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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Heist on Something....
« Last post by Twoapenny on February 17, 2018, 02:13:53 AM »
Tupp, you caught it all. Every nuance.

Except the one about fear of the future being about being alone or not. The fear I carry in the back of my mind that I feel ashamed of is that although I'm anti-dependency, I am afraid of winding up too poor to have help I'll need as an old woman. That fear. (Not just a loneliness fear.) I don't feel good about myself having that thought roll by because I do not want to think of any relationship as a security blanket. I didn't go hunting for a well-off man and never have, B was a spontaneous surprise. But it's been true there's been some relief within happy thoughts in imagining that I'd be "safe now." (My old gent showed me paperwork today for the new assisted living wing we'll move him to in spring. A small 1BR apartment costs more than twice my Social Security. And this is a moderate retirement community. So...I do have fears. They're pretty realistic, unfortunately.)

Clearly, I can walk away from that piece. I have before, and from a much bigger kind of security. It's a principle I can pull around me again. In fact, I probably will. It's just harder now, at my age.

But the most important thing is to figure out how serious this pattern of his is, what it may represent, and whether I want to live with that. I will definitely calm down over the weekend and talking to my T Monday will help too.

I just have a feeling it's going to be ending. I'll be okay if it does, though. Just sad for a while.

xo
Hops

((((((((((((((((((((Hops)))))))))))))))))))))))  Your fear about ending up unable to pay for care is perfectly justified, reasonable, sensible (oh my days, I know so many people who seem to think they'll never be in a situation where they might need help and they seem to think if they do, it will magically appear out of the sky).  But I don't think it's something you should feel ashamed of feeling or in any way negative about.  You haven't/aren't looking at B as a safety net, far from it - this has been/is an exercise in you jumping in to a whole pit of scary thoughts, feelings and emotions, and you've done it the way you do everything else - kindly, warmly, focusing on those around you and being soooo aware of how you think, feel, respond, whilst still being aware that other people respond differently and being open to that.  If you were in any way looking for a man to fix all of this you'd simply be going along with everything B wants so that you can get that ring on your finger.  And you're not, far from it.  I think I'm just saying please don't see the way that you feel about things in the future as a bad thing - I think your fears are perfectly justified (and sadly real - many people do end up without the care they need in later life) and I don't want you to feel bad about feeling that way.  You're in this situation with B now precisely because you aren't letting those fears dictate what you want out of life.  You're so strong, Hopsie, and that's probably why B's 'take no prisoners' tone has cut such a welt in you.  Hopsie isn't told what to do :)

It may be that this is the ending and do you know what, I'll feel sad about it if it is.  I've been so impressed by the way you've gone into this.  A lot of the things that have come up already would have had me heading for the hills but you've stuck in there, talked, thought, processed and worked through it.  I get that this one feels like a bigger 'uh oh'.  But yes, a bit of time for the feelings to settle, a good chat with the T, a conversation with B.  Maybe a little break without seeing or speaking to him if that feels in order.  I just think whichever way it goes you will make the right decisions for you, even if it's hard one that leaves you feeling that the future might be bleak.  We are all here for you, Hops, we've got your back xx xx xx
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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Heist on Something....
« Last post by Hopalong on February 16, 2018, 10:22:39 PM »
Amber, yes and yes.
It's the "boss" (or "executive") approach.
It's not amusing to me any more. It hurt and I did feel disrespected. Anger yup, but that passes with me quickly. I just don't like feeling it, and it's also pointless. A calm conversation will happen but for some reason, I'm thinking I've been over-optimistic about all the obstacles. It took this one for me to think, uh-oh, maybe this is too much.

I am positive the class made him uncomfortable and I think his curt, cold, dismissive way of making his pronouncement (with an implicit "deal with it and don't challenge me" kind of tone) was what got to me most. Not just that he changed the plan, but WAY he did it without consideration or communication (he thinks telling me of a change IS communication, but he doesn't get the unilateral thing, and just announcing his decision afterward is different from partnership, two-way, alla that...)

If Valentine's Day was the official end of the honeymoon period, he did a bang-up job of snapping me out of it!

I didn't hear any real regret for me in his voice. The Tone doesn't include that.

Oy. Thank you a lot for seeing the flag wave along with me. Doesn't mean we won't work our way through it, but it is a real flag, I see it with my own eyes. And if I have learned anything, it's that a red flag is not a pretty red curtain.

love
Hops
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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Heist on Something....
« Last post by Hopalong on February 16, 2018, 10:16:17 PM »
Tupp, you caught it all. Every nuance.

