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TOPIC TITLE: Looking for help
Created On 6/5/06 12:39 AM
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Grandma613
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6/5/06 12:39 AM
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I have searched and searched for some good, halachically sound person with whom I can discuss problems of a possible separation and divorce. Is there any place out there where I can get some help? I've been advised to not discuss this with any Rabbonim in town because if I do end up in Bais Din, any conversation I have with a Rabbi from this point will not be considered confidential. This is considered to be halachically correct even though my husband is the one who has been threatening me with divorce for 20 years.

A month ago, in a fit of pique, he screamed that he wants a divorce - again. That was the last time I could stand it without turning dead inside. However, I feel that I still need help before I make an irrevocable decision that I may regret. Now, of course, he says he didn't mean it the way it sounded [whatever that means] and he doesn't want a divorce. But I'm tired of it. I can't stand it anymore.

.

I posted here because my mental health is at risk, and he is doing things that are putting my physical health at risk as well. No physical violence. Strictly emotional abuse that continues every day.

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Edited: 6/5/06 at 12:45 AM by Grandma613
 
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Debbi
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6/5/06 9:08 AM
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Hi G- 613,

I am so sorry that you are suffering like this.
There are places and people who can help you. I dont know them off hand, but I am sure the others here will lead you in the right direction.

I can offer you support though.
I believe that no one has the right to be abusive emotionally [or physically]. So good for you, for standing up for yourself.
It sounds as though this has been going on for many years, so its time for you to show your husband that you will no longer tolerate his behaviour.
Having said that, it seems as though he doesnt really want to get a divorce, but that he uses it to threaten? And now that you are agreeing to perhaps separate, he is scared.

Maybe then you have something to work on.
Do you think marriage counselling is a possibilty?
Its always best to try and salvage the pieces before jumping into the undoing of a marriage.

In the meantime, my suggestion to you is to find a good therapist who will support you through your decision making process.
Do you have children or other family who will support you through this?
Friends?

Well, my best wishes to you, and glad that you were able to reach out here on Frum Support.
Keep us posted.

Debbi.
 
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tulip
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6/5/06 10:15 AM
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Grandma613,
Check your private messages. I've sent you a pm.
Hatzlacha!
 
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Grandma613
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6/5/06 2:48 PM
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Dear Debbi,
Thank you so much for answering. It makes me feel much less alone and I really need that now.

<< There are places and people who can help you. . . I am sure the others here will lead you in the right direction. >>

That's what I was hoping for - and I'm patient about it though I feel very unfocused and "time-dislodged".

<< I can offer you support though. I believe that no one has the right to be abusive emotionally [or physically]. So good for you, for standing up for yourself. >>

I need that very much. This last time that my "husband" screamed this at me was on Aprill 7, just beofre we went to Eretz Yisroel for our grandson's Bar Mitzvah and to meet our new grandchild. Something in me snapped. It was very much like what people describe as a paradigm shift. I had passed the JND - the Just Noticeable Difference from needing him regardless of what came with it, to not needing him because of what came with it. Suddenly, I wasn't going to beg him to not divorce me. Suddenly, I thought, "Fine - that's what I've thought he's been wanting all these years but only threatening in hopes that I'd make the first move and be the "bad guy". But now he's made the actual demand. He can have it." And I told him that I thought it was a good idea.

I've barely spoken to him since then. That's very, very NOT like me. The bad part is that I keep getting quieter and quieter. I'm too gripped by this whole situation. Nothing has ever interfered with my work before, but here I am during work hours on a chat board.

<< It sounds as though this has been going on for many years, so its time for you to show your husband that you will no longer tolerate his behaviour. >>

Twenty years. It's been going on that long as a way to control me and put me in my place. As I've gotten "healthier" and more independent, very much appreciated in my work, he's gotten worse. The problem is that he's the poster boy for passive-aggressiveness [NOT my diagnosis, but that of several therapists]. The moment that we seem to straighten out one crazy-making situation, he turns around the very next day and does something else that actually endangers my health - physical and/or mental.

<< Having said that, it seems as though he doesnt really want to get a divorce, but that he uses it to threaten? >>

You've got that right. The problem now, though, is that since I've told him that it's fine with me, he asked for "one more chance" and he IS doing some things he's never done before - willingly, of his own volition going to a Rabbi, following the Rabbi's advice to get into therapy for anger-management, to do a REAL tikkun that I can see, etc. I'm trying to honestly give him that chance but it's costing me a lot of peace of mind.

