100 lb. Club - OT help/advice needed please

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04-24-2008, 07:03 PM
I have quickly come to love all of you here, and tend to take your thoughts and feelings to heart.. so now I need some of your thoughts and feelings bestowed upon me, please.

Before I even begin I must warn this post will most likely be long and rambling, but I know someone here will have just the right advice for me, if not many of you!

I have to start a bit in my past.. My oldest son's biological father was very very abusive, both physically and mentally. I was with him for 9 years.. from the time I was a junior in highschool I lived with him. My mom was moving away and I chose to stay here to be with him (stupid move, I know) and to finish school here as well. When I moved in with him my mom had made a comment.. one I took way too litterally I guess. She told me that I had made my bed and now I needed to lay in it. I really thought that she meant that no matter what, even though we weren't married, once I made the decision to move in with him I had to stay there. What gave me that idea, I'll never know... my mom had been married and divorced 3 times and had had a few thousand (ok, not that many) boyfriends by that time. When I was 21 I got pregnant with my son, and then I really felt even though life was horrible that I now had an obligation to stay there and try to make the best life I could for my son... stupid move number 2!! I put up with being treated like life revolved around this @$$, and everything I said or did had to please him. I tried to put up with it all and suck it up like a big girl. By the time my son was 3 I couldn't take anymore. I took my son and moved in with my mom (who had eventually moved back to the area) for a while, but in her tiny 2 bedroom trailer.. and by tiny I really mean it, it's from like the 60s or 70s... it was just too crowded with she and my sister. The sofa was not too comfortable sharing it with a 3 year old..lol. I ended up going back.. after all I was paying the rent on the house, in fact I payed pretty much everything. Things went from bad to worse when I went back and eventually he beat me the worst he ever had... I took my son and fled to a friends house that had a way for me to hide my jeep and we stayed there for about 2 weeks while all the bruises healed. I was so messed up that time I had to take a week and a half off of work, I worked in a convience store and just couldn't handle all my customers seeing me that way. I eventually went back to the house, and made him move out. I then let him come back but he had his own room. I had some well laid out plans and was buying my time. A few weeks after he came back, my plans were ready to be put into action. I had a truck at the ready and without much notice I took everything that was mine or my sons and I left. I moved in with a friend from work and swore off men... but then that didn't last either. Hubby came into my store about 2 weeks after I had moved out for good and 2 nights later we went out after work and the rest is pretty much history. Hubby and I had gone to school together and he had started asking me out when we were in 10th grade.. sadly he was one of the "good boys" and I just had to have a jerk! From our first date on, we were pretty much inseperatable. We have a bond like no other! We usually know what the other is thinking, although he is better at reading my mind than I am at reading his. He really is wonderful and I knew that he was totally the kind of guy I had dreamed of. Best of all he accepted my son, and even helped me fight for custody... then we fought to get my ex to sign off his rights, which he finally did. Hubby adopted Garrett in 2006.

Anyway.. where am I going with all of this?? What do I need help with? Well before my ex, I was a very calm person. I had all the patience in the world and was very fun and loved to be goofy. Sadly that wasn't allowed so I eventually became pretty much a shell of who I once was. I know now that my hubby would never treat me the way I was treated in the past, but I still can't get the huge walls knocked down that I have built. I am constantly serious about everything. I'm overly critical of the kids and what they do. I don't want to be like this anymore. I want to be fun for my kids to be around, I don't want them to grow up thinking that I am always mean or yelling or whatever. I just don't know how to let go and relax. Hubby and I have been together for.. well it was 5 years in Feb, this Oct. will be our 5th wedding anniversary. You would think by now I would be totally at ease with him and our life as it is (which is totally wonderful!!!), but I just can't let my gaurd down.

So what advice do you all have for me? I really want to know how to let go and chill out a bit. Please help!

Thanks to all of you!!

