Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse

October's Edition is up HERE. October's host is Lynda at In the Best Interest: Child Advocacy Law. Check it out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finding the Balance

I managed to get in for a T session today. I needed it. I was looking forward to getting some help in figuring out where the balance is between playing the "hall monitor" and "total hands off."

We talked about the decision I made with hunting (see post here). I told Husband that I was not going to go out of my way to schedule things when he is gone, but neither am I going to try to schedule everything into the one weekend he might be around. T said it was a good plan - to put everything square in his lap. Now I need to be sure that I don't react with anger when he leaves for hunting or returns. Not to get caught up in his struggle with whether he should go or not. Not to make the decision for him. But also not to run around ragged, making up for the cleaning and other things he would do if he were here. He needs to figure out how to make up (if possible) for what he misses when gone.

We talked about the pornography and my struggles with finding a balance between playing hall monitor and letting stuff run rampant in my house; between feeling like I'm overreacting and things aren't really that bad versus under-reacting and this is going to blow up in my face. We talked about how my past and childhood is blurring with the here and now. How I'm afraid to let my past totally dictate my reaction now, but am also afraid to ignore it.

We talked about what I have said and done so far. Set up some guidelines and set-ups that might work with the computer. It puts the responsibility back on Husband but gives me the ability to look and see what he has done if I need. T said that based on what I've said/done so far, I'm reacting outwardly appropriately.

My thoughts are going a bit overboard. But that's to be expected. We talked about the differences between this situation and my childhood. The reasons why I'm getting them all jumbled up and why this is throwing me for a tailspin. She made me feel okay with the fact that this inner war is going on, but also reminded me that my Husband is not Toilet. T has met Husband several times and she "knows" him pretty well through my years of telling her about him. There have also been group sessions where she's met with him. She reminded me that he has a good heart and loves the Lord. I need to trust in that - but not blindly.

I think the lesson here is to let my feelings be what they are, but to check them with my head. To let my head reassure my heart that there is a reason I married Husband and that he is getting help and reaching out. I need to remember that he is not Toilet and is not "destined" to follow some path into becoming Toilet's evil twin. I also need to keep an open eye and not ignore facts either.

We'll see how this goes...........

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Torn - and a Decision

I've gotten lots of comments, and some direct emails with regard to my recent blog posts. I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I especially appreciate those men who have written to tell me they've struggled with pornography too. And the women who have written me about facing this situation.

On the one hand, I worry I'm over-reacting because of my childhood issues. On the other hand, I worry that because I didn't react strongly enough (my perception) to the pornography as a child, that my failure to react led to a worsening of the abuse. See the dilemma? I'm talking with T later this afternoon.

Husband had his therapy appointment yesterday. He's minimzing - I believe he thinks that because he's talked with a few guys at church and been to one session, that he's okay. Besides I've got blocks on anything, so he's good, right?

Husband is totally in denial on the hunting. Or maybe it's not denial. He has listenened to all I say. I wrote him a very non-confrontational letter. He admits the points I make. He just doesn't see the big deal. Today he asked, "isn't it better for me to make a choice, than for you to dictate rules?" I could have argued about being a dictator of rules. But I chose a different tactic. One I'd been contemplating a bit.

I told him no rules. No holds barred. He can hunt wherever and whenever he wants. All I ask is that he write it on the calendar, and if it is when I am working or have plans (per the calendar) that he make child care arrangements. I'm tired of being seen as the dictator. I can't force him to choose me or the family. Let him choose what he wants.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not going to play second fiddle or allow my family to be usurped by hunting either. But when a co-worker and I were discussing being hunting widows, she mentioned finally giving up. She said, "you know what? Things run smoother when he's not around. The kids and I have more fun. There's less tension. We can enjoy time more when we are together, and the kids and I are really close."

She has a point. I love spending time with the kids. It's his choice whether or not to be a part of this. If he wants to go off and hunt, rather than hang out with the children and I, then so be it. His loss - not mine. And if he chooses to hunt all the time, and I learn to cope as a single parent, well ........ Ultimately he is responsible for the relationship he forms with me and with the children. I can't force him to enjoy the activities the kids enjoy or to do them. He'll have to face the consequences of his choices later. All I can do is be the best wife and mother I know how.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Blame Pornography - Lighbulb Moment

You have to have read this post here in order for this to make sense. As I wrote that post, I had a sense of de ja vu. I looked back and voila, I have written about porn - Toilet connection before. I have also written about my reaction and how I think he liked it. I know now not to blame myself for how I reacted - it was a child's innocent curiosity. But I also know that Toilet was looking for someone that would stay silent and I did. In my mind, I blame pornography for the abuse. I see it, and my reaction, as the catalyst that started it all.
Husband came home last night to say that he found out someone else in his church group is struggling with the same issue. He talked about how it's very common and other people have done worse. blah blah blah
I talked with Husband very calmly this morning. I told him that I was not the person he needed to be talking to about this. If he wants to discuss plans to ensure it doesn't happen again, that's fine. But I can not be the person he talks with about what he's learned in counseling and how others struggle. All I hear is excuses. All I hear is "it's not that bad" and "everyone else is doing it." I told him to talk to friends about that. He again told me not to talk to anyone. I told him very calmly (can you tell I had counted to 10 and done deep breathing first?) that I would not be silenced - that I had spent my entire life being told to shut up and keep quiet. After walking away and coming back, I told him that I was not going to be taking out billboards or going around gossiping, but that if I needed to talk to someone, I wasn't going to refrain from doing it. He'd prefer (of course) if I stick to my "unreal" (AKA online) buddies and not anyone he might have to see (like my sister). Too bad for him. I am not going back to the old way of life of trying to remember what everyone knows and what version of reality I need to be remembering with which person.
He said he definitely didn't want his family knowing. I'm not planning on telling them. His cousin is supposed to stay at our house this weekend since she's working over the weekend at the plant location near our place. I told Husband I wasn't planning on telling her - but that I wasn't planning on hiding the fact that we have separate bedrooms or aren't exactly the happiest couple on the block. He'll just have to deal.