<< And now that you are agreeing to perhaps separate, he is scared. >>

Yes - he's afraid of being alone - but he will play the martyr and victim to the hilt as he always does. That makes this extremely problematic for me.

<< Maybe then you have something to work on. >>

If he could approach one thing that he did and say that he shouldn't have done it without the BUT at the end . . .
If he could talk about one issue in which he knows he was responsible without getting angry at ME and ending the discussion . . .
If he could answer one financial question with a definitive answer or open his account so I could see where his paycheck is going . . .
There might be a chance.

He won't do any of these things.

<< Do you think marriage counselling is a possibilty? >>

We've been to every kind of counseling there is - I was able to get him there only by saying that he was fine and it was all my problem - and he's always agreed that something is wrong - but counseling always has made everything, just EVERYTHING - worse by far.

<< Its always best to try and salvage the pieces before jumping into the undoing of a marriage. >

I agree. That's why I've stuck in it for 38 years and have no regrets for having done so. I have not only gone into therapy with him, I've gone to therapy myself to see what I could change so that I could lmodify my reactions to his passive-aggressive, OCD, control {again not my diagnosis} issues. This I have done and it has made no difference. If I refuse to engage when he wants to start a fight, then he accuses me of being angry. If I'm being pensive and trying to think of a way to respond that won't sound "condescending" to him, I'm "giving him the cold shoulder". If I do talk to him, I'm talking to him in a disparaging, hostile, critical, disapproving, patronizing, and haughty manner. So I have just gotten quieter and quieter and now he's accusing me of being uncommunicative, sullen, sulking, selfish, and withholding of myself.

<< In the meantime, my suggestion to you is to find a good therapist who will support you through your decision making process. >>

i know a good therapist but I can't afford him right now - or anyone else for that matter, regardless of the fact that I work and don't give my check over to my husband.

<< Do you have children or other family who will support you through this? Friends? >>

My oldest "child", almost 37 is very aware of what his father is like and has felt the same frustration of having to try to deal with him, relate to him, as I have felt. He is very cognizant of the ways his father treats me and even sat him down to have a very well thought out talk, taking care to keep Kibbud Av close in his mind, and got nowhere. His father sat like a blank while our son poured out his heart and love. He wants to help both of us, but he sees that his father is an extremely difficult person to deal with.

My younger "child", a daughter has a completely different reaction and I believe it has a great deal to do with the fact that she's a girl - and that all girls need their Dad. Basically, she takes what crumbs she can get from him and when her brother talks to her about being even handed in her perceptions, she is constantly referring to her father as "Poor Dad". Any tiny little thing that he does, she praises to me to the sky, not knowing the gehinnom he put me through for three days previous. There is nothing that I do that she praises to him which is fine. He is undoubtedly the most ungrateful person I've ever known and totally ungratifying to do things for.

Knowing that his favorite wallet had finally fallen apart, and that it was a very rare type, I spent three years looking on the internet for a replacement for him - just the right materials and the right style. I gave it to him in front of our son who was visiting and my husband commented that it was nice but that he didn't like the way it folded and it wasn't really exactly like the original one. My son was stunned.

This past year, I bought my husband some fine quality pajamas for his birthday. I was very dismayed to see a seam opening on it. When I asked him when the seam had opened, instead of answering me, he simply said, "That's what you get with cheap pajamas." This - from the master of lousy, cheap, thoughtless, sometimes non-existent gifts.

thank you for letting me rant - I hope that's allowed, even though there's no bad language. I feel as if my mental health is balancing on the ability to vent.

Thank you Debbi -

G-613
 
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ernie55B
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6/6/06 7:31 AM
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Hello Grandma,

I too am sorry you have been going through this personal holocaust - yes, holocaust, as described by a prominent Rav in Woodmere, NY.
Please read my post to Gyroscope.

Your husband must be made aware of the fact that noone has a right to abuse another person physically or emotionally. Period.
Noone deserves to be absused. Period.

If your health is at risk-physically or mentally- then you have an obligation to yourself and your children and grandchildren to move on, no matter how difficult that may seem.

I left my marriage for exactly that reason. The situation was literally making me sick- depression, anorexia, suicidal ideation, etc. and my doctors told me that if my wife refuses to
take any steps to work on the marriage, which is what happened (Quote-" Get it throgh your head- I am not doing anything different") then I have no choice but to leave. My children need me alive even if it means having divorced parents.

I understand that your children are grown, but they still need a healthy mother and grandmother.

You husband has to make a choice: live alone, or try and work on his character to make for a better marriage.

I wish you much hatzlacha, please keep us posted.

