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#76588 - 07/24/02 05:37 PM The spiritual path
integrator Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 107
Loc: New York
I've been knocking myself out in pursuit of spiritual integrity. I discovered my abuse a few years back, and have been recovering in all kinds of therapy and spiritual development work. I got married three years ago, after some 5 years of work.
Even at our marriage, it was clear that my wife was in denial. Three years later, she still deep in it. Yet, her lack of awareness, and excuses, trigger my rage every so often.
One thing I want to do is prepare myself for the possibility of divorce. She just is not committed to serious spiritual/psychotherapeutic work. Some emotional distance will also be helpful, and protect me.

#76589 - 07/24/02 07:26 PM Re: The spiritual path
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Does it have to be serious, do we need to delve into it right back to the very roots of the guys who wrote the text books ?
Or can we just take what we need and leave the rest ?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#76590 - 07/24/02 10:33 PM Re: The spiritual path
orodo Offline

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
I can relate to this, Integrator. My wife keeps telling me to "get over it" move on, stay out of chat, off the posts, ignore the therapist, fire the lawyer, and get on with life. I am at the point where I consider this relationship to be emotionally and spiritually abusive. But what can I do. I love my wife, even though she wants me dead, gone, or healed, and I love my kids dearly. They need me. So somehow I slug it out. And here I am posting again, regardless of whether I get caught.....he he he...

It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

#76591 - 07/25/02 03:57 PM Re: The spiritual path
mrsunshineguy Offline

Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 67
Loc: Texas
Hi integrator, Lloydy, and orodo,

I have been a bit of a road trip and thinking through stuff I have read here and other places, and thinking about me, my girlfriend/almostly wife, (also an SA survivor) recovery, and relationships and what is generically called spiritually.

I guess I am sort pondering this aloud, so please, please forgive my bluntness

Maybe for this conversation, if you could do me the favor of thinking of me as an 8 year old boy trying to understand this perspective; I sort of usually have to go back to that point to think things through to now.

- - - - - - - - -

What is spiritual integrity?

Why does that require the involvement of your wife?

Why drag your wife through your rage?

Why does your wife have to be committed to anything in order for you to get better?



#76592 - 07/25/02 09:19 PM Re: The spiritual path
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I agree completely, we should not place undue demands on our partners, any more than we should expect them to carry any part of our burden.
To expect, or worse, demand that they comply with our extraordinary demands is nothing more than trying to unload our abuse on them, a form of abuse in itself.

If, as I am, we are lucky enough to have a supportive partner we then have a responsibility to keep an eye open for them as well, but that's a natural part of a loving relationship.
Supportive partners do what they do because they love and care about us, and hopefully see the reasons for years of strange behaviours, and also see things getting better.

I have always offered my wife the chance to attend therapy with me, but she is ok without it and thats cool. She reads some of the stuff on here, but doesn't feel the need to participate.
She feels that her actions are listening to me, and supporting me, which she does without fail.
But her level of involvement is entirely up to her.

Which for me I guess can be called spiritual integrity, we both feel at ease with each others involvement with my problem, which makes for a stress free environment for both of us to deal with it. But we still grumble at each other about whose turn it is to clean the toilet !! But I suppose that's normal ?

Lloydy \:\)

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#76593 - 07/26/02 12:49 PM Re: The spiritual path
integrator Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 107
Loc: New York
Thanks, guys. Nice to read what each of you has to say, and all your thought-provoking comments and support.
Yeah, detachment and integrity. I'm writing this at work, so please pardon my not acknowleding you guys individually. Ideally, there seems to be lots of pressure to just get over this, and be strong. Unfortunately, I am very aware that things have not just fallen into place, and I am wracked by anxieties and emotional turmoil without addressing the core lifestyle issues, like active acknowledgement of the issues, disavowal of denial and perpetrator complicity. I find this to be the substrate of assumptions at the very core of my relationships, including with my wife. Her patterns of denial often are in complicity with perpetrators. I find that silence on my part contributes to my experience of alienation and anxiety. The middle ground of confidence and self-assurance hasn't happened yet.
My understanding is that I am not in popular territory here, and find that I need to invent and innovate to acclimate at work when I can. However, it's not easy, and these conflicts are arising. In one recent encounter with crass manipulation from a third party in a financial transaction, I became strong and a little aggressive. It triggered my wife's denial and defensive pattern against me. The inversion from me as protector to her projection of me as perpetrator triggered me in the heat of things.
Sheer chaos. Her understanding remains limited and focussed on her projections of me as perpetrator. My social supports are limited, so that my recourse is to extra spiritual vigor in my interactions with her, and to socialize where I can independently to allow myself to regain composure.
Taking what I like is not always easy in the perpetrator complicity buffeting me, I've been finding, even after years of recovery. I am diving into 12 step recovery materials again as well as Buddhism to sustain and help orient my sense of confidence and balance and integrity.
Thank you everybody for your support and interest.