The Past Coming into the Present

I got a call at work mid-morning. Husband had been offered an interview - it couldn't wait until tomorrow. The issue was that Bugaboo had a low-grade fever and we kept him home. Plus Munchkin had a day off from school. What to do? I came home - will make up the hours someday this week.

Husband called me on the drive to the interview, to tell me that the insurance investigator was stopping by the house in 15 minutes, instead of early evening as he previously told me. This is someone from Munchkin's daycare about her broken foot. Daycare told us he was rude and obnoxious. I made the comment to DH - "you are sending a strange man to the house to meet with me, alone?" He didn't see an issue - he was with the insurance company, after all. I ran around and picked up, finished nursing Bugaboo, changed out of my lounging (not suitable for company, around the house) clothes and debated calling DH back and demanding he change the appt. But he had handled a situation. He claims I always second-guess him and I know that's what would get thrown up at me.

After DH came home, he asked about internet availability at the library. I told him there was but he might need to apply for a card. He said that he needed me to teach him how to access our email - a temp service is emailing something to fill out and he needed to get it done for a morning interview. I informed him the email password had been changed. He said well you can just get on and get it up for me.

This is too much. I can't win. I don't block it - it's my fault. I do block it - it's my fault. I help him and I'm mothering - babysitting him. I don't and I'm inhibiting his job search. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO!

When Mom and Toilet were first dating, we spent weekends at the Berlin Farmers Market. It is an old, warehouse-type creepy dark indoor and outdoor flea market. The creepy of creepy hung out there (can't believe it has a website now). No shirts or shoes were required. We could afford stuff there. Toilet not only let us stare as long as we wanted at the pretzel conveyor, but bought us some too. There was a magazine stand - I don't remember Mom being there, but she must have been at least some of the time. Sister and I got to look at Teen Beat. Toilet looked at porn. We stood there side by side looking at our magazines. He'd make comments.

Toilet always wanted to know if I thought Mom would like something. "what do you think your mom would like?" We'd go by the lingerie shop and he'd hold something up to me - think your mom would like this?

I remember Toilet joking about some magazine he picked out for her - Big Men or something. He'd walk down the aisle with his brown paper bag. He'd put my magazine in with his and make me carry them both. We got home and it turns out the magazine was for men seeking men. It was a magazine for homosexual men. The comments and jokes he made were awful.

At 10, I went into Mom's room and dresser for something. I knew better than to go through her stuff. I found sexual toys and a ton of magazines. Sister and I looked through them. Apparently we left the drawer ajar. Mom yelled for going through her stuff. Toilet caught me in the hall and asked me if I learned anything. I smarted off - "yeah I learned men have hair down there." There was a weird look in his eyes. I think he liked my smart-mouth response.

One summer about a year later I was on a camping trip with Toilet and Mom. Sister was with Dad. We went hiking. I was a bit ahead with my dog. I heard giggling. Mom and Toilet were flashing each other and taking pictures. I found them later. Mom acting like a porn star.

There were porn movies. A friend and I put one in one time. Didn't put that one quite back right either. Mom said nothing. Toilet told me in an evil whisper, "it's okay - just put them back. Your mom wouldn't like it." It was our secret.

Porn = Toilet = abuse = throw up

He makes decision about insurance which I don't like. So I can stay quiet and deal with the uneasiness of a strange man or object and get accused of second-guessing him. I can't win. I try my best but I can't. It makes my anxiety skyrocket.

When I put the lock on the computer I feel like his mother. When I refuse to help him access the computer, I feel guilty (trigger). When I get guilted and give in, I feel majorly triggered.

I had finally gotten to where I could tolerate his eating crunchy food in my presence; tolerate him walking in the bath while I'm brushing my teeth; pass him in the hall, without panicking. Now I feel like I've been set back a year or more.

I got an appointment with T on Wed. If I can survive DH wanting to discuss everything after his appointment tomorrow I'll make it.

And now I must escape to to another rroom because he is inhaling potato chips in a mouth open lip smacking way that is making me vomit.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Co-dependency Nightmare

