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Hi Lil :wave:

You don't sound afraid of the dealings with your husband any more....interesting.....:)

Just very matter of fact.

I don't? :confused: WOW! I wish you'd tell that to the butterflies and sick feeling in my stomach. Everytime I think of having to face him again, even in court, I just want to hurl. No call from my attorney yesterday, so we're on for Monday.

Everything I ate last night made me ill to the point I was tempted to stick my finger down my throat just to get the alien creature out, but I didn't. I just held on until the pain passed several hours later. It wasn't that I ate anything bad for me either: apples with cheese, roasted chicken breast with salad and a glass of red wine. Earlier in the day I'd had some cottage cheese with fresh pineapple and a container of organic yogurt. It had to be nerves.

I push dairy for my bones. My bones were thining several years ago. I had osteopenia, the forerunner of osteoporosis. I'd been taking calcium, but then I started taking massive doses of Vit. D and magnesium suppliments and eating more dairy. The last bone scan I had was normal. Yeah!

Chapter 2 Quotes:

"Isn't it amazing that we turn to others who have a perspective as limited and darkened as our own to discover our worth! ...we depend on others who base our worth on our ability to meet their standards. Because our performance and ability to please others so dominates our search for significance, we have difficulty recognizing the distinction between our real identity and the way we behave, a realization crucial to understanding our true worth.

"Our behavior is often a reflection of our beliefs about who we are. It is usually consistent with what we think to be true about ourselves. ...if we base our worth on our abilities or the fickle approval of others, then our behavior will reflect the insecurity, fear, and anger that come from such instability.

"Sometimes our behavior changes what we believe about ourselves. If, for instance, we succeed in a task at which we initially believed we would fail, our confidence may begin to grow and expand to other areas of our lives. Our feelings, behavior, and beliefs all interact to shape our lives.

"Our home environment plays a central role in forming our beliefs and emotions. These can have a powerful impact on our outlook and behavior.

"Our attempts to meet our needs for success and approval fall into two broad categories: compulsiveness and withdrawal.

"When we base our security on success and others' opinions, we become dependent on our abilities to perform and please others. We develop a have-to mentality: I have to do well on this exam (or my security as a good student will be threatened); I have to make that deal (or my boss will think I am a failure); my father (or mother, spouse, or friend) has to apprecite me and be happy with my decisions (because I cannot cope with that person's disapproval).

"Our self-esteem and our beliefs .... are usually a mirror of our parents' attitudes toward us. Those who are loved and affirmed by their parents tend to have a fairly healthy self-concept and usually find it easy to believe that ..... is loving and powerful. Those whose parents have been neglectful, manipulative, or condemning usually seem to feel that they have to earn a sense of worth and that ...... is aloof, demanding, and/or cruel.

"When we do not have that fundamental sense of feeling lovable and protected by [our parents], we tend to base our self-worth on how well we perform and please others."

Next I get into the meat and potatoes of Chapters 3-10. Chapters 3-4 are about The Performance Trap: the fear of failure, etc. That's been the story of my scholastic and career life at the very least.

I'm looking forward to further dissection. I've learned that even though it may be initially painful to uncover some of the old garbage stored in the dark corners of my emotional basement, the house stinks less when I haul that nasty stuff out into the yard and deal with it. A lot of it isn't worth keeping and needs to be tossed out [incorrect memories/distortions and fears]. Some of it, perhaps a great deal of it, just needs to be washed off and/or aired out and seen in the light of day [forgiveness and truth].

As much as some mental illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances, there are many more caused by unhealed emotional pain. I've read the books and what-have-you from distraught parents with BPD children saying that they just don't know what has caused this in their child, but as sure as I'm sitting here, there has to be a link to trauma and unhealed emotional pain.

My mother would have said she knew nothing about it, other than my father's leaving, and she'd have been right. She'd not have recognized her own part in it at all, nor would she have known about the abuse. She couldn't understand why I was having problems as a young teenager and so she did what she knew to do and dragged me off for counseling with a trusted youth worker. The only problem with that was, he was into young girls and tried to get to me during "hyponsis" that I faked my way through until he pulled his little stunt. Being the untrusting sole that I was, I didn't think she'd believe me and I knew he'd deny it, so I just threw my usual fit and refused to go back. Interestingly, several years later he left his wife and family to marry a contemporary of my younger sib's who I believe had been in counseling with him a year or so before. He waited for her to turn 18 before dumping his wife.

So, no, it wasn't my imagination. I told you I'm not bad looking. I was a fashion model by the time I was 13 until I was 25. I gave it up when the really good jobs were going to children like me when I started. I'm close to 6 ft. tall and I looked liked a cross between Twiggy [eyes & hair--mine's even shorter now] and Cheryl Tiegs [build & smile] early on [60's & 70's]. I haven't changed that much, except to age a bit [a little silver in the hair; a line or two on the face, but I can still pass for mid-30's and I'm in my mid-50's]. Boys and boyfriends in school came hard for me [boys-they never ask the really pretty ones or the ugly ones out--just the cute ones], but men always found me attractive--too attractive when I was a baby comparatively speaking--and they've always come least, the wrong ones have.