#76594 - 07/26/02 02:11 PM Re: The spiritual path
integrator Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 107
Loc: New York
It also occurred to me, guys, that although I've had periods of relative calm in my recovery path, attempting growth and pursuing ends like marriage and jobs, has not been simply followed by easy spiritual psychological transition for the relevant attitudes. I've been thrown and smashed emotionally and attitudinally, and sucked and set-up. For instance, the head of security where I work is a former cop and streetwise type, and in spite of my recovery commitment and his role in law enforcement, still a tension developed. My spiritual connection was reaffirmed in an important incident. I encountered him and aggressively addressed him, hey, have I ever told you that I was a volunteer neighborhood watch patrol officer (a "guardian angel")?
Well, he started harping on a well-known figure from this volunteer group, how she had tried to become a cop, and had stirred up some things about some minor improprieties of procedure. After catering to him and being sympathetic, I finally said, "Well, maybe they needed it."
"No" he said, "They're good guys."
This being in New York, I said, surrendering briefly to my higher power, "Like those guys who f'd up Louima. I'm sure they were good guys to0."
Well, I felt social-emotional lightning strike, as he mumbled something to his sidekick, and I went on my way with a harumph. I felt my higher power then. Next time I saw the guy, he was congenial as can be. I guess I exorcised at least one demon somewhere in the scheme of things. So much for that, and now on to the next one. Just where does neutral ground lie in the pushing and shoving perpetration and victimization of samsara? It's no summer breeze most of the time. Hey, look at the story of Batman. I guess I'm making my choice to sweep out the trash as consistently as I can, namely underlying assumptions and complicity with perpetrators.

#76595 - 07/26/02 04:04 PM Re: The spiritual path
integrator Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 107
Loc: New York
The question was posed, "Why does your wife have to be committed to anything for you to get better?"
Well, the answer to any question about this subject begins with my experience of feeling emotionally drained, both exhausted and strained, as a result of my daily choice of interactions. I have reached certain circumstances as a result of many healthy, empowering choices that I have made. Yet, extremely debilitating bouts of alienation and this emotional drainage leave me feeling on the verge of losing control of myself and my precious sanity.
At the same time, I recognize in my surroundings dysfunctional behavior, competition, some characteristic of our society, and some of its lunatic fringes. At the same time, normal standard behavior is not sympathetic to progressive thinking. It is materialistic and very often, intended to exploit for gain of some sort. The net effect is that it is in complicity with perpetrators at one level or another. I experience a drain, and that is what I am surrounded by. Rather than choose empty distractions that surround us, I choose ones which address the underlying issues, which are also surrounding us. Yet, the consequence is that things do not flow in exactly the same way. I am striving for spiritual guidance and wisdom to make it as painless and successful as possible, but the condition of the mainstream world is that it is filled with people who want to exploit something or someone, and it is going to take deft wisdom, and a little pain, to gain.
My wife is no different. If she was in on this with me already, hey, we'd be an all out team. Fate, and God, it seems, have not set things up like that. The world, that is to say, is in real deep do-do.
And I'm not going to lie down and take it where there is something awakened to be done. Life is one long wake up call, I guess.
Living with my wife has an effect on me. Finding my integrity has not been painless for me. If she is to continue as my wife, it is only natural that she's in for some ride. It gets easier for me as this becomes clear and I can acknowledge it in forums like this.
Thanks again guys. This was deep.

#76596 - 07/26/02 06:53 PM Re: The spiritual path
mrsunshineguy Offline

Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 67
Loc: Texas
Hi integrator,

(I am beginning to understand your name choice \:\) \:\) )

I guess if I follow it right, your wife feels like you are perpish towards her, and you feel drained dealing with her?

Sorry, but being new here, I dont recall who in therapy, just starting into various stuff, etc., and I am not sure if you have said you have been or are in therapy . . . But if you have been or started into therapy, did they start with something called "boundaries?"