I have always hated the term co-dependent. In my eyes it was a weak sniveling person like my mother. As I read these books though, I'm realizing that I have some major codependent traits -
* trouble identifying what I'm feeling
* minimize or deny how I feel
* difficulty making decisions
* judge everything I think, say or do as never good enough
* do not ask others to meet my need
* value others' approval of my thinking
* do not perceive myself as lovable or worthwhile
* value others' opinions and feelings as my own
* attempt to convince others of what they should do/feel
* become resentful when others don't let me help
* freely offer advice and direction
* have to be needed to have a relationship with others.
Blech that sounds harsh. Some of the traits seem opposite and appear to conflict with others, but I can see how they are at work in my life.
Right now, I'm stuck in a co-dependent nightmare of trying to figure out where the line is. The apparent solutions to one issue conflict with the apparent solutions of another issue.
On the one hand - shut off the cable TV, internet, etc because Husband isn't working. Let him see that his salary is important for us to have these things. And that you have to be putting forth effort to have them.
On the other hand - will it force him to seek out other ways to find pornography? Will it further the "mommy syndrome" he seems to have where he wants to play the little boy role?
Husband wants me to check out the bank balance to see if his unemployment check cleared. I remind him he can call the 1-800 bank number. He comes back and says it gives only the amounts, not who the deposit is from. So do I look it up for him? Do I turn on the computer and put in the password and sit there as a hall monitor?
Husband wants me to put in his unemployment claims so he can get paid for the week. I say No and point him to the phone book. He can't find the claim number, just the local office number. Do I let him figure it out and risk losing the check for the week? Do I look up the number and give it to him? Or do I put the claim in for him? Do I put in the password and let him do it?
I ended up checking the bank balance online and filling out the claim for him. I hated doing the claim because I put in his answers which was "available for work" even though I know he put Jan 1st on some applications. I told him I was not comfortable furthering his deceit but he said it was "just on that one application."
I'm not sure there is a "one size fits all" answer. But I made an appointment for myself on Wednesday to try to get some help with it.
Husband and I talked a bit last night. He is all over the place. From "everyone else does it" to "it's not that bad" to "I'm glad it was discovered" to "God wanted it discovered" to "I can't talk to anyone about it" to "you knew this was a problem" to "why are you so surprised, you had all the clues" to "you should have known this would happen when you taught me to use the computer"
We talked a bit about how pornography is the result of an underlying issue. He recognizes that it is probably self-esteem. But then goes on to say "well I told this guy no this week." He thinks by doing one thing "right" that he is "over it."
I tried to open up a bit about how this is touching on my triggers but he wasn't receptive so I shut down. I think I might try to write a letter. I don't have to give it to him. But it might help me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


After a night of flashbacks, panic attacks and finally drugged sleep, I'm not very coherent. But I wanted to take a moment to update and to thank everyone for their comments.

After work yesterday,
I ran by the Christian bookstore and bought two books for women whose men struggle with sexual addictions. So far they are pretty good. I'm struck by two things. First, how many abusers start out with pornography, and how from a woman's perspective viewing pornography is just as bad as having an affair.

I went home and Husband was wrapped in a blanket on the couch. He didn't move. Didn't talk. I went into the bedroom. I had called T and thankfully she was able to squeeze me in. I told Husband I was going to meet with her. He looked a little odd about that.
She and I talked about what to do - block computer, cancel internet - is that controlling or helping? Since so much is from his need to be "mothered" I have to be careful not to take control and do it all. Decided to password protect the computer (done) and let him figure out how to do the Employment stuff on the phone or in person. Cancelled cable except channels 1-19 which are just local (no more TLC, HGTV, or A&E for me). Not so much for the X/R rated stuff but because he doesn't need to sit around and watch TV and not work. If he starts watching soap operas all TV will be gone.

She also suggested pulling Bugaboo out of daycare out for a week or at least a few days - pay for daycare to keep the spot - but don't use it. That way Husband has to take some responsibility. And she suggested I do some 1-1 things with the kids during evenings and weekends, so that Husband has at least 1 kid almost all the time for awhile. And if he is still unemployed over the holidays, keep Bugaboo out and let him have both kids for the two-week Christmas break. Even if I'm paying for the spot (to keep it and not lose it) doesn't mean I have to use it. I never thought of that. It's a good plan because he is not capable (at present) of juggling errands, housework, and the kids. He's enjoying staying home too much.

She said to give it a few days but then tell Husband two things (1) he's too good of a man to be acting like this and (2) I am too committed to our family to give up without a fight and that I was going to some man at the church to seek their help in reaching him. I'm going to have to use the shame to make him reach out.

Got home and there was a note on my dresser. It said, "Sorry about the computer thing. I have an appt with [his therapist] on Tues."

I'm grateful for that. Although I do note his apology is specific which is a deliberate thing for him - he usually just says "sorry."

Last night I cancelled the extended cable. I also
looked at the computer history closely (blech). I kept his note. T suggested I check our credit cards and bank cards. I did that. I looked in his wallet and will check the safe. The book cautions against becoming a constant hall monitor and I do not want to do that. But I need to know how big this problem is before I can tackle it. And the attorney side of me is compelled to document all this (just in case).

Everything appears to be "size issue" related - some female sites but nothing that appeared hard core.. So I definitely think it is an esteem thing, more so than simply a sex thing. But T also made me see that as he's gotten sucked into this more and more, his attitude has changed. Hindsight being 20-20 I can see that. And that could be causing a lot of our issues too.

T also suggested making the finances hurt awhile - so I'm cutting out going out to eat - that's his huge favorite. Just refuse to go because "we need to save $$" No ordering out either. I need to make his being out of work uncomfy. I need to make his sit around and do nothing for awhile and get bored. One so he feels his income does make a difference but also to make him want to find work.
I've been trying to keep things status quo so he doesn't feel bad about being out of work. But instead he sees things going on normal so why does his working matter? Again no motivation and a blow to his esteem.

Pornography and sexual addictions are a war. There are images everywhere. Men are so visual. Women in bikinis on baywatch become a problem. So things need to be super restrictive for awhile and then lessen up. It's like an alcoholic would never go to a party where alcohol was being served until they were far along in recovery. So I'll have to be cognizant of what I watch on TV, the magazines in the house (no more People magazine) and flyers we get (off the Victoria secret mailing list).