Ernie
P.S. If you want to PM me and let me know your approx. location, I believe I can recommend
a Rav you can trust to keep your information confidential.
I have many Rabbonim in my immediate family and I am sure there is someone you can talk to about this without worrying about the future.
 
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Grandma613
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6/6/06 9:27 AM
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Dear Ernie,

Thank you so much for your response. In between the time I posted and this morning, the following has happened.

Just as I was leaving school yesterday, I got a call from my son-in-law. Someone had noticed that H had been at shul for 4 or 5 Mincha services and was not, apparently, "feeling well". He was not looking well and his speech was slurred.

My SIL went to pick him up and called me. I was already leaving school and on my way home. By the time I got there, H had been there for a total of 5 minutes alone. He was asleep in his chair. I awakened him and asked him a bunch of questions that pertained to stuff like stroke, heart attack, diabetic coma, and anything else that might give me information. [He is a non-compliant diabetic, heart condition patient, kidney stone "survivor"] I told him we were going to the hospital and asked if he could walk because I’d rather take him than wait for an ambulance. He was able, with assistance, to get to the car and into it.

By the time we got to the hospital, he was very, very out of it. I told them at the triage desk that he has a heart problem but doesn’t take his meds, that he has diabetes but doesn’t test for sugar, or eat right, and is supposed to be on anti-depressants but won’t take those either.

To make a long story short, by then his pupils were dilated to pinpoints, and they couldn’t rouse him either. They did a ton of tests, are probably still doing them [they sent me home] and what they found was an overdose of opiates – narcotics.

You see, this past week, with the way he was playing around with the air conditioning and making the house so hot that I was getting ill from it, [I have a well controlled neurological condition that can't tolerate heat or I get badly coordinated, etc. Otherwise, I am fine and take care of myuself. Nobody would know that I have this disorder.] I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started a very quiet, very civil, rational conversation about the advisability of a separation. I told him that it might help him to not feel that I was sitting and breathing down his neck, waiting for him to change. It would stop me from having to always be telling him that the things he was doing are making me ill – literally, stop me from making any comment that he might think is critical, let us both see if we want the divorce he demanded.

He did a lot of accusing and I kept my cool, meaning I didn’t yell or raise my voice. We talked for a long time about whether we should separate.

So. Now he knows that I’m not going to be controlled by his threats of divorce because I took him up on it for my own survival, and the result is – he takes an overdose of some form of opiates, probably percodan or percocet because I can’t find the two bottles with a few pills of them that I had. And – he puts himself in shul where he’d be seen and “saved” by somebody for sure. To me, the message is very clear. “You leave me and I’ll kill myself, and it will be your fault - regardless of the fact that I've been manipulating you for over 20 years with divorce threats.”

So – this is something I never expected.

He’s being kept overnight at least. He’s OUT like a light. I don’t know what to expect in the morning, what they’ll do, what they’ll recommend. Probably a psych consult. I don’t know what’s going to happen now. He’s non-compliant about any medication, any medical condition. And I’m supposed to sit and not only be emotionally abused and physically endangered, but watch him destroying himself and getting angry at me if I beg him to take his medication, to eat the right foods. I have to sit and go nuts from him while I watch him destroy himself also?

This is crazy. And I just found out that he had our phone service disconnected yesterday.

Today will bring new challenges. Of the six people who know about this, four aren't interested in my feelings, interpretations or reactions though I know this man better than anyone else in the world. The other two understand that he is is sick and this is exhausting me. baruch Hashem for them.

Thank you for your reply. In fact, I've copied it into my "HELP" file so I can read it againand let more of it sink in.

Grandma613
 
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Debbi
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6/6/06 9:42 AM
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Hi G,

You expressed so very well what your lifes experience has been, and still is.

It is really difficult living with a person when there is so little give and take.
38 years! Wow! Thats a long time.

It is so sad when one person takes no responsibilty for his actions, and constantly puts the other one down.
I understand you feeling that you no longer have the energy to "fight" back. It must be so hard though. To supress all the sad, angry hurt feelings. You must feel like choking, almost suffocating?

It is most definately not the healthiest way to live.
Emotions need to be brought into the open, and allowed expression. I'm really glad you were able to do some of that here. I think it is important not to get yourself into a really repressed state, because it will only make it more difficult to sort things out.

I am so sorry you feel yourself becoming "quieter and quieter". Do you think its wise to shut yourself down in this manner? Can you try and figure out a way to let him know what you are feeling? On the other hand, as I write these words, I am thinking, do you even WANT to try. Is it that you have suffered enough, and have no wish to keep on trying?