Except the one about fear of the future being about being alone or not. The fear I carry in the back of my mind that I feel ashamed of is that although I'm anti-dependency, I am afraid of winding up too poor to have help I'll need as an old woman. That fear. (Not just a loneliness fear.) I don't feel good about myself having that thought roll by because I do not want to think of any relationship as a security blanket. I didn't go hunting for a well-off man and never have, B was a spontaneous surprise. But it's been true there's been some relief within happy thoughts in imagining that I'd be "safe now." (My old gent showed me paperwork today for the new assisted living wing we'll move him to in spring. A small 1BR apartment costs more than twice my Social Security. And this is a moderate retirement community. So...I do have fears. They're pretty realistic, unfortunately.)

Clearly, I can walk away from that piece. I have before, and from a much bigger kind of security. It's a principle I can pull around me again. In fact, I probably will. It's just harder now, at my age.

But the most important thing is to figure out how serious this pattern of his is, what it may represent, and whether I want to live with that. I will definitely calm down over the weekend and talking to my T Monday will help too.

I just have a feeling it's going to be ending. I'll be okay if it does, though. Just sad for a while.

xo
Hops
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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Heist on Something....
« Last post by Hopalong on February 16, 2018, 10:06:55 PM »
Thank you, Lighter. I'm surprised by your positive outlook on it but that was nice to hear. In fact, I'd been thinking about what you've said so many times--Don't make excuses for bad behavior. Believe him when he shows you who he is, etc. So this behavior and tone I'm talking about don't seem "bad" to you, or like I'm seeing behind the curtain kindsa things?

I really appreciate your perspective. (I was happy he went to the first class too. But I feel as though he kind of wiped that out by sabotaging the rest of it...). Oh well, he'll be happy golfing with another executive and maybe this is his own signal that we're not quite a fit. He's going to be in his familiar comfort zone.

Sigh. Thanks again.

love
Hops
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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Heist on Something....
« Last post by Twoapenny on February 16, 2018, 06:48:33 PM »
I agree with Skep and Lighter here, deal with this as you have with all the other things that have come up.  I think it might be a good thing for him to know it made you feel angry - just to let him know Hops' empathy, understanding and desire to see things from another point of view doesn't equal pushover.

He may have been like this all through his marriage without changing because his wife never told him to.  Perhaps she just accepted it as part of who he is, or genuinely didn't mind or notice it.  Doesn't mean that you have to do the same, or that he isn't capable of changing now.

It's okay to be scared of the future.  It's normal!  Scared of being alone, scared of being with someone and not being happy, scared of being happy and losing the person - so many things to be scared of, I don't think it's bad or wrong that you feel this way and I don't think it should be something you don't like in yourself.  I think it's just part of being human.  You deserve happiness.  But yes, pay attention to the flag, particularly as it's a pattern you've been in before and taken a long time to get away from.  Perhaps he just said it in a way that he didn't mean to - perhaps this is how he is when he's doing what he wants.  Maybe he does see his partner as being secondary to his needs.  Maybe he felt bad about blowing you off and he became standoffish to put some space there.  But yes, I think he should have either spoken to you about it before he decided what to do or just been honest and told you he doesn't want to do the group (if that's what the real issue is for him here).  If he's away for a few days now you've got time to calm down, think about things, talk it through with your T and come to a neutral point in yourself again, before you talk to him about it.
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Sigh of relief... Amy went; seemed to hit it off OK; came home with "homework"... did it and is slowly feeling like she has some control over her life  & is engaged in classes for her re-certification as an EMT. All volunteered info, btw. Every 2 week schedule for now.

Sounds like a positive experience and good start.
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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Heist on Something....
« Last post by sKePTiKal on February 16, 2018, 05:04:15 PM »
I think I asked if you had the energy & desire to be this assertive all the time. It's an important question, because at our age - who wants to work that hard? At the same time, announcing that he's going to miss a class - that was important to you - for another social arrangement sounds like disrespect and dishonesty, to me. Especially with the tone.

So, I have my own executive tone of voice, in which I announce things and make ultimatums. I would state, in simple clear words... that I was hurt over the decision to bail on the commitment he'd already made, to go through the class with you. THEN, I'd ask him directly: did that class make you uncomfortable? And I'd expect an explanation about why he was uncomfortable and why he didn't see that as a challenge.

Only then, would I decide if I was righteously angry with him. And if I was, he would damn sure know it at that point.