In the meantime, he's sleeping in the basement awhile. And I'm changing/showering/etc behind closed doors. I don't even want to nurse in front of him.

As for me, reading these books has reminded me that most abusers start out with pornography. And reminded me just how pornography played a role in my abuse. The flashbacks and nightmares have been intense. I want Husband to see what this is doing to me -- but I'm not in a place where I can do it without being confrontational or accusatory. And I sure do not want him trying to comfort me. I'm also still PISSED I'm going to have to talk about sex in front of other people.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Get OUT !

(TRIGGER warning - foul language ahead)

If you have ever visited Facebook, then you know status messages start out -- Enola is ________.

Today, mine would read -

Enola is nauseated
Enola is livid.
Enola is pissed
Enola is sobbing
Enola is having a panic attack
Enola wants a xanax

I came home after a long day in court. I called and offered to pick up Bugaboo. Bugaboo is switching up to the 1 year class and I'm trying to do some of the pick up so I can get to know the teachers.

We get home and the house is a mess. Husband has worked 3 hours in the morning at daycare. Didn't bring Bugaboo home to spend time with him (another rant) but came home, watched TV and waited for the heating repair guy to come. I got busy getting food on the table, helping Daughter with homework, feeding Bugaboo, etc. Husband went and talked with the repair guy.

I mentioned to Husband, in a very nice tone of voice that it would be nice to come home to a straightened house. I try really hard to pick up when he's been gone and is coming home. That prompted a litany of what he'd done all day. Which turned into a rant about money. And how he's not looking for a job and he doesn't care. And what am I going to do about it? Well.......

I said something not so nice - I said let's list house for sale. He said then what - pay $700 for apt. I said no - I'll get an apartment with the kids - you go to your parents. He said something about, "well my theory is true." He wouldn't elaborate then.

So I get Bugaboo ready for bed and he's putting Munchkin to bed. I go downstairs to log onto the computer to pay bills. Something odd comes up and when I go to click to my "favorites" I hit history and it's all these gun sites. So I'm mad, thinking Husband is searching guns all day instead of jobs. Click "full history" and oh no, my eyes.

That fucking bastard. This wasn't an accidentally stumbled upon a x rated site. This wasn't "I typed Dick's sports instead of Dick's sporting goods." That's happened before. This is searched out, googled it, sought it out stuff. He looked at that shit with my daughter's picture set as the background picture on my computer .

Of course it's my fault. I didn't block the sites. I didn't install controls. We've not had sex in awhile. I'm on the computer too much. I'm ignoring him.

He says he has an addiction. Okay, deep breath. I can understand addictions are tough. I tell him to get help. He shakes his head. I tell him he has 2 weeks to call his counselor. "Nope," he says, "or what?" I tell him I'll have to decide what to do and he says, "my theory is already proven. You're done with our marriage anyway. You're not sleeping with me and now you want me to move out."

I tell him I'm committed to working on our marriage. I'm frustrated with him. I reiterate (for the millionth time) that I do not blame him for being laid off. I do not blame him for not finding a job quickly. I do hold him responsible for his efforts which are slim to none. He's been out of work since Sept 25th and has contacted TEN places. He defends saying that he didn't look while getting severance.

Then he admits he's not looking to get a job right now. He doesn't want to take a job where he'll have to work holidays. He mentions that Daughter has two weeks off from school and would have to do before/after school and full day care. She's done that before - she's a daycare kid. And if he hadn't have lost his job, there wouldn't have ever been an issue about that. Plus I have time off.

When I point this out, he admits he doesn't want to work holidays. He wants time off. And...da da da.......he wants to hunt. He won't take a job because it will interfere with hunting. He's been putting on his applications that he is not available until January 1st. (forget about that fact that if this is discovered he'll lose unemployment for being "unavailable for work.")

Damn selfish bastard

So - talk about choices. He has now chosen hunting over me and our family. Being lazy over supporting our family. And porn over me.

I have talked about so much personal shit in counseling. The one thing I have never talked about is our intimate life. There's not enough medication for that. I can't do it. And now I'm going to have too. I'm going to have to talk about all this sex shit - probably with him in the room too, if he'll ever go to marriage counseling. I could kill him

I message my sister. She has parental controls on her computer and her husband struggled with this. She has books and resources. She's my sister and I need someone to cry too. I'll be damned if Husband sees or hears me crying. Sister calls me on the phone instead of computer messaging me. Husband brings me the phone and says, "Didn't take you long to run and blab to her." Guess I'm supposed to keep this quiet, huh? He says, "don't you dare go talking about this to people."

He didn't dare try to come into the bedroom last night. He's permanently on the couch for now. I did password protect the computer. I refuse to be the "hall monitor." I discussed it with my sister, and she, knowing my controlling tendencies, read me a passage out of a book she read when dealing with this shit. It warned about becoming the controlling one - putting controls on computers, TVs, mail, etc. Husband already wants me to mother him. I can't do it here. I did put a block on the computer because I can't stomach the thought of porn on a computer where I deal with pictures of my kids and scrapbooking.

I've got an email and will call as soon as lines open to my counselor.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I hit a Nerve - Respect

The "Crazy Cycle" comes from the Love and Respect series by Emmerson Eggerichs. It says that Wives need Love and Husbands need respect. But it's a cycle. Without Love, the wife reacts without respect. Without respect, the husband reacts without love. And round and round and round you go. It's a pretty accurate theory.
Husband and I have been stuck on this crazy cycle spinning wheel for quite some time now. I discussed it with T last evening.
As usual, she had some great ideas.