I am no therapist, on-line or in the real world, but I spend a Summer, a couple of years ago, pretty intensely in it, and boundaries were the first, first, first thing the T started with.

Translating the concept of boundaries back into my world, one needs good boundaries so that you dont trip over or step on others who happen to be close to you, and your stuff does not slop on them, and it gives you and others around you a safe "work space" for recovery.

Sort of like "good fences make good neighbors."

Conceptually, as I understand it, with good boundaries your stuff would not slop onto your wife while you were working on it, and you would not feel drained by interacting with her.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Super for you on the twelve-step stuff. I was amazed when I attended some of that with my girlfriend who is in AA, especially the first three steps . . . they were so much like so much of my own abuse recovery, it just amazed me. And so is a lot of the rest. That is part of why I am back in a group (here) so that I can really finish up my stuff right, and do some serious 12th step stuff.

We have even visited AA stuff in New York while visiting there. And like they say, it works when you work it. And dont miss out on the promises. They are very real. Claim them and make them your own.

One thing I still dont get . . . Sorry to be so dense, but I still do not get what Spiritual Integrity is . . . could you maybe explain that to me?



#76597 - 07/29/02 05:16 PM Re: The spiritual path
integrator Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 107
Loc: New York
Hey Sunshine,
Listen to you, just like the sun, casting your healing rays, aren't you. As for me, es that's me, kind of eclectic.
Spiritual integrity is my consistency in all areas of my life. In my life it has unfolded as a desire to protect the environment from rampant pollution. From working in grassroots activism to approach these issues through community organizing, then in social services, and through workshops, I have sought to instal and infuse my life with integrity, and spiritual integrity.
In this case, it helped ground me as I pondered this incident and its minutiae with my wife.
Boundaries. Yes, yes. Except, in the real world, and the vagaries of interaction, it is surrender to a healing higher power which helps guide me with the necessary innovation and creativity.
As for therapy, yes. I have done bunches of stints in therapy. A few different kinds, and I've just started with one recently, a line from Freud with a meditative focus that employs visualization on sources of wisdom and insight.
My wife, for her part, has rejected 12 step meetings and therapy, and sticks to books, tapes, friends, and me. To me it looks like that gives a little bit of a burden to me. She wants to do couples counseling, which I am refusing at the moment because of my belief in individual therapy as the root of resolving all conflict.
In the meantime, I would like to sustain using recovery materials to support communication with my wife. In the process, her lack of interest in psychodynamics became apparent. I focussed on that, and by the end of the conversation, she knew that word.
I wish the world were neat and clean so that verbal chastity would be the highest of virtues. F*** that. I also introduced my wife to George Carlin's routine, and Lenny Bruce's story.
It's a small planet. Think globally.

#76598 - 07/30/02 02:15 PM Re: The spiritual path
integrator Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 107
Loc: New York
I'm happy to report that things seem to be progressing well, with the foundation provided by the basic Codependent Recovery material. The details might be worth mentioning, since they make reference to, and validate, the notion of trauma, and finish by framing the recognition of a higher power that is on the person's side, describing people as meant to be precious and free.
I like AA's promises, too, including "We will [be free from economic insecurity]," and, "we will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us".

#76599 - 08/01/02 06:37 PM Re: The spiritual path
integrator Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 107
Loc: New York
Here's an article on choice theory from a news article recently that really interests me, and was a little surprising for its innovation:
Corning by the Book: Utopian or Orwellian?

July 12, 2002

CORNING, N.Y. - People in other cities may all
be reading
the same book, but here they are living the same life. And
what a charmed life it is: free from nagging, threatening,
blaming, criticizing, complaining, bribing - and full of
loving, encouraging, accepting and negotiating.

At least that's the theory,
"choice theory" to be exact:
the framework for a happier existence as outlined by
William Glasser, a psychiatrist in California and author of
some 20 books whose beliefs about human nature have
improbably taken root here.

Five years ago, Dr. Glasser spoke to a group
of teachers in
Corning and offered the idea of creating a "quality
community" based on his ideas. (There are already nine
Glasser "quality schools" around the country, from
Charlottesville, Va., to Boulder, Colo.)

Corning chose, and in a social
experiment that might be
utopian or Orwellian, depending on your point of view, Dr.
Glasser's theories have seeped into many corners of this
city of 12,000, tucked into a corner of the Finger Lakes

It's not as if smiling people were skipping down the street
in an environment out of "The Truman Show." But supporters
of the Choice Community Project, as it is called, say there
are signs that Corning - person by person, household by
household - is gradually becoming a kinder, gentler place.