I think you ought to sit down, and write a list of pros and cons.
A list of why it would be of benefit to you to divorce, and then another list of the negatives. See where you get. Often our thoughts and emotions are so jumbled, that when one sits down to write, one sees more clearly, the thought process and emotions.

Let me know how it goes.
One more thing.
Buy something nice for yourself today.
Something "you" like and want. Treat "you" to something special.
You deserve it.

all the best
debbi
 
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ernie55B
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6/6/06 11:56 AM
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Hello Grandma,

So sorry you are going through this additional tzoro even as I write this.
You wrote very clearly exactly what your husband is trying to do here.
The ULTIMATE manipulation!
If you divorce me, I will kill myself.

I am sure by now he must have had a pysch consult. Hopefully you will be able to speak to this Pdoc. and explain what is going on.

You must remember, and I know this sounds harsh, but your husband is the only one responsible for staying alive. Not you. He is not a baby, although he is acting like one by refusing to take his meds. etc.
Maybe the Pdoc. can get the message across that if he wants to kill himself, he is the only one who will be held accountable.
If he wants to live, you will be there to help him, but he will have to make major changes
in the way he treats you.
If he insists on treating you like a shmatta, then his fate is in his own hands.
You cannot be held responsible for his awful behavior.

Keep us posted- we care.
Ernie
 
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Grandma613
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6/6/06 9:39 PM
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Hi Debbi

<<It is really difficult living with a person when there is so little give and take. 38 years! Wow! That’s a long time. >>

Yes. This Friday is 38 years. There will be no celebrating. I just came from the hospital. H does not know our daughter. He doesn’t know who I am. He sort of knows his name but it’s hard to tell. He knew all of that last night when I left the hospital.

There was no stroke. There was a mild infection for which he is being treated. But the tox screen keeps showing that he had an overdose of a drug containing Tylenol and a narcotic. The Tylenol level is more of a problem because his liver has to excrete it and that is a wait and see situation.

<< It is so sad when one person takes no responsibility for his actions . . . >>

That’s him. He takes no responsibility.

<< I understand you feeling that you no longer have the energy to "fight" back. >

Actually, that’s what’s happening now. The first thing that happened when he demanded a divorce this last time was that I had a sudden paradigm shift. It was like a click in my head, like something suddenly moved INTO place. I suddenly realized that I didn’t have to be manipulated by him by giving in and apologizing for something I didn’t do in the first place. I could simply stop playing his game. I always did before: I was desperate for him to not divorce me so I told him I’d give him what he wanted, and I did. This time was no different except that I suddenly wasn’t desperate for him to not divorce me. I was sick of it all, fed up, disgusted, and I realized I didn’t need this sick game anymore. When I agreed to give him another chance, it was to honor the sanctity of marriage and the 38 years with my husband. My feelings hadn’t changed and I told him that they hadn’t. He simply had extinguished them. I even told him that I had no idea, no matter what changes he made, if he did, whether my feelings would be rekindled. He’d done a lot of damage.

<< To supress all the sad, angry hurt feelings. You must feel like choking, almost suffocating?

I don’t feel all that sad except when I think of my children and grandchildren and their reactions. After the week preceding Shavuos, I do feel as if I’m suffocating, in danger, backed into a corner and completely not understood by some of those closest to my husband – those who are very important to me.

<< it is important not to get yourself into a really repressed state, because it will only make it more difficult to sort things out.

The only time I feel repressed is when I’m in that hospital room with him and I want to run because I can’t say what I’m feeling to anybody there. He looks so helpless – he is – he looks so pathetic – he is – he looks so harmless – he is NOT.

<< I am so sorry you feel yourself becoming "quieter and quieter". Do you think its wise to shut yourself down in this manner? >>

I just have nothing to say to H anymore. It never ends up good. The last thing I spoke with him about, in a quiet, civil conversation, was the possibility of a separation. No histrionics from either of us, though he did accuse me of some bizarre things and he did explain some things in very strange ways [his divorce threats were meant as a chessed, he says!]. So look where a quiet civil talk led – to a suicide attempt. I don’t feel safe talking to him.

<< Can you try and figure out a way to let him know what you are feeling? On the other hand, as I write these words, I am thinking, do you even WANT to try. Is it that you have suffered enough, and have no wish to keep on trying? >>

I was reluctant to tell him what I was feeling before because he either doesn’t “get” it, he uses my feelings against me at a later time, or he isn’t listening at all. I keep asking myself, almost obsessively, “Why should I bother? Tell me, ‘self’. Tell me why I should bother. Where does it ever get me? Where does it ever get him?” And the answer keeps coming up, “It gets me nowhere and he never understands it or cares, or listens.