The main issue is still Husband's inability to say No. Last week we talked about what to do about medical insurance. Husband got the name of an insurance agent from a former co-worker of his. This coworker is not the brightest bulb in the box and has a long history of bad decisions. Nevertheless, Husband decided to accept his recommendation of an agent. Husband set up an appointment during my working hours. He started gathering documents including our house and car insurance information. I asked him why - we have great policies and rates. He decided to get those quoted too. Now we've been with a certain company for years and I have developed a good relationship with our agent. So I told Husband not to make any decisions without talking to our Agent to see what she could do for us. Knowing Husband's history I told him not to sign anything until we could discuss it and compare all options.

Husband came home, having decided to roll over two of his 401Ks into IRAs. I've been suggesting he roll over his old 401K into his new one for years. Lo and behold he started the process already. He doesn't know what an IRA is, what it does, how it works, why it's a good idea, the fees and tax implications or anything. Husband says, "you need to sign this." "This" is a piece of paper waving notice and explanations of certain items. I'm NOT signing that. Husband came home with nothing that explained anything. I told husband I wasn't signing anything until he could explain to me what I was signing. But he couldn't explain anything.

I called our current rep to get a medical insurance quote and asked her about IRAs. Turns out she has the same plans available through her, except this company does not charge an "annual membership fee" like Husband's company. So I called Husband and told him this. I was excited to save the annual membership fee and get the same plan.

Stutter....but I sort of, kind of, ah promised this guy we'd go with him.


Husband's contentions - I've quit helping him with anything. I won't participate in decisions. I've given up doing everything. I'm leaving everything to him. So he makes a decision and now I'm mad.

My contention - I've quit doing everything for you. It's time for you to grow up and take responsibility. I am not refusing to participate in the decision. What I want is for you to do the research, make the phone calls and do the legwork. Read the information. Then summarize it for me and we can make a joint decision. Also, I'm not suggesting he be responsible for EVERY area. But I have been for years. I think we need to split it up - he take the burden on some decisions and me on the others. I think he ought take over more since he's not working. But bottom line, decisions need to be informed and joint - if we can't agree, then someone will make a final call. But we ought to at least discuss them.

So as I'm driving to therapy, Husband calls about my signing the paper again. I questioned Husband -

He acknowledges that we discussed his not signing anything or making a final decision until we discussed it. At first he says he didn't do this. But then he says he can't not go with this guy because he gave his word - which sure sounds like a final decision to me. So the dilemma - Husband tells this guy No, which breaks a promise to this guy (in Husband's eye) or tells me to sign it and does it anyway, which breaks his word to me. Husband acknowledges this. And when I make the comment, "gee I wonder who is getting the shaft - oh wait, it will be me --- as usual," he says nothing.

Enter therapy session which couldn't have been timed more perfectly.

It boils down to respect. I've lost a lot of respect for Husband. It's hard to respect a man who can't tell anyone else "no" except me. Actually he has trouble telling me No unless we're arguing. And so when it comes down to choosing, he picks a fight with me, gets mad, and tells me No.

Several months ago, we had a similar argument about Husband discussing an issue with his parents. He wouldn't do it. Finally, in frustration I yelled, "you have until this weekend to talk to them, or I'll do it for you - and it won't be pretty." He looked pleased. I realized that is what he wanted. So I backed off and told him he had to do it. I confronted him on not being able to say No to his parents. He started crying and said, "I can't do it. You just think I'm a big p***y, don't you?" Well I'm not engaging in that type of name calling so I just said, "I think you need to learn to do it."

We've talked about this issue in counseling. It steps on my toes - Husband choosing everyone else over me. That didn't seem to resonate with him. So this time, T told me to approach it from a respect standpoint. I wasn't sure about it, but decided to trust her and try it.

Last night Husband and I were driving to a dinner event. I wasn't going to discuss things then but he insisted on knowing what I discussed in T. I told him it was none of his business. So he point blank says, "what did you say about me?" I reiterate my statement. Then he says, "Well what did T say about the IRA?" I didn't manage to hide my facial expression quickly enough.

I told Husband that I see him having a habit of signing whatever is in front of him. I told him he needed to understand what he is signing and that if he doesn't then he needs to ask questions. Contrary to his thoughts, I am not a genius and I do not understand everything. Yes I can divide up IRAs in divorce, but beyond that I do not know about them. I was expecting and trusting him to find out about our options and make a decision together. It wasn't even that Husband made an informed decision on his own. He doesn't know what he signed. He doesn't understand what he did. He didn't read anything. He just signed it. He has done this before and we've wound up in major problems. I do not sign anything without reviewing it with him and explaining it to him, and getting his input.

Husband wanted to argue, argue. Same things over and over. So finally I stepped off the crazy cycle and said, "I find it very difficult to respect you when you are unable to tell people No. I find it very difficult to respect you when you choose to break your word to me. I find it very difficult to respect you when you make decisions because of a fear of telling someone else No. I find it very difficult to trust you when you make decisions without being informed."

Apparently that was the HOT BUTTON language.

He blurts out, "I don't need your damn respect."
He then tries to switch to the blame game. Well, you don't participate when I try to talk with you about decisions. Remember the budget? Remember this event from 9 years ago? Remember this?

I admitted I was somewhat wrong with the budget. But I also asked him to consider that when I had attempted to ask questions about where he was coming from, he had no answers. He had made an uninformed decision and got mad when I discovered that.
He brings up our differences in paying off debt versus keeping some money in savings. Well, first of all, we're not always going to agree. I compromised on that. And God solved that issue for us by depleting our savings through medical bills.

