, you can start setting your limits on the behavior that you will not tolerate.

Best of luck to you!

We're in this together.

We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails


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