<< I think you ought to sit down, and write a list of pros and cons. >>

I think you’re absolutely right. We started to do something like this the other night.

<< Often our thoughts and emotions are so jumbled, that when one sits down to write, one sees more clearly, the thought process and emotions. >>

I was shocked at how unjumbled my feelings are, whereas H’s feelings are an absolute mess, like a proverbial Gordian knot.

And now he has no idea who I am. I wonder how much of that is the drug and how much of it is a desire to forget.

<< Buy something nice for yourself today. Something "you" like and want. Treat "you" to something special. You deserve it. >>

I had to pay a BIG phone bill. I woke up to discover that my phone wasn’t working. When I called the phone company on my cell phone, I found that he’d actually called them about the overdue bill yesterday and told them he wouldn’t pay the bill and they should shut the phone off. Just before he took the pills, apparently. I can’t get the gray matter in my brain to come up with a theory about that. Right now, I’m wondering about buying myself anything after paying a $300.00 phone bill that I didn’t know about.

The worst thing is – I’m really angry with him for doing this. I wasn’t angry with him before. I just felt that he just didn’t “get it” and I was resigned to that. I’ve been working on accepting that fact for years and years, of living without love, without affection, without anything. So I wasn’t angry. But now I’m annoyed and angry and ticked off at him. Can you imagine how incredibly inadvisable it is for me to show or express that at all when I’m around those people who are having this pity party for him? They just don’t see what he’s done and the position he has purposely put me in. I am stuck in a nightmare.
 
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Debbi
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6/6/06 11:12 PM
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oh Grandma,

I am so so sorry.
What a horrible position he has put you in.

From where I stand as an objective person, you probably should keep quiet at this point. Your husband has just attempted suicide, and no matter how angry you are, it is not the best time to express it, to those around you.

I am sure they are in a state of shock, and they would be unable to "hear" you.

How sad for him, that the only way he felt able to communicate was an attempted suicide.
How horrible, and sad and pathetic.
How painful for you. After 38 years, to see your spouse manipulate you in so terrible a fashion.

I dont know what to say to help you through this, except that now it is all out in the open, and perhaps your need for support might begin to be more obvious to those around you.

Again I am so sorry this has happened.
My heart goes out to you, with this nightmare you are living through.

You sound like a strong and intelligent woman. I have no doubts that you will get beyond this one too.

a word of chizuk if i may;
A friend told me today, (I have been feeling very down) that every tear a person sheds, is worth something in G-ds eyes.
Every tear is precious.
Every tear brings the world closer to our Yeshua.

Wishing you peace and strength.

keep us posted.
debbi
 
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ernie55B
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6/7/06 9:10 AM
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Hello Grandma,

How is your husband today? Have you had a chance to speak to any psychiatrist/social worker in the hospital about what you can do now?
I think you need to wait until he is stable, and then get the advice of a professional you trust.
You may have to make a painful decision at that point keeping in mind that you need to do whatever must be done to keep your sanity no matter what anyone else thinks.

Be well,
Ernie
 
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ernie55B
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6/7/06 9:13 AM
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Debbi,

You see why I insist that you get better? Even in the midst of your own despair, you are there to give chizuk to others.

E
 
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Grandma613
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6/7/06 10:43 PM
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Hi Ernie,

Today things seem to be following the pattern of the past several weeks - things are getting worse and worse. My husband is wide awake and the psychiatrist did see him. I'm very glad that he saw my husband before he spoke with me. He asked me a lot of questions about H's history, and he also asked me if anyone in his family was schizophrenic or bipolar. Then I told him about some other diagnoses that have been made.

What the doctor said came down to this: “Your husband is deeply disturbed, and whatever is going on is not something that just now happened. It’s of a long-standing nature and he can not be released directly from the hospital. He will have to go into a psychiatric residential hospital for at least a short time.” That was jarring, but not so much as what followed.

My husband, wide awake and alert, no more narcotics in his system, has absolutely no memory of ANYTHING at all from just before he met me until the first night he was in the hospital - which he really doesn't remember either. EVERYTHING is g-o-n-e. Me. Our marriage. Our kids and grandchildren. Becoming frum. Being Orthodox. His entire base of knowledge FOR HIS JOB. What disturbs me more than anything is that if this was only the effects of the narcotics, he would have patches of memory missing. They might be really large patches, but they would be patches and they would be somewhat arbitrary and scattered. His memory loss cuts off everything and anything having to do with me as if he'd used a surgical instrument. I am gone.