Husband now says that not only doesn't he need my respect, he doesn't want it. And he doesn't want to do a budget. And he doesn't care about paying off debt.

I ignored his temper tantrum.

He pouted and ignored me the rest of the night. He came home and retreated downstairs. He "fell asleep" on the downstairs couch. I went to bed.

Going to be interesting the next few days.............

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bubble Wrap

Owie! I need to be delicately wrapped and cushioned in bubble wrap. I'm so sore and achy. And no, it is not the flu.

I have begun to work out again. (haven't stopped overeating, but that's another post). Something about seeing the scale top your pregnancy weight, you're not pregnant and you've moved into plus-size clothes, will motivate you to work out. A few trips the gym, some walk/runs with the family and floor exercises at home. One year old babies make great weights. Bugaboo loves to be lifted over my head and have razberries blown on his tummy. Munchkin likes it too. NOTE to other mommys - lifting a 45 pound daughter over your head is bad for your back, and when your arms cave and you let her down too quickly, you are apt to smash your nose. So my arms and legs are SORE.

I've been doing a ton of typing at work. I'm working on getting reports written. My carpal tunnel has flared up too. Contrary to what my husband says, it is NOT because I play too many facebook games. No siree bob! Besides I use a left-handed mouse to play games and my right hand is the one bothering me. So there!

My jaw hurts too. I forgot to wear my retainer one night. And have found myself clenching my jaw some too. It is certainly not because my thumb keeps finding its way into my mouth at night. I have to remind myself to relax my jaw.

My shoulder is killing me. If I'd put Bugaboo in his crib to sleep, it might heal. But I can't bring myself to let him cry it out. So he sleeps with me. And he loves to snuggle. So I often sleep with his head on my right arm, which makes my arm fall asleep and my shoulder stiff and sore. But his adorable sleeping face makes it all worth it. The soreness could also be due to the fact that Munchkin insisted she couldn't walk any further and made me carry her the last three blocks of our walk.

I have a work dinner tonight and have to dress up. So I took extra care to shave my legs and wash my hair last night. Noticed that my legs are especially black and blue. I've been more clumsy than usual and the corner of my desk has it out for me. I just can't bring myself to put those child safety cushions on it, but I've thought about it.

So I'm off to find some bubble wrap. Wonder if it comes in black to match my outfit (and to continue to ignore that I have a T session today and would prefer to fill the time with mundane chitter chatter like this).

If you are a huge fan of popping bubble wrap, here is a site just for you -
you can pop away to your heart's delight.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Children Learn what is Modeled for Them

This is one of the most powerful videos I've seen in a long time

It is OVER !!!

So last week was my deposition in my malpractice case involving the bitch that sued me. It settled!

I hate that the insurance company paid her anything. But it was less than 1/5 of what she wanted and it is now done. No more missing work for mediations, depositions and no more week-long trial hanging over my head. It all settled without me having to take a week off for a December hearing.

Apparently I kicked butt at the deposition because it settled immediately upon its conclusion.

I know my insurance company paid her money because it's less expensive to give her money and make her go away, than to take the case to trial. The deductible is already paid. So it makes good economic sense. I've had that same conversation with clients myself - "you need to bite the bullet and just pay some money. I know it is the principle of the thing, but you'll spend time and money you can't get back fighting it." It still reeks of doing something wrong. My attorney did insist on a confidentiality clause so that will prevent Bitch from talking about the case and hopefully, preserve my reputation.

So now that it is all over and I have some perspective, what do I think?

I was Terrified -- with a capital "T." This case took place during the years I started dealing with all this crap and my life went downhill. I was so zoned out on meds and dissociation, who knew what happened? I'm lucky that this was a difference of opinion in judgment and not a serious error. Best practices would have dictated I did something different. But as things shook out it didn't matter long-term. However, you could still argue I still screwed up in some ways. Work has always been my saving grace and to see that fall apart is truly frightening.

I was really worried the attorney would ask me about medications. It's a standard question - to find out what medications the deponent has taken within 24 hours of their deposition. If there is anything questionable, they will sometimes ask what prescriptions were taken during the time in question. I definitely didn't want to answer that question!

I used to have nightmares about having my deposition taking but where the subject was my childhood. Being drilled on dates, order of events and other details that are oh, so fuzzy in my head. So the deposition was a bit panic-inducing. I can't even imagine trial with all those people looking at me and judging me.

I emailed the partners of my old firm, since the firm was named in the suit. I thought they should know how it turned out. Not one of them asked details. I guess I expected some support like "we had your back" or "I'm glad you let us know. Sorry you had to go through this." Nope - just a few "thanks for letting us know."

Five hours after finding out, I'm at home. Things have been chaotic tonight. Very loud and disorganized. Not sure if is the chaos, after-effects of this, or the flashbacks I've been having (subject for another blog post), but had an on the Panic Attack Scale. Worst in awhile. And so I'm off to bed.

I'm not sure what else might surface as this sets in. Right now there is a mix of relief, apprehension and uncertainty.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All I Really Needed to Know I (should have) Learned in Kindergarten

Having a child start kindergarten means learning a new set of rules and teaching new rules to your child. I've learned that there is a lot I didn't learn growing up. It's hard to teach your child something that you haven't learned yourself. I'm writing this blog as much to remind myself of these rules as anything -

Rule #1 - You do not have to like Everyone.
It's okay to have a best friend or two. It's okay if you do not like everyone. Look for the good inside of everyone, but don't expect to always find it. There are some people who are just plain evil. Avoid them. There are some people who are consistently negative. Ignore them. There are some that are just different than you and you have nothing in common with them. Learn how you can compliment them and they you. Then there are those that will encourage you - relish them. Learn what you can from others but don't assume everyone is honest and truthful.