04-24-2008, 07:38 PM
Fawn, I think maybe talking to a counselor would really help you. Go with your hubby - he needs to hear all of this stuff as well (if you haven't told him already).

Also - meditation is a good thing to practice to teach yourself how to relax.

04-24-2008, 07:49 PM
Fawn I think counseling is a good idea too. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you to see a counselor. It's just a neutral, objective person you can talk to and they can give you honest feedback and suggestions.

I am so glad you found a great husband now! How old are your other children?

04-24-2008, 07:52 PM
{edited to add: LOL...see...these opinions were posted, just as I was writing to you!!!}

Oh my goodness gracious! :hug:

I, too was in an abusive relationship as a very young teenager which affected me for YEARS afterward. In fact it still does to this day, to some extent! I have this tiny fear inside me, that one day, he will find me. And it has affected my marriage in several ways, more so in the early years than now, although I have (very occasional) nightmares to this very day, that he finds me.

You might not like what I'm going to tell you, but I think most would agree.
You need to find yourself a really great therapist...

A great therapist can help you through all of these issues, including letting go, and lowering your walls to your wonderful hubby. But I'm pretty sure you will first have to deal with your anger toward this ex of yours. You have EVERY right to feel ANYTHING that you feel about him. Your therapist can help you work through all the different stages of this...
It's not easy, but it is SO worth it!

I've had three different therapists (in fairly short bursts, but as long as necessary) since I was a teenager. They each helped me at different stages, and most involved this abusive ex. Although the most recent was to help me with my marriage...and help it DID.

I maxed a credit card with therapy :lol: It is really worth it if you really need it!

Today I consider myself very happy, well adjusted and very normal...I needed the therapy to keep me from allowing myself to go down the tubes!

BEST of luck to you,
Please PM me anytime, OK?

04-24-2008, 07:54 PM
Hello Fawn,

I really admire you for being able to articulate this so well. My experience is a little like yours, if it's any help.

My father was violent, both my parents were extremely controlling, and my first husband was controlling and occasionally violent. Like you, I eventually managed to leave my first husband and am now married to a wonderful man.

The first few years with my new husband were very difficult, we argued a lot - but I had a bit of a revelation one night. I suddenly realised that I kept winding him up and winding him up, because there was a big part of me that actually wanted him to hit me because that was what I was used to and it would prove that I was still that person that deserved to be treated like that. I had this realisation when I saw my husband wild with frustration and fury - that I had caused - and seemingly literally at the end of his tether - yet he *still* didn't hit me.

That was an amazing moment for me: and since I've recognised that I was trying to provoke a response that wasn't going to come, I've changed a great deal, and my relationship with my husband is far easier because I now truly believe that there won't be any violence and so am not trying to trigger it all the time.

I wonder if you're like I was, and you're creating these conflicts and tensions because that's what you're used to and expect. You keep pushing and pushing because you know it's coming, and when it doesn't you're confused and don't understand, and really don't know how to react. When I had that insight, the next time we argued about something I didn't react in that way, instead I tried to discuss it like an adult (not that I'm at all mature!) and it was solved in a heartbeat.

Recognising this pattern in your own behaviour is the best first step towards changing it; and I wish you HUGE good fortune and happiness.

I'm sorry this is so rambling, I hope there's something useful in it.

Many hugs and much love,
tabitha x

Edit: I wanted to add that I know you know your husband won't be like that, I knew that too, but there was something at some level that didn't believe it until I'd pushed it so far that *anyone* would have reacted violently.

04-24-2008, 08:19 PM

I totally agree that counseling is in order. I am glad to hear you are in a great relationship now!

Best of luck to you!

04-24-2008, 08:44 PM
Thanks everyone! We are in counseling now, although this isn't the focus of it, it is somewhat of a help. We have some issues with the oldest being ADHD/ODD, so we are in counseling to learn to deal with him.. honestly I think if we could get his behavior undercontrol I probably wouldn't be so stressed all the time with the kids. When this is all done then I may consider counseling for myself.. it's really not in our budget, but we are squeezing in what we can because we know we need it for our sanities sake if nothing else.