I sat and talked with him. I showed him the pictures of our children and grandchildren that I was advised to bring. We talked about him wearing his yarmulkah and I asked him if it bothers him to wear it since he doesn't consider himself religious. I was trying to tell him that it was okay to talk about whatever he felt. I asked him about eating kosher food and whether it bothered him to have his food restricted when he didn't understand what it was about. He found my questions interesting and spent a lot of time thinking before he answered. He seemed to enjoy the intellectual stimulation.

I was surprised that he was looking so carefully and with such rapt attention at pictures of our children and grandchildren. He smiled and was so obviously enjoying being told they were his grandchildren. He kept commenting about how handsome that one is and how beautiful this one is, and how is it that one has platinum blond hair and the other is red-headed. I was utterly shocked when he noticed that our daughter and daughter-in-law are ringers for each other! He also couldn't believe there are so many of them. I've never, ever, ever seen him schep nachas from our family the way he did with all these little strangers. And their names! He said he was expecting me to tell him that this one was Steven or Robert, Cindy and Joanne, but when he heard Shlomo and Meshulam, Naema and Shalva, and all the other names, he was very amused.

He was truly taken with our son in his streimel and bekesher, his big red beard and moustache, doing Havdalah. He wanted to know what was going on, so I told him and he reacted as if it seemed somehow familiar. I asked him if he remembered his great grandfather doing this when he was a very little boy and his eyes brightened and he smiled as I told him that his great-grandfather had been doing the same thing. He didn’t ask how I know that he remembered that about his great grandfather.

He had questions about things and people in the pictures. He smiled when I showed him a picture in which he was off on the side. He hardly ever interacted with the kids when we were in Eretz Yisroel, and when I pointed to him, he said something about being so far away from everyone.

I talked to him about politics - Nixon's resignation, Ronald Reagan's presidency, Bill Clinton's total lack of morality, his long ago interest in Star Trek and science fiction. I told him about world politics, terrorism, about Israel's situation and the work our son does for Israel's safety. He asked a lot of questions about all those things and everything else I told him about. We had a long three hour, interesting conversation. But . . .

I told him I would have to go soon, mentioning that I don't drive in the dark and that I had work that I had to complete. He asked nothing about my work. I’d told him about laptop computers and they amazed him, but he had no interest in why I had one. He didn't ask why I come only in the early evening or if I would come back. He had no questions about me at all. When I was about to leave, he looked as if he was expecting something but that lasted for only a split second.

What pained me most was finding that I could not even touch him. I wasn't even angry at him. I had enjoyed talking with a smiling, calm man - to whom I was a stranger. It was extremely hurtful to not be able to even pat his shoulder, and the biggest reason was that the entire time, sitting there in front of me was the calm, smiling, peaceful man I had married, and I thought I would just fall apart.

A week ago or so, I asked him, "Who are you, and what have you done with my husband?" He looked at me and sneered, then grunted and razzed me. And now, sitting in front of me was that man that I had asked about.

I am so unspeakably bewildered.
 
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ernie55B
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6/8/06 7:10 AM
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Hi Grandma,

I don't blame you for being totally bewildered; it sounds like a very bizarre situation. Did you
speak to his psychiatrist about this? Is this a normal thing to happen after an overdose?
Is it most likely a temporary situation? Is it possible he is faking it?

If as the Dr. told you, that he will need to be in a psych. ward for a while, perhaps this is the best thing that could have happened (not perhaps, for sure).
He will finally get the help he needs, while it will give you some quiet time to sort out your feelings, and figure out what you really want to do.
You will have a chance to be alone and see if that is what you want; are you happier without him around, or maybe you will find yourself missing him.

The memory loss (if real) is also a positive, for now at least. It provides you with at least temporary relief from all the abuse hurled at you.

Look at this latest turn of events as an opportunity for you to do some real soul searching.

Keep us posted, please.
Keep your strength up as well.

Ernie
 
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Grandma613
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6/12/06 1:33 AM
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Oh, things have gotten so very much worse. I feel as if I was sent directly to Gehinnom without dying.
My son, who has not retracted what he has said about his father, sent me a long, [Torah] documented letter today that I am so sick from that I can't even read or touch it. He accuses me of everything from talking too much in front of other men, in my husband's presence, to lead them on and give them the message that I’m willing to get "attention" from whomever I can get it, whenever I can [he’s calling me an immoral woman?]to being deserving of my husband slapping me in public, to having a distorted perception of the truth and using it as a tool to cover up an “illness of the soul, such as a bottomless pit of selfishness and overindulgence”. And . . . “Everyone around me knows me for the “fool” that I am, they are “rolling their eyes behind . . . my . . .back”.