Rule #2 - Be Yourself

Don't change who you are to fit what you think someone wants you to be. Find out who you are. Be true to yourself. Don't be afraid to grow and change, but do it because you want too, not because you think someone else doesn't like the way you are.

Rule #3 - Say You are Sorry when You Hurt Someone

Even if it is unintentional. More importantly say you're sorry when you hurt yourself. Forgive yourself and move on. Learn what you can from every situation and move forward. Moving forward is not the same as forgetting the past; instead it is learning to keep the past from holding you hostage.

Rule #4 -

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

It is important not to get too caught up in accomplishments and "to do" lists. Set time aside to enjoy the little things in life. It's amazing how much taking some "me" time can help you accomplish.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One Mystery Solved & a General Update

We couldn't figure out how the dog bones were disappearing so quickly. Turns out Tallie dog is able to use her paws to pry open the closet door when it is not latched. Then she uses her keen little nose to lift up the lid of the container where bones are stored. After that it is all over.

hmmm....this might explain the extra pounds she is carrying too. Must be that and not the scraps of food Husband feeds her. Can't be the food Bugaboo drops off his tray either because while Tallie eats just about everything, she draws the line at mushed up baby-food peas.

In other news, ..... Tomorrow I am out of work for part of the day to chaperone a field trip for Munchkin. Whose bright idea was it to put me in charge of a group of 5 and 6 year olds? I smell disaster! We are going to an apple orchard. We'll pick apples and pumpkins. It's been raining today so I foresee mud in my future.

Talked with my mother yesterday. Now there's a downer. After the typical whining on her part (getting old, gotta drive to see her parents, they're getting old, not sure how much longer they'll be around, they're sick, what if she gets sick, she has no sick days) and passive aggressive questioning on her part (oh is he still in your bed? oh is she giving you trouble with homework? oh is he still out of work?) we hung up. It is nice to see her passive aggressive bullshit for what it is. And to realize I don't have to play her games.

Husband had an interview today. It was arranged through a temp service. The interview went well but the company has a hiring freeze. Apparently this plant can hire temps but not full-time employees until the freeze is lifted (hopefully January). So it is a possibility that Husband could be hired, then laid off again in January. He decided not to take that risk, given he wouldn't be employed there long enough to get unemployment benefits if he were laid off again. The work at daycare is complete so he's at home now. With a rather large "honey do" list. He's going hunting this Saturday and I'm sure he'll be ready to get out of the house by then.

It's typical fall weather here. Turned the AC on Friday evening. Turned AC off Sunday morning and opened the windows. Woke up this morning freezing and debated turning on the heat. Drive to work with heat on. Drive to lunch with AC on. Drive home with windows open.

Bugaboo has separation anxiety issues. Munchkin didn't hit that stage until later. She was walking when she had her spell at around 18 months. Bugaboo just creeps - army crawls sort of. Daddy is fine, unless Mommy is around. Then only Mommy will do. Ninety percent of the time I love it. But there is that 10% when I just want to go to the bathroom in peace! Nothing really like a little snuggle bug who reaches his chubby arms out to you and then lays his head on your chest and sighs a big sigh of contentment. And holding him as he slept in church was sheer heaven.

I went to the gym on Friday. I'm sore today. I'm also up 1.4 pounds in 2 weeks. I think I need to couple working out with eating less. But Husband is doing the food shopping and keeps buying Breyers ice cream. No one can resist Breyers. Plus he thinks "diet" food is too expensive. So he tells me to just ignore the junk food. As if I could do that? Doesn't he know that I wouldn't be in this state if I had willpower.

And with that, I'm outta here. My day is done. Off to pick up Bugaboo and see if Husband got the dog-proof locks......I mean child-proof locks.......on the cabinets.

Friday, October 9, 2009

One Lovely Blog - Award

Beauty from Beautiful Dreamer was so sweet to present me with this blog award. As a strict rule abider (and some would also accuse me of being a "rule enforcer"), I must pass this along to 15 other blogs I visit on a regular basis. I only listed 10. Fortunately I know a good attorney who can help me with any legal ramifications of violating the rules:

  • 18 Under One Roof - very often humorous. Always a good reminder of to have a positive outlook on life.
  • Blooming Lotus - chock full of great information for survivors.
  • Erin Merryn - read her book! Seriously. And she did not ask or pay me to say this. I've read the first book and have the second pre-ordered.
  • Lynn at Ethereal Highway - Lynn's blog is REAL with all capital letters and I love her for it. It takes real courage to tackle life and write about it like she does.
  • DM at Heart to Heart and I also Live on a Farm - one of a few non-abuse-survivor blogs I visit. Check it out and you'll see why.
  • Jumping in Puddles - JIP is another "real" person. Meaning she has the ability to be gut-wrenchingly raw without apology. I admire that in a person and I admire JIP.
  • Kahless - reading this blog invokes jealousy. Kahless gets to travel to some lovely places. She is a gifted photographer and since I don't get to travel I live vicariously through her pictures.
  • Perfect - my bestest blogging buddy. Not only do I visit her blog but we chat almost daily via IM. I would never have survived these last few years without her friendship.
  • Cornnut at Picture of Experience - even though she left us all hanging for news of her recent addition, she and her blog are still lovely.
  • St Nick - be sure to check out his blog on Mondays for a great selection of funnies. He also has some great informational posts the rest of the week. Nick is truly a lovely person, inside and out. His caring spirit always shines through.