Lori~ Where do I learn meditation skills? I have read some of those things about counting to 10 or imagining a ball rolling around your body, but they just don't work for me. I get the "ball rolling" and by the time it reaches one arm I lose that focus. Oh, and hubby knows all the horrid truths about my past. I have never kept anything from him.

Lyn, the little ones are 2 and 3, the oldest is 9 and get this, they are all Christmas babies! The oldest is the 20th, the two little ones are a year and a day apart.. the 28th and 29th! Crazy here in Dec!!

Linda, I'm so happy to hear you have pretty much moved on. I no longer fear him, I left that fear behind a while ago.. really when he signed off his rights it made a big difference in how I felt. I just can't get past these walls of "you have to be stuffy".

Tabitha~ My parents were pretty much the opposite. Well my dad wasn't in the picture from the time I was about 7, my mom worked all the time to support us so I pretty much raised myself and my little sister too. She had a great knack for picking jerks for men, so I guess I started out following in her footsteps. Hubby and I have only ever had one fight, and it was a hormone induced thing.. I don't do well on BC pills so we learned. I ended up having a break down from them! I do sometimes, not too often, but occasionally, I do try to push his buttons. I also at times try to push him away because I sometimes feel I don't deserve someone so good. They are those kind of moods that come and go, but I still can't let totally go of the "you have to watch every move you make" mentality. Hubby tries to help me work through it, and tries to get me to talk or what ever it is that I need. I try, but I just clam up feeling like a dork..lol.

Tonia~Thanks :hug:

I love all of you guys! I'm so happy I found this place!

04-24-2008, 08:51 PM
Also, don't be so hard on ourselves. You said you were fun and goofy before your abusive relationship...but you were also 16. I know what you mean, though, about wanting to get that back but remember that some of what you are now is the fact that you are older, wiser and have more responsibilities! I hope that made some sort of sense...lol

You will do fabulous! Just keep lovin' those kids and it will get easier!

04-24-2008, 09:04 PM
Thanks Tonia. I do tend to be my own biggest critic.. and I'm a b%$@% about it too. That may be my biggest problem. Hopefully as the weight comes off the self confidence will go up and I will lose some of my stuffiness.

04-24-2008, 09:11 PM

Hugs to you! If you're interested in meditation cds, please pm me.

Take care,

04-24-2008, 09:14 PM
Lori~ Where do I learn meditation skills? I have read some of those things about counting to 10 or imagining a ball rolling around your body, but they just don't work for me. I get the "ball rolling" and by the time it reaches one arm I lose that focus. Oh, and hubby knows all the horrid truths about my past. I have never kept anything from him.

Fawn - losing focus while meditating is normal at first. That's why you keep practicing it LOL!
You should be able to find some great books on meditating at the library. That's where I found a bunch. It might take you a while to find one that appeals to your personality, but it really helps to find the right method.

This is a good intro for breathing meditations.

04-24-2008, 09:34 PM
Thanks Lori. I will have to see what our library has and check out that site.

04-24-2008, 09:38 PM
Awwe...Fawn, I'm sorry to hear you were abused so horribly. I don't have any words of wisdom...but wanted to give you support. :hug: :hug: :hug:

04-24-2008, 09:53 PM
Thanks Kara :hug:

You all are so awesome!

04-24-2008, 10:35 PM

04-24-2008, 10:47 PM
If individual counseling for yourself isn't really an option right now, you could try some cognitive therapy on your own. Years ago someone recommended a book to me by an MD named David Burns that was really helpful.

I wish you all the best.

04-24-2008, 10:50 PM
Tai, that sounds fabulous.. I will look it up!!! Thank you so much!

04-24-2008, 10:52 PM
Tai.. does this look like what I should be looking for?