He goes on to say “I’m only trying to get across that you may be able to fool yourself, but you don't fool anyone else, and it pains me and all those who love you to see you make a fool of yourself all these years . . . “ He’s seen me a total of five weeks in five years. I am utterly indignant, offended and enraged that he would have the effrontery to say this to me in any way, shape, or form. Please excuse me me but to me he is a 37 year old babe-in-diapers who doesn’t have the right to even think this of me considering that he has always told me that it was so easy for him and his sister to more into frumkeit because of the way that I raised them [not their father, they hsten to add].

I am trying to figure out just what is going on that in one week, my husband takes an overdose of narcotics after threatening ME for 20 or so years with divorce, and I am suddenly to blame for this and the target of anger from my daughter, my son, my son-in-law, AND his mother. My daughter not only isn’t talking to me – she’s suddenly AFRAID of me and can’t stand to be in my presence!. SIL came over to my house, ostensibly to clean, but spent five hours opening my mail, sorting it, haranguing me and twisting everything I said, and telling me that I have NO right to be angry because my husband took an overdose, that it is NOT normal to feel anger, that I am sulking [because I needed to do work for school], and I told him I just didn’t have my head into cleaning. I told him that I didn’t want him to keep cleaning, but he did after saying, “I hear you. I’m with you. I get what you say.” And he continued doing it anyway, opening my mail while I asked him to stop. He kept saying that he wanted me to talk, and when I said I didn’t want to because it wasn’t getting anywhere, he said, “I see. You’re sulking. You have a choice. You can sit and sulk, or you can come in here and do this cleaning with me.”

I told him that all I wanted was a soft place to fall right now, not a cleaning and he turned to me, pointed his finger into my face and said in a near shout, “YOU don’t get that until you start to be lovable!!!” Picture this with him 6’6” and me 5’1” and you have some idea of the intimidation I felt. And he continued to open the mail. “When can I see the grandchildren?” I asked. He wanted to talk, so I’d talk about them. We all agree that they’re sweet. “Well – that’s a question isn’t it?” he answered. I agreed that it was a question and I asked it and wanted to know if they have plans of keeping me permanently away from the children and why. “Well, that’s another question isn’t it?” he said, not answering. More comments from him about getting with the program and cleaning. I asked about the children. He parried with cruelty. Then the heat to clean up really picked up and the nasty comments came flying at me without end. All it felt like was, “Now, come here, now, come here, do it, you have no choice, I’m in charge, you do what I say, do it, shut up, say nothing, . . . “

Something started churning inside me, something deep and dark, and something I haven’t felt for years. I told him to stop. I begged him to stop. I took an envelope of money he’d given me last week and told him I didn’t want his money, to stop, please, please stop and leave me alone and he wouldn’t and at that point, I entered what I can only describe as “flight” mode. I got on my shoes, grabbed my keys and ran, intending to run my car into the first very large tree that I saw.

I was hyperventilating, having pains up and down my left side, and scared more than I could remember being scared in years and years – and I didn’t know what it was really and truly about. Somehow, I got to a friend’s house instead of killing myself and I sat there and sobbed for hours, telling her what had happened. She knows my family well. She knows I love my grandchildren deeply and that they love me. My friend called him to see if he’d left. She also contacted a Rabbi to try to get something done for me immediately, but he told her to send me to the hospital. There is no way I’m going to the hospital. The entire family keeps accusing me of trying to blame Dad for what was obviously my fault – HIS overdose that HE took when I was at work. They keep saying that I want the attention that he is getting. I will not go to the hospital because that will only prove their accusations. In fact, the day that I decide to leave this world because they are making it so abominably unbearable, I won’t take what my husband took and go someplace where I’ll be saved. I wouldn’t even ram into a tree; too much of a chance of not succeeding and ending up, instead, with horrible injuries and still alive. Nope. For me, it would be very private, very sure, most certainly fatal with no chance of anyone rescuing me. If I feel that miserable and beyond able to cope, I want no visits or fake attentions from people who are abusing me – not that I think that they’d even show up – at a hospital or the funeral or even feel bad. It wouldn’t be about that. It would be about ending the pain they are causing me. For the moment, I’ve made promises to two people to not harm myself. I told them that the “…until I speak with you first…” part is a verbal maneuver that I’m not interested in playing with.
And the reason that I was reacting as I was when SIL kept goading and prodding me? I was having a flashback, feeling as if I was actually right back in my childhood with my father about to assault me – again – after which he would leave me a nice crisp five dollar bill. The same begging, the same pleading, the same feeling of being trapped – except I wasn’t trapped physically. I was trapped in time, inside of that moment for hours. I will find it hard to forgive SIL for doing that to me. And then leaving a truly nasty note for me when he left.

