Bill: LM: Since you admitted to "self-destructive" tendencies, what is it like when you picture yourself staying in the situation you are in? What is it like to picture yourself living outside your current situation? Is one better than the other?
Little Magpie: Bill - I don't know. I have hung with him for 25 years at the end of the month and can just as easily keep existing in our broken world though it isn't ideal. I pray for blessings, joy and connection. I just want the depression and oppression gone and want positivity, joy and uplifting. Christian life to surround us, does that make sense? My self destruction has to do with finding ways to medicate to feel good and not in such pain
Little Magpie: Swan and Bill - I guess I should look at him having gotten my vehicle emissions tested and tags in one day as my Valentine.
Bill: Little Magpie: Spot on!
Little Magpie: Bill - okay. Oh, at counseling last night we spoke about Valentine's Day and our wedding Anniversary. He talked to H about making some type of plan since celebrating is important to me. He even suggested that H ask one of the d's to make a reservation some place if he didn't "have time". So, we shall see
Bill: All: Yeah, us guys are relatively simple and prefer situations that we perceive are easy for us. We don't mind complex problems as long as they are "easy for us." When we encounter what looks like a no-win situation we lose motivation to put much into it. Not good, but real.
Little Magpie: Bill - I know I have made lots of mistakes with him and shut him down because I didn't understand. I am trying to make changes to fix things but he does hold my mistakes and judges me by the past. He throws the past in my face all the time.
Bill: LM: I hope you recognize that his "accusations" are defense mechanisms. He obviously wants to be with you but is afraid of getting hurt so he pushes you away. My experience is that these are reactionary tests to see if you will withstand the criticism until trust reemerges. It is a tough process but I don't believe he would have much of a response at all if he wasn't interested.
Little Magpie: Bill - I was a trusting person and I was a loving person but then my skepticism and control, being matter of fact and working on accomplishing tasks made me more stand offish. But, I am starting to want to find out what the triggers and such are that caused all of this. I know some is my MLC and Trauma prior to the MLC.
Bill: LM: Way to go. You can get back to who you "used" to be. You just have to work at it smart. Self-evaluation will help but self-condemnation will not. Forgiving yourself will help, giving up on yourself will not. Identifying steps you can take will help, criticizing yourself will not. We all make mistakes, we all need grace and we can all become who God desires for us to be with His strength working inside us.
Little Magpie: Bill - In a way might that training be what we are getting thru our Couples counseling?? We actually let our guard down a bit last week and it ended up really painful for me. I was blasted with both barrels by my H a couple of times.
Bill: LM: I believe so. Your H is probably opening up more than he ever has which can be exciting and scary all at the same time. New skills are always awkward and the fear of failing will raise defenses. Pray for the grace to accept the fact he is opening up without taking everything personally. Behind what he is saying are the real reasons he is with you and the real reasons he is upset.
Little Magpie: Bill - My Prayer Life needs improvement. H pointed out a lot of OUCH!! Things that I thought I had been improving on and making better but obviously not as much as I had thought. I felt like I had been run over by a steam roller. We talked a little bit on the drive home and then I listened to Adventures in Odyssey to repair and watched TV with YD when we got home and went to bed.
Bill: LM: I don't know how to say this tactfully so please know I am trying to encourage you by the following statements: We all think that sharing feelings is supposed to be a happy, heart-warming experience. In reality, it is very difficult for most people. In fact, most people start out this type of disclosure with reactive statements that are not the real issue to see how the atmosphere is. I am sure your H is doing exactly that. He probably said things to see how reactive, fragile or defensive you would be. If you accepted it and held it as a gift rather than an indictment, it becomes irresistible. It is very hard to do but it is what opens up real intimacy. Please pray for the grace to give him permission to share without thinking that everything he says is a conclusion. More often than not, the hard statements are a cry for help rather than an attempt to push away.
Little Magpie: Bill - he likes the lights and we sometimes take drives to see them but he hates all of the commercialism and that has been a problem for hundreds and thousands of years. The Victorians even commented about that being a problem. I would love for him to embrace showing love and giving physical gifts to his family. He also complains about budget and stuff. We come up with fun things that cost little or nothing but it doesn't help much either.
Bill: Little Magpie: I suspect it all has very little to do with the circumstances. It easier to say there is too much commercialism than say I feel l like a failure because I can't provide what I would like to, or my family manipulated us with gifts which is why I don't like gift giving, etc.
Little Magpie: Bill - I am looking at scriptures dealing with fear to see about finding peace from the constant and heightened stress responses. Is there anything else you would recommend? Oh, my mom turned 82 earlier this week and she is still not really eating much so I am praying for her return to full health too.
Bill: Little Magpie: First of all, I commend you for searching out verses on fear to help you in your journey. The Bible gives some clues on finding peace in Philippians 4:6-9 which includes an active prayer life, disciplined thinking on what God says is true and reminding ourselves that God is bigger than our lives. James 4:7 also reminds us to resist the devil which we do by proclaiming what is true out loud whenever we sense there is spiritual stress in the air. There is no secret to it. Peace is a gift God puts in our hearts as we seek Him and cooperate with Him.
Little Magpie: Bill - a couple of things. I don't know how to put it down. One thing was he was pseudo paying attention to me while he was reading a book among other things
Bill: Little Magpie: I am pretty sure you know this already, but I will repeat just because it is a common struggle. When we are wounded we develop "buttons" in our soul that beg to be pushed. If we didn't have the buttons, it wouldn't really matter what other people around us do. They wouldn't upset us because there are no buttons to push. The reactions and, in this case, anxiety are like alarms that go off alerting us to the fact that buttons exist. For some reason, people can't resist pushing the buttons if they exist. It is then easy to point out the "bad behavior" of the other person and make it the issue rather than work on the buttons in our soul. It is a challenge but it pays off big when we choose to let the alarms help us focus on our own growth.
Little Magpie: Bill - I am also still messed up from getting that text last Thursday night. My H insinuated to my ears that something might be up since Toxic seems to know when I am stressed. How to I assure my H that I had nothing to do with receiving the text??
Bill: Little Magpie: The key to the text is you being consistently honest. The first time you say it, it may be doubted but when you say it over and over with sincerity in your eyes, it becomes believable. The eyes are the window to the soul so trust in these situations is conveyed more by your eyes than anything else.