But that's me, and I don't have any issues with facing a confrontation head-on. Calling him out. I wouldn't just accept his "pronouncement" about how he was spending that next class time without letting him know - front & center - exactly how I felt about it. And if he didn't like it, well I hear Florida's nice this time of year.

Your instincts about this ring true to me Hops; about how he sees the person who is his "wife" and I can fully understand that it's pushing your red alert buttons. It would mine, too. It kinda offsets all the work you've been doing (on your side) to give him the benefit of the doubt, see where things go and how you feel... and this is actual treatment, reality of behavior, that you will have to choose whether to accept or not.

Sadly, letting the first instance of it go... can contribute to the creation of the pattern. So I'd first protest it and then sit back as objectively as possible and analyze his response. I might even tell him, I'll be grading him on it. One person doesn't get to be "boss" in a relationship. Ever. In my book. As a couple, it's considered MANNERS to consult with the partner before making significant decisions that affect plans already made. It is rude, inconsiderate, and yes, "entitled" too.

I'll save the rest of my outraged suppositions until more is known about what's really going on here.
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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Heist on Something....
« Last post by lighter on February 16, 2018, 04:39:22 PM »
Hops:

I'm profoundly impressed by your ongoing positive communication with B.  You're patient, assertive, and compassionate..... cracking on with him isn't easy, I'm sure, when he surprises you like this. 

  My feeling is that you could be forming a relationship worth having....that you're building something strong and lasting.

I think you take this one issue at a time.  Address this the way you've addressed everything else.  Listen to his response.  Accept what he has to say with kindness, and believe him when he tells you who he is.

About having to be assertive all the time.  I know it's exhausting.  It is.  It's also good practice, and information.  If it doesn't work out you'll know what this is when you see it again.  You'll know more about what you can and can't accept in a relationship.

Stay strong, Amazon Hops.  He might pleasantly surprised you.  I know I was surprised to read get went to the class with you.  That means something, imo.

Lighter

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Oh... I don't want to be involved in her actual therapy unless I'm asked to be and I'm not planning on inquiring about the "gory details" at all; just general questions about how she's doing. Right now, I'm just making sure she follows through with what she SAYS she wants... because it is so easy to sabotage herself and then say "I forgot"... much of what she SAYS is fantasy and she'll deny even saying it.

That's all. IMO, it's really important that she owns this whole process, beginning to end, and earns her self, in the end -- with no "family" intervention. But since she doesn't seem (some days) to realize it's time to cook dinner... for instance... I'm just riding herd to get her to help, without nagging her at all about it. I still don't know if she actually went today or not.

It's kind of a double bind, because if I don't check in - then "I don't care" about her... but if I do, and the words are wrong... then she's defensive. So I'm holding off a little while long before calling. It was a long day in town today... Debbie and I talked for 2 hrs... but I got everything done I needed to do.
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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Heist on Something....
« Last post by Hopalong on February 16, 2018, 01:55:03 PM »
Thank you, Tupp. That's a spot-on summary. (Jeez, I could try BRIEF?)

I'm still pissed. And worried. One incidence means little but it just hit me last night as a Pattern. One I have major reservations about. I can try to understand The Tone (as I think you do) as avoidance and be sympathetic that he's being indirect or something because it's uncomfortable to risk disappointing me and he doesn't want to feel that, or is acting out his discomfort with the class in this way, instead of telling me. I think I can almost always understand someone if I get what they're doing, and even with sympathy. But also, I have several Tshirts from previous times in my life when I've put understanding the other first, at great effort and for long periods, and tending to my feelings second. (To the point that I took 7 years to reach a conclusion to end it, long after I should have.)

What I don't know is whether he is willing or capable of changing this. Sounds like a core thing that didn't change over 40+ years of marriage. So why would it change at 73 for a relatively new girlfriend? Am I looking at an unrealistic challenge for a relationship in this chapter of my life?

I know it's not possible to shield oneself from risk or hurt. But this issue feels significant. I know what being over-ridden or disregarded feels like and I don't want to spend long feeling that way.

I see my T Monday and will go over it with him. I remember him saying, "You have to figure out...do you really like this guy?" Yes, I do like B in a lot of ways. But I also suspect myself of whitewashing some entitlement kinds of things that I dislike, because I'm scared of the future. And I don't like that in myself.

This spat was the first time I unequivocally felt more angry than confused. The Tone is something I do not want to live with, honestly. I am not a hireling or a subordinate. And that's exactly how it felt.

Aaaaarrrrgggh, and thank you for looking at it so thoughtfully.

love
Hops
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