This staying alive is draining me more and more each day as it looks more and more hopeless and useless. All I want right now is to see my babies – my grandchildren and withholding them from me and not even answering any of my questions is cruel and unusual punishment beyond reason or logic.

I swear I am going insane as I write this. I don’t, honestly, think I can last out the day tomorrow as a sane person. Every single day becomes worse and worse and worse. I feel utterly destroyed.

And the words of the psychiatric nurse at the mental hospital to me? “Hon – I’m not your therapist or anything, but you sound real fragile to me. You need to know that you didn’t cause this. It was a LONG time in the making and it started a very long time ago and it was your husband that did it.

I feel as if I’m slowly desiccating in body and spirit, and soon the wind will simply lift me away like so many pieces of worthless ash that I’m being told that I am.

 
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gad
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6/12/06 9:30 AM
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You may need medicine to cope with all this.

Your title for this thread is "looking for help." A therapist or Psychiatrist would be the best expert. They have experience and know what to do.

Hope to hear good news.
 
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Debbi
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6/14/06 10:02 PM
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Hi G13,

I'm sorry I didnt see your post until today. (I've been going through some tough things myself).

Your portrayal of whats going on sounds extremely frightening. No wonder you are feeling suicidal.

You must however understand one thing very clearly.
You are NOT in any way shape or form responsible for your husbands suicide attempt. (or the attempt that everyone else believes to be - "you" know that he wanted to be found and ressucitated)

Every person is responsible for his life.
Just as you will be held accountable if you kill yourself, so will your husband be accountable.
He is an adult with choices.
No one forced him to stay in this marriage.
He could have divorced you long ago, just the way he has threatened for so many years.
Please be clear about this in your own mind. YOU are not responsible for his madness. Just as you are not responsible for his abuse, or that of you son-in-law.

Your son in law has absolutely no right to be in your house looking through your mail!
What Chutzpah!
Is he perhaps treating you the way he has observed your husband treating you?
Please.
Protect yourself.
Dont allow him into your home.
Dont worry about your grandchildren. The more you beg, the more they will say no, just to punish you. I can assure you, as soon as you back off from asking about them, they will probably be calling you to babysit.

Has your husband regained his memory?
Is he still in the hospital?

It is so sad that your son would write such a letter to his mother.
It sounds as though there is so much emotional turmoil going on within the family.
I would try really hard not to take his letter to heart. I realise how his words must have cut through your soul, but even so, with all these emotions running high, maybe wait until things have settled down a bit.

Right now the most important thing is for you to be well, safe and strong.
Can you go and stay with your friend for a few days. Until you feel a little safer? Do you think that might be an option? Or maybe have a freind come over and stay with you for a bit?

You need to feel safe, and you need to be safe.
Dont allow your past experiences of abuse, whether your father, husband or son in law, to destroy you now.
Things are finally coming to a head, and you are almost free to go on with your life, as a person, as "you".
I really hope you will manage to ride out this huge turn of events, and that you will come through safely on the other side.

Keep writing here, I will try and support you for as long as you need it.
hoping to hear from you soon
debbi
 
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goforit
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6/14/06 11:42 PM
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hi debbie i would loike to pm you to ask you something but its not working please help
 
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Penina2006
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7/13/06 12:57 PM
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Grandma dear!

You must seek help ASAP!
I will refer you to an organization called SAVI, it's a branch under Mount Sinai Medical Center that caters to the abused crowd.
I don't have their phone number on hand, but I will get back to you with it as soon as I possibly can!

Hatzlacha to you,
Please take very good care of yourself--we all need you here!
With much love,
Penny
 
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uaa
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1/24/08 9:41 PM
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hi I am so sorry to hear your plight. You can get through with this your a good person and dont let a mentally disfunctional person destroy you!! You can go into shelter with Ohel 718- 851-6300- noone will know. GOOD LUCK YOU CAN DO IT!!!
 
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uaa
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1/24/08 9:44 PM
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grandma- are you okay I just realized this conversation took place like 2 years ago.
 
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