"In essence,
we teach people the very necessary skills of
how to get along better with the people who matter the
most, which is something that is not taught in households
across America," said Mary Hayes-O'Brien, the project's
director. "We're trying to get all the village members
talking the same language."

In a nutshell, choice theory says that unsatisfying
relationships are the source of almost all crime,
addiction, mental illness, family breakdown and school
failure. For progress in human relationships, Dr. Glasser
says, people need to give up trying to control others and
accept that the one thing they can control is their own
behavior. So a manager who routinely gives orders might get
better results by first asking workers what they think.
That may sound painfully obvious, but putting it into
practice is another matter. And Dr. Glasser's followers say
choice theory offers a way to focus people's attention on
doing just that.

The superintendent of the Corning-Painted Post public
schools, Donald B. Trombley - who called Corning a petri
dish for Dr. Glasser's theories - said, "When I think about
relationships, I ask myself, "Am I bringing you closer to
me or am I pushing you away?' "

Dr. Glasser estimates that about 1,000
people in Corning
have read his book, "Choice Theory: A New Psychology of
Personal Freedom" (Harper Perennial, 1998). So far, about a
quarter of the teachers in the district have been trained
in choice theory, and all freshmen in one of the city's two
high schools learn about it in their "high school success"

The Corning Senior Center is offering the theory in a
support group for women. The Steuben County jail is holding
workshops in choice theory for its inmates. The pastor of a
Baptist church asks all couples in pre-marriage counseling
to read the first five chapters of another Glasser book,
"Getting Together and Staying Together." And, in nearby
Addison, a parenting workshop lays out the "deadly habits"
of criticizing and blaming as well as the "caring habits"
of encouraging, negotiating and accepting.

Debbie Finamore-Flint, an assistant
principal in the
Addison Central School District, said she and her husband
had benefited from a "peaceful parenting" class that
provided a model, based on choice theory, for raising their
3-year-old daughter, Catherine. "The workshops have changed
even the language in our home," Mrs. Finamore-Flint said.
"Whereas before we might have said, `That was a dumb thing,
you know better than that,' we now say, `What are you going
to do to make it better?' or `What could you have done to
prevent that?' "

Then there is Pat Carlineo, 38, who said his life was
turned around by the choice-theory workshops he attended in
the county jail, where he was sentenced for driving while
intoxicated when he was on probation for torching a
motorboat he had owned with a former girlfriend. "I
realized I was an adult and thought, `Geez, I've got
children and when am I going to get a grip on life and set
an example,' " said Mr. Carlineo, a guitarist who has
formed two bands since leaving jail. "I accept that my life
isn't a Disney film," he said, "there are going to be times
when I slip up. But I think I have the tools now to deal
with everyday pressure."

Still, some residents find the whole enterprise
a bit
suspect, if not silly.

Megan O'Neil-Haight, owner of a preschool program
Corning, detects a paradox in the school district's taking
on choice theory. A plan for the district calls for the
incorporation of the theory into the entire curriculum,
from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. "To implement
that with a broad brush without having been given choices
about other programs," she said, "I find that particularly

School officials counter with the argument that choice
theory is not being forced on anyone: teachers have been
encouraged but not required to receive training.

Other criticism has come
from parents who worry that giving
young people more freedom and control over their lives
could lead to trouble. Advocates of choice theory argue,
however, that it encourages children to take responsibility
for their actions and accept consequences.

Gary A. McCaslin, pastor of
the First Baptist Church of
Painted Post, said of some critics, "They have their radar

"It's a misunderstanding of what the basic tenets are," he
said. "If the only thing you hear is that you can't force
people to do things, there are people in the conservative
Christian church who will make the leap and say, `Oh, kids
can do anything they want,' but that's not choice theory."

Most support
for the initiative has come from the school
district, which has lent office space to the project's few
employees. Financial help has come from foundations and
from Corning Incorporated, which despite its major role in
the community quietly contributed $200,000 but has not
asked employees to take part in the training.

Some here consider Dr. Glasser
a visionary whose views on
human nature are profound in their simplicity. Others say
he is an idealist whose pop psychology is merely
simplistic. Dr. Glasser, who has been quite successful, has
one book, "Reality Therapy," published in 1965, that has
sold about a million copies. He also founded the William
Glasser Institute in Chatsworth, Calif., which trains
educators, therapists and others around the world.

When asked whether
his pre>

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