* I would have liked to have tagged Beauty and Austin, but Beauty tagged me and she also tagged Austin.

All of these blogs are indeed lovely. I visit them daily and am encouraged, inspired, sometimes humored, sometimes saddened. But they are a big part of each and every day.

Everyone I passed this award on to now is supposed to award it to 15 blogs. But if you don't feel like it, don't. And if you can't tag 15, play along anyway. I promise my skills and assistance to anyone experiencing difficulty with rule enforcers!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Husband and I are stuck in a squabbling cycle. I can't seem to break loose. Every morning I vow to wake up and be nice. Every night I go to bed reflecting on just how many times I've broken that vow.

With Husband being out of work, all our routines, habits and roles are upside down and inside out. If he were out hitting the pavement hard, I wouldn't have expectations that he do much beside that. But he's content to sit home, work the minimal hours necessary to work off our daycare bill, and collect unemployment. Oh and do all things hunting-related. He says he doesn't foresee having a job before the holidays. I know that he won't - because that would mean working at a job without the seniority to take off as he wants for the holidays and for deer hunting. He won't admit that though.

I expected Husband to become the house-husband. It hasn't happened. I have bitten my tongue and have tried to realize that he won't always do things the way I do them. However, his priorities are entirely different than mine. I thought he might be apt to pick up Bugaboo early and keep him home some to spend time together (because that's what I would do). I thought he might plan some special outtings for Munchkin and he on the days she has half-days (because that's what I would do). I expected he might work hard to get the errands and housework done so we would have more family time on the weekends (because that's what I would do). I expected he might take over more of the night-time duties because he could nap during the day (because that's what I would do). I did not expect him to think that hiking with the dog was a priority.

Husband is having a massive problem prioritizing. He's always struggled in this area. When Bugaboo got sick, he asked me if I had any comp time. I said, "yes" in a puzzled tone. Husband said, "well the plumber is coming tomorrow." I was very confused. Surely Husband didn't expect me to take comp time off from work to take Bugaboo to the doctor just so Husband didn't have to reschedule a plumber coming out to the house to fix a faucet that has been leaking for months and is not an emergency.......yep he did. And when I questioned it, he saw nothing wrong with it.

I was talking in T about the arguing we are doing. Munchkin got upset the other day and said she doesn't like it when Husband and I yell. She was crying about it and said it made her tummy hurt. Which made me cry. I don't want her being upset about this. It really broke my heart and opened my eyes to my own actions. It's me who yells. Husband follows me around, laughing. He does the "well you did this....." and I just end up yelling in a shrill voice. I felt horrible when Munchkin told me this. I apologized to her and have been trying really hard to leave the arguing for after the kids are in bed.

Husband has been getting ugly and mean in our fights. Pre-therapy we fought differently - it was less personal. Now that we've opened up and discussed our arguments, we know what makes the other react. I try hard to avoid that. I'm not perfect but it's rare that I deliberately do it. Husband, on the other hand, knows what gets my goat and does it on purpose. Which makes me mad, which makes me yell. I've called him on this, he admits he does it, but continues to do it. He says that when he perceives he is losing a fight, he'll do all he can to win, even if it means fighting dirty.

The other key thing I've noticed is that Husband can not say "no" to Daughter or me when we ask nicely and calmly. So when he wants to say no, he pisses me off or teases Daughter into getting into a fit/temper. Then we get angry/disrespectful and now he can say No. This doesn't excuse our disrespect/yelling, but we need to learn to step out of that crazy cycle. The Lather, Rinse, Repeat cycle.

I talked to T about this and she suggested I calmly look at him and say "you're a better man than this" and walk away. This cuts short the cycle. I've not tried it yet. But I'm curious to see how it works. Something has to give, that's for sure.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wanted - Exercise Companion

WANTED - Exercise Companion. Must be able to tilt head, smile, laugh and nod appropriately. Key skill is to keep companion from appearing as if they are talking to themselves (which they are) and keep confident anything observed.

I went walk/running last night. I have been meaning to start exercising again and the cooler weather is perfect to get outside and enjoy. The fact that I went shopping and had to go up a size (again) and am now exactly double my pre-pregnancy size had nothing to do with it. The fact that I was ticked off at Hubby and needed a (safe) way to work off my temper had nothing to do with it either. Put Bugaboo in a jogging stroller and away we went.

Bugaboo's jogging stroller faces away from me. Great way for him to look around and see things. But I can't see him. In some ways I wish he faced me - but I've not seen jogging strollers made that way. Really though it's less about him and more about me.

I saw the strange looks people gave me. Of course if I saw some woman walking/jogging along, mouth not always moving, but acting as if there is someone to the side of them, but seeing that there is no one, gesturing, laughing, smiling, frowning at the air -- well I'd be giving that person strange looks too.

My exercise time is my time to think. Typically I pretend to talk to someone. It's not so important who I talk too. It just helps me to visualize someone that I know is a good listener and gives good advice. I "talk" to them. I work out my problems and vent. If there is a serious discussion I need to have (i.e. with Husband), then I practice it so I can be sure it comes out how I want.

So if you are interested in walking along side me, let me know. I go at a creepy crawly slow pace so no real stamina required. And if you want to "pretend" to talk back to me, we'd be a perfect fit.