Subsequently, except for one very brave, very short orthodox Jewish senior boy who asked me over after school one day and whose parents were totally appalled at his asking a 6 ft. tall non-orthodox freshman girl anywhere without her family's knowledge, permission or proper supervision (OY!), I didn't really date anyone at my school. And of everyone I've ever met, him I probably should have hung onto, making a conversion to orthodox. lol I'm kidding. I had a few friends that I hung out with, males included, but no romantic relationships. Those were forged elsewhere, usually with guys who were seniors at other schools or college aged.

It's nice to not be pressured by the demands of a relationship right now, or even the desire for one. I'm good just being here and being me alone for a change. It was a little scary at first, but I'm getting used to it now. I'm having a little trouble structuring my days, but I know that, and I know I'll get it together. It's all part of the healing process, I think.

Coming here to the Board everyday and sharing what I've learned and the insights into my past is very cathartic. I really feel it is helping me to work through things more quickly. It's one thing to think something, but it's totally another to see it in black & white. And then with the feedback, it's just all so affirming and reinforcing. :) I feel good! I like the work I'm doing here. :cool:

Until next time, thanks for everything.


Hey, Lil,

I hear what you're saying. I know that I need to get hold of the "child" that's still afraid of him and turn all of this around, but I also know it's going to be a process. And it may not happen until I'm safely away from Houston after the divorce.

Afterall, I have listened to this man plot revenge against his 2nd wife for the last 11 years and the only thing that's stopped him from doing something really awful is his children because they'd know it was him and he can't stand to not have their approval. The last plot he had was to destroy her career because he didn't think it would point back to him and he may have already done some things there. There's no such "bond" there between me and his children. He's already managed to turn them against me.

If he "takes it in the shorts" [his term] in this divorce like he did with her, he'll be even more dangerous. I can only hope that these Protective Orders and Restraining Orders keep him at bay for now and that they are made permanent in the end, if possible, and keep him at bay then until I can relocate far away where he won't find me.

I know what he's capable of. I don't know if he "shared" with her like he did with me. I kept my mouth shut and withheld judgment a lot out of fear. He got used to telling me his dark thoughts and his dark past. He told me that she wasn't like that, but who knows what the truth is. He likes/liked to talk about himself and those things, though it did take him awhile to open up to me at first. She may or may not have heard it, too.

The one thing he never told me about was spousal abuse. I got to find that out all on my own, right down to discovering a prior case of severe abuse with his first wife that hospitalized her where he'd punched her in the face and kicked her in the stomach and ribs all repeatedly. That's when I realized what truly deep sneeks I was in. I knew then that if things had gotten to that point after ten years of marriage with her, that the violence was only going to increase until I ended up like that or worse. I knew I didn't want to be an item on the evening news and I wanted to know what was making him do these things. I also seriously doubted that his violence totally skipped a 20-year 2nd marriage.

He has this mental picture of himself as the "great protector" and "white knight in shining armour" rescuing damsels in distress. The problem with that picture is that we need rescuing from him--his alter ego--the black knight who soon imprisons us, in my case for 11 years.

During our years together, after he treated me particularly badly and shut me out for several days, he would then feel remorseful and attempt to make up, especially if I made any indication of pulling away and asserting independence. He'd take me out for a really nice evening or cook a gourmet dinner or suggest a visit with the children or having the grandbabies overnight...something he knew that I would really like and that would get him back into my good graces. This would go on for a few days and then wind down until we were back to "normal" and eventually he would again disappear for long hours, but complain about what I did for exercise [at doctor's orders] and my hobbies while he was around--anything that took my attention away from him for more than an hour. Suddenly, again I could do nothing right and/or the rules would change mid-course and finally he'd have another big explosion, abuse me and shut me out.

In all fairness, I think there were times that I was feeling poorly about him and/or myself and anticipated the blow-ups which put more pressure on him and caused the situation to develop more quickly. Looking back, it's sometimes hard to say where my BPD left off and his began.

In the beginning, I loved him with all my heart, but it wasn't a healthy love. I had that pedestal thing going. In the end, I think I love him more, because I want him to get well and I know he won't if we're together. The only way for him to get well is to hit bottom without me like I did being with him. The only way for me is up now. But I know if I'd stayed with him, I might not have lived to tell the tale. I don't think my health was going to take much more. Now I have a chance to get better mentally and physically.

Perhaps he'll get a leg up from this if the judge orders him into a program. I know it won't work unless he does the work, but it might plant some seeds or something might actually reach him.

Okay, I have to go pack. I'm going to spend the night with my son so we can ride in together in the morning in the HOV lane and not both sit in one of our notorious freeway parking lots during "rush hour" which lasts about all day long with one-hour breaks mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Otherwise, I'd have to leave by 6:30 AM to make the "20 minute" drive downtown and get there by 8 AM. Another reason to get out of Houston. ;)


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